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)

Friday, July 6, 2012

A Harvest of Help and Maize

A”maize”ing harvest

Thank you to all of you who prayed for the orphanage crops this year.  Due to us being in South Africa for Jeremiah’s birth last year(in the middle of the raining and planting season), we did not have the luxury of judging the weather to see when the plant.  maize bags We were very aware of our need for God to send the right amount of rain at the right time and also our dependence upon the locals and orphanage committee to manage and care for the crops while we were gone.  While there was a few problems with cattle and monkeys eating the crops and a mediocre rainy season, we are happy to report that out of the 1.5 hectares (2.5 acres) that was planted we were able to harvest 85 50kg (110lb) bags which should be enough to feed our 17 kids, house mothers, and day workers (lunch) until the next harvest.  This is the first year that we have been able to do so and we are very excited.  As you can see from the one picture those helping to shell the corn were literally standing knee deep maize 1in the kernals!  Thank you God for your abundant provision once again and to the local orphanage committee who gave of their time and efforts to help.  As it crosses your mind please pray for wisdom, provision and logistics of clearing even more land so that we can plant more next year to sell for self sustainability for this project. 

Apart from an abundance of maize we have also been blessed with an abundance of visitors these past few months.

Amber and Steve

Amber and Steven 2Amber and Stephen (from the USA) were introduced to us through a mutual friend.  They went on a mission trip with their pastor to Tanzania and went to great lengths to squeeze in a quick 1 week visit here with us.  They were a lot of fun to have around and helped at the orphanage, harvested maize, played Frisbee football and soccer with the kids and even went and played (aka helped out) at the preschool.

RachaelRachael 1

Midway through their visit Rachael came to us from Grace Baptist church in Maryland.  She will be with us here for two and a half months.  While she came mainly to help Alyssa with the preschool she has already proved herself to be such a blessing to all of us.  She has been a great help so far with reading with the kids, sorting, organizing, and giving out new clothes and shoes at the orphanage,  overseeing the preschool while Alyssa and the head teacher were at a Rachael 2conference in South Africa, and helping Amber with admin and general work around the mission.  She is such a humble servant who is willing to do any task, any where, just to bless us and has fit right in with us from the start.  We look forward to seeing what this next month holds in store and will be sad to see her leave in early August.

 Idlewild Baptist Church, Tampa Florida 

Orland Jako friendsThen at the end of June a small team of 4 arrived from Idlewild Baptist Church in Tampa, Florida.  While they came mainly for encouragement and future planning purposes, in their short visit here they were able to do Bible teaching for three days, Bible study with the house mothers for 3 days, paint the inside of the orphanage, play with the IBC Bible studychildren, preach at church, and gain a better understanding of the ministry here and the role that we plan in it.  While their physical help and “doing” things was a great benefit to the community and those involved, I think the biggest blessing that we received from them Geary playing with kidswas just the love and encouragement that they gave us as people and not just missionaries.  Even little things like playing games, praying together, and chatting into the night brought a smile to our face and revitalized our spirits.  

Upcomming Plans

July and August will be busy months for us as we prepare for a team from First Baptist Church of Woodbridge, Virginia and the arrival of several other short term and long term visitors.  Please pray that God will give us the strength, energy and wisdom to do all that we need to prepare for their arrival (ie fixing vehicles, other maintenance etc) and to be a blessing to them and the community.  Also that God will give us wisdom in how to continue caring for our team here, local staff, the children and housemothers and all the other responsibilities that come along with running a ministry such as this. 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Security Changes, Community Involvement, and a Pain in the Back

Update on Charles (our security guard and local manager) 
We have not seen or spoken with Charles for more than a month now. The last time we saw him he had finished his 90 day treatment but was still not doing good (although better than when he first went) and needed to go on another 90 day treatment.

When he went for his TB treatment the first time,  I (Jako) asked him to bring me a letter from the doctor upon when he comes back stating that he was now healthy and no threat to the children here. We encouraged him to stay at the hospital until all of his treatments were over but when he returned stated that he had left before his treatment were done but the doctor could not give him his letter yet.  The next day I asked him to stay Rachael's photos 100 somewhere other than the orphanage property out of concern for the children here (some which are sick and some are HIV+).  He  understood it and said that we will go and stay at his home in the village. His wife Brenda got very upset with this and the fact that I had to question him about using the tractor with out any permission when we were in South Africa (and which he was given clear instructions not to).

In response they packed up their whole house and left. We keep on praying for Charles and his family that he will be healed but are sad to see that he now has a “dark” look in his eyes and seems to be trusting in the local witchdoctors and their ways now.  I asked him to return when he is strong and healthy again so that we can go from there but to be honest there is a lot of things that happened that he was dishonest and the trust is broken now.  Please pray for both physical and spiritual healing for Charles and his family and for God’s wisdom in how to continue from here.

Security Issues and a New Fence

With Charles’ departure, we felt it best that we not have someone live so near on the property anymore (to remove the tempting thought of what is yours is mine and vice versa) but  without a full time “security guard” we had to quickly come up with a plan of how to  best care for the things that God has entrusted to us here.  While we feel quite safe in this area, theft is a reality anywhere and the different roles and responsibilities that each of us have often have us away from the property at different times. 

 IMG_3902 Hence – operation “build a fence” started and after 2 1/2 weeks of 3 men working we were able to fence in a 2 hectare area around us.   Not only does the fence keep out locals who are intent on doing “evil” but it protects the ones who are here for good from our dogs.  Now no one has to fear coming here for all they have to do is ring the bell at the gate and they are welcomed in by us.

Community Involvement

When Charles left and we decided to put up the fence, one of our fears was that it would have a negative affect in terms of community involvement and the way that the community viewed and approached us.  IMG_3884Interestingly enough, for reasons we can’t explain (except for God), we have been very happy to discover community involvement and visitors actually increasing!  People still come to us for medicine, prayers, asking for assistance, and just visiting and in the past month we have seen the community rally behind us and the project more than we have in the past few  years.  To God be the glory for His marvelous and mysterious ways!

Jako - and a real pain in the back

At the end of May my back began to pain so much that I could no longer stand and spent several days in bed, flat on my back.  I initially hoped that after a bit of rest, I would be “back” on my feet soon but when it persisted we realized that something was seriously wrong.  After x-rays in Livingstone showed that things were not good I was flown to South Africa and spent a week in traction, on strong pain killers, undergoing MRI’s, X-rays, physiotherapy and getting a consult by a top neurosurgeon/back specialist.  It was found that I have several compressed disks and damage but the hope is that with rest and home physiotherapy I can build up the muscles enough to support the damage that is there. 

June 2012 021 Currently I am doing better day by day but I have to take it slow. According to the doctor I am not allowed to pick anything up for six weeks (which is almost over) and the specialist said that at leased for the next year till I have my back and stomach muscles strong that I can not pick anything heavy up. It is a big frustration for me because i cannot do any physical work not and there is so much to do but hopefully if I heed the doctors orders (and with lots of prayers) no surgery will be necessary.

Please pray for me that God will give me strength, wisdom, discretion, and peace during this next year and that He will send the right people, with the right skills, at the right time to meet the physical needs and work that needs to be done around here.  Thank you for all of your prayers for me during this recovery time. 

Health and Healing for our Children

Ruth:
Our Father is good and we Ruth 1 editedgive Him all the honor and praise for God is restoring Ruth's health. Ruth turned 2 years old on May  21st and as you can see from her pictures can now show off her cute chubby cheeks.  She not only has gone from 5.4 kgs (11lbs 14 oz - in Feb) to 9.8 kg (21 lb 6 oz) but she is now starting to walk with assistance (and even a step or two without assistance when no one is looking).  Emotionally she is settling in nicely as well, getting more attached and comfortable with the mom’s here and it is so nice to see her starting to play with toys, the other children here, and even smile on occasion.  The hopelessness in her eyes is starting to be replaced by hope and although she still has a long way to go to catch up with others of her age, the difference that we have seen so far is truly amazing.  Thank you Father for you hand of healing on this little girl and for all of your continued prayers for her. 

Nchimunya: 

Praise God that his last HIV test came back negative! Rachael's photos 118 This is such an answer to prayer because although all of our babies are at risk of acquiring this disease because of their sick mothers’ Nchimunya has by far been the healthiest baby that we have received at this orphanage – from the time that he came to us at 6 weeks of age to now at 17 months of age.  God has good and continues to remind of His faithfulness through this little boy named trouble (Mapenzi) at birth and later renamed normal (Nchimunya) when he came to us.  Isn’t that a great picture of God’s redemption?

Emmanuel:
Emanuel has been plagued by this bad skin rash (since 3 months old) that did not want to go away even when we used very strong topical steroids.  It was on his Rachael's photos 163 face, arms and also on his butt and privates. Nothing seemed to work. We spoke to a chemist in Livingstone and showed him picture of it and he said that he feels that the steroids will flare it up worst. I suggested that he was not treated for sexual transmitted deceases that might have been passed onto him from his mother.  He suggested that we treated him for 21 days with a special antibiotic and so far it seems to have cleared up his skin in all areas.  Our hope is that it will remain clear and that this will be a permanent solution to his constant skin problems.  If not we will continue to treat for excema and go on from there.  Please pray with us for God’s continued healing touch in this little boys life : )

Other Children:

All of our other children are doing great at the moment.  It is great to see them happy, healthy, and so much more settled and comfortable with themselves and the home then when they first came.  We love seeing their smiling faces and watching them play and help around the home.  To God be the glory forever and ever.

Rachael's photos 117