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. 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 in 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 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.
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 conference 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
Then 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 children, 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 was 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.
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.