Friday, November 16, 2012

VBS- 2012!!! A whole lot of FUN!!!

This year at VBS we again focused on how each of us is uniquely created, special and part of Gods plan. He has a plan for each of us.
We had great prizes for those who memorized the selected memory verses- T-shirts, Portuguese books, toys, hair pretties, and for one special young man who managed to memorize all three verses & references AND the actions to accompany them- a brand new Solar New Testament of his very own!
 choosing a prize!
 The Big Winner!!!

Rick told the stories of Moses, Esther, Jonah and Creation to teach the kids the truth that every one of us is special and has a role to play in God’s plan. The kids loved to get involved in the storytelling, and listened very closely so they could get sweets during the quiz time afterwards! We were blessed this year to have two wonderful women who have been volunteering at the farm, assist us with VBS. They were an incredible  blessing and we appreciated their servant hearts immensely!
 Telling the creation story
 Quizzing time!
 Janette (one of our volunteers) and Rick

 Rick prepping for showing a Bible story movie to the kids

The rest of the mornings were split between games , crafts and a whole lot of singing and dancing! We made ID tags, with each child choosing a picture to go on the front, representing a profession they would like to do in the future. We colored animal masks on creation day (each one created uniquely!), and made fabric headbands to wear as well.  Crafts are one of my favorite parts of VBS since we really get to see the kids demonstrate their creative side. Even the teachers want to participate!
 Working hard on headbands
 animal masks...such beautiful lions!
 smiles all around!
 our other volunteer Karoline fingerprinting the kids for their special id cards

Every time we do DVBS most of our games revolve around water- since it is the hottest time of year! This year was no different, with nearly a thousand water balloons, and huge basins filled with water and sponges! Duck Duck Goose is just so much more fun and entertaining when the goose gets to chase down the “chooser” with a water balloon! Even the game “In/Out” can be made infinitely more entertaining with a few well thrown wet sponges! We had giant sponge water fights, and some more organized relays with sponges, or juice and cookies.
 even Tendai joins in the fun
 three legged race with your baby brother on your back... wow.
 duck duck goose with water balloons!!
 juice and cookies... MMMMM
water games are a BIG favourite... of everyone!!!

My other favorite part of VBS is the “opening time” where the kids sing and dance as we get organized. Often we have competitions between the boys and girls, or older and younger students, or teachers and students…. Sometimes we just all dance and sing for as long as we can!  It would start with a core group of about 40 kids, but by the time we finished the opening time every day, there would be 150 smiling and dancing kids in the circle.
 they kick up a lot of dust!!!!
 a casualty of to much energetic dancing... a stubbed toe in need of attention

I can hardly describe to you how tiring it is to be in the sun, the heat (it was at least 40 degrees every day but one!), speaking a language that is not your own, and trying to corral kids with more energy than I have ever possessed, for an entire week- but I find it equally hard to describe to you the joy, and amazing smiles we got to witness on the faces of 150 kids from the Mozambican Bush! I can hardly put into words how proud/humbled (I know, weird to have those feelings at the same time) I was when a young boy stood up on day one and recited the memory verse from last year, word for word, with the actions! I actually cried- because I knew that VBS is making a difference in their lives. Sure it is fun, and some only come for the food offered, but there are so many young lives who are being impacted for eternity by the ministry at the school and thru VBS- and that makes every drop of sweat, every sunburned shoulder, every papercut from cutting ridiculous amounts of papercrafts, every dusty, dirty mud stained piece of clothing oh so worth it!!! Thank you for joining us in prayer, and for continuing to pray for the lives of these kids!
 after a busy morning of playing, everyone appreciates a good lunch
 volunteers willing to lend a hand or two... and an arm and a leg
 cool refreshing water!!!

In other news, obviously, Tendai and I made it safely back home to the farm- thank you for your prayers for our safety as we travelled! Our flights went very well- Tendai slept for ELEVEN hours straight on the 16 hour flight- cant complain about that!!!

Our house is slowly but surely trucking along. We hope to be pouring the floor in the first room on Monday- it will be our test room, and if it goes well we will start with other rooms soon after. Then comes painting/plumbing/kitchen cabinet building (all at once). Please continue to pray for funds and supplies to be available, and that we will be able to continue with the work. Our ministry account is VERY low, with all the recent expenses and house needs. We are definetly in need of funds to come in.

Another prayer request is for Rain.  We expect the Rains to start soon, and the sooner the better! We pray they will start on time- or even early as it has been an extraordinarily dry winter/spring and our area is desperately in need of water. Without it, boreholes will dry up, the river stops flowing, crops cannot grow, and the threat of starvation becomes VERY real for the local people.

Thank you again for your continued prayers for our safety and health- they are much appreciated!

God Bless, -Rick, Heather & Tendai Neufeld

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