Sunday, November 3, 2013

Unique Christmas Gifts- Orphan Care pack Delivery 2013- and the Link for the NEW CAMPAIGN!

Pastor Toca, hands a water bucket to one of the orphans. Pastor Toca is a supervisor in our Pastors Training Program and was really excited to help us hand out the gifts this year!
 Excited kids waiting for their packs!
 Handing out the packs!
Excited Rick waiting to hand out some packs!!!

This past Christmas nearly 100 Orphan Care packs were sponsored by folks who took part in SAM Ministries Unique Christmas Gifts Campaign. Purchasing, Packing and Delivering these packs are some of my favourite things to do! It all starts with our mission team selecting a community program, run by the pastors in our training schools, that has demonstrated a real desire to work with the children and has made an effort in that area.  This year the area that was selected was Inhangoma 1 and 2. (Two different schools in the same area). Thanks to years of training from my mother and years spent travelling and bartering in many countries, I am and excellent bargain shopper, and can usually manage to get really good deals. This year was no exception, and in some places I didnt even have to ask for a discount, they just offered! With the donations from last year, and a few from colleagues and business's here we were able to purchase 130 wonderful packs this year!
 Girls Bags and Boys bags all packed and ready to go!

This years list of items included:
Mozzie Net
Blanket (nice big warm one!)
school supply kit (pens, pencils, crayons, eraser, sharpener, notebooks)
tin cup
tin plate
a hoe (very valuable for working in the fields!)
two toy cars
a ball
a shirt
another shirt or a capalana skirt (boy/girl)
a mirror
bar of soap
vaseline lotion
laundry soap
a flashlight
a toy light stick
a solar powered fan hat
a bucket for washing clothes, carrying drinking water, etc.
the girls also received small dollies.
 The packing crew.... took us all afternoon but we got them all packed! Everyone helped!

Additionally both of the programs themselves received:
Three big metal cooking pots
several sacks of potatoes
large sacks of rice
cooking spices
cooking oil
juice mix
popcorn kernels
stirring spoons
knife set
soccer ball and pump
boxes of chalk
laundry soap
Just some of the items the programs received.

As you can see- we were able to get a lot of wonderful things for the kids- some of the items were donated by local business's here including some of the shirts, and the potatoes, other business's gave us fabulous discounts so we were able to stretch the money even further!
 T-shirts donated by a local business.
Tiny Dollies sent with love from a special lady in Canada for each of the girls.

It was awesome to see the kids eyes light up when they saw their presents- for many of these kids it is the first present, just for them, that they have ever received! All the beautiful colors, lights, candies, clothes , blankets etc are almost overwhelming for kids who have never dreamt of owning all these items, all at once! When I think of The Gift that Christ has given us, it is overwhelming to me as well. We try to explain to the children that these gifts are gifts of Love, given by folks from overseas who Love Jesus so much they want these children to know the Love of Jesus as well! That these small tokens, are to remind that that Jesus Loves them, and He paid the ultimate price so they could have the free gift of His love and peace and joy! It is a privilege to be a part of such a small thing, that means so much to so many!
 Kids eagerly waiting to open their gifts!

 Going thru the gifts with one of the girls
 Ok.. the solar powered fan hats and the twinkly light sticks were pretty much an instant hit.
Hard not to look cool when you have a pooh bear light saber and angry birds fan hat. (with retractable sunglasses ATTACHED no less)
 Rick demonstrating how one might choose to use the mirror.
 Happy kids walking home!

 Some had to walk considerable distances to get there as we did the program in one location even though there were two different groups.

Trying to get a decent picture... sheesh. They do love to pose around here!

Its quite a drive to get to Inhangoma where we delivered gifts this year, so we stayed in a community across the river which broke up the driving a bit on both ways. Getting to from Inhangoma required taking the ferry across the Chire River.. an adventure all by itself!
 This is the ferry. that little roof over there is the shade/ rain shelter for the three guys who use a hand crank to move it across the river.
 The lady who walked behind our family photo decided to catch a ride with the canoe instead.. so she just walked off the end of the ferry, into the canoe.. LOL
 One of my favorite pics of all of us .. ever.
 Wow. this kid is far to cute. especially after a whole day of driving and busyness.. to still have THAT smile!
Local tradition says this mountain used to have a door that opened .... people could go in .. but one day it just stopped opening. 

Again, Thank you to ALL who donated towards the Unique Christmas Gift Campaign last year, we may never know how much impact these simple gifts have the children, but we know that they bring a lot of joy, laughter, and fun! They also allow us to show Christ's love to entire communities. It is almost time for the Unique Christmas Gift Campain to start up again- please consider donating towards an orphan care pack, or one of the many other items on our list.  If you would like to contribute this year you can see our new brochure for 2013 by clicking here to go to our Unique Christmas Gift page!

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