In July this past year we hosted a team from Lakeside Fellowship in Polk City, IA. You probably remember that the first week they were at The Pines they held a Bible Club for kids from the nearby school. During that week - on the last day actually - we saw 8 decisions for salvation.
Since that time we have continued contact with several of those kids. Several of them have been to church with us, and a couple of them come quite almost every Sunday. Modibedi, one of the boys, even started bring his sister Mamokete to church each week.
This picture is showing the frustration of Amber & my sister Rosina, as they slaved for hours over a hot fire, only to have Pheello kick a soccer ball into the pot of beans. Pretty good aim, though. Look close and you can see beans all over the girls.
In August Amber & I decided to have the youth from the church over to The Pines for Sunday afternoon lunch and games. Let me insert here that Amber is a pretty special wife. By nature she is very much a schedule person, wanting to know the details of every last thing. In fact, her former youth leaders will tell you that even in 7th grade she was kind of a pain in the neck, always needed to know how long a trip might be, where and when they would be stopping, how long it might take to get there, who would be pumping the gas, and if anyone was in charge of bringing kleenex and hand sanitizer.
So now Amber lives in Africa, where one has a 60 minute window to still be considered "on time" for anything. And in the last 18 months she has done a fantastic job of learning flexibility. It is not uncommon for us to decide the day of to invite people over for lunch. And frequently if you invite 5 people, 10 will show up.
So on this day we anticipated having about 15 kids to The Pines. We ended up with 25. For a variety of reasons, some cultural, some practical, some coincidental, all of the kids joining us that day were boys. Except for Mamokete. She was one that we hadn't planned on, because this was the first day that she joined her brother for church.
We figured that a 14 year old girl wouldn't necessarily want to sit and watch 24 boys playing soccer and such, so before we arrived home we asked Mama Irene if it would be ok for Mamokete to eat in her flat and spend the afternoon with Okuhle - our resident fire-and-brimstone 14 year old girl at The Pines. Irene agreed, and of course Okuhle agreed to entertain Mamokete for the afternoon.
Later that day, when it was time to take everyone home, Okuhle joined us for the ride to town. She told us she needed a new Bible. This is probably the 4th or 5th time this has happened. The first couple times I figured she wasn't taking care of what she had, but each time I learned that she had been witnessing to someone else and gave that person her Bible. Such was the case this time. That afternoon she had shared with Mamokete that the only way to Heaven is through faith in Jesus Christ. And Mamokete had chosen to put her trust in Jesus.
Since that day Mamokete has joined us for church every Sunday, and recently has started bringing her own friends. And she is not the only one to start showing growth. It is truly exciting to see God at work, not only through the lives of children, but in our lives as well. We've told people that this ministry is like a roller-coaster. We've committed to God, and He strapped us in and allows us along for the ride. I don't know why He chooses to use us, but He has and we are grateful for that. We are excited about the possibilities that He may present, even to allow kids we have previously worked with and discipled to assist us in a new ministry and reach the new children God brings our way. What a blessing it is to serve the Almighty God.