In 2016, Redeemer sent a team to first-time host, LIV Village, in Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa (www.liv-village.com). LIV Village is a foster care children’s village with more than 150 children currently residing there, ranging in age from 3 to 16. The nine US-based teammates were joined by five local Durban-based youths with whom Redeemer has had a long-standing relationship with (from previous missions trips to a different site.) The team stayed in on-site volunteer housing and cooked their own meals, which turned out to be a great team-building activity!
The team was tasked with running a week-long Holiday Club (Vacation Bible School-type program) for the LIV children. We were so blessed to witness their abounding joy and energy and love. There was daily group worship and age-specific lessons. The team planned arts and crafts activities for the younger children, and were able to engage the teens in deeper conversations on faith and fears and hope.
Our time there also included a guided day trip into Durban and a game drive at Tala Game Reserve. We closed our time at LIV by attending LIV church service and joined other volunteers, staff and local community members in worshipping God in both English and Zulu. We saw God at work in the lives of the LIV children and also in our own lives as He revealed himself to us and challenged our hearts to grow more in love with his own.
The 2017 team will build on the relationships formed during the inaugural trip, and will again run a Holiday Club for the LIV children. We also hope to be joined again by the local Durban youths, as we continue to mentor and guide them through the challenges of adulthood. If you have a heart for sharing the gospel with children and youths, please consider this trip!