The sun has just gone down as Josie Graybeal and her Venture Team arrive at the Children of the Nations ministry center in Sierra Leone. A little ways off, in the dusk, you can just make out a group of the white jerseys—Seattle Pacific University uniforms—that Josie brought last year. In the center, beaming and proud, are twenty-six African girls. Flanked by the boys' team, they perform a short "soccer" dance, jumping and slapping their feet like calisthenics. Then they break out into song, welcoming their inspiration back.
Right now in Malawi, you are helping 36 young adults make their way through college. These young people are studying hard today so they can transform their nation tomorrow. A few of them would like to share with you what their goals are and how your support is helping them reach those goals.
As a stay-at-home mom with two children in elementary school, Kristin Pardue was entering a new phase in her life. She was thankful for the years with her children, but was ready to transition into a part-time job that would allow her to work, yet still be available for them.
When Kristin learned about Premier Designs through a prayer group, she was intrigued. The national jewelry company offers a flexible business model and they were doing something Kristin dreamed of—supporting international missions through business.
Every year, Venture Teams come home with great photos of what God is doing in each of the countries we serve. Last year was no exception. Here are just a few of your photos that capture some of the highlights of last year.
The Christmas photos from Uganda are in! And thanks to all of you, the children had a great time celebrating Jesus' birth. Please enjoy these photos and this special message from our Village Partnership Program Coordinator in Uganda, Christopher Odongo:
God is good! The children in Uganda had a colorful Christmas celebration this year, with a wonderful meal, drinks, and great gifts, including school bags and books.
The walk to school was long and dangerous, and Pilirani was only in first grade. Government primary schools are free in Malawi, but they are limited, and this was the closest one. "It was very hard to walk," Pilirani recalls. "We had to pass by a bridge to get to school, which was very difficult when it was raining. The river would flood, and I remember one day we were stuck because we could not get across."
Like so many times before, Sharon fought her way through a crowd of people trying to get water for their families. During Uganda’s civil war, water was scarce in the internally displaced persons camp, and six-year-old Sharon wasn’t strong enough to push through the crowd.