Our Vision

My photo
P.O. Box 620170, Kalomo, Zambia
Our vision is to bring the love of Jesus Christ to the children of Zambia through physical and spiritual means.Our hearts longing is to empower the local church and village community to meet the great need of the many orphans and widows through the development of an orphanage.(Psalm 68:5-6a)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Let me start off this entry by saying that right now I (Jako), look like a brick, feel like sand, and roll like stones. This is basically the three things that I have been digging and loading to get the building going these past two months.

On August 15th I twisted and tore the ligaments in my left ankle. Even though I had to use crutches for a few days I thank God that I was able to continue working. Though the ankle is still sensitive and a bit weak it continues to improve every day. We are thankful it has healed as quickly as it has and wasn’t injured more seriously.

Orphange House Progress
Even though we have hired local builders for the orphanage house, it has still been my responsibility to dig and bring them all the sand, stones, and bricks that they need for the building. Since we last wrote, the concrete floor of the house has been poured and the plastering is done in the whole orphanage house. This is huge and we are happy to see the progress.

Physical help from the villages has been decreasing so I decided that it would be a good idea for me to hire a small crew of 3 to 4 local guys to help me 6 days a week. Praise God for providing the financial funds to not only make this happen but for also providing me with dependable, hard working guys who I have known for a while. With all of us working hard from early in the mornings (6am) until late we have gotten lots done. We thank God for the energy and will power to get up every day and work in the heat. The temperature is now reaching 35 degrees C (95 F) and it is not even summer yet. At least the business and discomfort of the heat distracts us from missing all of our foreign helpers and friends from the past few months.

We have dug the hole for the orphanage toilet septic tank (3 x 3 x 2 meters, length, height, and depth respectively). We wanted to dig a bit deeper but after digging half a meter through barach we figured it would be easier to just go wider. We also dug the foundation and poured the footers for the kitchen, toilets, and showers for the orphanage house. Because of quality standards we hired the builders and to date they have finished all the brick work on the toilet and bathroom building and are now working on the kitchen. Thanks to Fanuel (our foreman/ security guard) the brick work is completed on the library as well. With all of the practice he is getting to perfect his brick laying skills, and soon he will be considered a master builder as well. It is very rewarding to see the end in sight for all the brick work.

The crew and I have been able to continue with the roof of the orphanage house. With the wood having lied in the sun for so long (unexpectedly) the planks ended up drying out and warping quite a bit. It’s taken us som muscle power to make them work but I am happy to say that to date we have finished the A frames on the roof . Now we just need to purchase more wood planks and tin roof sheets to finish it all by the middle/ end of October. This is the time that we will be heading back to South Africa with Amber’s mom and brother, Terry but also the time that the rain can start. The roof needs to be on before then because the top smooth layer of floor can only be laid once the roof is completed because of all the dirt and tree pods being blow around by the hard wind this time of year.

Headmen, Senior Headmen, and 2 hour late meetings
As I said earlier, help from the local villages had started to diminish. We also discovered several people cutting trees down on the property so we decided to call a meeting with the various headmen, senior headmen, and orphanage committee. After waiting over 2 hours for about 10 of the 28 headmen to show up we decided to start. These meetings are rarely fun as often it just becomes a blame game of who is not doing their job. This meeting however turned out quite productive. After working out some issues and clarifying some things, each headmen there agreed to send at least 2 people a week to help with sand and stone and anything else needed for the orphanage. We decided on days of Tuesdays and Thursday and so far most of the help has shown up. This is a big help not only to me but also an answer to prayer in making and keeping this truly a community orphanage. Thank you God for chairing this meeting for us.

Our KitchenAmber is very happy that the roof of the kitchen is basically done and the floor completed. She has already moved in and is oh so happy about her much improved cooking quarters and especially her built in pantry. After over a year of sharing shelves with tools, sleeping bags, and our personal storage items, she is now very happy that everything now has it’s own place.

First Fruits and Fences
The fruit orchard continues to do well and some of the trees are growing like weeds. Amber is very happy to have a fence around the entire thing that the “crew” and I put up in August. This fence will keep the local cattle from feasting on the young banana trees. It is sad to think that we probably would have had fruit from them last year had the cattle not eaten them to stubs but at least this year they have been outsmarted.

We have enjoyed our first few strawberries and think we might be able to harvest some gooseberries this year as well. And this is only a sampling of all the different fruits that we hope will come to bear in the next few years. Amber has been happy to have the local ladies coming by occasionally to help with the watering. She is also very thankful to have the assistance of our newly acquired “used” 4 x 4 quad/ATV that came up with a friend in July. This makes hauling the 220 liters of water needed everyday just for the orchard much easier. She has also devised a great system of reusing our grey water to limit the amount of hand pumping we have to do for watering.

Quad Power
Not only is the quad it very light on fuel (giving us at least double what we get with the Hilux and the Landy) we can use it to haul water, wood, logs and even some stones, and especially to get around in the rainy season when all the standing water and clay mud makes it difficult if not impossible to drive with our heavier vehicles. We truly thank God for this long prayer of more than two years.

Technical Difficulties
We had hoped that our multiple technical difficulties had ceased back in July but since then we have had several more things stop working. The first thing that broke was our small generator. Somehow it ended up leaking petrol on to the generator and basically blew some of our electronics and almost all of our appliances power supplies (including our computers). This forced us to leave for Livingstone to have our things fixed . While there we were blessed to find a good diesel generator that is bigger and can give power to both us and the orphanage house in the raining season (short term) for then our solar panel obviously won’t work.

With the generator came a free 180 liter electric refrigerator. We didn’t know exactly what we would do with it but figured now that we had the power to run it we would use it for the house and orphanage somehow. Obviously God knew what we needed before we did because we when got back home our fridge that works with LP gas stopped working. Try as I did I could not get it right so we had to put everything in the new refrigerator and start the generator 2- 3 times a day to keep everything cold. After trips to town and finding out that South Africa was the only place allowed to work on these fridges I upped my efforts. With over 2 weeks of praying and working on it, the fridge started to work again. We are so thankful to God that it is working and also for the money we are now saving on fuel for the generator since diesel is now at $2.64 a litter ($ 10 a gallon) here.

In between all of this the Land Rovers electric fan packed up. It took me some time to look for the right part in town but I came up empty handed. In the end I asked one of the village men than is known to fix engines if he happened to have a fan with a pulley that a belt can fit to and also a bearing to run out. To my amazement he had the exact piece. With metal we had lying around here I built a bracket for it. God gave me wisdom and after two days of planning and three days of building it is now working very well. Now I do not have to worry about the fan breaking or the battery dying. This is a huge weight off of my shoulders.

Our Late Night Visitor
In August we had a southern file snake visiting us for a couple nights and he was about 1 meter long. With all the poisonous snakes around here – this type is a good snake. They are not aggressive and are the only snake that will kill and eat black mambas and puff adders two of the most dangerous snakes and know for the death of lots of people. But for the last 3 weeks we have not seen him around at night. We don’t know if he is keeping a low profile or if the dogs have scared him to a new location

Us the Local Ambulance?Lately we had lots of patients; - from rocks falling on toes that burst open, dog bites, and burn victims our medical supplies and vehicle have definitely been called on and put to good use. And now there appears to be a local chicken pox epidemic going round! The two burn victims were severe and both needed hospitalization. The first was a girl who in the midst of an epileptic fit fell face first into the fire. We heard about her after she had been one week at the local clinic when they said that they could do nothing more for her. We helped transport her to a hospital that could help her. The second was a man that showed up at 23:30 one night. His whole back was burnt with no skin on it. He explained that they had been sleeping in a grass hut when it set alight. He and his wife instinctively ran out before they realized that the baby was still in the hut. He quickly ran back in but that was when he got burnt. Thank God that the baby was fine with no burns only little coughing. As severe as his burns were we hear that he is now doing better.

Our first Zambian Wedding
In August we had the privilege of being invited to our first traditional Tonga wedding in the village. Since the groom was the son of our local friend and village pastor Petrus they wanted the wedding to be traditionally Christian and I was honored to be asked to give scripture and a wedding message. It was a neat experience and we enjoyed seeing all the joyous dancing and traditions. The community made us feel like honored guests.

Tractor engine, customs, waiting, waiting and more waiting
After a week of waiting for customs and clearance in Livingstone, we now finally have our new tractor engine and parts. When we got it back home I eagerly assembled it all together and had fun testing it out. We praise God for the provision of this so that we can try to get our land ready for crops before the rains come. We are also thankful that God intervened in such a way to protect us from bribe fees and corruption in the importation process. While it is definitely different driving a vehicle I am having fun acquiring a new skill and trying out my farming abilities.

Help and Family on the Way
With the race to beat the rain well on it’s way we are ever so thankful to have Amber’s mom and older brother Terry planning to visit us from October 9th – the 28th. The plan is to spend a few weeks here in Zambia, then drive back to South Africa to spend a few days there before they fly home. Amber and I can then take care of some business in South Africa, spend some time with my mom and our supporters as well before we head back to Zambia sometime in November.

Thanks for your prayers for Amber’s mom. It is truly by God’s grace that she is able to come at all with her cancer. For those wanting more info on her story visit www.caringbridge.org/visit/jillfinklea .This will be Terry’s first time here and we are excited to have him as well, not only for his height and muscles but also just to make some good memories as well. Please pray for their continued good health and safe travels and also that we would get everything done in time before they come, before we have to leave for South Africa, and before the rains come.

Politics and Presidents
All three of the countries that we call home are undergoing presidential changes at the moment. In August President Manawasa of Zambia unexpectedly passed away and emergency elections are scheduled to be held the end of this month. In South Africa President Mbeki was asked to resign and a new President was appointed. The U.S. Presidential elections are scheduled for November. Please keep these three countries and leaders in your prayers – that they will listen to God’s leading and lead the countries in an upright and honorable manner.

Thanks for your continued prayers, encouragement, support, and for the role you play in helping to make all this possible. Thank you God and to you, God bless.

Oh and don’t forget to check out new photos at www.picasaweb.google.com/missionoflovezambia
In the first 2 new folders

Thank you
Jako and Amber Joubert