29 August 2016

Vhembe Outreach

For well over a year, Love Trust (http://www.lovetrust.co.za) in partnership with Flying4Life (http://www.flyingforlife.co.za) has been involved in providing ECD (Early Childhood Development) training to 11 preschool workers.

The last week of each month, a small team travels up to the Vhembe district in northern Limpopo to teach and evaluate the participants.

Mercy Air has recently become involved by flying the facilitator and field worker from Pretoria to the remote Tshikondeni mine airstrip (turning a 6 hour drive into a 1.5 hr flight).
Rather than fly back to White River, I stay with the small team throughout the week, to assist as driver and handyman.
When I fly to northern Limpopo, I have the privilege of visiting eight preschools. A few Churches have come alongside some of the preschools to add improvements such as playgrounds or shaded areas.

Some preschools still have little to nothing.
While the field workers evaluate the preschool teachers' lesson.
I can make repairs and improvements at their pre-school.

Door handles need installing.
Many of the swings are broken. (I wonder how far the kid flew, when this link broke.)

So I fix or replace them.
Toys need repairing.
I installed the first playground equipment at some preschools. Just some basic swings.
Of course there has to be some time to play with the kids.

While in the land of Baobab trees, I just had to go see “The Big Tree”. Which does live up to it’s name.
The week flies by. Saturday, it’s time to go home.
On the ground in Pretoria , I brought the small team and their luggage to their car and picked up four boxes of audio Bibles to take to Mercy Air, White River.
The audio Bibles were flown out the following day, up to northern Mozambique.
Thank you.

Azarja for the Mercy Air team.

28 August 2016

Update 28th August 2016

The heli is all back together and flying again after major engine maintenance. All went well.

We plan to leave Wednesday to go to Moz for our first outreach up to the Zambezi for nearly 11 months! Flight permit is promised.

Last week one of the HIV teenage girls that Kaylene Cand Cathy & Jaqui) have been looking after passed away. Heart breaking stories of their lives.

Kaylene and 14 year old Ayanda (with advanced AIDS) doing puzzles together in hospital. Ayanda recovered from a chest infection and odema to return home. Sadly, she was re-admitted 2 weeks later and passed away. When you become involved in someone’s life, death rates from AIDS are no longer just statistics.
Our heli engine in bits . . .  Hyne – The Turbomeca technician from Joburg - figuring out the puzzle.
. . . and everything back together again (and no bits left over!).
 Thank you.

Dean and Kaylene for the Mercy Air team.

16 August 2016

Maintenance and Education at Marromeu, Mozambique. August 2016

Due the Military unrest in Mozambique it has been impossible to visit central areas for more than a year. We were overjoyed to finally be granted permission to visit this Mission with which we have been regularly involved since 2008.

The inability to get permits to visit this remote base has hindered the regular helicopter assistance. Previously, every few months, the helicopter enabled immunization, medical care, education and evangelism outreaches. These communities who live out in the Zambezi Delta had had no visitors nor access to external medical, pastoral or educational help for over a year.

The YWAM base in Nensa, Marromeu staff and coordinate all the Heli flights into the Zambezi Delta but due to the lack of these flights, they have been able to invest much more of their hearts, time and and talents into the Nensa community nearer to where they live. What an incredible job this team has done:

·       Maintaining the YWAM base

·       Running a discipleship course within the local community

·       Opening a pre-school with two classes. This meets a huge need in the community.

·       Building a new school for the community which will open next year—including a Grade 1 class.

The maintenance staff of the Nensa base were in desperate need of skilled labourers to mentor their guys and assist with a few of the essential broken projects.

Our fine team of maintenance guys had a variety of skills and were gifted with the ability to improvise in the absence of proper tools or required parts to make something work!

There’s nothing like pictures to give you a firsthand account of the many tasks they tackled. High on the priority list was fixing toilets.

They repaired 22 toilets and mentored other staff at the base, teaching them how to fix ALL ASPECTS of a toilet.

A new sink was installed in the staff canteen. This is going to be a major asset to running the whole program much more effectively.

Many other taps were repaired and plumbing jobs tackled. Thank goodness for a Leatherman.

The next project was to fix the generator that had been repaired with a palm leaf make-shift pulley and rather dodgy wiring system.

And then it was to work repairing and welding the gate.

A quick training session on how to seal the roof to prevent leaks and damaged ceilings.

Education  and  Training

Behind all the competent maintenance going on are these great servant hearts who are serving this community in so many ways.

“I am so proud of the staff and teachers at this pre-school. In spite of only a few years of schooling in their own lives, these three teachers are learning with the children and imparting many of the years of learning, basic education and Bible study taught alongside Caitlin Mbewe (a missionary to this area for many years) and the Mercy Air Education teams that have visited since 2010.” Anne Herbert

These talented teachers also impart such love, care and positive values not only to the children they teach but also to the families of these children. They share God’s heart for these remote, poverty-stricken communities and are an example of being the hands and feet of Jesus.

This is the greatest plan ever! The parents in this pre-school cannot afford the fees. Every mum, in lieu of fees, has to commit some of their time to cooking and serving food to all the children in the school and cleaning up after lunch. This provides opportunity for the building of relationship with each family. This card is going home with two children today to remind their mothers that they are on duty for cooking tomorrow. The mums always turn up! The cards always come back to school!

This was a first for many trying out some fun outdoor activities. Even the teachers had the opportunity to try out new skills for the first time so that they can re-teach and practice a new repertoire of skills with the equipment that Mercy Air flew up and donated to the school. This equipment will be set up each day to create an outdoor play area and teach many critical skills that will enhance essential Pre-Reading skills.

Active learning is an experience that is worth sharing and passing on to others.

Every afternoon was taken up with teacher training where the teachers engaged in new games and activities. The next day new skills were implemented by the teachers and taught in their classes.

Learning the colour green.

Counting and threading with colour beads. And how to write and form the letter 'e'.
Thank you

Anne Herbert for the Mercy Air team