Thinking outside the box

Sarah Hopkins

Sarah moved to Cape Town just weeks before lockdown began. She is an arts psychotherapist and plans to use her creative and professional skills to help vulnerable women and children. 

When we went into lockdown, I couldn’t do the work I had come to do. I had planned to run arts therapy sessions for children at Trinity school, organise dance therapy workshops in the community and set-up a sewing project to give local women a means of earning a living and a therapeutic outlet. All of these activities would provide a way for me to open the Bible with people.

So I decided to think outside the box and do something different. I wanted to help the children and families I was working with so I set about creating puppet videos to help them emotionally and spiritually through this difficult time. I chose particular themes that I knew would be relevant and included gospel content. Some videos were practical, such as understanding how the virus spreads and the importance of sleep. Others were explicitly gospel focused and included illustrations from bible stories. I took the opportunity over Easter to explain clearly through the puppets why Good Friday was good and why Jesus rose again on Easter Sunday.

This picture came after a video where Bluey explained how David wasn’t scared because he knew that God was with him so he was able to defeat the giant Goliath. I love that this child was able to see that God helps her with everything.

The children and families to whom I was sending the videos had limited internet access. I figured the best way to get the videos out was to compress them into a small file and send them via WhatsApp. Every day I sent the video out at midday along with an activity and bible reading. It was always a joy to hear back from the children with pictures they had created. 

This picture was drawn after a video where Bluey told us that God made us perfectly (Psalm 139). 

I also sent the videos to friends and family, who in turn have been passing them onto others. I thought I had come to South Africa to serve the township and community in Mitchells Plain, but through lockdown I was actually able to reach many more people! My videos are on YouTube and can be accessed any time. I hope and pray that many people will discover them over the coming months and years, find blessings and encouragement through them, and learn about Jesus.