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Each Wednesday, Kristin and Amanda go out to the villages for ministry at four different schools; one primary school (grade K-8) and three preschools (ages 2-5). Every other Wednesday Owen crams a 5 day school week into 4 days so he can come along. The little ones just love O :)  Here's a 2 minute video with some highlights on what a typical day in the villages looks like - check it out!
It's only two and a half minutes- come on, you know you want to watch! Volume UP!
Ministry doesn't only happen on Wednesday's though! (actually, life is ministry, but that's a whole 'nother conversation!). Throughout the week, the four of us are working on co-writing a preschool Bible curriculum that showcases Bible characters in darker skin tones (they were from the Middle East, after all - they weren't a bunch of blondies ;) ). It will also feature more inter-cultural themes in an effort to make the lessons more relatable for the kids. We're currently getting by with some graphics Amanda's been able to come up with, but we're super excited that a friend of the Evans' in the states has agreed to illustrate the curriculum for us!
The curriculum is pulled straight from scripture and broken down into 8-week modules to make the content accessible to even the littlest kiddos, but adaptable enough to even use at the primary school level. The lessons are taught by us in English and translated aloud to the kids in their native language by their teachers. We include games, songs, memory verses and activities to reinforce the concepts using basic materials.
Not all of the preschools have resources (one we visit has a box of Duplos, and a couple of cars. That's it. No chairs, tables, crayons or paper. If you or your company may be interested in partnering with a preschool through the TREND program to get them some resources, click here!
We're teaching our new curriculum on Wednesdays and training the teachers to implement the centers and giving them new ideas for the classroom at the same time. We've already been seeing amazing results - stay tuned to the next newsletter for a really neat story or two! :)
We have lost track of how many times we've slipped into Swahili while trying to communicate here. It's especially hard because some of the Zulu words are the same as words in Swahili... but with different meanings! But don't worry, we get around just fine. :) Most people speak English when we're out and about doing daily life in towns and running errands. We have, however, encountered a very weird occurrence where people assume we're South African and will speak Afrikaans to us. Sometimes we'd get mistaken for Canadian or German when we lived in Tanzania, but we never thought we'd be taken for Africans ;) 
We are finding our rhythms of life here in the South Coast. Homeschool is going well with Owen, he's just finishing up his first quarter in the next week or so. He's been taking an art class in the next town over once a week, and plays cricket a few towns away every Friday. He's enjoying both, and still having lots of fun with our neighbors' (and ministry partners') kids being just outside our door. 
Judah seems to have found his stride too - he loves opening the front door and standing on our little stoop waiting for the dogs or kids to come talk to him and he's learning not to pick up the brown piles that lie on the ground (special gifts from the dogs, haha!). He plays on our back veranda every day and knows when Ms. Kristin comes out her back door in the afternoons it's time to feed the chickens and always does a happy dance. His 2 year molars are comin' in hot and he's going through a "momma-phase" at the moment - but he's usually happy as long as he can be outside or have someone's undivided attention. Or food. Food works too. 
We have found a church to call 'home' and that feels amazing. It is very similar to our church back in the states and we felt at home the first day we walked in. Everyone we've met there has been very kind, welcoming and genuine and it's refreshing to get to know more people as we dig our roots a little deeper.  Owen really enjoys kid's church and has been able to make a couple friends. We've also joined a home group and have been able to meet more people that way.
We bought a car, which was a complete act of God. The fact that we found everything we wanted in a car (and more) at a price lower than any of the comparable cars on the market is nothing short of a miracle, and every day we're thankful. We're still finding luxury features in the car we didn't know were there when we bought it!
We're learning our way around and relying less on GPS. We're figuring out which stores have what and how to calculate the exchange rate in our heads pretty quickly to figure out how much things cost.  We've learned that parking on the grass is completely normal, and that we don't need alarm clocks because we have Hadedas. We downloaded the Eskom app so we know (usually) when they're going to turn off the power (they call it load shedding) - and it's a luxury just having this knowledge. In Tanzania we never knew when it was going off or coming back on. Here, there's an actual schedule which is (mostly) accurate - albeit ever-changing. We've got a pretty solid routine of homeschool, ministry, family time and friend time and it feels good to be finding our new normal in this beautiful country.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read our updates and pray with us. We so appreciate having you as a part of our community! If you're not already partnering with us, we'd love to have you on the team! We are still sitting around 50% of our projected budget for monthly partnerships - this means we're looking to raise about $2000 more per month. These finances help us with day-to-day expenses, paying bills, putting petrol in our car, set aside savings for our trips back to the states, and pay for health insurance. 
Every contribution helps so much - be it $5 a month or $500. If even one third of the people on our newsletter list partnered with us for $25/month we'd reach our goal.
The amazing thing? Even at 50% funding, God is providing what we need. We are blessed to be able to live in our ministry partners' guest house, paying very little rent, we found a very expensive car for double our budgeted amount, but way less than market value, and we always seem to find amazing sales and clearances at stores. 
When you partner with us, not only do you get to have a ministry in South Africa, but we'll be covering you in prayer and updating you personally on life and ministry news, beyond these newsletters.
So come on and walk this crazy journey with us - it's not even half as scary as this bridge was ;) 
If you have any questions about partnership, or the ministry we're doing here, please don't hesitate to ask! 

*Suspended foot bridge over Orbi Gorge pictured in both photos above. Terrifying, but also exhilarating and beautiful and totally worth it! Sort of like having a ministry in South Africa! LOL
Click here to join us on the wild side!
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