Thursday, August 17, 2017

It has been an emotional day...

Wow!  I feel like this day had a whole week of experiences included in it.  I will try to share and describe what we did but I know my words will not be able to express the emotions that I have felt today.  Vicki talked about the fruits of the spirit last night in our Bible study:  love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self control.  I have tried to share these today with the people that came across my path and I am also trying to be better at receiving them from others.  It is much easier for me to give than to receive...

Part of our mission trip team spent the morning with Ma’s for Wellington (MforW).  This is a group that meets in the Mosaic Community Center and runs a program for 160 community children that are preschool age. The ladies that run this program are angels.  They pour love into the kids and volunteers.  They have around 50 volunteers that are mothers and grandmothers.  The empower these women and build them up.  All volunteers have a colored apron representing the small group of kids that they will work with after the initial large group.  Everyone knows what they are supposed to do.  It runs so smoothly and you can tell they all LOVE what they are doing!

In the beginning of their program they sing songs, provide a Bible message, and pray with the children.  

The kids then broke into four groups where one group worked on their cutting skills,  one group played with clay, another group played with blocks and the last group were told stories.  At least I think the lady was telling them stories, it is hard to know since I don’t understand the local language.  :-)

MforW prayed for around 9 years for a kitchen, which was answered when the HOOP arrived in South Africa.  With the HOOP they are able to provide the children in their program breakfast AND a lunch. The food these kids eat at MforW might be the only food they eat that day.  One of the things that made me tear up today was seeing these kids eat.  It is heartbreaking to think this may be their only meal but these ladies are doing their part by being God's hands and feet in this world by helping the children God puts in front of them.  

It was sunny out today!!  It has been raining which Paarl desperately needs so we didn’t complain but the sunny skies today were great for us to start building the two brick houses.  The other half of our group started bricking the two houses with local workers first thing in the morning.  Joe Lisowski started a wonderful tradition last year by making masking tape name tags for everyone on the worksite.  Tony made name tags today which helps our group work with the local workers and build relationships.  They made wonderful progress today and the weather is looking good for the rest of our trip.

Next door to the Mosaic houses is a community center for elderly people.  I received a call from Nielen, shortly after Ma’s for Wellington was over, asking for me to bring Pastor Vicki to the community center for the Elderlies.  The Elderlies wanted Pastor Vicki to pray with them.  Last year, we met and prayed with this wonderful group of people.  It was amazing last year and it was amazing again this year.  It is a powerful experience to pray out loud in all different languages together.

Many more things happened during the day but I need to wrap this post up.  We ended our day doing a Bible study with the Mosaic kids and kids from the community.  Patty led the Bible study and it was fantastic!  Patty spoke about the fruits of the spirit like Vicki did with the adults the previous night.  The kids acted out different Bible stories.  We sang together.  It was a lot of fun!  The kids participated and seemed to enjoy it.  

It was an amazing day but it has also been emotional.  Some of the stories that we hear are not easy.  The lack of water, sanitation and food are heart breaking but the people we meet are beautiful.  They are God's children and they are shining God's light into the world around them.  I am just happy to be able to spend some time with them in their light.  Their faith is beautiful and I have so much to learn from them.  

Thank you for your prayers.  Please pray for us to learn and grow from the people that God places in our path on this trip...


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