Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Day 13 - Mmabatho

Today's matches:
England 1 v. Slovenia 0
USA 1 v. Algeria 0
Ghana 0 v. Germany 1
Australia 1 v. Serbia 1

Mmabatho (Setswana for "Mother of the People") is the former capital of the North-West Province. In the apartheid era, it was the capital of the former "Bantustan" of Bophuthatswana. Mmabatho was the scene of a major uprising against the Homeland government of Lucas Mangope in March 1994 which resulted in a chaotic intervention by right wing Afrikaner nationalists, wide-scale looting and the deployment of South Africa troops.

Mmabatho contains many provincial government buildings, a shopping complex called Mega City, and a Sports Stadium formerly called the Independence Stadium. The University of the North-West, formerly the University of Bophuthatswana, is located in Mmabatho.

Situated just south of the Botswana border, the town is connected by main roads to Pretoria in the east and to Gaborone, the capital of Botswana, in the north.

The Church of the Resurrection, Mmabatho is linked with Deddington in the Oxford diocese. Over the last few years there have been a number of visits to and from Mmabatho, involving both Deddington Church and Deddington primary school. Most recently the choir from Mmabatho visited Deddington. These visits help build bonds of friendship, fellowship and understanding and also enable the participants to learn more about the church life, daily life and challenges of our brothers and sisters in Christ in South Africa.

The Deddington Link with the Church of the Resurrection in Mmabatho has a focus on helping children affected/infected by HIV/AIDS. What has become the Tsogo Project was a local initiative and is locally run. Deddington has contributed substantially to the building work necessary for it to become a reality. The former church building is now in use as a day centre for pre-school children. The name “Tsogo” means resurrection in Setswana, the main language of the area.

Tsogo is Christians in action ministering to widows and orphans. Tsogo is opportunity for volunteers and for the children. Tsogo is love.

The Tsogo - Resurection HIV/AIDS project, based in Mmabatho, was established in 2005 by the Resurection Church to provide care and support for children affected by the HIV/AIDS disease. The Tsogo Centre works to provide care and support to children who are infected and affected by the virus, aged 0 to 6 years -one of the most disadvantaged and vulnerable groups of society, whose parents, for financial, social and for health reasons, are unable to care for them. The problem of HIV/AIDS in South Africa is considerable with 5.5 million of the population believed to be infected; this includes 250,000 children. The problem doesn't end there. When parents die it is often one of the grandparents or the eldest child that has to look after the younger children. This often means that the older children miss out on education and other opportunities. The photo shows the children keeping warm in the winter (the current season in SA).

Recently the choir (and friends) from Mmabatho visited Deddington.

We pray:

For the Tsogo project and for all the people it is helping

For the link between Deddington and the Church of the Resurrection, Mmabatho

For work amongst orphans and vunerable children

For those involved in education, politics and local government in Mmabatho and its townships.

For us to capture some of the vibrancy of African worship in our own spiritual lives.

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