Thursday, 17 June 2010

Day 7 - Mothibistad

Today's matches:

France 0 v. Mexico 2
Greece 2 v. Nigeria 2
Argentina 4 v. South Korea 1

For 11 years the Icknield Benefice in the Oxford Diocese have enjoyed an active link with St Paul’s, an Anglican church in the township of Mothibistad. They’ve been inspired by the energy of the worship there and the determination to put Christ’s gospel of hope into practical action for the most vulnerable in their community. Warm friendships have developed between the two congregations. The churches have learned so much from each other, both about our shared faith and our approach to common challenges like schooling, health, and care for the elderly.

Mothibistad is in a mainly rural area with very high levels of unemployment and poverty. Over recent years HIV/Aids has devastated hundreds of families there. The Church has a vital role supporting people with the disease, and seeking to strengthen communities threatened by its impact. The congregations of the Icknield benefice are helping to fund community projects to provide “unconditional love, care and support” for local people infected by HIV/Aids in and around the township. This work is growing month by month as 'The Valley of Hope' project. There is too much to write here so take a look at the web site:

Through a chance contact with Pauline Verbe, one of the co-ordinators of 'Valley of Hope', EastLeigh (Lancs) Youth Football Club have been donating football kit/ balls/ nets to Mothibistad for the past 3 years. No money is involved, it is just God bringing different people together from different parts of the world to help each other. The photo above shows some of the boys trying on their kit.

Here's a photo of winners and losers after the match. Both team captains lock hands at front and all team members mingle and join arms. There are 3 teams in this very rural village - They take any problems they have with each other out on to the field and all are in fierce competition with each other as to which team can become the fittest!!!
Instead of drinks and drugs-these young men are out training after college and school. The older men are 'coaching them' and the youngsters are being trained by the older ones. One of their main priorities is to work the vegetable garden for the sick people, which they started entirely on their own initiative, to thank the Icknield Benefice for all they are doing and continue to do for them. Knowing that we believe in them and that people 5,000 miles away know the names of their football teams has given them such confidence and hope that their lives will be different to those of their parents, many of whom have died from HIV/AIDs.

Winners: Logaganeng - Rangers - Blue and red stripe
runners-up - Logaganeng - Hungry Lions - Yellow and blue stripe

Prayer for today:
The Icknield Benefice ask us to give thanks that God has shown them a way to bring hope, motivation and encouragement through sport to the youngsters in the rural villages of S.Africa.
  • We pray for the Valley of Hope project and for continued encouragement for those involved
  • We pray for the development of more community vegetable gardens
  • We pray for all those orphaned as a result of HIV/AIDs - that they may experience hope in their lives.
  • We pray for young people that they may have interests which keep them away from drink and drugs.
  • For Fr Moses Mothibi the Parish Priest

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