Our Vision

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

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Winter Help and Blessings

Nate and Melanie

After the team left on May 25th, it was just us, Nate and Melanie again. (Well and many short term guests that happened our way : )   During this time Nate was instrumental in helping Jako build a generator room, build and plaster a septic tank, assemble furniture, fix broken vehicles, do plumbing, construction and various other odd jobs around our house and the orphanage.  On top of that he also helped Melanie teach English and Bible Stories to the children and aided us in hosting theNate Charles many visitors we had this year.  Never one to just sit and do nothing, Nate was often found doing whatever needed doing without even being asked – whether that consisted of chopping firewood, starting a campfire, working on miscellaneous work projects,or even pitching in with dinner or dishes.   He  and Charles built a good relationship working together every day and it was neat to see the relationships that he had developed last year with the villagers flourish this year.  To see the smiles on the faces of locals like Francis and Obie when they ran up to give him hugs spoke volumes.  On a personal note it was great to see how much Nate had grown and matured in the past year as evidenced in the way that he was able to witness and talk to the locals in a bold and confident yet friendly and non-threatening kind of way.  What a blessing he was and we look forward to see all that God has in store for this young man.

Melanie, on the other hand, having never been to Africa before, jumped right in like she was a pro.  From the first few days she helped wherever she could and went to great efforts to learn how to do anything that might need doing whether that might mean washingMelanie dishes, stoking the donkey, helping with laundry, chopping firewood, pumping water, starting a fire, entertaining Jakob, or any of the other various things that often needed doing just to live out here.  And on top of all that she willingly took on the huge task of teaching the kids at the orphanage Bible stories as well as English.  And all this without a set curriculum.  Trying to pick up from where Jenny left off she had to had to develop her own plans and directions and she did great!  Talk about being thrown into the fire!  The kids however loved her and progressed amazingly under her direction and guidance.   She always made her time with them fun but instructional as well and now every time we hear the children with their much improved English we smile as we think of her.

She also helped organize the library, worked in the orchard, sorted through donations for the orphanage and tackled the task of leading weekly children’s church at the local village church so not only did the orphanage kids come to love her but most of the village kids as well.  Her biggest help however came when we got our first little newborn into the orphanage.  Baby Genesis.

Genesis

June 21st was a memorable day for us here at Mission of Love.  One that we will not forget for a long time.  That was the day that Genesis Matalikilo, our newest little addition, arrived on our doorsteps. With the mom being severely mentally ill and an unknown father, we had been IMG_1389 preparing for her eventual arrival for the past few months but did not expect it to be this early.  Being born on June 17th, she was born approximately 5 – 6 weeks early  and by the time that she was brought to us at 4 days of age the only nutrition that she had had since she was born was a bit of ground peanuts that the family had tried to feed her.  When we saw her she was soo tiny and looked so frail.  From the best we could tell she weighed in at about 4 lbs. and was nothing but skin and bones.  Thanks to a friend, Dr. Christa in Kalomo who gave us advise on how to care for such a premature baby without an NICU unit.  We did what we could, prayed that she would make it, and rejoiced when she drank her first few sips from a bottle.  With Amber still busy caring for Jakob (6 months old at the time) Melanie was instrumental in helping with the feedings (hourly at the beginning- then down to 2/3 hours even at night) and doing skin to skin contact to keep her body temperature up during our winter.  Mom was thought to have syphilis so I (Jako) had to give her penicillin injections for 10 days and considering she was nothing but skin and bones, it was not an easy job – especially for my heart.  At first she was so tiny she couldn’t even cry – just let out a little whimper when I stuck her but by the end of the course it was nice to hear how her lungs had developed by the loud cries that filled the room.

Later we found out that the mom was HIV positive and about 2 weeks after delivering little Genesis mother passed away.   I believe that God in His goodness knew exactly how long she needed to be inside her mom and when she needed to be out; hence the name Genesis – God knowing her, caring for her, and providing her from the beginning.  He even lead Amber to pump and store some of her own breast milk for her arrival and a provided a donation of baby girl clothes to show up not long before she arrived.  God definitely knew what we (and she) needed in advance, long before we ever did and His faithfulness and provision never ceases to amaze us. 
 
Erin
On June 29th – we had the added blessing of adding another member to our team for a month and a half.  Erin Costello, a young college student from Florida, proved to be a trooper and a definite added blessing to us and the ministry.  Arriving only a week or so aErinfter we received little Genesis, Melanie taught her the ropes of what needed to be done and she quickly stepped up to the plate, doing whatever was necessary and giving Melanie a bit of respite pitching in with the night feedings and giving her time to plan and teach the kids during the day.  Erin was a joy to have around and especially loved spending time with the housemothers, speaking into their lives, encouraging them, and playing with and teaching the children.  After Nate and Melanie left she was able to keep the teaching going for a while and help keep the progress going of the library as well.  She was a great at doing any of the odd and end jobs that needed doing, helping direct and lead things when the FBC team was here, and even blessed us by watching Jakob at times so that Amber could tend to other ministry needs.  
 
But I think the biggest help that Melanie and Erin gave was in carRachel Genesising for baby Genesis.Due to her small size and constant tending to we kept Genesis here at our house for the first two weeks and then slowly began transitioning her to the Orphanage house bit by bit.  Although the house mothers were good with children, Rachel (who we decided would care for Genesis) had never had a child of her own before and none of the mothers there were experienced with bottle feeding, formula feeding, or the needs of such a premature baby.  Melanie and Erin were great at supervising feeding after feeding, teaching them how to interpret her cries, how to tell when she was full, how to burp her and bathe her, and just making sure that they were comfortable with her and knowledgeable about how to care for her.   They were also great at sorting through the baby donations to make sure that they had all they needed for her.  So thank you Melanie and Erin – this precious little baby is doing well because of your watch care, love and sleepless nights.
 
Other Winter Visitors (May – August)
Apart from the three wonderful longer term volunteers that God blessed us with this year, we were also blessed by many other visitors.
Early May we were unexpectedly blessed to have an expedition team from Overland Mission literally show up in our driveway.  While they were originally planning on doing ministry in another part of the chieftainship, God had other plans for this team to do some ministering, village to village evangelism and teaching to the orphanage children.  In fact, the day that they arrived Amber had heard from the house mothers that the children were refusing to sleep in their bed at night afraid of some spirit or ghost that the kids had been seeing (a lady dressed in white).  Instead they were all sleeping huddled together in fear in the main room.  After explaining the situation to the visiting team they went up to the house to tell the children an encouraging Bible story about the power of God and pray for them.  After they did, the kids have been sleeping in their own room without fear ever since : )
Ouma JakobIn June Jako’s mom visited for a week and apart from getting to spend some much needed time with Jakob, she also got to see firsthand all the progress that has been made here since her last visit a few years ago – before there were kids in the orphanage and when we were still living in a tent.  She is always such a trooper, even when roughing it in the bush and we and Jakob loved having her around.
June also saw us receive a team from  Dutch Reformed Church of Wonderpark , South Africa for a few days.  While their original intent was only to spend a day or so with us God intervened (once again) to extend their stay a bit longer allowing them to help us with shoveling manure from our goat and cattle pen to use for the orchard.  It was especially nice for me to be able to have some people from my home culture to speak Afrikaans with, braai with, and just fellowship with. 
Fellow missionary friends of ours, Rob and Christa Murphy not only came out to visit and do some First Aide training for our house mothers in June but also lent us some of their summer/African winter Interns.  Gretchen and Sharon came out to lend a hand in June and then Gretchen returned with Tori, Shannon, Katrina, and Kat for a week in July.   Tori also made a repeat appearance in August.
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Last but not least, Griet and Braam LeRoux made a visit  out to us in Mid August so that Griet could begin to teach our housemothers how to sew.  Griet is a wonderful seamstress and teacher and we were impressed to see all that the housemothers could make after only two days of teaching. A shirt, bag, and Bible cover!  Our hope is that the mothers can eventually make the children’s school uniforms and teach the children a trade as well.  Tailoring is Zambia is a skill that is highly prized for both men and women alike.
Thanks to all our winter helpers, both long and short term but thanks be to God the most, for providing the means to make all of it happen.  May God bless all of you for the efforts here.  Thanks for making a difference in this part of the world.
P.S.  If anybody is wondering there is still TONS of things that need doing, help, or maintenance around here so if God is calling you to come and serve, just drop us a line so we can be in communication : )
Thank you for your support and love.
God’s blessings
 
Jako, Amber and Jakob Joubert
Mission of Love Community Orphanage
Zambia

First Baptist Church Woodbridge, VA

1 Thessalonians 1:3- “constantly bearing in mind your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the presence of our God and Father”

The team of 12 people arrived in Zambia on July 23rd, full of energy and ready to get to work (and boy did they work!). If you include our home base team of me, Amber, Nate, Melanie and Erin that put us 17 1/2 total (Jakob being the 1/2 of course).  After picking them up from Livingstone airport, we arrived back at Mukamba earlier than we ever have before.  This time the team was spoiled because all the women got to sleep in the guest room and Jakob’s room (in our new house) and the men moved in to our old permanent tent and only had to put up their sleeping cots.  Only those on past trips can truly appreciate the luxury of that compared to having to set up tents in the middle of the cold night after several days long days of international travel.

The next day was a Saturday and the team sorted out and organized all the reading glasses, donations, and other items that they brought with them.  They also took the opportunity to practice and refine their eye clinic skills by testing the vision of all the orphans, house mothers and some of the other local people around our home. The rest of the day was spent getting acquainted/reacquainted with camp life and doing the every day duties of living out here - pumping water, getting fire wood, cutting fire wood, cooking food and many other little jobs around the house.  They also took the opportunity to pick up all the bricks and other things laying around our home up and it looks so much better.

eye ministry teamchurch goodbye 2 Sunday was a great day at the local church with singing, teaching, and preaching.  It was a time of reconnecting for “old” (previous) team members and the new ones got into the swing of the church quick and had a great time fellowshipping with the local people. The afternoon was more relaxed (apart from the every day camp tasks) trying to let the team catch up from all their travel and jet lag and get well rested for the hard work ahead.

Monday (and all the days that followed) we were up bright and early, eating our breakfast and then off to where we needed to be.  This year the team had two main focuses.  One being the mobile eye clinic and the other to help clear land at the crop field.  Every day the team was split into two groups so that one would be working clearing land and the other one doing the eye ministry.  Usually the next day they would switch which worked very well giving everyone a different task everyday.

For the eye clinic the plan was to do 6 days of ministry; sharing the good news of Jesus withIMG_5095 the people and testing their vision. We identified and notified three locations in advance (as much as you can do that out here) so that we could have two days at each place.   Being the first time we have attempted this type of ministry out here, we definitely learned a lot by trial and error, especially about how to advertise and plan events like this out in the bush.  The eye ministry proved to be very rewardingSteve praying to both the team and the local villagers.  Everyone involved seemed to love it in a sense that it helped someone to see again physically and then they were given the opportunity for their eyes to be opened spiritually with the good news of Jesus Christ that was shared with them. The team tested those that came for either near vision/reading glasses or distance glasses.  Unfortunately the team could only give out one pair of glasses per person so those that had a problem with both had to choose which one they wanted.  Lots of villagers showed up and almost everyone was able to be helped with either glasses, eye medicine, or advice.   Those that had more serious or complicated problems were referred to the eye clinic in Zimba (a 3 hour drive away) where doctors were currently visiting for a week.  I truly believe that everyone that came for the testing was sent by God.  Now our prayer is that the seeds that were planted would grow and that those who made a commitment would become so strong in their faith that those around them would notice a difference.100_1507

The other big task was clearing tree stumps from the field at the crop farm so that we can plant this year with a better yield.  Clearing trees out here in Zamia is not a easy task.  Instead of just hooking a tractor to a tree or treetree felling 4 stump and pulling it out, it takes blood, sweat and many hours of physically digging the tree out.  It’s main roots run straight down.  Almost like an octopus spreading everywhere and then diving it’s arms as as far down as possible.  Only after lots of effort to cut each of it’s huge roots could we attempt to pull it out with the tractor or the truck praying it would come down fast.  Thanks to all of the team members for their hard work for it saved me months of digging on my own. We worked everyday to about 14:00 in the afternoon and then drove the 45- 1 hour drive back to go and have lunch.

After that the work around the house started from cutting wood, water pumping, getting the donkey going for showers,( if you do not IMG_0093know what a donkey is-come to find out and it is not a animal). They also mixed concrete for the footer for Charles (our foreman/security guard) new house that we are building for him. Steve took an old plough implement arm and build it in to a ripper attachment that i can use behind the tractor to break up the roots in the field.  Some of the people also had time to fellowship with Pastor Petrus at his home helping him to get the sunflower off the husk.  Now that was dusty work. 

Later in the afternoons after taking bush showers the team headed up to the orphanage to meet the kids as they arrived back from school.  They helped the house moms cook food, played with the kids, and taught them bible stories.  Most of the evenings we all ate together with kids and house mothers having a traditional Tonga meal with them at the home.

The team workedFBC with kids hard in all they did and made sure that they found stuff to do even in the little bit of down time that they did have, whether it be playing with and loving on the kids, helping to give the goats and cattle injections, loving on Jakob, worshiping around the campfire, engaging with the locals and the women even gave Amber a special blessing by helping to clean the house!  The last Sunday here was spent worshiping at the local church again reflecting on the goodness of God and what He was busy teaching all of us.  After a few days in Livingstone to recuperate and see some of God’s great creation it was time to say goodbye to not only the team but to Nate and Melanie as well.  After being with us a full three months it was like saying goodbye to family and we pray that God will bring them back to us again sometime soon.

All in all we had a blessed time and once again saw how God is moving in the area to enlarge His Kingdom.  We are honored to be part of what God is doing in this area and know that He has placed us here because He is wanting to call these people to him.  Thank you First Baptist Woodbrige for being faithful and for doing the things of God for His people in Zambia and also other places in the world.

 

Serving God and His people

Jako, Amber and Jakob John Joubert

Mission of Love Community Orphanage

Zambia

amberandjako@hotmail.com

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Visitors from May

John 13:34,35 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. [35] By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

We received visitors from all over the US that love us here in Zambia and that really lived the word of God out this winter (their summer). The first people to arrive were Nate Sweerin and Melanie Richter who got here on the 14th of May. Some of you may remember that Nate was here with us last year for 3 months and this year he felt called to come for another 3 months.  Melanie is his girlfriend.  While we were a little apprehensive about letting a dating couple come for that long, because of our respect and trust for Nate we were willing to take that chance.  But more about them late

The same day, Amber’s sister in law, JoAnn Enget, and two of her nephews (Caleb and Seth age 10 and 9) arrived to have a day of fellowship before they joined the team of 9 from Idlewild Baptist church in Tampa, Florida that was coming the next day (May 15th).  This team was lead by Amber’s brother, Joshua Finklea and consisted mostly young adults (20’s and 30’s) eager to come assist us in any way that was needed.  Little did they know that that they would get to experience a bit of our life (and difficulties) here in Zambia right off the bat.

About 45 minutes down the road to our home, the bed of our Toyota Hilux snapped in half. All I heard was a loud noise and anyone looking at the vehicle would have thought it was a tipper truck dumping it’s load of team luggage.  Obviously we were stranded. Praise God that Mike Jones, a missionary to Zambia for the past 16 years, was driving some of the team in his 15 seater minivan. Even though it was late he called his wife and made quick dash to get his 3 ton truck from home (1 1/2 hours away) to help us out.  The girls and the two boys were housed nice and warm a the Jones house while the men stood vigil by the broken truck, helped load it onto Mike’s flatbed, and rode in the back to Kalomo in the cold.  From there we met up with the rest of the team and started the dirt road part of the trip.  All in all a drive that was supposed to take only 4 hours took us over 12 hours, putting us home and asleep only after 3 am that morning.  Just a few hours later, all of us still dirty from the previous day’s fun, got dressed and went to church to enjoy a nice long 3 + hour church service fellowshipping with the locals.   

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The team was busy and worked hard from the time that they arrived but seemed to be having fun as well.  There were smiles and laughs all around as they spent two days at the local community school acting out Bible stories and playing with the kids.  It was especially hilarious to see Amber’s little nephew Seth play David and slay the giant Goliath!  One day they did the hard work of digging stones for our houses septic tank drain field.  That is a tough job for anyone even if they are used to doing it but the team joyfully pressed on with it the whole day.  Another day the girls put their frills and loaded cattle manure from the cattle farm for the orchard.  While they were busy “in the poo” the men got dirty in their own way helping to get this set up for building a new cattle pen for the other one is old and falling apart.  After loading up the poles (tree stumps) that Obie had cut throughout the bush they finally got to start putting it together.  It took us 3 days to complete and now but us, and the cattle are happy (well maybe not the cattle) because now they can’t get out and destroy whole fields of corn. Back at home, everyone was digging ditches around the fruit trees and then filling it in with cattle manure for fertilizer. 

Every afternoon the team taught Bible stories to the children at the orphanage and played with them.  They even got the opportunity to eat almost all our dinners there with them.  I don’t think quite everyone enjoyed the traditional Tonga meal every night (especially the Kapentas – whole dried small fish cooked in a bit of tomatoes and oil) but it gave them exposure to the local village way of life and they did enjoy getting a chance to fellowship and eat with them in that way.  The ladies even got to help the house mothers prepare the meals and some even tried their hand at the art of stirring Nshima. 

Unfortunately it was also a hard week emotionally in the village.  When we arrived we learned that Charles grandson (7 months old) had just passed away.  Charles is our local home security guard/worker.  This grandson was the only child of his son and both parents were not believers.  We grieved with Charles over the loss and Buff, the young singles pastor of the group was actually invited to go and preach at the funeral.  What he said touched the parents heart and we pray that the seeds that were planted will take root and grow.  Later on in the week, Buff and I were going to town for supplies and we ran across Francis (another local) who asked if we could take him and his wife, Florida, to the hospital  (2 hours away in town).  She was very pregnant (after having suffered a miscarriage the previous pregnancy) but not doing good health wise.  After a phone call home the whole team was praying for them only to find out that the baby had died a week earlier in utero.  After being transferred to another hospital the doctors said that if she had gotten there even a few hours later Florida would have been dead from infection.  While we were sorrowed by the loss of this baby and for the family who so desperately wanted it, we saw God’s hand at work in preserving Florida’s life.  A few days later when Florida was out of the woods, Francis came to visit us and the team and told us how he was suffering because of the situation and not being able to harvest his corn.  Animals were busy eating it and he was facing loosing all his crops.  When the team heard, they all jumped in the tractor trailer and ate a lot of dust to go help.  One day’s harvest was not enough but the show of love and support to Francis brought tears to his eyes and we were able to hire 3 men for a week to finish the rest of the work that we couldn’t do.  To date Florida is doing much better but please pray for them because the emotional wounds will take much longer to heal than the physical ones.

 

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Apart from all the hard labor on the various work projects, the team worked hard at home as well with cooking duty, dishes, pumping water, chopping fire wood, starting camp and cook fires, stoking the donkey (you have to come here to know what that means : )  and all the duties that come along with camp life.  Nate, having been here before, was a big help in showing everyone what to do and Melanie took no time getting into the swing of things.  Even Caleb and Seth, the little brothers of the whole team got in on all the action from shoveling cattle poo, to starting fires and playing with the kids and even to slaughtering the goat (for food).  The team also showered their love on Jakob relentlessly and he loved being in someone’s arms and the center of attention the whole time.

We must say that the team from Idlewild were a real blessing and they were  good helpers of the project.  They got a lot done that Amber and me do not need to do now so thank you everyone.  It was real nice to meet you all.  Thank you for the work that you did and Josh thanks for doing a good job leading it. 

Thank you everyone we love you and know that we feel all the prayers.

Jako, Amber and Jakob John Joubert

Mission of Love Community Orphanage Zambia

amberandjako@hotmail.com

Our visit to America and back home in Zambia

1 Peter 1:13 “Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

 

We want to apologize that it has been so long for us to write these updates.  Please forgive us as I do not have any excuse but to say that in the midst of all the work that has been going on around here, I have been lazy to make time to write them. We left for America at the end of February 2010 and were only there for two weeks. The drive out of the village was hard for it had been raining nonstop for an entire day and the rivers were filling up fast. We managed  to get to the paved road after having to put lots of the vehicle underwater to get through the river that was in flood, but thanks to our Father for having compassion on us and letting up pass with out any damages (to us or the vehicle). We made it save to Livingstone where also some of the rivers were so high that some of the Lodges had to be evacuated to safety. We had to go to one of them to make sure that our booking for the teams that were arriving later in the year would be booked and have space for us. While there they were evacuating all the goods out of their chalets and the restaurant that was next to the river was halfway under water.  Even at reception my feet were getting wet.  We made it out just in time to make our flight.  

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Our time in the States was a wonderful whirlwind jam packed between ministry and family time. We had the blessing of participating in Idlewild Baptist Church’s 2010 Global Impact Conference sharing in three Sunday School/Bible Fellowship classes, three homes groups, setting up a display table and meet with the team that was coming over . Being involved in the missions conference activities, luncheons, sermons, and being around other missionaries seemed to revive our spirit and God’s heart. Every one delighted in getting to see Jakob and Jakob enjoyed his first visit to the States being showered with love and attention from everybody.

Thanks for your prayers for Amber’s mom, she is currently enrolled in a new trial where she gets chemo via IV and pills every two weeks. It was great getting to spend time with her and seeing her recovery after the incidents with her seizures. Praise God that she is now stabilized and going on about her usual activities. The new treatment however seems to come with more side effects than the previous with her having one sick week followed by a week of feeling better before the next course starts again.  God continues to give her strength and energy for each new day however and we are currently keeping up with her via skype and phone calls.  For those interested in more info about her visit www.caringbridge.org/visit/jillfinklea

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Jenny also decided to go back home to the US to spend some time with her dad as he turned 90 years old. We were blessed to meet her dad and the rest of her family and spend a afternoon with them.  We felt so loved and at home there. She was also part of the mission conference and played a big role in that to get Mission Of Love more exposure of what God is doing in Zambia. It was sad to leave America with out her and also to say goodbye to our family and friends, especially with this visit being the shortest yet.    

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Being back in Mukamba with only Amber, Jakob and me was hard with all the things that needed doing, especially with Jakob taking up a lot of our time.   He is such a big blessing though and is loved by so many of the locals here.  I think they were more happy to see him back than us : )  April kept us busy getting some more things done in our home and around the house and keeping up with the local Bible studies at church on Sundays.  Our generator (which we depend on quite a bit in the evenings and for big power uses) broke but God made a way for us to get a new one that is bigger and stronger.  It took some time to put together however because it uses a 55 gallon (210 L) metal drum filled with water to cool it. We were also blessed with a small 25 horse power tractor for the fields.  It was fun to test it out and not be in pain like with the two wheel tractor that use to roll every time I hit a tree root.  I started to clear land for a garden for the orphanage which is growing very good on this stage. I also plowed some land at the crop farm with it and must say that for the size that it is, it is doing very good and also very light on diesel. We were also blessed with the funds for the harrow and the three row seed planter so we believe that this year and next we are going to do good with the farming .  God willing we hope to produce food to hand out to orphans and widows living in the area. We also had allot of village patients coming to us for medical assistance.  Anything from from giving stitches to burn wounds that we had to attend to and then we are not even speaking of all the over the counter medicine that we distributed.

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On a sad note, Jennifer’s father passed away  May14. God was gracious to allow her a few months with her father and family before his homecoming. After much thought and prayer, Jenny feels that God is leading her to spend much time in the States to support her mother and be with her family during this season of her life. We miss her but we look forward to seeing all that God has in store for her as she continues to seek God’s will and direction for her life.

On a practical note Jenny’s absence left a void not only in our hearts but in the ministry. When the villagers heard the news they expressed their deepest sympathy but also questioned whether or not the programs she started would continue because she made a big impact in their lives with teaching and being their friend. God in His sovereignty had a plan to fill in the gaps that were left of Jenny’s hard work. By the end of May, Nate and Melanie were flying over from the States about the same time as the Idlewild team. Please go and read Jenny’s story on her blog at www.jennymaass.blogspot.com and see and feel it from her perspective. 

Well that bring us up to the middle of May… more to be continued in the next post…..

With much love and appreciation for your support and prayers.

Serving our Lord and Savior Jesus

Jako, Amber and Jakob John Joubert

Mission of Love Community Orphanage

amberandjako@hotmail.com

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

God has enlarged our family

I Chronicles 4:10

“Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my border, and that your hand might be with me, and that you would keep me from harm…and God granted what he asked.”

In the past few months, God has enlarged our family from me(Jako), Amber, Jenny and baby Jakob to 8 children, two fulltime house mothers and also two part time mothers. Yes the day has finally come that we have CHILDREN in the ORPHANAGE!!!!  But before we get to that let me give you an update on the rest of us….

We were not sure when we will be leaving South Africa to go back home to Zambia with all the paperwork that needed to be done for Jakob John (he needed both his South African passport and an American passport). God was faithful and we received temporary passports and left SA on January 12 2010. It was not too hard with Jakob for he sleeps every time the vehicle moves and the drive was easier than what we expected. Not only did he experience his first border crossing, elephant sighting, and first time being stranded in the hot sun during a roadside vehicle maintenance stop, he also did his first camping night in Botswana.

Jill arrived on the 11th of December 2009 a day after Jakob was born. Jakob came two weeks early so despite her best efforts to see Amber pregnant God (and Jakob) had other plans. She spend the first month with us at my mother in South Africa and then the second month she came with us to Zambia.  She helped us a lot around the camp and especially Amber as she adapted to being a new mom and our changing live styles in Zambia. She helped with cooking, washing, tending to Jakob, camp maintenance, and even helped with painting our new house. There were many more things that she helped us with that we are very thankful for and we cherished the special memories that were made.  After getting to share in the first two months of little Jakob’s life Jill returned back to the States on the 10th of February 2010. (A few weeks later she was hospitalized with seizures related to her brain tumor but she appears to be doing better now.  For more information on her health visit www.caringbridge.org/visit/jillfinklea  Thanks to all of those who have remembered her in your prayers).

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Amber is the best mom ever, facing challenges of being a bush mom every day, carrying on with her roles as Orphanage Director and wife, and keeping the camp up and running as well. She was changing diapers on the side of the road while I was changing tires.

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Jakob’s first months in the bush have been full of bush riding (vehicle, quad, and off road stroller), breastfeeding, cloth diapers, night bathing, bottle feeding from daddy on Valentine’s Day, immunizations at Kauwe Clinic here in the bush, fever from the immunization and a cold, and tons of locals coming to see the white baby (I think that make him a better missionary than us!). With all our traveling we counted that Jakob had slept in 10 different places in the first 8 weeks of his life!  At least he is now moved into our “new” house after living in the tent for one month so that he can also say that he lived in a tent with his parents. But more about the house later as well…..  We did have to make a necessary trip (actually two) to Lusaka, the capital of Zambia, for Jakob’s immigration paperwork but praise God we now have all of his permanent paperwork sorted out.  He is an official South African citizen, U.S. citizen, and has been added onto Amber’s Zambian work permit.  Thanks to the Barnes family for so graciously hosting us while we were there.  Unfortunately as we were getting ready to leave, I had to repair the right back wheel bearing first before we could go back home.  Thankfully God helped with getting all the parts and after 1 1/2 more days of working on it we were back on the road.  Thanks again to the Barne’s for letting me use their vehicle to go everywhere to get the old bearing pressed out and the new one pressed back and praise God that this happened while we were in the city and not in the middle of the bush.

As for me – the past few months have found me busy getting the orphanage house ready for kids and house moms, getting our house ready for us to move into, playing catch up on maintenance from the month we were in in south Africa, fixing generators and vehicles, chopping wood, running back and forth to town for supplies, leading Sunday Bible studies, bathing,diapering, and playing with Jakob and just working hard on all the projects that needed attention. 

Jenny has been hard at work both physical and spiritually somehow finding time to put in all the window glass in the house and painting between all her teaching responsibilities which are greatly increasing.  Now besides the community Bible studies that she leads on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s and the children’s Sunday school she has also started to give English lessons to some of locals. Plus, now that there are orphans in the house she has been busy spending time with them, trying to assess their educational status.  It is not easy trying to start so many things from scratch but she has been doing a great job in her role as “teacher” here by us also while being a great help with the physical part of everything.  Amber appreciates her extra hand with Jakob and in the kitchen and Jenny is really turning out to be a good cook.  She was actually the first person (along with Amber’s mom) to move into our house and finally get out of the small tent that she had been living in for so long.  They stayed in it the first month while Amber and I were in our tent till the 14th of February and then moved in to the house.  I know that Jenny is looking forward to moving into the big permanent tent as soon as her bed is finished so that she can finally have a decent sized place of her own to call “home”.  Learn more from Jenny’s perspective at www.jennymaass.blogspot.com

And speaking of our own house.  It has been exciting to see the progress made there.  All of the windows are in, most of all the painting is done (we tried the floor but it kept peeling due to the high humidity level of the rainy season), basic electricity is wired (run by generator and solar power), and guest bunks have been built.  It is still not completely finished but after many years of living in our permanent tent we decided that it was done enough to move it … on February 14th. (I bet you guys didn’t build a house for your wife for Valentine’s Day!) That was an exciting day for us and although one of the biggest benefits it provides us is added security when we are gone, boy does it feel nice to have solid walls around us.

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 AND NOW FOR THE REALLY EXCITING PART!!!!!

 

The Orphanage is up and running!!!!!  After seven years of praying, planning, drilling wells, clearing land, breeding livestock, building relationships as well as buildings, and working hard from sun up to sun down the day of us actually having orphans in the the first orphanage house has become a reality!!!  The past few months have been filled with community committee meetings, child and house mother applications and interviews, sorting through donated curtains, bedding, linens and blankets (thanks to those who so lovingly made so many of them for us), purchasing pots, pans, and household necessities, buying food stock and clothes for the the kids and finishing all the plumbing.

Then on Friday, February 12th, 2 full time housemothers moved in and on Monday and Tuesday, 15th & 16th, 8 orphans moved into their brand new home. The house mom's are front right Ennie and from back left Rachael and also part time Silvia.  The orphans are front left: Cecillier(8yrs), Silvester(12yrs), Pilohead(11yrs), Enest(12yrs), Briget(9yrs), Millium(5yrs). The Back is Precious(13yrs) and Pamela(14yrs)

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We were a little bit worried about how the kids would adjust being moved into a new and unfamiliar place but we were surprised to see that most of them were all smiles even the first few days.  I don’t know if it was maybe sleeping in a proper bed for the first time in their life, or living in a house with luxuries such as windows and a proper bathroom, or having more food than they had been used to but most of the kids seem to have adjusted very well.  The house moms have definitely taken them under their wings and made them feel welcome, cherished and loved and they have been a blessing to have around.  It is so nice to hear their laughter every time we drive into and out of our place. 

Please pray for us and them as we work through getting each child placed in school, settled into their new environment, and getting their health status assessed.  Already one of the boys has needed to get a tooth pulled and be on antibiotics for a possible infection.  Please pray also for the house moms as they adjust to their new roles and try to discover the different needs and personalities of each of the children.

Just a week or two ago, I fitted a water pump that works with the hand to one of the dry wells that were drilled by the orphanage house.  We noticed that with the rainy season there was some water in their and even without the pipes going the full length of the drilling depth we are getting about 200l of water a day out of it.  We do have plans to extend the depth of the piping but please pray that God would open the veins of it to yield more water. This pump can pump into the air up to 15 meters and now we are filling above ground water tank that we have put up for the running water that the orphanage should have.

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Other news from the bush….

Our library resources continue to increase.  Just recently we were blessed to receive another 57 boxes of donated books, study materials, and school supplies.  We get excited every time we are in there, looking at the boxes and are so eager for the day when the shelves will be up and organized and it can officially be opened.  We pray that will be in the next few months but right Jenny is enjoying digging  into it for her teaching purposes and the building itself has been an God send as a place to hang up drying laundry during the rainy season.

We have been blessed with our first overseas visitors (that weren’t family) that we put up in the guest room of the house God blessed us with.  The senior pastor and missions representatives from First Baptist Woodbridge came and we had a very blessed time with them being there.  Even though their visit was very short we still had allot of fun and were glad for them to see what God is doing in the area where we are. Thank you for your visit and you are more than welcome to come back.  Also thanks to Abbie who came for a week to help with all the painting in the house.

Thank you for your continued prayers for our health.  A few weeks ago we had a situation with Amber getting quite sick (she kept spiking a 104.9 fever).  It appeared to be Malaria but didn’t seem to respond to the treatment until she was put on antibiotics (which probably meant it was something else).  It didn’t make it any easier that Jakob then just started screaming and crying all day long and we couldn’t figure out what was wrong with him or if he was sick as well. He is normally such a happy and easy baby. I definitely had my hands full trying to care for both of them at the same time.  Praise God for a wonderful Christian doctor friend in Kalomo who treated us (Jakob seemed to be having stomach problems related to the medicine Amber had to take) and nursed us back to health at their place for a few days.  Everyone is doing great now but it just reminded us again how important the power of prayer really is.

Currently in the USA!

We are now currently in the States for a very quick two weeks for Idlewild’s Global Impact Conference.  We fly back on March 19th and although this time is much shorter than we have ever had before (we need to get back to tend to the needs of the orphans and the orphanage) we are so thankful for the opportunity to be here at all and especially to show Jakob off to all our friends, family, and supporters.  We look forward to sharing all the exciting news of what God has been doing in person and look forward to seeing new and familiar faces at the Mission of Love booth!

For more picture go to www.picasaweb.google.com/missionoflovezambia

Thank you all again for your continued prayers and support.

With Grateful hearts serving our Lord,

Jako, Amber, and baby Jakob

Mission of Love Community Orphanage Zambia

P.O. Box 620170

Kalomo

Zambia