Our May 2015 trip to South Africa is in the books!
I can’t tell you what a blessing our trip was!!!! It was amazing…. thanks for the prayers… because with God’s blessing and guidance it was a big success! I can’t thank you enough for praying and loving these kids from afar! May God bless all who devoted time, resources, and prayer to this week of outreach! It really was TRULY amazing…. If I haven’t said it before (haha!)… THANK YOU SOOOOO MUCH!!!!
Because of God and YOU, many people… many different GROUPS of people have been blessed… not only our kids at the Majakaneng School… but the teens, the babies and the ‘gogos’ at Flames Christian Church as well. I want to send a special thanks to all the “surrogate” mom’s and dad’s out there… for without your prayers, labor, and financial support… NONE OF THIS would have been possible. Thank you all… I love you all!!! Thank you for allowing me to be the instrument of the Lord’s blessing , through YOUR generosity and faithfulness… sometimes I feel guilty, because I am the one who gets to see the joy and thankfulness in the eyes of those YOU have blessed… What a privilege to represent you!!!
May is a hard month for me, because it is the month that we said ‘goodbye’ to Pastor Martin. While we thank God for the comforting knowledge that Pastor Martin is yet alive and in the presence of the Lord, for those of us who he left behind… our hearts cry out because of his absence and the feeling that he was called to be with the Lord “too soon”. We don’t understand why he was taken in the prime of his life, BUT, his family and his ministries continue to honor the Lord and Pastor Martin… living out his legacy… working to fulfill his vision for the churches he planted and the children of South Africa who he LOVED!
So, join me as I retell the South African adventures WE (ALL ZoeForKids supporters and team members… and me) had…
Sharon and I arrived safely in South Africa and were greeted by Pastor Alcy (Pastor Martin’s wife)!!!!
What a faithful, energized, and talented woman of God!
ALSO, being a woman of FINE TASTE, she did her hair style today… just like mine!!!
The entire congregation of Flames Christian Church sends their greetings to all ZoeForKids supporters… yes, it would be appropriate to wave back at this point… They love you as much as you love them!!
Over 200 of the Flames Youth teens gathered for an amazing day of teaching and worship. What an amazing group of young people!!!
I presented a teaching about Eleazar and seeking the will of God in your life…
(Link to my notes: THE BEST LOVE STORY EVER)
Eleazar, a ‘type’ of the Holy Spirit, was commissioned by Abraham to go find a bride (Rebekah) and bring her home to his son and her groom, Isaac.
I challenged them to make a contract of God… asked them to give God a ‘blank check’… to give God permission to write the details of their lives from this day forward. Would YOU sign a blank document before you know what the details are? …. Most of us wouldn’t. But would you if you knew the author was God? Do you trust Him enough to surrender the pages of your life and let HIM write the story?
Here is the contract I asked them to sign…
I called them to realize that they could step out in faith, as Eleazar did, and allow God to direct each step… and live a life with eternal importance. We talked about Gideon, and how he asked God to reveal His will by using a ‘fleece’. Do you want God’s Will even before He shows it to you? Do you trust Him enough to turn over every blank page of your life, so HE can fill it?
And step out they did… there was a line out the door
The girls signed…
The boys signed…
… I witnessed their signatures…
YES, the ALL signed!!! They ALL affirmed their commitment to let God have His way in their lives. 200 lives newly committed to seeking out and walking in the will of God!!!
It was answered prayer… would YOU sign it?
My ZoeForKids teammate and colleague from Marchiano Ministries, Sharon Puterbaugh gave a wonderful message on Christian living from Romans 12 that the teens just LOVED.
She impressed upon them that the Body of Christ cannot work effectively and efficiently unless every organ… every appendage… every CELL is alive, awake, and doing its job. Where there is ‘sickness’ or malfunction… the whole Body suffers.
We also had a street outreach in the village of Oukassie. Lots of kids came out to hear the gospel as Sharon fascinated them with her bubbles and sleight of hand presentations.
Many of our talented ZFK supporters not only hand knit and crocheted hats for our orphans… they also made wee ones for the infants and toddlers at Flames Church. Yes, there are orphans in the Church family who are being raised by grannies, aunts and uncles. Also, given the sexual child abuse and the irresponsible nature of young men in their culture, it is not surprising that there are also unwed mothers in the church. Thank you ladies for caring for ‘the least of these’… the babies!!! Warm hats for the babies of Flames!!! Those little gifts were so needed and so loved!
This precious little guy is about 6 months! This is his granny watching over him…
She told me that all her grandchildren were blessed by a ‘sangoma’… the local village witch doctor… except this one….. This little guy was blessed by Pastor Alcy Tivane!!! …that is why he is twice the size of other babies his age!!! LOL!!!
I spoke to the gogo’s about the power of a woman to save a household… it was a teaching on Abigail. Here are my notes: THE POWER OF A WOMAN TO SAVE A HOUSEHOLD The thought of “me” speaking to gogos about powerful women…LOL… they are the embodiment of POWERFUL WOMEN!!!
When we visited in the fall of 2014, we took pictures of each of these dear ladies. On this trip we presented each of them with their personal portrait… They LOVED them!!!
Sharon presented them with rice tote bags made in Cambodia and letters written by her ‘Rosebud’ friends.
SUCH beautiful women of God! SUCH a blessing to the Church and our kids.
The weather in South Africa is beginning to turn cold… winter is fast approaching, officially arriving June 21!!! It gets rather cold in the shacks, down to 30 at times… and in the classrooms!
We visited our ZFK orphans at Majakaneng Primary School to distribute warmth – – coats, hats, gloves… and LOVE. Pastor Alcy joined our visit… and was swamped by loving little ones…
Our ZFK supporters donated enough money to purchase 250 coats IN SA… YES, this time I didn’t have to lug 20 huge duffle bags… AND they match their school uniforms. Do you know, this will be the FIRST COAT some of these children have ever had?
I did however, personally ‘escort’ some of the handmade and/or purchased hats, scarves, and gloves that YOU sent to me for this trip!!! Sharon carried over 200 hats handmade by her sisters in her Church.
Thank you all who have blessed our kids with the gift of winter warmth!!!! Our vulnerable ones have been blessed beyond their dreams!
Here are some photos of our little ‘fashionistas’ modeling … and LOVING…their new winter best:
What is all the commotion?
This is what it is like to read a story to over 100 of our kids all at once!!!!!!
Some of the emotions our orphans have to face is loneliness and abandonment. The book we are reading is The Invisible String. It is a story about two children who run to their mother during a scary storm, she comforts them by telling them about the Invisible String, which connects people who love each other no matter where they are and it means that they are never alone. ZoeForKids wants each of these dear ones to know that they are never alone… Jesus is ALWAYS with them… and there are many people all over the world, especially their ZoeForKids friends… who love them and pray for them.
AND WHAT’S A PARTY WITHOUT GOOD GRUB?
Here are our beautiful and talented cooks in action… having just carried their HUGE caldrons in from the outdoor kitchen!!!!
Fatima is our ZoeForKids head cook who personally makes sure ALL the orphans are fed and makes sure the food is blessed before they eat. She is so faithful. Serving these children is truly her passion.
You see… she, too, was an orphan herself and knows their lives ‘from the inside’… she WILL NOT let anyone on HER watch suffer like she did….
The deputy of the school took control over the excited kiddy chaos and made sure that no one ate until they prayed and gave thanks!
They had TRIED to wait patiently… with various degrees of success…
Thanks to YOU and your prayerful generosity, you funded not only this mini-party, but you have funded the entire ZoeForKids Feeding Program.
This program provides our orphans with two nutritious meals a day, AND provides our most at-risk orphans with much coveted take home ‘dinner’meals, and school break meals!!!
These two little brothers are bringing treasure back to their bare-cupboard shack.
This is the face of ‘success’…. a face of hope and health…awaiting his extra meal before leaving school…. This face is an example of what a little bit more food does for a child. He glows!
No child should EVER have to worry about not getting enough to eat at home… and eliminating this worry from the mind of EVERY CHILD is one of ZFK’s key missions.
This picture says it all!!! After we fed all our at-risk children, this little guy came back to the kitchen to lick out the pans… he didn’t want one drop to escape him…
I don’t have words to describe what this does to my heart… Lord, have mercy on our babies!!!
Thank YOU for the success of our winter outerwear distribution drive… especially those of you who worked your knitting needles and crochet hooks into a frenzy! There are 250 little orphans who will be much warmer this winter… all because of YOU and YOUR LOVE.
Thank you all for the support of our feeding program…
thank you for improving health,
thank you for less empty rumbling in tummies…
it’s all because of your faithful giving and the labor of faithful saints like Fatima.
Someday soon, Jesus is going to come for His own. When that happens we are ALL going to stand in His presence… along with Pastor Martin and ALL our kids… After worshipping Him together, lets plan a HUGE ZoeForKids Hug Fest!!! I can’t wait to personally meet each one of you who have prayed, given and watched over our little ones … who faithfully continue to support the feeding program; covering the costs of the shipments from Tender Mercies and the wages of our African cooks.
YOU and YOUR PRAYERS are so critical to our mission… I depend on you… the kids depend on you … now, we need to work toward building an indoor kitchen.
Would you please pray with us that God would move the hearts of landowners, village officials, contractors, wholesale or retail kitchen suppliers, and donors so that we can bless the orphans of Majakaneng with an enclosed, efficient, sanitary, indoor kitchen???
We have a vision… we need God to make a way, if it is in His Will. Also, pray that we are able to discern His Will, step by step…
… we may have to invest in a ‘fleece’ like Gideon did!!!
Go to our new Kitchen Project Video: