JANUARY 2017 Abba's Pride Ministry Update: Where we've been and where we'RE going



Woosh! Where’s the time gone? What’s coming next? Like most people the start of a new year is our time to look back and dream forward. Lonnie and I are entering the last six months of our initial commitment and we can't believe that July 1, 2017 will be the end of five years here in South Africa.

We have seen huge changes during our time here. When we arrived in 2012 it was just Lonnie and I. We jokingly say a "Ma and Pa organization". We were actively involved in two churches' early childhood centers with about 95 children total. These two centers had no, to very little, proper teaching equipment or trained teachers.

Today we look back amazed at all the Lord has done! From a "Ma and Pa" organization in 2012, we started 2017 as a team of 7, including two South Africans. We are in partnership with 10 early childhood centers and our feeding program involves over 750 children. Each year we are blessed to host numerous teams from both churches and schools. We are in the second year of our Serve South Africa internship program and just hosted our first every Kids' Camp which impacted over 70 children with 10+ making the decision to follow Christ!


Lonnie and I strongly believe God wants us to stay another five years. We are trusting that he will enable us to remain financially stable through our amazing partners. We are praying He will give us wisdom in growing the financial base of Abba's Pride. Our team is also working diligently to increase our South African volunteer and partner platform.

Abba's Pride has applied to become a non-profit company here in South Africa and are currently developing a child sponsorship program. With a growing number of teachers eager to learn, we are adding an additional section of our ECD Teacher's GUILD to allow us to take these teachers to a higher level. The Lord has blessed us with a handful of donors who are partnering with us as we come alongside one of our partnering churches to build our first ever "from the ground up" early childhood center. With interest growing in our agriculture programs, Abba's Pride already has plans to drill a well and send our third individual to Farmer's Academy!

We could go on and on about what the Lord is doing and where we feel our hearts are leading! We invite you to follow along on this journey through our social media pages and our website and, if your heart leads, make 2017 the year you visit to see first hand what the Lord is doing here!

Thank you to all that have prayed for the ministry, served in the ministry, and supported us through prayers and finances. May our Lord abundantly bless you in your sacrifices for his people in South Africa.

Lonnie and Debbie Warren (Co-Founders)


2017 started with a first ever for Abba's Pride! We hosted a Kids' Camp for over 70 students from 4 of our partnering churches. The camp was held at Camp Zenith in Heidelberg. Volunteers from the USA and South Africa travelled to the camp on Sunday afternoon and prepared for the exciting week ahead. Students and their leaders arrived on their busses on Monday afternoon and the madness began!

Throughout the week the students participated in various activities and games including drama, soccer, dance, swimming, basketball and art. The favorite of almost all of the students was swimming! Many of them never get a chance to swim in a pool! But the most important part of the week was the time spent worshipping Jesus through song, hearing the Gospel of Jesus and spending time talking about him in small groups. The theme for the week was "God's Love Knows No Limits" from I Corinthians 13:7-8 which says "Love knows no limit to its endurance, no end to its trust, no fading of its hope; it can outlast anything. It is, in fact, the one thing that still stands when all else has fallen." By the end of the week we had at least 10 students who accepted Christ for the first time and many more who rededicated their lives to Him.

Thank you so much to all of you who came out and helped make camp so amazing! And thank you to all of you who helped make it happen by giving financially! We couldn't have done it without you!!


"Camp "No Limits" showed kids that God's love has no boundaries or limits. Through memory verses, song and dance they got to experience the life that Christ promises to those who follow him. Most had never owned a bible or read scripture and they learned of God's great love for them everyday. I pray that they will continue to read and learn in the days ahead and find strength in the word. The Lord moved through the kids at camp and many accepted Christ. It was a beautiful thing to witness and an experience I will never forget." -Sharon Kendall

"What a privilege to be able to come along side of Abba’s Pride and minister in South Africa. The blessing of working in the field with the staff and ministering to the kids was more wonderful than I could imagine. God moved mightily! The working along side of the other volunteers was amazing also and the lasting friendships will be in my memory bank for the rest of my life. I didn’t look forward to the long plane ride, but it was not bad at all. Thanks Lonnie for inviting me to step out of my comfort zone and step into where God is working! It was a magnificent experience and an opportunity of a lifetime. The worship, small groups, devotional, and the study guides were God ordained and made the trip wonderful. I enjoyed the time in the rural areas and worshipping with the local folks. The time visiting the animal preserves was interesting fun. What a memory builder. Lives were changed including mine!" -Red Calkin

"It was great to be a part of something bigger than myself, something that God was working through to speak into the lives of the South African kids, leaders, and even ourselves. The sports were just a fun venue to get us and the kids involved with each other. The meetings were a perfect place to see the kids involved in worship and to join them. The small groups were an awesome place to discuss God things with the kids. This was the camp experience of a lifetime!" -Mark Jones

"The girls in my small group and I laughed, sang, and acted silly. There were lessons and verses intermingled throughout the week, but just loving the campers was the mission. On Thursday night, one of the girls came to me with some pretty heavy news about her and her family. She hugged me. I said nothing. I simply hugged her back. She held me tighter. I held her tighter. She didn't let go for almost 15 to 20 minutes, so I didn't let go either. We said nothing. We just hugged and cried. One of my favorite verses from the Bible is "Jesus wept" when he heard that Lazarus had died. What? Why would he cry? He was getting ready to bring that man back to life. Surely he could have just said, "Okay, okay everyone, calm down and just watch." But he didn't -- instead he wept. I believe Jesus was demonstrating to us the need to use fewer words and more feelings. Communication does not always come by way of text, email or our mouths. It can be that hug that lasts for minutes. That smile that warms the heart. That eye contact that says, "Peace is yours to have too." The girl finally released from our hug and just smiled at me with tears in her eyes. She was okay. She just needed to share that burden. She just needed someone else to know . . . to care. She just needed to be seen by me (a mere vessel) so that she could truly know that she was seen by the Savior. We all need to know that, don't we?" -Cindy Aitken

"When my group of girls first got to camp they were shy so it was hard to communicate with them. As the week went by, I got to know them better and make them smile. We taught them how to find verses in their Bibles and they memorized the theme verse 1 Corinthians 13:7-8. They loved to dance to the songs and it made me happy to see them smiling. When they left camp, I know they felt very special and loved. The goal was to share God’s love with them, which we accomplished, but I personally got to experience God’s love in a new way. Even though camp is over, I still picture their beautiful faces and pray for them. This camp was memorable for not only the kids, but for me as well. Abba’s Pride did a wonderful job and impacted many lives." -Lindsay Kearns


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