Here's another account of the send-off for the students who are arriving soon from South Africa. Thanks to Mr. Marc Stroobosscher, Smithville Christian's former principal, for sharing this wonderful story.
Farewell to Orifha and Shaun
On Wednesday, January 18, 2012, about 550 learners, their teachers , and some invited guests gathered together under cloudy skies at Theocentric Christian College to say farewell to two of their own who are on their way to Canada.
Events such as this never start exactly on time, but that does not mean that those who are there sit around and do nothing while waiting. Someone, usually one of the female learners, begins a song and within four or five words, all join in, a full-bodied choir of soprano, alto, bass, and tenor. No one needs a song book for the words or notes.
There were words of encouragement and advice from teachers and parent representatives. These are direct quotes from some of the speeches:
• You should know that you are ambassadors of your school, which means that whatever you are doing in Canada will be representing the school. Focus on good things so that your school can be proud of you. Any action you take should be preceded by a question: Is Theocentric going to be proud of this?
• You will be staying with families. Look after yourselves properly, your clothes, your bedding, neatness in rooms, and help with small jobs in the family. Remember to be happy with the people at all times when interacting with them. Listen to what ever they tell you because they know better. Do not take risks. Do only what you are advised to do.
• Spend most of your time studying because the main purpose of your going to Canada is to study. Collect as much information as you can. Spend 80% of your time doing studies. The other 20% you can distribute to do other things.
• Come back better and more than what you are now and always pray to God. He will help you.
• When I heard the interview that Orifha had on Radio SABC I thought I was dreaming. Is it really true that someone from Theo is going to Canada? Go and represent our school. Do not embarrass us or bring shame to us. God is with you even though we cannot be there to guide you.
Marc and Dora Stroobosscher lightened things up a bit by doing a short skit about CANADA EH! and presented them with Tshirts with that slogan. A group of friends sang a farewell song. Pastor Sipho of the Faith Apostolic Church close to Theo focussed on Jeremiah1:84.I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born, I set you apart and appointed you to as my spokesman to the world. ‘O sovereign Lord.” I said. “I can’t speak for you because I am too young.” “Don’t say that” the Lord replied. “You must go wherever I send you and say whatever I tell you. His theme: Do Not Undermine Yourself! You can do whatever you want to because God has created you for a purpose. It is not you are doing it but He who lives in you.
He then invited all of us to raise our hands in blessing towards Orifha and Shaun and prayed over them. At the same time, the clouds that had thankfully hung on to their moisture up to this point in the program, also joined in with their own showers of blessing. It was an incredibly beautiful, holy moment!
Maggie Maluleke, a Theo teacher with an astonishing voice, then closed the assembly by leading us in a farewell song; Farewell brother, Farewell sister. Go with God, Until we meet.