Monday, July 9, 2012

Travel and First night. July 3-4

So we have Internet access so I will be posting a little. Most post will be after I get home so I can put some pictures with the posts :) My friend Leanne and I flew from Seattle to Detroit which was a 4 hour flight. From ere was the longest plane ride, 8 hours to Paris. There we had an hour and a half layover were we met up with some our team from Kentucky, Kristina and Niki, right before we were about to board Mari, Janet, and Rebekah appeared! It was about a 6 hour flight to Lome and we were delayed about 45 minutes because waiting for 3 passengers and when they didn't come they had to get there luggage off. We got off after that and finally landed in Togo!! :) We got off the plane and took a shuttle bus to the airport then had to wait in line for quite awhile to go through passport control. It was about 7pm and it was already dark, but still very humid, which was something to get used to here lol. We got our luggage and went through customs. Daniel Kpowbie our host and leader in Togo picked us up with a van and 1 other vehicle. All our luggage was secured on top of the van and off we were. It was about and hour drive to Daniel's house. The ride was exciting, many car but many many more motor bikes zooming in and out of traffic. People were street side with booths set up to sell. There was so much activity. First Night When we arrived there was a group of women and children to greet us and Leah and Roger also who had arrived the day before. It was so great to see them since the last time I had seen them was 10+ years ago! Our bags were unloaded and put in our rooms...Leanne and I are roommates! The room was tile floor, cement walls, and had 2 windows. There were some nice spiders and a lizard crawling around the walls. We were served by Daniel's wife and friends. They cooked a wonderful meal of veggies, rice and fish. Taking a cool shower before bed was amazing after traveling for 24 hours and because of the humidity. There is only one temperature for the water. We blew up our air mattresses and hung our mosquito nets and fell asleep. I'm back in Africa :)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


Departing from Seattle at 2pm on July 3 with a layover in Detroit and Paris I will arrive in Lome, Togo on July 4th at 6:05pm! About 19 hours of travel with an 8 hour time change. Please pray for safety and health! I am to take malaria pills and last time I had bad side effects.

It is an overwhelming wonderful feeling to have so many people tell me that they are praying for me and my team. I'm very blessed and God is so faithful! :)

I know the Lord will hear all prayers and His will will be done in Togo during our time there. I will have alot to write about upon my return and am thankful for all who continue to follow for updates. Pray for the hearts in Togo who will hear the words we speak and that God will give the word He wants us to speak ;)

This is short for I am tired and need some sleep before leaving for the airport in 7 hours :) Signing off until July 16.

The Word of the Lord is right and true; He is faithful in all He does. Ps. 33:4

Friday, June 29, 2012

Leaving for Africa on Tuesday!!

Just about 3 more days until LeAnne and I leave for Togo, Africa! I'm ecstatic! It is so amazing that God has provided for me to go back to Africa after a little over a year since being home from South Africa. Above is a team work schedule for our trip! 12 days in Togo total. The other 2 days are traveling there and back.
I have been so blessed by the support and prayer from everyone. Continue to keep us in your prayers! For travel safety, health, and the people that will hear the Word...may they be encouraged!

Friday, June 22, 2012

10 days!!

I can't believe in a little over a week I will be in Togo, Africa with some pretty amazing people! :D God has been incredibly faithful in providing the funds for this trip! Thank you everyone who donated, I'm so very blessed. It is greatly appreciated if you will continue praying for me and our team as the time draws near and while we are on mission and traveling from July 3 to 16.
Our team of 9 has had 2 conference calls together over the last month praying together, going over the trip details, etc. It has been awesome and I'm looking forward to working together with this team for the furthering of His Kingdom! We are all excited to be a part of MASTER Provisions first team to Togo with their new partner -- SEC-Togo or Lifewind International. You can find out more about it here! It is very exciting :)
 Our Leader in Togo: Daniel Kpowbie, father of 2 girls, and his wife, will be our hosts and we will work under Daniel’s authority.  Daniel is a dynamic and Spirit-filled pastor in West Africa and in great demand for training and implementing CHE (pronounced CHAY) – Community Health Evangelism.  Kristina worked with him for a week in Niger last summer and recommended that we forge a partnership with Daniel and Lifewind.  Our first container of clothing and shoes arrived in Togo in March and 25 ladies now have good full-time jobs to distribute clothing.  The second MP shipment to Togo on June 16th will be the 500th shipment in MP history.  Each shipment contains about 34,000 pounds of clothing, shoes and other needed supplies.

So it's June 22 now and the 500th shipment was sent! Check it out ---> click here

I will be posting more next week with our itinerary, specific prayer requests, etc. Stay tuned!
Love in Christ,

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Friday, May 18, 2012

45 days and counting!

45 more days until I leave for Togo, Africa!!!

At the end of April I received an e-mail from Roger at MASTER Provisions with the info on our itinerary for Togo! I was so excited to see the flight schedule, it was just another step completed towards Africa! And last week I sent in my passport and visa application so please pray that that will be approved without a glitch.

Also, Roger sent a short description of each of the 9 people on our team going to Togo :) I can't wait to meet everyone. On Monday we are having a conference call with everyone so then I will be officially "meet" the 4 other ladies I'm not acquainted with yet :) We will be discussing the trip in more detail and brainstorming for the evangelistic outreach. Everyone on this trip lives in Kentucky besides myself and my friend who is going, and we're from WA :) We will be meeting up with part of the team on our connecting flight in Paris, France.

On the funds front I have just $1,000 more left to raise! Praise the Lord! I'm so blessed and thankful for the people who have become part of this mission through their donations! Thank you! I'm also extremely blessed by the prayer support as well!

Prayer requests:

  • God will provide the remaining funds for this mission trip.
  • Our visa applications will be approved.
  • God would blessed our time on the conference call on Monday. Discussing the trip and work on lessons for our evangelistic outreach to the women and children in Togo.
  • That everyone will be given ample amount of peace and calm as the travel dates get closer.
  • All other arrangements, packing, etc. will fall into place smoothly for everyone.
  • May all hearts become teachable for what God will be doing in Togo.
  • Pray for the director in Togo, Daniel Kpowbie, who will be our team leader.
  • Pray for Roger Babik leading MP's first trip to Togo.
  • Continue praying for the people in Togo who we will be engaged with that God will begin working on their hearts.
  • May we focus on actively being on mission with the gospel.

Like MASTER Provisions Facebook page here.

Love in Christ,
Isaiah 26:3

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Mission trip July 2012 Update

Unrest and civil war in Mali has the potential to spread to Niger. So MASTER Provisions has moved the mission trip to Togo, Africa!

MP has a mission partner in Togo and they would love for our team to work there! They do church planting and Community Health Evangelism work in Togo. We would focus on evangelical outreach to children and families in and around the capital city of Lome. The director there was thrilled to have this oppertunity to host MASTER Provisions group for the FIRST team from MP in Togo!

A few changes though. The dates of this trip will be July 2-17 and the funds I will have to raise is now $3050. I'm so thankfully for the generous donations so far and am blessed to say that I just have to raise $1,839 (this is already deducting the first deposit I made myself :) I am also extrememly blessed to have the commitment of your prayers! I know God is at work in this! If you are lead to support me finianically the infomation is here.

Roger from MASTER Provisions informed me that this was the first time in leading 34 international trips that this has happened in having to make a change! But that this change is firmly in God's control and out of his. Praise the Lord!
In my own devotions God has encouraged me that I can't control events! When changes happen I can lean on my own understanding all I want, but that will just bring stress and confusion. Leaning on God's providential control brings me peace and is the only way to escape the devil's temptation to have me doubt.
God's will controls all that happens. Instead of being unhappy that the plan I had was changed I am thankful that this is where God wants me to go...Togo!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


After returning from 5 months in South Africa volunteering at Lambano Sanctuary a home for HIV+/AIDS children in 2011, I had been praying about what the next step God wanted me to take regarding Africa. I've had a passion for missions overseas since I was young and particularly for the country of Africa and the people for 3 years. I'm excited to go to Niger for a 2 week medical evangelism trip with MASTER Provisions July 3-16, 2012! I know I can count on your prayer support and if God leads you to support me financially you can send a donation for the furthering of His Kingdom to me at:

Rachel Young
5844 Mountain Lane Rd.
Peshastin, WA 98847

Or through PayPal. My e-mail is

The cost of this trip is $2,800. I have been working hard to save, but of course a trip like this requires financial help from a number of people! I have already covered the first deposit on my own. My next payment is due before May 1 and then the last one before June 15.

Become a fan of MP on facebook here.

May God bless you for your time, prayers, and support :)

Love in Christ,

You will keep in perfect peace
   those whose minds are steadfast,
   because they trust in you.

Isaiah 26:3

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Off to Africa 2012

It is hard to think that at this very time last year I was just arriving in South Africa to stay 5 months. It sometimes doesn't seem like it happened! But it did. The things that I experienced and learned there will always be near my heart, good and bad. The journey God led me through when I came home, the stretch and molding to put my tryst in Him daily!

Something I read in my bible study this week from 1 Thess. 1:3 where Paul was thanking the Thessalonians for their faithfulness and it has challenged me to live out as them remember to work produced by faith, labor prompted by love, and have endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Keeping this in mind I have made the decision to go to Niger in July! I feel the Spirit leading once again just like before with South Africa. Another amazing thing is a friend in a bible study I go to has decide to come as well! It is such a blessing to go with people I know this time! I'm excited once again. 

I laugh because God is always faithful...and how silly I am to worry or think less like I was for the last half of 2011. God is probably laughing too ;)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Niger July 2012

I have been praying about what God wants me to do next... after coming back from South Africa it's never been the same and have felt like a short-term mission is what He may be calling for. I still have Lambano very much on my heart and would like to return there for an even longer time period in the future if that is God's leading.

I recently came to realize that a family we went to church with when we lived in Kentucky has grown their organization called Master Provisions to reach countries in Africa! When they first started over 15 years ago they were just in Ukraine and I remember helping them pack clothes in containers to ship over there.

One of their short term mission trips is a medical evangelism trip to Niger in July with Master Provisions. It will be for the first 2 weeks in July and I will be doing a variety of tasks like charting vitals, working in the pharmacy, cleaning and cooking, holding babies so people can obtain their weights, crowd control, prayer, evangelism, laundry, etc.

"We started this partnership with Niger Christian Mission back in 2006. We entered into a 7-year strategic project that we call a Sustainable Community Project, where we help them to become self-supporting. One area in our partnership is medical care. Until the permanent medical clinic is built, we have been taking medical evangelism teams over every 6 months to work in different areas where Niger Christian Mission has a presence. In an Islamic nation, community care or development projects relating to medical, food and clean water are bridges of friendship used as a platform to share Jesus."

I would appreciate your prayer support as I consider going on this trip as the next step God wants me to take. I will have to decide by April. I feel it is, just thinking about it gives me a spark I haven't really had since South Africa :)

In Christ,

Friday, October 21, 2011

Weakness= Strength

We have been studying the book of Acts in BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) this year. Learning about Paul and his struggles are challenging and encouraging! I will let the Bible speak for itself. When he lists everything he has been through and then talks about his thorn and how he pleads with God 3 times to take it away God replies, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

Wow! This was so encouraging for me...especially now with day to day life. Compared to other peoples difficulties mine seem so small, but I won't guilt trip myself that way, it really doesn't make me feel any better. But God's Word does! The Holy Spirit has been revealing so much truths to me.

From 2 Corinthian 12:

"Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

God's Word is true. His Promises are true. This I will cling to.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Never once did I ever walk alone. Never once did You leave me on my own. You are faithful, God, You are faithful!

I've been so blessed! It has been 4 months since I've been home. And it feels like it has been longer. I think of my South African friends and Lambano almost every single day! It has been a hard journey...unfortunately one of me failing to cling to God, and turn to Him first. I knew He would take me back there if it is His plan, and ideally I would want to within a year or 2, for a longer time period.
It has been so hard, and I knew it was my heart and my attitude. The way I felt and all my emotion towards God was wrong. I felt like I couldn't pray or read His Word; to walk a daily Christian life. I think that I was angry and hurt for leaving South Africa when it felt so right living there. But I made it worse on myself for not turning to God, like if I did I would have to accept I was home when I really didn't want to. I knew I needed to, but it was the one thing I didn't want to do.
Recently the Holy Spirit has been work on me. I've repented for my attitude and asked for forgiveness from my Savior. I praise Him for His overwhelming love and patience with me while I am still on this journey, it is a working progress. I pray that it will ring in my heart that God is all I need. I don't know what the specific work is that He has for me, but I know I have to stay in it, for God is all I need! I pray that Jesus washes me over and over again for the one thing I desire is Him, God is all I need. I pray that I will no longer grieve the Holy Spirit and that His work in my life will be evident in glorifying God!
God never left me and I never walked alone or was on my own even thought it felt like it alot of the time I was ignoring Him. God is faithful and sovereign! He is in control!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Home...just take me back to Africa

Well my farewell at the Joburg airport went ok. I felt so special having people come and see me off. The flight back was hard, it hurt so much leaving. Saying goodbye to all the kids, especially the hospice kids near about tore me up...what made it harder was knowing that some can't understand exactly that I'm leaving.
I haven't been home a week yet, but I think each day is getting better. I can't exactly explain how I feel about being home and I know that no one really understand how I feel  either unless they have done something like I've done. It really sucks, I don't feel like going out and doing anything, all I can think about are all my friends and the kids in South Africa and miss them so much. It's been my life for almost half a year and it went by so fast........ but I have to keep clinging to the knowledge I have that God is in control and then I can't help but feel excited about what God will do in the future!
I will continue to post a few posts every once and awhile...especially to keep all updated about the Lambano quilt and how God is working through me since I've been home ! ! !

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Well, I think this will be my last post in South Africa! Next time you hear from me God-willing I will be home in Washington State! Sure...the last few days have flown by as usual and tonight is my last night sleeping in my room here.
Sunday I was asked to share my testimony, I shared about how I've had a heart to go overseas since I was young and then how God lead me to South Africa, and my thoughts about leaving. Then the young adult biblestudy I've been a part of since I've been hear came up and prayed for me. I thought it was cool how my church back home sent me off with prayer and now this church here sent me back with prayer. God is so awesome! I was very blessed how many people came up to me after and were very encouraged, some I hadn't even gotten to know :) After I went and had lunch with my house 82 kids and spent the afternoon with them. It was a good last Sunday!
Today one of the kids in house 36 had a school concert which I went to with Jenna and the rest of the house 36 kids. I was a wonderful performance and I thoroughly enjoyed it...kind was perfect timing for me leaving to see it :) After I stayed for dinner and the young adult biblestudy met at the house this evening which I just got back from. I will say goodbye to all of them at the airport tomorrow, they are all coming to see me off! I feel so blessed!
Hospice Update: Phillipos was discharged from the hospital today! I'm so blessed to see him before I leave. They also got a new girl last week who is a burn victim and 5 years old. Her name is Zenele...I really like it. She doesn't speak/understand much English, but she sure seems a cheerful little thing despite her healing wounds :)
In the morning I will pack, haha yup saved it for the last day, and then the office staff are taking me out for lunch...the afternoon will be saying goodbye to the houses and staff, then Jenna is taking me to the airport around 5ish to check in and then meet up with everyone from biblestudy and have cofffee before I board the plane.
My plane leaves at 8:35pm (11:35am PST Wednesday June 1) and it's a 16 hour flight to New York...4 hour layover then short flight to DC were I'll connect to my final 5+ hour flight to Seattle airport landing at 3:18pm Thursday June 2. Please pray for me, I've been battling a bad cold and that won't be too fun with the pressure from the flying.
In concluding this final post from the other side of the world I will share a verse we discussed in cell group tonight...
You shall surely give to Him, and your heart should not be grieved when you give to Him, because for this thing the Lord your God will bless you in all your works and in all to which you put your hand. Deut. 15:10

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Saturday afternoon

Took House 36 kids and some hospice kids to the park for my last saturday afternoon...  :)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Thoughts on going home

Tonight was my last night for helping at One Way which is part of AWANA but for the 6th thru 8th graders. I've been going with Martha the last couple months and helping with the small group talk after the games and speaking time where the girls and boys split up and go with the small group leaders. So Martha and I had the girls of course. Tonight was the most girls attending so far...16! Martha put me on the spot, literaly (thanks Martha lol) to share about what I've learned while here since it was my last One Way with the girls and I was going home.
The thing that came to mind was God's sovereignty and how He is in control, He has a plan. I shared a little on the struggle of seeing little children suffer in the hospital and though Lambano didn't have any child pass away while I was here...God assured me of His sovereignty and control. How Jesus is strong than death. It was a bit emotional and I tried to compose myself since having the rapt attention of 16 young girls. After I was done Martha shared her favorite passage from the Bible.
Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines; though the labor of the olive may fall, and the fields yield no food; though the flock may be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls- Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer's feet, and He will make me walk on my high hills. Habakkuk 3:17-19
Then she shared how when Wednesday comes how hard it will be to say good bye to a friend, but knowing that even if we don't see eachother again on this Earth, we have the hope of heaven.
I got hugs from each one of the girls and I'm a little sad that I won't be here anymore to invest in their lives and get to know them better. I will for sure keep praying for them.
Now I'm sitting here in my room just thinking and reflecting back on what I shared with the girls and I feel so much peacefully. I've been sick the last couple days and I'm sure its stress from thinking about leaving. It's going to be SO hard to say goodbye, not knowing if God will lead me back here again. But than I remember God is in control and His plans are SO much better than mine. It's still hard though thinking about the last few days I have here in South Africa and Wednesday is approaching quickly, it sure doesn't make it any easier when I'm feeling sick.
Please pray for me to get well, for my heart to prepare to say good bye to the church, friends, and the kids who have been my home the last year and a half. Pray for the people I leave and for the kids as well. I told the hospice kids this week that I was to be going home and Cina asked if I was going to forget them and who would do school with them...eish.
But God is sovereign and I will see you all next week back in the States. Thanks for your continuing support and prayers...I couldn't do with out :)

Dear Father,
I praise Your sovereign faithful and loving You are. Just by sharing with the girls tonight has reminded me of of what I held onto when I was coming here on the plane. You are in control. You have a plan that is so much better than mine. Please take the heartache and monumental stress I have about leaving away...I come to You for Your yoke is easy and burden is light. I cannot bear this alone Jesus. Be gracious to me Father and bless me with peace and calm. I love You Lord. You are in control. Amen.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Yesterday a cold front came in and this morning was freezing when I took Unathi to school. The new volunteer come with me to see where it was so that she could start doing the school runs when I go home next week.
The massage students came Wednesday and I think the girl that gave me mine was the best so far! I might get another on Friday but last night my stomach start hurting really but like double over in pain. It was a restless nights sleep and all day today I've been feeling a cold coming on and headache. Please, please pray for me. The last thing I want is to be sick the last few days I'm here and the traveling home.
I've been having the hospice kids paint some squares for the quilt the last couple days. I was able to get through school with the hospice kids and go to Fruit-n-Veg with Martha...then I asked for the rest of the afternoon off. So I'll be inside trying to keep warm and rest the remainder of the day.
I read this morning in Psalms..was very encouraging...

Our soul waits fro the Lord; He is our help and our shield. For our heart shall rejoice in Him, because we have trusted in His holy name. Let Your mercy, O Lord, be upon us, just as we hope in You. Ps. 33:20-22
Basically concluded to hope in the Lord and not self, it is a good reminder, just in little things through out the day! I cannot hope in myself...look how easily my own body functions go haywire when sick. The hope to get you through is in Him in every situation :)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Lambano Quilt

Friday the kids started painting on white fabric squares for me to take back to the States and with the help of friends make a quilt to use in a fundraiser for Lambano Sanctuary! Some pretty talented artists here! 
So Sunday after church I went to 36 and had lunch there and then helped the kids paint some more squares for the quilt. I'll be helping hospice kids paint some squares during this week as well.
Yesterday has just been routine. Take Unathi to school and pick up. School work with hospice kids. Homework with 4th and 5th grade in the afternoons. Hanging out and spending time with the kids. This is my last full week in South Africa. A volunteer from the States just arrived tonight. Her name is Elyse and she is from Colorado. A nurse in training, so I will have a roommate for a week and will be showing her what I do so she can be doing it when I leave.
Boitumelo had a check up today. His numbers have improved and they have actually been the best they've ever been! Praise God! It truly is Him...just seeing the spark and life in Boitumelo come back is amazing. He is a smart boy, most of the things we had been working on in school he remembered coming back and feeling better.
I don't like thinking about leaving, I've really enjoyed my time here. Being apart of the kids lives, being part of the church body here etc. I know it was just for a season, but it went by so fast! It's been something I've had a desire to do most of my life and it has been my life the last 5 months...I don't wanna think this is it. What next after I get home? God has been faithful in the past and He is in control of the future. I've grown so much closer to Christ during my time here! Sometimes it was all I had to cling to...God is Sovereign. Being broken down over and over. Coming here with some idea and expectation and having God totally surprise me in many ways! I can't explain it. I was reading past posts on my personal blog and seeing how totally awesome and faithful God has been leading me on the journey especially in the last 2 is incredible! It is going to be hard to leave, yes, but this is just for a season in the journey God is leading me on regarding were my heart's desire lies...

Friday, May 20, 2011

Return Date changed

I will be leaving South Africa June 1 and landing in Seattle June 2 in the afternoon. 2 weeks left now! Thanks for those who prayed for my ticket to be changed. The reason for a sooner return mainly was my brothers leave from the Navy was only 2 weeks and he would be gone by the time I got back originally June 14. Other reasons were swim team starting and MATS school for Reliv. summer is going to start in less than 2 weeks. This place has been my "home" for 5 months.
Prayer requests for the next couple weeks: for me to remain healthy (lots of flus going around lately due to weather change), to make the most of the time I have left on mission with the gospel, for the kids in hospice with my leaving and for the rest of the Lambano children.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

african bush

This past weekend I went up North past Pretoria with my friend from Montana who came to South Africa for a hunt. We left Friday and got back Sunday. We went with the hunting guide and his wife and 2 kids to their farm of 200 acres out in the bush. It was the first time I had ventured out of the city of Joburg. I had a great time too. I'd forgotten how quiet the country is cause I had gotten so used to the noises of the city. It was beautiful country :) I loved the trees tehe!
Today was a public holiday cause it was voting day in South Africa. Martha and I went on the Guatrain to Sandton City which is a very rich part of Joburg. Went to Mandla Square and just walk around the mall and the hotel and had coffee it was a warm day out too!
I have 25 days left in South Africa and time is disappearing so quickly. Next week a volunteer from the States is coming to Lambano for 3 months. So I am to take her around and show her everything I do so she can do it when I leave. I'm happy that someone will be here to do the things I'm doing so Lambano won't be shorthanded.
In the time I have left here I will be getting the kids to paint on squares of fabric to make 2 quilts when I get back to the states to do a quilt raffle for Lambano Sanctuary to help raise funds for them. The kids had done it before for a company a few months ago and it was a beautiful quilt! So I”m looking forward to doing that.
I think about going home and I really don't want to lol...God has been teaching me so much! But as this season in my life is coming to an end I look forward to the next chapter of my journey to see where God will take me...back to Africa or another place in this world...I don't know...but I am prepared f to go wherever he leads me!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mothers Day

The end of last week was welcoming...first full week back since school hoildays and I was getting tired lol. Drive to Katlehong Thursday and Friday. The oldest boy at Lambano(15 years) has been wanting to see his family, hasn't since he came here 2 years ago, We found his brother at a school and went Thursday to find out where the rest of his family lives, but the boy had already gone home. Friday just me and Martha went and we drove the boy home and he directed us like 30 minutes away turning and twisting through the township on dirt roads (if you would even call it a road lol) I was thinking how are we going to come back this way. Anyways Martha got the numbers of the family and they came to see him on Saturday. Oh and we did get a little turned around driving back but didnt get lost :)
Oh Thursday the oldest girl at hospice went with the social worker to another home. I took her to the shops to buy sweets before she left. She sang a song for me called "Mama" which I recorded. I'm sure that I will be keeping her in my prayers for quite a long time from now.
My camera is broken, don't know what happened to it but it completely just stopped working one night. I'm borrowing the Lambano camera for the rest of the time I'm here 5 weeks. It not as good as mine th video I take are worthless but at least you can still here the song Tsitsi sang :)
So on Sunday it was Mothers Day of course and I got my first Mothers Day card from sweet Noma :) made me very happy because I wasn't even expecting it. Martha and I went to a Mothers Day concert at the Zoo and the weather was perfect! The Johannesburg Festival Orchestra was playing with Tamara Dey (love her voice) and the Bala Brothers sang! It was really fun and ended in doing the can-can around the gazebo haha.
Mothers Day is a day for honoring mothers, celebrating and thanking them for the love and sacrifices of raising us. They prayed in church about it...I was thinking about all the Lambano kids when they prayed this prayer, sitting in the front of the stage on kiddy chairs...their mothers aren't/weren't like that. Sure, some of them died and maybe some thought it would be giving them a better life, but not all the kids stories are like that. Children are a gift from God and what I don't understand is how can a mother abuse their own child and neglect them...I cannot comprehend it. With as much love as I have for these kids, I'd think, wouldn't it be increased if the child is your own flesh and blood?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A short time left...

First day back to school in a week today for the kids. I left home at 7am and didn't get back until 5pm. After taking Unathi to school, Jenna and I went to Bara (hospital). Jenna needed to get meds for some of the kids. I went to see Phillipos 11 year old boy who has been at hospital since last Monday. I took a story book along to read to him. Jenna didn't take long but we were with him for about an hour. Sick kids are all in one ward with probably 10 to 12 beds in each room. As soon as I walked into Ward 33 I was met with sickening stench. It actually made me a little nausea on Thursday. It's not very clean and I don't think they have washed Phillipos since he's been admitted. It hard to see sick little babies anytime much less in such an environment. I read to Phillipos until he fell asleep. He might come home on friday depending on his condition. Update on Boitumelo...he is much better. Now smiling and cracking jokes, the boy I'm used to teaching. Thank you all for your prayers for him...continue praying, he usually bounces back and then gets worse again.
Things are going well and I can't believe I only have 6 weeks left in South Africa...! it's going by so very fast! I have learned so much about life and myself the 4 months I've been living here. Things I have before only seen in pictures, I've experience in real who are literally skin and bones, make-shift shacks that people live their whole lives in, the different cultural and the way of the community. Some of the stories about the kids here at Lambano and the places and homes they have come from seem so unreal at times. It's a fallen, sinful world we live in and we are so fortunate to have a hope greater than seen here. Some days its all I have to cling to.
Thank you for your continuing prayers, support, and encouragement! God is faithful. Psalm 33:4

Friday, April 29, 2011

Mothers Room

So Tuesday we started revamping the mothers room at church. I was officially the sewing person. From Tuesday night, all day Wednesday. and Thursday night I sewed...recovered 2 chair cushions, 6 pew cushions, 2 sets of curtains, 13 pillows, and 3 blankets. Jodi cut everything for me and I sewed. Took a break to paint a little bit. It looks so nice now! We an art graduate and a designer help with the layout of the walls. It's Joseph and his colorful coat. With pyramids, camels, palm trees...the river Nile! Can't wait to see it with all the new stuff in!
Next week school will start back up for the kids who've been on holiday this week cuz of Easter.
Yesterday I went to hospital to visit Phillipos who was admitted from hospice on Tuesday. He is so skinny. His test came back positive for Meningitis (the same kind as Boutimelo) and he will be there for 2 weeks.
Weather here has finally cleared up and its been sunny and COLD! Sunday I'm running a 15k and it's looking like it will be rainy.
I have a friend from Montana coming  next week for a safari/hunt and we'll be able to hang out before he leaves on the 14th! So I'm excited to see someone for the States :)
I can't believe I only have only month left here. It's going so fast. I'm not sure yet as to whether I will be coming back for a longer time period, but I'm thinking about it.
I've been officially rehired as head coach for swim team back home for this summer, so looking forward to that!
Sorry this is kinda random, but updating best I can't at this time I'm sitting at the office.
Have a lovely weekend!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Easter Monday

April 25, 2011

All the kids are on school holiday this whole week. Today a bouncing castle was put up at 82 and the kids played there for the entire day!
Good Friday I went to the morning service. I was doing the childrens talk that morning. It went really well! I made 12 mini boxes and put little things in each one to represent the story of Easter. A nail for the cross, bread for the Last Supper, etc. I numbered the boxes and had the children open them then read a Scripture with each one. After the sermon, some of us went to Pastor Lance's house for coffee, tea, and hot cross buns.
Sunday morning I woke up at 4:30am. On of my friends was having a sunrise service at here house. She has this apartment with a great view! But is was raining :P so we sat inside. There was about 12 of us. We sang songs, prayed and read the Easter story. Had hot cross buns and coffee too! I love the verses about the women going early to the tomb to give Jesus a proper burial. Wondering what they were thinking and feeling...and to be met with a glorious surprise that He is Risen! He is Risen indeed! So powerful. It was amazing to be hearing that Scripture while watching the sunrise. (It stopped raining and cleared up to see a beautiful sunrise!)
We went right to church after that. After church we were to cook eggs and bacon and our cell group was in charge of it. So we set up the coffee and tea and cracked all the eggs to be ready to cook right after :)
This week our cell group is revamping the mothers  room at church. The roof has been leaking and making the carpet all smelly. So we're going to put tile flooring and paint the walls, sew curtains and recover cushions. Tomorrow night we meet at the church to prep the room and Wednesday is a public holiday so we'll be wokring there all day.
Happy Easter everyone! He is risen! He is risen indeed :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wow, it's been over a week since my last post! Sorry about the time I get to my room every day I'm just to tired to think lol.
So the first week back at school was last week and it went well. Unathi the girl I drive to school every morning has been crying the whole 20+ minute drive though. She has brain damage cause by a stroke at age 2. Lyn said that she goes through spurts crying all the way to school, she hadn't done it at all since I've been here, but since coming back from school holiday there hasn't been a quiet morning.
Oh! Boitumelo got discharged from the hospital last Thursday! I wen to visit him and they were like he can go home today. He shouldn't of come home though, he was pretty bad off on make a long story short, he's doing much better than he was, he's not throwing up anymore and not in a lot of pain. Thank you for your prayers and continue doing so! The newest addition to the hospice is a 12 year old boy who is very sick, he's very skinny, but not as bad as Koketso. He came to us from Pretoria. He meds were all messed up and he has TB and meningitis. He's pretty bad off emotionally to :( pray for him.
This morning I got up early to go with Sibylle to Bara to take Junior from the hospice to a check-up with the neurosurgeon. The way this works is get there early like 6 or 7 to get in line first or you'll be there all day. Doctors don't start seeing patients until 11am after there rounds. I went to help with Junior, because of his brain damage the way he expresses his joy and angry is by screaming (very loud) and we took turns taking him out in the halls in the pram to calm him down. At one point he was so tired he just wouldn't stop screaming. But he's so loving and smart, just needs affection and love. He doesn't need to be at hospice anymore, the social worker is trying to find a place for him.
Homework with the grades 4 and 5 in the afternoons is going well. Grade 5 is doing fractions for maths. (ask my mom how much I love fractions, not!) Yeah, so it's a refresher for me in the respect haha. There are 4 who are in 5th grade and 2 who are in 4th grade that I help.
So my days have been starting at 7am and ending at 4pm usually. This past weekend was freezing cold! Needed heaters and extra blankets, and I'm told it's going to get colder. But it's been slowly warming up this week. The kids have Easter break this weekend and next week.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Went to 82 Saturday morning because all the Lambano kids were to go there for an Easter egg hunt! An organization brought presents for the kids with birthdays from Jan-Mar...there was 12 who did. Then they all got cupcakes and party packs and after went to the other side of the house to find Easter egg which the Easter bunny had hide. Of course they all knew that it was someone in costume lol. But Unathi was freaked out by it, if he would even walk in her direction she was pulling my arm off lol.
Today was Mama Barbara and Noma's birthday. We had a little party Saturday afternoon with cake and presents for Noma :)
Boiutmelo was taken to Joburg Gen Hospital on Wednesday morning because the pain in his head was so severe. I missed church today and went to see him this morning with Jenna. The lively, smiling child that I've been teaching the sounds of the alphabet and who would give me a look of “are you serious” when I would give him too simple of math problems :) because he knew them so well, has been reduced to a solemn, wabbit boy. It was crazy how fast he the matter of a day. He has 4 serious illness that can kill him. TB, HIV+, cancer, and meningitis. The type of meningitis he's had, has a 26% chance of survival and Boitumelo has had it twice in the last year. This child is very ill. We got there at 10am and washed him and changed his bedding. The hospitals don't do the basic caring here, most of the mothers of the child do it and if they don't have mothers, well then no one really does. Jenna read him a story then went to buy him some yogurt. I gave him some juice to drink will she was gone and he throw it back up...he has the looks of getting dehydrated since he hasn't been eating much. We sat with him for 3 hours he responded to our touch and wouldn't let go of my hand. He didn't say more than 2 words. And he didn't want us to go. Believe me it was so hard to walk away. Sibylle is visiting him tomorrow than I'm going on Tuesday. He's heavy on my heart now and it's hard to see him in pain. I'm reminding myself God is Sovereign, but when I'm faced with the actually situation of this suffering's hard. Don't know whether to pray he gets well, or that Jesus will take him to be with Him. But God is in control and he has a plan!
School starts in the morning, it's been a nice holiday to have a break from the usual routine. Bus I will be with school runs and homework. I'm only here for 9 more weeks and I know it will go fast since the 3 months I've been here have seemed to fly by. I'm focusing on my time here now, this is where God wants me, of this I am confident. But considering the future after this summer a few options come up, one is returning to Lambano for a longer time frame. God has a plan and I trust Him...He's brought me this far in regards to my calling for Africa. I don't know if this was just the work He has had for me to do here, some other places in the world have been coming up for me to go. That is in the back of my mind, right now my focus in on the 30 kids here at Lambano...the 7 in hospice...and the one in the hospital.
Thank you for your prayers, support and encouragement!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Last week of school holidays

Wednesday I went to the mall with a girl from Texas who has been here with another organization in another part of Joburg. Her mom is a teacher and her class raised over $300 for us to use at hospice specifically for school and educational supplies. So I took her to the mall and we got some book and other things I'd need for teaching the hospice kids! It was perfect :) The rest of the money will go for medical expenses at hospice.
Speaking of which, please keep Lambano in your prayers. No funds have been coming in at this point. God has kept Lambano going for 10 years now this month! Staff here are trusting Him to continue in His faithfulness.
Today a church in Edenvale took all Lambano kids (30 permanent kids and 3 from the hospice) to the movie theater. We saw the movie Rio! Jenna held Vuyo and I held Simphwe and they feel asleep for apart of the movie :) After they were taken for happy meals at McDonalds. It was really fun!
It is starting to get colder here. 2 days this week were cloudy and windy brrr...winter is not far of it seems like :P
School start back up on Monday!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Today has been a pretty relaxed day. Had the staff meeting at lunchtime and that went well. It's been cold and overcast all day. Sunday afternoon the rain turned into hail for about 10 minutes and the hailstones were about the size of large blueberries! Ouch! My ceiling at 82 has been leaking everytime it rains and it was starting to mold and smell. I move to the over flat at 78 yesterday so that they can fix the roof and ceiling. Don't know if I'll stay here the remainder of my time, but I'm fine either way. I have a small kitchen were I'm staying now and the internet signal works way better here too. Also the Lambano vehicles I use for the school run are parked here so that is better when school starts I won't need to walk every morning over to get them.
Yesterday was a hot day and the electricity was out at the office because the lighting hit something that caused it to out during the weekend. Martha decided to take all Lambano boy shopping for new pajamas. So I drove the Kia with 13 boys and her (the younger ones stayed home). Sure, yeah it was quite entertaining taking 13 hyper boys to the mall to shop, but it was fun too!
I skyped one of my friends early this morning and I just finished skyping with Mike one of the church deacons. Skype is amazing! I can't wait to Skype my family. I can't use my video much cuz it slows down too much but at least I can see all the faces back home!
This coming weekend will be 3 months since I've been in South Africa...and I can hardly believe I have 2 months left! It will go by fast!
Boutimelo is not doing well. He is throwing up and in pain right now. They are taking him to the hospital in the morning. When I first got here and he went to hospital I hadn't really gotten to know him, it still was terrible to think of him dying but it wasn't as hard to pray and trust God with him. Now I know him...I've spent time with him, I've prayed with him, I've taught him...I love him. Nothing can truly prepare me for a child to die. He has been doing so well since he came back from hospital, smiling and laughing. The yesterday he was in bed when I went to see him but he was sleeping. I think about him dying and my heart hurts...but he won't be in as much pain if he goes to be with Jesus.
The new baby Ntokozo was put on oxygen yesterday. He is the cutest thing beside being so sickly and lively and always smiling!
Please remember these dear children in your prayers this week.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Jumble Sale

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Yesterday Lambano had its jumble sale aka yard sale. I was there to help set up at 9:30. We had at least 20 or more garbage bags full of clothes that we sorted through and 12 boxes. Separated things on sheets at house 34 by price, like R1, R2 R5 etc. The staff were the first to go through everything and it was funny watching them see something at the same time and go for it. Or one would grab it and run being chased. We finished it up about 2pm and gathered all the rest of the clothes to take to the squatter camp. I didn't go since the Kombi was crammed full and no room for people. Martha and I went for coffee after that :)
Today after church an Indian lady brought lunch for Lambano. So all the houses met at 82. She brought over 100 hot dogs and there were no leftovers. There is about over 30 kids including hospice and ten the house mothers and volunteers. Then it started pouring rain...which I've gotten used to it being a beautiful clear day and have a thunderstorm appear out of no where! We all got ice cream cones and went into the lounge and watched Horton Hears a Who. It was a good time.
Mama Barbara drove them all back to their house just now and the rest of the kids are going down for a rest. I'm in my room now crammed onto one side. Last big storm my roof was leaking and water collected above my bed. So now I have a hole in my ceiling and every time it rains it leaks and then it smells moldy for a few days after. I'm going to ask If I can move to the other cottage at 78 until it gets fixed. I don't think it would be a problem because at this point I'm the only volunteer until June. Plus I bought internet for the month of April and I have yet to see if I get a better signal at 78 for skyping because I don't here at 82.
There is no evening service at our church tonight because of school holiday. I have start playing the piano for evening worship. So tonight I might go with Martha and another girl to Cornerstone Church for the evening service there.
Pastor Lance was out of town this weekend to go to a wedding so there was a visiting pastor preaching. It was a good message. In the book of Mark comparing how people received Jesus at the start of the chapter they didn't in Nazareth and then at another place they did. He quoted John Piper towards the end of his message. I've heard it before but it was good to be reminded. Something along the lines of would you be happy in heaven if Jesus wasn't there? There's no more hurting in heaven you are with all your loved ones...but if Christ wasn't there could you still be happy? I know that I wouldn't. Jesus is everything to me and I want be where He is regardless of the circumstances.