2016 has come and gone and it is with a grateful heart that we can look back to see what the Lord has done in and around the school. Mission work has most of the times great challenges but it is also full of excitement. At the school; it has been great to see Lynette’s core leadership excel to a higher level of achievement. The Rangers have had its challenges of which the biggest is a lack of uniforms for the new ones from Ranger Kids into the Discovery groups. The Russian Bay ministry has grown beyond expectation and we stand amazed at the change of heart in the village folk of Ampamata.
School – This year’s challenge, for me, at the school is getting the ground fixed that is constantly washing away with every rain. That includes building a proper storm water ditch and fixing around the gate to stop the soil erosion. Norbert has started planting grass which does help a great deal. But a greater challenge is that of getting a new classroom built as the old Malagasy classroom is now beyond repair and leaning over at quite an angle – reminds us of the leaning tower of Pisa. That in it’s self is quite something and would have to be built in stages. I did some paintwork and need to fix Zafitody’s blackboard which fell off some time ago.
Rangers – The adult Ranger leaders have grown well over the last two years but for this year I will have to focus more on encouraging them (Senior Patrol leaders – teachers) to see the “big picture” . . . of what the kids should become and how they are to profit to a greater extent as previous years. The Bible lesson material is well thought through and good but we lack in exciting challenging skills merits. Kids do not just automatically full into line with God’s ways. We need other things for them wanting to be at Ranger meetings, and then present God’s Word in such a way that they will understand and be captivated by His love for them. That then brings us back to knowing how to present Bible lessons and skills merits. That my friends are not easy – It starts with me. Training them (the SPL’s) to teach in such a way that will grab the kids.
With the Expedition group we had an excellent Junior Leadership camp in Russian Bay during the July holiday. I can still see the great influence that had on their lives as we combined it with an evangelism outreach which they did. Then we had another Junior Leadership Foundation camp done buy Thesi, Yanick and Matt for the Adventure group which were equal as good. Unfortunately we could not get to do a Choose Life camp for the Discovery group but have to get it done shortly. Then we already planned a re-planting of the mangroves in Ampamata for the last week of December but could unfortunately not secure the campsite as Mohamed had clients over that period. We will, God willing, do it now in the April holiday with a combined evangelism outreach.
We had Thesi’s parents come visit from Germany and had a great time of building relationships. Thesi’s time with us will come to an end shortly and will return end of February.
Russian Bay ministry – it has been a good year for us in Russian Bay and have seen how the Lord softens hearts through building friendships. That I believe to be the key, not just relationships but genuine friendships. Among the teachers and Rangers I now refer to the people of Ampamata as our extended family. With the last teachers training in October we had the village chief who offered to catch fish for us every day, except Thursdays as it is “fady” (taboo) to catch fish on that day for them. I will still find out how that came about.
With the April Ranger camp we intend to re-plant a large part of the demolished mangrove in front of the village. I will use the Expedition group to teach the people the importance of having Mangroves.
* The planning of the Choose Life camp for the Discovery group
* New classroom and storm water ditch at the school
* April camp and out reach in Russian Bay (re-planting of Mangroves)
* Adult leaders training camp – for Gerhard and Tammy from SA to raise the support needed as they would love to come present it for us
* Apamata – that the Lord will keep on softening the hearts and show His love for them
* A teacher for Andranopitily – other village 5kms from Ampamata