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Archives – February 5, 2013

Game for the World in Ixopo, South Africa

When I called Rev Mbuso Kubone to say that we were on a terrible road and we were going to be late, he laughed and said, “Now you are seeing the real South Africa!” Alan and I were bumping down 23 km of non-existent road on the way to Ixopo, KwaZulu-Natal. We were starting to worry; we’d  lost our way and had a flat tire the day before, and had no spare.  The road finally improved and we made it to Rev Kubone’s home and the site of his new church, which is under construction.

Rev Mbuso Kubone is the youth coordinator for the Natal West District of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa. He lives in Ixopo, the main center of the southern midlands. It’s most famously described by Alan Paton in the opening lines of Cry, the Beloved Country: “There is a lovely road which runs from Ixopo into the hills. These hills are grass covered and rolling and they are lovely beyond any singing of it.” KwaZulu-Natal is called the garden province and is the home to the Zulu nation. Located in the southeast of South Africa, it borders three countries: Mozambique, Lesotho and Swaziland.

We spent two hours with Mbuso, playing Game for the World and talking about the challenges his district faces. He says that young people are getting infected with HIV because they don’t want to use condoms, get tested or go to the doctor. “Some families shun family members with HIV,  they see them as cursed. HIV/AIDS has created tremendous tension in families, especially couples.”

Mbuso plans to reduce the stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS by sharing Game for the World with his Sunday school teachers and at his district’s upcoming youth synod in March.  He is shown below with Anne and on the construction site of his church.

 

 

February 5, 2013

Game for the World in the Clarkebury District, South Africa

Alan and I drove through the mist on roads under construction from Butterworth to Mthatha to meet  Mrs. Ncumisa Faku, the HIV/AIDS Coordinator for the Methodist Church of Southern Africa’s Clarkebury District. The reason for the success of this district is the involvement and interaction of the laity. The District has a bursary and an HIV/AIDS fund for the disadvantaged in the community. The District has 52 circuits and is divided into four regions; each circuit has a coordinator who reports to a regional coordinator who in turn reports to Mrs. Faku.

Many of South Africa’s black leaders come from the Mthatha area, including Nelson Mandela, who still visits his home village of Qunu.  Mthatha is the home of one of the Nelson Mandela museums, which exhibits key aspects of Mandela’s life.

Alan and I are grateful to all of the coordinators we met, who met us with short notice. Mrs. Faku was no exception.   A minister’s wife and a retired nurse, Mrs. Faku has been the District’s HIV/AIDS coordinator for ten years.  Her District and the Grahamstown District held a workshop on how the Church could handle HIV/AIDS.

Mrs. Faku, shown below, plans to use Game for the World with people who are “infected and affected by HIV.” She  also  plans to use it with her women’s prayer group.

Mrs Faku (1)

February 5, 2013


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