Friday, October 7, 2011

Day 4: Connecting with Others

Thursday was another full day for all of us here in South Africa. After spending the day with some fabulous children and teenagers in Masi, Oceanview, Overcome, Red Hill, and Capricorn, we invited the parents for a celebration night. These family nights are a great time to get to know the children more by meeting their families and seeing them share their gifts with everyone.

I was fortunate to get to see the Masi family night on Thursday night and then be a part of the Overcome celebration on Friday. Each of these times was a great time full of singing and dancing.

When my group entered the Masi family night, we were surrounded by happy children dancing around and enjoying time with their friends. The prayer that opened the night was heartwarming, and we felt welcomed and a part of their community throughout the evening. A great part of the night was seeing the parents get up and try the dances that their children had learned all week. The kids were cheering their parents on and trying to coach them on the motions. It was a fun time!

At both the Masi and Overcome family celebrations, the children showed off their songs and dances and impressed their parents with all that they had learned this week. A great moment in each of the celebrations for me was seeing the teenagers come forward and recite their memory verses for the group. Teens, who had been shy all week, came forward and proudly shared with everyone what they had learned about the gospel.

It was awesome to see children so proud of all that they had learned and we were glad to be a part of it all. After the Overcome celebration, several children came up to me and introduced their mothers to me. It was great to hear these parents say how happy their children had been all week and how much their children were enjoying the Big Apple Adventure with the white people! Spending time with these children has been a blessing, and it was an added bonus to get to know their families and watch them perform in their communities.

--Paige Stillwell


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