Hello everyone from Africa. Huge praise today – the people with us from Indiana finally got their luggage today! Praise the Lord! This was not only a huge answer to prayer, but a huge relief for those who were so glad to have fresh clothes. (smile)
The beds were completed yesterday. The kids are doing great with their crafts. And today we gave each child their own Bible. Some of the children immediately went by themselves to look and read their Bible. One 12 yr old girl, named Maria, was writing her name in her Bible. Under her name, she wrote the name of the orphanage, then the date next, and then she wrote on the next line “My gift.” They were all split up in groups and so I asked my group what their favorite Bible story was. They did not understand the word “favorite.” So I asked, “Do you have a story that means much to you!” All of a sudden the heads were going up and down and they were telling me their favorite Bible stories. It was so sweet to hear them tell their version of the stories and the way they would search for the right English words to communicate what they wanted to say. One young lady kept getting her pronouns confused and would say “she” instead of “he.” You had to really keep up, but one thing was clear she understood the story and what she was telling me because you could see it in her eyes. It was wonderful.
Then there is a whole other side. I had one little girl in my group who could not tell me her story. That’s because she is not an orphan, but her family pays to send her to school at Blessed Hope (this is part of the way they get the little funding that they get). The translator talked to her and explained to me that she does not go to prayers. That is how they explain that she does not go to church. Her family is Muslim. So the only place that she will hear the Bible stories is when she comes to school and when she looks at her picture Bible. I was quite caught by the fact that God brought us all the way to Africa, not only to provide beds for the kids, but that this little girl might have access to a Bible. That is pretty cool!!!!!
Here are a few interesting things that I have learned. They make their own bricks. They pack mud into a wooden mold. The bricks must dry for a month. Then they stack them in a pyramid shape but it doesn’t come to a point. They leave space to put wood in the bottom and then they start a fire. They must keep the fire burning for 2 to 3 days. After they cool for several days, they are ready to use for building.
I have also learned that they cut down the whole banana tree to harvest the banana bunches. There are new shoots always coming up in the place of the trees they cut down. Once the banana blooms appear on the tree, it takes them 6 months to be ready to harvest. Those are the type of things that help you understand life here. To be such a poverished people, they are amazing in their resourcefulness.
I only thought I knew what poverty was – I have seen true poverty here. These are truly “the least of these” that Christ tells us to take care of.
The kids are doing well with the movement songs. I have greatly simplified most things that we have done because their English is not very good. They actually read much better than they speak the English language. They are doing very well with the scriptures. I narrowed it down to three. And so far I know they will know at least two of the three when we leave. We will teach the third tomorrow. More than anything, I want to leave them with God’s word hidden in your heart. So if anything you all can pray that God will help us communicate God’s word in effective ways.
We are having a good time, and the teams works well together. (smile) Continue to pray for our travel. The first day, Sunday, was an hour and ten minute drive. Every day since then, it’s been an hour and forty minutes. We have a different driver and bus than we had on Sunday, but it’s still pretty bumpy.
The Lord encouraged me greatly today through Psalm 91. I hope you have time to read it. A friend sent it to Rachel as an encouragement and she shared it with me. I’m so glad she did.
Love to you all!! Brandon, McKenzie, RileyGrace, and Logan I miss you all very much!
Mama (Auntie Doreen)