by Laurie-Ann Copple
We have been busy ever since we got into our routines of several ministries through the week. While some of the ministries are different ones than we started with, we remain busy most hours. When I was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer in August 2020, we were in shell shock as to how to go forward. Jesus was carrying both of us, and we managed to stay in Western Cape for my cancer treatments – chemotherapy, despite our insurance company’s demand that I at least return to Canada to any Ontario hospital emergency room (with no treatment plan, or place to stay). We are not sorry we stayed and crowd funded. Those who stepped forward and those who administered care likely saved my life. The cancer was that aggressive. Now that I’m finished chemo (with one Herceptin injection, some blood work and a PET scan to go), I can look back at five months of slowly downsizing my part of our ministry. I no longer am a ministry bookkeeper (except for our own finances), and no longer teach art to MasterPeace Academy children. Tony has finished his assignment teaching science and music. However, other ministry has expanded to fill those spaces. Why should we be surprised?
We are however, fulfilled, knowing that we are setting a legacy. Not only are the children we work with in Legacy Relay more equipped for life, but they understand a bit more about their world than other learners. The girls we love and disciple run their own Mailbox Clubs, even if they aren’t as regular as we had hoped. Many of the girls are stronger from having loving strong mentors in their lives for more than a month or two. The children that see Tony on Mondays know a granddad who is reliable, strong and loving. We often hear the cry of “Tony!” wherever we go in Worcester. The children we spent three terms with in 2019, have more than a group painting project in their memory, but a granny who let them in on her personal cancer journey. They became family. And along the way, we shared a LOT of love, hugs, kisses, art, science and songs. The 2020 grade ones are a whole different group, but they are coming to know that we love them too. They also were allowed in on my cancer story, although on the perceived near end of it. They also share love, hugs, kisses, science, drawing and songs.
We also bonded with various inmates in Brandvlei, some of whom have been released. The new Alpha videos are wonderful in sharing with them, and even with the Avian Park girls we know and love. Tony has also bonded with hospice patients, including his friend Moses.
And there were other ministries we became part of, including some at Worcester Christian Church. Some of these include art workshops for church kids, Avian Park kids, Doxa for adults, Change Makers and perhaps an abused women’s shelter.
Yet of these all, Laurie-Ann’s colouring book remains something that I will leave as a legacy in South Africa. We have an ISBN number that is connected with the South African Library. Many of the drawings were created in South Africa, which a few of them were from Canada and the US. We plan to leave some copies at Olive Tree bookshop in Mountain Mill Shopping Centre (Worcester), although most copies can be obtained from us personally at church, cell group, and L-A’s Touching Hearts group before our departure. We hope to have the book printed very soon as we are just finalizing the last changes. Is it all about the art? No, but for me, art is what I have to work with in my hands. God always uses the works of your hands. God does not waste a thing – everything we trained for in the past has been used, although art has been at the forefront for me. We are thankful – for the teens and children we see whose lives have been changed, and for the other people who have enriched our lives as we work together. It’s a legacy of love.
Tony and Laurie-Ann Copple (usually Laurie-Ann)
L-A's devotional blog
TONY'S DEVOTIONAL BLOG
Tony's south african journal
TONY'S POST MISSION JOURNAL