Church trip to build a house in South Africa

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A team of volunteers from Burniston Methodist Church have returned from a life-changing trip to South Africa.

The group raised £27,000 from 2013 to 2014 and used the funds to travel to Botleng on a house-building mission.

The 18-strong team met up with other volunteers from Urban Saints at Heathrow, making a group of 82 in total.

Group member Adrian Sartain explained that after arriving, the team were given chance to visit a safari park before journeying on to their accommodation.

The volunteers were to spend 10 days in Botleng, a town larger in size to Scarborough.

However, the town is overcrowded and the re is a housing waiting list of more than 20 years. Accommodation consists of corrugated iron huts, some brick-built structures and a squatters’ camp with no sanitation or running water.

The team were building a home for Ephraim, a young man who had lost all his family previously. His home consisted of two tin buildings, and outside toilet and water tap.

The build took six days, with the group working from early morning until the sun went down at 5.30pm.

Adrian said: “Each build member passed the key along a chain to hand the door keys to Ephraim. This was charged with emotion as we reflected on the achievement, acknowledging that Ephraim now has a home, and yet saddened as the time was ending after having built a relationship with him and the surrounding children.

“We have been blessed to have been a part of this experience and to have witnessed everything that happened during the week.”

“We arrived home after a life-changing and rewarding experience. Some of us are still trying to come to terms with what we witnessed.

“We have made new friends on the trip who we are interacting with via email and social media and we hope to meet them again.”

Pictures by Adrian Sartain.