So excited that I have caught up with technology a bit and I have learnt that I can have a blog page on our website itself!
A bit about who is who at Impact GAP, so if you follow my blogs, you can get familiarized with everyone: I am Pastor Lynne Lopez PhD, I have been in young adult ministry for about 43 years and love every minute! Ray, my husband, is also a Pastor and a businessman. For our full details check our website home page. Our son, Justin and his wife Odette, head up the Farming God’s Way, manage the whole property, in charge of security and any emergencies. Our daughter, Amy, helps with dancing, drama and singing for the students. She resides now in Alberton and travels down to Impact to teach for a few hours a week. Our other 4 children always assist and support us wherever they can. So, we are truly blessed!
Our office lady is Aunty Liz and she does a lot of the behind the scenes office work. We also have Dr Wilfred Kent who often teaches the students. He is one of our covering ministries, Spiritual leaders, and is the Founder of the ICBC College. Then we have 6 staff members who help us in the grounds and property.
I won’t go back to the beginning of the year to write about every finer detail, but in the following few blogs, I will briefly mention how much and how far we have come with these amazing young adults from GAP2019.
Those first few months we concentrated on teaching many diverse lessons, from cooking, cleaning, baking, trust, laundry, scheduling, teambuilding and basic mission training and prep for field work.
To be honest, also in those first few months, I asked myself many times “what have you done!”, went through boxes of tissues, boxes of headache tablets, sleepless nights and tried to self-analyse why I took on this mammoth task and responsibility! But, after reassuring myself that this is what I had been doing for so many years and realising that I was actually questioning God’s instructions to me, I had to quickly repent. Letting go and giving Him full control, I marched forward and soon found I was in my element and deep in my ministry calling.
I’m not for a minute saying it was easy sailing from there, but I just decided to enjoy every minute and every lesson God was teaching me and the students. In retrospection, I know that the two hardest parts of GAP2019, was the students settling in with each other and the parents settling in to release their kids! I know that it is extremely hard for some parents to let go their child and realise they are actually young adults. I had to “counsel” a few parents on how to let their child mature, learn to take care of themselves, stand up for themselves and grow into confident adults, ready for the big cruel world out there. Within a short period, everything fell into place. Thank our wonderful Lord! 😊
When they first arrived, about 4 of the students couldn’t swim, so the first thing I did was teach them how to float and get around in the water safely and with confidence. Then we did some life-saving and aqua fitness to help ease the panic. If ever they become Missionaries, full time or part time, they might need these skills to fall back on.
We then pushed their limits by doing two water events early in the year. The first one was white water rafting down the Vaal river from Parys. I must admit, I did feel quite apprehensive and questioned my wisdom for a few panic-stricken minutes! Justin and my grandson, Damian, both did a gruelling river guide course, so we always have our own qualified adventure guides on the property. So, having so many excellent swimmers and fully trained rafting guides, I soon relaxed and just enjoyed! The pictures below testify the absolute glee and enjoyment, and in places, terror, on their faces. Great success, and the 4 non-swimmers were the first to ask to go again!
The second water event was an 8-hour water aerobics marathon (aquathon) fundraiser. We had to stay in water the entire 8 hours, with only toilet breaks, and keep moving to music. We had such support from the friends and families of the students!
The very next day we went to the robots to ask for financial aid and support. This money we used for our Cape Town road trip, taking the Anti-Bullying Campaign to schools along the way and also teaching a Kairos Youth course. I will elaborate on one of my next blogs😊
Within a very short period of time, I knew I was so in love with my young adults and I already began to dread saying goodbye at the end of the year!