El Olam

By Bailey Cressman

Another week has come and gone, yet none has seemed to fly by as fast as our time at El Olam did. So much happened in the five days we stayed at this camp. I had such a fun time; from the crazy rides in the back of the bucky (a pickup truck), watching sugar cane fields being burned for harvest, to learning how to make Potjie (a popular South African stew in a cast iron pot), and putting on a skit for the local school. There are so many things that I could choose to talk about from that week.

I think something that we all considered special were our visits to the local elementary school, Hope Valley Farming School. This school was just a walk down the hill from the camp, and we went there twice during our stay. The ministry that is occurring there is amazing. I could really see the hand of God at work there. There were many comments of, “I’d love to be a teacher here,” from many of us as we walked away from the school both days. The first time, I was part of a group that went and read and played games with the third graders. What a sweet bunch, we had so much fun! I could not get over the amount of joy they got from just playing a game of “Duck-duck-goose” with us.

The second time we visited, we were in charge of leading an assembly for the school. We taught them some songs, and had them participate in a skit with us. This time, after the assembly, I went and hung out with the sixth graders, a class of only five. They had a whole list of questions for us, and were greatly amused when Naomi and I sang the entire Canadian anthem on request. It was yet again another lesson in joy when hanging out with these kids. It truly is the little things that can bring the most joy and mean so much to others. If I learned anything out of my week at El Olam, it is that I should strive to bring joy to others, and myself, in the small ways, for that’s what always seems to end up mattering the most.

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