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.
We all spent a special evening of singing carols in the beautiful Avondale gardens in Durbanville. Everyone wholeheartedly joined in with old favourites and enjoyed some interesting and innovative new adaptations as well. Well done to all who helped organise and plan this event and especially to the Protea Valley Church for providing the wonderful songs and music.
The Jack and Jill creche in Morningstar received a surprise visit from us on Monday. Our teenagers played games with all the little ones there, causing lots of excitement and laughter. (there are forty children, aged 2-5) Then, after treating them to a special snack, it was time for….Christmas presents!!! It was great fun to see the little faces light up as names were called out and the children were given their gifts. Forty little children waited until all the presents were handed out; and then the unwrapping began! Chocolates and games were sweetly shared and toys were carefully put away to be taken home. As the main teacher shared the touching background and personal stories of some of the children we were grateful to have been able to add a little cheer to these little ones’ lives this Christmas season.
All students of the Alpha Primary School in Morningstar and Cavalleria Primary School in Scotsdene received a surprise at the end of their school year. Each student was given a bag of Christmas chocolates and a Gospel pamphlet to start off the holidays. Altogether just over 2000 packets were distributed . As one can imagine, there were smiles all around; the last day of school, and chocolates to top it off. Enjoy, and Merry Christmas all!
Some of us were able to take a few days off in the countryside near Ceres this week. While relaxing on the front stoop (porch) in the evening, we were overwhelmed by the beauty and majesty of God’s Creation shown in the night sky, and thought we would try and share it with you. Truly, “The Heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament shows His handiwork!” (Psalm 19:1) (NOTE: These photos are not edited or Photoshopped. Amazing what God has created!)