December 2020 – Wrapping Up a Difficult Year With Joy
I pray that all of you enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving and are looking forward with anticipation to the Christmas holidays. I am not a big fan of winter, but Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday because it reminds me of the great blessing of my family. No gifts just great food, family and a reminder to count our many blessings. 2020 has been a year of losses so it is especially important that we remember to thank God for all the great blessings that we have. When I count my blessings it always brings joy to my soul.
Beth and I have successfully moved from our beautiful acreage to Beaverdale and we are already loving our new home near our daughter’s family, especially our 6-year-old granddaughter, Juniper. Speaking of joy, spending time with her nearly every day brings joy to both Beth and my hearts.
We are both missing our lives in South Africa, as this is the longest we’ve been out of Africa for many years. We have both chosen to make the best of this situation and quite frankly, I have been more productive working in my office in Urbandale than I have in many years.
COVID-19 is taking a big toll on many businesses, churches, ministries and families but I sense God’s hand helping our ministry to survive and even thrive through this storm. Despite schools still being closed in South Africa, we have gotten our Celebrate Recovery and Sports 4 Christ programs up and running well again. For those of you on Facebook, we always post many photos and videos to keep you up to date. Convoy of Hope and Meals from the Heartland continued to ship 5 full shipping containers of food to us in Africa, and even though it is a bit more difficult to distribute this food during the lockdown, we are managing to continue to feed thousands of children each week.
We have received pen pal letters from most all of you who are sponsoring a child through our One Child at a Time program, and we have sent those letters to your children in South Africa. Del Cramer is still closed so we are sending our staff out to do home visits to give your letters to the children, and to assist them in writing their letters back to their sponsors. All 118 children at Del Cramer now have sponsors. I want to send a big thank you out to everyone who is supporting these beautiful children. Our plans are to run this program for the next 9 months and receive feedback from the children and sponsors as to where we can improve. Once we are convinced that we are doing the program with excellence, we would like to add an additional group of children from another feeding center that we support. Thus, any of you who missed an opportunity to sponsor one of our children will have another chance this coming spring.
Our office is quite busy right now gearing up for our annual year end giving campaign. Please know that we need your assistance more this year than ever before, so please pray and be generous with your church and your favorite charities.
You will be hearing more from me soon,
Love you all,