Tonight’s post was written by Sara McDonald:
Monday and Tuesday we did VBS at Bondeni lower school. The kids seemed to be anywhere from 3 or 4 years old to 7 or 8. The first day, I went around making pictures and video so I was able to see what was going on in each class. The kids loved the milk song in music, wore stickers from their prayer journal on their head out of crafts, screamed for joy during relays at recreation, and enjoyed acting out Daniel and the lion’s den in Bible study.
In the afternoon, we had the opportunity to meet the kids sponsored by Snyder members. The kids were on their very best behavior, and were so excited about the book bags full of food and schools supplies! They especially liked the colored pencils! I got to deliver a note to one of the children from a friend of mine. To see the joy on his face, and watch him treat the letter with such pride just made me smile.
We also got to go shopping at the Pangani Center where women are taught to sew and make jewelry. It was truly guilt-free shopping, and such wonderful quality stuff! I was absolutely amazed at the talent of these ladies.
Today, we all knew what to expect at the start of the day. I taught the Bible study where we talked about Esther being brave in order to save the Jews. I think I will remember the memory verse very well after repeating it a dozen times in 5 different classes! (Genesis 28:15 – “I am with you and I will protect you everywhere you go.”) The kids were very excited about the crowns they made in crafts. We saw them continuing to color on them even out in the streets after school!!
This afternoon, we split into groups and went to visit in the homes. We went armed with 3 cubes- one for evangelism, another for AIDS education, and Malaria education. I met Julianne in the first home. She is a Christian so we took the opportunity to encourage her in her faith. We also shared the community health cubes, and a method for purifying water by placing bottles in the sun.
The next house belonged to Salome, Julianne’s sister. She is 19 years old and is having some health problems. My heart just broke for her. She’s so young, and struggling so much. Her husband is off trying to find a job.
I have been very impressed with the work the Mission of Hope is doing. I am also impressed with the selflessness of not only the teachers and social workers, but even the children. There is such a sense of community, and the kids take care of each other. I have a lot I can learn from them!
Tomorrow, we start VBS with the older kids at the upper school. I’m also looking forward to doing more home visits the rest of the week as well. -Sara