(photo of Leila showing you her angel card that she has made for her sponsor)
BLESSED IS THE SEASON WHICH ENGAGES THE WHOLE WORLD IN A CONSPIPRACY OF “LOVE”. WHAT IS CHRISTMAS? IT IS ”TENDERNESS” FOR THE PAST “COURAGE” FOR THE PRESENT AND “HOPE” FOR THE FUTURE. IT IS A FERVENT WISH THAT EVERY CUP MAY OVERFLOW WITH BLESSING RICH AND ETERNAL AND THAT EVERY PATH MAY LEAD TO “PEACE”.
MAY PEACE BE YOUR GIFT AT CHRISTMAS AND THE NEW YEAR THROUGH.
(The above message was posted to me as an sms by a staff member)
February will find me once again packing my suit case and flying off to the United States of America. My first engagement will be in Sioux Falls, Iowa as a guest of Gayle Strotchein who is the Director of ‘Hope Ministries’ Medical Missions. A fundraising event has been arranged and I shall be explaining to the many guests the work of LIA and how we assist many of the poorest tribes in the rural areas who cannot access any form of medical treatment due to their poverty. (Over 2,000 patients this year alone have been helped with surgeries and medical treatment) Gayle and her teams have visited Light in Africa three times this year and will be visiting once again in January 2015.
(On a personal note; When I visited Sioux Falls in April of this year and when the plane landed at the airport and the cabin door opened all this ‘white stuff’ fell into the cabin, I was shocked I hadn’t experienced any snow for fourteen years and then I was driven to Lee Harding’s home – a regular volunteer with LIA – in a blizzard! That was enough of the ‘snow experience’ to last me another fourteen years! ) After some church speaking engagements and meetings with friends, I then fly to California and meet with Kelly Bennett who organizes my diary of events for radio and tv shows.
Then it’s off to meet with Joni Erickson Tarda of - Joni and friends - who has arranged a Global Conference on Disability from the 21st – 24th of February where I shall have the pleasure and opportunity to meet some pretty interesting people who will be speaking at the conference. We shall all be in agreement on one thing though and that is how best we can serve the disabled child and adults. At LIA Tudor Village we have disabled children who have been in our care for many years. Some of these children were rescued from life-threatening situations as here in Tanzania children with disabilities are often locked away and not seen as mothers have been stigmatized by the witchdoctors for giving birth to a disabled child.
(Photo’s of LIA children enjoying the perfume from the lavender farm and flowers to attract the butterflies)
I then return home to make the final preparations for the opening of our unique Butterfly and Lavender Farm which is our latest project to provide an income for our students who have been brought up by Light in Africa from an early age and instead of them returning to living on the streets and enduring the spiral of poverty which can often lead to prisons and possibly the HIV/AIDS virus. Although not academic and some students having a physical disability they will be able to be empowered by being employed by the Butterfly and Lavender farm. Already one of our past volunteers has successfully marketed some of our lavender which has been a great encouragement to us. We are hoping that soon we shall be able to have an on-line site where people can purchase some of the products that our older students have made.
I pray that which you may enjoy unqualified bliss and intense joy this Christmas time and in the New Year.