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What a great celebration we had on 16 June, at Bethesda’s
annual Youth Day Picnic! Bethesda staff and
children joined with many others from area churches
and the surrounding community, including nearly 800
children from local crèche facilities; the metro police,
the army, and the fire brigade joined in the events,
which included horse rides, puppet shows, craft tents,
games, fire safety displays, food, fun, and loads of fellowship!
This year’s event was a joint effort by Bethesda Outreach
Ministries and AIM (Africa Institute of Missiology)
to partner with local churches in encouragement and reaching out to those
in need. The theme of the day was “Creating Positive Relationships,” and we
enjoyed hearing God’s Word on that topic brought to us by Mpho Monare of
Youth for Christ.
Many craft tents were lining the road, manned by SOAPkidz, who sponsored
various crafts for the children. Each craft was made out of recycled materials,
and included finished products of handbags, cardboard cell
phones, and musical “shakers!” Zoo on Wheels also joined us,
allowing the children a look at small animals and entertaining
them with animal stories. The Tshwane Metro Police Dog and
Horse Unit educated us on dogs and horses and demonstrated
how they work with these animals to prevent crime, and the Fire
Brigade Services and Tshwane Emergency Services were on
hand to teach fire safety and how to help the injured. The South African Army allowed
the children to climb into an army tank for a soldier’s view after sharing how and
when the tanks were used. It was also a special treat to have a team from Kossuth
Street Baptist Church in Lafayette, Indiana, with us, helping the Bethesda staff with
games and other activities.
On the whole, it was a blessed day full of good fellowship and
relationship building, and it definitely left us looking forward to
joining with you many of you for next year’s Youth Day Picnic!