In 2010, we began assessing the most basic needs of our orphans, and as Bruce Marchiano looked down, the most critical need appeared at our feet. The most needed… shoes. This young girl, had literally outgrown her shoes… or should we say… grown out the front of her shoes! And she was one of the fortunate ones! Most of the kids went barefoot.. in the winter, spring, summer, and fall. We knew immediately that we had to change that! We wanted to give them free shoes—JUST BECAUSE WE COULD… and they wouldn’t have to do anything to earn them.
The heart of MarchMin worker and board member, Sally Herman, was pierced for these kids, and she immediately launched an initiative to get all them all shoes by Christmas. She launched a “Christmas Shoes” Facebook page (which still exists and appears in the footer of this website) and Marchiano’s photo illustrating the problem was posted. Facebook supporters immediately jumped on board…saying in unison ‘we need to help these kids’. It was this photo that launched the “Christmas Shoes” ministry of provision and compassion that now continues far beyond shoes… not only in education and counseling, but meeting all their physical needs.
Pastor Martin Tivaneof Flames Christian Fellowship and the surrounding churches had personally taken on the challenges of this village. He began spending every spare moment hovering over this village, like a brooding hen, to make sure that hope in Majakeneng Village is renewed… in any and all ways that God provides for them to do that. Most importantly, he wanted to be an advocate for the children, to bring safety and laughter to their lives. Pastor Martin told us that in South Africa, it is a Christmas tradition to give outfits. We wanted to honor this tradition and bless these kids.
This is the entire primary school… 1500 in total… 300+, that is OVER 20% of whom are orphans… that’s a lot of feet needing shoes!!
Soon after making the Facebook “Christmas Shoes” appeal, the heavens opened up… and down came 89 pink flip flops! May God bless the little feet that put these on. May they flip flop right into the arms of Jesus dancing in their new shoes!
OK…. my “girls” were feeling a bit left out… the boxes and money began arriving, people were coming to/from into the house… thing were shaking, and THEY wanted to go to Africa for the Christmas Party!
My heart was doubly touched, when I got a letter from two little girls in Mexico! Their parents run a boy’s home there in Mexico. Zoey and Zoelle (MY girls) have done some work there as well as therapy dogs. My blessed little correspondents asked how the two Zoey’s were doing and then preceeded to tell me that they saved their money from teaching piano and teaching English to give to the children of Africa for Christmas Shoes!!!!! … Please pray for blessings over these two girls. What a heart, one missionary giving to another!
Here’s our shoes piled high… we looked as obvious as the sun, in Arizona. I mean, come on? … Mercifully, no customs came, no one asked questions .. all we got was help from people.. if you believe in miracles, this was one.
Here are all the shoes you donated moving through the airport.
OK, Sara was a little travel worn, when you got to carry your shoes… and they come in amounts of 500 plus, it can be a burden… heeehee.
Our South African team is the best! They helped us… they had no idea how much luggage we were bringing….. I did try to warn them, really! A job well done!!!! They strapped the bags down tightly… then off… to a real royal Christmas party.
One orphan.. excitedly waiting our arrival…
The party was at a park… we rented out a space so our merry making would not be undisturbed…
And over 400 orphans gathered…
Sara was the designated Christmas story teller. Little did she know she would have live sound effects… a real live cow was hauled though the park in the middle of the nativity story. I wondered if she arranged it? Nahh!!
The church’s women prepared such a great meal, along with butterscotch pudding…
… that was ENJOYED by all! Everyone belonged to the “clean plate club”.
Patiently awaiting the ‘gift’ arrival………….. so sweet.
We spread out the shoes…… it was a shoe carnival! More shoes than Payless has ever seen. (I bet)
The orphans gathered…. they ate, and then stood in line to receive their shoes…
Such pride to be wearing such beautiful new shoes!
Even got smiles from the big kiddies!
Every child got a pair of shoes that fit, even the teachers!
After the party, the following report was emailed to all Marchiano Ministries supporters:
“The event for the village orphans a breathtaking success, more then 400 came, all were fed a feast and given new shoes, many received Jesus, all prayed for, on and on… Huge thanks to all the supporters. This first step of taking care of these kids and seeing them reach their potential in the Lord, a huge success, Glory to Jesus!”
Thank you… Thank you… Thank you!!!