Bunny’s are growing so fast! The one’s we got in January have gone from fitting in our hand to having to hold in our arms! Some weighed less than a half-pound and are now close to six pounds – huge growth in a matter of a few months. We are now praying that twelve (or at least most of them) are pregnant and we will have more babies in about a month. Those will be ready to sell in about five months. The fifteen babies have successfully been weaned from their mothers and they will not be sold. They are so cute!
A few pictures from this week…
I realized I hadn’t posted about Easter Sunday when I was getting ready to post about yesterday Sunday School! So here they are together!
“Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.” Mark 9:37
Easter Sunday we were prepared for three hundred or more kids but I think there ended up being around two hundred, which was great – more manageable! There were twenty-two that gave their lives to Christ which was very encouraging! Some were our regular kids but there were some that don’t come regularly and we are praying they will come back. There were two from Easter that came back yesterday. We gave out bracelets and the kids were so excited!
Nursery worker Raelee!
She realized she may have too many!
Everyone had to pull together!
Very thankful the girls were on easter break!
After Sunday School Daddy hid eggs for Raelee to find. After she found them she told him that he wasn’t a very good “hider”! Ha, I told her she better watch out next year! It was a good day!
Yesterday we had about twice as many under five children, so many to handle! We also had more older children than usual. We had a scary moment when a little one that was sick stopped breathing because he was choked from mucus, he was like a limp doll and had fever. Christian got him breathing again and we had to force the parents to get him and take him home. They didn’t want to take him to the Dr. but this morning his father told us they had to take him in the night and he is currently in the hospital. I knew if Dr. Nelson saw him they would immediately put him in. I wanted to take him straight to the hospital but the parents acted like they really didn’t care so that really tied our hands, doing what we could by giving them the medical card and transport money. We have learned that we can’t change everyone, can’t save everyone and realize that in many situations we could hurt more than help if we took control and did what we felt was right. We prayed last night that God would watch over the boy, we would have been devastated if he had died. Everyone thought we had over-reacted and that it was “just the flu” and “lots of kids do that” but I don’t think they realize the danger of taking sickness here too lightly. Plus what would have happened if he had died here, I can’t imagine but I’m sure we would be held responsible in some way. Our prayers are for him and all the other children here that are sick, that don’t get the medical care they need until it is at a critical point or in many cases too late.
After the scare we got to start classes. I am very excited that our teenage helper wants to do the flannel board stories with the small children while Derrick and I teach the older kids. It is a relief for me, to know that I can have a break at times and I don’t have to run around getting everyone organized! She will have to have me helping her for a little while as she learns to change out the scenes in the stories – I started her off with a pretty simple one. I am thankful she wanted to do this and I think it will be very good for her. She has three older sisters, two are in college and are very outgoing, one in her last year of high school. A younger sister and brother who are always bragged about because they are the smartest. So she is kind of in the middle and this year the only one not away for school. I pray this gives her something of her own and will help her gain self-esteem and also a love and understanding of God’s love for her.
But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 1 Timothy 3:14-15
Another great day with the kids in Sunday School. Raelee hasn’t been so happy to have to leave babies and come to the older kids class but she gets plenty of baby-holding time before and after and even though she hates leaving them, she does like to be included in the lessons. She especially likes to see what kind of experiments I do to help teach, she is always as surprised as the rest of the kids. We had three today that recited the verse we have been talking about for a couple of months. Others know it but are too shy to say it in front of a group, they are working up to it. We are in prayer for next Sunday, we expect anywhere from 300-500 kids will come and our regular class isn’t too happy about it. We are working on accepting the kids even though we know they are just coming because they think they will receive something. I talked to them about the importance of having their own relationship with Jesus and committing their lives to living according to His Word and He says He will take care of the rest. One day all who have heard about Jesus (even if only on Easter and Christmas) will have to stand before God with no excuse. They can’t say they never knew about His Son and it is very important for us to pray for those. We had special prayer before we parted today, praying for the kids that will come. That they will see something different here and want to come back and learn more. That the kids that come just to get something out of it will in fact get more than what they were expecting! Pray for me for next week that I may be able to handle that many kids and have the patience, wisdom and God’s guidance in what to say and how to say it. It is very challenging to teach children from another culture using examples that they can relate to. I have the internet, bible studies for children to use along with the bible but it is all geared towards American children so there are many I can’t use at all, and many that I have to translate in a way they can relate. The longer we are here and I learn more about the culture, it seems a little easier all the time to explain things in terms they can understand. (Besides being a vegetable thief! That is their main go to evidence of a bad person!) Today we spoke about self-control and at the end I asked for examples of times they have shown self-control. The question wasn’t quite understood as I got answers of abusing someone, fighting, hitting. We finally have more girls coming, at first they thought it was just for the boys and feared coming. They are still pretty quiet during class but this morning one very quiet little girl who always seems to be paying close attention to me gave her answer to my question, her eyes sliding to the side. “Pinching someone. Pinching them hard”! It made me laugh because it seemed to me she might have been the pinch-er in that situation! I really do love these kids!
Christian’s namesake came to Sunday School with his older brother (who is 4 or 5). The baby is now a few months old, and was quite beautiful in his yellow frilly dress with frilly rubber pants over a cloth diaper. Confused? Join the club! His mama was so proud of her pretty baby and it caused me to question if he is a he and not a she. I checked with one of Jenifer’s girls and she verified that is a boy, even though there was a very big deal made when the father told everyone he was named after Christian! I told her it confuses me when they are dressed in dresses and I’m afraid she might have told the mama what I said, she wasn’t as friendly when she left. I would never intentionally insult someone’s baby, it is just confusing! I had just told my mother-in-law that babies here don’t wear diapers. Mostly they don’t and definitely never disposable (in rural areas anyway). For some reason they have a definite aversion to disposable for reasons of health to their babies. A few will have one or two clothe diapers that they will use if they have something special to go to (or maybe just if it came with a frilly yellow dress 🙂 Most of the time babies don’t have any bottoms on, up to the age of 3-4. That means no pants whatsoever. The smaller ones may or may not wear a shirt and most times if they do it doesn’t fall much below their belly button. You have to be careful where your hand is when holding them! It’s easier than having to clean them up, having to hand wash cloth diapers. And while they are still this small they keep them pretty swaddled. That’s my best guess anyway!
This is baby Rhonda! She has three other African names but was introduced to me as Rhonda. I’ve never had a baby named after me, Christian has one named after him, also with three traditional names! I met her mother a couple months ago when she came with three woven mats asking if I would buy so she could buy some baby things before her baby was born. Of course I did but with one condition, she had to bring her baby by so I could see. We have helped out a few mothers but they have never brought the babies after. Rhonda was born February 22. The custom here is the baby does not make their appearance in public until the umbilical cord falls off. If the couple are unmarried, he doesn’t see the baby until this point, when the mother gives him the cord to prove he is the father. (This lady is married) At least this is what we are told! So, she is a little over a month old. So tiny! Her mother also brought many outfits to show me what she had purchased with the money from the mats. I gave her a little extra so she could buy a few more things and thanked her so much for bringing the baby so that I could see her! Wonder how many more Christians and Rhondas will populate our village!