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Now at the beginning of 2015, I would like to share with you a year-end report on the status of the children written by Similo Thebe, the counselor and pastor of the Themba children. It was such an encouraging report that I thought you would enjoy reading some of the details in the lives of the children and their caregivers. So rejoice with us in what the Lord has done for us.

Blessings and grace to each of you, Janelle

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Similo
Similo Thebe
Similo writes . . . .

Greetings in the name of the Lord Jesus !

It has always been a blessing to be able to report to you on what the Lord has done for us here at Themba. We have never ceased to thank the Lord for his mercy and goodness in our lives and that of the Themba families. We are especially thankful to the Lord as we have seen the children and the caregivers growing in the knowledge of Christ and have seen our theme in motion. Our 2014 theme was found in Phil 3:10, “…that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection.”

imageCHILDREN’S MEETINGS . . .
It has always been an encouragement to be around our Themba children. They bring joy to our hearts and we love them so much. This year has been very fruitful for us as we had wonderful times with the children every Friday. The attendance has been better than any other year and the children seem to be happy to be a part of these meetings. Prince Ndlovu testified that in the past he had not attended church at all, but since he started attending Friday meetings, he has started to go to church every Sunday. When he said this, we smiled and saw the goodness of the Lord.
We have seen the children’s lives being transformed through God’s Word. Also, we would like to express our gratitude for the porridge. The children love it so much. It gives them energy to play games and to actively participate in our activities.
Pray that the Friday meetings will continue to be a place of transformation, where God will be known and experienced.

CHILDREN’S CAMPS . . . image
This has been the most exciting time for the children and enjoyed themselves so much. Both the primary and high school children visited the Khami Ruins, about 20km west of Bulawayo. The place is beautiful with very old ruins dating back to the 15th Century. These two trips were educational as the children toured the monuments and had time to ask questions about historic events that took place centuries ago. The children commented that they find trips of this nature very helpful as they see things they learn about at school. Also everyone enjoyed the food very much.
We thank the Lord for His blessings throughout the camps.

imageCAREGIVERS PRAYER MEETINGS . . .

Similo with one of the caregivers
The Pumula, Mzilikazi, Makokoba, Nguboyenja and Burombo caregiver groups are doing very well. The Pumula group still meets once every week while the other groups meet once a month. Sibongukusa Khumalo, one of the Pumula ladies testified during one of our family visits that she is now able to read God’s Word and understand it because of these prayer meetings. She has also been able to share her burdens with other caregivers and is very grateful to have people around her who pray and encourage her. We are so encouraged when we hear such reports.
Pray that the Lord will continue to show his love and mercy to these families and that they will grow deeper in the knowledge of Christ.

CAREGIVERS’ WORKSHOP . . . image
This workshop was also an encouragement to us and to the caregivers. We invited a nurse to talk about health issues and the participation of the caregivers was very fruitful. We also had time to encourage them in God’s Word. I talked about the leprosy of the heart, which is sin. When I talked about unforgiveness, one lady stood up and said, “I will never forgive the woman who wronged me many years ago, never”. At first I was stunned but started to pray for her in my heart, I then read Matthew 8:1-3. It talks about a leper who asked Jesus if He was willing to make him clean. The Lord said, “I am willing, be clean”, and immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy. When I finished my talk, the lady who struggled with unforgiveness said, “I know I have leprosy of the heart and the Lord will make me clean. I am willing to forgive.” When such things happen during our workshops, we are so encouraged and know that the Lord is merciful.
Thank you very much for making it possible for the Themba families to meet with the Lord personally in their lives.

OTHER CAREGIVER NEWS . . .
It is so sad to report that we lost three caregivers during the month of November and December. It has been a sad time for us and the other caregivers. We have been able to visit the families and it has been a blessing for us to encourage them in the Lord.

Please pray that the Lord will comfort the children who lost their caregivers and that they will be able to adjust as they will be with different people in their families.

Thank you once again for putting a smile on these families’ faces. May the Lord continue to bless you all.

Similo Thebe
Children’s Pastor and Counselor

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