We trust you are all well. It has been a very busy few months since I last wrote.
One thing Michelle and I have come to learn during our time here in Zululand is that Easter is a bigger celebration than Christmas. For the local people it is not about giving of gifts but friends and family coming together. Chocolates and sweets is very much a luxury and carry no meaning for the local community. What is very important for this part of the world is to have an Easter Conference over 4 or 5 days. Speakers will attend from relating churches. The focus of the conference is Easter and what it is about and what it means. This year I had the privilege of preaching at a conference in Ndumu and with the help of some young men I ran a holiday club. I was amazed at the number of youth that attended and the turn out we had at the holiday club.
We got the kids to make a banner for the church and young boys who Michelle and I spend a lot of time with lead the worship at the conference. It was there first time to lead worship in front of so many people. They really did a good job. We are short of a lot of equipment but managed well with what we had. We are in desperate need of better worship equipment for our church, so any help would be much appreciated.
The school Michelle started for 4 to 5year olds is going very well. The name of the school is Jacobs Ladder. It is the children’s 1st big step in life to bigger dreams. Both Michelle and Beatrice realize it will take time for the school to grow but already we have received some amazing news from our friends a Solid Ground church in Empangeni. A team is coming out from Chicago to build a jungle gym for the kids. They will be here in July. We have been very busy leveling the sight where we want it to go. Beatrice has been away to the big city for some much needed training and has come back with a list of things we need to get for the classrooms. We need to fence off the sight, add a sand pit, get some nice chunky toys, class room furniture and books etc, please if you want to get involved in some way let us know. My biggest fear is Michelle coming to me and telling me the building is far too small.
Michelle is still involved in Khethani Christian School, the school she started 4 years ago but very much in an advisory capacity. The school has a principle, Andrew Swift. Andrew and his wife Bridget manage the school and do a very good job of it. We thank God for them because I don’t know where the school will be without them. There are 125 kids in the school from ages 6 to 18. Please could you guys Pray for Andrew and Bridget, wisdom and strength to take the school forward? The school has recently purchased some land and we hope to start building some classroom within the next few months.
We encourage the kids to go and visit their friends. The older girls we allow them to sleep over at their friend’s house. Like most parents Michelle and I will make a point of getting to know the parents of their friends. Fortunately most of them are in the church we lead. We believe it is good for the girls to get away and spend time with their friends. I am sure it is also nice for them to get away from interfering little brothers and sisters. Kayla, our youngest daughter is slowly becoming very independent. One thing we have noticed about her is when she is away from home for the day or two, when she arrives home she will go and visit all the other kids in their homes and tell them about her day. Lately she will go visit Graces house on a Monday; Audreys house on a Tuesday, and repeat the routine on Wednesday and Thursday. This always happens round about supper time. Every evening we have to go on a hunt for her, now we have told the house mothers to bring her over when she has finished her visits and eating their food. Yesterday she spent the day with the kids in the Grade R class, most days she spends with the kids in Michelle’s class. Her brother Stephen is banned from the class because he is a major disruption. Stephen just can’t help himself. He tries so hard to sit still but gets ants in his pants and has to cause some trouble, after all he is only two years old. He will come looking for me and inform me the girls in the class are fighting with him and I must go and sort them out. All this in very broken English.
The kids are all doing well at school in both academics and sport. Recently Aidan scored his 1st try in a rugby match. Aiden’s rugby team is not doing too well. They have played two matches and lost both. Nathans team has had one match and they won. Luke, Lisa and Slindi are going to play in their first soccer match this weekend. Nathan and Aidan both received trophies for coming in the top 3 in a chess tournament in Richards Bay, over 300 kids took part. Every Monday afternoon the boys and I go and play a social soccer game of soccer at the Hospital. We have a big turn out and Dad has to take them all home. A game can last up to two hours. Lots and lots of fun had by all. We have all been getting sore throats. Today Lisa is at home because of a sore throat.
We are very excited about some changes taking place.
A young lady by the name of Esther is helping us set up a web site. She works for an organization called ZUMAT. They are a non-profit organization that helps to fly doctors from the hospitals here in the Umkhanyakude District to their surrounding clinics. To find out more about them please contact Esther on firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website at www.zumat.org.za. We are in the process of redoing our logo, she helped us with the new layout for our newsletter and she will be helping us with some much needed fund-raising. She has based herself in Johannesburg.
Please any of you company’s out there looking for BEE points you can look at ways of supporting us in our many projects.
We are getting a donation of chip board to make desks and boxes for Jacobs Ladder. I will be going to Pinetown to collect in two weeks’ time.
Other projects that need support:
1.Vegetable Garden, relocation 2.Egg laying Chickens, need new chickens 3.Stand for water tank, to help with water pressure to the house 4. Building Maintenance, Paint children’s homes and new curtains, replace broken and very old furniture. 5. Donate R10.00 towards the church feeding scheme. 6. Music Equipment (as previously mentioned) 7. Bedding, Curtains and furniture for our home Please contact me if you want to get involved in one of the above. I can make a plan to collect items that are in KZN.
With love, The Coetzee Family
“You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind and second to love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6