Sweat + Waterballoons.

by Chris Kamalski

The children were so excited to help carry their new lawn sod!

(Each week I will attempt to post a story or reflection about some aspect of the work that our missional community, NieuCommunities South Africa, is currently engaged in here in Pretoria. I’ll simply attempt to answer the question, ‘What stories are you co-writing with God in South Africa, and how does this story fulfill your unique mandate to apprentice South African leaders into sustainable mission around the globe?’)

Q: What do sweat and waterballoons have in common?

A: Central ingredients in a rewarding morning of service alongside our partners in mission, Pure Hope, of course!

Much of the morning consisted of literally getting hands + feet dirty...fantastic!

A few weeks ago, Maxie, my fiance and a valuable part of our missional community, messaged us asking us to join with her team, Pure Hope, for a morning of service alongside children they work regularly with in Mabopane as a part of a much larger, holistic project caring for orphans and teenagers in a large township area just outside Pretoria. Her team had just had a small group cancel on them last minute for a morning service project installing fresh sod into a semi-shaded area behind the homes where the children stay, and she found herself scrambling for enough feet (not hands, but feet, as we had to dance + stomp the sod into the ground once it had been soaked!) to join her team.

Cleaning out the 'sod' trailer.

NieuCommunities provides regular training for Maxie’s team, as well as some coaching and mentoring. While our focus will remain this sort of development, we have desired to come alongside our friends in tangible ways, literally getting our hands + feet dirty, seeking to meet tangible needs that our friends are already hard at work within. Enter this project: A few hours working alongside Pure Hope, a bunch of the children within the community, and several other friends…preparing the soil, watering sod, dancing + stomping it down, adding more water…

I love the watering technique!

'Made in South Africa.' Great tattoo, even greater stomping ability, Becky Dawson!

…In the heat of mid-morning, out came the waterballoons, as we were ‘attacked’ by the children in a frenzy of scrambling and shared laughter…

We did mention there was a waterballoon fight, no?

Seconds after this shot, I was attacked!

Curtis Love, dodging some exploding shrapnel with flair!

What follows are some images that tell the story of this simple morning, a small window into a much larger work of redemption that our friends at Pure Hope are involved within, that we were able to come alongside and pitch in for a few hours…

…Sometimes, sweat + waterballoons are all you seem to need to participate in the restorative work of the Kingdom! Thanks, Pure Hope for the invite!

Braam Van Zyl, Maxie's right hand man, modeling...

...While working a bit as well.

Sweat + Waterballoons: Mission Accomplished, I'd say!

The Sweat + Waterballoons crew.