Tuesday, November 29, 2016

|| books ||

^^ Joy loves Little House on the Prairie books  :)

Soon after moving here, I was given the task of the library at our church.  At the time, there were a few faithful kids who would come and get a book but not very many.  I was actually quite surprised to see the selection of books for such a small church.  What a treasure!!  For someone who loves books, it was amazing to see the resources available here.

Within a few months, I began a little contest for the kids.  Each book read and returned merited a star on a fish.  For each five stars, a prize was given.  A simple enough promotion but what a motivation for the church kids!!  Library usage for the kids' side absolutely soared.  To get a free pencil or pen or eraser is a REALLY BIG DEAL here.  I even had to clamp down a bit on who was able to check out books because we started to have kids move away (which is common) and then books get lost.  

My friend gave me Dr. Seuss decorations that she didn't need anymore.  So last year while in the States, I bought these punch cards.  So if they keep and finish one punch card from start to finish, they will have received four prizes.

This feels a bit unusual to ask but I've been wanting to post about the library for a while.  For those of you that live near my parents, do you have any old books that are just lying around?  Any books that your kids aren't interested in reading?  They don't have to be brand new or even in excellent condition.  We have a lady who repairs damaged books each week.  :)  My friend, Marian, and I who run the library would love new additions to the kids' books section!!!!  These kids are not exposed to books like we had growing up.  Even in school, lessons are copied.  To have a Bible is a luxury, so you can imagine books are even more rare.  And what an opportunity to expose some of the kids who attend our church to good books.  SO, if you have any spare books, would you be willing to drop them by my parents' house or give them to her at church?  They are getting ready to ship a barrel here in a few weeks.  We would be so grateful!!

Gershom and Sylvester are just two of the boys who will say a very big THANK YOU!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

|| again ||

We did another bonfire tonight.  Funny how much joy the simple pleasures of life bring us.  Having dessert (puds as we call it here) and coffee around a fire is such a nice treat especially if we have guests.  Conversation ebbs and flows.  A few wayward glances up to the stars every now and then.  The stillness and quiet.  

I'm so glad I threw some logs into that hole about a year ago now.  We had just taken a fruit tree out of the garden and I was anxious for a fire pit. A few logs later and our fire pit was born.  The rains are almost here and then we will wait until next year to enjoy it again.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

|| give us this day ||

One of the most humbling things about living here is the stark contrast of my family's life against the backdrop of the lives of many of those around us especially in regards to hunger.  

Each Sunday, about 100 boys and girls are in my Sunday school class and most of them are hungry.  There's no government hand outs Monday to Friday the entire year round for breakfast and lunch.  Their food for the day is just a pot of nshima. relish (cooked cabbage and tomato or another vegetable that is comparable), and maybe a bit of protein (eggs, beans, fish, or chicken) on a good day.  

I'm telling a real cute story in Sunday school that walks us through the Lord's Prayer.  It is one of my favourites to tell.  This last week, I taught the part of the prayer that says, "Give us this day our daily bread."  It is a bit saddening to know that some of these kids literally don't have enough to eat.  Not all of the kids are starving per se, just a handful come from absolutely destitute families.  But according to our first world standards, 90% of them are hungry.  

As I think of raising our kids here, I definitely want to teach them compassion to other children.  It's not a child's fault that they come from a home where the money is wasted on beer.  Or maybe there's just not a job available for the adults in the home.  What an EASY way to show Christ's love in sharing a bit of our abundance to those who are more destitute than us.