Swimming teacher Lisa Ryan to return to Bulembu at Christmas
This year we are very excited to welcome our now annual swim coach Lisa Ryan from UK back to Bulembu!
Something really special about Lisa is that she dedicates her entire year to fundraising to visit and serve Bulembu and share the important skills of water safety and swimming with our children. And she finds incredibly creative ways to do this!
We asked Lisa what she’s been up to this year in preparation for her December trip and what keeps her going!
Last year we talked about your long term service to Bulembu and how you’ve been coming annually to teach the children to swim. We hear you’ve been doing some creative fundraising again to fund your trip. Can you tell us what you’ve been up to in that area as you always amaze us?
‘I turned 50 this year and had a big party. Instead of presents, I asked for donations towards my trip. In a way this year’s longest trip is my present and my celebration for the fact that God has allowed me to reach this age. ….
Amazing! What are the main things that motivate you towards these creative endeavors?! Would you say your faith in God plays a part in what brings you to Bulembu?
‘When I became a Christian in 2002 and was amazingly touched by God He told me to ‘feed His children in Africa’. I’m obedient… feeding doesn’t mean food it means serving and it’s His destiny for my life. Most people spend their whole life looking for why they are here… I know why and as long as I am fit enough and able enough then I will walk with Him into my destiny.
Without God I am nothing. My faith is not just what brings me but what sustains me and He always meets my Bulembu needs with enough!’
Have you had any, hm let’s say, comedy moments on former trips?
‘So many. One comes to mind ….I had a meal with Vernon and Leigh and we discussed the fact that I had been to Bulembu 6 times (this year’s trip is number 8) and I had never seen a snake. Vernon said that was wrong and that I needed to… The next day there was major drama at the pool as there was a snake in the changing rooms. (I don’t feel the need to repeat this experience)….my churches prayer army will be praying against a repeat performance.
Hiding behind someone else as a huge spider was in a team members bedroom…..telling them the spider would get them before me!
Going to the waterfall last year…God has a sense of humour too….I went on New year’s Day to pray….He had other ideas and ministered to me and I stood under the waterfall and let the water re commit my life to Him.’
What are you most looking forward to? It’s Christmas! How are you feeling about being here for the holidays?
‘I’m looking forward to seeing my family because that’s what Bulembu has become to me.
I’m looking forward to enabling more children to be water confident and safe around water.
It’s been a tough year and I’ve had to save most of annual leave to come si haven’t had much time off at all, so I’m looking forward to being off work!
I’m looking forward to seeing the while town come together…
And a barbecue on Christmas Day!’
Have you thought about visiting Bulembu to volunteer or know someone who’d like to? Have you a skill that you may want share? Lisa’s story shows us that there’s always a way to make it work! If Lisa has inspired you or a friend and you’d like to explore possibilities please visit www.bulembu.org/visit-and/serve for info.