Oh my goodness, we love these kids so much! It’s definitely not always an easy, but we have yet to leave there without smiles on our faces and a full heart.
In moving to South Africa, Lara and I knew we would quickly become busy with different roles and ministries but one of our top priorities was finding a way for our family to serve together. Serving at Helder Valley Community Centre has been exactly the kind of place our family wanted to get connected with. Every time we show up and kids run to each of us, jump into our arms, and squeeze our necks so tight we know we are exactly where we need to be!
If you were to come and observe what is going on one afternoon it would probably just look like all we do is play games, eat snacks, read children’s bible stories, do art projects, tutor and help with homework, dance, listen to music and have fun. Well, that is exactly what we do! In doing just that, we [As you, who support this work and pray for us please know that we are including you in all of the “we” statements here. PLEASE don’t miss that! You are making a lasting difference here.] are able to provide some consistency in these kids lives. We are helping them improve in reading and math. We are teaching them the Bible! We are providing them with a opportunity to laugh in the midst of the reality that, life is a struggle and “I am not sure how are we going to survive today”. We give them one on one attention that you can so vividly see they hunger for. We are giving them love. We are offering them hope, life, and a better future. Together, we [Jesus, You and the Rousehouse] are transforming a community through this small group of children!
“The greatest legacy one can pass on to one’s children and grandchildren is not money or other material things accumulated in one’s life, but rather a legacy of character and faith.”
— Billy Graham, evangelist
“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”
— Frederick Douglass, abolitionist and statesman
“Children are great imitators. So give them something great to imitate.”
“If I could relive my life, I would devote my entire ministry to reaching children for God!”
— Dwight L. Moody, evangelist
“Hugs can do great amounts of good, especially for children.”
— Diana, Princess of Wales
And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me. — Jesus, Matthew 18:5
13 People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. 14 When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” 16 And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them. – Jesus, Mark 10:13-16
Jesus is going to do a great work through our small investment in the lives of these children! This could be the start of a whole new life for these kids and their families. Our family is praying that this entire community will be made new and that the doors to their hearts will be opened wide to all that God has stored up for them. Our dreams are that: families will start to follow Jesus, kids will get a better education and more opportunities in life, there will be less abuse, more joy, better attitudes, faithful dads, healthier lives, freedom from addictions, and a hope filled future for the generations to come. Big dreams for a Big God!
Today we have the opportunity to show them that God is always with them, that Jesus loves them, and that they have some friends that care for them. That is a legacy that will last and a life worth living!
From Spanky, Lara, Mac, Grey and Elly we want to say thank you for playing such an important role in this great mission and in our lives!