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 worked 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 tending 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) 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.
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.
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.