The same day that Ruth got diagnosed with TB, so did our local foreman Charles. Anyone who has been here to visit us the past few years has met this amazing but humble man with a huge heart to help the orphans. He has been a faithful servant to us, the ministry, and kids at the children’s home. Being n HIV + for 11+ years now, has been a big advocate for HIV education in the village, even among the kids and the house moms here with us. Unfortunately when we returned from South Africa in January we found him suffering with a cough which he said was being treated at the clinic. When the cough didn’t go away we advised him to go for further help and treatment but due to the cost of going to the TB clinic without a referral from the local clinic, he chose to wait. We pray that that decision will not be a fatal one because when we took him to the TB clinic in Zimba on Friday, the doctors said that both of his lungs were badly infected and that his case was quite severe. Knowing that TB claims many victims here in rural Africa (the private hospital in Livingstone tells us that only 30% of the TB patients that come in to them walk out) we are desperately asking for your prayers and intercession on behalf of Charles. God has graciously spared his life up to this point but we are asking for grace, mercy, and God’s healing touch on his life, knowing the good that he can still do in this area, for the ministry and in the lives of the precious children he has put under our care. To may of these kids (especially the older boys) Charles has been like a father to them and they have already lost so much. In addition Charles has a wife Brenda (who helps with the children’s home when needed and watching Jakob), and four children whom he is caring for, (1 is Brenda’s son, 2 are grandchildren, and one an orphan that he has raised since infancy). While we know that God’s ways are always best we appreciate your prayers for this faithful worker and his family, especially that He will remain strong in his faith during this time of hardship and not doubt or revert back to believing that this was caused by witch craft or a curse. We pray for God’s healing power and for God to use this situation to bring HIM glory, praise, and honor once again.
- 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)
Monday, March 26, 2012
This past month seems to have us plagued by sickness. Not only has the children’s home had their fair share of the local eye infections or cough that is going round, but this month TB (Tuberculosis) seems to have hit us pretty hard and claimed 3 of our own as it’s unhappy host.
Many of you remember Ruth, our 1 1/2 year old newest addition who we asked so many prayers for because she was so sick, HIV +, and seemed to be failing to thrive? Well, while we have seen some improvement in her condition since being released from the clinic (she is now sitting up on her own, eating much better, trying to stand with assistance, growing more attached to her house mother, and even starting to interact a bit more with the other children) but she has not picked up the weight that we hoped she would even with all of the nutrition and good food she now has access to. Because of that she was taken to the clinic last Wednesday where they confirmed that she has stomach TB. This type of TB is very common in malnourished babies and children (Sanford was being treated for it when he came to us) and while it is not as contagious as the more typical lung TB, it is still contagious so she will be staying with Rachel at Kaue for three weeks to get the treatment that she needs and not infect the other children. Ruth is still a sad little girl and whenever I see her I can’t wait for the day that she will be happy and laughing and playing like all kids should. Please pray with us for continued healing of this precious little girl – emotionally, mentally, and physically and that with God’s grace, maybe she will be smiling and laughing a bit when she returns.
For the past 6 months that Emmanuel has been under our care (He is now 7 months old) he has been struggling with some sort of skin condition – he would get big rashes on his face, cheeks, elbows and arms that would sometimes develop into open sores. Despite several visits to the clinic and applying all sorts of ointments nothing seemed to work for long. He is always such a happy and smiling baby so several weeks ago when Belita came to us saying that he had a large swollen lymph node on his neck and a fever (but no pain) it made us start to wonder what was causing it. The next day the swollen lymph node had moved to his armpit and the following day he was in severe pain so we took him to the clinic. They admitted him for 5 days but because he didn’t respond as quickly as they had hoped, he ended up being there for 10. When he returned he was much better but not 100%. Then as I was looking at info on TB to see how contagious it was I read about a type of skin TB that affects the skin and lymph nodes and it’s symptoms seemed very similar to what Emmanuel was experiencing. So, last Friday we had him at the TB clinic and today he is going back for more tests because they suspect that he has TB as well. While it makes me wonder why it wasn’t picked up and diagnosed earlier by those in the medical field, I am thankful that God is the great Physician and was able to help lead us to the right place at the right time. Hopefully we have finally have figured out what the problem is so that we can get him on the right meds to rid this problem and get him healthy again because when Emmanuel smiles, you can’t help but smile back.
Addendum – supposedly the clinic says that he is free from TB so while that is good please pray that God will continue to heal Emmanuel in his own way or show us how best to respond.
Last wednesday we had several more of our kids tested for HIV and while we are very happy that Emmanuel and Sanford came back negative (they thought Emmanuel might be positive because of the issues mentioned above), we were shocked to find out that Nchimunya came back as positive. At one year of age now and a nice healthy weight he was by far the healthiest baby that we have received and has stayed the most healthy of any of them. He would be the last one that we would suspect this of. But… there is a chance that the test was only showing the positive results of his mother’s antibodies because it is hard and expensive to test children for HIV so please pray along with us that this is the case. It happened once before with little Esther who has first diagnosed as positive but then the next test showed she was free of it. We are hoping and praying that this is the case for Nchiimunya as well. God has him in his hands no matter what but HIV is not a disease that we would want to wish on anybody, especially a precious little child. Thank you God that the other children are HIV free and that you care and provide for all the needs of your little ones, despite their HIV status.
Thank you for your prayers for all of us during the weeks that Jako was away in the States. God proved as faithful as always and cared for all of us and the kids at the children’s home despite the miles.
While in the States Jako was able to meet and share all that God has done (and is continuing to do) at the orphanage with 3 different churches, numerous home groups and Bible studies, and many individuals. He was also able to meet with different church and missions leaders to talk about their partnership here with us and discuss future plans and team involvement. While it wasn’t easy being there without his family God blessed his time and it was definitely a worth while trip. Thank you to all the friends, family, and supporters who went out of their way to meet with him, encourage him, ask him about the ministry and how they can pray, or just have fun with him and make him feel welcome.
Meanwhile, back in Zambia, Amber, Alyssa and the boys did well handling things on the home front. Alyssa taught at the preschool and Amber managed things at the orphanage and around the mission. While getting a bad case of a stomach bug made this a bit more difficult (Amber was on antibiotics for 14 days) God was gracious and didn’t allow any major mechanical break downs of important things like vehicles, generator, gas fridges etc during Jako’s absence. Alyssa was a huge help to Amber in caring for the boys before and after preschool and it was a big relief to all of them that things ran so relatively smooth. God even made a way for them to be able to surprise Jako and meet him at the airport upon his arrival in Livingstone. What a sweet reunion that was – especially for Jakob.
Thanks for all your prayers during this time and for God’s goodness, provision, guidance, and grace through it all.