Going to South Africa with LCS and visiting Gondolikhethwa had been a dream of mine for years. I went through the application process, praying that I would be chosen. I fundraised in anticipation for the trip, and on the plane, I was just filled with excitement, but it still didn’t feel real yet. It didn’t hit me that I was actually in South Africa until we drove into the school gates. I remember stepping out of the van, and the school had just ended. Students were filing out. All of us had huge smiles on our faces. We had young children looking at us, and then suddenly they just came and crowded around us. These kids were smiling and laughing, pushing through to hug each of us because they were just so excited and happy to see us. Several teachers came out, and began hugging us as well. They had never met us, but we were already family.
Later on, when we were meeting our host families, and being welcomed to the school, the Gondolikhethwa staff sang for us. The feelings of community and welcome we all felt at that moment can’t even be put into words. There were so many things that made me feel just so welcomed, and loved throughout my time there. The love that I felt, both from them and for them, was just amazing. We are sisters and brothers in Christ, and that’s all that mattered. Whenever I tell anyone now about my trip, and my host family, I use the words “sister” and “mom” without a second thought because that is what they are, my family.
Whether I see them again or not, my family (the host family, and the school) in South Africa will always be a part of me, and I will never forget them, or the impact they had on my life. ~ Lena deJong
WORKING TOWARDS A PLAYGROUND FOR GONDOLIKHETHWA
After the 2013 trip to South Africa, it was decided that Langley Christian School would like to partner with Gondolikhethwa Christian School to raise money to build a playground on their property. Presently, the school does not have any playground equipment and not even a cleared area to do physical activities. The school’s vision is to build a playground for the primary students as well as a paved area on which to play sports. Gondolikhethwa School will be raising a portion of the funds, and LCS will also be helping to raise a portion. All together, the school hopes to raise approximately $7,000 to complete both of these projects. The grade sixes in the Middle School will be taking on the project this year, along with the Middle School Student Council. There will be a number of student-led events that will be happening throughout the year.
If you would like to know more about this project or perhaps help organize an event, please email or contact Kaily Stevens: firstname.lastname@example.org.