Psalm 15:31 “ Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for You.”
School Holiday Activities
We are grateful for the wonderful holiday times we have had with the children. One appreciates these times when everything around turns upside down.
There is always something happening over the school holidays. This time the children were divided into clubs to participate in craft, carpentry or art with Aunty Terri. The Westside Church team from California with Pastor Garcia helped with many of the activities. The kids made bookshelves for the homeschool and also went on outreaches to Mahamba and Hlatikulu where they helped gather firewood and establish a garden for the families in need. Showing how to serve others and help them is a very important life lesson for the children to learn and they do it with great enthusiasm and compassion.
The Girls Care centre also did a recital to show their musical progress. Each girl did an item on the keyboard. Josh and Alicia have done great work to teach them musical skills. At Pasture Valley we held a cooking competition “Bake-Off” . The teams did really well in cooking an excellent soup and bread. The tasting was the best part and I was glad to be one of the judges!
The children did once again not go to school today and there is uncertainty about when they can return as teachers, nurses and factory employees go on strike. Thousands of people marched into town last week while shop owners closed their doors and vendors fled. We are not sure what the future will hold, but pray that peace will reign and that God will protect all His children in Eswatini.
A Beautiful Proposal
Francis and his father, Robert, came to Pasture Valley to meet with our very large family. Francis surprised Taiwan with a marriage proposal at the Royale Hotel in Nhlangano at a dinner. And she said “Yes!” The wedding is planned for sometime in July next year in Tanzania and Eswatini. A kitchen tea was held for Taiwan where she received many items for her kitchen to do some great baking and cooking one day!
Preschool Teacher Training
Pasture Valley hosted another Preschool teachers training. This time the focus was on how to teach children with disabilities and learning difficulties. Somehow God brought all the teachers needed together at the same time. Kelly and Terri from the USA did presentations on how to reach children with music and fun activities and Rebecca who is a Physiotherapist from Germany also did a presentation. It was wonderful to see Taiwan also present a session on her missionary teaching experience in Malawi and Zambia. The teachers were also given gift bags with supplies for their preschool and some posters.
Paul Young’s ministry is to reach as many people as possible with the gospel with his amazing chalk drawings. He visited Pasture Valley children’s home and also went to 2 other schools to share the good news. Small Paul is actually not small at all- he is over 2 meters!
So many girls drop out of school due to pregnancy in Eswatini never to return to their education again and feel burdened by caring for a child without any support. So few children grow up in whole families, often not knowing their fathers or the safety of a family. For this reason we try to run a course each year for our teenagers to encourage them to wait for the right partner and fulfil God’s plan for their lives. This year over 30 girls from the Amitofo Care Centre and Pasture Valley attended the 2 day course which was followed by the same course for boys. In the evenings we ran lively debates addressing certain issues. Francis and Taiwan also shared their testimonies and how they set boundaries for their relationship. One of the girls commented that Taiwan was her role model. Another responded that there is hope for all those growing up in children’s homes that such a path in one’s life is possible. There is hope…
Namibian Preschool Visit
It was wonderful to have been able to see the children again in Namibia. This time they were given some Pasture Valley bags with some toiletries and stationery. There was much excitement as they peered into their bags!
What a privilege it was to witness the baptism of 10 of the children and Ciniso and to know that they have chosen to live their lives for Jesus on the 16th of September. Matthew 28: 19 “ Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit” .