Sunday, February 22, 2009

hectic in South African means intense

Thank you all for your prayers and emails of encouragement. We sometimes have such hectic days that it is impossible to get through the day without your prayers of strength and wisdom of how to reach out to these children. Knowing that there’s a whole team of people praying for us really is encouraging.

Thank you for praying for the children, especially for the spiritual battles going on at the school. It seems that Satan is trying to discourage the teachers and children from God’s love Just this past Wednesday Dora had a really tough time with my grade 4/5 math class. The kids were misbehaving by talking, stealing books from each other, and beating each other. This lead to a three-hour detention because they still wouldn’t calm down. In fact, during that time, one of the boys, Tshitiso, who Dora has struggled with from the beginning of the year, bit another child. It truly was chaos. An American missionary who was visiting the school was also helping me in the room, as he stood by the door as a doorman and caught kids who tried to run away. The next day Dora talked to the class about behaviour in the classroom, respecting the teacher, and obedience/fearing God. One boy, Leofric mentioned something that has been disturbing me. He said that he doesn’t care because Satan already has him. Now this boy comes from a background where his parents worship their ancestors, and whose parents have told him that he is the chosen one, to be a king according to what the ancestors have told them. He’s a little spoiled and his younger brother is completely ignored and has no self confidence. Please pray especially for God to open the way to their heart, and to free them from Satan’s grasp.

The principal has also informed us that the local pastor has contacted her about Satanic worship activity in the Bopsfontain area where the kids come from. Please pray for God’s spiritual protection over the people in the community and school. We have heard that families are torn apart by family members being involved in this activity.

Tim is in the midst of converting math VHS tapes into video files for use on the Win98 computers. It’s a bit of a tedious job, splitting about fifteen 2.5 hour long videos into logical 30-minute segments. The children will eventually use these videos to follow along with a workbook. On Monday, he’ll begin teaching some of the children educational programs that he’s installed on the computers. He’s so far been patient with the computers...pray for that patience to extend to fidgety kids who are better at talking than listening.

We have also formed a friendship with one of the teachers at the school. Emilia has left her tattered country of Zimbabwe with her 5 year old daughter in hopes of finding a better life in South Africa. She came with no possessions, and hopes to get a work visa so that she can legally sponsor her 18 year old son over. She has already applied for the visa once, but was rejected. We’ve been praying regularly in the evenings with her, but she still fears for her son’s future; when she can bring him over to SA and how she can get the money to further his education. Please join us in praying for her physical needs.

Last week, on a rainy night, we got to see firsthand the thousands of Zimbabwean refugees who stayed at the Central Methodist Church in downtown Johannesburg. It was shoulder to shoulder with people, some laying on the ground trying to sleep, others sitting on the stairs keeping themselves entertained with a small portable TV and a DVD player. They smiled at us, some shaking our hands as we walked through the crowded hallways to gather food to take to the homeless people who preferred sleeping on the streets. They told us that they have fled a country whose inflation rate is in the millions of percent, where unemployment is 90% and hospitals have been closed. Cholera has claimed the lives of over 3000 people. The infamous President Robert Mugabe has is driving the country into the ground while he himself lives in relative luxury. It was incredible to see how one man's neglect and selfishness could be responsible for so much despair and desperation for millions.


Linda said...

Tim & Dora, it sounds like you're seeing first hand some of the political & social "aftermaths". It is disturbing to hear about the Satanic practices there. I am praying for your continued safety. May God continue to protect you and the other teachers, pastors, and people who serve.

I thought some of my students are bad - but they're not as extreme (physical fighting) as those Gr.4/5s. Dora, keep on going. Maybe God has placed you there to work on community with them, and math is secondary. Don't give up!

Are they learning math through watching videos?

chuenoi said...

Awwww, nuts. I just left you a long message which got deleted when the system didn't recognize my password the first time! sigh...

Here goes my second attempt... I'll try to make it shorter! :)

Hey, Tim & Dora!

Just found your website today after reading your last e-mail regarding your finances (just found my sister's website about 2 weeks ago! LOL...)... thank you for putting it on your e-mail again.

We are definitely praying for the two of you here in Vancouver. I think of you often... at least once a week when I go to church and look around the congregation. Your smiling faces are missed A LOT by me, and I'm sure the rest of the congregation, too! :)

Keep up the awesome work in Africa! I know it must be hard without having direct & personal contact with family and friends (like my parents and many other missionaries on the field), and it's hard when you can't see any immediate changes in the every interactions you may have. Know, however, that the love seeds you are sowing are getting planted deeper and deeper with every passing day that you continue to share your lives and God's love with the kids and adults you work with. So... be persistent in pursuing others with the Love of God!

I can just imagine God puffed up with so much pride and praising the both of you: "Well done, my good and faithful servants!"

Keep it up! I love you both, and can't wait to see you face to face and hear all about your experiences in Africa!

Jayne (for Bob, too). :)

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