Thanks so much for those of you that have prayed for Ruth. She did spend a few days in the local village clinic on IV’s and then was released back home to us a week and a half ago. While she definitely is still thin and small we have seen some great improvements since then. She is sitting up by herself, crying less, and eating and drinking a lot! In fact, she even has hope in her eyes now. Still looking forward to the day that she is laughing and running around like other children but we are happy for the progress that she has made so far. She returns to the clinic tomorrow for another check up but it sure seems she has rounded the corner. Thanks again for your prayers for her and for her continued health. God is good and His mercy never fails!
- 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)
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
One of the most exciting things about getting back home was the official opening of the Mission of Love Preschool! After months and months of preparation – getting the building built, putting on the roof, making all the furniture, getting all the supplies (and transporting a LOT of them back with us from South Africa), having registration days, and finding a suitable assistant, the preschool is now officially open with 80 student enrolled and attending. Alyssa has done an amazing job, putting this all together from start to finish. Thank you for all who have supported her through prayers and finances and for all of those who have so generously donated supplies for her to use there.
While it might take a while for us to get used to our new schedules around here (Alyssa is now at the school from 9 – 4 every day) it is a dream come true and so far things are going great. To read more about this and see more pictures please check out Alyssa’s blog at www.http://www.alyssabolles.blogspot.com/
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
it is time for urgent prayers once again. We want to ask if you will please keep the newest addition to our orphanage (Ruth) in your prayers. She came to us last week, weighing only 6.7kg's (14lbs 12 oz) at 1 year and 8 months of age. While we didn't expect her transition to our orphanage to be an easy one (in less than a month she has dealt with the death of her mom (her father passed away earlier), been diagnosed with HIV, and lived with 3 different families) but we hoped that with some good nutrition (she was living only on plain cornmeal porridge), and loving care from the housemothers that we would see a quick improvement for this precious, little girl. However her health hascontinued to decline. Along with her bouts of crying, lack of interest in food, diarrhea, and a general "failure to thrive" she has lost more weight and at 5.4kg's currently (11lbs 14 oz) her health condition is getting more serious every day. Tomorrow she will be taken to the local village clinic for her HIV review so we are asking for prayers for her, wisdom for the doctors, and grace and strength for the housemothers in caring for her. Our prayer is that God will grant Ruth favor and mercy and that she will be brought to health and strength in order to know and proclaim the love and care of our heavenly gracious Father.
On a more positive note - remember little Isaac who we asked for prayers for earlier? Here is a more recent picture of him. When we got back from South Africa we couldn’t believe it was the same baby! Thanks be to God who truly hears, cares, and answers prayers.
Monday, February 6, 2012
This year the children at the children’s home got the double blessing of getting Christmas presents from two different sources – a generous family from the States and the Dutch Reformed Church in Livingstone. While they only received them in January due to us being gone over Christmas – they truly enjoyed the gifts. In fact – not getting the presents at the “normally appropriate” time served as another blessing because it helped the children relate more to their local village friends and village way of life where people don’t normally have money for presents. While we want to do what we can to give these children a wonderfully blessed life, we definitely don’t want them raised feeling that they are “entitled” to everything so God even worked out the timing of the gifts this year in a special way. Thank you to all of those that have given to the project in the past and who donated to these presents now. Just look at the joy on these kids faces. Thanks for bringing a smile to these once struggling children in so many ways. To God be praise and glory and honor forever and ever.
Sunday, February 5, 2012
We left South Africa on January 25th and arrived safely back in on the 27th. Since lightening had hit and temporarily disabled our phone communication while we were gone, we were quite nervous driving in, hoping that everything was still going well with the children’s home and the kids. All along the bush drive back we analyzed each field to try to determine how the rain had been but according to the flood rivers we had to drive through, it seemed like there had been a decent amount (at least recently). Each village we passed brought us more and more excitement to get back and when we finally got there what a sight did we see! Mom’s and children running up to the car, celebrating our arrival and welcoming in Jeremiah. It was a truly blessed sight as he got passed all around and as each mom proudly showed us how much each of their babies had grown in the 2 months we were gone. Isaac looked so different Amber asked if they traded him for another baby : )
Although we knew that God would sustain the ministry and the children while we were gone, we were prepared for the worst upon our arrival and were happy to find that everyone was doing well and the problems that we had heard about over the phone (the tractor was broken, power and electricity not working due to lightning, etc) were not as bad as they sounded and relatively easy to fix. Nothing serious had happened while we were gone! It was a sweet time of being reunited and witnessing how God’s work and will go on, no matter what the circumstances. Jakob especially loved being back around his Zambian friends once again!
Now that we were back though it was time to hit the ground running, and between trips to Livingstone and Lusaka to replenish supplies for the orphanage, get Jeremiah added onto our work permit and pick up Alyssa’s (which has been approved since last year but without the official booklet to prove it), we were go-go-go. It did our hearts good though to see that all the cattle and goats were doing well and that the crops that had been planted while we were gone were blessed and doing well.
And it was neat that God allowed us to be here to be a part of something truly special in Zambia. The Zambian national soccer team winning the African Cup of Nations for the first time in history! Everywhere we went (whether in the village or in town)people were celebrating and cheering on their team they best way they could – shouting, blowing whistles, waving their flags, honking their horns, and wearing special Zambian flag chitenges. It was really something that God allowed us to be a part of that and to witness all of Zambia coming together for a common cause. I am sure the celebrating will still continue until next year!
Saturday, February 4, 2012
Thank you for your prayers for us during our time in South Africa. Not only did we get to experience the safe birth of our second son (Jeremiah Jude), we were also able to spend the majority of our time with Jako’s mom and celebrate Christmas with her side of the family. The longer we are in the missions field, have kids and witness them growing up, the more we realize the true sacrifice of living so far away from family. Loosing Amber’s mom last year to cancer and seeing Jako’s grandparents age more and more makes us really count the cost of what it means to follow God’s calling, so far away.
Although we know that God has called us to live and minister in Zambia, (and we are blessed that both sides of our family are so supportive of us doing so), seeing Jakob getting so attached to his Ouma and great grandparents and then having to leave them is very hard. Even for us ,never knowing when we might see that beloved family member again or if we even will this side of heaven pierces the heart in a way that words cannot describe. It’s not just that special moments- like first smiles, first steps, birthdays, will have to be shared over e-mails or telephone it’s the small every day moments that family share when they live close to one another that we miss the most – frequent hugs and kisses, being able to get together whenever one wants, and growing bonds that only come with time.
Jakob so enjoyed getting to spend so much time with his Ouma and great grandparents. Ouma was great at giving him lots of love and attention (and lots of sweets!) and she really appreciated getting to share in the first 5 weeks of Jeremiah’s life. With all that said, it was harder saying goodbye this time that it ever was before.
We were gone a bit longer than we expected due to the time it took to get all of Jeremiah’s paperwork in order (SA birth certificate, SA passport, USA Consular Report of Birth Abroad, and US passport) but while we were there we were able to share with two different church and reconnect with many friends and supporters that we had not seen in a while. Being delayed a bit also allowed us to be able to pick up Alyssa in Johannesburg on her return from the States. (Alyssa surprised her friends/family with a visit back home in VA/MD while we were in South Africa). It was great to have the 3 day drive back to Zambia to reconnect with her and to prepare our hearts and mind for all that God might have in store for us and the ministry in 2012
Thursday, February 2, 2012
We rejoice to let you all know that little Jeremiah Jude was born on December 14, 2011 at 03:15 am. He weighed 3.36kg (7 pounds and 6 oz ) and was 52cm (20.5 inches) long. The delivery went quickly and only took Amber only 4 hours since we arrived at the birth clinic to give birth to the little man. All of us are doing very good and Jakob can not stop kissing his brother and wanting to help and be around him.
Thank you for your prayers and for rejoicing with us in this special blessing from God. He is such a good and easy baby and we look forward to seeing all that God is going to do in and through him. To God be the glory forever and ever !