Sunday, July 6, 2014

Off to Durban We Go

We left Bloemfontein on Saturday June 28, headed for Durban by way of Bethlehem.  Durban is a drive of just over 7 hours if you drive straight through without any stops, which is not reasonable for old folks like us.  We were headed to seminary and institute training with the Area Authority, Tasara Makasi and Brother Gary Human.

We stayed in Bethlehem, which is just about 3 hours from home, Saturday and Sunday nights so we could go to church on Sunday and then head on to Durban on Monday.  On Sunday we had a meeting with our S&I teachers at the church, right after the 3 hour block. We met with Brother Alfred, who teaches institute, and Sister Mariam, who is one of the seminary teachers, to discuss the students and how we could get the 12 seminary students and the multitude of institute students involved in coming to class.  Sister Elisa, a seminary teacher, and Brother Rankuane, an institute teacher, were not in attendance.  President Mosia joined us after he took care of some branch business.  By the time the meeting was over it was decided that there was to be a fireside in two weeks, (Sunday July 13th) right after church.  Elder Edington and I will teach member and non member parents along with young adults, and seminary and instate students, what seminary and institute is about and how it can bless their lives.  Back we go to Bethlehem a week from today.

This is Alfred.  He is twenty four years old and working very hard to have the opportunity to go on a mission.  He has until February of next year to resolve an issue of not having a birth certificate.
He has no way to prove he is a citizen of South Africa.  The Birds, the senior couple in the area, are helping get the paperwork done to prove he exists. Believe me that is no easy task and there are no guarantees.  

The first time we heard Alfred give a lesson we were amazed at how knowledgeable he is but we were even more amazed when we found out he had not been on a mission yet.   We are all praying that he will be able to go on a mission because he is such a faithful young man and already a faithful missionary.

Up until a few weeks ago, Alfred rode a rickety old bike that had no seat.  He rides 12 km to the church and then back home again.  Sometimes after riding his bike to the church there would be no students that came for seminary of institute.  In spite of this disappointing problem he remains faithful. He teaches institute and sometimes seminary.  He is also the branch Young Men president and does a multitude of other things to help the branch survive.  I pray the Lord  will allow his faithfulness to be rewarded with the opportunity for him to go on a mission.  I am not quite sure how the branch will survive without him.  I guess someone else will have to step up and do the many things that he does.

(Alfred's rickety, old bike has now been replaced by a new bike, compliments of a group of Senior Missionaries who names shall remain anonymous, so at least if he has to ride all that way to the church he can sit on a seat and ride a bike that travels much faster and easier than the one before.)

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