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)

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