Holding up their Arms

IMG_1227These past two weeks, I’ve been working with 6 Azusa Pacific University students in Sweetwaters. This team has really stood out because of their hard work, great preparation, and initiative. They’ve been able to partner at a creche, organize a fun day to say thanks to our Sweetwaters teenagers who volunteer with us in the community, and have led Life Group Bibles studies. This week, they are running a 3-day holiday club in Sweetwaters (which they planned, along with our staff).

The APU team designed an Amazing Race (Sweetwaters style) for the Kids Crew (teens from Sweetwaters community who help with our weekly kids club). The teens had an awesome time! At one station, everyone had to kiss a chicken! :)

The APU team designed an Amazing Race (Sweetwaters style) for the Kids Crew (teens from Sweetwaters community who help with our weekly kids club). The teens had an awesome time! At one station, everyone had to kiss a chicken! 🙂

The story the APUers used for their Life Group lessons was one from the Old Testament, and I think it serves as a good picture of what this team has done for us. The story is of Moses and the Israelites battling against their enemies. As long as Moses raised his staff above his head, the Israelites continued winning. If the staff was ever lowered, the Israelites began losing. Keeping your arms upraised for a short while is easy, but doing it for a long time is very difficult. Moses grew weak holding the staff and the Israelites began losing until two friends came and supported his arms, enabling Moses to continue his God-given task. The APU team challenged the Life Groups to support each other with their God-given callings, and to keep on following God when life is difficult.

Life Group with the APU team. Even the craft related to the lesson of "holding up each other" and supporting what God has called our friends to do.

Life Group with the APU team. Even the craft related to the lesson of “holding up each other” and supporting what God has called our friends to do.

This APU team (as well as the team from iThemba Denmark board that just came to visit) have been “arm-raisers” for the full-time staff at iThemba. Their enthusiasm, their new ideas, their willingness to jump in and help where needed, their prayer and encouragement have given new strength to our staff. Doing short term trips is easy, but working in the same community day in and day out can be tiring, as our staff well know. These teams have been able to support our long-term staff, and have given them the extra support they need to keep going. It is also exciting to think about the people all over the world (like you!) who are praying for iThemba and the community of Sweetwaters, or who are giving financially to the work. You are also “holding up our arms” by helping us continue to accomplish God’s will in this area.

  • Pray for God to continue to work through the APU team this week as they run their holiday club. On the first day they had over 200 kids, and over 70 teens.
  • Pray that God would use this trip in the lives of these APUers long-term.
  • Pray for the team of 8 from Leek Pentacostal, who are here with us for 2 weeks. They are running a Holiday Club this week, as well as working in creches next week.
  • Pray for health, energy, and good team work.
  • Pray that God would use these 2 holiday clubs in the lives of kids and teens in Sweetwaters.
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