Three days in the life of a missionary husband in South Africa (Abridged version of recent segments from Tony’s daily African journal)
by Tony Copple
Two of our My Father's House girls ministering with Tony in Boland Hospice. We are so proud of them.
Sat Aug 3, 2019
I (Tony) slept quite well – even though Laurie-Ann was in the hospital. I put on some Vineyard praise music while getting up and breakfasting, and got to YWAM before Soraya came out. At Brandvlei Youth Centre, they weren't expecting us but they were friendly enough. A pastor was having a 1-on-1 with an inmate in the room we use. While we waited around, an inmate called Ali came and chatted. He was serious about his faith. He was in the 8th year of a 10 year sentence and lived in Rawsonville, not far away. Finally men started to come and we set up. In fact 30 arrived, nearly as many as last week. Because we were late, we began with the video - 'Who is the Holy Spirit.' At the end I led them in the song 'We are One in the Spirit,' before a short discussion time. It was excellent. In the afternoon, instead of having our teen Bible class leaders up to our house, I intended to drive round and tell them about L-A's being in hospital, and give them the sandwiches, cake and fruit I had already bought. So I prepared the food and was at Jamelia's shortly after 3. She understood. Bella wasn't home but I left her food with her mother. I also left food for Chantelle, Britney, and Marsha. I prepared my talk on the Bible for the Homeless Church tomorrow and loaded it to my phone. It was based on the Alpha talk on the Bible. In the evening I spent an hour or so with L-A. She was still smiling, but not hearing any useful diagnosis from Dr. Smith yet. I remembered to upload tomorrow's ‘Good News in the Morning podcast.’ In the evening I reorganized the top of L-A's chest of drawers.
Wed Aug 7
LION KING TODAY - with 5 of our MasterPeace Academy kids, in 3D and great sound at Nu Metro. It is beyond me why everyone is not rushing to see it. Long after the children have forgotten much of what they learn in school, they'll remember the Lion King. And so it turned out to be. The children were excited on the way there. They all had a little money, and Paula went and bought a large ice cream cone while I was getting the tickets for 5 children and a senior. They rode the fairground-style cars till I called them towards the cinema, where Paula was not allowed to take her ice cream. Amazingly she accepted that she must throw it away, without crying. Soon we were seated in the almost empty cinema, and wearing 3D glasses. The movie was wonderful, even better than I had expected. I feel sorry for the majority of the world who will watch it on phones and iPads. The 3D cinema experience was spectacular. The children were almost quiet throughout, except they joined in with 'The lion sleeps tonight.' After the film we went to McDonald Mountain Mill (my first visit there) for burgers and cones. They also got balloons, and kept the other guests entertained. It was very windy outside, and Paula let go of her balloon, then chased it half way back to the mall entrance. On the way back to school, I took them to Hooggelegen to see L-A. Getting back into the car, Paula again lost her balloon in the wind, this time for good. The music class ran as I had envisioned it, teaching them to sing 'Can you feel the love tonight.'
Mon Aug 12
At 8:30 and 8:45 I (Tony) was unable to get Dr. Smith's phone to ring. I decided to go to his office after school. There had been only 2 lessons last week due to the Lion King outing and a holiday on Friday. Those lessons (50 and 51) were about the solar system. The children have huge difficulty learning the earth rotates once a day, goes round the sun once a year, and the moon goes round the Earth approximately once a month (actually once every 29 ½ days). Sinegugu seems to find these facts harder to remember than the others, and Paula remembers them the best. In Lesson 51 we learned that the outer planets are huge distances from Earth, as we laid out a ‘toilet paper solar system’ on the floor. After this revision we watched Episode 1 of Carl Sagan’s ‘Cosmos’, from minute 22 to 40, which simulates a visitor from space arriving at the solar system, past the outer planets, asteroids, Mars (in some detail), Venus, and finally the beautiful reality of Earth. Hopefully it cemented some of what we have been learning the past 2 weeks. It was quite well received by the kids, so I'll dip into Cosmos occasionally in the future. In Avian Park in the afternoon, Jamelia and Chantelle were running Mailbox Clubs. Jan had left the ingredients for hearty soup at Jamelia's and Bella's yesterday, but neither of them were cooked up because they had no power. I gave them R10 each so they could have soup tonight. I don't know why both families are at a very low point financially, but there seemed to be several extra adults staying in Jamelia's, and a couple of those were begging from me. I took Jamelia and Chantelle to our house after the clubs to do their homework. Then I drove to Jan's to go through the minutes of the last board meeting with her and see if any actions were being taken. It turned out that there were - quite good progress. Jan asked me to prepare a financial report, as I had a year ago, for the AGM coming up. I returned home, but J and C were not ready to return to their homes. So I went in search of Trevor Daly, the founder of Daly Bread, our favourite bread. Trevor is the brother of Kevin and lives is a corrugated iron-roofed shack near Kevin's large dwelling. His helper Arnold was there when I arrived, who said he hadn't gone far. It turned out he had taken his dog for a walk. We sat outside as the sun went down and I interviewed him about the bread business. It was quite the most unusual interview setting yet, and Trevor was very willing to tell his story. Afterwards I returned home, took the girls home, and prepared for a big day tomorrow. (Legacy Relay, MasterPeace Academy, the doctor, Worcester Radiology and Worcester Christian Church expats dinner).
At 3 I took Jamelia and Chantelle to the hospice, at Chantelle's request 10 days ago. When I stopped at Jamelia's house, she asked me to go inside. Her mother and (step?)father were there and very soon I realized they were asking financial help to do with her schooling, though it was hard for them to explain it in English. When Jamelia was in the car, she told me the details. There is a hostel associated with the school where learners may stay during the week rather than commuting. This would make a tremendous difference to Jamelia, saving travelling time and providing a learning-friendly environment. They have a source of funds for the cost of boarding, but R200 is necessary with the application, which is due by Monday. We picked up Chantelle and soon arrived at the hospice. and they prayed for all the patients, one by one. Both patients and staff responded very positively to them. It touched the hearts of the patients to see two teenagers who cared enough about them to be there. On the way home (of course) they persuaded me to let them come to our house for an hour to do homework that they couldn't do in their overcrowded homes. This ties in with Jamelia's wish to board weekly at school. L-A didn't see them; she was resting. I was preparing tonight's Worcester Report and they didn't get in the way of that. I took them home about 5:30, deliberately dropping Chantelle off first. When she was gone I asked Jamelia if there was a letter from the school asking for the money for the application for the hostel. There was, and when we reached her home she brought it and I photographed it. I then gave her the R200, plus instructions that it could only be used for the application. We trust Jamelia, and if this will significantly help her education, I have peace with it and it was an easy decision. Back home I cooked ostrich burgers, sautéed cabbage and onions and mashed potatoes, and then we listened to Trevor Daly on the CWCP transmission with a beverage or two.
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Tony and Laurie-Ann Copple (usually Laurie-Ann)
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