Thank you for your continued prayers for baby Isaac. Since our big scare with him a month or so ago being so sick (read previous posts for more info) he has been doing better, drinking well and going from 2.6kg to 4.2kg. However, mid November he began having diarrhea, vomiting, and having a lot of pain, being unable to sleep. Knowing how quickly a little baby can go from bad to worse, we decided to be cautious and take him to the hospital right away. We went to the same place, 3 hours away and again they admitted Isaac. Since it was his second time back, in such a short time, the doctors think that he has been exposed to HIV and most likely is infected with the virus but despite testing him both times, due to lack of blood they will have to wait until he is 6 months old to test again. There is a possibility that there is also another medical issue (an descended testicle) that is causing him to have these issues but obviously still being so small, his health is still a matter of great prayer concern for us. Ennie is doing a wonderful job caring for him and is making sure that he is kept warm and healthy as best as she can, but we know that ultimately God is the only one who can ensure his safety and well being. Thank you for your prayers for him up to this point and as Isaac crosses your mind, please continue to lift him and Ennie up to the Lord – especially for wisdom in regards to his care while we are gone.
Orphanage Preps complete
Apart from all the physical work that needed to be done before we left for South Africa, another BIG task was to make sure that the orphanage was well provided for and prepared for our time away. While being gone during the rainy season is a blessing because it is a slower time “work wise” it does pose difficulties with getting supplies for the orphanage (especially for the locals) due to the poor road conditions. Local transport is not as available so with that in mind, we not only had to attempt to purchase all the orphanage consumables needed for 3 months (worse case scenario) but also make sure that all the babies had the next size up in clothes. Everything from medicine, to toiletries (soap, toothpaste, toilet paper etc), to food supplies (rice, beans, kapentas etc), to formula had to be inventoried, budgeted for, and purchased in bulk. For us that involved several trips to different stores and venders to get the right amount and be able to transport it all back to the orphanage. Praise God for his provision not only of money in order to purchase so many things in advance but also in additional help of Gretchen (from Kalomo) and our friends from South Africa to help us in this big task.
Help from South Africa
Approximately a week before we left, we were blessed with a visit from two dear ladies from South Africa – Mariann and Sannie. Mariann came as a representative of the Dutch Reformed Church in Rooihuiskraal, South Africa, while Sannie was an older friend of hers. While neither of them were “spring chickens” in regards to their biological age – their spirit and youthfulness of heart showed through in how quickly they jumped into helping with anything they could. From painting, to cleaning and organizing the library (we had some damage from some rats that decided to make their home in some of the preschool supplies), varnishing, to putting together furniture, cooking, cleaning, organizing school supplies, mending orphanage and personal clothing, spending time with the house mothers encouraging and doing Bible Study with them, hemming curtains that were too long, and watching Jakob – there was almost nothing that they weren’t willing to do with a smile and a great attitude. We enjoyed getting to know these two dear ladies and hear all the ways that God has lead, directed, and provided for them over the years. Thank you ladies for all your hard work and all that you taught us while here.
We are now currently in South Africa visiting friends, family and supporters, awaiting the arrival of our second son (due Dec 18th). Our hope is to return to Zambia sometime mid/late January but the exact date is yet unknown because a lot depends on when Jakob’s brother decides to arrive and how long it will take for us to get his birth documents for South Africa and the States in order.
Current prayer requests
-Please pray for the orphanage during our “time away”. While it is good to put more responsibility into the hands of the locals there (our goal is to one day make it as self sustainable as possible) to help them be not as dependant upon us, it is a big adjustment for the house mothers, the staff, and the orphanage committee.
-Please pray that the rains come at the appropriate time and that God provides the locals there with the wisdom and manpower to take care of the garden and orphanage crops that we hope will sustain us through the next year.
-Please pray for God’s hand of protection over the property and things on it while we are away. Already, since we have left – the well, the tractor, and one it’s implements have already broken. With no one there with the skill to fix it –they are now planting and doing the rest of the field care by hand until we get back. Praise God that they were able to get the pump working again.
- Please pray for the health of our children and staff while away (especially baby Isaac). While they do have means to get to a clinic or hospital in emergency (or pre planned) purposes, travel during the rainy season (esp. with out us there) is definitely more difficult and out in the bush, anything can happen.
- Lastly, please pray that God enables the children, staff, and locals to focus on the true meaning of Christmas and be able to celebrate and cherish in their hearts the greatest gift of all that was given to us.
While it is a bit scary being away for such a time, it is a good reminder to us of whom we are relying on to meet the needs of the orphanage and provide for them – us or God – the one who started this project, loves these children and villagers more than we ever could, and who promised to complete the Good work that He started.
Thank you for your continued partnership, prayers, and support of us and the ministry over these past years. We and all the kids, staff, and villagers involved with the project thank you, and wish you a Merry Christmas, and a God blessed New Year in 2012.