The four of us got back to Mukamba on the 8th of July 2008. Whitney and Kalen hit the ground running with a lot of work where they started out by loading bricks in the mornings for the orphanage house that we are building. They painted our toilet and bathroom and the floors. They also helped Amber clear fields to plant fruit trees that we bought and helped with preparing everything for the team from Virginia. They were a big blessing and proved to be extremely hard workers while the team was here. They left Zambia on the 4th of August 2008 to go back home we were sad to see them leave and pray that God bless them in everything that they do. Thank you Whitney and Kalen!!!!!!!!!!!!
After all the preperation we eagerly picked up the American team from First Baptist Woodbrige in Virginia on the 17th of July2008 and drove to Mukamba. We arived at 22:oo and they were happy to see that we had there tents already up for them. They had a good night rest (except for getting used to our rooseters all night crow fest) and the next morning we had them do hard physical work by digging "barach" which is like breaking up very hard concrete (but not by hammer but by pick axs). It took 8 hard working days for them to finish digging barach enough to fill the floor of the orphanage and by that time we noticed that the pick axes were all much shorter than when they started. I don't know what was more tough - the barach itself or the team that dug it. Boy did this team work!!! Do not think for one second that it is easy and if you do please come and visit. They defininitely gave it 110% each day which we are so thankful for - who knows how long it would have taken me and Amber alone. For food we were able to kill a goat for the team for meat and Ryan, Richard and Ed did the deed and prepared it nicely for us.
The second day(Saturday) we got up early to work with different teams and then the hardware shop phoned and told us that they couldn't deliver the timber for the roof of the orphanage because the truck had broken down. They thought that maybe it would be ready some time the next week. Praise God that it came on Monday. Although the goal for the team was to start off on the orphanage roof apart from the delivery schedule difficulty we ran into some other difficulties as well like the orphanage house not being finished to roof height. Despite all best efforts the timber that was to be delivered was needed to build the boxes over the windows and door frames to pour concrete for strenth and now that the timber was comming later it was holding us back. Also on Saturday the Land Rovers gearbox broke again (after only running a week) and that had my spirit in a hole and I was down as a man can be. To top it all off as we were driving behind the trailer we saw that the wheels were not running like they were supposed to. After a thorough inspection we found that the bearings were loose so one more thing broken. It took Ryan, Ed, Steve, Bill and Tim a very long and hard time to fix so I was and still am thankfull for them fixing it, thanks. And then the hot water donkey broke as well! Praise God for the reinforcement he sent me with the men on the team and they were a big help and encouragement to me during this very trying time.
The next day we had a very good service at church where I did the bible study before church service. That went very well because once again God taught me something about Himself. Richard did the message in the serive and everyone enjoyed it. Sunday night we went and showed the Jesus Film and that was cold. We got there in time to get everything set up to start the film at 19:00 and after being treated to a wonderful meal of goat and nshima the data projector did not want to start up - not even one light wanted to come on so we decided to take it apart (knowing that the globe is very sensative and can break) and we took the chance to open it. By now I was ready to pack my bags and go home to South Africa but also knew that God was in the midst of all of this. An hour and half later nothing wanted to work. After praying I did one last thing with the globe and praise God it worked and we got to show the film. Praise God for the people that came foreward after the film show. Johan (our old friend and Ministry mentor from South Africa) went back the next day to do a follow up with the people that showed up.
On Monday we started to take the gearbox out but we had to send the picture to a friend in South Africa to go and buy the bearing that broke. Thankfully Johan's wife Wanda was comming on the 25th to visit so she brought it with her. After a full days work and a lot of patience we got it fixed and even the nut that got loose that caused the bearing to brake. We praise God for Wanda that she came and for all the wonderful help and encouragement that God surrounded us with in the team.
Eventually, more than halfway through their time here, the team started on the roof of the house. They termite painted all the planks we had ordered (and enjoyed the after affects of the fumes) and got alot of key planks in so that I can go on with out too much truble. The whole team had a chance to go and minister to the local school where the children were excited to see them come back and play and teach them new and more things. We pray that God may bless ehtier efforts in building on the next generation of the area.
We were also blessed that the team brought with them a big amount of medical supplies for us donated through Crosslink Internations (over $2500 dollars worth). Thanks Sheryl and whoever else helped with that contact. We are finding the medical supplies to be a huge blessing here as people often come to us for medicine and minor medical treatment. Even just while the team was here Sheryl (a nurse) had to asist me in taking a five inch stick out of a locals foot ofter he stept in it. It was nasty and very deep almost poking out through the top of his foot and what is even more amazing is that he let us pull it without any anestesia (I want to see that happen in a 1st world country). We thank God that his foot has healed and is doing good. Every time people come we are able to pray for them and it has become a wonderful ministry in and of itself.
I wish we had time to say of all the other many things that the team blessed us with while here - like gathering and chopping tons of firewood, clearing our big orchard by hand by swinging L shaped machetes, painting (and waterproofing) all our various door frames and doors that we had been meaning to get to for the last 6 months, planting a herb garden in front of Amber's kitchen, cleaning and organizing both of our crazy store rooms, showing of the Jesus Film at two different locations, raking leaves from around the property (making it much easier to spot those pesky snakes), fetching loads of river sand and stones, and participating in two worship services, doing the preaching and childrens service in each, and watering over 100 + baby fruit trees by hand every day just to name a few.... And last but not least was something that was especially important to Amber was Kelly (age 18) painting an absolutely awesome outdoor theme in our new toilet and bathroom, complete with grass, tree, lion, chamellion, and birds. It is truely a site to see and one of our favorite rooms now. Thank you Kelly and team.
After all the teams hard work it was a real blessing to be able to spend a few days with them relaxing in Livingstone and Chobe, Botswana before the team departed to leave us alone again on August 1st. At least Whitney and Kalen stayed a few more days to help us with the transition. Now we are all alone again but busy as ever. But if you want to know what we have been up to lately you will have to wait until the next posting so stay tuned...... So to First Baptist Church Woodbridge Va, Johan, Wanda, and Whitney and Kalen - thanks for all your hard work and encouragement during this special special time. You made our jobs now much easier and we pray that God will greatly reward and bless you as you have blessed us.
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Until next time......
Jako and Amber Joubert