Gratitude seemed to be the theme for the day. Gratitude for those giving and those receiving.
Henk Seevink, one of the two newcomers to the tour, was amazed at the state of some of the villages his group visited.
Magda Barnard gives a group of girls their Bibles.
“Not many people get to see what really goes on in the villages. The people who live there simply have to make do with what they have. The roads leading to the last two schools we visited were so bad that a vehicle could hardly get to them. Only a couple of the bikes managed to make it there,” he said. “But the gratitude of the staff and the children was unbelievable. The way they received us! The children push to get underneath your arms and they hold onto you. The gratitude at those schools really was something amazing. We planted a cross today; I hope we planted it really deeply.”
The Word Riders had a busy day as they placed a third of the total Bibles for the tour at schools today.
Hein Barnard who also joined the group for the first time this year noted the Bible poverty in the region.
“You can see the hunger for God’s Word in these rural areas. You see it in the communities and you see it in the children.”
One of the principals also asked him if he would be willing to come, as an outsider, and give a talk to the children about discipline. This request, as well as a heartfelt conversation another teacher at a school had with Marianne Jacobs, put the state of many of the country’s schools into perspective.
“She told me the school has serious financial problems, they have problems with the children, problems with the parents and that their principal has been placed on sick leave. I told her that Jesus can help remedy this situation and we prayed together. When we left she told me, ‘God has done a miracle here today’,” Marianne explained.
This incident highlights the fact that even though the Word Riders’ main focus with these Bible placements are Grade 7 learners, the schools, teachers and communities are also in dire need of the transformative power of God’s Word.
When you read the Bible you must talk about it as well explains Dalene Pieterse.
Koos and Marêne de Wet returned after their initial tour in 2017 and were once again very grateful to be part of the group.
“How can one ever thank the Lord enough for the privilege of working with these children, seeing that look of excitement in their eyes and hearing them singing and praising God, grateful for the Bibles they have just received,” Koos said.