Our Vision

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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, December 13, 2009

Jakob John Joubert

Jakob John is HERE!!!

God is so good. After leaving Zambia on December 3rd and two long days of driving on bumpy, bad roads we arrived safely at Jako's home in South Africa on December 4th. Amber handled the traveling well, even at 9 months pregnant and we made it back a day earlier than expected. The next few days gave us a change to unpack, get a bit organized, and rest before Amber's midwife and Dr. visit on December 9th. Both gave good reports on the growth and development of the baby and I guess that was enough for Jakob because later that night Amber starting to experience some discomfort and at 4 am the next morning Amber woke up with contractions 5 minutes apart. 1 ½ hours later we got the go ahead from the midwife to head to the birthing clinic (another hour away).

The funny part of the whole thing is that we were staying with friends that night (an hour away from Jako's home) and since we weren't expecting our little guy for a few more weeks we didn't have a hospital bag packed yet. Everything that we needed for it was back home an additional hour's drive from the clinic! After making a quick call to Amber's mom to tell her that it looked like her grandson was deciding to arrive before she was (her flight was leaving from the States later that day) we were able to arrange with friends to go "fetch" our things for us.

The labor and delivery went well and at 3:03pm on December 10th Jakob John Joubert made his entrance into the world weighing 2.93 kgs (6 lbs 7 ounces) and measuring 52.5cm (20.6 inches). His Dad cheered him on the entire way and was so supportive throughout the whole birthing process. Jakob is absolutely beautiful and 100% healthy as is mom. We all had a wonderful overnight stay at the birthing clinic before heading back to Jako's home on the 11th. Our plan is to stay in South Africa at least through December to get Jakob's passports and documents in order before we head back to Zambia sometime early January. We are so thankful to God for this most amazing and beautiful gift that God has blessed us with. Thank you for your prayers – this is the best gift that God could have given us this Christmas.

Please read the update before this one about the work in Zambia.

Please go to www.picasaweb.google.com/missionoflovezambia

Thank you and God Blessings

Jako, Amber and Jakob Joubert

Mission of Love Community Orphanage


Saturday, December 12, 2009

A lot of hard work in a short time

1 John 3:18-24.

18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.19 By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; 20 for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything. 21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; 22 and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. 23 And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. 24 Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.

We are thankful to God for everything that He gives to us through the blessings that He gives His servants (you). Thank you for your prayers, support and finances that you all are giving. Know that God will bless you for that and as He says that He would be a bless those who are a blessing. While we do not always know in what form or shape God would bless us, He does and that is all that matters.

Fire and Water

Earlier in the year we were blessed with some money for a well that we had been praying about and wanting to drill. As most of you know we do already have one well on the orphanage property that was drilled in November of 2005. While we had this well dug to meet our personal and orphanage needs we also opened it up to the surrounding community of over 2000 people that constantly draw water from it. This meets a huge need in the community since the nearest other well is approximately 8km (5 miles) away and when clean water is far away, the locals often resort to using shallow, dirty, worm and bacteria infested standing water and many people (and kids) get sick and die as a result.

Now considering the needs of the orphanage as we prepare to open it, we realized that a second private well would really be a benefit, especially since then we could put an electric submersible pump on it to have much easier access to water without all the hand pumping (especially difficult for the house mothers to pump for all their needs and the kids AND transport it to where they are). With this in mind we were so thankful for the unexpected donation that God provided and after a long search for a company that would be both honest and fair we started drilling on the 17th of October. We were very excited about the well but all did not go as we had planned. Just to give you an idea here is a piece that Jennifer wrote about the first day of drilling and the fire, so we do hope that you enjoy it:

By now the water drilling company had arrived, secured their large air compressor unit and drilling machine, and had begun the day long task of drilling up to 60 meters deep to find water… Just then a man ran into camp yelling, "Come! Come quick!" A bush fire had been set and gusty winds had swept it out of control through the orphanage property and it was quickly surrounding the drilling equipment. We grabbed shovels and ran to the drilling site where the equipment stood with a wall of fire raging behind it. The fire was 10 feet from the huge air compressor and drilling rig, and distance was closing fast. I wondered what would happen if the fire reached the heavy diesel machines. I didn't wait to find out.

The heat seared into my skin and ashy smoke burned my eyes and lungs. I shoveled harder and faster to dig a fire break. When the wind dropped, my blackened sandaled feet ran to the front line stamping out the smaller flames; throwing as big a shovel of smothering dirt as I could manage. Then, in the blink of an eye, the wind gust swept down exploding the fire into a monster, pushing our fire line back with shouts of sudden retreat. The monster eagerly consumed another few feet of dry elephant grass. We were forced to separate. The flames had jumped the road, wind shaping them into "fire twisters" licking the air and swallowing trees whole. Like cornered prey, the fire had strategically encircled the drilling site.

Then, above the pounding of the drill and the roar of the flames, I heard Jako's voice praying out loud, "Lord, don't let the fire jump. Don't let the fire jump the road. Turn the wind." The dirt road alongside the drilling site was our only hope; a natural fire break. The flames were eagerly sweeping through the grass on the other side and one misdirected gust would shoot the fire straight at the equipment like a blow-torch. We watched helplessly as the fire reached across the road like an arm, almost teasing us, threatening to ignite the other side in a moment's time. Our only hope was in God. For those next few minutes, the flames licked at what seemed to be an invisible wall. Fire twisted out and appeared to burn nothing in mid-air. The dry grass and trees on our side of the road did not catch one flame or ember; as if they were immune. The fire continued burning down the roadside, seeking a vulnerable, dry place to penetrate and jump; it failed. Ultimately, the flames paralleled the already burned side of the road; it had made a complete circle and nothing remained that could ignite. The bush fire was stopped dead in its tracks.

The fire had burned the wide area surrounding our entire camp. A row of our young banana trees along the orchard took quite a beating as well; their leaves, now crusty and orange, defy gravity standing out sideways from their stem as the intensity of the heat blew them and burned them almost instantaneously. But as Rahab's house stood alone amidst the destruction of Jericho, so today you can see a single patch of unharmed elephant grass; enveloped by black smoldering ashes on all sides. A testimony to God's protection and faithfulness to remember each time we drive by.

By then, we knew that the well that was drilled during the fire was dry. Over the course of the next week, two more painfully long days of labor and waiting and about 175 meters of drilling combined, had produced three dry wells. The third well was our last chance. When Jako returned to announce that the drilling company was giving up, I braced myself for the news and the utter despair that would follow. Instead, I watched peace and confidence in God's plan exude from his face as he stated, "Boy, wasn't God good when He gave us that strong well of water four years ago."

I do hope that she painted the picture for you as she did for me with her writing; God has really blessed her with a talent.

Dismal Days

Not long after the news of our three "failed" wells (please pray that God will somehow help them fill up with strong water as only HE can) we had a couple other "challenges" that came our way and really threatened to discourage us. First our computer decided to crash on us. Not only did it deprive us communication for some time but we also lost lots of data that was saved on it. All our admin stuff (e-mails, finances, paperwork etc) was put on hold and loosing lots of personal data (e-mails saved on the computer and even some pictures) was quite discouraging. Unfortunately, even with professional help, nothing was able to be recovered from our hard drive. Then not long after, our security guard, Fanuel informed us that he was no longer interested in working for us any longer and that he now wanted to be a farmer. Fanuel has served us well these past few years here and was good to give us a few weeks notice but it came as quite a shock to us. We didn't know who we would get in his place (the person would have access to almost all our stuff and could really do harm if he wanted to) and on top of everything else that was happening it was quite a difficult month.

But a Silver Lining

Thankfully God never gives us more than we can handle and after a few weeks things started to look up. We were able to order a new computer (Thank you Josh for bringing it over for us) and God has provided us a wonderful new security guard/general worker who we really trust, Charles. He is a middle aged man with a wealth of knowledge in many different areas (fruit trees, chickens, gardening etc) and has already proved to be of much benefit to us. We are very much at peace with him, trust him, and he has already worked wonder with our chickens which we were struggling with to get to reproduce. When he started we had approximately 40 chickens and when we left almost all the hens were busy laying and hatching eggs. According to Charles he expects the number to be up to 300 by April! And this is something he has done before so God is showing us He always has a reason for the things he allows (even the hard times) and that He has always works things out for our good. Not only are our chickens reproducing like crazy now but all the animals are. To date we now have 21 cattle, over 60 goats, and our dog victory just gave birth to 6 puppies. The locals are wondering what we are doing to get the animals to reproduce so much and all we can tell them is it is God's doing and not ours!

Bible Study Blessings

The Bible studies that Jenny leads on Tuesdays are going very well. The location is a 30 min drive from us and the people are showing up every week in good numbers (well, when it's not raining). We must ask lots of prayer for the Thursday Bible study that we have here at home. The area is much "darker" than the Tuesday one and the people here are deeply entrenched in witchcraft. In fact it often starts with the headman and the people here life in fear and darkness. Please pray that God would break the stronghold of Satan here for as Ephesians 2:8 says: For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.

Please pray that God would give the people around us this gift that He has given us. The Sunday school lessons (that Jenny leads) are going very good and every week there are more children in the class learning about the Old Testament. The adult Bible studies (that I lead) are also doing well and the number of people attending is steadily increasing with a good solid core group. We moved the start time from 9:30 to 9:00 so that we can have a full hour together and if for some reason I am delayed the people wait. Please keep on praying for them. These past few months we have been working through a good series emphasizing men as the leaders in the family and how to be Godly men so that our wife's and children would respect us as the leader of the house. In an area where the women more commonly attend the church services it has been amazing to see the church full of men!! Now if only we could get them to all bring their wives along.

We have been giving clothes and chickens to some orphaned children in the community (through

the local orphanage committee) and that was a big blessing to us to see them receive these things with big smiles on their faces. With Christmas now just around the corner, please remember the children in the world because with all this coming Christ birth day celebrations that there are a lot of children out there without anything. And while many of us might not consider ourselves "rich" in terms of worldly goods, if you went out to get takeout food or eat out at a restaurant then you are still very well off. I don't mean to be nasty or ugly but think of that so please count your blessings.

Raising the Roof(s)

The past few months have seen lots of hard work, new building and construction going up. Probably the most noticeable is the erection of our house. The local builder has been doing great work laying the bricks beautifully at a fast rate (trying to beat the rains) and the rest of us have been working hard to get the roof up and on it and tackle all the other non brick work. While Amber and I were more than content to stay in a tent for the rest of our lives, now with Amber being pregnant and the little one (Jakob John) now on the way we figured that a more permanent house would be good idea. It also opens up more opportunities for hospitality since we are located so far from the nearest "town". To date all the brick work is complete, inside and out and also every room have been plastered. In October and November we had the added benefit of Amber's younger brother Josh who came to help for almost one month. While he was here we got the roof up on the house (even with a three week delay of building materials). That was a big

task accomplished and took a lot of hard work sometimes even in the rain. While Josh was there we also broke our old kitchen roof down (it was getting eaten up by wood beetles) in one day. It took us two very long day to rebuild it with new roof beams and tin roofing but it looks nice now and is definitely stronger than what it was. Have I mentioned how we witnessed our neighbors kitchen roof suddenly collapse because of the same wood beetles! The third task we were able to get done was to complete a big roof in front of our two store rooms that will be used as a combination car port and work station for the raining season. The local builder is now busy pouring the footers for the school house and laying the bricks just up to ground level so that he can continue the rest

Speaking of the rainy season, it appears to have started well this year with lots of good rains and clouds. Please pray that this continues so that the locals crops and harvest will be enough for them to provide for their families through the next year.

Family News

Amber is doing very well. God has been so good to her with the pregnancy and Jakob is not hurting his mother too much. She does not even look pregnant from the back, even 9 months along. Those that know Amber would know what hard time I have trying to have her do less but that does not happen easily. We are currently in South Africa preparing for the birth (staying with my mom) and we are looking forward to having Amber's mother join us in South Africa on December 11th as well. Jakob is expected to arrive sometime between Dec 21st and 26th and she will be here until February so she can help us transition back to Zambia with a new baby and get settled in there. The plan is leave about 2 -3 weeks after he is born and we have both of his passports.

Prayer Requests

Please continue to keep their health in your prayers and for ongoing work in Zambia that is going on while we are gone. While the orphanage officials kept telling us that they were coming out to inspect the house and give final approval they have not yet to date. Please pray that God will move in that situation, that He will show us and the orphanage committee the children that God wants to put in the house and for the mothers that He wants for the house; that they would be God fearing women. Also please keep the dry wells in your prayers, that they would spring forth living waters and that God would give us wisdom in how to proceed with them.

Jennifer is doing good and you can read more about her at www.jennymaass.blogspot.com Also additional pictures of all the work can be seen at www.picasaweb.google.com/missionoflovezambia
Once again thank you for being part of this work God is doing in Zambia.

Jako, Amber and Jakob John Joubert (soon to be making his grand appearance) Mission of Love Community Orphanage Zambia

Friday, October 9, 2009

God sent us long term help

What is time that it goes by so fast? I do not know if I am getting old or sleeping too late.
We arrived back in Zambia on the 8th of September from South Africa after picking up Jennifer Maass from the airport in South Africa. She arrived from the USA on the 5th of September to serve with us in Zambia as long as God needs her to be here and traveled with us from South Africa to Zambia. Our drive up was pretty uneventful with just a few difficulties. When we were in Botswana our Toyota Hilux decided that it had had enough of us changing gears and decided we needed an extra overnight rest. In the end, it proved to be just a simple bush in the gearbox lever that had disintegrated but it did take us several hours to take everything apart, get the new part and reassemble it. I was just thankful we didn’t have to take the entire gearbox out. Thank you Jesus! Then once in Livingstone I had to change the front leaf springs on our 1964 Land Rover since the main blades on both of our old ones had broken. Getting new springs was one of our tasks that we had to do while in South Africa and it was kind of funny that one of Jenny’s tasks when she first visited us in April was to help work on the Landy and now it seems to be coming tradition.

Jennifer will be overseeing the start of an educational center for the orphanage and also adult teaching in the form of reading and writing. Unfortunately the educational center is not yet built (much less up and running) so in the meantime she is helping us with all the other projects that we need to finish before the rainy season comes pouring down. From the beginning she had to jump in to the deep end driving a stick shift from Livingstone to Mukamba and was forced to learn “on the job”. Not long after we started the process for Jennifer to get her volunteer visa to stay in Zambia. Please keep that in your prayers – that God would allow the process to go smoothly and that her application would find favor with all the officials it comes across. Now that Jennifer is back the locals are very happy to have her resuming her previous Tuesday and Thursday community Bible studies (in two different areas) and the last few ones have been very well attended. The children are also enjoying her Sunday Bible lessons at the local church.

Once we arrived back in Zambia it took us 3 days to get everything going and in order again. First I put the generator I modified back on the tractor and then built a frame for another solar panel that we put up for more power. Then I moved onto the task of assembling the camp antenna for our two way radio system that we bought in South Africa. With all the different projects going on at several different locations and with Amber now being pregnant we thought it was time to invest in this so that any of us can get a hold of the other in an emergency whether we are at camp, the cattle farm or the crop farm. The range on the radios has proved excellent (30 km so far and hopefully 50km to Kalomo when I lift the antenna up further) and it has already proved useful for Jennifer when she goes to the Tuesday bible study or all the sand and rock runs that she has been doing. In fact, just last week Jenny used it to phone camp when the trailer got a flat tire when it was filled with 1 ton of sand 10 km (7 miles) away from here and I was quickly able to “come to the rescue” (although it took me another 2 days to fix the axel that had bent and just do general maintenance on it – does the fixing of things ever stop around here?)

With the raining season threatening to open up on us we have so much to get done that we had to hire 4 local people to dig 28tons of stones, 40tons of river sand, load over 30 000 bricks, haul water and dig 30tons pit sand for mortar to building our home. Not an easy job when temperatures have been over 100 F (high 30’s 40 + C) every day. Very hot and quite humid. The local builder that we hired started on the 30th of September and we had to have enough material ready for him to start for he goes through them fast. Jenny has really proved to be a blessing the past two weeks as permanent driver to our 1964 Land Rover for all the sand and rock runs which has freed me up for all the other tasks that I need to attend to. It is exciting to see the house going up but once that is done the builder also needs to get the school building to floor height before the big rains come. Just yesterday they finished pouring the floor slab and Monday we look forward to seeing the outside walls come up.

Since we arrived we have also finished all 20 beds (10 bunk beds) for the orphanage. Although the Va team had done the big task of pre-cutting all the large pieces I still had to cut 436 slats for the beds where the mattresses will rest on and then we had to attach it everything. The new cordless power drill that the team blessed us with (as well as a borrowed table saw) made the task much quicker to complete. The beds have now been sanded and with most of the mattress’ bought and painted all they need now is the ladders which will probably get made when we make the two house mothers single beds. The tasks that still remain before we can get kids in is to finish laying the electricity, installing the water pipes, and getting the proper final approvals from all the different government offices. We traveled to Livingstone the other day to talk with one of the departments that say they hope to come out to visit and inspect things by the end of the month. Since this will only give us about 5 or 6 weeks until we have to leave for South Africa again we decided it best not to admit children until we return in January. Not only will this give us time to get the house fully furnished and ready for occupation (ie. Curtains, pots and pans, children and house mothers decided etc) it also keeps us free from the worry of an emergency coming up while we are gone and the house mothers and children not being to get the help they need because of the untravelable roads. With our vehicles being the only ones that really run during the rainy season it will just make the logistics easier to make sure that we are here for a while when the kids and house mothers are getting settled in.

This past month has also seen progress with the community library. With all the donations of books we have received for it (and more on the way), our lack of storeroom space quickly pressed the need for us to get it finished enough for us to at least move the books in there. As of now it is all painted with the glass in the windows, the door put on, and all the book boxes moved on. All that is left to do now is to build all the shelving but that can wait until the rainy days to keep us busy. Josh, Amber’s brother is coming to visit and help us for a month at the end of October and we are excited about that to have another strong hand out here to help with the work. Sometimes I think that I bit off more than I can chew : )

Please keep on praying for our communications capability out here. Since we arrived back in camp our “durable and rugged” computer packed up and we are using one now that has 256mb ram and a 18gb hard drive so it is very slow and we are down to basic computer, internet, and e-mail operations. This has forced us to order another (hopefully more durable one) for Josh to bring over to us later this month so thanks for your understanding if our e-mail responses have been slow.

Amber has been busy keeping the home life on the camp running, cooking for us and local work crew we have here every day (at least 7-12 +), doing laundry, admin, and anything else she can do to free Jenny and I up to work. That is a full day’s job in itself. She just entered into her third trimester and she is doing very well. Baby Jakob is growing everyday and is so active he kicks and moves all the time. Amber has been trying to stay active during the pregnancy (in a safe and appropriate way) but last week we had a bit of a scare when she went bike riding (not the first time) and after only 5 minutes had to stop because she felt like she was going to faint. After resting a bit on the side of path she was able to make it back home where she checked her vitals (all were good) and slept for quite a bit. Later that day, she phoned a doctor friend that lives in Kalomo now and she advised Amber to go for a blood test to have her iron level checked. Later that week we were in Choma (a 3 hours drive one way) and God provided a place where we could get that done. We thank God because there just happened to be an OB/GYN who was able to do a proper examination on Amber as well. She said that all is looking good and that everything on the blood test came back good except for her iron level and now she is taking tablets for that which should also help with her recent fatigue. Thank you Jesus. She is handling things well but as Jakob (and her belly) continues to grow it now takes her almost a full day to recover after a trip to town from all the bumping and shaking. She has been thankful to have Jennifer’s help on those days that she needs to rest and apart from that she has been feeling wonderful. We are falling more in love with our “little guy” every day and are so looking forward to becoming parents in just a few months. We love every moment of this process!

As far as the rest of the month goes, please pray for strength and energy to complete all that needs completing before the big rains come. We’ve already had several light rain which might mean an early rainy season this year and yet we still need to get a new roof up on our kitchen, a new roof over what will be Jennifer’s permanent tent and a roof over an outdoor work space for me to keep working in the rain, all before the rain comes. Please pray for the upcoming planting season that we would get the right among to rain at the perfect time and that God would also give the local people wisdom for the planting of their crops and vegetable gardens. Please also pray for the drilling of a well for the orphanage, they were suppose to have drilled it on the 24th of September but the compressor broke down and they are now busy trying to get it fixed. Please pray that they would get it fixed and come and drill before the big rains arrive and they can no longer get out here. The last we heard they now plan to be here on this next Wednesday or Thursday (Oct 14/15) It is an exciting time for us with all the progress and so many things being so close to completion, and yet so much that needs to be done. Your prayers for strength, energy, good health, and lots of local help and cooperation would be greatly appreciated.

With much appreciation and gratitude to God and all those who help make the project possible through prayers and finances. God is good and may be continue to bless you and us abundantly!

For more pictures please go to www.picasaweb.google.com/missionoflovezambia

You can contact us at amberandjako@hotmail.com

If you want to read more from Jennifer’s perspective of the last month please go to www.jennymaass.blogspot.com

Thank you Jako, Amber and baby Jakob

Monday, August 31, 2009

When it pours it pours

Proverbs 9:10 The Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

Since we last wrote we have been so blessed with all the people that God has sent our way to help in the task that He has given Amber and me. We are so thankful that God is in control of this because I do believe that if it depended on us and our emotions and feelings we might not have made it this far. Travis, Ethan and Mark worked very hard in the two weeks before the team from Virginia arrived. They had to load and off-load lots of bricks for the building of the permanent team toilets and the showers. We decided this was better than struggling to build temporary ones every one to two years. They helped in mixing mortar for the laying of the bricks and also had to pump a lot of water for day to day living of camp life. They cut more wood than woody wood pecker cut in his life time. We also started and finished the slab for Jennifer’s tent so that she could have a permanent home when she arrives here to join us full time in September. It was not as easy task (as they soon found out) and they had to dig and cut out three big deep tree stumps and no there is no machine that you can hire to do that. It had to be done the old way of digging and axe cutting by hand. The ground was not soft and it took a lot of pick axing, shoveling, and sweat. They also build good relations with the local people that they worked with and ministered to on Sundays in church. Thank you guys that you showed love to the Tonga people and that your lives testified that Jesus is your King and Savior. That will have a life long impact on their lives.

The team arrived in Zambia on the 24th of July. We did our best to rush to get to camp early but as things often go in Zambia it ended up being 11.00 at night when we finally arrived. Even though they had been traveling for more than 2 days, they had great attitudes in putting up their tents and cots (that they brought with them) in the middle of the night. By 2 am we were all in bed and slept in on the Saturday morning but some of us were up early to get water pumped and get the fire going to start making breakfast. We started a bit late that day with work and decided to tackle the main job for the week- to lay and dig the foundation for our own permanent home. Now that God is blessing us with a little boy that is on the way it is time to move out of the tent and into a home. We knew that this task would not be easy, especially with one big tree standing in the way so we cut it down and then while some of the guys started to measure out the area, other’s tackled the stubborn tree stump, and others helped get the camp and kitchen organized for the week. The woman on the team went to the orphanage house and started to clear a piece of land of grass and bushes for the orphanage school house/tutoring center. Later in the week a few of the guys started cutting and plane-ing wood for the orphan’s bunk beds and Mandie proved her artistic skills in painting beautiful children’s murals in the orphanage kitchen and shower rooms. They worked hard on these projects (even digging the foundation for the school house) the entire time they were here. It was a great witness to the Tonga people of God’s love for us because the locals are always eager to know why so many people would come so far to help when they don’t get anything from it.

The work projects were not without difficulty however. We had so many things break that I had to take care of and fix, and one on top of the others. You know how they say when it rains, it pours – well that was true in our case. In the course of a week both of our generators broke and left us stranded without power to pump water and cut wood for the bunk beds (our small solar panel cannot handle those loads) and our only air compressor breathed it’s last as well. The generator that blew up, blew the conrod though the engine block so we had to cut the generator part off (for those technically challenged - not an easy task as it was not designed to come apart like this). With a lot of prayer however, God gave me the wisdom to do this and build new parts to have it run off of the tractor engine. Even though I thought it would work theoretically, this was the first time I had ever attempted something like this so there was lots of rejoicing when we got it running (and on wheels) so that the bunk bed project could continue. With that one fixed, we turned our attention to the next generator (a fixed unit which runs our household power and work projects there). For some reason even though the engine was running the generator did not want to convert it to electricity. After a full day of working on it, taking the entire generator apart (and late that night) Ryan saw a small wire that was broken inside. After tending to that and testing it to see that it worked, the whole “fix it crew” did a victory dance. No worry that it was after midnight and everybody else was sleeping. This was something to be celebrated! God was so good to us. Through these difficulties and challenges I learned a lot (again) - to trust the Lord for the wisdom to do things and to be grateful for the challenges that He puts in my way.

Of course there were also vehicle issues to tend to as well (aren’t there always!) but this time thankfully less than normal. All we had to do this year was change the front and back brake drums and the brake shoes of the Land Rover, change a flat on the Land Rover and on the quad but compared to how long the other things took, this was done in no time. The children were blessed by the time the team spent at one of the local schools entertaining them and teaching them more about Jesus. The kids laughed, danced and had so much fun interacting with their new American friends. They also blessed the local village church by joining them for two Sunday Services. They sang with the locals, sang special songs for them (some even in their own language), preached the sermons, and even took the kids (that can never sit still) and kept them busy outside with some more teaching and fun things. We showed the Jesus film one night about an hour’s drive from us. Praise God that we were able to show the whole film without technical difficulties and that it was not as cold as it was the previous years. The next day Johan Beukman (who had driven all the way from South Africa to help us), Pastor Petrus and Richard went back for a follow up discussion with the people that came forward the night before and that was a very blessed time. They said that the people were very responsive to the teaching that they did and the talks they had with them. We praise God for this and for their willingness to go.

By the time the team left our house foundation had been dug, leveled, and filled with concrete. They also finished digging and leveling the footing of the school house so all that all we need to do now is mix the concrete and fill it in before the rains come in November. Even with all the “power” difficulties the wood team worked overtime to plane and cut all the wood to size for the 10 bunk beds so that all that is left to do is to assemble them. The murals that Mandie had painted looked wonderful and not only made the place look more kid friendly but made it look more like a home as well. The team had done numerous sand runs for building, watered the orchard numerous times, helped Amber with all the cooking and kitchen duties, and collected and chopped lots of firewood for us during the rainy season. The team gave their all each and every day and their exhaustion and blisters at the end of the day proved it. We were so blessed with all the progress they made while here as we never could have even done a fraction of all of this ourselves before the rainy season. Now God willing we are still on track to have the kids in soon! So exciting!

One Sunday, while relaxing after church, the team surprised us with a surprise baby shower and boy – what a shower of gifts it was! They had obviously made a announcement and taken collections in the States because we were blessed with everything from a camping cot/ play yard, baby sling, baby carrier, maternity clothing, baby blankets, bottles, cloth diapers, and tons of cute baby clothes. What made the whole occasion even more fun was having the guys present the whole time. At first I wanted to leave thinking this was more a “woman” occasion but after tons of objections from the team members I was forced to stay. The guys helped me out with lots of fun joking and baby related “MANness” to counter for all the ladies “oohs and ahhs” over every thing. It’s crazy to think how many things a new little baby needs but it definitely made the whole pregnancy experience more real for the both of us. Thanks to everyone who donated and blessed us so. After the team left we headed back to South Africa and had our first sonogram and for those that haven’t heard – it’s a healthy boy! To date Amber is just starting her 6th month of pregnancy with the little guy expected to arrive sometime between Dec 21st and Dec 26th.

Before the team left we enjoyed spending a few days with them in Livingstone doing some sight seeing and relaxing. After 6 months of hard every day work it was nice to have some down time with the team just relishing in all that had been accomplished. Once they left we headed back to South Africa with Travis (Amber’s 15 year old nephew) to spend some time with my brother and his family from England (it had been 3 years since they had last visited). Travis flew home on August 10th and we were so proud of him and all that he accomplished while here. There are not many young men his age who would be willing to spend 2 months (his whole summer) working as he did. We look forward to seeing all that God has in store for him. Since then we have been busy spending time with family, sharing with churches and supporters here in South Africa about all the progress, running all around getting things necessary for the orphanage that we can’t get in Zambia, and trying to get a bit of R and R in between. We will be in South Africa only one more week before we pick up Jenny and head back to Zambia early morning Sep 6th.

We are thankful for God’s provision in Jennifer for she will be with us permanently as long as God calls her to be with us. She will be in charge of the orphanage school house/ tutoring center, starting an adult literacy program (so more people can access the community library), and doing weekly community Bible Studies which she started when she was with us previously. Of course she will also be responsible for from helping us with the all the daily “living” operations of the projects as well (ie. Fetching water, chopping firewood, etc). Please keep us in your prayers as we prepare to head back to Zambia and tackle all the work that lays ahead of us before the rainy season begins in November. Our goal is to have the orphanage house finished with kids in it, the library complete, land cleared and crops planted, and bricks laid above ground level for both our house and the school house. A lot to do but it is exciting to see so many things close to completion.

Please Pray For:
Our first born boy that he would be healthy and strong
For the officials that they would give the approvals to get the children in the house.
For Jennifer, the work that the Lord has called her to do, and her transition from the States to full time missions work in Africa.
For strength, energy, and perseverance for all the work that lies ahead in the next few months.
For local villagers to come alongside and help in all the various projects.

For more picture please go to: www.picasaweb.google.com\missionoflovezambia

You can contact us at: amberandjako@hotmail.com

God Bless
Jako, Amber and baby Jakob

Sunday, July 12, 2009

God's grace and provision

1 Johan 2:27-28:As for you, the anointing which you receive from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you: but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him.28 Now, little children, abide in Him so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming.”
Since our last update we have been busy, busy, busy. Time seems not to be waiting for anyone but it self but we do thank God that He is in control of time and not us. In the middle of May we had to go and harvest the maize field (that we have planted for food for the orphanage) and man was that some hard work. Praise God for the help of the local villagers and orphanage committee. In total we harvested 20 50kg bags from just half a hectare (same size as a football field). Last November when Amber and I were cleaning the field it was hard work because we removed every bush and tree stump with roots. The locals then laughed at us and said that we were wasting our time to do that but I said to them that if you want a good harvest you have to clean your fields. We took more maize of the half hectare then the local people take of three hectare (6 football fields). Some of them told me afterwards that they see now how important it is to clean the fields so we do pray that they will do that and they would also be blessed with good crops. We thank God for his blessing on our crop, for the food that he has raised up, and the knowledge He give us in the work He sets before us.

Nate worked hard in his last days as he helped me to finish the ceilings inside the orphanage house as well as the outside ones (that were a bit more of a challenge than we thought) but once again God gave us the knowledge to finish it with a smile. Nate did all the undercoats of the painting of the walls and painted the ceiling boards. He was also a very big help when it came to fixing the vehicles and doing maintenance on them. He left us on June 8th and as he left Travis, Amber’s 14 year old nephew flew in to visit and help us for two months. Nate thank you for all your hard work the three months you were with us and we pray that God would give you the direction that He wants for you.

When we got back to camp, Travis was quickly shown around and Jennifer took him under her wing with the work and teaching him all the do’s and don’ts of village life. With it being so different from the States he had a lot to catch up on and get used to quickly but under her leadership soon was a pro at all the daily duties that needed to be done like chopping fire wood, starting the fire, pumping water, filtering water and helping with whatever the work project was for the day.

Jennifer worked hard to finish all the window putty only to be given the task of painting. Jennifer and Travis worked long and hard to get all the painting of the house, kitchen, toilets and showers done and it all looks so good. Now we only have to paint the floors and then all the painting is done. God also sent us three friends from South Africa to help us for a week and in that time they were able to paint the outside ceiling overhang and trim so that the two new guys would only have the floors left to paint. Thank you Cindy, Budgie, and Carla for the laughter and energy that you brought and for all your hard work that week. I still have three solid wood doors to hang in the kitchen and bathroom and believe I will get to that soon to finish. Then it is just the plumbing and electrical work that needs to be completed before the building itself it 100% complete. Then comes the task of building the furniture before we can put kids in it but first things first.

The library is getting done slowly but surely in what little spare time we have. The walls have now been plastered and the floor is finished so all that is left to do is hang the door, put the glass in the windows, paint the walls and also put the shelves up so that the books can be added. We hope to finish soon but with so many projects going on at one time there is always something else that requires our attention. We definitely can not say that our days here are boring.

Also this past month we had to build a chicken coop earlier than I planned to because we lost 20 little chickens in one week (from various natural causes). This then became priority over the other projects so we went and bought the chicken wire and built it. Some of the locals came around to help and see what this crazy Makua (white man) had in mind and all of us worked hard on it to get it done as fast as we could. The chickens are safe and sound for now but the coup is still a work in progress as there is still a lot we want to do in it to finish it off. Travis enjoyed this project immensely and was a great help to both Fanuel and me with it. We had a lot of fun chasing the chickens and catching them to put them inside and Travis especially enjoyed running along side the dogs as they chased down the flighty chickens to catch them quickly.

I wish I could express the big blessing Jennifer was to us and the local people of Zambia. She worked so hard and did not once complain about anything. She did a weekly Bible study that she had to drive the old ’64 Landrover to. Some days there were more people than other days but she kept at it and the people really learned to love her and were very sad to see her go back to America. We are praying with the local people that God would bring her back to Zambia on a permanent basis to come and teach the orphanage children and the adults here that can not read or write. Please pray with us that God would direct her to where He wants to use her for the glory of His kingdom. Pray that God would raise her support so that she can make it out here. Also pray for funds for the school building that we want to build so that the children can get a good education to better themselves and the country of Zambia. She worked most of the time painting from early in the morning till late. She also did the children’s Bible study every Sunday at church and the children enjoyed it so much. She left on the 6th of July and on the 7th we picked up two young men from the States, Ethan and Mark who will be here with us for a month. Thank you Jennifer for all your hard work these past two months and for the love you have for God.

Now that Jennifer is not here Travis is working hard to show Ethan and Mark the ropes and lead by example with all that he learned. He has proved to be a good painter, chicken coup helper, and has even helped lay bricks for the team toilets. He pumps water (and can do all 15 20liter jugs by himself), chops wood and make the fire every night for us to have hot water to take warn showers. Just look at his blistered hands to see evidence of all his hard work. Being 14 years old (turning 15 this month) has it’s own challenges but he is doing good, is a hard worker, and we are very proud of him.

I had malaria about a week and half ago but am doing well now. Interestingly enough this happened at the time that our South Africa friends needed to be picked up in South Africa which meant that Amber was “forced” to do her first solo drive to Livingstone and back (a 4 ½ hour drive now). Thank God that she survived (and all with her) and that apart from finding another way home through the bush (meaning getting lost on the way back) God managed to get everyone back home safe and sound. Praise God that the medicine that we have worked for me as well for I am better now and everyday getting my strength back. Ethan and Mark, while only with us a few days now are already getting into the swing of things and being a big help. The guys are working hard and chopping allot of wood and pumping also a good amount of water.

On a very personal note is that we ask your prayers for funds for building us a brick house so that in the raining and winter seasons it would be easy on Amber for as of today the 11th of July she is 16 weeks pregnant.Thankfully she is now over the morning sickness phase (God obviously knew we would need all the help he has sent our way) and we are very thankful to God for blessing us with a little one after 6 years of praying for it. Please pray that God would look down on this little child of Him and bless it to be healthy and strong (and also to be a little girl if possible since I (Jako) don’t know if I can handle another little me running around). We go for our first ultrasound on August 11th in South Africa but have already gotten to hear the heartbeat which was very exciting and last night Amber even got to feel the baby move for the first time. By our calculations we are expecting the baby to be born sometime between Christmas and New Year but the ultrasound should confirm our due date as well. Right now our thoughts are to have the baby in South Africa but we are still researching, praying, and working out the details of all of that.

Our new goal for the orphanage house is to have children in there by middle end September to get all the approvals from the different departments. Please pray for this that God would give us favor and if there is something that we should learn that we would learn it quick. We are receiving a group of 14 friends from Virginia USA on the 24th and ask that you would pray for them. With Johan coming up from South Africa to help, we will be a group of 20. Please pray that God would guide and protect them, help us to get a lot of work done while here, and give them wisdom to glorify Him and His Kingdom on earth.

For more pictures please go to www.picasaweb.google.com/missionoflovezambia

If you want to contact us at amberandjako@hotmail.com

God ‘s Blessings on all of you and your families.

Jako and Amber Joubert
Mission of Love Community Orphanage

Sunday, May 17, 2009

God gave us reinforcements

2 Timothy 3:16, 17 –“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”

Yet another month and a half has gone so fast that I do not know what happened to it. It seems out here it is easy to loose track of time and days. Since our last update so much has happened.

1. We worked hard in this time to finish the roof of the orphanage kitchen.

2. Nate got all the burglar bars painted with the undercoat and the main paint.

3. Nate got all the doorframes painted.

4. Of the 15 doors that needed hanging we got 11 doors hung and that is not a easy task for the frames are so skew that it takes you a full day to hang 2 doors mainly because they do not come ready made so I have to cut the part where the locks fit in out and then use a wood chisel to work it. The doors also all have to be cut to size for most of them are solid wood except for the inside 6 doors in the house that are hollow so after cutting them you have to rebuild their support at the bottom and top.

5. We got all the doors that are fitted varnished and they are looking so good.

6. We also finished putting in the ceiling boards of the whole inside of the house and man are our shoulder and back muscles busted and full of knots with hammering above the heads the whole time. We had to work hard with the beams being all crooked by putting in shims in the strips that the ceiling boards get nailed to.

7. God provided local help to plaster the inside of the library. We went yesterday to go and get more sand out of the wet river to finish the screet on the floor of the library. The second load we got stuck badly in the mud and the Land Rovers winch did not work so had to drive the hour back to get the Hilux and went to winch the trailer out of the mud. (always excitement here ; )

8. We also had some local help that dug and started to build new toilets and bathrooms for the visiting people and teams.

9. We also installed most of the windows of the orphanage which is no easy task considering each of the main 10 windows has 6 panes which each need to be puttied in individually.

We have a new visitor with us that God has called to come and help us. Her name is Jenny Maass from Florida in the USA. She arrived here on the April 24 and we thank God for her help because she is a hard worker. She has put in almost all of the glass in the windows and the clay putty that needs to go in and we also get her to help holding the ceiling boards above her head. It is quite strenuous to the shoulders and back but she is a real trooper. She also helps Amber around the camp with cooking food for all of us and the workers that come and help from time to time. Another big project that she has taken on is teaching the New Tribes mission materials in two separate Bible Studies. This material uses chronological story telling to teach people about the Bible and since most of the church services here tend to be more evangelistic than discipleship oriented there is a real need for depth of knowledge and discipling. On Tuesdays she leads a women’s Bible Study on the orphanage cattle property and on Thursdays she hosts a mixed Bible Study here at camp. Having the studies on the orphanage land helps to impress the fact that everyone is welcome and not just those from a specific church or background. She also teaches the young children at the church on Sunday mornings so that they can get a better understanding of the Bible. The people really love her and have taken to her so we are praying that God would send her here on a permanent basis to come and be a teacher for the children in the orphanage. They are going to need it so badly to get a good education.

Nate continues to be a huge blessing here to us and I (Jako) couldn’t have gotten as much done around here as we have without him. It is nice to have someone around with the knowledge to work on vehicles (something always needs fixing around here) and who has the skills to help direct the locals with projects as well. He has definitely settled into the daily routine around here pumping most of the water everyday, chopping firewood, and working hard. He is always busy and never sits down. He has made friends with the local soccer team and often plays in their weekend games with them. Everyone around here knows his name and the young men especially really connect with him. Apart from the physical labor which he planned to do while here he has also stretched his comfort zone a bit and one week even lead the Bible Study for me at Church when I had to take a local to the hospital for a medical emergency (a young boy who broke his femur – did I say never a dull moment?). He did a great job and what a blessing he has been. It would have been nice if he could have stayed forever but we since his story is still being written in terms of where and what God is calling him to do we, are praying and waiting with eagerness to see all that God will do. It will be sad to see him go on June 8th (only 3 weeks left and counting, sniff, sniff) but at least we will have the consolation that Amber’s 14 year old nephew will be arriving that same day to stay with us here and help us for the next 2 months. He won’t be the same as Nate but will definitely bring his own uniqueness and blessing to us as well.

Our work for welding program continues to be put to good use as almost every day we have people here asking for welding for their bicycles, ox-carts, and other items so God has been faithful to continue to provide additional local help around here as needed. The orchard sure is enjoying being watered so much! The local soccer team has also agreed to help a few days so when they show up we have quite a crew of able bodied hands and bodies. We have also had locals coming almost daily for medicine so it has been neat to see all the different people that God is bringing to our doors. The medicine that we receive for free we give away for free, but those we have to buy from town, we sell for the same price we buy it which works out good for the locals since they don’t have to pay the transport fee and take a day out of their schedule to go to town to buy. Right now is the season of eye infections. I think we have provided about 20 tubes of eye medicine to the locals in the past weeks. It is nice to be able to help them out in this way.

Now you might be saying, what about Amber? We haven’t heard you mention her yet? Well she has been busy with the task of keeping the home fires burning for which we are so thankful. Between cooking, doing dishes, keeping the facilities clean, doing laundry, finances, e-mails and correspondence. She is what frees us up to get done all the work that we are doing at the orphanage around here. Without her hard work behind the scenes, who knows what we would do. She also helps us host all the wonderful friends and visitors we have had lately. She is really a woman of Proverbs 31: 10-31. Please go and read it for your selves.

One notable family that we had the privilege of hosting lately was Chris and Amy Barnes along with their kids Sam, Holly, and Mary Ellen. They are Americans living in Lusaka and while they not only blessed us with their presence for a few days, they also brought along 19 boxes of books that had been donated to us for the community Library! Much thanks to Church in Virginia (where Chris and Amy are members) and a church in Florida for their efforts in acquiring and donating these books for the ministry. God willing by the time the next update is written the Library might be finished and ready for use! Right now the books have made a nice home in Jenny’s extra large tent :)

Please pray for us as we continue with the projects at hand here with the goal to finish the orphanage and have kids in it by sometime late June or early July, for continued favor with the community, and for God’s name to be glorified and made known through us.

For more pictures please go to www.picasaweb.google.com/missionoflovezambia

For more news to read please go to Jenny’s blog site www.jennymaass.blogspot.com . Her most recent entry gives a great description of what an average day in the bush looks like for us here in Mukamba.

Don’t forget that you can also contact us at amberandjako@hotmail.com
Thank you and God bless you
Jako and Amber Joubert
Mission of Love Community Orphanage

Friday, March 27, 2009

Back in Africa

2 Timothy 2:1-2. "You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithfull men who will be able to teach others also."

On the road again….

After spending almost 7 weeks in the States, we are now back safe and sound in Africa. As sad as it was leaving our friends, families, and supporters behind it is good to get back in our “home”land and on African soil once again.
Our time in America was wonderful and God blessed in so many ways. Our time there saw us between three different States (Tennessee, Virginia, and Florida) and in a variety of climates (from 8 F/ to 70+ F/)(-12 to +24 degrees Celsius). We were able to speak and share in 4 different churches , 3 different home groups, one Adult Bible study group, a deacoms meeting and two children Sunday school classes. A ministry booth display allowed us to meet many more people and share with them the work that God is doing in Mukamba, Zambia. Thank you Exciting Idlewild Baptist Church, Lutz Florida, First Baptist Church of Woodbridge, Va, Parkwood Baptist in Alexandria, Va, and Exciting Central Baptist in Tampa Florida for allowing us to share and spend time with you and for your support over the years.

We reconnected with friends, loyal supporters, and former team members from the past 6 years and it really hit us how much things have changed since they had last visited. Many of the earlier team members came when there wasn’t even one permanent structure on our property (only 3 ½ years ago) and now it seems there is a whole compound! We were also blessed to make new friends, spend time with new team members that will be coming to visit us in July, and meet new ministry supporters. Oh how we covet the prayers and support that go out on behalf of the ministry. If we have not said it enough before, THANK YOU, for all that you do.

Apart from getting fed spiritually from the churches and worship there, God also blessed us with much cherished time with Amber’s family. A week away with them in the snowy mountains of Tennessee was just what needed. Not only was the family time great, especially being with the nephews and niece (as they grow up so fast), but getting to ski with them was an added bonus. We miss not being able to share in the day to day happenings in their life and just to be able to reconnect again was truly special. Thank you for the prayers for Amber’s mom and her health. Please keep the prayers coming as it is difficult road that she is on but God continues to give her strength for each new day and right now she is healthy enough to do just about anything she wants to do. God has truly been good.

All in all we return from the States spiritually, emotionally, and physically refreshed with a new energy and excitement to get back to the work God has for us in Mukamba. We arrived back in South Africa with enough time to spend a few days with my mom (Jako’s) and pick up a young man Nate from the airport. He is a young 21 year old man from the States eager to volunteer the next 2 ½ months of his time and efforts for the Lord. He should be a huge help in the efforts to complete the orphanage and getting it ready to house kids.

The drive from South Africa to Zambia was relatively smooth and uneventful (although I wish we could say that for the roads- boy had the rain made them bad) and except for a busted universal joint about 60 kilometers (40 miles) from Livingstone we and the vehicle arrived safe and sound on March 13th. We were sad to discover however that the night BEFORE we got there someone broke into/slashed through our tent and stole some of our electrical equipment, our phone and internet communications unit as well as our duvet and bed sheet. It seems our motion sensor alarm was out of batteries and did not go off and because it had been raining that night, neither our security guard or the dogs heard anything. There were over 10 burnt matches lying on the ground that they used to see with and minor burns on the carpet so we are VERY thankful that the whole tent didn't catch alight. We are also VERY thankful that that was all they took. They obviously knew what they were going for becuase they left a cell phone, a computer packed away in it's bags, all the books, DVD, and other items so we are really thankful it wasn't worse. Although our hearts are a bit sore at the thought that it was somebody we knew (as they knew what they were going for) God showed once again his ability to protect all that is His. Except for the communications system most of the things they took was “niceties” instead of necessities.

It did however slow things down for us as bit as we had to sew up the tent, alert the local headmen and village authorities, file a police report, and then go about trying to get another communications system which took many trips to town and about 1 ½ weeks to go. We are now glad to say though that we are up and running once again and VERY thankful for it.

Apart from that everything else in the village looked great! Praise God there seems to have been good rain, roads are nice and muddy and fun to drive but the crops are looking good. Cattle, goats, orphanage house and orchard all are looking good and everyone from the area seems to be healthy so thank you for your prayers for that.
In the past two weeks since we’ve been here we’ve been able to get the Land Rover running again, complete the roof for the orphanage bathroom and start on the roof for the kitchen, install the front and back door and weld discreet looking burglar bars onto the windows. Next week when the roads have dried up a bit more we hope to work on the ceiling and fascia boards. We’ve definitely felt the transition of working hard all day so please continue to pray that God will give us all the strength we need for each day’s tasks, grace and love towards each other and the community, and favor with getting our work permits renewed and learning the local language. Thanks for your prayers to date and to God be the Glory.

For more pictures please go to www.picasaweb.google.com/missionoflovezambia

Thank you and God bless

Jako and Amber Joubert

Mission of Love Community Orphanage