So we are able to end the night and get a taste of home with playing our famous Indiana game called euchre (with my new African playing cards) and I’m learning that we all like to talk smack when it comes to competition (in all love and kindness of course). We had a really good debriefing session tonight after our dinner at the grace house. We have definitely been blessed to have great team unity on this trip. Every new day that we have had in the slums seems to be a new eye opening experience for all of us. Many amazing stories/experiences from today.
The house visits (bringing the light) have been something that we all agree has been one of the most meaningful experiences that some of us have ever had. Having the opportunity to be a tool used by our God to bring the precious hope of Jesus Christ has not only been a blessing to the different families in the slums, but also to all of us as well.
Today we were broke up into 3 different groups and were able to speak with 3-4 different homes. Jon and I had the opportunity to visit 3 different chantes today and all were very powerful visits. The one that stood out to me the most was speaking with this man named Samuel who is married and has children. What really touched me was that he and his wife have both been tested positive with HIV and now his children were beginning to feel weak. He felt as though he was not worthy to do anything at this point now that he knows he is dying. It was amazing go see God’s love through Isabella (a social worker in the slum) talk about how Jesus came to earth and loved everyone so much! Not just healthy people…but tax collectors, lepers, and all sinners and that he died for each and every one of us because he loves us so much. He told us that he has that hope in Jesus and that really touched out hearts knowing that he had that hope, and we encouraged him in letting him know that is the most important gift that anyone could ever receive.
We were able to share with him that there are so many healthy and wealthy people back home in the US that think they have it all figured out, but some don’t understand truth and that makes them as lost as most people in the slums. His heart was touched by this encouragement and we were able to pray with this man, and for his family. It’s been amazing to listen to how the Holy Spirit has intervened in so many of the chantes we visited. Before we started doing this a lot of us were leery and nervous but when God wants His message to get out, he sure does provide a way, even if it just means planting that seed and we have seen/heard about this from everyone during their house visits.
As for the rest of the afternoon, we were short a few team members at the school in Bondeni. Poor Katie had to stay at the Hotel to rest for the day because she was beginning to feel under the weather. While she stayed at the hotel she was able to print a lot of the pictures for the craft that we have been doing with the kids.
Cheri was given the opportunity to work with 15 women in Pangini at the Missions of Hope Building teaching them different skills with using beads and making beautiful jewelry. She seemed very excited at the end of the day being able to speak of the relationships that they were able to build with one another, the fun they were able to have, and the new skills they were able to learn.
Francis had a lot of fun serving at a library in Hazuma and getting the chance to read different Bible stories with the kids there. One of the stories she was able to share was the story of Joseph and his colorful coat. The kids loved it and were very receptive!
Back at the school in Bondeni, Kristi, Jackie, Marcia and I teamed up and by the grace of God we were able to come up with some new ideas to compliment the 7 days of creation lesson since we once again, had the same kids for the third day in a row which we hadn’t originally planned on having. For the little kids, we did some hand motions and went through the 7 days to help them memorize them, reminding them that God made all of these things for us and that we were the best part of His creation and that He made us because He loves us so much! Kristi was able to compliment the hand motions with another one of her beautiful chalk drawings so that they could see pictures while they learned. At the very end the kids were given paper and crayons and we were able to help trace their hands on paper and explain to them that God loves them and they are His children.
The next group of kids were a little bit older and they were able to use animal masks to help compliment their motions while learning creation…they LOVED those masks and they were also able to help Kristi make another chalk presentation which they were really excited about.
Soccer with Jon, Dave and Seth was also another adventure to say the least, since the older kids have been learning soccer skills the last few days, they were able to actually scrimmage this time, and they had a blast! Dave shared that a man from the slum came up and began talking to him and thanking him for the work that everyone has been doing, and that it helps bring hope to the slums. It was really awesome for all of us to know that someone is able to see the love of Christ through just working with the kids.
Today was once again, eye opening for all of us in one way or another. Tomorrow is a big day for all of us, in being given to opportunity to hand out a brand new uniform to every kid at the school in Bondeni. This is desperately needed since some of the uniforms are beginning to turn to rags. It has been such a privilege to be able to work with these children and their amazing teachers. You can definitely see the love of Christ in is school.
Continue to pray for Bondeni, and praise God in the work that He has been doing so far!