Christmas Activities 2015

It appeared that Family Care Ministries volunteers, and other volunteers who joined us again this year, enjoyed the Christmas activities as much as the children and elderly did. Events were hosted for the children in Evaton West, Orange Farm, and Soweto, a total of about 650 children. We served a meal and brought gifts to the 120 elderly people in Brixton.

Christmas for the children

Our DSC_4893-600biggest event in Orange Farm was attended by about 450 primary-school-aged children. Kevin Le Clus, with his many years of experience in hosting entertainment events, knew just what to offer to channel the children’s seemingly endless energy. He and his team kept everyone hopping, running and jumping. As Frisbees zipped through the air, ropes were pulled to the breaking point and balls were tossed and chased by teams of children. Their screams, shouts and laughter could be heard from a long ways away. As always, the jumping castles were a complete hit.

The children enjoyed a simple lunch of a hot dog roll, juice and cookies. One of the volunteers helping to pass out the hot dog rolls to the children commented, “I keep getting these unbelieving looks when I hand the children their hotdog roll. It is as if they wonder, ‘Is this whole hot dog roll all for me?'” The buckets with juice we had prepared and the snacks and cookies we served were quickly finished. To top it off, at the closing of the event each child received a small gift pack containing some stationary items and a Christian story and colouring book .

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We were unable to secure a large enough venue for a Christmas party in Evaton West. So Elijah, our project manager there, organized a smaller event for the 50 children he ministers to throughout the year. They had a Bible study, sang songs and enjoyed the hot dogs, rolls, juice, and snacks together. Family Care Ministries provided him also with a gift pack for each of the children.

DSC_4929-600  Frisbee Games

About 150 children had an opportunity to join in on the fun organized for them in Diepkloof, Soweto. They jumped and played and enjoyed some water fun while at it. The children in township areas are so appreciative for even the simplest of things, a game, a cup of juice, a hug or a cookie.

No Christmas party is complete without sharing the reason for the season. At each of the events we explained to the children that the fun and games they experienced were an expression of God’s Love for them.

Though most of the volunteers’ voices sounded strained and hoarse by the end of the day, they were happy to have played a part in shining a little light in dark places. Each returned home with as much joy in their hearts and as big smiles on their faces as the children did.

Christmas with the elderly

Our bakkie couldn’t hold it all. We had planned to serve the elderly an extra special meal which would involve loading a table, pots of food, boxes with fruit and trays with cupcakes and to give each of the 120 elderly a food parcel as well. So Family Care Ministries volunteers came up with a better plan. We scheduled two days to meet with them. This allowed  enough time to interact and so keep the distribution of the meal and parcels more personal.

On the 15th of December the bakkie was loaded down with big pots of a delicious chicken curry, rice and vegetables. In addition to the hot meal, we distributed 120 lovingly prepared cupcakes sponsored by a friend of a friend who had offered to bake them. We passed out an apple and a banana to each of the elderly as well. The pensioners expressed their appreciation and were very thankful. Food prices continue to rise making it increasingly more difficult for them to live within their meager income. Though our team was small, it was still a workday for some who would have otherwise loved to join us, we took the time for hugs and to chat which many look forward to.

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On the 16th of December a team of six volunteers set out to Brixton again. This time the bakkie was loaded with 120 festively wrapped food parcels containing basic staple foods, some chocolates, a Christmas story booklet and some small lovingly packed and personalized cookie bags. We met with each of the pensioners in the small room he or she rents within the three complexes we visited. Family Care Ministries volunteers wanted to not only bring the parcel but also take time to talk and offer to pray for any thing that may burden or troubled the elderly. Christmas time is a time when memories of past losses or family rifts often come to the surface leaving some feeling lonely and forgotten.  Many used the opportunity to share what was on their heart. Some requested prayer for loved ones or family matters while others asked for prayer for health issues they experienced.  Though some tears rolled, we could see that hearts felt lighter after having had an opportunity to unburden and share.

It is not uncommon that Family Care Ministries volunteers find the need for encouragement and prayer greater than the physical needs. We have found that the effects of the faith and love we impart to those we reach out to far surpass the aid to meet their physical needs; it heals their hearts, their memories, their souls, their past and their future.

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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