Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Several churches and a sports store supplied new soccer shoes, shin guards, jerseys, tape… sports equipment for soccer and track!!! AWESOME! I thought it was great that Mansfield supplied the jerseys because I am from that area of Pennsylvania. Go Mansfield!!!!
THANK YOU TO ALL WHO CONTRIBUTED!!! YOU HAVE BLESSED THE LIVES OF MANY CHILDREN IN AFRICA!!!
http://www.tlcinhisservice.org/. The categories were and awarded were:
• Clowns, Inc. – Funniest (Mwinda, Matties, Davis)
• Little Girls Ballet – Most graceful
• Angle Voices – most heavenly (Nicky and Della)
• Troy and Chad – Most harmonious 2 guitars (really Martin and Djolo)
• Boys Choir
• Best MC – Albert
ALL received prizes but the ones we had to participate in were taking the little girls (7) ballet to town and treat them to ice cream and dinner for the musicians (Nicky, Della, Albert, Martin and Djolo) They came for dinner on Saturday night. Good thing I got 2 roasts because these kids can eat!!! No leftovers for us!!! Taking the little girls to town was fun. They were knocking at our door at 7am on Saturday asking when we were leaving. Excitement for what we consider such a simple thing is so fun and such a blessing.
The little children (18) are coming for Bible Study at our house on Thursday afternoons at 4:30. They are very attentive and had some great participation and excitement! Along with the Bible Study they are being challenged to learn the books of the Bible and are excited to be successful. Candy is a good incentive I have to admit. No one needed an incentive to come to Bible Study however. They just knew that it was their special time and the big kids could not push them aside. Last week the study was on friendship and this week it is thankfulness.
On Thursday we attended and participated in the celebration of a life, our employee, our friend, Sydney. We only knew him a short 5 months but during that short time he blessed our lives. He always had a big smile even during his illness. He always had a positive attitude and would say “I am going to be alright. I just have to get a little bit stronger.” He was a teacher and mentor to our children. We transported his body and several people in two 4X4’s on Thursday. We went WAY back in the bush, through the dirt, sand, trees and mud. Many people were there. We sat on the ground under the trees in Africa. The mom fell over when she entered and was crying very loudly. They helped her up to continue to where she should be sitting (on the ground). Lorna had an opportunity to get up and speak on behalf of Children of Zion Village. It was a spontaneous speech since they did not give us any ahead of time invitation. 22 of the children came and sang a song at the funeral and a song at the burial site. Once the funeral was over we got up and walked further into the bush to the burial site. The casket went via a canoe (which is a cut out tree here). The rest of us went on foot. Due to the flooding, we had to walk through some ankle deep water. The grave was already dug. There was a sermon and singing. Once the casket was put in the ground, we all could go and put a handful of dirt (sand in this case) in the grave. The tradition has it that everything that comes out of the ground or off of the ground goes back so they put all of the sticks and stones and trees back into the grave if they took them off of the ground. They build up a mound on the grave and we can all come a few at a time and get an artificial flower and stand around the grave. Then all kneel at the same time and poke their flower in the ground on the grave. All get up at the same time and then the next group comes. It creates a beautiful grave.
We thank God for the short life and Blessing that Sydney has been to us and others. He was 24 years old and will be remembered and missed by many but we trust that he is at home with our heavenly Father and in no more pain and discomfort. We look forward to seeing his smiling face again one day when we too are called home.
The water has come through the sides of the road twice and some men have repaired it. One time a vehicle broke down the “sand wall” and today some children (not ours!) put holes in the sides. So, the water then comes pouring across the road. All is fixed tonight so we will see what tomorrow will bring.
Monday March 21 was the 21 year celebration of Independence for the country. We took a load of kids to the sports complex in town where they had a celebration. There were speeches and traditional dancing. All was great for the first couple of hours until the sky opened up and the rains came. We left by noon to get back to the village for our own celebration.