Thursday, December 24, 2009

God opened the floodgates - a BUMPER time of blessings!

This has, by far, been the busiest December we have ever experienced since we started the 2010 activities in 2005. We have been blown away by the way God has just opened the floodgates as far as His blessings towards our work is concerned as well as the good will of many people (that are connected with us) towards the needy and underprivileged children and people we are involved with.
The following were incredibly heart warming events for us to have been part of:
November 29th -  We took 50 gifts (donated by the Pick and Pay supermarket chain store) to the Kayhlihle Day care centre in Tembisa and they handed these out to the children (pre-school and orphans) as part of their year end function.
November 29th - Sunday School concert and prize giving which included the KINOS group. The children were brilliant in presenting a review of songs and they all enjoyed receiving their Sunday School prizes.
Dec 4th - The Police station near Tembisa gave the 18 children of the KINOS group a brand new bicycle each.
Dec 11th - Collection of various stationary and art items from the Impala primary school that they were throwing away in a clean up operation. These items are still in very good condition and can be very well utilized in the crèches in Tembisa as part of our CUDDLE project in 2010.
Dec 21 - We had the privilege to help the manageress of the Mug and Bean food and coffee shop distribute 200 gifts to 200 children in four different pre-schools in Tembisa in the space of two hours. It was an amazing experience to share the joy and excitement of the children and the teachers as they were treated to something very unexpected. Many of the children were so overwhelmed with their gifts that we had to tell to go ahead and open them!! - many of them are not used to receiving presents.
Dec 22 - Mug and Bean food and coffee shop treated the 5 key teachers we have identified to take the CUDDLE project forward to a scrumptious lunch. It really made them feel special and appreciated and served as a good event to get them to bond further and get motivated for the work ahead in 2010.
Dec 22 - The Mug and Bean food and coffee shop treated the KINOS group to a lunch and gave them a brand new clothing item each. It was interesting to see that the children were as thankful and excited about the clothing item as they were about their bicycles. We then took the children to the bunny park where they had a wonderful time chasing rabbits, feeding and seeing other live stock animals. If you add the Sunday School concert/ prize giving and bicycle give away they had it has been a fantastic end to the year they will never forget. It has been a wonderful privilege for us to share these experiences with them, and also seeing how thankful and appreciative they are.
Dec 23 - Purchasing and preparing of food hampers sponsored by the UK Meal a day fund to be distributed on Dec 30th God willing.
We a realizing more and more that there is a great need for people to be God's "channel(s)" for many who want to give to be able to do so effectively and indeed reach out to the widows and the fatherless. Many people want to donate but don't know how to or to whom to do so. Many don't realize that they have much to offer in this regard. It is our privilege and blessing to be such a "channel". It will be our goal to increase our efforts to make more people aware of the HUGE amount of good they can do by giving up very little of their time or goods and to get involved in reaching out to the poor and needy. 
It is hard work but very rewarding. Our incredible busy time and God's opened floodgates of blessings thru other people has prompted the following thoughts from Leona:

"What a blessing to live in a community that cares – and have friends and associates that have realized – "don't throw away – phone Lucas and Leona – let them decide what is actually worthless!"  Anything from food, furniture, clothes, paper or stationery.

Being in contact on an almost daily basis with crèches we have come to realize that they serve a community that has a minimal income – thus crèche fees are generally between R250 to R350 per child per month.  This would be for 5 days a week, from 6h30 till 16h00, and includes 2 meals and a morning snack.  This does not leave much of an income for the teachers of the crèches.  This is where donations from other schools and individuals has been such a Godsend.  If we can reduce the running costs of the crèches – it will increase the actual income for the teachers – and also hopefully encourage them to keep up the service they are providing for the community.

But who could have thought that a blessing can be so much hard work. 

Clothes have to be washed (very few people in Tembisa have washing machines), sorted, and then donated fairly and sensitively to the correct people.

Stationery / Art equipment is often half-used, dried out or broken – but sort out type-by-type – and soon one can give a crèche a decent stationery kit.

Books and Dictionaries need to be fixed, pencil markings rubbed out – and often combined to make a full dictionary – which if you have none – then a patched-up one is very worthwhile.

All donations are well meant – but can also often be worthless to the crèche without the necessary follow-up.  For example – persons receive sheets of wood for shelving – but do not have saws, nails or manpower to make the sheets into usable shelves.  So the wood lies around – and seeing as most crèches usually consist of only 2 small rooms – space is minimal.  Thus volunteer maintenance and painting skills are soon put to good use.

Are we complaining ? Never.  It encourages fellowship, good laughs and that "I have so much to be thankful for" attitude while we are doing the sorting; and then to experience the thankfulness and humbleness with which the donations are received – just makes one realize – next time we will be ready to again fetch any donation – because even though we cannot change the world – we can make a meaningful difference in our circle of influence.


"Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts. I will speak of the glorious honour of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works. And men shall speak of the might of thy terrible acts: and I will declare thy greatness. They shall abundantly utter the memory of thy great goodness, and shall sing of thy righteousness." – Psa 145:3-7


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