Hundreds of elderly wait outside in long lines for hours to collect their pension money each month. Regardless of the weather, hot summer African sun or cold damp winter rains, the grannies begin to assemble at 5:00 in the morning to wait for the Department of Social Welfare to issue their monthly pension. The students at Inanda Seminary decided that they would like to respond with love to these pensioners. The students distribute juice and cookies to ease the frustration of aches and pains as they wait in the line for half the day. The response has been tremendous. The elderly express gratitude for love and kindness that they have been remembered and cared for. The students realize that they get more from giving than from getting. The elements might not be bread and wine, but the symbolism remains the same. In the distribution and receiving of the juice and cookies, it is a reminder of Christ’s love poured out for each of us regardless of age, color, orientation, gender, or economic level. As love abounds, relationships develop, and we are united as the body. We are all members of the same body (I Corinthians 12:12-26).
Inanda Seminary is an all girls boarding high school located in Durban, South Africa. The school was founded by Congregationalist missionaries in 1869. Although the land and school are now owned and managed by our global partner, the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa, the Christian morals and values remain. Inanda Seminary seeks to develop more than just the intellect. The 324 students are developed holistically: intellectually, physically, socially, and spiritually. The outreach club has sought to be present in the local community to discover ways that they can share Christ’s love with others.
Dear God we are grateful for the opportunity on this World Communion Sunday to be in relationship with our brothers and sisters around the world. As we each partake of the elements today, we are reminded of Christ’s love poured out for everyone. We are reminded that we are all equal at the communion table. Give us opportunities as a community to pour out Christ’s love into the world.
Revs Scott Couper and Susan Valiquette
Scott Couper and Susan Valiquette are missionaries serving in South Africa. Scott serves with the UCCSA as pastor at a UCCSA congregation in Durban. Susan serves with the Inanda Seminary in KwaZuluNatal, South Africa as chaplain.