Slow to speak

The importance of developing our listening ability is directly affirmed by James, a man who knew Jesus intimately: “Let every man be quick to hear, slow to speak.” The two terse commands contained in the beginning of this verse fit nicely together. When we take time to listen responsively—and avoid the error of answering with authoritative pronouncements—the messages given back to us by our children are far less likely to be obnoxiously defensive. This, in turn, reduces the tension and may well help us avoid angry exchanges.—Dr. Bob Pedrick

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How would you feel if someone who was [in a position of authority over you] got angry and screamed at you?

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Teacher Training continued

by Talitha

We would like to share with you a little update on our workshop project.
On the 13th of June Teacher's giftswe started the Early Childhood Development workshops I have been preparing for the first group of caregivers. Building on and expanding the early learning topics I taught on last year in Orange Farm, this program consists of 3 full day workshops. It covers all the key areas of early childhood development: social and emotional development, language development and communication, and physical and cognitive development.
18 principals and practitioners were able to participate and benefit from the first training session. A second group is scheduled to begin at the end of July and work on taking a third group trough the training is underway.
I was able to adapt my presentation and training material to bring it in line with the some resources the Education Department will be publishing shortly. Though this took time and effort, I believe it was well spent and an important step. Working and pulling together and teamworking is so much more effective in the long run.
Our first workshop topic was social and emotional development. Basic knowledge on how children develop in this area and what DSCF2010-600can be expected from them is quite key to understanding young children, their behaviour and emotions. This topic served as a wonderful spring board on highlighting the importance of showing love and affection and taking time with children in one-on- one conversation. Sometimes the tendency is to overrate toys and equipment. It goes forgotten that the day to day interaction with a child is what has a big impact on child development. It is the relationships we build with a child that go a long way in nurturing the self-esteem and self-confidence that will give the child the resilience needed when facing the obstacles that come with life. The foundation for good social and emotional skills is laid in the early years and can help a child deal with the often adverse circumstances they find themselves in nowadays.
Understanding tDSCF1991-600hese key points helps practitioners meet the needs that children have and gives them the tools to offer the needed support so little ones, particularly in  townships, get a better start in life. Research has shown that it is far better to get things right from the beginning then to try to fix things or intervene in a child’s life at a later point in time.
Because children learn through imitating behaviour they see, we talked about being role-models and taking the God-given responsibilities of showing love, care and respect to children seriously. We ended with a prayer for an infilling of God’s Love which was well received.
In each of the workshops I am including a short section on brain development in early childhood. It is very envisioning to understand what potential God has put in each child. No matter of which race or on which continent a baby is born, God is no respecter of persons. He has a plan and purpose for each to fulfil. Understanding what happens in the brain when children do various activities is very motivating for teachers. When they understand that they can influence brain growth and development, they see that a lot is up to them to effect the change they desire. TheiDSCF1960-600r efforts make a difference.
I find caregivers to be very eager to learn. Many realize (or come to realize) the vital roles that they play in children’s lives and in their communities. They would love to do so much more for children, but most have no training and little to work with. There are many obstacles to overcome.
We are so grateful for the support and sponsorship which goes towards this projects. It’s empowering Family Care Ministries to make a difference in people’s lives through this teacher training project. There is so much more that can be done to help these precious people who sincerely desire a better future for the children in their communities but it is aDSCF2020-600 good start.  I have prepared along with the workshop training materials two teacher manuals. They consist of teaching plans, learning games and activities covering 40 weeks of teaching for children age 0-3 years old. Each manual also includes a section with health, safety, nutrition and care tips. The activities described don’t require expensive materials but make use of house hold items and even waste materials. We are printing free copies for each attendee (a total of 430 pages for each).
We had received some second hand items that we used for a raffle. The proud winners were so happy to receive a rocking horse and a sandpit/wading pool. Everyone else still smiled when they received a consolation price of a ruler and snack.

God’s Word works wonders

The following responses were written by inmates who participate in the course we offer at a Limpopo correctional center.

Many good things come to my life in very surprising ways. I had lots of resentment in my life whereby I always had worries about the world problems. But after I received the word of God and reading it every time, I started to have comfort and learned to forgive everyone I have resented in life. The Word of God is doing many things in my life. – Tshepo

My life has radically been transformed through the word of God. I had this struggle of mind but I have learned to fight the darkness I have by allowing the light to come in. Through meditating and putting the word in practice I changed my way of thinking and acting. – Rodney

God has taken away all doubt and worries which used to dominate my life. I no longer worry about carnal things, but focus on God. God’s word has brought me happiness and joy. Before I used to be a loner and I was always sad and depressed thinking God didn’t love. – Nkanyiso

I have found peace within myself whereas in the past I was a very bitter man, a sinner and carnal minded person but after studying the word and starting to meditate a lot of things have changed within me. Although I’m still struggling with others but with God’s Word I will conquer all. Jesus changed my life for as a sinner I was already dead but Christ saved me and took away all my sins. They became His burden therefore that alone shows how much love He has for me. Even my biological parents can’t take my sins and make them their own or die for my sins. – Tankiso

I know how to live with other people and to forgive one another. Even now, I know God is there. God loves us more than anything that is here in the world. So that is what I learned I about God. I will never turn back. I am a son of God. – Bongani

I have changed my life. I have changed my attitude. I am now willing to work on positive things only and avoid the problems in my life because God said, “everything is possible for those who believe.” Aderto

I have learned to practice and memorize God’s Word daily. I go to a quiet place and have moments with God and learned to pray and wait for an answer. – Devine

When I feel troubled, whatever bad things are trying to tempt me to do wrong, I just take it to God in prayer. A lot of things changed. Even my family tells me that I’m different than before. I can see wrong from right. There is a bright future for me and I have a good successful future plan by giving my problems to Jesus. – Reginald

Since I realized God’s Words everything changed for the better. For me accepting God’s words brings joy to my whole entire life and happiness. I know now how to communicate without anger and with Him I am happy. – Bongani

Top Five Regrets of the Dying

As every year begins, millions of people go about the task of creating lists of resolutions. As every year ends, millions of people forget the resolutions they’d listed 12 months ago. As every year progresses, thousands of people write about New Year’s resolutions, with counsel ranging from how futile resolutions are to how to make them come true. For some, resolutions are a powerful motivator; for others, just a fad or a conversation starter for the first week at work. And yet for all that’s been written and for all that’s been said and done, the New Year still holds a magical meaning, and it’s a compelling time to stop and evaluate one’s life.

By Bronnie Ware

For many years I worked in palliative care. My patients were those who had gone home to die. Some incredibly special times were shared.

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Zimbabwe Mission Trip

By Josef

In March 2014 Rafaela and I, members of Family Care Ministries, travelled to Zimbabwe for an exciting week of teaching young women and men in the word of God in Banket, a small  farming town about 95km north of Harare with a population of approximately 4000 people.  Last year one of our South African friends, who had participated in a church planning trip that his congregation had organised to this area, had given our contact details to the local pastor of this rural town.

P1010817-600Pastor Gabriel, desperate for teaching materials, contacted us not long after. He called and visited us in Johannesburg in February and invited us to please come and train the elders and pastors of his 14 small rural churches. He is a very sincere and earnest man desiring to be used of God and help the poor and downtrodden, the forgotten people on the farms.

Banket was once a thriving town with many large companies and commercial farms that have closed down a long time ago. The commercial farmers had been driven off the land which were then taken over by others who for the most part don’t know how to run these large farms or keep them profitable. The companies, unable to export their products, were forced to close down due to sanctions that were imposed on the country. This left the majority of the people unemployed trying to eke out a meager existence on the bit of food grown in their back yards and the occasional temp job. Today the little town center consists of 3 dilapidated petrol stations along the main road travelled by large cargo trucks going to Zambia & Congo.

P1010695-600The people who used to work on the big farms are only able to do some subsistence farming and so remain poor and struggle to earn their own support. Though Pastor Gabriel has a church in Banket town as well, the offerings and tithes barely cover the electricity and rental of the church. Other pastors are not too interested in ministering to people there; they prefer ministering in “greener pastures.” There are no tithes or offerings to be collected here. We admire Pastor Gabriel’s courage and determination to carry on despite the many challenges he faces including financial difficulties.

P1010640-600A bit expectantly, the meeting was attended by mostly young women and a few young men. But it was God’s set up. These young men and women had a real desire to learn and they took notes and eagerly listened to every word we shared. We had morning and afternoon classes for 4 days.  It was a joy to teach them and an encouragement to see their eagerness to learn.

Here are a couple of the responses we got:

  • Mildred: I learned about healing. And I learned about praying by myself and the 2 commandments: (1) Love your neighbor as you love yourself (2) Love your God. I learned about having faith and also about casting out demons. I learned that when my child is sick, I will pray for her. If you are sick, God is the medicine. And I learned about preaching the Gospel to the others. If you hear the Word you should tell others. Also I learned about how God loves the world that He gave us his only begotten son that whosoever believe in Him should not perish but have eternal life. Only Jesus died for our sins. If you have faith everything in your life would be ok. I learned about giving and about giving tithe.
  • Godknows: This was a joyful seminar. I have learned many things such as how I can be growing in faith. And I have also learned that to praise God all the time brings peace and joy in my life. I also know that God´s purpose with people is to have a better life, and to have dominion over the earth and the things which is around us such as vegetation and animals.

P1010802-600After the daily classes we went to visit the farming communities that Pastor Gabriel ministers to. On one of the evenings we held a service at the largest farming community which was attended by over 30 women, children and some youth. To reach the community we had to travel nearly 30km over dirt roads and a small flooded bridge but we made it safely there and back. You would not want to have a car break down as there is no one around to help you, especially at night. 

2014-03-19-327-600Pastor Gabriel had no money to buy food for the 4 day meeting for the 25 attendees so we had brought some non-perishable food and bought the rest at the meeting. We gave him a box of Gospels of John, training manuals and gospel literature for his members and outreach and left them with a gift to help with the many needs. It seems the Lord is leading us mostly to the poor servants of God who care for the poorest of the poor.

It takes a child

Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.—John 7:24

We were the only family with children in the restaurant. I sat Erik in a high chair and noticed everyone was quietly eating and talking. Suddenly, Erik squealed with glee and said, “Hi there.” He pounded his fat baby hands on the high-chair tray. His eyes were wide with excitement and his mouth was bared in a toothless grin. He then wriggled and giggled with merriment.

I looked around and saw the source of his merriment.

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Teacher Workshops

Filling the Needs

Pardon granted

Thoughts on Easter

Because Jesus was not claimed by death, not left in hell, we also can escape the agony of death, and the awful feeling that we’ve done too many bad things, that there’s no way things can now turn out good for us. In a word, Easter gives us hope.

We can fly like a beautiful eagle or a peaceful dove, arching high over the confines of life and our own selves. We can leave behind the torture of our own failures, our own inadequacies, all that’s within us that holds us back. We can soar into the dreams of our hearts, making reality out of what some call illusion. We can aim for heaven’s goals and, with God’s help, make it to heights unknown.

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An Easter prayer

Jesus, how I love You! How You’ve proved to me over and over again what great love You have for me. I was nothing, yet You came and died for me so that You might always have me with You. You reached down to the depths for me, and I took hold of Your hand. You pulled me up into a glorious place, and You continue to show me wonders of Your love day after day.

How wonderful, how marvelous, is Your love, Jesus! To think that You were willing to go through so much for me! As I think of the seemingly terrible defeat that You suffered and how it resulted in such a tremendous victory, it fills me with wonder and gives me such hope and peace. Surely You and Your love will see me through whatever troubles may come my way, from now till eternity!

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Family Care Ministries is registered as a Non-profit Organization in terms of the Non-profit Organization Act, 1998     Number: 007-316