John and April Huisman spent 6 weeks in Welkom, South Africa working with The Pines Christian Care Centre. The Pines exists by creating a home for orphaned and abandoned children in a Christian environment. The Pines hopes to train children to be morally pure, which in turn will help them live through the AIDS pandemic and make a lasting impact on Africa. So many already have been lost to the AIDS pandemic and The Pines is stepping in to help keep these children from becoming a second lost generation.
While The Pines aims to provide a safe, loving home for children, our main goal is to raise the children with opportunities to understand and accept the love of God. The children attend a local church weekly, participate in a Wednesday night service at The Pines, the teenagers attend youth group, volunteers sometimes lead on site Bible studies, and some older children attend other Bible studies by choice. Some children have chosen to make their faith in Christ public and have chosen to be baptized. Continue to pray for the children for come to know God and to grow in their walks with Him. Above all, The Pines wants God to be exalted in the work that is done.
The Pines doesn’t aim to “Americanize” the children. Each of the apartments function as a self-sufficient family, with a national housemother providing nurture and daily guidance. The mamas converse with their children in Sesotho and cook traditional foods, helping the children maintain their indigenous culture. They also teach important life skills, and may be first in line to answer children’s spiritual questions. Currently four full-time mamas, two part-time mamas, and a relief mama serve at The Pines.