A Youth Relationship Seminar in Durban
Hi Brother Doug and Sister Cyndy
Hoping you are both well. Just needing to confirm your planned trip to Durban. The dates I have for your and Dick and Janet’s visit are 9th – 15th. Are these dates confirmed? Also if you would be needing us to collect you from the airport etc. I know yourself and Cyndy ran a marriage course at your last visit to Durban. We would love to run another similar course more on relationships, courting etc. for a lot of our youth. Not sure if you have something. Let me know.
Love in Jesus Yvette
Hi Yvette Lovely to hear from you. We can confirm those dates- we are flying in from Port Elizabeth on the 9th 2.30 pm and will be hiring a car for the time we are in Durban. We are staying with Pat and Anthony and Dick and Janet with Barry and Wendith. Cyndy and I have put together a one day seminar for young people of high school age that we have used several times and has been well received. We have named it Choosing God’s way in a sex-saturated world. We have done our best to make it real and relevant for modern young people. Attached is a brief course outline – How does all that seem to you? We can modify it if necessary. Please ask if you have any questions!
Love to all in Jesus, Doug & Cyndy
Hi Bro Doug, The outline of the course is perfect. This is just what we need. We will put a day aside for yourself and Cyndy to run the seminar God willing. Most probably run the seminar at the Westville hall with the youth from the different Good News centres. Can we book you for the Saturday 13th September?
Looking forward to your visit. Love Yvette
WHEN WE ARRIVED IN DURBAN
After settling into Durban we were keen to confirm arrangements for the seminar, we really needed to know the details! Venue facilities, volunteers available to lead discussion groups, catering etc and particularly how many young people were coming as we had lots of course material to be printed. We were told that everything was ‘under control’ and they were expecting around 50 kids.
Durban is a major centre for the South African Christadelphian P2P community outreach program. Since 2005 they have geared their preaching efforts around establishing new Community Bible Centres, particularly in poorer suburban areas, There are now active centres in Margate, Marian Hill, Lamontville and Claremont as well as the ecclesial centres at Durban and Westville.
Youth activities at these centres, as well as at local schools, have given the teams of local brethren and volunteers from overseas many young contacts who are keen to discover the truth of bible teaching and Christian living. Most come from poor and often dysfunctional family backgrounds and enjoy the structure and fellowship they find at the BECs.
SEMINAR DAY ARRIVES
We had printed material for 60 participants and arrived 30 minutes early to set up our gear. Very few kids were there. We learned that they would be coming by bus. Of course, they have no transport or money to pay for it! Doug suddenly realised he had left all his notes in another folder in his suitcase! Bother! He quickly jumps in the car and drives the 25 minutes return trip. On return he is greeted by a hall full of youthful faces, all shiny black, smiling and singing their hearts out in true African praise. It is enough to melt you on the spot.
“How many are there?” Doug whispers.
“At least 85, but don’t worry, we can print more notes here” says Evette
Not only course material but when we realised the kids had very few bibles to look up the quotes for a following group discussion session, she was on the computer in a flash and printed off all the required quotes in English and in Zulu. We were able to round up enough adult volunteers to form ten groups to lead the discussion activity.
Lunch was amazing! Westville is the main P2P volunteer base with accommodation and a big kitchen. The kids has been asked beforehand what they would like for lunch. They had voted for Mexican nachos and jelly and lolly cups for seconds! The team was well prepared and soon everyone was fed. It was obvious that as well as the food, they were enjoying the interaction and fellowship of other young people from different centres that they don’t often get to see. Many photos taken ( how come kids everywhere have mobiles?) and a group picture.
More singing and back into the afternoon sessions. Doug with the boys & Cyndy with the girls in a more intimate discussion on how God expects us all to behave sexually. Lots and intense listening and some helpful comments from the older ones.
A final whole group session in the hall to wrap up the day followed by some warm thankyous and farewells. The buses come and we are left to clean up and review the day.
The locals talked a lot about the particularly African cultural customs, attitudes and behaviours that cut across the way we view teenage boy/girl relationships and marriage. Child abuse, incest and teenage pregnancy and STD’s are ever-present problems. These kids face enormous challenges on their journey to find freedom in Christ.
We were assured that the day was a great initiative, something they had never done before, and a springboard forward in teaching Christ centred relationships.
We felt exhausted, invigorated and humbled at the same time. Our ongoing prayer is that these kids will become precious children of God through Christ. God bless them and the P2P teams that continue to minister God’s love in their communities.