So it has been that witness which motivates others, myself included, to be a part of the work, even if just for a few weeks. This year I went as part of a team. Three friends doing the practical DIY work that is much needed when you have constant repair and improvement to make, and then myself working with the pre-school children and their teacher Mé Theresia. Also teaching in Shepherd School in the evenings.
Pre-school had more formal teaching in the mornings, and I went in before lunch to read them a story. My mornings were preparation time for the art and crafts and games we did in the afternoons. Language is never a barrier. I speak no Sesotho and they speak no English, but we laughed a lot and hugs (which we were allowed then) go a long way. And bringing a packet of biscuits for snack time is always a winner. Mé Theresia speaks very good English so she was my interpreter when needed.
Four evenings a week the centre runs a Shepherds School where the young Shepherds come from the hillside to have a hot meal, and then some simple education in Sesotho, Math and Bible teaching. I helped with Math and also taught simple English. In fact, in the end, both subjects melded into each other, as I found the most fun and best way to teach them anything, was with games, and fairly excitable ones at that. Anyone who has read Jill Kinsey's newsletters over the years, will know what a hard life these boys have. When the snow melts after the wintertime, it is not unusual to find a small shepherd who has perished. These boys are rough and tough, they know no luxuries, and yet they like to laugh too, they like to have someone interested in them. And that is what Jill told me when she asked if I would leach them, and I said 'but I'm not a teacher'. They blessed me far more than I could ever bless them.
We volunteers like to be a part of the life of PCC while we are there, and through fun and games interact with the children. On our last Sunday afternoon with them, we organised a litter picking competition. Sadly, packaging is always tossed on the ground by not just the children but the local villagers. The target area was from the local shop of Ntate Mojelo along the dirt road, to the centre. I have to say I was firstly surprised at the enthusiasm (well there were prizes) and also the amount of rubbish collected. At the prize giving we talked about how even they, in the mountains of Lesotho, can make a difference to their world, and the world they will leave for their children. I don't excuse it, but it's hard when there are no rubbish bins along the mountain tracks to encourage responsible disposal of wrappers. I suggested ‘put it in your pockets until you can find a bin’.
This is just a small glimpse into the life of PCC. There is always so much to tell.
Please pray for these children. All of them have a story, and some of their stories are shocking and sad. They are very much loved by the 16 staff that work at the centre and care for them. Please pray for them too. Life is hard in the mountains, but they are the most extraordinarily happy people, and have so much love in their hearts for the children and for their Lord Jesus.