Thursday, September 26, 2013

Building on a Solid Foundation!

Playing soccer with the children at the Mazenod foster home along with their friends!

Sharon with some of the primary children at St. Michael's

Pastor James, Paul, Cory, Moshe, Samuel, Buddy and myself before we go down to the St. Michael students in a soccer match! 

Highlights of the last two days...

We were off and running early on Wednesday morning as we made our way to the capital city of Maseru.  It is about a two hour drive to where we were going.  It was there that we visited one of the Bracelet of Hope income generating projects,  a grandmother’s group raising broiler hens @Thuso Ho Bahissaane. They shared their success stories as well as challenges losing some of the hens due to ‘water bellies’.  However these ladies are a resilient bunch! From there we went to another BofH initiative, the “BRAA” (Building Responsible Adults Association) group led by Holmpho.  We visited their project site that included a piggery, beekeeping hives and vegetables growing here.  We also met a wonderful young lady, Jacobina, who also helps out here.  The children that are part of the “BRAA” attend St. Michael’s school and are in grade 7 and 8 so we went from the project site to the school and there the children put on a presentation for us from sharing poems, stories and a little bit about themselves in English to a cultural dance that was done so well as the rest of the children sang. We then presented the school with 4 High Power soccer balls and then the teachers and principal started to dance a dance of thanks.  It was something else to see and then the children were turned loose on the playground with the balls.  There were older girls using them for basketball and younger children playing keep away while one teacher organized a game between the Canadians along with the young guys travelling with us, Samuel, Hllompho and Moshe.  It was an all -out attack with nothing held back and we were handed our defeat at the amazing footwork of the children!
It really was amazing for us to watch the playground transformed and filled with laughter with just a few balls and some crazy Canadians!  They were quite taken with us and repeated every phrase with precision.  Sharon said to a group of primary children, “I am from Canada” and they repeated back exactly the same thing to which she said, “No, you are from Africa” and again the same phrase right back at her…it was too much fun.  I started saying “high 5” and slapping their hands and then a few flights in the air as I spun them around.  Every visit around here seems to go way too fast and we were off in the vans again heading to our next appointment.  First though we hit a KFC for deep fried chicken goodness and then we visited the Mohalalito’s foster home. This foster home is located right by an AFM (Apostolic Faith Mission) church that was dedicated by none other than Reinhart Bonnke back in the day! They were so appreciative of their gifts and one of the children here showed us his makeshift weightlifting set made up of a bar with two paint cans filled with cement.  Cory was giving him tips on all kinds of ways to build up more muscle!!  The children are amazing and we heard more about their story through Mpele, a young man. Mpele has such a heart for God and a desire to do His will.  He is very keen on serving God and using the gifts he has been given whether in business or as a social worker.  Sharon had the opportunity to pray with him towards reaching his goal.
The verse that God gave Sharon for the day to read to our team was in the Psalms… and it is really amazing to be blessing the poor, it is a JOY and privilege to be here and good to know God is watching over us…the roads can be quite crazy!!

Oh the joys of those who are kind to the poor. The LORD rescues them in times of trouble.  The LORD protects them and keeps them alive Psalm 41:1,2

Thursday’s verses for the day were Matthew 7:24-28 and the focus was on building a solid foundation which of course is Jesus.  However, building a strong foundation is what Bracelet of Hope is helping to provide so many of these people through fostering and income generating projects.

Anyone who listens to my teaching and obeys me is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. V24

It started much like Wednesday with the long 2 hour drive into and around the capital of Maseru.  We visited two more projects to start our day.  First was a group of ladies raising broiler chickens and then very close by to them a very successful project, Ipopeng, where a group of ladies oversee laying hens.  It was a good opportunity to see their work and encourage them in what they were doing.  While there, Andy McDougall and Anne Gardner were approached about more opportunities from other seeking to have the same chance to do this.  There is no shortage of need here as the need to provide for families is great.  After our time there, we headed in the city of Roma where we ate ¼ chicken dinners in a place flooded by students attending the University of Lesotho located there.  In the afternoon we visited foster homes.  The first one was located at Lithoteng, right beside a AFM church.  We had a chance to meet the workers there and the pastor as well.  They are in the midst of building a new church as they have outgrown their current space.  The gifts and soccer ball in particular was a huge hit yet again.  We then finished our day at the Mazenod foster home and again playing soccer allowed us to break the ice with the children and bond quickly with them. 

Each day, each visit, each child, each smiling face were so hard to leave…there are not enough hours in a day to be with these children

1 comment:

Bill Clark said...

That is really cool. The ladies and Hlompho's group are the two groups that the money from the Ride for Refuge went to the last two years. It is great that you are there to see first hand were the money went and how it is being used. I hope you got some good pictures of both places. God bless