Today, we went to a soup kitchen out side town at the Missionvale Clinic. It was really an eye-opener to see how much these people just needed a couple slices of bread and a cup of soup. For some of the people who came, this would be their only meal for the day.
One of the encouraging things about the whole deal was that all the bread and soup was provided by 3 or 4 little ladies from our congregation. We stopped at their houses and picked them up on our way and put their paint-buckets full of soup into the back of our Condor.
On our way, we drove through the really poor part of town. We had to drive through groups of children playing soccer in the streets because the schools have been closed for 2 weeks due to a huge national strike. We waved at people as they gathered at the water pump by the road to pull out their water for the day.
As we drove up to the gate, I though we’d be in a little trouble because of the mass of people that had gathered at the entrance. We pulled into the gate, set up our soup buckets, and distributed the bread-bags to the AIMers with the warning to not let them have the bags after we were done because they use them to sniff glue.
They only let small groups into the gate at certain times so things wouldn’t get out of hand. We prayed for the meal and started handing out the bread. While everyone was getting their food, Judy reminded me of a fact that I hadn’t really thought about in a while. She reminded me that 1 out of about 3 that were there was HIV positive. It drove home the fact that, not only they didn’t have food, they didn’t have Jesus and they don’t have much time left.
I did make a couple of friends. The boy in the bottom picture is the cutest boy I have seen in a while. I took a picture of him and he just stared at me, so I made a goofy face and waved at him and he turned into the happiest boy I have ever seen. He started giggling and hiding from me. He’d peek out and I’d take his picture. He actually got so occupied with me taking his picture, he tripped on his shoe and fell. He hit his head on a bench, started crying and ran inside.
I think we’re going to make this soup kitchen a weekly stop. The plan now is to go there every Wednesday morning. So hopefully I can update you on the work that goes on there, too. I hope to start talking with the people more, and I really want to see my little friend again.
If you want to see all the pictures of today and some random pictures of South Africa, go to the right side of the page and click on my pictures.