South Africa

Monday, December 26

Teams visiting The Pines often paint a mural on the hallway of the main building (see another team's "beautiful feet" mural below); I added our church logo to the bell that Brian Goldfain painted when Risonanza! visited in 2012. I also prepped and stained a bookshelf and chest for Sally, repaired some small appliances, ran games, coached some basketball, and did some general cleaning.

Teri has been keeping quite busy tutoring, reading to children, entertaining (the children), doing sewing projects, setting up for assemblies, organizing storage closets, and helping Sally in various other ways throughout the day.

Late morning on December 24 we attended a surprise 70th birthday party for Ron Adams. Ron and his wife, Joan, are long-time friend of Sally's, and Joan runs Morningstar, a care center for at-risk children here in Welkom. That evening we enjoyed playing the piano and bells for the Christmas Eve program. The children were familiar with many of the Christmas carols, and they sang along with nearly every one. I hope to upload a video of one child thoroughly enjoying "Joy to the World."

Yesterday we attended the Christmas service at Welkom Baptist Church, where we played the bells for prelude and the service, participated in hearty congregational singing, and were ministered to by a good, expository message. We then played 9-square (thank you, Pastor Randy, for a great hit), had some throwing competitions, watched the children open presents, and had cake and ice cream.

We plan to leave on the 10-12 hour drive to Knysna around 6:00 tomorrow morning. Around 80% of South Africa's liquor consumption takes place in December; so far there have been over 1,500 traffic fatalities this month. We hope the roads will be fairly clear tomorrow, but we certainly appreciate your prayers for safety in travel!