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)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Points for Prayers

Turning away Babies / Need for another house – while we mentioned in the Points of Praise post that we no longer have any babies under 1 year of age it is not because of lack of need.

For the 1st time ever, since opened the orphanage we have had to turn down and refer a baby in need.  Baby Gideon was born to a mother who was mentally ill (from childhood seizures).  The father is unknown and the grandmother was too busy caring for the mom (bathing her, cooking for her etc) that she could not manage caring for an infant as well.  At only 1 day of age he was brought to us but due to only have 3 full time house mothers, 17 children, and 7 age 2 and under all in one house, we did not feel like we could find space for him for a permanent basis.

Gideon It broke my heart to have to refer him somewhere else but God in his wisdom knew and had already made a plan for little Gideon through some friends of ours, Mike and Linda Jones at Mapampi Orphanage.  They have added another house to their site over a year ago and have been struggling to find someone to serve as a house mother but just before Gideon came to us, they found the perfect lady and had space to take him (which they hadn’t had in over a year).  What is even more amazing about this story is that we have had another grandmother in the same situation whose grandbaby is due this month and it looks like they will have space for it as well (bringing them to full capacity)!

But in light of these issues and the fact that the mother of Salomi (the only child at our orphanage who has a parent that is living but is mentally ill and unable to care for her) is also pregnant and expecting again soon we are definitely seeing the need for another house to be built soon.  Money, resources (such as builders, sand, rocks etc) and time are all a factor but if it is God’s will for us to meet the needs of the orphans and needy in this area, then we trust and know that He will provide

Generator Issues and Memories of our White LandyKara 2012 035after many years and good memories of our dear old white Landy (1964- 2012) – of completely taking it apart and rebuilding it bolt by bolt,  taking us from South Africa to Zambia and back many times (put put put), transporting teams, hauling sand and many a brick run….. of plowing through many a deep mud hole, wearing our raincoats inside, freezing in the winter, and burning our feet in the summer, various break downs and leaving us stranded in who knows where – to rescuing and pulling more vehicles than we can count – It has now come the time to say goodbye to our faithful first vehicle. 

Our hearts should not be sad though because his retirement will actually be a rebirth in many ways – his heart (engine) will be used to build a bigger, better generator, axels and diff and chassis – a new trailer, and his body possibly a place of play for children.  So even in this act your legacy lives on.

Please pray for Jako, Steve, and Travis as they have the large task of disassembling it and building the engine on to generator.  The one we have now (for all of our electricity needs) is is really bad shape, spewing oil everywhere and only running by the grace of God.  Please pray that it will last until this new one is to be built and that God will give Jako and everyone else the wisdom and skill to fix/rebuilt it in a timely but good fashion.

Rush to finish work projects before the rainy season As God brings to mind please say a pray for us to  be able to finish all the work projects that God intends for us to do before the rainy season starts (playground, generator, orphanage store room, community school etc).  All indications show that it might start early this year so any prayers for strength, wisdom, energy, provision, community help, and skills of hand would be greatly appreciated. 

Rachel- one of our full time house mothers is sick (possibly with Rachel 1TB) and feeling like she may no longer have the strength to work a the orphanage.  Please pray for wisdom, God’s comfort and healing in this situation and for the provision of the right person (not married, young enough to work with a love for children, and no small kids of her own) to fill in her place in the mean time and possibly permanently. 

 Wells – well 1 Many of you may remember the water difficulties we have been experiencing here in the past few years.  How we have a need for 2 additional wells and how last year when we attempted to drill (after God provided the money) we only came up with 3 completely dry wells.  This year God has provided the money once again (thank you First Baptist Church Woodbridge, Va and Exciting Idlewild Church, Tampa Fl) and we have contracted with another drilling company.  Please pray that they will have Isaacthe time to come out here before the rainy season starts and that they will find good, strong water for use by us, the community and the orphanage.

Isaac – supposedly needs surgery next month to  fix an descended testicle and other complications related to it.

And to God who makes ALL things possible – Thank you and Amen!

Points of Praise (Good News!)

License to Drive – Amber and Alyssa drive Alyssa now both have their Zambian drivers license.  While it wasn’t an easy process (and was quite stressful for Amber who didn’t have much experience with a manual/stick shift) we are glad they did it as it will be a huge benefit to have them be able to drive for emergency purposes, run errands when needed, and free Jako from the burden of being the only one able. 
Ruth – It is with great joy that we report that Ruth has turned a  Ruth 3major corner and is doing such much better!  From the time that we got back from South and our new help has arrived she has been showing tremendous improvement every day.  Before we left we were excited because we had finally found 1 thing that brought a smile to Ruth’s face – bubbles but now…. almost as soon as she sees you and you talk to her she smiles.   She is now walking byRuth 4 herself, interacting with the other children, actively playing with toys and has finished her course of TB treatment.  While it is nice to see the physical healing that has taken place what excites me even more is the joy that is now evident in her face.  I (Amber) remember dreaming of this day 7 months ago when she was a very sick little girl with no hope or will to live so now I just can’t help but want to dance when I see her happy, walking, playing and laughing with others.  Thank you God for your hand of healing once again!
Emmanuel and Isaac turned 1 –Sep 10th we reached an DSC_0369 important milestone with Isaac, our youngest baby turning 1 year of age.  For the first time in over 2 years we no longer have a infant in the house.  Where at one time we had 5 babies on formula at 1 time now we are just loading up on the milk.  Now the orphanage yard is filled with active, moving, curious toddlers who are as cute and fun as can be.

Orphanage Committee – And on another  positive note, I am so thankful to our village orphanage committee who have been working so faithfully and effectively these past few months.Comittee 1  While none of them get paid for their time and efforts, they have given of themselves selflessly to organize work projects, attend monthly or bi-monthly meetings, help assess families wanting us to take their children, or widows/people caring for orphans asking for assistance in other ways.  After many years of struggling to try to get the community involved and the committee to be as active as we hoped it would be we are rejoicing to see the fruit of all that THEY are able to do.  Thank you God and please continue to give them strength, energy and wisdom for the days and tasks ahead.  Please bless them for their service to you and the community.
Hilux Fixed (well sort of)Hilux in half
After over 1 1/2 years of driving our Hilux with a broken chasis (temporarily fixed) it finally received a much needed body job.  With the help and knowledge of Steve (with assistance from Travis) Jako and “crew” were able to completely strip the bed and give the chasis a good permanent weld job.  It is looking so much better now and much more “mean” (aka “bush worthy”) like the way it was when we first got it.  Unfortunately on a trip to Livingstone the other day it stranded us when the crank shaft/crank pulley broke so we are busy making a plan to get that taken care of.  Please pray that once that is fixed it will run well and smooth for many good years.  Thank you that it is on it’s way to recovery hough so that it can be put to good ministry use once again.
Protection from the FlamesWild bush fires are an often  occurrence this time of year and while most are intentionally set to burn the old grass to allow the new to grow – they can sometimes become quite dangerous.  In fact, just Sunday we heard of a family who lost their house and entire harvest from a wildfire that got away.  Thankfully we fared better when a rogue wildfire came our way.  The team here and kids from the orphanage all worked very hard in the dark to protect the property, people, and orchard from the heat and raging flames but God kept everyone safe and we had no permanent damage (minus a few fruit trees).  Thank you God for your hand of protection once again.
fire 2

Short Term/Long Term Help Arrives!

Our small team of three (plus kids) had been looking forward to the month of August for a while now because with it brought the promise of much needed help and volunteers from the States.  Now the time is here and we are happy to announce those that God has sent our way.  Our first four arrived Aug 17th…..
Our Two – Two month Helpers
Kara (Tampa, Fl) –  with a background in physical therapy and a Kara love for helping people, Kara immediately took a special interest in  Ruth –a little girl who we received in February very sick.  She put a lot of time into having fun with her and helping her to develop both physically (walking) and emotionally and now they are good friends.  It is so nice to see the change in Ruth in such a short time (see     blog post for more on her progress).  Kara has also been busy with sorting, organizing, and distributing clothes, helping with the mom’s Bible study, playing with the kids, tutoring them, and taking some of them for vaccinations, painting floors and proving to be a great help in the kitchen.
Steve ( Va) – after Jako’s back injury it was clear that there was a need for some some extra “man” help for all the Steve Jako work various work projects here so when we were blessed with a donation for an orphanage playground we knew just the right man for the job.  Having been on 7 teams from VA we knew his skill at welding and are so thankful that he agreed to return to help us now.  Even though the playground hasn’t been tackled yet (it’s almost next on the to-do list) so far the Hilux chassis has be stripped and fixed, the preschool playground has had new additions, the generator has been fixed (again), a hose real for the orchard made, orphanage doors repaired and re-welded and many other things have been fixed.  With all this progress made so far, we are definitely looking forward to what the next month has in store.
Our Two – One year Volunteers
Travis ( FL) – at 18 years of age and just out of high school we are so glad to have Amber’s nephew here with us.  Some may remember that this is not his first time here as 3 years ago he spent 3 months here with us.  Travis Jako White Landy Definitely a help in the “man/manual labor” area, Travis is proving to be a determined worker to whatever task is asked of him.   Whether it be clearing trees, unloading or loading fuel cans, helping Jako and Steve with welding or building projects, watering gardens, fixing furniture, or chopping firewood he is a willing and able servant.  So far his biggest task has been to to strip our old 1964 Land Rover – (engine, gear box, exhaust, etc.)  but he is also being intentional about investing into the lives of the teenage boys at the children’s home and has started a weekly Bible study with them.  He also is starting a “boys fun time” as well as a youth Sunday School at the local village church.  We pray that his time here will not only be a blessing to us but also to him as he hopes to get a clearer picture of what missions is like “behind the scenes” and where God might be leading him in the future.
Olivia (FL) –  having just got her degree in early education Olivia is already using her education in working with the moms, babies, toddlers, and children at the children’s home.  With a love for children and desire to be a blessing Olivia has already jumped in with both feet and has been busy leading house mother Bible studies, organizing house mother training, setting up a tutoring program for the older children, doing orphanage stock inventory and handing out weekly supplies, helping with orphanage and management Oliviaoperations and has just been a great “go-to” girl for anything that needs to be done.  Olivia will also be spending time at the preschool with hopes of helping to oversee the grade school (and train the teachers) that the community is hoping we will help them with.  Her humble and sweet spirit are a joy to be around and an encouragement to all of us. 
Our Two unexpected Blessings
Zoe and Nerida (New Zealand) - while in Livingstone we received word from friends that they had met two Zoe and Neri young ladies who were traveling Africa and who were interested in volunteering with an orphanage for a time.  Not long after we were able to meet with them and when we discovered their love for children and experience in working a a day care/preschool for many years we saw this as a great opportunity.  Right from the start they fit right in and have been a blessing to Alyssa at the preschool and a big help at the orphanage spending intentional time with the children, helping the house mothers through daily interactions and training, tutoring the children and helping in whatever other way they can.  The children (and we) love their joyful spirits and we are so glad that they chose to bless us with their unplanned presence here.  We pray that they will feel as blessed by us as we are by them
So a big thanks to all our volunteers spending their time and efforts here and for all those back home that are supporting them (and us) through prayers, finances, and personal encouragement.
We are blessed to be a part of such a team.  Thank you God for your provision, protection, and blessing on each and every one of them.  GO TEAM GO!!!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Quick trip to SA

DSC_0095 Just as our individual visitors were leaving to return home we decided to take the opportunity to make a quick 1 week trip to South Africa to get some supplies for the ministry and quickly visit family and supporters.

However, due to plans to have two extensions added to the preschool and concurrent school holiday, DSCN0850 Alyssa decided to stay back to supervise the builder and building process in hopes of having it done before school started again in Sep.  This is the first time that she had stayed alone in the bush since her arrival but we all prayed about it and made sure that there were lots of safety measures in place for her (ie. night security, orphanage committee keeping an eye on things etc).  We left trusting the orphanage and Alyssa into God’s hands. 

The time passed faster than we ever could have imagined (especially with four full days of traveling there and back) but while there we were able to acquire some much needed ministry items (including solar power for the preschool/ primary school that we hope to be coming, a low energy fridge that will work on solar power) and touch base with some supporting churches and supporters.  Thanks to Emmaus Baptist Church for their continued prayers and support of the ministry and to the Dutch Reformed Church of Rooihuiskraal for their generous donation of vitamin porridge for our babies and toddlers here. 

On a personal note it was a june 2012 120blessing to get to see Jako’s grandparents again as both of them are getting older and their health is starting to suffer.  It is hard to be so far away from family, especially when the kids are young and growing so fast so it was a real treat to be able to see them and Jako’s mom one more time.  Jakob loved all the attention from Ouma and Jeremiah got lots of cuddles and love as well. 

Medical Scare Blessing

While in South we decided to take Jakob and Jeremiah to the  Aug 2012 093doctors for a quick check up.  While there the doctor noticed that Jakob had an enlarged spleen and suggested that we get  some lab work done.  Since we were scheduled to leave the next day to head back to Zambia the doctor quickly made plans to   have us have the lab work DSCN0879and  see a pediatrician the next morning.  We could tell from her reaction that this could be  something serious.  After doing some internet research we found that an enlarged spleen could be caused from anything from an infection such as Malaria to something really serious like Leukemia.  With worried hearts but faith in God we got the lab work and waited anxiously for the results.  Imagine our relief when the pediatrician called us in and said that Jakob was fine, he just had a rare condition called Eliptocytosis (basically he has oval shaped red blood cells instead of round ones.  Because of their shape they don’t last as long so the body has to produce them more often).DSC_0167  It’s not serious and will probably not affect him at all growing up or later in life but this quite rare disorder actually PROTECTS him by making him more immune to Malaria.  Praise God!!!  Isn’t that just like Him to take something scary and turn it into something wonderful!  Just another reason for us to love and trust Him. 

We thank God for a good brief trip to South, for favor with travel and gathering ministry provisions, for watching over Alyssa and things back in Mukamba, and for allowing us to see His goodness in the midst of Jakob’s medical scare. 

Individual Visitors are Also a Blessing

One of the many joys that we have in this ministry is getting to know the short term volunteers that come our way – whether part of a team or just coming on their own – the joy and energy that they bring to the project here is sweet and so is their fellowship and willingness to help.
Just as the church in VA team left, we received a new type of group composed of individual friends and supporters from different walks of life.  Alyssa was especially excited about this group of visitors because the 3 that arrived were all personal friends of hers.
We first met Karen and Rachel when they came to visit and help Alyssa prep for the preschool last year before it was opened.   Back then we just knew them as friends of Alyssa but this year it DSC_0469 was nice to have them visit as our friends as well.  While here they were able to love on the moms and kids at the children’s home (even blessing them with a donation of cuddle size stuffed animals), laugh and encourage us, and help with things that need doing but we never quite have the time to get around to.  For us the list of that is never ending and just goes on and now but thanks to these two, several things are off the list such as painting Alyssa’s window sills and window frames, painting the preschool window sills and frames, painting the poles for Jako’s work area, and cleaning up around the property (raking leaves so if snakes are around they will be visible, removing rubble etc).   They also brought some good stuff for the preschool (material items and ideas) and Alyssa was especially excited about the outdoor easel for the preschool that they raised money for.DSC_0228
It was also a blessing to have Georgia  visit at the same time.  As the founder of the Regio preschool that Alyssa used to work for in the States, Alyssa was excited to have her former boss see how she was implementing all that she had learned out here in the bush.  Along with her great smiles and love for children and education she brought with her lots of gifts for the school and knowledge as well.  She really enjoyed getting to meet and interact with the children at the school and was a blessing to meet.
Unfortunately the beginning of August marked the saying goodbye to Rachel V.  Even though she was only here with us for 2 1/2 months, it felt like she had been here longer (in a good way).  During her time here she helped with classes at the preschool, DSC_0341 loved on the house mothers, sorted, organized and distributed clothes to the children at the orphanage, helped in many different ways at the house, and spent lots of time playing with the babies and children.  The toddlers loved the way that she was able to play with them at their level and the mom’s so appreciated her care and love of them.  Thank you Rachel for giving of yourself for these past two months and for the blessing that you were to so many people.  You are and will be missed.  Know that your legacy lives on here in the lives of the children and house mom's. 

Friends from a church in Va

July 12 – 26 we were blessed with a team of 7 that came to visit, help, and encourage us from a Church in DSC_6904 Va.  This is the 7th team that has visited us from there and it was nice to see some returning faces (Richard had been on 6 of the teams, Steve on 7, Jim on 3, and Christine only on the 1st team ) and have some new ones as well (Debra, Barbara, and Denise, who was the last one of her family of 4 to be on a team here). 
While here they proved to be a blessing in many ways.  Work DSCN0839 wise their two main tasks were to dig and pour footers for the  two room extensions on the current preschool and a storeroom for the orphanage, and put up a fence around the preschool and the orphanage house.  It was a joy to see their team work and good attitudes to do anything needed because  they were also able put in the base for the orphanage gates, install a water heater in the outside bathroom for guest useDSC_7173, build a large collapsible multi-use table for team/ ministry purposes, do several sand and brick runs and keep up with the traditional cattle rodeo/ aka cattle vaccinations. 
They were also great in helping Jako with the every day break downs and fixings of the machines while here.  Unfortunately break downs are not a rarity here and fixing them takes lots of Jako’s time and effort – just to maintain basic needs such as lights, electricity, and water.  Having the team’s help to fix a broken water coupling on the water tower, rebuild the generator motor, and engineer a new bracket for the generator was a big help practically and a big morale booster.  DSC_7224
Spiritually the team was able to participate in and attend two   DSC_7676 village church services, do marriage teaching for the community,  eye glass ministry in Kaue at the local clinic (doing eye testing, handing out glasses, and sharing the gospel), play with the babies and children at the orphanage,  and invest and pray for the house moms through special Bible study time just for them. 'The three teenage boys here Jim 1really enjoyed the time that Jim spent with them, talking with them and modeling what it means to be responsible young men. 
Denise and Chris (who are both hospice nurses) were even able to go with Amber to visit some sick families in the surrounding villages, to encourage and pray with them.   Despite Amber  having to drive the rough bush roads herself (technically foot paths in some places),  she really enjoyed being able to get out into the village and interact with the community on a more personal level.  In one day they went from visiting a humble and gracious sick widow who was caring for 11 dependants (8 of which were 10 or under with  no males that could work or help plow) who was only thinking of how she could DSC_7154provide for them when she passed away, to a gentleman who also sick but who had a very nice village (looked like the village HYLTON), but still wanted more and was very afraid of dying.  It was heartbreaking to see the need that was out there and to see the difference in needs that exist.
Thanks to all that were a part of the team or who helped to make Debra 1this team possible and thanks also to the church in VA for their continued support of us and the ministry  over the years.   We will think of Richard Sanfordyou every time we see the fence keeping the kids safe at the preschool and the orphanage, when we look at the extensions on the preschool, and you will definitely be  remembered in the hearts of the children and housemothers that you invested in here.  Thanks for making a difference and for being a part of all that God is Barbara 1doing here.