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Describe our ZFK visit in one word? … JOY

  IF WE HAD ONE WORD TO SAY..  That one word would be   Joy

ZoeForKids 2017 Birthday Celebration Team

“It is His joy that remains in us that makes our joy full.” ~ A. B. Simpson

“This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalms 118:24

It’s been a while… a long while… since I’ve updated you on what ZoeforKids is up to! The reason has more to do with my life being jam packed… NOT that nothing is happening at ZFK! Amid the madness of day to day life… one priority always stands out: our collective love for our 250 vulnerable children in South Africa! They will ALWAYS be our priority!

Now, before I update you on our amazing Easter week outreach… I HAVE to share some long awaited news!

OUR KITCHEN IS BREAKING GROUND IN MAY!

Because of your generous donations, and many years of faithful patience, we have finally gotten the right African project team together!

Based on our current plans, and with your covering prayers, we are shooting for the kitchen to be fully constructed, equipped, and operational by sometime in September!

Our budget is a bit underfunded, but that won’t stop the progress in the least! (I can always work more shifts!) The Lord has done and is doing great things! Soon our cooks will no longer labor in the ‘open air’ kitchen!

 

Back to my Easter week outreach update….   JOY

THERE is no greater JOY than gathering with fellow believers to celebrate the anniversary of our Salvation and our blessed hope of Resurrection! The Lord has risen! He is alive! He revealed His face, His blessing, and His glory to us in every way possible during our week-long outreach!

In South Africa, the Flames Christian Church gathered from Thursday night… all the way until Resurrection Sunday evening, for a holy celebration that is hard to put into words!

                    

Our ZFK team stood alongside our African brothers and sisters as we walked through Christ’s death starting from Thursday till Friday night; we waited in hope and anticipation thru Saturday and then… on Sunday we celebrated with JOY the resurrection of our Lord with communion and incredible worship!

There was dancing, praying, salvations, testimonies and each of us gave messages of hope: African and American together! Even now, as I am driving to work… as I am doing housework… as I am feeding horses or my little Zoelle… I break out in a broad smile. Even now, I am still overwhelmed with JOY… I can’t quite contain it, it spills over in a deep far away smile, it rolls down my cheeks as tears of joy, as the sounds, sights and worship from Africa takes me far away from wherever I am. It lifts me up!

 OUKASIE MONDAY!

Each day brought with it MORE JOY in different ways!  The Monday after Easter is always a holiday in South Africa.  We decided to have an outreach in one of the most dangerous villages in NW Britts:  Oukasie.

  

This place needs the Lord’s salvation like nobody’s business!  It is quite unsafe and you can’t be in this village past dusk.  You might remember that we have held crusades here in the past.  Sister Sharon has done major street ministry here, as well.

  

We chose the town hall as our ‘headquarters’ and there we held a games day, the wrapping it up with a message of hope and salvation.

Of course, we provided refreshments: peanut butter sandwiches and sweeties!

 

It is not hard to gather a crowd in Africa, really.  All you have to do is set up a sound system and the children gather around and start dancing.  It reminds me of how children always were attracted to Jesus and He wrapped His love around each one.

 

I’m sure Jesus didn’t have a sound system or sweeties, but I’m sure the disciples sang Psalms, and there were loaves and fish for all!

Oh, Lord Jesus may people always see YOU within us! May we always faithfully share Your message of Life, and Love, and Forgiveness, and Hope, and Salvation.  Ever fill us with Your Spirit and draw people to Yourself through our messages faithfully given so that the called will come, repent, seek You, follow, and be filled with Your eternal JOY!

Just look at these pictures! It was a day to remember!  In the youtube video below that you can actually see and hear the sounds of Oukasie!  We set up several stations with different games, competitions and prizes! We had a big message at the end and even some adults joined in the fun!

We were helped by Flames Youth and the day was quite-a-day!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwY7JBpXouM&t=114s

UN-BIRTHDAY TUESDAY!!!  

This was the day that we celebrated EVERY BIRTHDAY for ALL OUR KIDS!  Thanks to all the donations we received at Christmas for new clothes we had a BIG party for all 250 of our vulnerable children at Majakaneng school!

They each received a new outfit,

     … birthday cake

          … and birthday cards filled with love! 

Pastor Kenny had a great message about Nicodemus and his ‘birthday’ question…

 “How can I be born again?

It was a beautiful day and THEN the MOST joyful moment came in like a flood  for me.  In fact, JOY came rolling down my cheeks as it happened.  God showed me in His way that our daily feeding and pastoring of our kids several times a week really REALLY is making a difference.

That moment played out like this:

After Pastor Kenny and Kurt were finished with their message about eternal birthdays, I asked our kids who wanted to say a prayer before we cut the cake?

One little boy hesitated at first… he attempted to raise his hand, several times in fact.  He finally built up the courage and came onto the platform to offer a prayer. 

As he came up, tears were rolling down his cheeks and he refused to look at anyone.  I hugged him and told him he didn’t have to do it, if he didn’t want to.  But, he continued forward without saying anything to me and took the microphone.  As he started his prayer in Tswana, the tears continued to flow down his cheeks. The prayer continued on and on. 

I couldn’t understand the words of this humble prayer –

   …. but my heart could,

      … and our Father certainly did!

It was one of those moments… the world went quiet… the heavens opened up… Jesus tuned His ears into this humble plea and I believe all the angels looked down in wonderment.

He prayed for at least 5 minutes straight, becoming more earnest with each second. The crowd of children stood silent.  I simply had no words to speak after he was finished. 

      He wiped his eyes dry ….

           … and so did I …

                  … and our JOY was made complete.

https://youtu.be/zcpJDF43Cjs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zcpJDF43Cjs

That evening the ZFK team was invited to speak to a local youth group. The youth belonged to the church attended by one of our South African volunteers, Lorraine.  We had an amazing evening and the youth group was so energetic about worship!  It was an incredible night to remember and many hearts were touched—theirs and ours!

They got certificates at the end of our messages that were signed by each one of us —encouraging them to give God the blank page of their lives so that HE can fill it with what HE desires!  They were encouraged to be Daniel’s of their generation!

CHEETAH WEDNESDAY!  

A local cheetah sanctuary invited 60 of our orphans to come to the park for the day!  So we loaded the children up in taxis and off we went!

We hiked through the park and even had a huge Easter Egg hunt!

 

It was quite an experience to load the children up and take them out of their village!  Some had never been outside of their village and were wide-eyed with curiosity and pure happiness!  Some had never seen live cheetahs, wild dogs, and vultures!

It truly was one of the best days filled with awe and wonder at seeing a bigger view of God’s creation… and the JOY we felt was palpable in every second….

OPKYK THURSDAY!

We got the privilege of going to Opkyk Pathways Education Center.  They invited 30 of our orphans, many of whom suffer from being HIV+, to come for the day and learn by…

… participating in some science projects,

playing soccer, and jumping on trampolines,

… building with Legos,

… setting off rockets,

… and grooming and riding horses!

   

… did I mention there were HORSES???

This was an incredible day of great JOY!  The kids were completely outside of their normal environment and were able to ‘let loose’ and be kids for the day—but, also learn a few things too!  We thank this Education Center built for handicapped children for inviting us to come alongside their children and enjoy a day!  Every handicapped child at the school added their laughter to the giggles of our children!

https://youtu.be/GKNhqVTBfYs

THURSDAY PART DEUX– Majakaneng school!!!

Our last day was Thursday. After our Opkyk adventure we went back to our Majakaneng school.

We played a few games…

 

And we enjoyed the chaos of attempted to say goodbye to our coworkers…

… and to our kids.    How does one say goodbye?  Look at those faces…

 

                         

The good thing is, when you are a Christian, it is NEVER goodbye… it is only, “Take care and be blessed, until we meet again or at Jesus feet!”

“These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” John 15:11-12

“It is His joy that remains in us that makes our joy full.” ~ A. B. Simpson

I can’t thank each of you enough—for what you are doing for these vulnerable children of Majakaneng. With our little orphan boy’s prayer—God showed me.

Lives are being touched.

       Lives are being changed.

              Hope is in the air.

AND

       Our Joy Is Being Made Complete.

I love you all so very much, Thank You for what you are doing for the least of them…  

Thank you for letting me share our trip with you,   Sal

A Very Merry Un-birthday tooooo YOUUUUU! To Me??

We are off to visit our precious South African angels again!

 

Our visit will be from April 13-22 and will be a “team event” once again… SIX of us are going to minister to our orphans.

FIRST… we will hold a BIG BIRTHDAY BLOWOUT!

Or…  if you are familiar with ‘Alice in Wonderland’, perhaps it should be named a BIG UN-BIRTHDAY BLOWOUT… because we will be celebrating EVERYONES birthday on that day!

 

At the UnBirthday Party… each little one will receive an outfit that YOU so generously donated at the end of last year.

   

THEN… 

we will be holding youth services with FLAMES from Thursday (13th) until Resurrection Sunday (16th)— all day, each day.  What an opportunity this will be to bond with our kids, and teach them about Jesus, forgiveness, true love, and salvation.

I will also be giving a message called ‘Color Me Brave’ to the youth of our Majakaneng school. I will distribute workbooks to each dear one, and teach them about how to build healthy relationships and how to recognize abuse.

AFTER THEN…

we will head for Oukasie to reach out to the unsaved youth that tend to aimlessly wander in that poverty stricken area. We are preparing plastic eggs filled with candy and Bible verses – after hiding them, we will supervise as the kids as they hunt for these Bible-filled treasures. Pray that the Spirit will direct the right kid to the exact meaningful verse each child needs to hear at that moment! While the candy will be sweet on their tongues for a moment, may the verses we select be a sweet savor in their hearts forever.

AFTER… AFTER THEN…

we will have a big meeting for the Oukasie youth… Pastor Kenny and Pastor Kurt will speak to their hearts and call them to salvation… call them to abundant, meaningful life through Jesus. Pray that the Spirit will prepare these young hearts to hear the Gospel, and pray that the Spirit will fill the mouths of our two faithful pastors with the words He wants these children to hear and absorb.

THEN FINALLY,

…we will be taking another select group of children to the therapy riding school for two days of socialization, spiritual, and emotional healing.

In my “spare time”, I will be working on getting an agreement that will allow us to start building the new kitchen!!!

 

 

SO, PRAY, PRAY PRAY…

… for traveling mercies

… for the health of all

… for safety and good weather

… for the Spirit to go before us and prepare hearts to receive His message

… for God’s will to be done in each heart

… for peace dealing with a full and crazy schedule

… that God’s Word will put down deep roots in the hearts of ALL who hear it

… that our kitchen project will be well received and finally be launched

 AND, LAST BUT NOT LEAST… that we collect enough pictures and stories so that YOU can feel like you were there with us… for it is only through your generosity and obedience to the Lord that we can bless these wee ones with love, the news of salvation, clothes, food, moments of extreme joy, and again LOVE… your love.

Kitchen Update… a lesson in SA project management, and patience!!!

I know we have been talking about our KITCHEN project for a VERY…  VERY…       VERY long time.

kitchen-project-update

There is something I had only heard about, but now I have experienced it… when it comes to getting projects done, there is ‘American Time’ and ‘African Time’ and they are nowhere near equal. It is TRUE that most things in Africa take MUCH longer than we are used to expecting. This is not a value judgment; it is just a fact… and a factor when planning a big project in South Africa. I must confess, it has taught me A LOT about patience…

I have now three proposed kitchen plans and we are actively looking to choose a project manager!  In September, I visited a brick factory. I then reviewed a few of the kitchen project quotes with the principal of our Majakaneng village school—Eunice.

Dec 2013 Emergency Food pic4

Principal Eunice is very excited to see this the progressing we are beginning to make, and so are we!

When God allows… our cooks will be replacing their outdoor wood fires….

 Kitchen Thumbnail (2)

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… with stoves and ovens in a big, modern INDOOR kitchen! 

Our children will no longer eat in shifts in three or four different classroom, but will gather in one big dining room to eat… and bond together… and encourage each other… and do group activities together… and listen to Pastor Hendrick together!

hendrick-11-2016 nutrition-update

Thanks to all of you faithful ZFK supporters who have donated, I have money in the bank waiting to be build this kitchen! As the project progresses, we may be forced to exceed our current budget… but we will labor to be good stewards of your donations and deliver the blessing YOUR kitchen will bring!

I am so excited… but we still need LOTS of prayer for our kitchen project!

Loving Father, You are sovereign over all things, even the projects and plans of men. We place our plans for a kitchen at Majakaneng village school in Your hands. We ask that You would bless our desire to serve the orphans in this school. We choose You to be the Senior Manager of this project. We choose You to select the plans, hire the right personnel, arrange for the delivery and assembly of all the building materials and appliances, keep it on budget – or expand Your funding for it, and we trust that You will set the project schedule to bring the kitchen project to fruition– not in American-Time or in African-Time, but in YOUR-time! Our trust is in YOU alone, because YOU alone are Able. We ask this by the authority of the great name of Jesus of Nazareth, Who had mercy on those gathered to hear Him… and He fed them all. Amen

I want to thank you ALL for being part of this project!!  I will share the plans with you as soon as I find a sharable format! I love you all sooo much!

Sally’s Big South African Adventure… with kids of course!

This September, I arranged a ‘test’ field trip with a few of our orphans to see how it would go.  JUST WOW!!!!

Near Majakaneng village, there is a very, very special school named

“Opkyk Pathways Therapy and Educational Center”.

https://www.facebook.com/Opkyk-Pathways-Therapy-and-Educational

This school is especially oriented for vulnerable children, like our ZoeForKids orphans.  Inside a converted old farmhouse they have built a computer and therapeutic school for children of need… and, close to my heart as you know, EQUINE THERAPY!  YES, I SAID HORSES!  The only thing better would be horses AND DOGS, but I digress!!!

But back to our story….

sa-ranch-day-02-a

Our story starts in Majakaneng village school, where I chose 16 of our orphans to be our ‘test pilots’!

As we departed their township by taxi, two of our cooks lead us in a little prayer.  We then piled into a local taxi!  AT THAT MOMENT, the great adventure had begun!  The eyes of these 16 children were as big as the moon.

sa-ranch-day-40-a

You see, many of our kids have NEVER been in a taxi, and have NEVER gone beyond their township!

Their response was priceless! 

 

As we were leaving, the taxi driver put on the music of their culture… and suddenly the brightest sunbeam hit inside our taxi… it nearly blinded me in tears!  The hard outer shells of these abused and rejected children cracked – they became true ‘children’… smiling, boisterous, rejoicing children.  Excitement beamed from each face and they began to dance and bounce  with the bumps and turns of the taxi.  I seriously, lost it.  I wanted to hug each child and never return them to their meager shacks.

 

sa-ranch-day-01-a

One child, who is albino, and her brother have been part of ZFK since 2008.  I had NEVER seen them smile before.  They had NEVER felt comfortable enough to interact with me, personally.

 WELL, on this day… I got the smile I was waiting for… it brought heaven to earth for me.  I had to fight back tears.

 

 

 

We soon arrived at the Opkyk Pathways Therapy and Educational Center.  For perhaps the first time in their lives, they were able to just be kids, to let loose and JUST PLAY!

 They lighted off rockets,

sa-ranch-day-35-a

            … they practiced balancing,   

                   … they ate good food,

                             sa-ranch-day-36-a

                            … they jumped on trampolines,

sa-ranch-day-37-a

                                       … they became masters of ‘sand art’…

 

 … and most importantly– learned how to take care of a precious horse named Mercy,

sa-ranch-day-07-a sa-ranch-day-11-a

sa-ranch-day-10-a sa-ranch-day-15-a

walked and rode her and her friend around the arena,

sa-ranch-day-23-a sa-ranch-day-06-a

sa-ranch-day-26-a sa-ranch-day-03-a

… and loved on them ALL DAY LONG!

..sa-ranch-day-21-a.sa-ranch-day-29-a

 sa-ranch-day-12-a

Most of all, they had FUN, they were able to be just kids enjoying their youthful energy and learning to open their hearts to the possibilities that life offers… a very rare opportunity to experience ‘life outside the village’… more than they have ever known or dreamed possible.  I’m sure it was a surreal experience for them.

The thought keeps coming to my mind… that this is what going to heaven will be like for us.  We are each so used to the routine and limitations of our lives here on earth, that we cannot even imagine or dream what God has in store for us.  The boundless joy, the happiness that I saw in those little dear eyes… is just a foretaste of our future with our Lord Jesus in Heaven.

I still have not stopped smiling.  Praise to our God the author of all true joy and satisfaction!

 

Praise God for Answered Prayer!

I have a prayer of thanksgiving to share with you, our precious ZoeForKids supporters! For years, we have been praying that God would provide a pastor who could commit to visiting our 300+ kids regularly and feeding their spiritual needs.  So I would like to share… that GOD HAS ANSWERED OUR PRAYERS!!!  PRAISE AND GLORY TO JESUS!!!!!!!!

two-kids

Our tri-yearly outreaches have been great. During our visits, God has enabled us to bless them with… clothing, blankets, school supplies, personal hygiene…items of basic need; and Bible stories, players and speakers to teach them about God’s love for them.  But these kids… like all kids… need constant, regular ministry of the Word of God.

It is my delight to share with you that the Heavenly Army of our God has landed “boots on the ground” in this battlefield for the souls and lives of our Zoe kids.  As I write to you, there is now a team of dedicated South Africans who are devoted bringing the Gospel to them to our kids WEEKLY and caring for their spiritual needs!

hendrick-11-2016

Our team leader is Pastor Hendrick!  He is a beloved, local South African pastor who has a deep heart and calling to serve the youth of SA. He and his team currently minister in MANY poor schools, and now… our Majakaneng Village school is an official stop on his weekly route. Pastor Hendrick is excited to be given this trust and is already busy at it.
Here’s how it works…

Through our ZFK nutrition program, classroom by classroom, our kids are fed a second meal at the end of each school day. Pastor Hendrick goes to each room during this time, sharing the Lord, sharing the Word, and praying with them. He reports there was one child with vision problems and as he prayed for him, all the others began coming for prayer and the ministry was amazing. He has asked nothing from us… because IT IS GOD WHO HAS CALLED HIM to serve these kids… like the Apostle Paul said in I Corinthians 9, he is compelled to preach and share the love of Jesus to see these little lives eternally changed.

As I have shared with you, many times, our dear wee orphans are surrounded by evil and live on a very violent spiritual battlefield.  They are too often the victims of evil… Spiritism/Satanism, spiritual oppression, greed, theft, assault, sexual abuse and slavery, physical deprivation, death… the list of evil perpetrated against them just goes on and on.  The Apostle Peter told us in his first letter, “Be clear-minded and alert. Your opponent, the devil, is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.”

There were times, over the last few years, when my faith began to wane and I thought that our service would be limited to just regularly providing for our kids physical needs. But then I would remember the founding vision of Pastor Martin Tivane, who loved these children so much but who was called Home to be with Jesus. Pastor Martin would always say, ‘We must continue to press through disappointments and challenges, and the day of victory will come’. The enemy is always at work trying in so many ways to destroy these little lives… these young souls—but we must press through to see them rescued in the name of Jesus!

I thank God for YOU, our faithful ZFK supporters.  The blessing that has been rained on our orphans, ‘Spiritual Special Forces, Team Hendrick’, is because of YOUR faithful prayers and generosity.  God has sent His ‘re-enforcements’ to this spiritual battlefield.  I invite you to join me in covering Pastor Hendrick and his team in prayer.

Loving Heavenly Father, You are our Provider, our Protector!  You are our God who sees our needs, hears the cries of Your children, and Who answers our prayers beyond what we can ask or dream!  We praise You!  We thank You for Pastor Hendrick and his team of volunteers.  We thank You that You have called them to serve on the same battlefield on which we have also been called serve.  Speak through them Your words of Life to the children of Majakaneng Village and all the other children they serve.  May many young souls be saved and freed from the bondage of sin and evil.  Bless their efforts each day to the Glory of Your Great Name!  Protect all who serve and all those young souls who are served from temptation and from evil.  Protect each one with the Whole Armor of God.  Give Your people, the old and the young, great victory on the spiritual battlefields of South Africa.  Push back the enemy, and let Your people flourish in the newness and abundance of life that only YOU can give.  We thank You for calling us to Your service through ZoeForKids… through the power of Your Spirit, may we be faithful and always seek You and Your will for those who minister and for these vulnerable young orphans… may You remind us daily to cover them in prayer… Precious Lord, shelter them all in the shadows and under the feathers of Your wings.  Brood over these young ones until they can fledge, and soar like eagles in Your Power.  In faith… because You are Faithful… and You are Able… we ask these things by the authority of the name of Jesus of Nazareth, our Savior, our Lord, and our soon coming victorious King. Amen

Give praise to the Lord ALWAYS!!!

three-kids-bright

An update from Pastor Hendrick…

We were at the school this morning. We ministered God’s Word and laid hands… praying over all the children.  We also prayed for all the teachers in the staff room after

JANUARY 2017: Dress and T-shirt Drives starts TODAY- Giving Tuesday

I know, it’s been a while! I’ve been being pulled in many directions… but… I’M BACK!!!!

giving-tuesday-2016

Many of you, our beloved and faithful ZoeForKids supporters, have been asking… WHEN IS YOUR NEXT DRIVE FOR OUR ORPHANS? WHAT ARE WE GOING TO BLESS THEM WITH THIS TIME?

I now have the exciting announcement you have all been waiting for…

On November 29, 2016… GIVING TUESDAY… we launched our January 2017 ‘Christmas’ Drive which we are calling: “LuLaRoe Goes to South Africa”

lularose-goes-to-sa

My sister and I are joining forces to purchase and deliver Mae dresses and Sloan Shirts AT COST for 300 of our wee ones—our dear orphaned children in South Africa!

Here is what they look like:

mae-dress sloan-shirts

So if you would like to bless our kids this ‘Christmas’, please consider making a donation to fund the purchase of this clothing.

As you have faithfully done in the past, if the Lord leads you to donate to this cause, just click on the DONATE selection above. On that page you will find instructions to securely donate online, or how to direct your checks. We ask that if you send a check that you would write ZFK/LuLaRoe in the note section.

Check out LuLaRoe at (https://www.facebook.com/groups/LuLaRoeLoriPugh/)

Oh, and one more update on our kids— they are getting regularly fed in more ways than one!

nutrition-update

Due to your generosity through the Lord. They are physically being fed through our daily nutrition program and their health has improved by leaps and bounds! And they are being fed SPIRITUALLY by the new visitations by Pastor Hendrick from a local SA Church.

Our “babies”, from the small to the tall… are ALL being blessed and are flourishing. Blessed be the name of the Lord! And I thank Him every day for YOU!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last or First in 2014?

[NOTE: The following comments have been written in honor of Pastor Martin Tivane, servant of God and men, whose birthday is January 1st.   While he celebrates this day in heaven with Jesus, he was the perfect example of one choosing to uplift ‘the last’ so they could be ‘first’ in every area of his life.]

What does it mean when Jesus tells us that the last will be first and the first will be last?

As the New Year of 2014 opens a fresh beginning—let’s give thought to who we want to be.  Will we put ourselves first?  Or will we put ourselves last?  These are hard questions.   I know that one year–long ago, Jesus made this same decision.  He purposely left His Kingdom… His very throne in heaven…to enter our world not as the King of kings… but as a servant born in a stable… He was the One who became last.

He was hated and rejected; his life was filled with humiliation, sorrow, and pain… His own people called him:  a nobody… or worse, a blasphemer!

I tell you, His Kingdom strategy is so much different than ours is today!  If we follow His strategy… His life example… we would voluntarily lay down our wills.   Bending down in humility is not a ‘natural act’ for our human frame… or our human temperament.

Living in a first-world nation, our ‘firstness’ includes such things as freedom, wealth, power and education.  Being born privileged is not a fault… I honestly don’t think He meant for us to run away from our first-world to some foreign third-world.  But, I do think God yearns for us to align ourselves… conform ourselves with Jesus… who put the needs of the last—first.  Honoring the ‘last’ is basically giving them higher priority than ourselves… just as Jesus gave our need for salvation ahead of His rightful place in glory.

Jesus helped those who are last by elevating their status.  He welcomed those who were on the bottom rung of society’s ladder… those who were ‘last’… the poor, the sick, the prostitutes and the tax collectors… to receive the same benefits as those who believed they did ‘everything right’… the righteous, the Pharisees, the Saducees.

In Matthew 20, we read a parable of workers some who had worked all day and some workers who had only worked a half-a-day.  At the end of the day, the master paid all the workers—the same wage.  This left the ones who had worked all day a bit ticked.

At the end of this parable is where we find that famous phrase written:

“Everyone who is now last will be first and everyone who is first will be last”

What we fail to realize when we are concerned with fairness is something remarkable…  What if some of the workers in this story had been privileged with connections to get their job? It could be that some were able to work because their family had power and influence—or some may have had educational privilege.  Could it be that the unemployed were left out because they belonged to a lower class?  The bottom line is this… we are not told by this passage.  Jesus didn’t go into such details, but it appears…

He is not concerned with perceived fairness…

His main concern appears to be with demonstrating the meaning of grace and generosity.

If Jesus was the ‘master’ in this story… paying His daily hires equally… what is He asking us to do or learn?

He is actually trying to realign our hearts with His… teaching us that grace is not earned… teaching us not to be envious of grace given to others… teaching us to associate with and enter into the world of the last… to be servant of all… teaching us to show grace to all… especially the needy.

This may mean showing regard to those who struggle as higher than ourselves.  It may mean giving an ear to those who others will pass-by and ignore.  It could mean offering assistance, hope, encouragement to someone in need… at the cost of our own time, resources, and entertainment.  What it really means is a heart willing to sacrifice our own priorities for the priorities of the least.  Trust me… we are faced with these opportunities daily—if we start looking.

If our eyes focus on the least, we guard our hearts from self-pity, envy, and jealousy.  We can’t get into our personal ‘pity party’ when we are looking at the sorry state of someone worse off than we are.   If our eyes search for the ‘last’ in every situation, we enter a true humility only owned by Christ, Himself.  And do you know what?  He begins to mold that—into us.

But, we must take the first step.

Look around.  Who is last in your world?  The harried cleaning lady who is trying to support her young family?   Your cousin who keeps losing his job? The immigrant who has to walk to work?  The children who are growing up without a mom?  The homeless man pushing all he owns in a broken cart?  The drug addict who can’t find a mentor?  The abused wife who feels hopeless without a career?  The lonely veteran who gave everything for all but is now without a visitor?  The elderly husband who is failing himself but still caring for his beloved debilitated wife?  The professional who did not pass a certification test?  The clinically depressed who want to end their pain… end their life?

When we choose to enter the world of the last—life will suddenly gain clarity and meaning.

Life is never all about us but rather its living for one another.

 “And if you give yourself to the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then your light will rise in the darkness and your gloom will become like the midday”  Isaiah 58:10

Grace and Peace to you all in 2014!!!

“Away in A Manger” and VERY “Near to the Heart of God”!

“On this eve of Christmas…. I am reflective of all that 2013 held for us, here in South Africa.  Although, in comparison to huge ministries it looks like something miniscule. But, I have grown to realize that numbers, facts, plans and goals don’t really give a hierarchy in the eyes of the little one who laid in a manger. In fact, you can say His ministry on this earth for ‘saving’ and ‘healing’ the lost was quite small. I don’t think numbers matter.

What really matters… is if your arms are open-wide to the day-to-day we can love. Are we loving with our arms open wide? Are we loving at the cost of ourselves? Are we touching the one’s that are closest to our grasp? Are we speaking words of encouragement to that downtrodden soul who cannot get up? Are we instilling another with hope? Do we look for those who are walking right beside us? Do we cradle the forsaken even if they are dirty? Are we doing the best we can do—where we are?

This past Christmas in our orphan care in South Africa I came to realize we can reach numbers but are we really ‘touching’ them? When one little boy (about 4 years old) journeyed by bus ALONE, to our orphan party…then to the crusade each night and then again to church all day on Sunday—he, sought me out. He only wanted to sit on my lap. As the evenings got late and the Sunday day was long, he would sleep cradled in my arms. He wore the T-shirt that was painted by one of you dear supporters–it said, “Away in the Manger” with a picture of the stable…

I was brought to tears as he ventured out on his own, ALONE .. for every event.  No one told him to come. He came. I couldn’t understand every word he spoke to me and he couldn’t understand every word I spoke to him. But, I can say… he touched me deeply. We would dance together, sing together and then he would sleep in my arms.

I don’t know his story. I don’t know what he has to face at home. But this one thing I do know.. I loved him as my own. He would eat plate after plate of food… flip thru the pages of the books I gave him and then just smile up at me. It did me in.

The part where he slept in my arms… put me over the edge of love.

I can’t tell you how loving one little precious soul can change your life forever, but it did. I thought of ‘Away in the Manger” … no crib for a bed. Here he was. “Away in the Manger”…. no pillow for his little head. No home for his own.. He traveled the distance of wise men to rest in acceptance and sleep in our love.

Yes, my little “Away in the Manger” … touched my heart deeply. It solidified the fact that we need to have our arms open wide not only for the millions…but, for the one right in front.”

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Please, please, please… pray for this dear one’s  safety.  Also, because he is sooo drawn to God’s people and God’s Word, it seems he has a special place… “Near to the Heart of God”.  Please pray that the Lord will raise up this young boy to be a mighty witness for His Great Name!… Glory to Jesus!

We Celebrate Jesus!

 

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Praise to Jesus!

I returned from South Africa last week, and not only did I hit the ground running with all our other projects, but amazement at all God did in SA continues to send me to my knees.  Glory to Jesus!

 The Crusade Services

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The atmosphere of the entire crusade was joyousness in coming to Jesus.  The groundwork laid in breathtaking worship, all I had to do was share Jesus then “stand back and be utterly amazed.”  In fact, in our first service the buses came so late, we didn’t begin until after 10.  So my message was maybe 15 minutes max.  I called the people to Jesus and they literally streamed forward, meeting Him in salvation, redemption, healing…  It was simply amazing to watch Him do what only He can do – praise Jesus!

A New Church Dedicated: Lethabong Village

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It was maybe 7 years ago that the people of a village named Lethabong came to us asking for a church.  We began building that church as funds and volunteer man-power permitted, and I am beyond humbled to tell you… the church opened its doors this past Sunday as we dedicated it December 7.  Thank you, for every brick laid was paid for by your giving. Glory to Jesus!

The Orphans

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One of our rapidly growing outreaches is to AIDS orphans in SA.  Right now we feed about 300/day.

In October, Sharon and Sally worked with them for an entire week, bringing the Gospel, giving them Bibles, etc.  During the crusade, we held a Christmas party for them, providing a feast, new clothes, and more of Jesus.  And as we seek the Lord, He’s given us exciting new ideas to serve these kids even better in 2014. [ZoeNote: Please pray that we are given God’s wisdom and have His blessing in all that we seek to do!!]

Evidence of Effectiveness

It’s one of the most exciting things I’ve witnessed.  I apologize that I don’t have a photo of him but in every crusade service there was this little boy, maybe 4 to 6, obviously very poor.

[ZoeNote: we found pictures of him, below!]

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He came from a far village, getting on the bus… by himself, riding it back every night and then walking to his shack, probably getting in after midnight – all by himself.  I didn’t recognize him right away, but he was one of our orphans.

In other words, this little boy’s life has been so deeply touched by God that he’s going through all this – the Gospel having been presented to him through God’s Word and through loving care, primarily via Sally and Sharon, through whom he has so obviously realized the love that Jesus has for him… [ZoeNote: please pray for this little one… we suspect God is calling him and drawing him for a ‘special purpose’]

You’ll hear more about this little treasure of a boy, but all to say to you who have prayed and given support, “Behold the fruit of your sacrifice.”  Glory to Jesus!

Alison’s Choice & the NewJesusMovie

All while in SA I was receiving photos from the NJM [NewJesusMovie] location scout in Israel.  We’re now busy matching scenes with locations as we take steps toward production.  Meanwhile, as you can see from the tally on AlisonsChoice.com word is spreading and God’s children are giving – the key to this film and also NJM as we strive to produce them free of commercial influence.  I hope you don’t me being bold as I ask you to “not grow weary” in doing your part to advance these projects.  Unborn lives will be saved through Alison’s Choice!  Salvations will flow through NJM!  What would the Lord have you do?  Glory to Jesus!

We Break for Christmas

With all this going on, I don’t get a break – but I trust you will.  “Tis’ the season”… to draw close to Jesus and to the family and friends He’s given us; to quiet the soul and thank God for all He’s done.

He loves you, precious one… just like He loves that little boy who came to the services and all those precious Africans who were born again in the crusade… just like He loves all those babies in the wombs of moms who don’t want them… just like He loves the throngs for whom we labor that they may know Jesus.

He loves you, precious one.  He loves you.  Have a wonderful Christmas!  Glory to Jesus!

Bruce Marchiano

2014 May Collection Drive Announcement

As we wait for Sally to put a BIG BOW on her 2013 Christmas Party report, we are ready to announce what we will be collecting for our 2014 May Drive.

The hint that we gave was… “What do bananas wear?  Ask an Australian child.”

CLICK HERE —-> For the MUSICAL ANSWER

 

OR… the simple answer is…. warm, cuddly, winter pajamas/nightgowns.

 

So as you shop the post-holiday, and end of season sales, 

AND IF…  you see ADORABLE girls and boys PJs (ranging from size 6 to adult XL)

AND IF… you find bargains that are soooo irresistable … think of ‘collecting a few’ for our orphans.

(I have to confess… a few have already “leaped” into my shopping cart!!!)

We will post more once we get more organized.  Have a very merry Christmas!

First Pictures from Christmas Party 2013

Sally doesn’t have good internet access yet so there isn’t much news yet… BUT here is a tempting glimpse of our Christmas Party:

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Marchiano Ministries FREE Christmas Card for you to print…

If you want to share your love for Marchiano Ministries with others this Christmas…. the link below will take you to another FREE Christmas Card for you to print.  This one features a picture of Bruce Marchiano playing the role of Jesus in the MATTHEW movie.  This great picture has the message… Jesus Lives Forever…. praise God for the truth of that message!!! 

WARNING, WARNING!!!:  Let not your heart be troubled when you see some of the text is upside down… that is all part of the miracle of folded card making

CLICK ME… HERE>>>  FREE Marchiano Ministries Christmas Card for you!

The above PDF document contains two pages that are intended to print on the front and back of the same sheet of paper and folded in the middle:

  • IF you can figure out how to make your printer do two-sided printing (‘duplex printing’ for you Techies!), then print both pages on the same sheet, fold it in the middle, sign it… and be very proud of your skills.
  • IF you are more like me, and can’t figure out how to print front and back… you can just print out Page 1, fold it in half, and write your own message inside… and pretend it was always supposed to be that way… easily printed and highly personalized!!!  Then be very proud of your ability to turn obstacles into opportunities!

Enjoy sharing the love with your friends and family!!!

December 2013: Pre Christmas Zoe News

HERE WE GO AGAIN!Zoe News Header

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And…we are off to have some Christmas joy!  Christmas joy mixed with giggles and whispers, I am sure.  Once again, we will be gathering this Friday for a big Christmas feast and party!  Our orphans (approx. 300) will gather under the Flames Christian Church in Elandstrand which is a big white tent and in this place they will be blessed because YOU blessed them!

 It will be an afternoon filled with the Christmas Story and a presentation by the Flames Youth group.  The children will be fed a big feast made by our Flames supporters (mostly, go-go’s) and completed with gifts sent by you!  Each child will receive a beautiful NEW outfit; decked out with a toy and our girls will receive a new purse!  We also have received enough reusable bags so that each child can carry their gifts home safely and not worry about getting them taken!  So above all I want to thank you for the great response in giving to these children in need!

Our October event was so successful  that many of these kids  are now  familiar faces to the Flames Christian Family!  This is the vision Pastor Martin had.  He had fathered these vulnerable kids when no one was  watching.  I am sure today, he is smiling as he sees the fruit of what he started!  I am smiling!

We have the last of the gifts to get through customs on Thursday so if you could pray us through the line, I would so appreciate it!  I could hug you for it, too!  Thank you!!

[UPDATE 12/6: Sally and all her gifts made it through customs by the grace of God through your prayers… and an angel sent to distract the initially inquisitive customs agent… Praise God for His mercies!]

This year as well, we decided to bless the youth of Flames Christian Church.  We will be gifting them with the same bibles we gave out to our orphans in October!  This is very exciting and a blessing especially for the Sunday School teachers who voiced the need to us in October!

Can I say a few more things?  With the resources we had in our ‘kiddie savings’ we were also able to fill the emergency need of food for 1500 hungry school children who were out of food for the last two weeks of their school term!  Without the financial reserves we could have never thought about doing it!  For such a time as this, you were there.  I think God knows what He is doing as He is preparing the way for us to be a blessing to Majakaneng Village and soon, as we envision-we will be able to assist the vulnerable little ones even more!

Sitting back in my chair I am in awe of all the little and big supporters we do have for these children. Many of you have picked up the baton and are running alongside us.  It is not just one, but many of you, who have quietly given; quietly served and quietly prayed to make this a composite ministry. Not a ministry of one or two-but a composite of many.  Not one can boast in the credit-and all can join in the success!

I don’t know how many times I have called on so-and-so and they did a job for me.  I can’t tell you how many times I have asked and resources were given.  I for sure, can’t tell you how many times I have asked for prayer and the heavens were flooded.   Thank you.  Thank you!!!  Not one has asked to be recognized, not one.  When I see.. ..zoeforkids, I see each of your faces.  But most of all, I see the hand of God who has moved the hearts of His children to meet the needs of Majakaneng.  One day we will all be together drinking coffee in heaven and we will be smiling as we see these precious little children rolling around in the lush green grass-laughing and loving the feeling of every need met!

Speaking of quiet ones     …..    PLEASE!  Check out our newly revised website:

www.zoeforkids.com

I have found someone beyond faithful to take it over and it is now constantly updated and you can follow the history in pictures and catch up on the latest news!  Betty Lynn has been a long time supporter and took it upon herself to learn all about constructing websites and has gone at a break-neck speed in getting it up-to-date!  Patrick Taylor inundated her with past pictures and she organized them beautifully!  I can’t tell you what a relief this was for me as I would direct people to the website in the past and warned them it was not up-to-date.  But, today……  I can proudly say, it is UP TO DATE!  Thank you, Betty.  You are one of the ‘quiet’ ones who have been working hard for these kiddies for so long!  I could write pages on all of our quiet ones from faithful monthly supporters to spontaneous givers.   Thank you!!!

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When Jesus Christ came to us at Christmas thousands of years ago—He came down to us in such humility.

He took His place in a bed covered with animal saliva and half-eaten hay.  The smells surrounding his arrival were pungent.  It wasn’t at all how people dreamed a King would come.  And yet, in this profound humility a King was born. With just one touch He took a smelly cow trough and made it Holy.

Today, we see icons of His birth place decorated; gold plated; and lifted up all over the world as evidence of His Holiness.    That meagerness became Holy, simply because He touched it.

Isn’t that what He is doing today?  He takes our humblest beginnings; our meagerness and smallest of offerings–touches them and creates His Holiness…

Yes, that is what He has done and is doing today with every one of us.

Thank you for this beautiful year 2013.  Thank you for believing that a difference can be made for the vulnerable children of Majakaneng.  It is a place of very simple beginnings but with one touch-He has made it Holy.

….Touched by a King……

I love you,

 Sally Herman

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Zoe FREE Christmas Card for you to print and personalize!

Zoe Christmas Card PDF: Print and personalize!

This Christmas Card was created using ‘kaleidoscoped’ pictures of Pastors Martin, Bruce, and Sally.  Hope you print it out and share the love of Zoe For Kids with your family and friends!

On Our Way to South Africa!

BruceBruce Marchiano    November 30, 2013

Final SA Crusade of 2013
Glory to Jesus! This year’s SA crusades have been astonishing as the Lord exploded in grace like never before with many coming to Jesus, many lives touched/healed… Our churches all report packed houses and new souls. And following Sharon/Sally’s October SA trip to reach out to AIDS orphans and kiddies, so many of them are now coming to church that our challenge is hiring more buses to get them there safely. Now our final crusade begins Dec. 6; general services, a youth meeting, and a Christmas event for the AIDS orphans. Please, we sure could use your financial support because we just had an extraordinary SA expense pop up (see below). So I invite your consideration. Glory to Jesus!

We’re Feeding 1500 SA Kids a Day
Recently I received the most heart-rending letter from the school our orphans attend. In the rural SA school system, the government supplies one meal/day for the kids (but if you saw that meal you would cry tears). For a vast number of kids this is their only food each day. So the principal writes, “Our school has 1540 learners, all classified in the last census as “the poorest of the poor.” They all depend on the school meals. For November we did not receive anything from the Department of Education and our learners are without food. It is up to the school to feed these hungry stomachs especially in this time of the year when they are taking final exams…” I could share more, but you get the idea. I hope you don’t mind, but we couldn’t just not do anything. The kids will all be fed.

You know, we’re often seeking, “What’s God’s will for my life?” But I’m learning more and more that God’s will is actually easy to discern. And the “big picture” is actually comprised of living in day-to-day faithfulness to what He’s put before you; daily living in His ways – giving of self; humble execution of responsibility; regarding others as you would have them regard you; truthfulness and graciousness; kindness, modesty, care; shelving my want for what HE wants – which, again, is actually very obvious.

So I want to stop for a moment and encourage you as I know you seek God’s best and want to please Him… Simply be faithful to what’s before you today, one day at a time. Take the hard steps of clearing away things that make your life less than what He desires for you (we are often our own worst enemies so be honest with yourself). And just walk forward in His ways that will always challenge our personal want and presumption of need. He loves you, precious one. He wants the best for you. And I have a feeling that’s right in front of our noses. And for me and MarchMin this past week, that means not turning those kids away. Glory to Jesus!

AlisonsChoice.com is Live!
Please go to www.alisonschoice.com. It is our new film undertaking under our new vision to save unborn lives. Please spread the word on Facebook and beyond. We film in the spring! [Go to http://alisonschoice.com/   for more details about this Marchiano Ministries project]

NewJesusMovie Locations Are Being Scouted in Israel
Our Israeli production designer and manager undertake a preliminary scouting trip Nov. 26 for five days. [Go to http://newjesusmovie.com/   for more details about this Marchiano Ministries project]

I Praise Jesus for You!
Pretty cool to see all this spelled out, isn’t it? You know, we’re just a handful of volunteers, each working out of home offices. It can make it feel like MarchMin isn’t such a big deal. But then you sit back and take an overall look, and it hits you that the Lord is extremely busy here, doing things that no man can do, reaching precious lives on many levels… And I’m just so thankful for you because it is only through your prayer, support, encouragement… that His fruitfulness flows. I praise Jesus for you, even as I head off to SA. Sharon will keep you informed until I return. May souls find Jesus! Glory to Jesus!

Bruce Marchiano

October 2013 Zoe News

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  You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you—
John Bunyan

October 2013 Majakeneng Village Outreach

How these words ring true! How I hope your feeling the blessing I pray on your life! I pray the blessing comes back to YOU because of how and what YOU gave in prayer, support and resources to God’s little ones. These little ones will never be able to repay you and may never ever see you-but what you have done will last forever.  We pray you feel the lasting blessing that springs from their hope!

We started our outreach on Friday Oct 18th with an all night prayer. The youth of Flames Church gathered for their monthly all-night prayer and we were able to be a part. Imagine this if you will, 100 or more teens-on a Friday night, beckoning the heavens for His Presence! How remarkable! All night long till early morning they prayed, worshipped and get this, I never saw one cell phone! That was a miracle in itself. I was blown away by! I believe our week’s success was birthed from your prayers at home and followed up from here!

Saturday, Sister Sharon met with the Sunday School Teachers/Leaders to empower their teaching of the Flames Church youth! Flames church is exploding with youth, coming from everywhere! Sister Sharon engraved the heart of a child’s most important spiritual needs onto these leaders/teachers. She followed it up with offerings of tools and ideas they can use through this next year: 2014. It was then/there right in that place I sensed God was going to move big in the youth coming from all ends of every village to be nurtured and given hope. Oh! How it is so necessary to fill these leaders with tools and the ‘mind workings’ of a child to foster this coming-up generation! A generation, we pray that just might be angry enough and hungry enough to change the junk that has been handed down to them!

Revival! That was the word I was left with in my Spirit after the afternoon workshop. Unknown to me then, those Spirit spoken words—came alive. I can’t even sit right now, its that exciting!

Sunday, we had a gogo event and teen event. (Now, a gogo is anyone who is a grandmaJ.)   Sister Sharon gave those sweet precious ladies an empowering message on not ‘stopping’ until you’re dead and then they all enjoyed a big feast (from you) along with a gift of a beautiful purse from one of our committed donor’s!

I took the teens and we had a message on forgiveness and getting ‘unstuck’. They were given books and solar radios with messages from Charles Stanley. It was a great turnout and as a surprise to both of us, Sister Sharon and I were ‘dressed’ by our African family. It was such a grand privilege, my eyes water talking about it…..

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Can I add that our outfits are from Martin’s tribe: Tsonga?

Yes, of course I cried. What a privilege to be dressed in his tribe!   I plan on walking into heaven and meeting Jesus and my Pastor Martin with his outfit on!

Monday, was quite the surprise! !! You know how it is. You plan and plan but reality doesn’t always look like the best thought–out plan. As Pastor Bruce always say’s “TIA” that is African for: This is Africa! We had planned to visit every classroom everyday with a single message that followed the 1600+ bracelets message with certain colored beads made by some awesome volunteers in Indiana!

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The first color: black-meaning we all sinned. The second color: red-meaning those sins were taken care of by Jesus blood. The third color: white-meaning we are made clean. The fourth color:   green– meaning we need to grow in our love for Jesus. The fifth color: yellow-meaning we will get to see the gold of heaven!

However, on Monday, it soon became obvious that Sister Sharon, Lorraine, Fatima and a few other Flames volunteers could not share a lesson with every group of kids…  We quickly learned the new ‘teaching math’… we multiplied the minutes spent with each group by the number of groups and tried to divide it into the minutes of the day! IMPOSSIBLE.

So we improvised … and by week’s end we were so organized  it was scary. PLEASE pray that we continue to have access to our kids, because without it, the orphan’s needs cannot be reached!!! (I will tell you why, later)

As Sister Sharon, Lorraine, Fatima met with the childrens groups, I went to seek the little orphans we are targeting to assist. The ones without any relatives but are just living as sibling families. My goal was to get to know each one and start a deeper level of care. There are about 20 such sibling raised families among the 300 orphans who live with a granny or auntie or uncle. Thanks to you, we are feeding the 300+ but desire to do even more for the 20!

If I shared the stories I heard that week, surely your heart would break at the evil and slimy predators that are surrounding our kids, daily. As the week ended I didn’t want to hear anymore stories; I didn’t want to see any more shacks. I became more overwhelmed and felt like I was sinking in the absolute valley of impossibleness (if you will). How do you come against such horrible things; including witchcraft?  How do we keep these kids safely cared for outside of their sheltered school day? If you let me be human for a moment, I wanted to slice and dice every evil thing coming against the innocent little ones!!!

Those precious eyes look up at you so expectant, so alive and so wanting to be loved, held, mentored, given attention and respected. What I saw and heard was that the children really do fend for themselves; regardless if there is an auntie or granny or sibling there. They are coerced to bring money home in obvious evil ways; they are not encouraged to do homework; they are manipulated and not given attention to. Health needs go unmet; referrals to clinics/doctors never get done and things we give them-get taken away.

For example, little Aida… she lives with her granny who is part of a ZedC cult. She was forced to take off her bracelet and was hiding her bible we gave her otherwise it would get burned. She hung on me all week; just wanting to be near me. She was so proud when she took me to her shack! However, I was met by a irrate granny who yelled and screamed at us and so we had to leave. I had Aida in the car with me and she just started crying.   Here is a picture (un-posed I might add) of her reading her bible before putting it in hiding.

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On a positive note; however……   I met with a white-South African nurse who came to the school for immunizations and she shared all her concerns with me and what does/doesn’t get done for the kids she has an ‘eye’ on health-wise.   She mentioned that there are fewer and fewer children who are falling off the curve of the national weight graph! So, this is a big credit-due you! Feeding these children for almost a year has been more than fruitful! When a child’s brain has proper protein life begins to make sense and they can think and reason as God had designed !!

On Thursday, of our week-it was very exciting. The truck hauled in over 1400+ bibles for the kids. We had the lesson with the green bead: growing in love with Jesus, going to church, and learning about Him in His Word. After every child got the lesson and they received their very own bible!!   What fantastic fun it was to pass them out! You cannot describe the privilege or the fun, we as children of the living God have when participating in a work like this! To everyone ‘out there’ it’s the farthest idea of a good time! But to us ‘in’ here YOU know, it is fun- a fun that lasts forever. It’s the only thing that will remain standing and alive after the dust settles here on our earth!       That, what we did together here with these three: Faith…Hope…Love.

The greatest of all these three is the Love!

because

IT LASTS FOREVER

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Where do we go from here? In light of what we discovered this week .. …. What’s the plan?   The plan has always been and will never change: to love, nurture, feed and give proper attention to these precious children forgotten by everyone else. That stays the same.   But, three weeks after we left our week in Majakaneng a text I received from Pastor Alcy reads like this:

Hi my dear sister. I love you. We are fine but it’s just a bit hectic from my side. The kids are coming in huge numbers to church and now the challenge is transport because I have to now add a bus and buy more bread. But praise God we manage to assist. I love you more, sister.

As God leads us and provides we will trump the evil with good in Majakaneng. We will raise the children with proper love, food, mentoring and seek to tutor them when possible. There is some concern now that those who are living with ‘our’ kids may resist what we are doing as we are becoming more involved. They may choose to not let the children come to functions. But, they can’t stop us feeding and loving them. Please pray with us that our Father will restrain all evil and He will allow us to continue ministering to all our children.

We feel the need to build a proper kitchen for our kids and that will help the cooks. We want to bless our kids; bless the faithful cooking staff and keep an ever-present outpouring to the future children of Majakaneng Village.  There are a few different directions we could pursue… so pray that we be given wisdom to do what is best for the kids on a sustainable basis.

Our long range goal: to set up a safe house for the emergencies that our children experience on a daily basis–that we are missing. I have a letter from such a little one, right now. I will share at a later time. Then, the possibility to further the dream of Pastor Martin—He wanted to birth a church centered right here in this village-one of the least in South Africa NW Brits.

We are a long way off from such things… but, right before us are hungry, attention-starved and un-nurtured children.   We are slowly making a start, God-willing.  How do we make the group smaller that we are serving?  It’s impossible as the stories continue to speak to the need of the 40 most vulnerable, of the 300 orphans, of the 1500 village children.  I don’t know. And, this will hopefully pave our path, somehow…someway.

WE will have our Christmas Party December 7th! Every child (300+) will receive an outfit and a bag to carry it home with, from you . There will be cards from you. And, a feast of food! Flames Youth will provide the Christmas Story and that will complete a very busy but fruitful year 2013.

I humbly thank each and everyone who has prayed, supported and resourced ‘our’ kids… God’s least.

If I was a rich girl, I would bless you back 100000% more than you gave. But, since I am not a rich girl I am asking God to do the 10000000% blessing each morning and each time I pray of ‘our’ kids.

I love you-each one,

Sally Herman

Original Link: October 2013 Zoe News
FB Album:       October 2013 Facebook Album

August 2013 Zoe News

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“I’d rather be a could-be if I cannot be an are; because a could-be is a maybe who is reaching for a star. I’d rather be a has-been than a might-have-been, by far; for a might-have-been has never been, but a has was once an are.”

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    ~Working together to shape the world of children who are considered cannot be’s to become could-be’s!~

Hello my family!  …   Well, July is over and guess what?  We are already rocking and rolling, full throttle toward Christmas!   Our Tigger Drive is far exceeding my dream!  We are almost at 350 completed outfit sets for each of our orphans to bless them at Christmas!  I tell you, my heart leaps as I get the cutest outfits shipped to my door!  I can feel the love…. I can.  Pastor Martin always wanted these kids to receive clothes for Christmas, as this is the culture thing.  A child in a South African family always gets clothes for Christmas.

Well, these children are our ‘family’ and what we are saying to them by this gift is deeper than any words.   They are wanted and they are loved!

Out of our goal of 350 sets here is all we have left to get!  Please email Betty  Lynn if you are planning on shipping any outfits to me.  Let her know what sizes etc so she can graph them accordingly to make sure no child is missed!!   blynn1@optonline.net,

 19 Boys sets sized between 8 and 10

13 Boys sets sized between 5 and 7

8 Girls sets sized between 8 and 10

 These outfits will be wrapped like Christmas Gifts with a few added toys, purses etc.  So truly, our 350 kids will feel the love from you, in December!  We are looking for ‘notes’ again to tag onto each gift!  So if you feel inspired, send me some love-notes!

LET it be said—if we exceed our goal in outfits, we will be giving the other outfits to orphans in the Flames Church.  So if we go over—then, to God be the Glory!

We are also working on children’s bibles.  I have not found the ‘one’ the hits my heart yet, but still looking.  I am so open to suggestions!  I would like each child to receive a bible and inside a note from you.

For all who don’t shop we have shopped for you with the beautiful resources that have been sent in.  I can’t even say thank-you enough.  Words escape me…  Thank you.

Look for more ‘happenings’ as we continue to visit the school in September and October and proceed with financing the building of our kitchen!  We would love to see a kitchen built for the hard working momma’s that are cooking  meals at the school every day for the kids.    Again, this would not be possible without your continued prayer and support.  Thank you!  Thank you for the monthly provision to provide a wage for our hard-working momma’s.   Thank you!

Again, just popping in to let you know what is happening !  I ask for continued prayers.  This project cannot continue forward without the prayer of all of you.  It seems we take one step forward in helping our children and the devil advances his tactics.  We are tromping on his territory, but we know WHO wins!  Thank you sooooo much.  I love you more than I could ever tell you.

Love, Sally

Original Link: August 2013 Zoe News

May 2013 Zoe News

Zoe News Header

That mother whose heart is bound to her child’s – doesn’t compare to how your Father’s heart is bound to you. {Isa 49:15}

May 2013 pic1

CAN I JUST SAY IT AGAIN?? GOD DID IT!

GOD SHOWED US JUST HOW MUCH HE LOVES!

May 2nd we made it through South Africa Customs without any question! Just imagine for a moment, if you will…   Imagine one rather small (but I do have muscles!) blonde girl unloading (12)-50lb duffels off the baggage ramp: all filled with blankets, scarves and hats! Now imagine me, loading them on three very small rolling carts. … The weight and height was way over the top of me.

And, no one had yet showed up to help me.

Father I know you have a plan. I know you love these precious children more than me. I also know I am very imperfect; fall short so many times; but please don’t count that against blessing these precious little ones. I know I don’t deserve such mercy and a free ride; but they do. Please… show up and show me how to get out of here unharmed and all these giftss untouched by greedy hands. Thank you, Jesus.”

 

I know, that little prayer sounds a bit odd. But, when you’re in a crisis mode-you know the only thing that can hinder God’s power is maybe something not right in yourself. So, you repent of everything you can think of really fast and hope…. (smile) and pray.

Of course, during my dialogue with God I saw a young boy watching me curiously. He had a Custom vest on. Should I? I was standing alone in the entire area. He was ready to get off shift. I went up to him and did it. I explained about ‘our’ children–so in need. I told him I was in need of some help to get out of the baggage claim area. ……

Of Course God Did It!

Mercy! He took off his Custom vest and helped me push my carts past Customs and out to meet our Pastor Alcy and Pastor Bruce. ……   “Thank you, Father….. Thanks for Your Love and Compassion that holds no limit even when You are forced to work with cracked vessels!”

Our Weekend Started on Friday

Here we started our morning with meetings with the principal and teachers of Majakaneng School.   It is through this precious relationship that we work with the 300 orphans. Eunice the principal updated us on the feeding program. We heard success story after another! Not only are we able to feed the extra 300 orphan– daily but the hot meal (Tender Mercies from Midwest Food Bank) feeds the other children living in each of their homes—because, they take the extra left over hot food home with them. None is ever wasted!

May 2013 pic2

See these two?

One small story….   These two were coming to school and eating ravenously for over two months. Finally, it was noted by their teachers that these siblings were not being washed; their uniforms were dirty and shoes were in need of great repair. Since it is pretty much culture driven to keep quiet-the teachers sat them both down and begged them to speak about things going on at home. With much reluctance they proceeded to spill out the details. Their mother had run off with their government ID’s and papers. They were alone. Without papers there was no money to help feed and clothe them. They found their grandmother but their grandmother did not have the finances to support them—however, she did the best she could.   I tell you, tears… Tears. ……..

Their mother may have abandoned them and took from them; but God didn’t. God showed up in their time of need.

HIS HEART IS BOUND TO THEM  Is. 49:15

May 2013 pic3

Mama Fatima

Here, we have Mama Fatima! We met with her on Friday, also. She is a member of the Flames Church and lovely gifted woman of God who has been heading up the cooking for our 300! She is amazing! We love her! It was quite a surprise to Eunice and the rest of us when Mama Fatima told us that the two kids she cared for at her home were not her own—but were orphans from the school! We fell back in shock!   We have our key Mama! She has a heart for orphans because her parents were not there for her when she was young. Her passion has her growing peanuts, vegetables and cooking food for our kids—everyday. She showed us her shack by the school.   She showed us how she made peanut butter and how she roasted peanuts to give to the kids and sell for an income! She is a one amazing gift to our children!

Again…monthly support from YOU keeps her alive in her work for HIM!

PLEASE PUT MAMA FATIMA IN YOUR DAILY PRAYERS! SHE WILL BE OUR KEY TO GROWING IN OUR CARE FOR THESE CHILDREN!

Saturday could not come fast enough! We gathered the Flames Church youth and gogo’s and set up our event! You see, the Flames Church also made 200 blankets alongside us for our kids; some are orphans of the church themselves… not some, but I should say most are.

Can you imagine—orphans making blankets for orphans?

We had an outpouring of blessings and God’s nearness as the 350 little ones walked into our tent church of Elandstrand…   There was something different about this group. They were different than when we gathered at Christmas…….. (I will touch on this in a moment)!

Of course once again Byron our lovely Cheetah came to our party! Many did not get to pet him the last time so we had him come and bless our kids, again! He is a perfect gentleman and the kids are in such awe of him! (ok, me too!)

May 2013 pic4

Then.. we had the Flames Youth present a program of dance, love, worship and fun! IT was fantastic! The orphans were smiling ear-to-ear; clapping and laughing! I tell you, I was placed on another level of joy! I can’t tell you or even explain it! I felt God wrapping His big Arms around our little tent and pulling us in– tight into His bosom! I did not want to leave-ever!

After this program our kids got to have another meal-just like at Christmas. Food was piled high on plates that consisted of chunks of good meat, vegetables and pap  Set up for Kings and Queens! But, at this point here it was ‘different’.

Bruce and I both noticed it. There was not that desperate look when the food came out. The children ate, talked and looked around while eating. It wasn’t like in December where total concentration was on eating; putting food as quickly as they could into their growling tummies. They were having fun eating and their eyes were bright!! They were enjoying us and each other while eating. In other words eating wasn’t that BIG of a deal!

WE CAN ONLY CONTRIBUTE THIS TO OUR FEEDING PROGRAM!

Our Father continues to be bound to our kids! He is filling them in the places where there is the greatest void! Is 49:15

After everyone was full they lined up to receive a gift of warmth from You! Even if you personally did not make a blanket -the resources given bought material for others to make warm blankets! We had blankets for every child along with scarves, hats and gloves! We got them set for their winter! They even got special notes of love from you!

May 2013 pic5

I wish you could have seen their eyes! They were so excited to receive such beautiful and warm blankets! They lit up with all the bright colors and child prints! They wrapped themselves in them!

May 2013 pic6

If you want to see the total event in pictures here is a link:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.520225308014103.1073741827.151982811505023&type=1

I promise you will look at these pictures and a smile will slowly spread across your face!

What can I say? The weekend was filled with God spilling out His Amazing Love in so many different and big ways! Lives were touched! Important connections were made to take our care of these precious orphans to another level! God is putting out the plan before us-we simply are walking through each open door! That is really how it works!

So many times, yes…me.  I want to run ahead and do this/do that… There are just so many needs! But, that is not how God works. He doesn’t ever want to overwhelm us with a list of to-do’s. No.   He quietly lays out the next step; when done, He opens the next step…

We just have to be faithful in the finishing of the next best thing-one step at a time.

HE LEADS—we follow!

If I thanked you from now until He comes back-that would not be enough to fully express my gratitude for your faithfulness. I am so humbled as I see God fully binding His heart to us through you!  Is 49:15.

I love you, my family. I love you so much-Sally Herman (did I say thank you?)

Original link: May 2013 Zoe News

That mother whose heart is bound to her child’s…

That mother whose heart is bound to her child’s – doesn’t compare to how your Father’s heart is bound to you. {Isa 49:15}

1136

CAN I JUST SAY IT AGAIN?? GOD DID IT!
GOD SHOWED US JUST HOW MUCH HE LOVES!

May 2nd we made it through South Africa Customs without any question! Just imagine for a moment, if you will… Imagine one rather small (but I do have muscles!) blonde girl unloading (12)-50lb duffels off the baggage ramp: all filled with blankets, scarves and hats! Now imagine me, loading them on three very small rolling carts. … The weight and height was way over the top of me.

And, no one had yet showed up to help me.

“Father I know you have a plan. I know you love these precious children more than me. I also know I am very imperfect; fall short so many times; but please don’t count that against blessing these precious little ones. I know I don’t deserve such mercy and a free ride; but they do. Please… show up and show me how to get out of here unharmed and all these giftss untouched by greedy hands. Thank you, Jesus.”

I know, that little prayer sounds a bit odd. But, when you’re in a crisis mode-you know the only thing that can hinder God’s power is maybe something not right in yourself. So, you repent of everything you can think of really fast and hope…. (smile) and pray.

Of course, during my dialogue with God I saw a young boy watching me curiously. He had a Custom vest on. Should I? I was standing alone in the entire area. He was ready to get off shift. I went up to him and did it. I explained about ‘our’ children–so in need. I told him I was in need of some help to get out of the baggage claim area. ……

Of Course God Did It!

Mercy! He took off his Custom vest and helped me push my carts past Customs and out to meet our Pastor Alcy and Pastor Bruce. …… “Thank you, Father….. Thanks for Your Love and Compassion that holds no limit even when You are forced to work with cracked vessels!”

Our Weekend Started on Friday

Here we started our morning with meetings with the principal and teachers of Majakaneng School. It is through this precious relationship that we work with the 300 orphans. Eunice the principal updated us on the feeding program. We heard success story after another! Not only are we able to feed the extra 300 orphan– daily but the hot meal (Tender Mercies from Midwest Food Bank) feeds the other children living in each of their homes—because, they take the extra left over hot food home with them. None is ever wasted!

1137

See these two?

One small story…. These two were coming to school and eating ravenously for over two months. Finally, it was noted by their teachers that these siblings were not being washed; their uniforms were dirty and shoes were in need of great repair. Since it is pretty much culture driven to keep quiet-the teachers sat them both down and begged them to speak about things going on at home. With much reluctance they proceeded to spill out the details. Their mother had run off with their government ID’s and papers. They were alone. Without papers there was no money to help feed and clothe them. They found their grandmother but their grandmother did not have the finances to support them—however, she did the best she could. I tell you, tears… Tears. ……..

Their mother may have abandoned them and took from them; but God didn’t. God showed up in their time of need.
HIS HEART IS BOUND TO THEM Is. 49:15

1138

Mama Fatima

Here, we have Mama Fatima! We met with her on Friday, also. She is a member of the Flames Church and lovely gifted woman of God who has been heading up the cooking for our 300! She is amazing! We love her! It was quite a surprise to Eunice and the rest of us when Mama Fatima told us that the two kids she cared for at her home were not her own—but were orphans from the school! We fell back in shock! We have our key Mama! She has a heart for orphans because her parents were not there for her when she was young. Her passion has her growing peanuts, vegetables and cooking food for our kids—everyday. She showed us her shack by the school. She showed us how she made peanut butter and how she roasted peanuts to give to the kids and sell for an income! She is a one amazing gift to our children!

Again…monthly support from YOU keeps her alive in her work for HIM!

PLEASE PUT MAMA FATIMA IN YOUR DAILY PRAYERS! SHE WILL BE OUR KEY TO GROWING IN OUR CARE FOR THESE CHILDREN!

Saturday could not come fast enough! We gathered the Flames Church youth and gogo’s and set up our event! You see, the Flames Church also made 200 blankets alongside us for our kids; some are orphans of the church themselves… not some, but I should say most are.

Can you imagine—orphans making blankets for orphans?

We had an outpouring of blessings and God’s nearness as the 350 little ones walked into our tent church of Elandstrand… There was something different about this group. They were different than when we gathered at Christmas…….. (I will touch on this in a moment)!

Of course once again Byron our lovely Cheetah came to our party! Many did not get to pet him the last time so we had him come and bless our kids, again! He is a perfect gentleman and the kids are in such awe of him! (ok, me too!)

1139

Then.. we had the Flames Youth present a program of dance, love, worship and fun! IT was fantastic! The orphans were smiling ear-to-ear; clapping and laughing! I tell you, I was placed on another level of joy! I can’t tell you or even explain it! I felt God wrapping His big Arms around our little tent and pulling us in– tight into His bosom! I did not want to leave-ever!

After this program our kids got to have another meal-just like at Christmas. Food was piled high on plates that consisted of chunks of good meat, vegetables and pap Set up for Kings and Queens! But, at this point here it was ‘different’.

Bruce and I both noticed it. There was not that desperate look when the food came out. The children ate, talked and looked around while eating. It wasn’t like in December where total concentration was on eating; putting food as quickly as they could into their growling tummies. They were having fun eating and their eyes were bright!! They were enjoying us and each other while eating. In other words eating wasn’t that BIG of a deal!

WE CAN ONLY CONTRIBUTE THIS TO OUR FEEDING PROGRAM!

Our Father continues to be bound to our kids! He is filling them in the places where there is the greatest void! Is 49:15

After everyone was full they lined up to receive a gift of warmth from You! Even if you personally did not make a blanket -the resources given bought material for others to make warm blankets! We had blankets for every child along with scarves, hats and gloves! We got them set for their winter! They even got special notes of love from you!

1140

I wish you could have seen their eyes! They were so excited to receive such beautiful and warm blankets! They lit up with all the bright colors and child prints! They wrapped themselves in them!

1141

If you want to see the total event in pictures here is a link:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.520225308014103.1073741827.151982811505023&type=1

I promise you will look at these pictures and a smile will slowly spread across your face!

What can I say? The weekend was filled with God spilling out His Amazing Love in so many different and big ways! Lives were touched! Important connections were made to take our care of these precious orphans to another level! God is putting out the plan before us-we simply are walking through each open door! That is really how it works!

So many times, yes…me. I want to run ahead and do this/do that… There are just so many needs! But, that is not how God works. He doesn’t ever want to overwhelm us with a list of to-do’s. No. He quietly lays out the next step; when done, He opens the next step…

We just have to be faithful in the finishing of the next best thing-one step at a time.

HE LEADS—we follow!

If I thanked you from now until He comes back-that would not be enough to fully express my gratitude for your faithfulness. I am so humbled as I see God fully binding His heart to us through you! Is 49:15.
I love you, my family. I love you so much-Sally Herman (did I say thank you?)

April 2013 Zoe News

Zoe News Header

Apr 2013 pic1

Blessed are the merciful; blessed are the pure in heart; blessed are the poor in spirit; blessed are the meek; blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness; blessed are the peacemakers; blessed are the persecuted for My name sake.

Great is their reward

The Beatitudes simply put are described as an exclamation of the inner joy and peace that comes with being right with God. Together, they incorporate a set of Christian ideals that focus on love and humility rather than force and exaction. I believe they echo the highest ideals of the teachings of our Lord Jesus: teachings on mercy, spirituality, and compassion.

 My eyes shed a few tears when I opened up an email recently. It was sent from our family in South Africa and it contained this picture that I posted above. To me, it portrays everything. I don’t need to say another word. Take another look.

How does it make you feel?

 This is our Pastor Martin Siko from one of our village churches. It exemplifies everything. What kind of Pastor would sit with a bunch of ladies and patiently make 200 flannel blankets for destitute orphans?  And, what a warm contented smile! In fact, Hlayi and Lorraine who were the leaders in our Linus Project report to me that the men who participated did a better job on their blankets then the ladies!

Now, I don’t say this to discredit anyone. But face it, we who are women are more inclined to serve—it is ingrained in our DNA. But!! Oh, what it does to my heart to see a man so humbly sit down and serve! To me, that man has preached a sermon without speaking a word! His actions speak virtue. He exudes the ultimate Beatitude.

In fact, this picture makes me feel close (as I can on this earth) to our Pastor Martin in heaven because that—was who he was.

 Well, here we are. We are days away from another crusade and my heart is fluttering; my spirit soaring! Together we have once again fulfilled a worthy goal! Together, we alongside our family in South Africa have poured our resources and efforts together and created beautiful warm blankets for our orphans! Today, we have over 350 blankets!

Soon every orphan in Majakaneng and the few who are in the Flames churches will be wrapped in the warmth of our love!

 You gave up time and you gave up resources to make this happen. Blessed are you! Blessed are you! Thank you. It would not have happened without a strong family effort!

GREAT IS YOUR REWARD!

I promise you, your reward will be great! As great as you can imagine! Not only will you carry those virtues of joy and peace that comes from knowing you are fulfilling God’s great commission; but, one day I see that just about the time you are to walk into heaven a precious small brown child will burst out of the gates, find you… tightly grab your hand and so proudly escort you in-maybe even show you his room J.

To me, what more could we ever–ever desire?

 My original goal was 300 blankets; surely, I thought that would be enough!

However, as much as I would like to see the number of our orphans lowering (because a large number overwhelms me) —God keeps upping it!   We are going to gather our group of now, 350 together in the tent of Elandstrand. We will have a venue of fun, games, music, worship, dancing and…..of course, Byron ‘our cheetah’ will come to visit-again. (I think he likes our kidsJ!) There of course, will be a big meal and every child will receive a warm blanket, a warm scarf and a handwritten card from all of you!    Apr 2013 pic2

My heart can’t take much more anticipation!!! I so wish all of you could come and join with us! I know you are already here in a BIG way, but, oh how I would love for you to experience the explosion of joy in real-time.   I would love to share those few special moments when that little one you have been eyeing all day….. looks your way with those precious brown eyes…. and decides for himself that you are safe enough to go on and give you his heart.

What a privilege. Surely, I feel so guilty to be so fortunate.

 Building such relationships with these little ones who need so much would not be happening without you.

I cannot say thank you enough!

THANK YOU!

 Apr 2013 pic3

Please keep me in prayer as I once again have to walk by security and customs with this large load: (10) 50lb duffles!

Pray that nothing will be confiscated; pray that I will have help and not be questioned!

Please…

And…..

Thank you once again for living-out the Beatitudes of Jesus in the flesh!

 I love you all so much!

 Sister Sally

 P.S.S.

My friends I tell you, I just see our Precious Pastor Martin so proudly taking Jesus aside on our big day so that he and Jesus can African dance with us, too!

Pastor Martin would surely be teaching Jesus one of his favorite songs …

No matter what the people say, Jesus is number one!”

(That was his song, we will need to teach the orphans this!)

 Apr 2013 pic4

2Chronicles 15:7

Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded.

 

Original Link: April 2013 Zoe News