Alyssa Work Permit Granted: )
After the departure of the church team our travels led us to Lusaka where we happily discovered that Alyssa’s work permit has been granted! Thank you for all of your prayers. Unfortunately they were out of the work permit books so for the time being all she has is a stamped receipt saying “granted” but at least they say we can check up on them (when they arrive) in Livingstone instead of traveling all the way to Lusaka again. We hope that is the case but for right now we just say Thank you Lord!
Meanwhile back at home
When we returned back to Mukamba the main task at hand was the roof for Alyssa’s flat. Jako, Alyssa and several of the locals worked hard and made pretty good progress but unfortunately were not able to complete it before it was time to leave to South Africa. Visits from local missionary friends, inventorying the orphanage food and toiletries supplies and then buying additional supplies for the time that we were gone also occupied some of our time.
“Sew” many blessings
One special visit that we had was from a dear friend of ours Corrie who although she had many difficulties on her journey from South Africa, still persevered to pay us a visit and deliver to us the gift of 3 hand sewing machines for the mom’s to use and to teach the children with. We are so excited about the possibilities that this allows, not only in allowing the mothers to make many of the things that we need for the orphanage (ie. school uniforms, and then cushion covers for the benches in the house) but also in teaching the children a practical trade skill. Needless to say mothers and children alike were both very happy!
Praise God for his continued abundant provision for us all.
Sanford – age 3
Just a few days before we left for South Africa we took our 15th child into the orphanage house, a precious 3 year old boy named Sanford. He was staying with his grandfather, step grandmother, and many other kids but in very impoverished conditions. From what we were told, his mother got pregnant in high school and passed away from a heart condition a few years later. As is common in these situations his father is unknown. Due to lack of family resources (they stay in just a stick hut without even mud between) Sanford developed stomach TB from malnutrition (note the orange hair) but has been in treatment for it for a few months and is beginning to improve. To aide in the transition to the orphanage home, his sister (technically aunt) stayed the day and night with him and he was feeling a lot more comfortable with his new surroundings when she left. It was really sweet to see the other orphanage kids gather around him and give him extra love and support in his first few days there – I am sure they all remember how hard it was for them. Please pray for this sweet young boy as he has to adjust to new surroundings and for his health to continue improving. It will take at least another 4 months of treatment to cure his TB if not longer but I am sure that we will begin to see improvement in him sooner just from the better nutrition and food that he will have access to now.
South Africa Visit
August 18th, with orphanage supplies fully stocked we left for a short visit to South Africa. While there our plan is to get a good prenatal check up for Amber (now 24 weeks pregnant), make arrangements for the delivery in December, visit supporting churches, and pick up necessary goods and items for the orphanage and ministry. We are enjoying our time here and especially visiting with friends, family, and supporters since the last time that we saw many of them was almost a year ago. Please pray for the rest of our time here, safe traveling mercies for the way back, and for safe, wise, running of the orphanage and the children while we are gone.
Thanks for your prayers for Otervia. She is doing much better now and seems to get stronger every day. Since our time here in South Africa, Charles called to let us know that the clinic just referred to them a 12 day old baby girl. From what we understand the mother is very sick in the clinic and the father is unwilling to take responsibility for any of them. For right now we have agreed to take care of her temporarily until we get back and further assess the situation . At the time being the orphanage now has 16 kids 6 of which are under 2. Charles also informed us that Social Welfare came by to visit today and that they were very happy to see how smoothly things were running there, especially with us being gone. Praise God for his continued favor and grace on us. We’ll update the blog again upon our return.
Until then thank you for all your prayers, love, support, and encouragement.
Jako, Amber and Jakob John Joubert
- Mission of Love Orphanage
- 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)
Friday, September 2, 2011
From July 22nd – August 5th we were blessed with the help of a team from a Church of Virginia. What was special about this year was that all but 2 of the 12 were returning team members (not including Ethan who had already been with us for a few weeks). It was nice being reunited with so many old friends and getting to see their reaction to the progress and growth that has happened since they were last here. It was especially sweet to see the local villagers reactions and hugs as they recognized so many familiar faces from years past.
All in all they spent 11 full days with us in the bush doing a variety of things, serving with joy and spreading the love of God wherever they went. Here are some of the things they were involved with just to name a few…
Work projects – three days of clearing land (trees and stumps) from the crop farm, cleaning excess building plaster and dirt from the inside of the preschool/education center, digging and transporting river sand for plastering Alyssa’s flat (men and ladies alike), building rafters for Alyssa’s flat, building a platform for the goats (so they don’t have to sleep in the manure), and rounding up, tackling, and injecting vaccinations into about 75 of our cattle and goats.
Meeting spiritual and physical needs
For four days members of the team held a village eye ministry at four different locations – at the chief’s village, Mukamba, the cattle farm, and the crop “aka: stump” farm. During this time they were able to present many people with the gift of physical sight for the first time in the form of eye glasses while also giving each person a chance to receive spiritual sight through the gift of Jesus. The team was well received at each of these sites and God’s word did not return void.
Both Sundays the team was invited to preach and participate in the local village church service. Bill and Fred did a great job preaching while others eagerly shared their testimonies, lead the children’s church teaching and singing, and fellowshipped with other village believers through singing, prayers, and general fellowship.
Community Orphan assessment and distribution
A very important area that the team was involved with helping with was our first big official orphan assessment and clothing distribution. Weeks before the team arrived the local village orphanage committee sent out letters to all known families caring for orphans in the surrounding area. Families caring for double orphans (having lost both father and mother) were asked to come on the first Saturday and those caring for single orphans (those having lost only 1 parent) were asked to come the next. That first Saturday that team worked diligently organizing and sorting all the clothing donations that the team brought with rushing to get it done before the first families arrived.
Both days the team members, along with the village committee talked with each individual family and filled out information forms on how many kids each were caring for and what their greatest needs and challenges were in caring for them. Then pictures were taken of each child present and items of clothing and blankets distributed. It was amazing to see the cooperation between all of the different cultures, languages, and people present and the smiles on the faces of these families and kids as they received their visible gifts of love in the name of Jesus. It warmed our heart to see how many people we were able to help since our biggest desire in helping the orphans in the area is to support the families that are already caring for them in their home and only to take those into the orphanage that have no one able to do that. These gifts of clothing and blankets not only serve that purpose but keep the children warm and healthy in the cold winter. Thanks to all the many people who donated clothing and blankets (many from a Church in VA and their children’s VBS program). In the end we were able to assess and help over 113 orphans living in the villages around us! After 8 years of working in Zambia and only 1 1/2 years since we opened the orphanage, it was humbling to see how God has so generously provided for us to meet the needs of so many needy families, all in the name of God.
Blessing the Orphanage
Even closer to home the team spent time loving on the kids at the orphanage as well, eating meals with them, playing games, teaching them Bible stories, and helping them with their English and reading skills. One team member, Fred, along with Alyssa, was able to spend some extra time assessing Precious, one of our kids who has had a lot of difficulty in learning the past few years and who we thought might have some form of dyslexia.
On Wednesday Jako was able to pick up 6 new bicycles for the children to ride to schools since the better government school is 8km (6 miles) away. Dean and Ben spent several days with the orphanage boys tightening and servicing these bikes to get them “road worthy” and boy were the kids eager to receive this wonderful gift. The few older bikes that the did have will now be fixed and go to village committee members to help them do their work of community orphan care.
The house mother’s were happy to receive pack and plays (camping cots), play mats, and developmental toys for the babies as well as additional medicine for them and the kids.
The night that the kids received their gift packages of new underwear and socks (from the children’s VBS program at the VA church) the kids and mother’s showed their appreciation by starting up an impromptu chitenga dance where each of the team members were asked to dance with different kids in middle of the circle with a chitenga (African wrap skirt) tied around their midsection. Needless to say that there were lots of laughter and joy that night.
Missionary care – Having so many returning team members, the team was great in doing whatever they could to support us as missionaries – from giving haircuts and driving to town to help get orphanage supplies, bringing gifts of work tools, to tackling projects that make our life and ministry easier; – putting up shelving in Jako’s garage, building a huge 16 meter antennae for our phone, internet, and 2 way radio communication, fixing the quad that had been broken and not working for the past few months, and doing maintenance and fixes on both the Hilux and our 1964 Land Rover. Apart from that the ladies also were great at organizing meds, clothing and baby donations and helping Amber with things such as cooking, laundry and watch Jakob, especially since she was 5 months pregnant and sick with a bad cold during a good part of the time that the team was here.
The power of prayers
One of the first nights that the team was there, we heard that Otervia was sick and not feeling well. Upon going to check on her we discovered that she had a 107 F fever (41.6 C). We immediately took measure to pray for her, cool her down and give her medication but when the fever only went down a bit after a few hours (104) , we made the decision to have her taken to the village clinic. There they determined that she was just still in the adjustment phase to her ARV treatment for her HIV and that as long as we kept her fever down she should be fine. A day later she was and we have no doubt that that was due to the fervant prayers of the team and the motherly nursing that the ladies of the team bestowed on her.
On another day I (Amber) and Candi were back at camp doing laundry and other odds and end around the camp while everyone else was out working on the crop farm or doing eye ministry. As soon as the 2nd team left, they and the orphanage completely ran out of water and no one was left with the knowledge of how to pump water from the well with the submersible pump. Knowing that they might be without water for the entire day (ie. for cooking, cleaning, bottles, washing etc) they began to pray- specifically that Jako would return but for something small (we didn’t want an emergency on our hands). Needless to say the smile on our faces was huge when Jako returned to camp only 15 minutes later because the chain saw got stuck and he needed a tool to help remove it. According to Jako just as he was cutting a big wind blew and swayed the tree in such a way to pinch the blade. Prayer answered, water was flowing in no time, and it was just one more instance of the power of our God to answer prayers whether big or small.