Over 45 children received a brand new schoolbag (donated by a local college) filled with supplies – a perfect kit to head into the new school year. Such excitement filled the air as they waited in line for their bags, and once in their hands, the bags were rapidly opened and contents inspected. Shocked expressions gave way to huge smiles, and friends began comparing bags happily. One boy of about 12 held up his pack of pens, saying “This is what I need! This is what I need for my school!” Thank God for the constant opportunity to affect change and open doors to new beginnings for those in need.
Suzanne and Caleb decided to do something special for the elderly living near their home. One of the neighbours got so inspired by the idea that she asked if she could join them. Together, they packed gift baskets for each of the residents of a nearby center, adding chocolates and the Dutch version of the Activated magazine. The three of them visited with each of the elderly residents; sharing a word of encouragement; lending a listening ear; and leaving the basket as a special gift and both the visit and gift were gratefully accepted by everyone. As the saying goes; “A little bit of love goes a long way!”
As part of our Christmas projects we dropped off food, toys, and chocolates to the residents of two centres for women and children in crisis.
Our visit with presents and chocolates to the local community clinic was a pleasant surprise to the many patients waiting to see the doctor this morning.
Today we had lots of help as volunteers spent the afternoon packing toys and snacks with us. We were preparing for our visit to a township tomorrow, when we are planning to surprise around one thousand people with crackers, toys, and treats.
The men and women who care for the disabled children of the Sive Nathi Care Centre are just amazing. Always smiling, singing, and so positive; they care for these young cerebral palsy patients with so much love and patience that we felt honoured to present them with a “love box” full of Christmas treats and presents. (Love boxes donated by a local company) Upon opening the boxes the ladies broke into an impromptu song and dance, which was a real treat for us all!
On Tuesday we had the privilege of sharing the Gospel with nearly 250 disadvantaged children and teenagers. As the hall filled with children-many of whom suffered from Fetal Alcohol Syndrome-we could also feel the excitement mounting. The children were gathered for a Christmas programme with a difference. Everyone was given juice and a snack and we showed them a DVD, outlining the message of salvation in simple story form. After the DVD, we presented the children with the opportunity to accept Jesus as their personal Saviour. Then, the children respectfully bowed their heads as Amy (12) led them in prayer. We also presented each child with a gift-bag filled with treats, chocolates, and a toy. Seeing the sweet reactions of the crowd made sharing the meaning of Christmas in word and action even more rewarding for us all.
Christmas is usually a time of excitement and the giving of gifts. Unfortunately, this is not the case for everyone; there are still many children who don’t partake of this special season. Because of this we plan events that include the giving of Christmas presents to those who wouldn’t normally get any. Here you see the youth of Helping Hand sorting presents for Christmas parcels, and the staff and management of Sash Consulting who kindly donated the gifts for the children of the Sive Nathi center and the Sarah Fox Convalescent hospital.