“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…….. By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.” ~ Genesis 1:1a & 2:2
How beautiful and wonderful is our creator God! As we are writing this, we are busy looking out over our balcony, through green trees and dried grass, at a quite and peaceful watering hole situated in the middle of a private reserve. To the left of us is a chalet and to the right open space
Spending time with God!
with a railway line dividing us from Hwange National Game park! We have both taken a much needed relaxing and
Peace and relaxation!
refreshing break here in God’s beautiful creation. We have both been quite busy the last few months and not taken much time out to just be with God! So as example given by our God the creator, we have rested on the seventh day (or more than just seven to be accurate).
Hwange has become one of our favourite and most special places over the year we have been in Zimbabwe. So much so that so far this year, we have been here 3 times! To be in God’s creation and marvel at all around us with the added excitement of seeing animals of all sorts, is just an amazing feeling.
About a week after we finished our Kids Holiday Club, both of us, each separately though, came for a few days to Hwange. Nathan came with a few friends to give them a bit of a break before starting work again. And Micki came with Debbie, her kids, a dear friend from Australia and an American
volunteer who has been helping at the Centre for almost a year now and become a great friend to Micki too. During this adventure we all managed to see 3 Hyenas, 9 Lions, 1 Leopard, a Cheetah (which ended up chasing a Waterbuck), we also saw Elephants, Giraffe, Hippo, Crocodile, Zebra, Kudu and many more. As Nathan always says “another hard day in Africa”!!
As amazing as this all sounds, we were really busy with our various ministries too……
Nathan has been busy over the last few weeks. He has been helping to get some ministry projects off the ground at the Baptist Church. The youth ministry has been revamped. We will hopefully have “The Cave” up and running soon(as I write this, I am hoping that the youth and their director have started painting the room today). This is going to be the main youth office as well as a drop I centre for our youth. To start with we are only going to be open 3 days a week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 13:00 -17:00. Monday will be a homework and general drop in afternoon where young people can come and A. Do their homework and B. Talk about any issues that are affecting them. Wednesday is going to be the homework club for an hour and then the rest of the session will be a bible study which will help them go deeper into the topic of the previous Sunday’s message. Friday will be an event that we are calling “The Cave Unplugged”. This is going to be our youth club type event in which we will play a game or two, have an acoustic worship session and then a word given by an outside speaker. The Cave is closed on Tuesdays because that is the day that we have our planning meeting with the youth leadership and also when the youth leadership and the worship team have their discipleship sessions. Things that are very important when it comes to leading a ministry. The Cave is also closed Thursdays because this is the afternoon that we will be doing our schools ministry. We will (hopefully) be going into one of our local High schools and running a club, talking about issues that are affecting them whether it be alcohol, drugs, relationships, bullying etc. as well as these we are still going strong with our youth Service every Sunday evening. The attendance is growing and every week we seem to have someone new turning up. We have had to extend our service by an extra half an hour because we were struggling to get all the content in, as well as the small group time which is an incredibly invaluable part of our Sunday service.
Aside from these Nathan has recently taken the youth leadership on a retreat out in the Matopos (A national park close to Bulawayo). The camp is run by the Salvation Army and they run all sorts of programs including a leadership team building one. This was an opportunity for the team to spend time together and to bond so that we would be able to be more effective in our Youth ministry. We had an outstanding time doing the exercises (trust fall, vertical spiders web, rope swing and 14ft wall of death) and also doing some canoeing and zip lining. I think the best thing though was sitting around the campfire at night just chatting and spending time with one another in the African wilderness.
I love my work!
Micki has been busy at the Centre with various tasks from fundraising and organizing and helping Volunteers to “Time with Jesus” lessons at her old primary school. Last term we were working with 12 year olds on Self-esteem and Bullying
Hard day at work!
matters as well as Monday Mornings, spending time with 6 and 7 year olds and teaching them various stories from the Bible and having a worship session before they start their week of school.
This term we are continuing Monday mornings but are now working with 11 year olds, on self-esteem and Bullying! Exciting but daunting topics.
At the Centre we have had our water tested and as some of you know water is a bit of a problem in this part of the world. Ideally you have to buy water or water filters to get any clean drinking water. Well the Centre’s water, as we have been told, is a high risk and if it was even a fraction higher, we would be told to shut our water down. Which means chaos! So we are in hue he process of sorting out water filters which will cost us around $2000 (US) and to top all that, we are due to pay our next installment of payments for the Hotel we now call home in the next week but have only just paid off February’s installment.
Please join us in prayer for these two major needs within Sandra Jones Centre’s! We would really appreciate it. If you wish to see more of what’s happening at the Sandra Jones Centre each week, check out their blogs via http://www.sandrajonescentre.org
On a different note…..We have recently realized how quickly time flies. Lily has now moved into a big girls bed. So
Lily’s Princess Bedroom
mommy and daddy, have been re-decorating her room. Now we can get her out of bed in the mornings. Lily is doing really well at school.. Her speech is coming on so well and can even sing the alphabet…. However not sure how much se realizes what she’s actually doing? She has made great friends both at school and at the Centre and is doing amazing with her swimming lessons. Just last week we were told that’s he can float on her back for a while all by herself. However, she has definitely turned into a water baby as we can’t get her out the pool very easily, nor the bath. And just to continue with the mommy and daddy bragging, Lily’s potty trained (been a few months now but realized we didn’t update that back them).
Milo is still loving living here too. He’s very much classed as a pampered pooch here in Zim as he sleeps indoors still but he loves the space he has to run around in and has a very bouncy playmate.
In closing, we would like to let you know of 2 new page on our website. We have a “Prayer” page where you can join us in prayer through various needs and we have a “Sponsor” page where if you feel you would like to support us you can find more information there.
“Clap your hands all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy. How awesome is The Lord Most High, the great King over all the earth!”
Fun in the Sun!
Lily & Hayley
Joshie & Lily
Finance Managers Assistant
Fun in the Pool!