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.

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. 

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.
 sewing 1
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

A church from 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 to the church in VA 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