Friday, May 20, 2016

What's In Your Hands?

I pulled into the Dayizenza CarePoint on Tuesday morning while the afterschool meal was still cooking. The preschool next door was learning songs, and their tiny voices blew in with the breeze. The volunteer cooks for the CarePoint sang along to the kiddies songs and lounged between their dish-washing, salt-shaking, pot-stirring tasks. We sat and chatted casually about their families and weekends.

The previous Saturday, some of them had attended Blanche’s Kid’s Club Training. The CarePoint volunteers are local mothers who come and cook everyday for the children. They also facilitate a discipleship program created by Children’s Cup every week. Hundreds of children learn stories, memorize Bible verses and learn how to actively engage in God’s Word. Blanche is an incredible part of the Children’s Cup South Africa missionary team, and she put her whole heart into hosting a Kid’s Club Training for the cooking mothers to create an experience they could own and recreate for the children.

Blanche after completing a Kid's Club Training in Thubelisha.
To stay in touch with Blanche, click here or follow her instagram at bkonmission. 
As we lounged that Tuesday morning, I asked the ladies how Kid’s Club Training had been for them. Suddenly the lounging was OVER! Edith, the leader at the Dayizenza CarePoint, turned on the hip-swaying sass as she shared with confidence how good the training made her feel about herself. She was proud of what she was doing and happily boasted about Nokthula’s participation.

“Blanche was calling on us to help her teach, and we learned how to teach our children.” Edith’s enthusiasm and pride pulsed. “You should have seen Nokthula. She did a PRESENTATION.”

Nokthula beamed. A beautiful beaming smile from a mother living in two tiny rooms with her 4 kids and another teenage girl she just took in. A mother dealing with a family in conflict, an injured child, and burdened with mental health concerns for another child. She beamed.

Nokthula tells me, “I can teach the Bible with anything. Look for anything you see, and I can teach you.”

They excitedly recounted their Saturday training, where they had learned and practiced object lessons. Blanche showed them how anything around them could be a teaching tool, and it opened up a whole new world.

Edith re-recounted the training in their native tongue, SiSwati, to GoGo and Edna, the other cooking mamas who had not attended the training. Suddenly, that lounging, lazy Tuesday morning turned into a energy-charged classroom.

Edith commanded her class (GoGo and Edna) where to sit and how to participate, including the sound effects they should make and when they needed to respond. The giggles and the genuine interest were equally astounding.

Nokthula grabbed a matchbox and taught the class that Jesus is the Light of the World.

Edith, Edna and GoGo appropriately cheered, clapped, giggled and responded. I sat in awe.

Nokthula proceeded to share that she could do this with anything, from a mirror at her house to the cooking oil, cell phone, dishes and shoes that were in her direct line of sight. 
She was so free, so empowered, so capable.

She’s never had a place to teach something, so she’s never wanted to know anything.

Suddenly, because of a Saturday morning demonstration of object lessons, Nokthula had eyes to see and was constantly scanning for a way to teach God’s love. I told her that the more she read her Bible, the more she’d be able to teach it. Something had been unlocked in this mother, despite her incredibly difficult life circumstances.

Edith was next. That's right; this show was not over, folks.

Edith held up the keys in her hand and taught about the Kingdom of God.

Mind. Blown.

As Edith shook her hips and shook those keys, I listened, videoed, cheered. And then I looked. Edith had just made the Kingdom of God reachable for those ladies and for all the children she cooks for everyday.

I looked around us and saw a vegetable garden to feed their families. I saw outdoor toilets and a water tank where people fetch water to live on, a few liters at a time, because there is no running water. I saw a giant pot of food cooking on a fire the mothers had built that morning, and all the trimmings it took to spend a whole day preparing a meal. I saw a broom made of sticks for sweeping the dirt yard, buckets for washing dishes, and tires half-buried in the dirt for sitting and for playing. And in that key-shaking, hip-swinging moment, I saw the wealthiest place on the planet.

Tuesday morning came to life with the confident joy of these empowered women, and then Life Himself came and left an eternal stamp on that place.

I looked at Edith’s hands with those keys. And Nokthula’s with those matches.
I watched those strong, well-used hands clap in celebration and grab onto each other’s in overcoming joy. Hope was at hand for them.

Someone had shone Light, and now they could see what was around them. They see the same things everyday, but now they have sight beyond the matchbox and they key ring. Their everyday jobs became tools to build the Kingdom of God.

I looked at those hands. I looked around.

“The Kingdom of God is at hand,” Jesus said.

And I felt a question, a challenge, an invitation resound through me…

“Kacy, what is in your hands?”

Many days it is keys and a box of matches. Some days it’s a steering wheel heading to soccer practice. Some moments it’s a sick, hungry child, and some moments it’s the most smokin’ hott husband on the planet. (hubba, hubba)
Just in case I haven't said it yet,
Every day, every moment, whatever is in my hand, I pray that I remember…

The Kingdom of God is at hand. And my hands have everything to do with that.

We can lounge and look, or we can stand and shake. The Kingdom is coming.

Are you going to use what is in your hands to build it and bring it?

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