Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Day Children of Zion Village 2012

Luke 2:11  For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior who is Christ the Lord. 

We are thankful today for so many things but mostly we focus on the birth of Jesus and what that means for us.  Our Savior, our Lord.  We are thankful to God for His Son, Jesus Christ. 

Today we started our day with worship at the children’s home where all staff joined in the celebration and worship in prayer, word and song.  AWESOME!!!

Travis and I have always cooked for everyone here on Christmas day.  So, right after the worship we start in the kitchen.  We actually had 8 staff working today.  4 outside staff and 4 inside staff, 3 big boys, 5 little ones and us.  This is an increase from NO staff working last year.  The food we can find here is always limited but we can almost always find chicken and sometimes beef.  Well, this year we did not find beef but we found HAM.  It was a first time seeing ham here.  So, we cooked ham, mashed 5kg of potatoes, made gravy and corn.  Some did not eat ham so we also made chicken.  We placed our nice African cloth on the table and all were served. 

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After dinner/lunch, Travis and I came back to the house for a while and, yep we got on the computer which is why this can be posted:)  Then I headed back to work on a Christmas bulletin board.  It might be a bit late but it will be ready when the rest of the children return from holiday.  This was a great time for pictures too. 

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Merry Christmas and many blessings for the rest of 2012 and into the New Year!!!!  Love, Lorna and Travis


Christmas eve day at COZV 2012

We have grown to love and hate the challenges of the days here in Africa.  When the Christmas holidays come we think that it will be more quiet and we have more time because many of the children are back in their villages visiting family.  But there never seems to be down time and certainly never boring times.  When challenges come we try to find the blessing in them or the reason for them.  On Christmas eve we had trouble with finding the blessings and went to bed somewhat exhausted and discouraged.  But, we still were pumped on the hope of tomorrow – Christmas day.

We started our day saying - “no town trip today”.  The road is very bad from all the rain and we knew from earlier experience during last week that the town is PACKED with people and the queues are 1-2 hours of waiting.  So, if there is nothing really needed, why go?  Well, then 3 children that returned to Zion (when they are not supposed to do that) ask for a ride to town so they could return to their village.  So, we said ok.  Since we were in town we decided to pick up a few things.  We continue to need to shop for school uniforms and school items and if they get sold out, we will be in trouble (or our children will, which in turn means we will).  So, after spending the whole morning and only being successful in 2 stores out of 4, we “gave up”.  After standing in a queue for chicken for 1.5 hours and probably and another hour to wait, we said, '”not needed, let’s go.” 

So we returned to Zion to pack up some food type Christmas gifts for 5 villages.  We do this to show we care and to show Christ’s love and share in HIS blessings.  We take our 5 year old (because he wanted to go) and one staff member to show us the way through the bush.  Well, after the first stop the rain started very hard.  The defrost did not work so the two in the front were wiping the whole time to keep the window clear enough to see through.  We dropped at the second village (the farthest away).  Then we get back on the tar road and the car quit.  Yep, it just quit in the middle of the road.  Now, the road is more busy than usual since people are traveling to their villages for the holiday.  The 2 guys quickly jump out and I get behind the wheel so they can push us off the road.  Thank God no one hit us!!!  So, Travis and Lorna and Josiah (the 5 year old) start walking back to Zion while the staff member stays with the car.  It took us at least an hour to walk back through the mud and rain and we were not close.  We get back about 5pm get the 4X4 and go back out the mud filled road to tow the other car.  So, the car toeing does not have break lights that work and the car being towed does not have breaks that work.  WOW!!!  We are in trouble.  Luckily Travis put his had out the window when he was going to stop so I could start working the break and the hand break.  Almost ran into the back of him but thankfully I never did.  On the only turn to head to the garage, the steering locked so the car kept going to the left the car pulling stopped and my breaks did not work.  HELP!!  Well, just across the road was the garage so it all worked out to finally get the car there.  BUT, there was no one at the garage so we left it outside the gate.  It is never good to leave a car that is not locked in a gate or at least attended by a guard, but we did.  We could not risk towing it anywhere else so we pray it will remain and no one will tamper with it until they open and can attend to it.  OH, I am not sure that cars are a blessing!!  I think God gave us 2 feet for a reason!!! 

So, we were back in the village just before 8.   Wet, exhausted and discouraged.  Three villages with out Christmas gifts.  Maybe by tomorrow the road will be better and we will be strengthened. 

For the 2 villages that we were able to get to, they were so grateful.  Josiah (the 5 year old) was able to recite Luke 2:11.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Saviour who is Christ the Lord. 

Love and Merry Christmas from Travis and Lorna and Children of Zion Village!!!


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Children of Zion Mission School End of year celebration 2012

On Friday Dec 7th we had a wonderful end of school celebration in town with the children, the officials, the parents of the local children that attend the school and staff.  Our school has grown in many ways over the last year.  Now, about half of the children attending the school come from town.  The other over half are the ones we live with here in the village.  It is only a primary school so the children attend here through grade 7 then they go out to government schools starting in grade 8-12. 

For the first time, we had the children parade starting in the middle of town at the open market to the town hall for the celebration.  We started the transport about 6:30am.  Getting the children all to where they need to be is always a big challenge with our limited transportation for so many.  The same day, the children that are attending government school had to go to pick up school reports.  So, we quickly got the small ones to town and hired a driver to take the older ones to the schools while we attended the celebration. 

The parade finally began once the police and traffic control officials arrived.  The children looked smart in their red and blue and they were even sporting new shoes!  The little ones needed a bit of help to keep up:) 


A few of the children served as ushers and 2 as the masters of ceremonies.  We opened with prayer, the national anthem and the pledges. There were several performances and dances by the children, both younger and older.  Many scriptures were memorized and spoken on stage.  They were awesome. 



Many important people delivered a speech with words of encouragement and words of wisdom and wonderful acceptance messages!  These people included the Induna from the Traditional Authority, the chairperson for the school management board (who is a principle at another school), our principle, one of the administrators for the school (Travis), the Councillor for Kabbe Constituency and Chairperson of the Caprivi Regional Council and one of our very own that has finished grade 11 with very high grades and is looking forward to grade 12. 



The day was a blast (thank God it did not even rain!!!) and we were all very blessed!!!  Thank you for your prayers and support.  God was totally in the day and in the children and in those that attended!!!  It was a day to celebrate children and success and give God the glory.  He reigns!!!