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)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Ethan and other things

Ethan’s coming of age
Ethan’s time here with us deserves a separate post because although he has been here with us twice before with the team from Virginia, this year he decided to come for more than a month to experience a bit of missions “behind the scene” (the daily happenings of missions work when a team is not here) in order to further discern if God is calling him into full time missions or not. 
Before comming he worP7120234ked hard to raise donations for the orphanage from individual people and from his school.  We were looking forward to his arrival long before he came because we knew that with his enthusiasm and eagerness to help he would be not only a good helper to Jako but also serve as a encouragement and morale booster to him, who often has to tackle projects alone or with local help.  Ethan not only lived up to expectations but surpassed them.
Apart from the treasure of donations and goodies that he brought for us, the orphanage, and the preschool, he handled  bush life like a champ (even getting sick with Tick fever), and was eager to help with whatever the project was for that day – from the brick oven and braai, to helping Jako with the chimney’s and door for them, to fixing the landy, painting black boards for the preschool, mixing cement, setting up tents and cots for the team, helping the kids with their reading and English skills, helping with Sunday school, chopping firewood, pumping water, and June 2011 039 copytending to visiting locals, Ethan did everything with a smile and a great attitude.  He really got the principle that even if he was just standing there getting Jako tools, that he was blessing Jako by just being there and being an encouragement.  We also had the privilege of watching his transformation from “boy to man” literally as he celebrated his 18th birthday with us here in the bush.    We look forward to seeing what God will do with this fine young man as he continues to seek God’s will and direction for his life. 
Other things (and visitors) of note
In July we got a surprise visit from the Kazangula District Council and a surprise gift/donation – 100kg’s of prepackaged vacuum sealed dates from Saudi Arabia!  Imagine our surprise as this is the first time we (and the orphanage) IMGP2266 copy have ever received anything “free” from the district and especially the fact that they drove it all the way out to us themselves – wow, what a blessing!  We were able to show them around the orphanage grounds and they seemed to be very impressed so hopefully if they receive further donations they will consider us again in the future.  The more that the orphanage can be supported locally the better for all that are involved in terms of it’s long term sustainability.  After they left we realized that if we give the house a 2kg packet every week then the kids will have fruit (and all the nutrition that comes with it) every week for almost a year!  And now that some of the trees in the orphanage are producing their first fruits, hopefully this will get us through until more of them are in “full production”. 
Some “not so high” points":
Jakob’s first tick bite.  Praise God he didn’t get sick from it like Ethan did.  It’s harder to treat and tell the symptoms of a 1 year old.
Otervia struggling with her health and the health clinic struggling with getting her ARV med regiment correct.  At least she has adjusted well to life at the orphanage and loves having lots of friends around to always play with. 
Some positives:
P7090190 copy Dr. Christa and “crew” (family, friends, and interns) coming out to play with the kids and do Aids training with the house mom’s now that there are more questions since we have a child with the HIV in our care. 
A short overnight visit from Johan Beukman and his South African team while on an outreach!  It did Jako good to hear his home language of “Afrikaans” being spokenP7060082 copy all around him again.
Our second indoor (guest) toilet is now working and functional inside the house : )
Our chicken farming is doing well.   We have already sold several batches of 20 or so chickens and the market in town and in the village seems to be good for them.

July Blessings and Help

After a lot of travel at the end of June (up to Lusaka for Alyssa’s work permit and then Jako and Jakob down to South Africa to renew Jako’s drivers license and get their required yellow fever vaccinations), July was a blessed month for us with God sending us lots of help in the form of friends, family, and small groups coming to visit, encourage, and lend their helping hand for a week or two. 
The first “wave” arrived on July 1st when Jako and Jakob returned with Jako’s mother Rika.    Before leaving Livingstone they also picked up Ethan (a young 17 year old from the States), Tiens (a friend of ours from South Africa) and Emmanuel (a friend of Tiens from Zimbabwe).   Tiens and Emmanuel had been traveling, doing missions for the past few weeks and wanted to stop by to help and encourage us before they continued their journey up north following the leading of the Lord.
Needless to say it was a full car that returned to meet me and Alyssa back home.  After a week of it being just us girls, which we used to catch up on all the admin work (for Amber) and school planning (for Alyssa) it was nice to have the rest of the family home along with additional friends and family as well.
Tiens, Emmanuel, and a brick oven
As Jako was showing our friends around the “compound” Emmanual and Tiens noticed the wall that was half crumpled in P7020036 copyour outdoor kitchen.  Jako explained that Jakob and the village kids had accidently broken it down when they were playing and how he hadn’t gotten around to fixing it yet since he eventually hoped to build an outdoor braai (South  African barbeque) and bread oven along that wall anyway.  Well the Lord never ceases to amaze us because as we came to find out, Emmanuel happens to be a builder by trade and offered to tackle that project with the help of Tiens and Ethan while they were there.  This was a sweet unexpected encouragement and blessing from the Lord because as much as Jako had wanted and P7050079-2hoped this project would be tackled sooner than later, the reality was that with all of the other big “to-do’s” needing attention around the orphanage and here, who knows how many months or years it would have taken to actually get around to it.  Then God sends someone with just the right skills and desires to tackle the job!  It was enough to make our hearts do a little dance of joy : )
Despite the cold weather, long hours, tedious, dirty work and nasty cold and stomach bug that was going around, the three men (and Jako) worked hard that whole week and before Tiens and Emmanuel left on July 8th, we had a beautiful indoor/outdoor braai and a bricked in bread oven that only needs June 2011 010 copy a chimney left to complete.  Not only were these three a blessing in the physical sense of all the work that they did but even more so in their ministry of presence, of being here, being an encouragement, and being willing to do anything they could to further the gospel or help us in any way.  They were true servants in every aspect of the word.
And while the guys were busy working on their project, Rika was just as much a blessing helping me and Alyssa with Jakob, allowing us to get caught up on June 2011 015 copy the rest of our planning and admin stuff, and all the daily housework tasks of cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc that go with living out in the bush.  We have been so blessed to have had her visit almost yearly these past few years and she is always such a joy to have around.  Her love of us and Jakob and willingness to help in anyway is always such an encouragement and boost to my spirits.   I am so thankful that God has allowed me such a wonderful mother-in-law that is supportive not only of us but of our role with the ministry despite the sacrifice of distance that it costs her.
Alyssa, a pain in her back, and South Africa
Unfortunately during this time Alyssa was still struggling with her back which she injured back in April.  We took her to a local doctor friend of ours at the time and were hoping that with some rest and pain management it would heal on the end but when a few months passed and it didn’t seem to be getting better, the decision was made for Alyssa to go to South Africa for some proper “treatment” by a physio for a week.  While she was missed by both us and the children at the orphanage she returned feeling much better and with noticeable improvement.  Please pray for her continued healing though as the physio’s said that it would take a full 6 months for her ruptured disk to fully heal.
Rachel and Karen
July 13th we sadly said goodbye to Jako’s mom and then picked Alyssa up from the airport where she met Rachel and Karen, two of her friends that had come to visit and help from the States.   Karen and Rachel copyThey not only blessed Alyssa with suitcases full of “things” for the preschool (as well as a few personal goodies), they were also a big help to her in working with the kids, helping with the school planning, Bible stories, and Sunday school lessons, organizing and finishing things in the Library, and general help around the camp, I think their biggest contribution by far was their companionship and friendship that they brought not only to Alyssa but also to us as well.  As you can imagine, although we are surrounded by people out here in the “bush” often it can be quite lonely without others of our same home culture around.  Needless to say there was lots of laughter and good memories before they left on July 22nd the same day that the team from Va arrived : )