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

Blessed

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 name...how 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 years...it 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. Eish...my 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 was..like 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 life...kids 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 that...by 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 friday...to 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 depleted...in 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 boy...it'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 skinny...so 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.

Friday, April 1, 2011

School Holiday

This week has been  good in terms of I'm getting lots of rest. It's nice being able to lie in until 9am instead of getting up at 6am lol. One more week of school holiday! Tuesday was windy and cold, I had to bring out my sweat shirt! Wednesday was hot and I ended up swimming with the House 34 kids at 82...and got a little sunburnt :P





Thursday was another hot day. Went to Fruit and Veg with Martha. That afternoon I was to go with House 36 to the Children's Theatre. Since they were too young to go to the zoo on Saturday it was arranged for them to do this. Uncle Philly drove us so I would know where it was and then he went home and I was too drive back. It was in a familiar area I've been before so I wasn't completely ignorant of the locate. The play was Pippi Longstocking and it was quite entertaining. The kids really enjoyed it. The drive back was ok, traffic was back up on the highway so it took twice as long to get home. The kids were a lot quieter on the drive back since half of them were asleep :) Made it back in time to go play touch rugby and actually scored for my team this time! Woohoo!
Today is swimming lessons with the younger kids. Saturday is the Jumble Sale from 10 to 4 and I'm to help with that. Remember when I wrote about sorting 20 bags of clothes? Well this is what they were for!
We got another baby at the Hospice. He is 6 months old and came to us because of failure to thrive. He's not putting on any weight, just losing. He is super skinny compared to Bheki and Khaya the other babies at hospice that our 6 months old, but he is very active! Also my have a very sick 14 year old boy come to hospice...not sure yet, last I knew he was semi unconscious from being so sick so might not leave the hospital. Jenna said that he's just like Kokesto was...skin and bones, maybe even worse. So will see how this next week goes in regards to him. On Wednesday the police brought us a little 3 year old girl who someone found wandering around one of the squatter camps. She was so scared and crying. Thankfully the parents where found later that day and she went home.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Johannesburg Zoo

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Today we took 21 of the 29 permanent Lambano kids to the Joburg Zoo. A company was taking kids from various homes around the area for charity and Lambano was one of them! I got to go because I was one of the drivers. Woke up to an overcast sky :P Had to be there at 9am so we were getting ready to leave by quarter past 8. One problem, our gate at 82 wouldn't open. The night before we got a horrendous storm it poured for over an hour and flooded everything, and started leaking into my room lol. But anyways because of all the movement of water with all the mud and sand it was preventing the gate from opening. We finally got it open and it was already 8:30. Sibylle (long term volunteer from Switzerland) was to drive the Blue Kombi and I was to drive the White Kia. And 2 of the house mothers were coming with us to help with the kids. After getting the gate open we only discover that the Blue Kombi wouldn't start. So we drove to the 36 house to get Jenna's car and try to fit as many as we could between the Kia which seats 12 and the car which seats 5. Jenna was out with the car so Siyblle went to go get the yellow car, she came walking back at 9 saying that the yellow car wouldn't start either. By then Jenna had returned and Siyblle took her car with 5 kids and I drove the Kia with 16 kids. The 2 mamas had to stay home. I asked them before we left if they could tell me what car manners were and why it was important. I was following Siyblle who knew how to get there but still needed not to be distracted since we were going on the highway also. Not that I'm not used to driving a car full of noisy kids ;)
We got to the zoo and it was almost 10 but the other kids from other homes were still lining up, getting wrist bands etc. so it worked out fine! We had 3 people from the company assigned to our group to help and off we went. It was a really nice zoo! Compared to the zoo back home this one was much more open! Not so tightly locked up and caged. Like if a person wanted to they could basically get into were the animals were! We saw most of the main animals except the tiger which the kids were a bit disappointed about. I liked seeing the Pumba! Like from the Disney movie the Lion King..don't think I've seen one before at a zoo :)
At noon we met back with all the other kids and we given lunch a burger and chips, then they had a little show for the kids and ice cream. By then it was after 2 and we went to see the snakes and I went around and they had signs up telling which ones were poisonous and what would happen to you if you got bit and where they were located in Africa. The worst one I can't remember then name was extremely venomous and if bit your kidneys etc would start shutting down, eek!
We got back to Lambano and it was almost 4. I had a really great time. I haven't been to 34 and 78 houses very much so it was good to hang out with those kids and get to know them better. The next 2 weeks are holiday from school so I won't be as busy with school runs and such, probably will spend time at the hospice mostly and then just relax :)

So excited :P
Wouldn't wanna fall down there!
Lookin at the lions
Lunchtime

Thursday, March 24, 2011



Went to Katlehong today to take some baby clothes to a family and get some pictures to send the sponsors. The baby I'm holding belongs to a 14 year old girl. Her older sister who is 18 is due with a baby in September. The family lives in the township and there are 4 sisters living with there mother who is HIV+. She has went out to find a job since there is another person in the household and another on the way.
Yesterday was crazy...had to make a trip to Katlehong to take a dietitian who interviewed some of the kids at the schools and was following up on them since they have been on a food program. Got back to the office and then went to Fruit and Veg to buy for the 5 houses, right after that went on the school run. Was able to have a quick lunch then took Lambano's dog to the vet. After that I went to the mall and found a power cord for my computer since mine doesn't work anymore. Then I went home with a headache and went to bed!
Tuesday night our cell group (bible study) made gatsbys to eat which is a loaf of bread stuffed with chips (french fries) and fried hot dogs and boloney with tomato sauce (ketchup) and vinegar. Very nutritious haha. Then Kerry-Ann who been a professional dancer gave us all ballroom dancing lessons. We learned the cha-cha! It was super fun! 

This coming Saturday a company is taking Lambano to the zoo, I'm going as a driver. Should be fun!
The last few days have been hot which is quite a change from the weekend at the conference when it was cold and rainy! Hey, I'm not complaining :)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

BYSA

The Baptist Youth of South Africa (BYSA) conference was amazing. It rained most of the weekend, but despite that the sessions were so great and the worship was awesome! It was also a good time for me to rest and recover from being sick. I went on a jog on Saturday morning and felt ok so thank you for your prayers for my health. I wish to write more about the conference, but I don't have time right now. My laptop power cord doesn't work anymore so my computer is dead, so I only have 30 minutes to use the office computer most times.
This is the last week of school until school holidays for 2 weeks!!! Today my roomate Miriam is going home to France. It looks like I will be the only volunteer here besides Jenna and Sybille the long term volunteers until June...so not sure what my schedule will be once school starts again on April 11. There are the school runs and the schooling with the hospice kids and homework with the permanent kids.

Friday, March 18, 2011

His plan

I've been absent my blog this week because Tuesday night I got sick with a stomch flu that lasted into the better part of the night and drained me to the point of still effecting me now. I was so weak and tired that I was in bed all of Wednesday and most of Thursday. As soon as I was able to keep things down I started mt Reliv shakes again and hope to gain back my strength soon. I still feel tired and lightheaded. So prayers for continuing recovery are welcomed :) Lambano has covered my school driving duties up until the end of the week. This weekend I am off with the youth from the church and some volunteers at Lambano for the BYSA (Baptist Youth of South Africa) conference until Monday. Staying there for the nights too!
I didn't eat anyhing that made me sick we know that much because my roomate ate everything the same as me. Lyn said that is was probably a flu bug going around and the change of seasons etc. I sure don't remember a time when I got that sick...so it has been awhile anyways if I had!
As I lay in bed those couple of days drifting to sleep off and on I thought, how can I be glorifying God when I'm to ill to even get out of bed!? How can I be using this situation for the furthering of His kingdom!? It was quite trying when I came here to give care and end up receiving it...the most I could do at that point was pray and read. A quote by John Piper comes to mind something about God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him. Can I be satisfied in God even when I'm sick? All I could do in those moments of pain was call out to Him. I'm have not studied much the book of Job, but it has caught my interest...I know everything was taken from him including his health. I don't have answers for my questions, but it something I'm thinking and praying about.
While I was sick here in South Africa, back home in the USA my sister was in a car accident, she hit black ice and the car flipped over and was totaled. Give thanks to God she is alright, but it still shook me...What if my family was calling to tell me something else besides asking if my sister could drive my car now!? God is good all the time, all the time God is good. When I was younger I wrote a song... My desire is for God's will, His Sovereign will. His plan for me will not be thwarted; I put my trust in Him. In whatever happens I can find joy; Cause my desire is for His will.

Can I still cling and live by those words I so innocently sung as a child now that I'm older and understand more of the hard cruelness of life in a fallen world of sin?

Yes.

I know that You can do all things, that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted. Job 42:2

Friday, March 11, 2011

Week Reflections re: life hardships

Tuesday I woke up feeling awful. I managed to take a Reliv shake and start my day. School went well with the hospice kids. During our management meeting Lambano has every Tuesday at lunchtime many things came up about the government and healthcare here. Many stories disheartening. It's always interesting the type of topic talked about, but mostly about Lambano. I look forward to the meetings every week. Just to become less ignorant of the way of life here and also it is always encouraging when we pray together...for each other, the kids and this country.
In regards to driving I've become pretty comfortable and confident driving a manual and on the left side of the road and in kilometers. Have to always be wary of taxi drivers...they are crazy. Taxis here aren't like a small car like at home. They are as big as the Combi I drive, like a small bus a big van. They are crammed full of people and you won't catch someone like me one them either, not a good idea. Anyways they own the road expect them to do anything. Another thing is motorbikes. They speed in and out and between traffic. I think I've mentioned the massive speed bumps in residential areas...yeah if you don't slow down you might break your car.
Like I said I may have gotten to comfortable, I don't know, but picking up Nellie on the school run on Tuesday I was waiting for a group of kids to move out of the road so I could pull off to the side. So I didn't realize that I was too close to an already parked car which I hit in the process of moving off the road. Most all damage was done to her car unfortunately. She was quite cross at first, but then was asking me if I was okay and saying that it was just an accident. Didn't make me feel any better. When I got to the office, the stress of the day was building and I had to take a moment to collect myself before doing speech therapy with Thandazo and homework with Nellie.
Martha, Miriam, and I went out to the movies to see the King's Speech that night. It was so wonderful to go out and to such an excellent movie. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Wednesday I was woken up early because Uncle Philemon was sick and so I was asked to do the school run. When I got back to the hospice supervised the kids to make some little cakes. Biscuits (sweet crackers) crushed up and mixed with condensed milk, butter, and chocolate powder. Put a marshmellow in the middle each ball and roll in coconut. That was fun. Tshitsi, Nombolalo, Boutimelio, and Cina are very good bakers :)



Martha then asked me to drive her to Katlehong township to 2 schools there where she was to take some garbage bins to one of the school and take pictures of both for a report for a company in Germany that donates money for the school through Lambano. We planned it to get there for lunchtime. The first school Mogobeng Primary was a well kept school compared to the one we went to next. That one was even newer than Mogobeng and it was in worse shape. All the kids that go to these school are mostly poor. All students at all the schools in South Africa wear uniforms. For these kids there uniforms were probably the nicest clothes they had. We arrived at the last school right when the bell rang for lunch and kids poured out of the buildings running for food, maybe the only thing they get to eat all day. When the kids saw the cameras they would act all silly and goofy. Martha said they would probably act up anyways seeing how I was the only white person walking around.





When we got back I had a quick lunch and then off too pick up the kids from school. I've been doing speech and homework this week in the afternoons because Jenna is on holiday. Well I was falling asleep by the time I finished up with Nellie so I went back to my room for a nap before church that evening.
I was not feeling quite up to par for evening service that night and was debating with myself whether to go or not, especially since I was to get up at really early to go to the hospital the next morning. I did go and was so glad I did. Pastor Lance had a pair up with someone at least 15 years younger or older than our age and talk for 10 minutes to get to know each other than pray for the other person. I met the lady named Deidre. She became a Christain in her 40's...none of her 4 children are saved. Just to hear her story in the time that we had was a great blessing. Then we both prayed for each other and the needs that we shared. I was greatly blessed and thankful that I went!
  Thursday I woke up at 5am to go with Sibylle to take Tshtsi to Bara the biggest hospital in South Africa. She had a check-up at the HIV clinic. The way it works here is not by appointment but whoever get in the cheque (line) first. They open the doors at quarter to 7 and start checking people in at half past. We got there at half past 6 and were second in line. Didn't see the doctor until 10. Brought a book and finished it by that time lol. The waiting room was full up by 8...people sitting and standing. When we got into see the doctor just talked about the medications Tshtsi needs to continue to take. The doctor went over her story of how she got to Lambano. She is from Zimbabwe. Her parents died when she was young and she lived with her granny. She ran away from her home because of an abusive uncle and made her way to South Africa to find her older brother. She has been through a lot and the mood turned sober as they talked about it and a few tears as well. The doctor explained the importance of taking her medicine and how she shouldn't try to run away. Tshtsi is 17, but her emotional mentality is that of 10 because of what she has been through.
Thursday night was touch rugby again and Miriam came this time! Martha had a last minute meeting come up so she wasn't able to go. Had a great time again and played until it was too dark to see the ball. Had a collision with one of the guys that knocked to wind outta me for second lol, but other than that it was awesome!
The reason I went with Sibylle was to know the way to Bara so I can take Tshtsi to her counseling sessions this morning. We left about half past 9 and her session was at 10. But traffic was backed up on the highway because a semi truck had ran into the cement barrier and was blocking most of the road. It took an hour to get there and we were late, but it was okay because it turned out that she had someone at 10 and thought Tshtsi was to come at 11. I was able to sit in the room with them...I read a little and listened. It was interesting to her how the counselor approached the various topics that happened in Tshtsi's life. There were tears shed again about missing her family.
On the drive back I found and english pop music station and Tshtsi was able to experience the crazy side of me dancing while driving...which I say crazy because that is what my siblings think when I do that lol. It was hot so the windows were down which is ok on the highway for no fear of a getting car jacked going 100k. So windows down, radio up, we went...me a crazy white girl singing and dancing to the music. It was great to hear her laughing at me. An Usher song played and she freaked out because she really likes him I guess. She asked if I knew him since I lived in the USA and I said and that seemed to surprise her :)
Thinking back to the topics discussed at the Tuesday meeting and the things that Deidre and I encouraged each other with on Wednesday and now with Tshtsi's story...life is hard.
We live in a fallen world of sin and evil.
One thing that brings comfort is that...this is not all there is! I have hope in something more...an eternity with my Savior!
I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavering to keep the unity of the Spirit  in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
Ephesians 4:1-6

Monday, March 7, 2011

Last Week

Saturday, March 5, 2011

So on Thursday evening I went to play touch rugby! It was the first time hehe. Martha came to and it was her first time too. I absolutely had a great time, it was so fun! And I guess I played pretty well because they said I have to come play every Thursday evening.
Friday was pretty relaxed day. Two of the staff in the office were out sick so it was just Martha in the office most of the day. In the morning the massage students came and we got 30 minute back massages. The girl that massaged me said that I need more than a half an hour massage because there was so much tension built up in my neck and shoulders. Oh well if I can get at least one a week I think that'll help. They come every Wednesday and Friday mornings. Friday night I went out with Martha, Miriam (volunteer from France) and Megan (girl from church who is a teacher) to Montecasino. We dressed up and went to dinner to a Thai place that was very yummy! Montecasino was a really cool place...it was like being in Italy with the streets lined with restaurants. The ceiling was painted to look like the evening sky! Us single girls had a great time out.
Today Miriam and I woke up early to take Nellie (10 years old) one of the girls from House 36 to an assessment in Randburg about 20 minutes drive away if the highway is not backed up. I never had been there and had pretty good directions because we didn't get lost. Nellie's assessment was to be 2 hours long so Miriam and I drove to the Rosebud Mall not far from the place where an African Craft Fair is. That was interesting. Miriam was really good at beginning with people. I just observed at first. Basically they give you their price and you ask for a way lower one then you go back and forth for awhile. Sometimes just say I think I'll see what other vendors are offering and they might accepted your offer then. Haha. I got a few things for gifts for people back home and I think I got the hang of bargaining...it was actually quite fun :) Plan to go back before leave or at least go to the other closer to Wychwood.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Second trip to Katlehong

March 2, 2011
I can't believe it's March! I will have been her 2 months already next week! It's starting to really cool down a lot at night and the leaves are starting to change color on some of the trees...autumn is on it's way.
Today felt like non-stop from 8 to 5. I did school with the hospice kids. Then went at 10:30 with Martha to a warehouse store, kinda like Costco. When we went to Katlehong last week (the township) we learned that one of the families that Lambano sponsors was having some family problems, and anyways the granny ended up leaving 2 kids without care of food. One of the neighbors that Lambano also sponsors was caring for them and here own kids. So we went and bought at least 3 months supply of food for all of them. Got back just in time for me to go on the school run and then right when I got back we drove out to Katlehong. They are doing construction on the highway so traffic was backed up for awhile.
When we got to the shacks to find out the granny had gone shopping so we took the 3 girls that were there with us to go find her so we could drop off all the food. We couldn't find her and the oldest girl of whose granny left told us that they had run out of toiletries so we went to the store to buy some things for them. Martha said you are in for an experience. Lol. Yeah, so we went to the shops and I was the only white person and got quote a lot of interesting looks. The store was super busy too. The 2 younger girls were holding onto me the whole time while the older girl and Martha shopped. It was interesting and I did enjoy it. I just smiled as some people stared...like why is this crazy white girl here!
When we got back to the shacks The other granny returned and we were able to unload all the food for them. So I was able to see inside the one room shacks. The sights and smells of this place where they live are hard to think that people live there lives there.
One of the mamas that works at Lambano lives at a squatter camp really close by to where I'm staying. We drove by it once and I was surprised that is was so close to where wealthy people live. I'm sure that that place is even worse then the place I saw today.
Well we were able to help 2 families today with what we could.



Monday, February 28, 2011

End of the Weekend

February 27, 2011
I woke up early this morning an couldn't go back to sleep so I went to Sunday school that Pastor Lance just started for this year on spiritual gifts. Seems like it's going to be really good so I'll be going from now on :) The service was great! We sang an Afrikaans worship song then in English it was really amazing :) Nkosi is word for God.
Our young adult cell group (bible study) was on tea duty for this month and it was my turn this morning with Martha. Just have to serve tea and coffee then clean up after. They use china cups and plates so the clean up entails washing them all, hehe.
I didn't go to evening service because we went out for Kabelo's birthday to a restaurant called Spurs and didn't get back in time, but I had a really good time. While we were eating I had a good talk with Barbara about some of the kids stories how they came to Lambano and also how she come to be here in South Africa. She is a retired teacher from Wisconsin and has been at Lambano for 5 and a half years now.
I also shared with her about Reliv. On Tuesday I took some of the Reliv I brought with me to talk to Lyn (who is the lady in charge of Lambano) about giving some to Boutimelo who is HIV+ and has skin cancer that can't be treated because of it. He come back from the hospital last week after being there for 3 weeks because of meningitis. He lost a lot of weight and only weighs 18kilos now and he is 10 or 11 I think. Right now Lyn is concerned about him gaining weight then we'll give him some Reliv in a month. Some of the other staff at the office is very interested in Reliv though. I've told most of them how much it's helped my family and about the Kalogris Foundation which has feeding stations all around the world.
Reliv is not open in Africa right now and last I talked to the Board at the foundation there was nothing in the mere future that was going towards Africa. There is just too many kids in the countries they are in already that still aren't getting product at the feeding stations that need to be taken care of first. I understand that, but I wrote an e-mail to the company asking what would the process look like getting it here to South Africa? So looking forward to what their response will be :)
                          Driving back home in the combi from the restaurant

                               Sunset with the city of Joburg

Saturday, February 26, 2011

A Moment

The world is
happening
going on around me.
Here i sit and the only
thing that matters
right now
in this very moment
is You.
i go back once again
Jesus
to be lost in You
to fall in love with You.
Fall in love with You
more and more
every day
but i don't
i get lost in this
world of folly
caught up in the routine and activities of life.
You sit
wait
watch
until i remember You again.
To come back and sit with You
in this moment like i am now
where the only thing that matters
is You.
Can i not stay here forever?
But i don't
i stand up
walk away
swept away
with the flow of the busy crowd
leaving You
sitting
watching
waiting
until i come back and sit with You next time.
At least i think
You always sit there.
i could take You with me
to be next to me
to be aware
of Your closeness
but i don't.
You do go with me
You are still with me
aren't You.
i'm not always aware of it.
You are right by my side
all the time
holding onto me.
i return to sit with You
as if
You have been there the whole time
i'm unaware
You never left me
when I went back in the rotation of the world.
Jesus
may i always take You with me
in my words
actions
steps
in this life
i get lost in this world
may i still be found in You.
Right now
as this moment is drawing to an end
i must rise from where i sit
with complete contentment in You
feeling Your presence
with me
at this moment
i will take You with me.
The way You have loved me and love me
captivates
overwhelms me
i deepen my love in You.
My whole heart
belongs
to You
at this
moment.

Katlehong

Mandla's 9th birthday was on Friday!

Some of the 82 kids: Noma, Junoir, Tshepiso, Mandla and Tebogo. And me with Martha and Mama Remi.




Also, Friday I went with Martha to Katlehong, which is where a township is in South Africa. 40 years ago they made these townships for black people to live separate from white people...it's better now so there are more black and white people coexisting now. But anyways Lambano used to sponsor some of the families at this place, but they lost funding a few years ago, but you know the shoeboxes that people wrap up for third world countries for kids...well Martha and I went to finally deliver them to some of the families. So it was my first time going to a township...I was the only white person ahhhh lol. I was driving too. The first house we went to was basically just a shack, no running water, no electricity. Some of the houses do have those things tho that we went to. I really did enjoy going to the township and am going back with Martha on Wednesday. My heart feels for those people, what can I do for them? I didn't take any pictures...I was too busy taking it all in. The pictures are in my head though. Martha told me some stories for each family. One was of a mother whose 4 year old daughter burned to death last year in a fire. Her son also has a kidney problem and needs a transplant. He was one of the boys we gave a shoe box to and his belly was so swollen. We learned that the other family we went to got in a fight with the 16 year old who ran out, then the granny left the other to girls in the shack and we don't know where she is...the girls have no way to get food. Most kids are raised by grandparents because the parents have died from AIDS. We went to a school too. There are lots of school more classes are 60+ students. One girl failed 2nd grade 4 times and now the school won't take her...Martha said that they just push most of the students along barely passing them and leaving some behind. They need help with there homework. She used to go to Katlehong 4 times a week, before Lambano lost funding for these specific families.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Sorting

Yesterday was not the same routine as usual. I usually teach the hospice kids from 8-12, but we set to work dragging about 30 garbage bags of clothing out of the doctors room which is behind the hospice. They had been sorting all the clothing that Lambano wasn't using for a jumble sale (yard sale). So me and Tabiso (one of the house mamas) sorted the whole morning adult and kids clothing into R1 R2 R3 bags for the sale in April. Some of the bags of cloths were ruined from flooding that had happened recently in the room and it was smelling. There were a bunch of spider in the corner of the room were the bags were piled up...ew. After we finish I went to lunch then on the school run. I usually spend time with House 36 after that but was sent to the shops to buy somethings for one of the kids whos school is going on a camping trip.
 Today I woke up early because I took the kids to school. It was a really good mornign at the Hospice! Selby and Cina were very good working on their school. Boutimelo wasn't around so he was either taken to the doctor or wasn't feeling well. There is a new girl at the hospice who came last week. Nombulelo is 8 years old. She is HIV+ and has Diabetes. Her family wasn't able to take care of her, so she will be here for awhile. I did school with her this morning. I'm still assessing her level, but so far she knows her alphabet and numbers. She is a sweetie! After I went with Martha (staff at Lambano) to fruit and Veg to buy for all 5 house for the week. Tomorrow will be an interesting day. I'm going with Martha to a township for the first time where Lambano also does work.
Nombulelo with the twins Bheki and Khaya :)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Thobile

Thobile left today. It was really quick... the social worker called and said she was coming to get her this morning. Not anytime to say goodbye or prepare the other kids at the hospice. She had been here almost a year and Selby was quite attached to her as a big brother, so it was sad. But she is going to her aunt since her mother is unable to care for her. Today in the staff meeting we prayed for placing for Selby and Cina because they have been here for quite awhile. Thobile was a sweety though she was going to be 2 in May and just starting to walk. Only say a few words so she called me mama along with the other house mothers. I was working with her say more words etc. She always has a very serious expression on her face, but when she'd laugh and giggle it's the cutest thing with her 4 teeth! She'll be missed, but happy that she can go home to family :)



Boutimelo and Thobile

:)

February 21, 2011
Today was Junior's 10th birthday! There are actually 3 birthdays in House 82 this week! Kabelo's 10th tomorrow and Mandla's 9th on Friday. So Sunday, after church, all of House 82 kids, Mama Emma (82 house mother) and Mama Barbara (long term volunteer from USA)  Miriam and I went out to the restaurant called Spurs. It had a mini ferris wheel, trampolines, and merry-go-rounds for the kids to play on, and it was quite a nice time. When we got back the kids went for a doo doo (that is what the call taking a rest here) haha! And I swam and read out by the pool, it was a nice hot day!
Sunday evening went to church and Pastor Lance gave us another resolve as for every Sunday evening service. I resolve to treat my body as Scripture tells me to: as the temple of God. Of course with 1 Cor. 6:12-20 talking about your body being a temple. He introduced the sermon with 1 Cor. 2:6-13 having us underline verse 10...”God has revealed to us through His Spirit.” The first point was that our spirit belongs to God. And when we received the Spirit of God our spirits are fused together, he used the example of how when man and wife are joined as one when they are married on their wedding night. The same as man's spirit and God's spirit becoming one; fused together. (verse 12).
When Pastor Lance preaches whatever topic or subject of the bible he always, always goes back to the Gospel, which is so amazing (I mean that is what all churches should do) but even more so because Grace Covenant Church was teaching about being on mission with the gospel before I came here, and to come to the other side of the world and still have the Gospel being preached with the same urgentcey to tell those who haven't heard...and also in such a way to encourage to be on mission with the gospel. Lambano can only do so much for the kids that are really sick and might not make it...and once that is done it's up to God. Yes, we can only do so much medically, but we still can still always be speaking truth to these kids...of God's mercy and grace...the Gospel!
After having such a hot day yesterday, it was quite cold and stormy all day today. Did the school run then got back to take Daniel (from House 34) who is 15, to an eye appointment. Found the eye office alright just had to turn around once, which is pretty good since I was just given directions verbally haha. Doc said his eyes are wonderful and he won't need glasses!
Jenna (long term volunteer from London) is going on holiday with her family in March for 2 weeks and while she is gone I'll be taking over work with the House 36 kids. Speech therapy with Thandazo, OT with Smiley and homework with Nelly. March is looking like a busy month in the first place. Towards the end of the month is the first break from school studies this year, which I'm told is 3 weeks. Mind you they just finished summer break and started school for the year when I arrived here in January :)
Oh! And I also got my first mail today since I've been here! I wasn't expecting anything yet so it was a surprise! :) Thanks Marika and Marissa, your letters arrived safely and a reply is on the way!

The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law. Deuteronomy 29:29

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Boutimelio and Koketso

On Monday I got up at 6am to go with Sybille (long term volunteer from Switzerland) to the hospital. Thandazo one fo the older girls at House 78 had to get some papers signed from the doctor for more oxygen and Khosi (the little burned boy) needed to get his bandages changed. I went to go and visit Boutimelio.
The hospital we went to it's the ususal one that Lambano goes to. It is quite big though and lots of empty places there that I wouldn't wanna walk down one of those corridors alone at night. The way it works is that they give everyone the same appointment 8am, doctors don't start seeing people until later, so quite a long line can form. The earlier you get there the closer of a place in line up front you get. A mama from the hospice took Khosi and she was first in line and the doctors won't be there until noon. Sybille and Thandazo would see the doctor at 9 and it won't talk long to get papers signed.
The system at the hospital works like this for example Boutimelio was in 285. 2 Section, 8 Floor, 5 Unit and thats how one navigates thoughout the hospital. We took the elevator there are 3 but only one was working so a bunch of people crammed into it when it finally got to our floor. I dislike elevators in the first place so cramped in with a bunch of people for 5 minutes didn't sit well with me. I took the stairs when we left.
It's not the cleanest place for being a hospital. And the rooms have at least 6 beds in each of more. So Boutimelio was in a room with 3 other kids. He doesn't know English very well so he was very quiet I just did some activities with him and read to him for 2 hours until Sybille came to get me. We talked to the doctors and they said that he could go home the next day. He had been on an IV for 14 days.
Uncle Philly (Lambano handy man) was to pick up the other mama and Khosi since it was only 11 and they hadn't even seen the doctor yet. We had to get back for a farewell lunch for Valerie (short term volunteer from Ireland) because she was returning home that day.
Yesterday Koketso's foster parents came to take him home to Pretoria. Staff is a little nervous because he got so sick, on the brink of dying, in the first place because the mom wasn't firm with him and his medicine and let him eat whatever. They explained to her that he wouldn't make it if that happened to him again. We'll see in 6 weeks when he comes for a blood test.
So one left the hospice, but one returned. Boutimelio was discharged from the hospital and is back now...I'll saw him this morning and he looked up and smiled at me. Praying that he will be ok here now and won't have to return to the hospital. The staff here doesn't know why the hospital sent him home...he really does not look that well...

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father in lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. James 1:17


And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28