East Africa: The Joy of the Lord is Our Strength!

Saturday – 14 May 2016

Today, our team visited the church. We were thankful for great weather and the shade of a tent to conduct the TT classes for ~30 students and ~20 adults. The morning and early afternoon featured a marathon session of fun songs, rhythm learning, Bible stories, sign language, puppets, and a presentation of the “chemical cross”. Later in the afternoon we turned attention to the parents and leaders in the group to instruct them how to share these same types of songs, teaching techniques, and learning strategies at home with their little ones.

We are so thankful for our hosts who are truly being led by God and putting us in their care.  Also very thankful for our driver, JM, who saved six of our lives today with quick attention driving the van in the “not so lane-abiding” highways.  

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Sunday – 15 May 2016

Sunday in Africa.  We were so blessed to worship alongside our hosts in the village of "K".  We could hear the singing coming from the worship center as we pulled into the parking lot and were amazed at what was transpiring as we entered the building.  What a wonderful, Spirit-filled worship, and amazing to see how our Brothers and Sisters praised the Lord.  I don’t think any of us on the team will ever forget our experience today.   One song we will be singing for a long time and I think the theme of our trip so far has the following chorus:

"When Jesus came down; He came down from Heaven
When He landed; He landed in Israel
But when there was trouble; He came down to Africa
So we must praise Him; Praise Him in an Africa way"

After worship service, our team split into three groups with two groups working with ~100 children ages 2-13.  The other team members were able to speak to the congregation on raising children in a Godly home – which is a huge focus of the churches we are working with here. It is so encouraging seeing the church leaders investing in the children of the communities as they are seeking God’s help in changing the future of this country.

Our team came back together in the late afternoon to share in the church’s “fun fest” by singing songs, dancing, making balloon animals, building crafts, and leading a  Gospel presentation to the children.   

We couldn’t imagine a better Lord’s day during our time here!

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Monday – 16 May 2016

We were blessed today to visit Graceland school, where many of our team had visited before.  It was heart warming to see old friends – both administrators and many children who we had met in years past. God is certainly answering prayer for Graceland as well as many petitions we had made together last year were now reality in front of our eyes.

We were treated to a “show” by the students in the morning and then laughed, danced, and sang our way through the early afternoon. 

We were treated to a “show” by the students in the morning and then laughed, danced, and sang our way through the early afternoon. 

Please pray along with us for this school as we ask God for his provision of expanding the facilities, providing a dining hall, a kitchen, extra beds for students, a library, and even a school bus.  Finally, 16 of the students will take an exam in November in the hopes to progress into High School – these would be the first students ever from Graceland to graduate. What an amazing group of kids.

The evening ended with a traditional meal at the warm home of our partners. It actually ended with prayer and of course in song - no other way would make sense for this group!

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Tuesday – 17 May

We spent the day with the dear children of a school.  Most of the children are orphans or the child of a single parent with little ability to give care.  We were amazed at the kind, gentle, and quiet spirit of the children as we played, danced, jumped rope, acted out Bible skits, and shared the gospel through balloons – yes, balloons. 

The Lord continues to answer our prayers daily and even almost moment by moment. Praise God for what He is doing in this country!