Sunday, December 29, 2013

Mafuta Preschool Graduation

We were honored to be invited to attend the Mafuta Preschool Graduation.  Mafuta is the center that Zion supports with food and a few school supplies, electricity and fire wood.  There are many orphans in this village and these ladies volunteer their time each day to cook for the children so they have at least one meal a day. Two of the ladies teach the class of 50.  Yes, 50 preschoolers!!!!!  All is done outside or in a very small building.  The graduation was outside with music, balloons and food.  The children marched with their balloons and sat nicely under the big tree in their small plastic chairs. 


People young and older attended and gathered to watch the small ones be honored.


Since there were only a few caps and gowns, the children rotated wearing them and it did take some time to get them all changed and through the line.  The staff helped to get them dressed and organized.  SO CUTE!!!


Travis and Lorna were both called upon to speak.  Did we know ahead of time?  NO!  But you must always go prepared for anything.  So, mama Lorna was ask to pray and Papa Travis was called upon for a speech.  So we were thankful to God and to the teachers, parents, volunteers and those of you that donate financially to support the efforts at Mafuta.  As you can see, it is paying off and the children are happy, healthy and educated. 


We Give God the Glory for this place and the supporters and for the ladies that volunteer their time at Mafuta in love of Him and the children. 


Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.  I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands.  Psalm 63: 3, 4

Baby Purity – Christmas Blessing

Three years ago, our first Christmas in Africa, we got a call on Dec 23 to come and receive a baby girl, Liseli on Dec 24th.  We said, wow!!!!  What a great Christmas gift for our first year in Africa.  Then last year the day before Valentine’s day we got a gift of twin boys – double the love.  This year on Dec 15 we picked up baby Purity, just 5 weeks old. 

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She is a beautiful blessings from God and a wonderful addition to our Zion family.  Of course all the small ones are jealous and craving even more attention.  Purity, well she is just wondering what all the flashing of cameras is that is going on.  “Please people, can you turn down the flash!” 

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We pray God brightens your Christmas with smiles of His great Love!!!  Merry Christmas from our family to yours!! 

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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Christmas for staff at Zion

But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God.  You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus.  He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.  The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; His kingdom will never end.  Luke 1: 30-33

Each year we have a Christmas party for staff when we have lunch, dancing and gifts.  We are blessed to have a staff that we really care about and like to do some special things. They love Hungry Lion, which is the fast food place in our town.  It compares a bit to Kentucky Fried Chicken with fried chicken and hot chips.  So, that is what we have for the Christmas lunch.  (We actually have the party early – Dec 10 – before they all start taking leave and going out of town.)  We baked around 300 cookies this year including peanut butter, cut out and decorated sugar cookies and a bar cookie.  There was no chips for the seven layer bar cookie so I bought a bunch of different kinds of candy bars and cut them up and used them on top of crushed vanilla cookies then sprinkled with coconut and sweeten condensed milk.  Yummmy. 

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Showing off their gifts.

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We are all thankful to God for His gift, His Blessing, His love.  And we are thankful to all of you that support Zion or us in some way; financial, prayer, encouragement.  Merry Christmas and God’s Blessings!

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Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.  Luke 2:14

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Spiritual Retreat at Zion


I Press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 3:14 

This time our theme for our Spiritual retreat for staff was “Stay the Course”.  In life we get bumped and pushed, we run into obstacles and challenges, we have ups and downs.  Sometimes we get off the course.  But we should always stay focused and keep our eyes on Jesus.  He will always direct us and lead us.  He will give us wisdom and discernment.  But, we must be willing to listen and to do what we should do and go where we should go. 

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Our day started in prayer and praise songs.  Then there was a morning speaker and an activity outside.  It was a bit concerning (the outside activity) because it had been raining and the grounds were wet and muddy.  Our task was to get our egg (the unreached people of the world) without stepping inside the big circle, and take it through the obstacle course with us.  Do not break the egg or let it alone.  Always keep it at your side (discipleship). 

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Some places our team was tied together with ropes.  One place we had to swing from the rope to reach the beam on the other side and then we could not step off until the entire team was together.  One place we had to get over the ropes and inside without touching the ropes.  Often the event was really just like the events of life.  Many challenges come our way.  Without other believers to call on for help and without God by our side, we would never make it.  But when we have others to lend us a hand and God to keep us on the path and give us strength to not give up, we can make it. 

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We were thankful the rain held off long enough so we did not get too wet and just a bit muddy.  We continued the day with speakers and a wonderful lunch.  The day ended with stations.  One was a craft – the star.  The star can guide us and did guide the shepherds to Jesus.  Focus your eyes on Jesus for the way, the hope, peace, love and grace.  One station was a prayer wall where they could write prayer requests and pray for others prayer requests.  One was the cross where they could read passages in the Bible and fall to their knees in prayer, leaving all the worries and trouble at the foot of the cross. 

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We thank God for the day and pray that there was something that impacted the lives of the participants.  We thank God that He can get us back on the path even when we slip.  We thank God for His grace and love that is unconditional and we pray that we can listen more closely to His calling and direction.

We also thank Lena and Johannes Ebner who helped a lot with the activities and prepared a couple of the messages.  Mostly, we give God the Glory!!! 

Field Day Zion Mission School

On November 27 we had a great field day event at Zion Mission School.  The event was organized by one of our 6 month volunteers, Rebecca Westbrooks.  The children were organized in teams with a teacher and organized by color of tie dyed shirt that Rebecca also made.  So, it was a competition between the teams.  It started all together with the big parachute. 

Then the teams divided out an were warmed up and ready for the relays. There were many: wheel barrow races, tug of war, carry the egg race, roll the tire race, tied leg/three legged race, bobbing for apples and the water balloon toss. 






The races were followed by the awarding of medals and speeches to thank Rebecca for all of her hard work and organization of the event.  Even her family was here to see her in action with the children.  The children also sang songs of praise and worship while they styled their shades and beads.


The small ones watched from high and low and joined in on the dancing for sure.


After lunch they enjoyed the bouncy castles, including a water slide, and face painting. 



We thank you and love you Rebecca.  We thank God for your service at Zion and we hope we see you back here again!!!  May God continue to Bless you in your journey with Him!!!