We begin our journey home today with hearts full of joy! As you have faithfully prayed, the Father has poured His love on every time that we spent with the children. This letter will make you happy!
On Friday, we ran a race to try and finish 3 programs so that we could arrive at the youth prison by 1: 30 for a fourth show. Since we first arrived in South Africa, we had been praying about this opportunity. Until Thursday afternoon, the day before we went, we were not sure that we could go.The only time that we had was not a time that they would let us come.
I met the lady that God touched at the prison. She told me that no one had wanted to bother with the afternoon idea of a program, but she had pushed to make it happen. Praise God!
The boys were charged with a variety of crimes, some serious and some not as serious. Most have lost childhoods. They came into the room and stared with cold, uninterested eyes as we began. By the time we finished the first puppet song, they were all smiling. I watched their faces as Cornelius and I told the story of Joseph. Forgiveness is what these boys dream about. Hope is something they cannot imagine. When you have never known your father, it is difficult to understand God’s offer to be your Father. Most have stories that are heart breaking. They have suffered much and since hurt is all they know, they hurt others. These teenagers, these boys, listened with their hearts. Please pray for them to trust in God’s promises! Ask God to give them the courage to believe!
The youth prison is part of a huge prison complex. It is located on a beautiful reservoir surrounded by huge mountains. The prison trains some of the inmates as waiters and cooks. There is a lovely facility there right by the water where you can have your wedding reception. The prisoners will cater your wedding and serve the food. The idea is a little strange to me.
Three little boys, 11 and 12 years old came to see me after we finished a show in the school yard. All through the program, we were praying that the rain would not fall. We were at a rural farm school beside a squatter camp. The pastor that we were working with plans to start a new church there. No one has any transportation, so the church must be in walking distance.
The boys live in the squatter camp and were very excited to speak to me. One said, “Thank you Grandmother!” The other little boy said,”That was a great story!” Together they said,”We believe in God!” At the puppet show, they had prayed and put their trust in Jesus! Please pray for these little boys. I still see their smiles. They live in a terrible place, but I know that the Lord has a wonderful plan for them!
OUR NEW TEAM
We spent most of Saturday finishing the training of our new team. I am thrilled with this group of people as I know they have real passion for the cross. So many things confirmed to each of us that this is what the Father is calling them to do. All of the schools are still open in South Africa to the Gospel. This is an amazing door that we do not want to waste. Please pray for them as they have much to sort. In 3 weeks, they will travel to Mozambique and share with the children there. They are already planning on training some of the children’s workers there and giving them equipment so that they can tell their children about Jesus. We have such joy for these new friends, Blom and Reena, and expect the Lord to use them and their friends in a big way! Pray!
After more than 10 trips to Africa, I finally saw an elephant in Africa. I was close enough to a giraffe to see her big eyelashes. Three lions walked all round the area near us and gave us spectacular photos. A water buffalo tried to charge our vehicle. I cannot count all the zebras and other animals we saw. I especially loved the rhinos and the blue wildebeests who look like the Father used parts from 5 other animals to make them. I was delighted!
After we finished our day of training, Cornelius, our dear pastor friend who has been with us every day at shows, gave us an incredible gift! He took us to Fairy Glen which is a wildlife refuge. We rode around the park in a giant converted military vehicle. We sat way up in the air. Even the ride was fun as it could go anywhere.
God’s creation amazes me! I have so many great pictures of these animals, but I have even better memories of telling children about Jesus with Cornelius. Please ask the Lord to bless him as he has blessed thousands and thousands of children with the Gospel!
We will start home on Sunday, but will not arrive until Monday morning in the Atlanta airport. I plan to visit with my Mother and sister until friends can come after work and take me home. So, Monday evening, I will be home. Please pray for all of us as we travel home. Ask the Lord to make us a light to all we meet.
In Jesus, Linda for Sam, Silvana, Billy, and Meg