We are in the heart of the Zulu nation, surrounded by lush green hills. The hillsides are dotted with very traditional round huts with thatched roofs. The mist remained for the longest time this morning.
At Nobanda and Mashaka schools, 500-600 hundred school children gathered in the open at each place. They stood for over an hour listening to the entire program. When James started to pray with them, they immediately began to pray the Lords prayer. Imagine hundreds of children at a public school enthusiastically saying "Our father, who art in heaven Â" It was so sweet!
Later, at another school, it was such a joy for all of us to hear the Zulu children calling on Jesus, asking Him to be their Savior. Many were very hungry to hear about Jesus because, most were from broken homes. Some had lost both parents to AIDS though that is never listed as the real cause of death. Many were being raised by their grandmothers. The opportunity to share with all of these Zulu children answers 6 years of prayers for me. Praise God!
Even the principals at these schools were thrilled with our program. They thanked us in front of the students and reviewed for them all the important points. Then, they even helped us carry and pack our equipment. The children shouted, "Siyabonga", this is thank you in Zulu. At one school they sang us a thank you.
We are staying in Pietermaritzburg now with different families and look forward to five great days of ministry before we travel to Durban. Please ask God to bless this time and call many children to Himself.
Two very different shows
Not every show has the response that you hope for when you share about Jesus with the children. Sometimes, our hearts break for what we do not see happening at a program. We did a show for children who had many blessings, who were financially blessed. It seemed that their comforts made it hard for them to hear. There were moments when I felt that they were laughing at us instead of with us at a puppet show. Our feelings are unimportant, but they did not seem to hear Jesus. We left the show feeling very sad, frustrated, and determined to pray for wisdom as to how to better share with them over the next few days. Please pray with us. Ask the father to break their hearts and show them that He is their only comfort!
The program that followed was totally different. We worked with an Indian church, that minister’s to poorer children. Most struggle in every part of their devotional lives. A lot of them come regularly to the children’s program but return to Hindu homes. Some had never been in a car until the church van came. Many prayed out loud, calling on Jesus to save them.
The stories the puppets and the testimonies were all the same but the response was so different. Ask the Lord to grow their faith!
The Indian church we worked with was meeting in a community hall that they themselves had fixed up for the community. Since the hall has become useable again by the community, the council have put many obstacles before them. They do not want a church in the building, though they said differently when the church had offered to fix the building for them.
They have recently put a proposal to the council. The church has offered to build a new community center for the council if the church can have part of the property to build a church on. Please pray that the Lord would provide for the church the building it needs, they have such a heart for the community. Pray that the Lord would change the councillor’s hearts and that the church would have the property they need soon. They are planning to build a 500 seat church, they already have 200 people attending church and that is only from 6 people when the church began 2 years ago.
Sam is a constant blessing! He is a good "son" in the truest sense, encouraging me when I miss Mike. I learn from him as I watch him give, not what is convenient, but deeply from his heart. Just the other day, I saw him give away something he treasured. He also reminded me that all of us are placed by God in the homes that we stay in for a purpose. I see this so clearly in the home that I am in for the next few days as my hostess husband died 15 months ago of complications from diabetes. Please pray for Brenda as she seeks God’s new direction for her. She is a great blessing to me!
Please ask God that our eyes will stay focused on Him. That our only glory will be in Jesus! Pray!