by Erika Cronje.
The Prep…

On Saturday 4 December 2010 we had our annual Christmas party for the Refilwe AIDS orphans as well as children from Rethabiseng and Zithobeni and as usual the anticipation of the helpers was running high.

We were expecting about 120 children from different age groups. The preparations of the gift boxes the previous weeks had run smoothly and the boxes were stacked on the walls on the inside of the church. Although we get 120 children to participate in the party, 300 gift boxes were sent back with the children in the buses.

Greeting under the cross

There were a few snags with the bus transport as the previous sponsor was not available anymore, but Theo made a plea and asked the congregation and the response was amazing, as we have grown to expect in this caring congregation. With buses sorted out and gift boxes finished, we were ready for action and all waiting to receive our honoured little guests at the church entrance. The weather was perfect as just God can provide it! As the buses arrived, children were greeted and hugged and some of the bigger boys preferred a handshake! A ballgame in the church was thoroughly enjoyed by all while we waited for the second bus to arrive.

The Singing!

When the second bus arrived we all joined in praise and worship songs, in English, Sotho and Xhosa. Some of the children’s’ songs had actions to do and all participated enthusiastically, pinching a knee, rubbing a back and tugging an ear of a neighbour, helping our visitors to relax and warm up to the strangers they were meeting.

Jumping Castle Fun!

After the singing the children were divided into groups by age, joining their group leaders to engage in a real “koeksister”of a game where every group held hands across their circle and then had to climb over and under their hands to untangle their group. Only a few groups managed to get untangled without “cheating” to great hilarity of participants and spectators.

Awesome watergame…

All this singing and untangling is thirsty work and we took a tea break where everyone got a packet with snacks and juice and the groups did some bonding. We had 4 activities for the morning and the groups rotated between activities. There was a huge jumping castle which is always very popular, relay races through water sprinklers, soccer and a water game. A good thing the water game was just after the soccer, ready to cool down as everyone got wet fetching water and trying to fill up pipes with holes in them.

Lunch

After all the groups had rotated through the activities, it was time for lunch and we were already hungry from the smell of boerewors braaing. We all gathered in church again after lunch, playing a few games of Bingo. After Bingo, Lentikile brought a short service. The children have been eyeing the boxes stacked inside the church and as we were saying goodbye to them, they each received a box full of goodies to enjoy and use.

The rest of the boxes were packed into the luggage

Pressies to go home with.

compartments of the one bus and we all waved a warm goodbye to the children and their helpers until we see them again next year.

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