Pasture Valley Newsletter January 2016
2 Cor 4: 7 “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all surpassing power is from God and not from us.”
“I woke up at 1 o’clock in the morning and was really stressed and worried about my daughter. I started to pray and asked God to help me. I was so worried that I had pains on my back. I see now that God has helped me today and I am so grateful. “… these are the words of a sick father who lost his wife and has a 6 year old deaf daughter who needs schooling. God led his feet to Pasture Valley and he was able to receive the support he needed for his little girl to be able to go to school. These incidences are a reminder to me that God is at work in people’s lives. He does answer prayers!
Reluctantly we saw our 2 youngest (and smallest) in the family go to school a few days ago. We had to buy the smallest pair of trousers for each of them and still had to make adjustments so that they would fit. I prayed that they would be alright at school-I know first hand what being the smallest in the class feels like and one has to be tough! And tough they are! They came back a little tired, but with a smile on their faces. Happy to be at school with the others at last.
The Pasture Valley children did really well this last year with all Primary school children passing except for two. In a school with over 1200 children, only 2 children in Grade 7 received merit passes. One of those children was from Pasture Valley. We are so grateful for Ted and Tina and all the volunteers who helped our children after school with tutoring and support in their studies. Siyabonga and Bongiwe also passed their form 5 and got several B’s and C’s and did not fail any subjects. Siyabonga is now studying at U Tech college doing engineering and Bongiwe will be applying for her journalism studies in July.
KEEPING BUSY OVER THE HOLIDAYS
The children had plenty to do over the holidays. On Christmas day we hired a big bus and drove 3 hours north to Bulembu. The kids were so excited about their 3 day holiday. At Bulembu they had a fun day with games and a braai with lots of food. They also were able to swim and hike the mountain (the highest in Swaziland), play soccer and go to church. They loved their time there.
Back home, we did another cooking competition and Claire was also able to give the older children and Pasture Valley and SOS Villages housemothers a 4 day first aid course. These are valuable life skills that may save a life one day.
January is always a busy month as Pasture Valley has to buy and deliver school clothes for over 300 children at different schools around the region. We have people coming to the office nearly every day asking for assistance and each query has be assessed. The need is so great and sometimes just overwhelming. This last week we have had to report the rape of a child that was brought to our attention, as well as visit children in great need that need a safe home. Our new home is not quite ready but we have referrals from Social welfare on a waiting list until we can set up the home and get beds ready
A SIGN OF THE TIMES - LEARNING SIGN LANGUAGE!
The Ekuthuleni Girls Care centre is filling up with 3 new girls. The girls are settling in nicely into their new home and school and Aunty Thembi ensures that they have a good meal to come home to.