Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Wonderful Christmas

About the time I promised to maintain the blog, we lost internet service and did not get it back until today! So, Lord willing (as always), I will continue the blog until we get back to Iowa.

Cape Town
Brian & Lois took us to Cape Town last week for a few days. It was beautiful seeing the mountains, the sea and some new wildlife. We saw monkeys, ostriches, penguins, baboons , seals and impala living in the wild. They must be intelligent animals because we saw no road kill.

What a Christmas! It began with a busy day of preparation on Monday wrapping and sorting gifts that had been donated by sponsors and others. The Pines children had opportunity to take R15 (about $2) from their earnings for doing special jobs to purchase a gift for someone that does not live at The Pines. They chose old neighbors in Thabon township and #7 and others. We all went to the store on Monday afternoon so they could chose and purchase their gifts. Talk about stressful--11 children who probably have never shopped before trying to decide what they should buyfrom hundreds of items in the store. It took about an hour with 5 adults assisting.
Christmas day in this part of the world begins with Christians going to church for an hour of worship! We are thrilled to see how these children respond to workshipping God. They love to sing and did just that many times on Christmas day. They learned about a dozen carols this year and enjoy singing them. After church we prepared a potjiekos (like a stew on the grill) and then the children opened gifts while it was cooking. The excitement was electric! This is the first year that 7 of these children received gifts for Christmas--normally they would receive a set of clothes and very little celebration. They have been learing for 2 months now the true meaning of Christmas. Oh, I have to tell you, before we opened gifts Brian asked if one of the children would pray. Refiloe (girl 10 yrs old) prayed for a couple of minutes and very clearly thanked God for sending Jesus to save her from her sins and for the priviledge of celebrating His birthday. It was a joy to hear a recently saved girl express herself so well!
Lunch was served to about 29 people at The Pines. The afternoon was spent driving to the various destinations to deliver the gifts the children had purchased for others. They had as much joy giving those gifts as they did opening their own gifts. The witnessed great joy in their friends as they opened the gifts--I am talking joy as in jumping up and down screeming for 15 seconds! What a Christmas to remember.
Thank you to each one of you for making this Christmas a reality. No matter what part you have in this ministry, you indeed have a part in what God is doing at The Pines. Lives are being changed and children are coming to Him! Praise the Lord!

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