In our first trip, we met and ministered to a grandmother who was raising her four orphaned grandchildren in a small home. When we met the family, we didn’t have much to offer but love, a song, and some groceries. This year we had the privilege of returning to do remodeling work on her home. We brought with us Willem from Netherlands and Jaqueline from Brazil – two friends whom we’ve met in the course of our travels to their countries – to help us in the work. Working alongside Darryl and Kobus from Emoyeni, we all got sweaty and dirty together as we sanded the simple wooden planked home, coated it with very smelly creosote to protect the wood, made a new skeleton frame and attached galvanized aluminum siding. So now, instead of a home that was very much open to the weather from all the spaces between the boards, the family has a very secure and insulated home to live. A number of helpers from the local church that Emoyeni supports pitched in, as did the grandmother and her grandkids.
While we were preparing for the trip, Darryl, the Emoyeni worker in South Africa, brought to our attention another urgent need: two children, Tembie – 14 and Tobie – 5 were recent orphans. Their father died in 2005, and their mother passed away in June 2008, both from AIDS though the official South African health department records never list AIDS as a cause of death. They had no relatives who were willing to care for them and were being evicted in November from the home their mother hoped she would buy, but died before she could. So we were able to gather together additional funds and decided to build a brand new concrete block house for them! The village chief donated a beautiful piece of land right next to the home of Elizabeth, a Christian woman who operates a preschool on her property. She is also a member of the church that Emoyeni supports, and will provide oversight to Tembie and Tobie until a suitable guardian can be found.
We had hoped to bring along enough people to do the construction of the home, but since that didn’t happen, we hired a crew of local workers, so were able to provide employment for them for a few weeks! Their home has the only indoor flush toilet and shower in the neighborhood. Security bars will also help to keep them safe. The day we left, we picked Tembie and Tobie up from school and brought them to their new home to show them for the first time. It wasn’t quite finished (how on earth does Extreme Makeover Home Edition ever get it done in a week?!?), but the joy and relief on Tembie’s face was wonderful to see. The home has been finished, and they’re enjoying themselves there. Alabaster Ministries has also donated a garden and fruit trees to them.
Another project in Badplaas that we’d would like to support through Alabaster Ministries is the building of a new daycare center to replace the one that Elizabeth currently operates. What is there now is a small shack where around ten children come daily to learn about Jesus and how He cares for them, as well as to learn the other things that day care centers usually teach. It would cost only about US$10,000 to build a fine school and equip it with good materials. What an impact and blessing it would have on the children, their families and their village! If you would like to be part of this project, please donate below, and let us know how you would like to have your funds directed.
Our worship in Badplaas, touching Jesus as we touched “the least of these”, has brought the fragrance of His love into the changed lives of these families, and has drawn our hearts closer to our dear Savior too. What a privilege to love Jesus by loving others!
For more information on Alabaster Ministries, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for your support in prayer, finance and in cheering us on in this ministry to Fatherless and Widows!