Hectic – the best word to describe everything that’s going on right now…and a common word used by South Africans to describe something exhilarating, crazy, chaotic, busy, or awesome. In my case, “hectic” refers to each and every one of these things!

Dania, Ore, and I have been spending about three hours each day at Masiyile (Monday through Thursday) for the past week or so. We’ve decided to focus in on one particular eighth grade class. The sad reality is that due to a lack of government funding, there is a devastating shortage of teachers. This means that in grades eight and nine alone, over five hundred students sit idle each day while they are supposed to be receiving English instruction.

To address this need, we’ve been taking one eighth grade class to the library each day during their normal English period. Last week we played some fun teambuilding games. One of my favorites was a name game where someone would introduce themselves by saying, “Her name is Brenda, and she’s got the moves!” Brenda would then do a little dance where everyone else clapped and chanted, “Go Brenda, go Brenda, go Brenda!” They loved it! These kids are wired to sing and dance, and I can’t get enough of it!

Today we established a “Classroom Covenant” – the students came up with ten rules that they’ve all agreed to abide by throughout the next few months. Afterwards, they planned and performed skits that portrayed the various rules. Again, I was blown away by how outgoing and talented the students are, especially in the area of creative drama! So we’re thinking about working with the class to put on a play production – they would write the script (to help with English writing skills), memorize the lines, and perform the play (to help with English speaking skills). The goal is to increase English literacy while empowering and inspiring them to realize who they are and what they are capable of!

God is so present here at Masiyile! Last week, we found out that during their lunch period, students gather in a small classroom for a mini church service! This ministry, the Student Christian Organization, was initiated and is being sustained by students leaders. Incredible. (It’s the only student-led organization at Masiyile). It began with a time of worship followed by a time of testimony. They invited a young preacher in from the township community to give a short sermon and ended with a couple more worship songs. (Nearly all of this was in Xhosa, so although I didn’t understand much of what was being said, I could still feel the overwhelming presence of the Holy Spirit!) As the service progressed, students streamed into the classroom until over seventy voices were praising the Lord – a glorious choir of angels!


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Janet
    Mar 09, 2011 @ 16:54:57

    Wow! It sounds like amazing work is being done over there! Praise be to God for bringing you to this place in this time so that you could witness and be a witness in South Africa 🙂


  2. Marvin & Debbie Moore
    Mar 13, 2011 @ 20:33:27

    Dear Alyssa,

    Hello. We are keeping up with you on your blog. We pray you are careful as you go about the work in the education system. We think of you and pray for you often. We love you and send God’s blessings to you and your teammates.
    Love Marvin and Debbie


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