Saturday, May 25, 2013
The theme of the 2013 Africa Day is ‘Investing for Sustainable Success’. Following on from last year’s theme of ‘Taking Ownership’, we aim to explore what is being done in Africa to ensure that success is not only achieved but also sustained.
Well, we heard there were going to be celebrations at the stadium in town so we thought it would be good to take the children to see and to learn. So, we loaded 2 cars and 22 children and off we went. When we arrived at the stadium they were playing soccer and net ball. OK, so maybe there will be sports for a while then speeches, singing, dancing… Well, not so much. There was ONLY sports!! So, we watched sports for a while then took our 22 and walked through town to the market. Everyone was handed a N$1 to choose either a banana, roll, or lollipop. So, they enjoyed the opportunity to choose and pay for their purchase.
Then we bought them some juice and handed out jiggies that we brought along. Back to the stadium. Still, just sports. But, there was a court space now open and the boys brought the basket ball, so they all played for a while then we loaded by about 1:30 to come back to the village. A bit disappointing but none-the-less, it was a fun outing with the children.
On 21 May 2013 the schools in Namibia opened for the second term. School here starts in January and goes for the whole calendar year with 3 major breaks – one month mid-April to mid-May (now), 2 weeks in August and one month from mid-Dec to mid-January. Unlike the states, we are starting winter now. It is not yet really COLD, but the mornings and nights are chilly.
The day starts with some cleaning at the school and around the school. Then they organize for assembly. There is assembly and devotions every Monday of the school year, but each opening and closing day of the school term opens or closes with the “directors” leading the devotion. So, after some singing, Travis led the opening devotion. We then accepted prayer requests and praises and had prayer time. The assembly was closes with saying the pledges and singing of the national anthem. It was a nice start to the day and the second school term at Zion Mission School.
Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6
Friday, May 24, 2013
We started to have a Spiritual Retreat a couple of years ago with just our staff. We really felt that is was important that the staff be refreshed and renewed by Jesus and also get their cups filled. So, we decided to try this method as a half day retreat when the children were on holiday. That way we could use volunteers to watch the young ones that were here or hire someone to watch them. So, after the first half day retreat, they were so excited and so thankful that we would give them this opportunity that they never had, they ask if it could become a full day and that it could be 2 times in a year and not just one. So, we said “Yes!” to both – Full day, and two times a year. Below, meet our staff: inside workers, outside workers and teachers.
Mid-April to mid-May is the first term school holiday for schools in Namibia. So, we delivered all but 6 of our children to either a parent, grandparent or auntie or brother/sister, or other relative for the school holiday. We are trying to get them used to their family and the village they have come from and might be going back to once discharged from Zion.
We have a few workers from the nearby village that have been doing some extra grounds clean up. Two of them are leaders at the nearby village church that we sometimes go to. We ask them if some of the people might want to come to the retreat. He said, “yes!” Well, we expected maybe 5-10 but he had a list of 30 people that wanted to participate!!! WOW!!! We felt it was another opportunity that God provided for us to share the word of God and also to build relationships in the community. Since there were even more coming from outside compared to our staff, we decided to make it 1.5 days so that we had at least a half day with just our staff. We worked hard to prepare messages, fun games, meaningful activities and food. Auntie Jenny’s specialty are mscones (rolls) so she was teaching all of us to make the MOST delicious ones!!! Yummmyyyyyyy!!!!
Day one was the half day. We talked about working for the Lord. We also talked about team work and getting along and showing love, one to another. We discussed the mission and goals of the village. We also had open discussion as to if we were achieving the goals and mission. Then we divided up into smaller teams and given a task to try to build the highest building in the world. The materials included bubble gum (which they had to chew) and toothpicks. We watched how they worked together. Some were the doers, some were the suppliers (chewed the gum), some were bossy and some watched the others.
After the morning session, we treated the staff to lunch. Then we were all hard at work to prepare the food for the next day when the 30 guests from the community church were coming.
We opened the main day with prayer and worship songs. It was a room filled with joy and love. Travis and Lorna both delivered a message and we ask two people from the community to also deliver a message. The theme was “LOVE” and the verse was John 3:16. We were even blessed to have someone on our staff to translate.
We had a delicious lunch and also 2 group activities. First the teams that were developed were ask to use their hands together to make a cross. The second was that there is a drought in the capital city of Namibia – Windhoek. They needed to get water to them but for every drop they lost, there was a person that would loose a life. Two of three teams made it and only spilled a bit but one team started over a couple of times and still spilled the whole cup!!! The teams were singing while they carried their water. Then, the ones that made it, were very excited!!!
At the end of the afternoon, we introduced “A date with God” that we learned from The Mission Society. God loves it when we come and spend time with Him. Time to talk and a time to listen. We set up 4 stations. One was a prayer wall where they could come and write prayer concerns and also pray for 2 others. Another was a collage wall where they were to ask God to give them a picture of what He sees when He looks at their heart. Another was where they were to ask God to give them a picture of what the Father’s love looks like, then draw it. The forth was called “Revelation Station”. They were to come and sit at the foot of the cross on the heavenly street of gold and meditate on the Word of God. We also prepared “scrolls” with a scripture and tied with a ribbon. Each received 2 scrolls and were to read and pray about one and give another to a friend and pray with them.
Since we were all gathered together we took the opportunity to lay hands on some that needed prayer and healing. One of our staff was so sick but she came and it was her birthday. So we baked BIG birthday cakes and sang to celebrate the life and love of Auntie Monica! 59 years young and she still rides her bike very far to come back and forth from her village to work at Zion. She is really a blessing. (Yes, it did make her cry)
WOW!!! What a great couple of days!!! Filled with love from each other, the opportunity to serve the community, the opportunity to refresh and respond. Mostly, it was FILLED with GOD.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
Sunday, May 12, 2013
We are thankful that more people are getting to know about Zion Village. Although many of them still do not really know what Zion Village is so there is still education needed. This year some of the youth leaders of the SDA (Seven Day Adventist) church came and ask if they could use the land here to do a youth camp. Then did a small camp here last year and all was good so we said “sure”. Later we ask how many people to expect and they said 500!!! What, camping for 500 youth!!!
Well, the story is not over because there ended up being 716 campers at Zion Village!!!!! Campers for JESUS!
It all started with one lonely tent and grew to be Many!! Boys on one side, girls on the other.
They came and they came… Cars, trucks… Packed with people… Packed with chairs, mattresses, tents, food, cooking pots…
Each day there was drills (looks kind of like boy and girl scouts and they were also working on badges). Each day there was lots of pots cooking the food over the open fire. Lots of fire wood was gathered each day. Each afternoon was sports/games.
Most important, each day was filled with GOD! Filled with prayers and filled with messages from the leaders that were inspired by God and filled with singing and praising. We all (staff and us) were able to attend the major message in the mid-day and in the evening.
Then, on Saturday, the Sabbath for SDA, the parents and the rest of the local SDA church people came! We do not yet have the count but we are certain there was over 1000 here. Here to worship! Here to praise GOD!
We are definitely standing on Holy Ground and the presence of the LORD IS ALL around!!!! Please pray for the youth and the leaders and ALL of our children. That they should know HIM and Follow HIM and Trust HIM and Live for HIM!!!!
Then the perfect sunset for a perfect week. GOD IS SO GOOD!!
It is often enjoyable and peaceful on the water with all the lily pads and flowers but today was more difficult. The bottom of the canoe was wet so we tried to hold ourselves up off the bottom on our arms. Unfortunately for us old people bending the knees too far does not work so it was rather uncomfortable but we did not fall out!
When we arrived to the other side we still had a distance to walk to the small traditional church. Since we came with one of the leaders, we had no trouble finding a seat since we were one of the fist to arrive. However, the church never did fill up.
The service was led by primarily one person but then there are 2 that follow him with words of encouragement and personal reflection or interpretation of the message. They talked in solozi but there was an interpreter so we also heard in English. They serve communion at each service. They use the element of a wafer to represent the body of Christ but do not have anything to represent the blood even though they do talk about it.
They also have a choir and the music is always so enjoyable and beautiful! After the service the choir was practicing for an event next week where many of the local churches will perform with an hour of singing.
We left and went back the same way we came – land, water, land. When we arrive back at our friends house, they invited us to sit under the tree. They shared some “samp” with us. It is dry corn that they take off the ear, pound it to get the shell off, and then cook it in water over the fire for hours. They added some sugar and it was very nice. Africans love food and are always willing to share what they have even if it is little. There is a lot to learn from that simple lesson.
May you always be joyful in your union with the Lord. I say it again: Rejoice!! Philippians 4:4