By Cole Stewart
The past two weeks we spent in the university town of Stellenbosch and the neighbouring township of Kayamandi. As a whole group, we were split into smaller groups of 5 or 6 and were given the task of planning and carrying out our own service project. Our partner, Johan, was clear that while our physical project was important, it was the real project of building relationship that was the priority. We made a point of including the community members and allowing them to be a part of whatever we were doing. Our time was filled with challenges and difficulties, but was ultimately blessed by God. Thanks to Beth for answering the following questions and telling us about her experience in Stellenbosch/Kayamandi.
How did you experience God during our time in Kayamandi?
We witnessed a healing. A man named Quanini drove 93 km to help us work on his sister’s house. Before we started he told us about his stiff neck and asked for prayer for healing. We laid hands on him and prayed. After our first prayer, it was a bit better but not much better. Our student leader encouraged us to keep praying. Someone else took a turn praying which helped a little more. We prayed probably four times and his neck was completely better after the final prayer.
Can you explain your service project?
On the second day of getting to know the community, we met a woman named Nompendulo. We heard her story and her situation. From what we gathered, she is a single mom with five children – four of which live at home. She also takes care of her 1 year old granddaughter. She lives off of R600 a month (approx. 60 CAD). She did work, but experienced something like a stroke while she was at work one day. Because this affected her legs, she has to use an umbrella as a cane in order to get around, so she usually just sits at home all day. She had tried multiple sources of healing, but she couldn’t afford the option of seeing a doctor. A major part of our project was paying for and getting her to a doctor. We also brought her to the hospital for treatment as the doctor had recommended. The other part of our project was repairing/replacing the roof of her house which had multiple holes in it. We were looking for an expert to help/show us how to fix a roof and this is where Nompendulo’s brother Quanini came in. He was such a blessing! The roofing project was completed and we are still awaiting answers regarding Nompendulo’s health.
What was difficult?
Planning the project was kind of hard, because the day that we were supposed to plan the project, we hadn’t talked to many people. We didn’t know the community very well, and we didn’t know if our projects would turn into multiple projects. We weren’t sure if community members could expect things in return for their help. Then there was one work day where 25 of us were sick. A lack of people put on added pressure to complete the projects on time.
How did you find Stellenbosch?
I thought it was good. In some ways it seems quite similar to home. It’s a university town, so there are a lot of people our age. It was really beautiful because of its many vineyards and mountains. We went to Shofar Church at Stellenbosch University which was very vibrant and charismatic. It was very much geared toward younger people. It was evident that the Holy Spirit was moving in powerful ways such as through altar calls.
Views from the mountains near our camp in Stellenbosch
Students walking through Kayamandi with some of the local children.
Students walking to their service projects in Kayamandi.
One of the many vineyards around Stellenbosch.
Varsity rugby game at Stellenbosch University