Doc and Avril at Ngwana Babyhouse

Today’s Mission Moment comes to us from Dr. Blessman and Avril from Ngwana Babyhouse in Polokwane. Blessman International delivered a scale.

South African Children Playing on Playground at Del Cramer Campus

Luke 12:22-34

31 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need.

32 “So don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom.

33 “Sell your possessions and give to those in need. This will store up treasure for you in heaven! And the purses of heaven never get old or develop holes. Your treasure will be safe; no thief can steal it and no moth can destroy it. 34 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

 

I recently went on a trip to South Africa.  It was a trip to help set up Celebrate Recovery for teenagers in schools.  I have never been out of the country.  I didn’t know what to wear, what to take, what it would be like.  One thing I did know is that it was God who made a way for this trip to be possible.  That gave me great comfort.  I realize that this was not something that happened on my own power.

In my planning of the trip, I found that most of my summer clothes did not fit anymore.  I hate clothes shopping.  But I asked the Lord to guide me and help me and as I shopped, I found outfits that fit perfectly and affordably.  No easy task, looking for summer clothes in January in Iowa, but God provided.

I had hoops to jump through with Covid testing, schedule planning, getting the cat sitter lined up….so many tasks that could have been very daunting.  But I knew that it was God who aligned this trip and with his help, I had no need to panic.  I only needed to be obedient and complete the tasks set before me.

Before I knew it, I was in South Africa.  While there, I witnessed a level of poverty I had only read about.  Communities without running water or electricity.  Ladies with children wrapped to their bodies while they worked in fields.  People walking miles to, hopefully, find work for the day.  Toilets that, in some cases were the nearest tree.

And you know what?  These people worshipped.  They worshipped God and thanked him for all they had.  They had a level of faith that was off the charts.  They worked with what they had and were thankful for it.  Their faith did not lack because they did not have possessions or modern conveniences.  In fact, they seemed to be in such a tight relationship with God that nothing would diminish it.  It just drew them closer to Him.

On my way home, I reflected on all the blessings God has given me.  A home with electricity, plumbing, job, car, food.  I realized I have many possessions, and I wondered if my faith was contingent on what God has provided me.  And as I reflected, I decided that I have many things I simply don’t use that would be beneficial for someone else.  No, I am not going to get rid of everything I have, but I can simplify and in that help others.

I have witnessed God moving huge mountains in my life and I know that He has provided every opportunity and blessing that I have ever received.  He never needs to prove His love for me.  My faith is simple.  I love God.  I trust God.  I follow God.  He provides.  He provides comfort, opportunity, love and blessings.  My treasure is not belongings or possessions.  My treasure is knowing that God is faithful and He is the same God in USA as in Africa and the whole world.  He is God.

 

 

Beth Blessman with South African Child

Sponsor Letter

 

Letter writing is an important part of building a relationship with your sponsored child. However, sometimes you may find yourself with pen in hand staring at a blank page. What would be relevant to write about and what would my sponsored child find interesting?

Here are 8 tips to make your letter writing much easier.

 

 

Your Family

Describe your family and explain how your family functions. You can write about your children, parents, siblings, cousins and even your pets. Remember to add a photo of you and your family.

 

 

Hobbies and Past Times

Share with your sponsored child what sports you enjoy and any interests or pastimes you may have. You can also ask your sponsored child which hobbies they enjoy.

 

 

Show Interest In Your Child’s Country

Ask your child about South Africa including their traditions, seasons and even the weather.

In South Africa, there is not one heritage, or a set of distinct identities. The cultures, languages and heritages of South Africa are multiple, diverse, and dynamic.

In Limpopo, most people speak Sepedi, Ndebele, Tsonga, and some Venda.

You can do some research about South Africa and Limpopo Province to help you when writing your letters.

 

 

Where You Live

Describe your home (be careful not to share to much about material things). Give a general description of the area you live and share interesting and educational facts about the area. You can describe what your streets, shops and roads are like. South Africa children are raised in agricultural surroundings, so you can mention your garden and the plants you grow.

 

 

Their Dreams For The Future

What are your child’s dreams for the future and what are they looking forward to? What would they like to do once they are grown up? For the older children, what would like to do once they are finished with school?

You can describe your job and what you enjoy about it as well as the challenges you face.

 

 

They Are Growing Up

As you walk through this journey with your sponsored child. Each letter is an opportunity to comment on how they have grown and the goals they have achieved.

 

 

Speak To Them About God’s Love

You can ask them about church and which Bible story is their favorite?

Share scripture that has helped you on your faith journey and can help your child on their journey.

You can share your prayer requests with your child and your prayers for them.

 

 

Ask Questions

This is a simple way to show interest in your sponsored child’s life and see how they are growing spiritually and physically. It will also help if you make notes from the answers received so the next letter you write could be a follow up of these questions.

 

Questions could include the following,

What is their family like, and do they have any siblings?

Ask your child questions about upcoming holidays in South Africa, the weather, and traditions.

You can also ask them how school is going, and which subjects they most enjoy.

Are they involved in any sport and how is it going?

Ask them about church and do they enjoy going every Sunday?

Ask your child about their friends and what games they play with their friends?

What is their favorite animal?

What job would they like to have when they grow up?

 

 

In Conclusion

Keep your letter simple, it does not have to be a long letter, you can touch on a few points that you find interesting and that your sponsored child can easily relate with.

 

I hope this has helped and inspired you in writing your next letter to your sponsored child.

Happy writing!

Children Eating at Del Cramer Children's Campus

Today’s Mission Moment comes to us from Dr. Blessman with an urgent request for the feeding program in South Africa. Through our feeding hubs, we feed 60,000 children a week and most of the supplies come from food containers we receive from the United States.

American sponsor with South African child

As a sponsor, you will provide a hot meal, place of safety, educational training, spiritual development, sports training, and fellowship/social development for one of our children for an entire year.

Dr. Jim Blessman with South African children

 

 

Today I completed my 77th trip around the sun, this journey like all the others has been eventful, interesting, and successful.  I am incredibly blessed with the life that I get to live.  I have a wife who loves me and treats me like royalty, children who love me unconditionally and most of whom communicate with me almost daily even when I am half a world away.

This last month has been especially an interesting one.  During all of Covid we only hosted one short term mission team, so we had gotten a bit rusty.  It felt wonderful this month to finally have mission teams coming back to Africa to serve with us.  Our first team was from St. Francis Church in West Des Moines, and because of Covid anxiety it was quite small at only three individuals.  This gave us an opportunity to re-establish relationships with churches and schools where we do community outreaches.  We opened up our Lodge of Dreams and got it cleaned and working well.  We also got some of the fun activities up and running again with the photo safaris and elephant experience.

The president of Musco Lighting stopped by our campus for a visit this week, so we showed off with a big celebration to thank him properly for lighting up our new soccer complex for our Sports 4 Christ program.  We had three exciting games going on under the lights: a friendly soccer competition on the mini pitch soccer court, a netball game, and of course the main event on our regulation size grass soccer field.  We were amazed and blessed that a company as large and busy as Musco would take time during the winter Olympics, currently going on in China, and make the huge effort of coming to our small African village to celebrate with us.  They are indeed an amazing company and make us so proud that we also come from Iowa.

To survive and thrive in Africa we must learn new things all of the time.  This last week we learned how to get a mission team from Iowa back through the airport and on the plane even though three of them tested positive for Covid on the departure lab test. It took lots of patience, several days, persistence and most importantly lots of prayer, but as I write this all three of them are healthy and safely on their way back to America.

I felt the hand of God protecting me as both Beth and I also came down ill with Covid, and I had the complication of a TIA of the cerebellum portion of my brain that controls vision and balance.  For a few hours, I had difficulty seeing and walking about.  Our son Dustin rushed us to the hospital in Pretoria where an MRI showed complete healing in my brain and all of my brain functions returned back to normal.  I was able to walk 5 Km the next day and get back to the work that God has called me to do. God is not finished with me just yet.

We know for sure that many churches and individuals in America and all over the world are praying for us all of the time.   I promise you that your prayers are working and we appreciate them so much.

May God richly bless each and every one of you.

Doc

Bethany Kester One Child at a Time Program

Our One Child at a Time Program allows you to bless a child in South Africa with a hot meal, place of safety, educational training, spiritual development, and more.