There is a sweet group of kids in Claude, Texas, who deserve a shout out! The kids of the JOY Club have been praying for GGA and Trey and I, and this past week we received a great care package for the kiddos. The JOY club sent tooth brushes, kid friendly toothpaste**, soap, cookie mix to use for a fun night, color books/crayons, and power beads. Power beads are leather bracelets that tell the story of the Gospel through different colored beads. They look like this:

The different beads represent different aspects of the Gospel, which you can read about here.

The kids LOVE their bracelets. When I say love, I really mean looooove- from the toddlers to the high-schoolers! Most of them spontaneously told me “you have to tell them thank you!” and although our kids are total sweethearts, “thank you” is very rarely in their vocabulary if it isn’t prompted. It was a big deal.

I had a lot of fun explaining the beads, but even more fun seeing the kids explain them to each other. I couldn’t tie fast enough so they kept helping each other tie the bracelets. When I would say “you have to tell them what it means” they really could do it! The white bead was a challenge for most kids…which has all sorts of theological implications that I’ll save for seminary and not bore you with…but they really remembered everything so well. Several of the younger kids really wanted to give them to the Gogos and Aunties and workers and I was so thankful we had enough. Our pool guy is now sporting a power band. :)

JOY Club kids- you guys rock! Your prayers are important and effective and we feel them all the way in South Africa. I told one of our older boys about you all and he said to tell you that he “is praying for you too!” Keep up the good work on memorizing your Bible verses :)

Here are some iphone pics of the kids who would hold still long enough for pics :)

Even the volunteers wanted one!

Don’t ask my why the kids’ pictures are so small.

**One of the great travesties of South Africa is that there is no crest toothpaste. The kids all think that colgate “IS HOTTTTT!!!!” and burns their mouths. I agree wholeheartedly! Now they have nice, “American” toothpaste and I’m confident our dental hygiene will improve.