We are currently in the USA and have been for the past few months. Please forgive our tardiness for these updates but once you read them I am sure you will understand why. We came over on the 20th of December 2010 to spend Christmas with Amber’s mother (Jill) and family. Amber felt early in 2010 that we need to be here, knowing that after a three year battle with brain cancer, it could be the last Christmas that we spend with her mother. We prayed for a longtime to hear from God if it was from him or our own desires but He gave Amber and me the peace in August and confirmed that desire by providing the means for us to do so.
December and January whirled by with all our time and effort being focused on loving Jill. While outwardly she was only the shell of what she was three years ago, she was still alert enough to know what was going on, who was who, and gave us all good laughs in the way her mind struggled to process things. Amber cherished this time tending to even her every need (getting in and out of bed etc.) and will never forget how grateful her mom was of her being here. Amber spend most of her time with her mother till the day she was taken home to be with our Creator Jesus Christ on 29 January 2011. We thank God everyday that He made this possible for us to be here and to spend that time with loved once and dear friends. She was buried in Arlington National Cemetery atop of Amber’s father (John Finklea) who passed away in 1992.
Although we will miss her greatly and really hoped that she would make it to Josh’s wedding her passing allowed us all initial time to mourn our great loss (heaven’s gain) and then refocus on celebrating Amber’s brother’s wedding on March 4th. what a special gift for us being able to be here for that. February also found us catching up with friends and supporters, even up in Virginia and preparing for Idlewild’s missions conference next week which we are excited to be a part of.
As per our weekly phone calls with Charles back home, things seem to be going well and they are managing things on their own. One disappointment and struggle is that the submersible pump stopped working and then as they were trying to remove it the pipes got stuck so that well is now unusable until we get back and I can tend to it. Praise God that Charles has use of the quad and tractor to make water runs from one of the other wells many miles away. The rains are continuing at a steady rate and so far the crops are looking good. Support came in for us to purchase bicycles for the older kids to go to the government school and so far the kids are really enjoying that. All the babies seem to be growing and the kids all doing well.
On an interesting note, we had stated to the orphanage committee that we were not going to be admitting any new children into the orphanage until we returned from the States unless it was a true emergency.
On Februrary 14th we received a call from Charles about a new baby that was just 22 days old. According to him the mother was mentally unstable, very sick, unable to care for the baby, and abused by men so that the father was unknown. The only info that we got about the baby was that she was critical and so the committee was asking if the orphanage could care for her. Trusting their discretion we agreed (to be reassessed when we return)but asked a doctor friend to come out the next day to see what her exact needs were. Thank you Rob and Christa for braving the muddy rainy season off road dangers to do that the very next day. What they reported was that baby Salomi (nickname Shalom) was under 4 lbs of weight and approximately 2 months premature. Observing that she needed lots of extra care, they selflessly agreed to take her to their home, give her daily injections and extra care until she was a bit stronger. Right now she is doing well and thriving under them. We are still praying for God’s direction as to when to transition her back. Please pray for her that God’s grace will shine on her as it did on the other two baby’s. The family can not care for the little one but we will make a final decision on to how long we will keep her when we get back to Zambia. We will keep her or equip the family to take care of her so please keep that in prayer so that God would give us the wisdom that we need.
Thank you for your prayers and support we love you and appreciate it all.
The children at the orphanage and the mothers that they will stay health and strong
For the three baby’s that God would keep His hand on them.
For the orphanage project that everything will Glorify God and that there would not be any big problems.
For the well that has broken. That God would help the garden, orphanage and the community get water.
For Amber, Jakob and me that God would guide and direct us so that we do His work and not our own.
That God would give us the wisdom to push on in the busy homestretch of our last few weeks/week in the States.
May our Lord Jesus be with you all and i do pray that you all put your trust in Jesus.
With much appreciation
Jako, Amber and Jakob Joubert
Mission of Love Community Orphanage Zambia