We have just returned from our 10th anniversary camp at the seaside, and wish to share our excitement and gratitude for God’s faithful provision and guidance over the past decade.nnAs we had done in 2011, everyone traveled to the Mercury Hibberdene Children’s Camp, KwaZulu-Natal south coast, to enjoy 6 days at the seaside, from 26 April – 2 May.n
nFor most of the 38 children and several of the adult Trainers, it was their first time to see the ocean – and many questions were asked: “how big is the sea? Where does it end? How do the waves keep moving all the time?”nnYet again we were very fortunate to receive a generous donation of quality towels from Glodina’s factory in Hammarsdale, which were transported for us by Unitrans, thanks to Shan Ramalingum, Contract Manager, Pietermaritzburg.n
Camp is a time for the children and the adult Trainers and Managers from Lesotho, Pietermaritzburg, Cramond and Johannesburg to get to know each other in a relaxed environment and to experience something completely different. With the enthusiastic Programme team at Hibberdene ably led by Lizard, there certainly was something completely different! Early morning walks along the beach before breakfast; energetic team-building activities on the beach and in the camp grounds, and very lively singing and chanting sessions after meals in the dining room – memories were made that will last a lifetime!
Time was put aside, however, for rehearsals every afternoon for the concert, which has become our tradition at camp. This time there was extra excitement as we knew we would have special guests attending our concert to celebrate our 10th anniversary.
As always the focus at Jewels of Hope is on encouraging the children to deepen their faith – and every morning after breakfast an hour was spent on devotions with time for each group to sit quietly with their Trainer, in discussion and prayer.n
The devotions focused on the Gospel bracelet which is a great tool to help the children remember the salvation message and easily share it with their family and friends. Everyone received a leather thong bracelet with 5 different coloured beads: yellow – the roads of heaven paved with gold; black – our sins which separate us from heaven; red – Christ’s blood shed for our sins; white – the purity that God desires in our hearts, and green – spiritual growth by reading the Bible and worshipping together).
On Thursday 1 May, we were joined by our Board members and their families from Johannesburg, as well as our founding members – the Rushton family (now in Pietermaritzburg) and the Clark family from Lesotho. What a celebration, what a joy! Each group of children performed a few items on stage, all the Trainers, Managers, head office team, the Board and our founding members – Anita Rushton, Barb Clark and Leticea Estie – were honoured with small gifts. It was good to hear the memories of Anita and Barb about the early years as Jewels of Hope began.nnWe were especially encouraged by the testimonies of three of our graduates who have now all become Trainers: Daniel, Tumello and Reitumetse.nnFor the children,nnThe Jewels of Hope teamn