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, May 8, 2011

April 2011

April found us busy with harvesting, harvesting, and more harvesting.  The first crop we harvested this year was the maize (corn) and we were blessed not only by a truly good yield but also by the number of  April 2011 015 orphanage committee members and community people that showed up to help us harvest it.  It was a real team effort with some building the maize storage shed, some cutting grass to line it, some helping with harvesting, loading and unloading and even the kids from the orphanage got involved.  We have found that when given the chance (and a one month school holiday gives a great one) the April 2011 092 children not only learn another life skill about how to provide for themselves out here in the bush but also that they can prove to be very hard workers.  And working together as a team reaps greater benefits than working alone. 

 

Then we moved on to harvesting the sunflowers. April 2011 101Last year when we planted and applied fertilizer the villagers laughed at us saying that we were wasting the fertilizer because it isn’t worth it to put it on sunflower.  This year, the villagers received a lesson straight from nature and were amazed at the size April 2011 103 and yield that we received from the small portion that we planted.  Of course we also attribute the good yield to God’s favor and blessing but we have already heard several in the village saying that yes, fertilizer for sunflowers really does work. 

School Holiday

On a happy note, the children at the orphanage are all doing well.  The babies are growing and getting bigger by the day, and the kids are enjoying their month long holiday from school.  With their free time they have been busy with the harvesting, helping the mothers with the garden and other spring cleaning chores but also enjoying the extra time toUSA 2011 238 have fun as well.  Thanks to previous donations the children enjoyed getting a few new coloring books, crayons, books, toys, and games to play with (and see how they do with taking care of them).  With all of the older kids having been at the orphanage more than a year now, all seem to be settled in with less behavioral issues and feeling more comfortable in their “new” home.  Sylvester has stopped wetting the bed in the evenings, the children are more obedient, and even Millium and destructive behavior has gotten much better.  It’s hard to recognize some of these kids as the same ones that came just over a year ago.  The moms are also more confident and settled in their roles and things seem to be falling into a nice routine at the house.

School wise, the kids seem to be doing pretty well this year.  While we have only received reports back on 3 of the 8 that are in school of those three, Pillohead is first in his class at the government school, Enest is passing, and Sylvester (who failed last year) is now number 1 in his class at the community school.  What an amazing boost of confidence that has given him as He has learned that if he tries hard he can accomplish almost anything.  His goal next year is to be able to attend the government school which he seems right on track for.  We are still awaiting the rest of the grades for the other children but fear those might not be as good as the boys.  We even wonder if Precious might have a significant learning disability so pray for us as we try to assess and help her with that.  Thankfully help has come!

Help is Here

April 2011 127 Thursday the 21st Alyssa Bolles and Ben Shaer (both from the States) arrived to lend us a helping hand.  Ben will be with us for two months helping Jako wherever possible (like fixing the car in Lusaka) and Alyssa will be joining us for two years, focusing on helping the orphanage children with their education and hopefully helping us to establish a community preschool which may eventually lead into a grade school. 

Although their first week with us was spent in Lusaka picking up our work permits (PRAISE GOD WE HAVE BEEN ALLOWED ANOTHER 2 YEARS IN THE COUNTRY!) andApril 2011 122 filing for Alyssa’s they have been real trooper and have already proved their benefit in many ways.  The children have enjoyed hearing their Bible stories on Sundays, working along side them and Alyssa has already begun helping the children with their math, teaching them their times tables, and assessing where each of the children are at educationally. Please pray for them during their time here, that God will guide and direct them in all that they are supposed to do, give them peace and comfort as they are separated from friends and family and that God would give them strength and wisdom for each day. 

God’s protection

One day as Charles (our local foreman/manager) was going to get paperwork signed from Salomi’s family we were wondering what was taking him so long.  After dark he showed up April 2011apologizing saying that he had accidently rolled the quad going over a hill too fast.  Not only was the quad inoperable but in the process Charles had hurt his hip and his jaw.  While we trust that the quad can eventually be fixed (although it is definitely an inconvience at the moment) we are just thankful that he was not more seriously hurt because according to the speedometer he was going at least 35 kph (21mph) after he slammed on the brakes upon impact.  Charles now respects any moving vehicle (tractor and quad included) saying that they are “like a lion” and need to be respected as such. 

May Plans

Please pray for us as we have a few busy months ahead of us.  Not only do we hope to get the education center and Alyssa’s two room home built but we also need to prepare for the two teams coming our way in June and July.  May or June should also see us returning to Lusaka in hopes of getting Alyssa’s work permit.  Please pray that her fingerprint clearance from the States gets back to us before too long so that we can continue with her application process.

We look forward to ALL that God has in store for us these next few months.  With praise and thankfulness for His provision and faithfulness.  To God be all the glory. 

Our return to Zambia March 2011

After being gone from the orphanage for so long we were certainly eager to return and see “in person” if things were going as well as they appeared to be through our weekly phone calls.  During the 2 hour bush drive in we noticed that the rains appeared to be good with the roads still wet (but travelable) and most of the local crops fairing well.  It did our hearts good to see all the kids and the housemothers at the orphanage healthy and happy and we enjoyed getting to meet not just 1 but 2 new babies. April 2011 048

In addition to baby Salomi (which we talked about in the previous post and have since determined she will be staying with us long term) we now had a new baby boy named Mainza who was born in November of 2009 (just 1 month older than our Jakob).   We asked more about him we were told that his mother recently passed away after being sick for quite some time and that his father was previously deceased.  His grandmother had brought him to the orphanage not long after stating that there was no one that could adequately provide for him as her and her husband were old and already had two other children they were currently caring for (one being Mainza’s brother).  At 15 months of age he weighed only 6.8 kgs (15lbs) compared to Jakob who weighted 9.8kgs (22lbs), wasn’t able to stand even with assistance, and was covered with some sort of rash all over his skin.  The photo taken above was taken almost 1 month after his arrival when he was already picking up weight and looking better. 

We are happy to report now that after taking him to the local nutritional clinic and given extra assistance he is now picking up weight nicely and his skin is looking much better.  Praise to God  that his HIV test came back negative and with the diligent care of the housemothers his leg strength is slowly increasing.  While not one to move around much on his own yet, you call tell that this precious treApril 2011 070asure is very observant and while still a little weary of the Makua (white people) he is definitely attached  to his new mother and very observant and smart, even at such a young age.   Above is a photo of all four of our babies in a cute “real life” pose.  (from left to right is Mainza, Genesis, Esther and Salomi).

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Jakob was more than thrilled to have a new play mate and be back home around his local friends, the dogs, chickens, pigeons, and all the familiarity of life in Zambia.  There is no doubt that this boy was built for the bush.

 

The Wells. the Garden, and work permits

We were very happy to discover that yes, things had indeed gone as good as we had heard (and hoped) during our time in the States.  While both wells were not working when we arrived and Charles was having to drive quite a distance with the quad to get water for all the orphanage needs, I was very thankful that upon further inspection, the one well was able to be fixed with Alyssa May 2011 101 relatively little effort (meaning only 1 days labor instead of many).  The well by the orphanage is still dry and despite our best efforts to remove the new pump that was placed inside not long ago, it appears that it is stuck and not wanting to budge with the 1 ton block and tackle that we we rigged (along with the towing power of a vehicle as well).  In fact, the casing  of the well started to come out instead of the pump and so we are going to have to put that project on hold until we have a larger block and tackle (as well as adequate time) to “tackle” it again.  Please pray that God gives us wisdom and favor in that because the hope is that we can use that pump to see if there is water in one of the other dry holes that was dug. 

Praise God that the rain was plentiful enough that the garden was still doing good (and flourishing) and that despite everyone still being in the learning process as how to best optimize space, weather and soil conditions, and what plants grow best where, the garden is providing 95% of their vegetable and produce needs.  In fact, we already see the need to expand the garden to be able to grow more but due to time restraints that might need to wait a while.

USA 2011 258 Unfortunately along with the good rain comes a lot of critters that we don’t normally describe as good.  One day Charles and I discovered this puff adder right behind the chicken coup where Jakob and the other children often play.  Puff adders is one of the top two causes of snake bite deaths around here in the village.  Praise God that He used His creation to alert us to this danger and take care of it before any of the children got hurt.

March also saw Amber, Jakob, and I making a trip up to Lusaka (Zambia’s capital) to renew our work permits.  Even though we were pretty sure they would renew them and had no reason to believe they would not it is always a bit of a nervous (“trusting in God”) time.  Thankfully, God showed us favor, the submission process went even quicker than expected and we returned to the bush to wait out our time before we would receive an answer. 

USA Wrap Up- March 2011

Thanks to those of you that prayed for us during our last few weeks in the U.S.A.  After having the privilege of being present for Amber’s brother’s wedding (congratulations Josh and Katie Finklea) it was time to focus on the events of Missions Conference that we had been invited to at Idlewild Baptist Church in Tampa, Florida.  It has been our joy to participate in this conference for the past few years and so enjoy the USA 2011 183 exposure and opportunity it allows us.  Not only did we get to reconnect with faithful supporters, friends, and previous Zambia team members, but also enabled us to meet with new supporters, friends, and people just interested in finding out God’s call on their life and what they can do for the cause of missions.  Over our time in the States we were blessed to be able to share at 4 different churches, 9 different small groups, and share with many different people about the progress, needs, and happenings of the orphanage and all that God is doing in our little part of Zambia.  Two days after the conference ended, with tears in our eyes, we said goodbye to our family and friends Stateside and with great expectancy looked forward to our return “home” to Zambia.