While in South Africa, Aloga Financial Services celebrated their most recent Lydia Award winner, Lilly Storom (next to me). Lilly, an Aloga client, owns and manages an amazing daycare in Mamelodi that provides almost 90 3-6 year olds with a great education. As the children hear that Jesus loves them, their lives and those of their family members are being transformed. Aloga has had many successful clients — joining Lilly at her celebration were 2004 Lydia Award winner Flydah Mdhluli (middle in picture), and 2007 Lydia Award winner, Claudie Mashiane (to the right). Matsha Makena (far right), Aloga Managing Director, was praised by all three award recipients for the level of service his staff and he offer to them. (The Lydia Award is given annually by PEER Servants to recognize the top 2-3 of the thousands of entrepreneurs who receive loans from PEER Servants’ MPs. It is named after Lydia, the entrepreneur selling purple cloth/dye in Acts 16, who supported St. Paul and his missionary companions as they traveled through the area.)
It wasn’t all work and no play while in South Africa (although I am known to keep a pretty tight and demanding schedule for PEER Servants volunteers on these trips!). The entire team took a day retreat to visit the Pilanesberg Game Reserve and saw God’s amazing creatures — a charging bull elephant, a family of rhinos, a pride of twelve playful lions, and this beautiful herd of more than a dozen giraffes. We had been praying that since this may be the only time our brother and sisters from the Philippines would be able to see African game in person, that God would lead the animals to show up. As is so often the case, God answered our prayers in ways that exceeded what we could think or imagine!, God answered our prayers in ways that exceeded what we could think or imagine!