Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Pastor Lou Diaz from EV Free Church of Chico just sent this from the Amor Camp in Johannesburg updating us on their third work day there:

"This was an incredible day! Dan Irving, Jessica Lundberg, and Erin Gulbrandsen from the Evangelical Free Church group with Amor Ministries left at 5:30 am to be interviewed by Humphrey Birkenstock on Rainbow Radio 90.7 FM. They shared about how the love of the Lord is their motivation for service and told something about their lives. When Erinn told about how she has organized volunteers from churches to mentor High School students, the radio station received a number of calls from teachers who want to come out to meet her to hear more about this program! Jessica Lundberg told about her work as an executive with Lundberg Farms that provides rice and rice products around the world. After the interview, there was enough time to stop by at a grocery store to see if rice from Lundberg Farms was being sold in South Africa, and sure enough, Jessica was thrilled to find Lundberg Farms Rice here! She bought it and donated it to the Ebenezer Care Center and Orphanage.

The rest of the Ev Free Team and the Arizona Team began work at 8 am. Shovels were flying, wheel barrows were rolling, trowels were spreading and texturing, and styrofoam "Lego" blocks were being attached. In one day, the three existing houses had stucco inside and outside that was textured to a smooth surface and two of them had roof frames in place while the double-wide house went from one layer of cement-filled styrofoam blocks to five layers, now over six feet high, complete with windows and doors.

The EV Free group had a tour of the Ebenezer Care Center. There wasn't a dry eye among the group as they saw the orphans for whom they are building the homes and heard stories from Shirley, who with her husband Tommy, founded Ebenezer's twenty years ago. Among the stories was of a day-old baby that was left outside - the police brought the baby to Shirley and she named the baby "Grace" because God allowed her to be found and brought to them. This baby had a condition that spread poison throughout her body, but thanks to medical care and nurture from Shirley, she is now healthy - you can imagine the joy the group had to see Grace in person as she was smiling, healthy, and sitting in a stroller. The older children looked so sharp in their uniforms to go to school. Tommy and Shirley make sure they do chores in order to learn responsibility and that they get a good education and learn about the Lord. One of the Amor volunteers said through her tears, "I needed to see that what I was doing is making a big difference!"

The bakery on the campus feeds the 260 children and adults and senior adults - which includes refugees from Ethiopia, Sudan, and Ghana. Shirley told how they pray for God to supply their needs and that she and Tommy don't eat until everyone has food. Sometimes they have to wait on the Lord for a few days. But God is faithful and takes care of them. What the Amor Team is building will be called Amor Village and will house these orphans.

Dan Irving witnessed a meeting between Steve Horrex, Vice President of Amor Ministries, Luke Makwakwa, who is training to be the Director of Operations for Amor South Africa, and eleven South Africa pastors to explain to these pastors how Amor works through the local church to build houses for those in need. The pastors were overjoyed when they heard of Amor's approach and vision to have nationals and Christians from around the world help eradicate poverty in South Africa. The representatives for these pastors will be coming to the work site tomorrow to see the homes. Already the hope that these initial homes would become "Model Homes" for pastors and church leaders to see and to work with Amor Ministries to replicate is being realized. How much more will be the ripple effect when pastors from all over the continent of Africa see the model homes next year after the Soccer (Futbol) World Cup here in Johannesburg in 2010! The youth group from a local church that was here on Monday came again today to help. This is the vision of Amor Ministries International: South African Christians and Christians from around the world working side-by-side to build hope, one house at a time.

Meanwhile, back at the work site, children were laughing and playing with the Amor Team as relationships are deepening. One Volunteer said that it will be difficult to go home and leave them. Another said that he wasn't going to go home! (Don't worry - we'll bring everyone back). Pray for the Amor Team tomorrow as we are determined to complete as much as possible by Friday. Also, pray for Dave Newquist and Heidi McCune as they are to be interviewed on the radio tomorrow. After the interview, Dave, a Fire Captain from the Yuba City (CA) Fire Department, will visit a fire station and exchange Fire fighter shirts, which is the fire fighters' tradition. Good will is being built with community leaders and civil servants that all may work together for the sake of those in need. To God be the glory! "


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