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