On Sunday morning, we had Sunday School with the children in two separate classes. The younger class was led by Sis. LouCinda. Their lesson was on Obedience following the story of Jonah. The young people 14 years and above came with me. We presented them all with new Bibles, a bookmark and a colored pencil. I talked to them about the treasure God's word is and how many people have shed their blood to put God's word in our hands. We discussed pointers on reading and studying, and I took them through several key scriptures to begin hilighting and personalizing their own copy. It was such a joy to give them God's word.
In the morning service, Michael preached a moving message entitled, Are You Ready? about the end of time and final Judgement. The Spirit of God once again rested heavily on the service.
Many came forward, adults and orphans alike. They were visibly moved and weeping openly. After we had prayed with them and they returned to their seats, Michael spoke with a heavy heart, tears on his own face. "I believe God is not finished working this morning. Someone here is covering up hidden sin, I believe it is a minister." He continued to exhort for a few moments and we sang again. Six men came forward to pray, many of them ministers. Sis. Ranelle had witnessed one of these ministers begin to tense up more and more as the message progressed and she had been praying for Him to make a move. He was one to come forward and confess to the Lord. We thanked the Lord for His faithfulness once again.
We were served lunch and took a group photo from the water tower. We concluded our weekend services in the afternoon. Michael preached an encouraging message entitled, Hope Thou in God. The ministers and saints from different regions made their departure.
The celebration began!
The orphans remained in the chapel and we sang songs and had a wonderful time together. This was the night for our 'feast'. While we waited for supper to be prepared, we made tables in the courtyard by laying chalkboards across benches.
We brought out the toys and games and made stations with different kinds of games. The students from the Path of Life School in Guthrie had donated many of these toys. Since it was difficult to evenly distribute them personally, we felt this was the best way for them to be enjoyed by all.
For many of the orphans, this would be the first time to really be exposed to toys. They were estatic.
Playing house with miniature dolls and furniture.
We found these rag dolls and squeezed in as many as we could. The girls were in love.
Tradition and culture was evident. Before long they were tying them to their backs.
This is Happiness. She was cradling a stuffed bear that lights up internally with changing glows when you touch its paw. Another gift from a girl in Guthrie. You made someone happy.
Memory was a huge favorite. They liked it so much that some of them used Uno cards for a memory game.
Nicole is playing a game of Uno with the older students.
I had brought our set of magnetics and showed them how to make a structure and make it spin around the magnet when you twirl the bottom part. Their creativity took over in no time.
The girls had opportunity to play with Nicole and LouCinda's hair. Nicole wore braids until she got home.
It was so different working with long, blonde hair, even in the dark. :-)
During the course of the visit, we noticed that many of the children's shoes were very ragged. This girl attempted to repair her flip flops with a piece of plastic bag.
This picture was taken on the sly, hence the graininess. This boy wore these shoes--his only shoes--every day. They were far too small and his toes had worn completely through.
In the announcements that evening, Michael promised the children that we would leave funds for them to each have a new pair of shoes. In addition, we had purchased bolts of cloth for a new set of uniforms. Just think of how difficult it is to keep your own children clothed. Living outside for most of the time shortens the lifespan considerably.
I had packed Kool-Aid and made up several gallons--enough for one cup each. The children were trying to get seconds in the dark and Ranelle was trying to figure out who hadn't been served, when she lit on an ingenious plan.
She told them, "STICK OUT YOUR TONGUE." That settled all confusion in the matter.
We were happy to purchase two large pots for the kitchen. They have been cooking meals in shifts because there were no pots large enough to feed the group of children each day. Notice how the outside of the pot is blackened from the smoke of the fire.
Many in Africa have the whites of their eyes noticeably discolored. I have not noticed whether this is due to disease or diet. I find it interesting, because when Michael has symptoms of the illness he contracted last year in Kenya it is accompanied with extremely reddened and bloodshot eyes.
The menu consisted of rice, stewed chicken, Kale, Chipati and a piece of fresh pineapple along with Kool-aid .
Dessert consisted of coconut flavored cookies.
A table was set up for us in front. We all ate together. Ugali is the staple meal for the children every single day. This is supplemented with Sukuma Wiki--greens such as Kale or Collard which they call "Stretching the Week".
In the past year we have been endeavoring to send them funds to feed the children one small piece of meat a day and also a piece of fruit. They do not waste anything when they cook meat. As I walked throughout the room, I saw one student chewing on a chicken claw and another with a cleaned off chicken head laying in their empty bowl. It reminded me of just how much we have.
There has been a lot of inquiry surrounding the support and needs of the orphanage. I am still trying to get specific information in hand and will publish a post on this subject later.