I have recently had a HUGE growth in my children's Sunday School class. By huge, I mean 30 all the way to 136 in 3 weeks. That is huge in my opinion. When I was going back through my Sunday School pictures from when I started, I realized the first class that I taught on my own was one child, ONE. It was me and her, thats all talking about how God created us. Looking back I can not believe that all these children have come to hear the Word of God, but then again, Who can stay away once they have heard the truth?? WHO??? no one. That is why I believe my class has been growing. They have finally found the truth, the love they have been longing for. They have found a Father who loves them the way they are, they have found a place who accepts them for who they are, and they have found friends within the church who care for them. I am so blessed to have this experience, to see this growth, to teach the basic Christian stories to precious children who have never heard before. I am honored to be able to present Jesus to these children who He LOVES so very much! I am blessed beyond measure to see the love of Jesus in each of their eyes, and I am always trusting God that in the future He will use this Sunday School class to help these children know Christ in a deep, personal way.
I have done nothing really to grow this Sunday School class. I just keep teaching what I know, and loving on them every time I am with them. I have realized that loving one at a time, smiling at them, giving them hugs, telling them how wonderful they are, reminding them how much God and myself loves them, encouraging them, are how I can show them the love of God and not just tell them about it. It is more than just speaking, it is loving, one at a time, any kind of love I can give! : )
so thats what i am doing... loving each one of them, as much as I can!
Sunday, December 11, 2011
I do realize that children are a huge part of my life here, in fact they are a huge part of my life all together. But you should know that I do work with more than just children here in Quelimane. This morning I got the amazing opportunity to witness the young lady that I won to the Lord (through Jesus and not of my own power AT ALL) be baptized. We went thinking that she was not going to be baptized today but she changed her mind and now she is a public Christian! I have seen her through her entire walk with Christ and I have been blessed to be her friend as well. Her name is Zelda and here is a beautiful picture of us on the beach this morning where she was baptized.
Also I have been teaching English to a few ladies including the one above. I have been blessed to get to know them and just be able to spend time with them. Everytime I am with them they always make me laugh and we have a great time. Their names are Elsa and Yonna. Elsa was baptized this morning as well!! What a fun time on the beach together!
After the baptism we returned to church to a huge crowd of children. Today I did not teach Sunday School because we were so late getting back from the beach... but I did still sit with them and I have determined that God put a special place in my heart for children. Hearing a child say my name for the first time, and hug me... touches my heart in a way that nothing else does. I do work with many people here in Quelimane, but daily I grow to see that children have a special place in my life!
Beto and I... <3
Monday, December 5, 2011
I am always so very grateful for the support I receive from all over the world. Whether it be sending gifts to help out with my ministry, encouraging words, or prayer.... all of it has amazed me since I have been here! People can change the world (in my opinion) by just being nice, and giving from what the Lord has given them. I have received many craft supplies and toys from my friends in Gaffney, South Carolina and the smiles that they have brought to the children's faces here is wonderful to see! My previous blogs you have seen the results of many craft items sent from the states, this blog I will show you precious pictures of the results of a fun package that was sent to me recently.... children's toy sunglasses and necklaces. Little acts of love really do make a big difference in peoples lives... especially children's lives.
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Today we studied Colors of Salvation again. I got the kids to make salvation bracelets and little minibooks that go along with the colors!! They loved it!! These kids have all stolen my heart and I am blessed every time I am with them! Please continue to pray for their little hearts to understand and accept Jesus!!! I can see the love of Jesus in all of them! : )
These two are Dalila (the top picture) and Agi (the bottom picture).
They are sister and brother and have been coming to church for a while now.
I have been blessed by their presence and I am so excited God brought them into my life.
Pray for them as they continue to hear about Jesus, that they would know Him!
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Colors of Salvation..... This Sunday (November 20, 2011) I used a flower diagram to represent the colors of salvation! The children loved the activity, and they all turned out beautifully! : )
These kids have been pretty faithful in attending church, keep them all in your prayers! : )
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Monday, November 7, 2011
I always find it funny how the things that are inappropriate in the US are just fine and dandy here! It is not uncommon to have a conversation with someone while they are picking their nose in front of you! Its also not uncommon for breastfeeding to happen anywhere, anytime..... but show your knees in pubic and we have a problem! Anyway that goes to say that there are little things here that you just have to get used to. Everyday there is something else that creeps up on you that you don't understand. I have continually had to adjust to this culture but also it is a beautiful culture as well. I also have to adjust to changes that come my way. I had been struggling with why the Lord had even sent me here some days. I wondered why I was doing student ministry and not working with kids. My frustration continued for a while until the Lord allowed me an opportunity to teach some kids in my church neighborhood how to read Portuguese. I LOVE this so much... and it has been a huge ministry for the community and for me as well... I love getting to know these children, knowing about their lives, trying to meet some of their families. It has just been overall FUN! When my mother and sister came into visit they even got to participate with me and they taught 2 kids that day! Without knowing ANY portuguese at all... they helped in my ministry and that made me super excited! Below is a photo of the morning and afternoon groups of reading kids.... HOWEVER.... the group always changes even though we have a good many constant attenders! : )
So.... after this opportunity arose.. I found myself really trying to pour into these children. I started a lot more work with the Sunday School class at my church. Usually an average day in Sunday School is singing, a story, then an activity!... The activities go along with the story and being able to experience giving children this type of art experience for the first time, is amazing! We do things like coloring, making a paper plate snake, folding a piece of cardstock to make it into a basket, lacing hearts with yarn! It has all been super fun for me and I do believe that the children like it! : ) This last week we learned about a new heart in Jesus... and they designed their own hearts.... one side had the word for sin on it, representing our hearts without Jesus, i told them to design that side dirty, that they could even put dirt on it... also the heart had holes around the edges... representing that we have holes in our hearts without Jesus. Then we flipped the heart over and had the bible verse, "I will give you a new heart." and I told them to design that side BEAUTIFUL and clean... then we laced the heart with yarn, representing how when we ask Jesus into our hearts He fills our holes and gives us a new heart! : ) It was wonderful!! Here is a picture of them working on that....
Working on their hearts...
Putting dirt on the sin side of their hearts.
So for now... those are two newer things going on in my life! : ) Im pretty excited about them both... I am still have bible study with two wonderful girls here that have been such a blessing to me! : ) There are some exciting new changes coming my way soon.... i will write more about that later! : ))
And also coming up... we are headed to a Game Park (Safari park) after Thanksgiving so I'm pretty excited about that too!!