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We had the honour of hosting our Southern Africa leader Dalene Joubert for a couple of weeks in the Australian office. It was so encouraging to hear about what God is doing through GRN and our partners in that part of the world.
Dalene told us about a severely burned six year old girl. She was in great distress and hospital staff couldn't calm her. A Tumi Tiger calmed her down as she listened over and over again. She insisted on going to church and kept on getting the TV changed to a Christian channel. Days later this hospital asked for more tigers to give to traumatised children.
A severely traumatised child reverted back to the developmental level of a 1 year old and didn't trust anyone. With Tumi's help she opened up and started talking. She spoke first to Tumi and the team of counsellors discovered they could use Tumi as their mediator. They couldn't break the child's trust in Tumi, but they could use the information they gained to take a new approach and work with the specific cause of the trauma. They are now able to relate to her and start addressing the issues she faces.
A child in palliative care was restless and wouldn't settle. This little one was given Tumi Tiger. He became calm and held Tumi to his chest until he died a couple of days later.
Over the past couple of weeks I have demonstrated Tumi a few times. One little boy was absolutely delighted to hear Tumi talking. A girl at a mission conference stood holding Tumi close and listening for at least 40 minutes until her mother came and dragged her away. Both were sad to say goodbye.
Dalene would love to expand Tumi Tiger's ministry.
Please pray for someone to work fulltime in Southern Africa to make Tumi known, for resources to pay the person and to give Tumi Tiger samples to potential users for trial.
Pray too for resources to translate Tumi into other languages and to provide similar scripts for traumatised adults and Alzheimer's sufferers.
Dalene is such a good storyteller that 50+ people gathered to spend an evening eating pizza and listening to her speak. She told of a blind grandmother taking GRN resources and being led from village to village to take the gospel to all her people; of entering a war zone in an armoured vehicle to share GRN's picture materials and Bible stories; of entering another war zone with a local pastor and the gun fire ceasing out of respect for the man of God entering.
Dalene also spoke about people who consider the good news flipchart to be their Bible, and having memorised the stories, they carry it with them and share the message with those they meet.
She also shared the tale of Bushmen, (having been taught since they were children to lie down and pretend they were dead when they saw a snake), all falling to the ground when they came to the story of Adam and Eve being deceived by the snake. Missionaries had to skip that story until the picture was changed to make the snake less prominent.
It was a wonderful night giving glory to God and honouring the people she has worked with over the last 25 years.
Another reason why Dalene visited GRN Australia, was so that she and Noel, who is GRN's recording and studio expert, could plan the content and prepare for a training event in Southern Africa later in the year.
In Southern Africa many different Bible agencies and missions are seeing the need for audio resources, as so many people are not reading. Dalene is not able to meet demand (pray for more recordists) and some people are making bad quality recordings that won't stand the test of time and processing. Some have had little to show for years of work as their recordings are of such poor quality they really can't be salvaged.
Two weeks after Dalene's visit, Noel Bachelor travelled to South Africa to present a recordist training course. He and Dalene met with more than 20 people from a variety of different mission organisations in Southern Africa in March to talk about recording standards, suitable equipment and to give some basic training in recording.
Dalene plans to give these people advice and support over the coming years to help them produce useful recordings of the Bible translations and Bible stories they are producing. This is an exciting initiative.
Please pray for more people to help Dalene in this ministry.