Louise and I boarded flight 110 to Johannesburg on June 8 together with our newfound friend and mentor, Jeremy Koeries of J-Life. We were heading back to Johannesburg to follow-up with those we trained the beginning of May as well as to train a new batch of trainers.
The training, however, took place in an area known as Sophiatown….one of the oldest racially mixed communities in Johannesburg which was destroyed in 1955 when over 2000 policemen forcibly moved people to different areas according to their ethnicity. Almost all the buildings were demolished, but the suburb was rebuilt, renamed Tromf (Triumph) and zoned as a whites only area, until the name Sophiatown was reinstated in 2006. The training centre itself was one of the few structures not destroyed by the bulldozers. It used to be an orphanage, but is now the Diocesan Headquarters for the Diocese of Johannesburg. Sophiatown was also home to the much loved and respected anti-apartheid activist, Father Trevor Huddleston. Jeremy, Louise, and I managed to visit a centre named in his honour as well as the church he shepherded and where his ashes have been buried.
Unfortunately, as it was held on a working day, a number could not participate, but we have encouraged them to form small support groups among themselves and to teach and coach each other as well as to hold each other accountable. The J-Life leaders have also graciously made themselves available should our faculty or teams need assistance.
Jeremy, Louise, and myself did most of the training, but five of our previously trained faculty returned to participate as small group facilitators as well as trainers. They did so well and we are very, very proud of them! I think Paul, Peter, Erna, Thenjiwe, and Thokozani were all encouraged as well…sometimes one just has to take the plunge and teach…one often knows more than one thinks!
We returned from Johannesburg on BA flight 6407 on Sunday, 11 June, tired, but joyful. It was a wonderful training event that we will remember for a very long time.
God Bless Africa,
Guard her children,
Guide her leaders,
And give her peace.