Christmas Greetings from Dave & Renee’ Schertzer!
We pray this message finds you well and in the last preparation for a blessed Christmas 2010. We have seen our Lord and Savior answer so many prayers this year, both in our lives and in the ministry in which we serve.
As you know, our main role at the USA offices is to provide leadership and direction for finances and resources that support our staff and children overseas. The day-to-day details are many, but all of the work is worth seeing the lives God has changed.
Here is some recent news from one of the countries we serve through the ministry of Children of the Nations. This news from Uganda is a reminder to be thankful, and has a little humor too. Our first shipment to Uganda left this summer, and the Pastor who headed the shipment wondered if he would be there to see it released so he could report to his community how the children and staff enjoyed the supplies. At the time, Dave seriously doubted that his trip and the release of the container would be the same week. In his way of thinking, that just does not happen. But, this is not Dave’s container, it is God’s container.
While the container was on the way, it was delayed in Kenya due to an unforeseen paperwork snafu. Much “gnashing of teeth” by Dave, along with a lot of emails, prayer, and patience resulted in the container finally moving onto Kampala, Uganda. Known as a very corrupt customs agency, we were still not sure if we would ever receive the supplies, if even in 2010.
Meanwhile, the pastor traveled to Uganda, and his trip was nearly done with no container in sight. Then, during his last week in Uganda, the container was miraculously released, driven to Lira, and lifted to the ground by two huge cranes. Months of work was completed, but would that project just get filed away as “done”? No way. Now comes the great part!
The COTN-Uganda staff and the pastor were able to unpack some of the container that first day, including mattresses and pillows for all of the staff and children. Previously, they had slept on thin foam pads, which was a luxury compared to the usual in Uganda – a mat on the ground. When they saw the mattresses, they were excited and so thankful.
The pastor said, “Who wants a pillow?” None of them raised their hands. He asked again. No hands. He asked why. They had never seen or heard of a pillow. The staff handed them out, and the children asked if they were toys to play with outside. He told them they were for under your head when you sleep, and they giggled as he demonstrated how to use a pillow. If that was not enough, he told them to make sure and put on a pillow case before they used them. More giggles.
As we heard this from the pastor, it was hard not to laugh, and also think about all of the things we take for granted, like a home, a bed, and a good night’s sleep on a pillow. The children in Lira, who survived the atrocities of a rebel war, are no longer orphans. They are now a family.
We are humbled to be included in their family, so far away in Silverdale, Washington.
Our family has grown from a few dozen here in the states to thousands around the world. We consider you part of our family, and are thankful each day for your prayers, friendship and support as we serve God’s children. We pray that this Christmas week, you are reminded that you have also been chosen to be part of a larger family. Jesus came to save each of us, and to free us from sin and death. He has made our lives new. Let’s thank Him for what we do not deserve! “For it is by grace we have been saved, through faith, and this not from ourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9
Merry Christmas from Dave & Renee’ and the children in Lira, Uganda, giggling as they rest their heads on their pillows.
For the children,
Dave & Renee' Schertzer
COTN–USA Resource & Finance Directors
Children of the Nations
"Raising children who transform nations in Sierra Leone , Malawi , Uganda and the Dominican Republic "