Just in case you aren't on my "snail mail" list here is my latest letter.... sorry the photos won't load!
Dear Friends and Family,
For the last month I have been busy documenting the family situations of the children in our after school programs (Music for Life Centres). This has involved visiting the children's homes in the villages. The student's profiles are full of phrases like “both parents have died and the child is living with her grandmother”/ “ the mother isn't working and they don't know where the father is.”/ “an auntie is taking care of 11 children in a 2 room house.” / “The father goes and stays in Swaziland with his other 2 wives.” / “the 18 year old sister is caring for her 3 younger siblings and her own baby.” However, when observing these students while they are participating in the Music for Life Centre program at their school no one would never guess that these are the children that live in such desperate circumstances. They come alive with the music, joy lights up their faces and hope rings in their voices. I believe only the presence of God can bring about such a transformation in these children and I am so thankful to be able to witness it!
I have enjoyed getting to know the children a little more during home visits. Lucas is 9 years old and lives in Orlando (The village right next to our MFL Junior Academy). Lucas was kind enough to direct us to the homes of many of our MFL centre students. When he was riding along with us in the Land Rover he told me that he wanted to be a “traffic cop” when he grows up. Jokingly, I said, “So when you see me driving this Land Rover a little too fast will you forgive me and not give me a ticket?” Lucas quickly said, “No, I must give you a ticket or I will be chased from my job!”. Later one of our Music of Life staff bought some bananas at a road side stand. When he offered one to Lucas he refused. When one of the aunties asked him why he didn't want a banana he said that he wasn't allowed to take food from anyone. I was struck by the sense of honestly and integrity in this little boy and wondered what would happen if he became a future
leader of South Africa. MFL in South Africa is blessed to pour into the lives of hundreds of children just like Lucas.
Another highlight of the past month has been the School Assemblies that the MFL Centre Students have performed at. Each group of children has been able to perform for their entire school during an assembly to show what they have learned this year. The kids were so proud (and a little nervous!) to sing and dance for their peers and teachers!
*Thank God that the strike for public workers is over and the children are back in school
*Thank God for Kristine who is my temporary housemate (until Dec.). She is teaching at our school.
*Pray for our former choir children who are in Secondary School as they will be taking exams soon
*Pray for God to increase my leadership skills as I lead the MFL Centre Staff
Thanks again for all of your love, support and encouragement!