Saturday, July 31, 2010

Back to School!

Excitement was in the air on the morning of July 19th as all the GSF missionary kids prepared for school because this was not just any school day!  Teacher Amanda had arrived and was ready to start the new school year.  Amanda Kruppenbacher is our new homeschool teacher for the 8 missionary kids in grades 3rd, 5th and 8th.   The 3rd and 5th graders were especially excited.


That evening everyone was still thrilled with school and had many things to tell us.  Titus told us that night that it was one of his best days ever.  When asked why, he told us it was because he got to go to school! 

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Healing for Joyce

When Mark and I came on our "vision" trip in 2007, we were sent to an amusement park the first day we were at GSF with a bus load of kids. The matron and 4 of the teens came along with us. Paul, Viola, Julie and Joyce were the 4 and for that day and the rest of our vision trip, we enjoyed getting to know the 4.

Fast Forward 2 and a half years. Several weeks ago, we got word that Joyce, who had been resettled 2 years ago, was very sick and in a coma. Joyce has dealt with HIV all of her life and had contracted TB meningitis. A van load of kids from GSF went to her bedside in the hospital to pray for her healing. The next morning we got word that she had gone home to be with the Lord and forever healed. No more medicines, no more illnesses, no more hospital visits and stays!

We ask that you pray that God would continue to use her life and testimony in the lives of those who knew and loved her and even in others who hear of her now. Pray for Morris, Julie and Sarah, her siblings as they learn to live without her.

And the Angels Sang

On Sunday we had a memorial service at GSF Chapel for Joyce, and 18-year-old GSF girl who had moved out of the orphanage two years ago.  Joyce died on July 9 following several complications from HIV which she had struggled with her entire life.  Joyce came to know Christ at an early age at GSF.  During the memorial we heard testimony of how Joyce loved the Lord and desired to walk with him, even more so after she had left GSF.  Her bright smile indicated that she was a friend to all.

The memorial went much like our regular services, starting with lively praise music.  Many former GSF kids had come back for the special service, so there was excitement like that of a grand reunion in the air, in spite of the loss of Joyce.  Near the beginning, a strong cool wind started to blow through the chapel.  It was like the refreshing wind of the Holy Spirit telling us that God was present at the service also.  As the singing went on it began to rain – a powerful African rain that is somehow different from the rains we have in America.  The sound of the rain on the iron sheets overhead was fabulous.  With no ceiling or other barrier to soften the noise, the rains literally sounded like wild applause from heaven in the breaks between songs.  Then the showers came so hard that it drowned out our voices.  Some of those leading the music said it was hard because they couldn’t hear their own voices.

As the din grew all the more, the voices of about 300 people grew more bold as well.  Everyone was singing at the top of their lungs, with no fear of being heard by their neighbor.  The rain was deafening!  Together it was a most beautiful praise as the heavenly angels joined our earthly chorus.  And their mighty numbers, shouted through the rain, drowned out our sound as the angels sang.