Laughter and water bounced off the walls as the kids threw water balloons at one another. Their pure glee was contagious. We were hanging out with the kids from the Lanseria informal settlements/township for their monthly mentor group. Once they had settled down after the fun (and rather wet) “ice-breaker”, we dug into the topic for the day: “Ngikhethekile. UJesu uyangithanda” – I am special. Jesus loves me.
The kids sat quietly, for the most part, a few giggles were heard but mostly they paid attention, as we spoke briefly on this simple but fundamental topic. They are loved. They are created in God’s image. They are valued. We ended the circle time with questions as well as coloring sheets, word searches, and crosswords pertaining to the topic. Delicious sandwiches and fruit juice were then guzzled down as we finished our time together.
We hold groups such as these on a weekly basis for the Hlanganani kids (broken into four different groups – each receive one mentoring meeting per month). There are slight differences in the activities and discussion topics given their age group. However, the primary goal remains the same: giving the children the forum to learn about God and a safe space to discuss any topic on their minds.
“…what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.” 2 Timothy 2:2