“If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.” Mother Teresa
When we think of Africa, we may think of hot deserts with dry and dusty lands, but how many of us actually realize that there are places that experience cold winters, with snow and temperatures that drop below freezing? This isn’t the picture we normally get when thinking of Africa, but this is the reality in many parts of Lesotho and South Africa. The winter months, May-September, are tough in this region.
What do you do when you live in a place that is freezing cold, and it’s hard to stay warm? You can’t turn on the heat. There is none. You can’t put on a warm jacket or blanket when you don’t have any. And you can’t slip under the warmth of a comforter at night when the only thing you have to sleep on is the cold cement floor.
We want to give. We want to give so that these children won’t have to suffer in the cold. Next month our goal is to distribute hundreds of winter packs (hats, gloves, scarves, and blankets) to children in Lesotho and South Africa. We hope you will help us bring warmth to a country that so desperately needs it…
Make a secure online donation for African winter packs
It was during our initial trip to Lesotho in 2007 that God broke my heart and I’ve never been the same. Our last stop on our last day was a visit to a school. We brought shoes and clothing for 10 children but, when we arrived, there were 100’s of children that surrounded us waiting, watching and hoping that they would receive something. Violet brought her preschool. We had nothing to give these little ones. Two from our team scrounged through the van and emerged with small bars of soap and a box of crackers. One by one the four year olds held out their hands to receive a bar of soap and one cracker.
I was interacting with some of the older children and was unaware of what was happening with the preschoolers. I went over to this little boy and held out my hand for him to “give me 5.” What happened next is forever etched in my memory. He looked down at one clenched fist, then to the other and back again to the first hand, opened it up and handed me his bar of soap. Then I realized he thought that I was asking him to give me what he had received. The look of pain on his face broke my heart. I quickly reassured him that they were his to keep and closed his tiny fingers around the bar of soap. A cracker and a bar of soap, two things incidental and insignificant to me, were precious to him.
When I returned home I could not erase his face from my mind. People asked me, “How was your trip? Was it life changing?” At first I couldn’t put my feelings into words. It was heart breaking. “Was it life changing?” Now I can say, “Yes.” Nothing outside of my relationship with Jesus has touched my life like the people of Africa.
My love for the children of South Africa and Lesotho has grown. So has my eagerness to speak on their behalf and to do what I can to provide hope in desperate circumstances. My belief is that only God can provide true hope in that hopelessness. But, as we seek to bring Jesus to them, we also need to share the love of God in tangible ways by helping to meet their physical needs.
I’ve never seen that little boy again. But, I’m grateful that God had my life cross his for a brief moment and for how He has changed my heart and my life through the brief encounter. My hope that you will follow us at: www.AnchorYourLife.com or through Facebook. This is an exciting adventure and I’m so glad that I can share it with you!
Help us help African children through Anchor Your Life.
Zacchaeus wanted to see Jesus and his desire overcomes 2 obstacles, the crowd and his own height. He runs ahead of the crowd. Can you imagine the site? Here’s a little rich guy running ahead of the crowds. When he reaches the 30-40′ high tree, he climbs the short trunk and perches on 1 of the spreading branches. Evidently he did not worry about looking ridiculous!
Zacchaeus thought that he was seeking Jesus, when in fact Jesus was seeking him. Jesus reaches the spot. He looks up and in the midst of many, Jesus sees one man. He calls Zacchaeus by name. Jesus knew his name and his character. Jesus did not see who he was from the outside. . .God does not look at the things man looks at. “Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7). So what did Jesus see when He saw Zacchaeus?
** Jesus saw a man being held captive by his own sin
** He saw one who had been beaten down by the world. . .one who had been deceived by the promises of life
** Jesus saw a man who was dieing inside
As we go through life we often feel insignificant. But, one life does matter. Zacchaeus is one seemingly insignificant man who was noticed by God.
In the midst of this crowd Jesus sees you. He knows all about you…
** How you spent the day yesterday
** Your disappointments and the pain you’ve experienced, as well as your successes
** Your frustrations
** Your fears
** The decisions you are facing
** Your worries
He knows when
** You feel like giving up
** You are down
** You are happy
** He knows the answers to your questions
In the midst of many, Jesus sees one…YOU. And cares for YOU!
It’s tough to look a child in the eyes and see one who has been unloved and uncared for. It was during my first experience in Lesotho in 2007 that I looked into the eyes of these children and made the commitment that I would keep coming back to care for and love the least of the least in Lesotho and South Africa.
I’m still honoring that commitment, and with that commitment comes the desire to do more to provide for the needs of these children. That’s why over the next month we want to provide hundreds of winter packs (hats, scarves, gloves, and blankets) for families in South Africa as they enter into the freezing cold months of May-September. Help us complete this project by giving a donation of $25 which will help cover the costs to purchase, assemble, and distribute each winter pack. Together we can make a difference!
650 school packs distributed in South Africa and Lesotho.
24 high school students receive sponsorship to provide help with tuition, school uniform, and books for the entire year.
Thembalethu Bible study New Bible study begins in Thembalethu, South Africa.
Thembalethu Bible study grows to 35 children.
Four teenagers from George and Jan and Nicole Seegmuller from Up With Down’s accompany me to Lesotho for distribution of 125 Winter Packs (blanket, scarf, hat, and gloves).
Plans for Training Program take shape and arrangements made for 6 from Lesotho for training the end of June.
Packing and distribution of 125 Winter Packs for children in the George area.
First training session with 4 Lesotho students in George.
Lesotho ministry grows to 125 children who attend weekly Bible study and have their physical, educational, and spiritual needs met by Anchor Your Life.
We go under contract to purchase a home in George to house the Training Center.
$222,000 is donated by friends of Anchor Your Life in 5 weeks to purchase the property in George for the Training Center.
35 teenager finish their high school year. None of which could continue their education without the funds from their Anchor Your Life sponsors.
A team from Loving Covers visits George, South Africa and Lesotho. 275 Christmas packs (soap, shampoo, tooth brush, tooth paste, vaseline, and face cloth) assembled by Up With Down’s and distributed by Anchor Your Life, Up With Down’s, and Loving Covers.
I’ve been working in Lesotho since 2007 and have had the privilege of watching the kids grow up. With 34 of our 125 kids now in high school, we have many who are reaching young adulthood. As they graduate from high school they are competing for jobs where the unemployment of 18-24 year olds can exceed 50%. The odds are against them! Significant time and money has been invested in these young lives. The reality though is that if they graduate from high school and cannot secure a job, they will not step out of the cycle of poverty.
For the past four years we have been working on ways to equip the kids so that they will have an edge with gaining employment. We’ve tried a variety of things in Lesotho but none have produced the results that we desire. After much thought we decided to move the training to George, South Africa where we have greater access to the resources needed. After six months of tweaking the training program, the time has finally come for our first training session!!!!
Four of our older kids (two boys and two girls) along with my two leaders will arrive in George on Thursday, June 25, to begin a week of training. Up With Down’s school has graciously opened their school to us and offered accommodations for the six. I’ve hired a former English teacher who will lead interactive sessions that will work towards improving their reading, writing and speaking of English. In addition to the English classes and a daily Bible study that I will teach, we have a wide variety of activities planned. A few of the highlights…a “fieldtrip” to a local restaurant to learn how to budget for and order a meal, how to use a knife and fork to eat, and how to socially interact at a meal…an outing to a wildlife preserve…serving the students at Up With Down’s…excursions to the different beaches…sleeping in a bed and the experience of a shower and running water in the bathrooms! All things that we take for granted in the Western world.
Eventually we want to offer more training times to all of our students and provide internships and job shadowing with George businessmen and women to assist young people with their career choices; assistance with resume development and interviewing skills; and on the job training.
Our goal in Africa hasn’t changed from the beginning…to raise up godly young men and women who will impact their communities for Christ. I believe that in addition to Bible study that it’s essential to provide the kids with experiences that open their eyes to what’s outside of their small village in Lesotho and I believe that our training program will do just that. The four kids are super excited about their opportunity. I am super excited to share the experience with you. Watch our website (AnchorYourLife.com) and Facebook (facebook.com/anchoryourlife) for updates throughout the week.
None of this would be possible without your prayer and support. Please pray…
- For safe travel for our six Lesotho friends
- That the Lesotho kids will learn, absorb and retain much from the experience
- That we will all humbly and graciously serve the kids in our two Bible studies in the George area through time with them and a winter pack distribution
- That friendships with Up With Down’s staff and students will grow and deepen
Together we are making a huge difference in 100’s of African children’s lives!