We went to Atteridgeville for the Hours and Readers Service. Angelos Mokau had gone to the children’s home at the beginning of the month, and we wanted to see how he was getting on. Angelos is a Reader, who spent three years at the catechetical school in Yeoville.
It rained last night, so everything was looking clean and scrubbed as we drove there, and we stopped to take pictures of some landmarks that we passed.
One of the landmarks is the Blacksmith of Judea Apostolic Church, though it seemed to be well and truly locked up on this Sunday morning. It’s another one to add to my database of African Independent Churches. It would be nice if we could have a church building like that where we could meet, but we meet in a small room in the children’s home.
Some African Independent Churches have quite fanciful names, and sometimes there is quite an interesting story behind the name. It would be interewsting to know about the blacksmith of Judea.
A little further on we come to Brazzaville. Brazzaville is described as an “informal settlement”. We followed the water lorry delivering water to strategically placed tanks, and passed several people pushing wheelbarrows with plastic containers to collect their supply of water from the tanks, or going home with them loaded.
There are poles set up for electricity, but no wires, so electricity and running water are unknown in Brazzaville. Perhaps one reason for that is that when people began building their houses here, it was actually an old army firing range, and children sometimes discover unexploded shells and grenades, and some have been hurt. So the City of Tshwane has stopped plans for services like water and electricity, and is planning to resettle the people in a safer place.
We reach the children’s home, right on the edge of the inhabited area, with densely packed wood and iron houses on one side, and bare veld on the other.
Angelos leads the Hours and Readers Service (Obednitsa, Typica).
At the end we chat to some of the people, especially the three leaders, Artemius, Demetrius and Sergius. They were all baptised together about 3 years ago.
They tell us about progress since we were last here a fortnight ago. They have mended the broken windows, and a start has been made on building the fowl run for the cooperative poultry project they are planning.
As we are leaving, a police van drives up. They have come to check on a woman they brought here the other night. She was abused by her “boyfriend”, who had stabbed her several times. The police took her to stay with friends, but he found her there, so they brought her here. Perhaps God wants a new ministry here, to abused women rather than abandoned children. Angelos asks the police to check up occasionally, to make sure that she is safe.
We drive him to town to get a taxi to Soshanguve, where his home is. On the way he says he wants to do a course in counselling. We ask what sort of counselling. People with HIV/Aids, and things like that, he says. We hope we can find something useful.