Friday, December 25, 2015
We are celebrating our 6th Christmas in a row in Namibia at Children of Zion Village. We certainly miss being with family, especially this time of year but we are blessed by God’s grace and for all of you who pray for Zion and support Zion and us! You make us especially joyful!
We had many Christmas parties already since the children and staff go on holiday but we will continue to celebrate the birth of Christ even into the Christmas party for the children when they return. We are keeping 2 little ones (one year and two years) over the holiday. We did have one of the older girls but she decided to attend a church camp that lasts until after New Year. We are happy for her and know she is making lots of friends and having a great time.
It has been very different having the little ones. Certainly changes our “schedule” (even though our schedule really changes almost every day). Just not used to getting up and changing and making bottles… We are blessed in they are joyful children and the 2 year old really makes us laugh!!
I made Christmas Casserole for all the staff working and for our ministry partners. We gathered at our house for prayer, the Christmas story and eating! It was a nice fellowship time together.
Immediately after cleaning up from breakfast we started lunch. Everyone helped, even the little ones! We were so blessed with delicious vegetables from the garden. It was quite a feast! Fresh corn right off the stalk, greens, onion, tomato, and also ham and sweet potatoes, not from the garden. Very Blessed!
We enjoyed a small gift exchange with our ministry partners. We were also blessed to have wonderful friends from the neighborhood where we used to live in Atlanta. Last year their daughter, Olivia, cleaned out her stuffed animals and sent them to Africa for the children. Most of them were handed out to the children at the feeding center last year. But we kept a few that required batteries thinking that they would not have batteries. There were exactly 3 and there were 3 little ones here. Purity and Elias especially appreciated the talking, singing Care Bears!
So, the day was joyful and we are thankful! Thankful to God and thankful for YOU! Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!
Friday, December 18, 2015
God tells us that He will bless us so that we can go out and bless others. Do not keep blessings to yourself but He will bless you in abundance when you in turn bless others.
We love to visit our friends in the villages. There is a process that you must first let the chief know that you are coming, especially if you are bringing something. The gifts must go to the chief and then he will distribute to the people in his village. So, we go each Christmas to deliver a Christmas message, food, small gifts for the village (mostly for the children) and pray for them.
We also visited Baby Lorna (who is no longer a baby- below on the left) and her big sister in her grandfather’s village.
WE are truely blessed and we give God all the thanksgiving and glory!!!!
2 Corinthians 9:8. 11 “And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.”
Friday, December 4, 2015
Each year we have the blessing of giving to Mafuta where orphans come to eat. So, Zion is blessed to be able to provide food. Maybe the only meal of the day for these children.
Also each year we provide food for an extra special Christmas celebration. Most often they eat the traditional pap and fish. But for the holiday they had chicken, rice, potatoes, and gravy which is very special for them. We were thankful for the weather. One year it poured rain and we had to walk through a stream of water to get to the food… This year it was cloudy but it did not rain.
It started with the graduation of the preschool program.
We progressed with the reading and translation of the Christmas story. Opened and closed in prayer.
Then they lined up for their gift of shoes from Newberry United Methodist Church in Williamsport Pennsylvania (where Lorna grew up). I think we did not pray enough because every year we have exactly what we need. This year we were 5 short but God will provide for this. Those 5 will not be left. We are so thankful to God for you and for all who help out even if a pack of socks or new underwear. Everything is needed and nothing is left and it is always appreciated. We have several more villages to help this season. We have also been blessed with pillowcase dresses that will be distributed to villages for Christmas.
From feet with no shoes to too small shoes or broken shoes to feet with nice shoes!!! Thank you God for providing for needs!
They proceeded to pray for their gift of food. We then presented the staff with a Christmas “bucket” full of food. They work hard and show up every day to cook for these children and need to be appreciated. This is just a small gift. If you are in a team that is coming you can also appreciate the staff at Mafuta with a small gift or foot massage or lotion… They will love it!!! And God will bless you!!!
Thursday, December 3, 2015
We are so happy that most of the children staying at Zion have extended family and sometimes even one parent. They have been going to visit them each holiday since we arrived. At first they were excited, then scared since they had not been visiting them. But now, they have made friends in their villages and they enjoy going and seeing family and friends. Next year, some more may be reunited with family because of this connection. It is bitter sweet for us because now the village becomes so quiet. We really miss them but we know that the best place for a child to be is with family as long as they are safe and being taken care of. The hardest ones to leave are the little ones. Our 3 year old twins have been spending time with their Auntie each weekend for the past couple of months. But, one month away seems so long. One cried when we left, the other was fine. Also our 5 year old girl has NEVER been away. But now there is the sister of her mother who really wanted to take her. She was so excited but then cried when we were leaving. Now we hear she is doing very well and is so well behaved! Bitter – Sweet. Missing our children and our families during this most wonderful time of year!
Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Please pray for the children to be safe, happy, making good decisions and staying in good health and remembering who is their protection and help in time of need.
Wednesday, December 2, 2015
On Wednesday 2 December we celebrated all of the learners at Zion Mission School. Everyone received a cheer when their name was called and they came forward to collect their school report. The top (ones that completed the most books – PACES) were given a special prize award. It was a great day of encouragement and rewards and some were disappointed so maybe they will work harder next year. See you all next year! Enjoy your holiday and read a few books!
Hip Hip Hooray!!! Hip Hip Hooray!!!!
Then the grade 7’s decided to give the teachers “special” awards! They could do this since they will be going out next year for grade 8. So, some were funny, some were nice. For example, the teacher that is the best dressed, the teacher that is the prettiest, the teacher that is most scary, the teacher that is the funniest, the teacher most quiet, the teacher most talkative, the sleepy head teacher, and the most kind teacher.
FUN and Blessings abound and we give God the glory!!!
Tuesday, December 1, 2015
Our ministry partners here at Children of Zion, Lena and Johannes and Elias Ebner will be leaving Zion on January 6. They feel they are being called into another field of ministry. To disciple the people that have not heard about Jesus. Maybe church planting. Johannes is studying to become a pastor. They do not yet know where they will be serving but they have a heart for Africa so they are looking into area that need their talents. We will miss them and the help they have been to us here but we know when God calls you out or in, you must go. Thank you to Lena and Johannes for everything you have given to Zion Village staff, children, community and us!!! You will be missed.
Monday, November 30, 2015
One of my favorite times of year is field day at Zion Mission School! One of our volunteers started it 2 years ago and now it has become a fun tradition!
All the children were assigned a team color and two teachers. We also had the privilege of having a Christian team with 20 eighteen year old kids and 4 adults here and they made the event very funny and really motivated the teams! As always, we started the day with prayer.
Each team wore a headband to display their team color. There was also a banner/flag and mascot competition. It was difficult because they were all excellent. AND, the children made them (except for team black). So, we had the
BLUE DOLPHINS!!! The BLACK SCORPIONS!!!! The GREEN RHINOS!!!!
The RED DOVES!!!! The PURPLE LIONS!!!!
LET THE GAMES BEGIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We had many races. The wheel barrow race…
The three legged race that ended in sack carry…
The two man carry… The Piggy back… The sack hop…
The human pyramid…..
And many, many more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We proceeded to award the teams their prizes. Every team received an award for something. One was team work, one sportsmanship, one for the flag/mascot, one for team cheering, and one for points.
Also on this special day the 4 top in each class received awards. Best overall academic performance. Second best academic performance. Most improved and most diligent.
We planned a special lunch for the school for a special day. We need to encourage and reward as these children are the future of the country. We thank God for all He provided for this day and this year. Even the weather was good as it was cloudy and not so hot. There were some periods of drizzle but it just felt good. After the lunch the clouds opened up but the celebration was finished.
John 10:14 I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me--- Just as the Father knows me and I know the Father --- and I lay down my life for the sheep.