Our Vision

My photo
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)

Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Perishable vs. the Imperishable

These last few months (and especially this rainy season) there has been a truth that God is making more and more real to me.  The truth of the Perishable vs. the Imperishable. 
In Matthew 6: 19-21 Jesus says “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourself treasure in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal: for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
These past few months we have witnessed first hand just how perishable the things of this world are….
Roads in the Rainy Season
With the rains being so bad this year (probably the worst in over 20 years if not more) many of the roads here have become non-existent and not driveable.  With us being 2 hours bridge road from the nearest small town (ie fuel, food, local markets etc) this is a big concern for us.  Every time we need to drive to town now is an adventure and the roads are only getting worse.  In this picture, the water is flowing OVER a concrete bridge that normally towers at least 7 feet over the small flowing river.  Definitely different from the “great street of the city of pure gold, like transparent glass” mentioned in Revelations 21:21.  While I don’t know if there will be driving there I am looking forward to it either way : )
To see more pictures of the road conditions that we have had to drive through lately visit https://picasaweb.google.com/missionoflovezambia/RainySeasonRoad2013
Vehicles and Tractors
Obviously these roads take quite a toll on the vehicles (and other motor vehicles like the tractor, quad, and work trailer) so in the past month most of Jako and Travis’ time has spent trying to keep at least one vehicle working at all times.  Just in the past two months the toll has been heavy for us – for our LandRover - a prop shaft, the transmission and bearings in the transmission, and a snapped rod in the back diff (necessary for 4 wheel drive).   It has also cost us the IMG_2041 transmission of the Tractor, a new axel (and hubs) for the work trailer, as well as numerous draining of diff oil for both the Hilux(fixed front locking hubs, ball joints, centre bearing and universal joints) and the Landy to rid it from all of the mud and grime that these flooded roads bring.  Just in the past month we have had to spend over $300 on diff oil to keep the vehicles running and even now the trailer, tractor, and Landy is still broken!  In fact the other day the only thing operational was the quad that you have to pull start and has no headlights.  And on one rescue mission (to retrieve one of our vehicles that was stuck, the other one got stuck resulting in Jako, Alyssa, Travis and Rachel walking 22km back to the house carrying 3 year old Jakob on their back – 4 hours walk getting home past 9pm).  It is times like this that we are thankful that God has blessed us with two vehicles and a such a handy man in Jako so that hopefully at least one vehicle is operational at all times.   Please pray for us though in these trying times.
As many of you may remember from a previous post – thieves broke into one of our store room and stole some much needed clothing donations. Upon DSC_0238 further investigation of what was missing we have discovered that a suitcase full of shoes, all our youth and children’s shorts and pants, adult and youth skirts, and all of our Mice12 month, and 0 – 3 month baby clothing is gone (including all of our newborn and premie clothing).  This last one is the most heart sore as many of our babies that we have received have been sick premies (4-5lbs or 2 kg babies) and it is extremely difficult to find clothes for small babies in Zambia.
Mold Mildew
And if that wasn’t enough – recently we discovered that the place where we had been holding these donations (for when our children need them or when we get enough to distribute to Alyssa May 2011 079 orphans in the community)  had a very bad leaky roof – not good during the rainy season that we have been having.   When we discovered it many of the clothes had already been wet for a while and had started to mold and mildew.  Not wanting these precious donations to go to waste Olivia and Amber spent hours soaking, scrubbing, washing, and drying the affected clothes and praise God most of them were able to be saved.
But the clothing isn’t the only place where we are struggling with mold and mildew.  Because of all the rain and the deep waters we have had to drive through (and sometimes had flowing through the vehicle) our vehicles have also been sprouting some nasty green and black growth on the inside of them.  Our now almost daily routine is to open the car doors when it’s sunny and then quickly shut them again when it starts to rain or at night.  Not fun! 
Mice, Moths, Ants, and Rust
It seems that no place is safe dead_mouse around  here to keep things “safe”.  In the house or store rooms, stealthy moths or sneaky mice chew holes through anything and everything they can get their hands on and outside, rust attacks anything metal and ants anything wood. 
Not that we are complaining.  We love life out here in the bush but it does just go to remind us that the things of this world are temporary and perishable.  No matter how hard we try to be good stewards of what God has given us- one day it is going to be gone.  Physical goods are not meant to last, but eternal treasure is.  As we work so hard at managing the physical things that God has provided and entrusted to us may we also work just as hard (if not harder) to make sure our focus is eternally minded because as Mark 8: 36 says “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?”

Friday, February 22, 2013

2013 School Starts

Twana Little School (Preschool)

The first week in February was a busy week for Alyssa and Medis as the school started it’s 2013 year.  This year several changes took place in an attempt to make the school more self sustainable and transition the leadership and running of the school to Medis, (the local teacher that Alyssa hired last year and has been training ever since).  Sadly, Alyssa’s two year commitment to us is almost complete and  she will be leaving here in May.  When Alyssa leaves, Medis will need to take on all of her responsibilities but without her expertise and direct leadership.  In order to make that happen they decided that this year they would only allow two classes of 30 children each (instead of 4 classes of 20+).  This means that children would come mostly in the morning leaving Medis time in the afternoon to clean, prepare lessons, and plan.  Even with the higher school fees to assist in making the school more self sustainable (K15,000 instead of K10,000) classes filled up fast with eager 4,5 and 6 year olds and school got off to a great running start.  For more information on the school visit Alyssa’s blog at http://alyssabolles.blogspot.com/

Dec Jan 2013 264-003

Why Isn’t There a Grade 1 yet?  The only complaint that we had (which turned out to be a big one) was that the parents wanted their 7 year olds able to do grade 1 there this year.  Supposedly there are over 110 children registered for grade 1 at the nearest community school (probably with only 1 teacher) and because the parents of the kids at the preschool hadn’t worked at that community school last year they were not allowing their kids to attend.  The parents complained that they were working for the preschool (about 4 days out of the whole year) and so they should make a grade 1 for these kids here.  Jako and Alyssa Dec Jan 2013 265 promptly reminded them about the discussions and agreements from last year – that we would help them build a community school IF they did their part for the work – all the bricks, digging sand, stones, finding a builder etc.  We would help with doors, windows, window and door frames, metal roofing etc but that they had to do their part first.  They had the opportunity to do so last year but choose not to and as sad as it is that some of these children may have to miss out on a year of school, the responsibility (and blame) lays on the parents and not on MOL.  While some were not happy with what we said, most understood and agreed that they were the ones that had failed and recommitted to working to get a school up as quickly as possible.  So far the community seems to be pulling together with many villages digging stones and trying to make a way to get sand in the middle of rainy season so please pray that this commitment stays for the sake of the community and the children.  There is a tremendous opportunity for MOL and the community to partner and impact many more children so please pray for God’s wisdom, guidance, and provision over it all. 

Our kids in the village

Nov 2012 033 Meanwhile, our kids here were excited about another year of  school.  Millium and Otavia are still attending the local community school due to their age and the distance from us while Cecilia and Sylvester (aka Junior) got to join Precious at Nguba Government school about 8 km away.

 Our Kalomo Kids

Thanks to God’s goodness and wonderful provision we were able able to find a house to rent, a good Dec Jan 2013 263-001 house mother (Purity – the daughter of our Senior House mother Ennie), and register 4 of our  older kids in Green Acres Basic School in Kalomo (a small town two hours drive from us).  It was a lot to  accomplish in just a few weeks but God showed once again that He can make a way when it is difficult.  The kids are adjusting to city life very well (some I think are enjoying it a bit too much) and we are happy about the opportunities that the good education will afford to Pamela (grade 9), Enest and Dec Jan 2013 256 Pilohead (grade 8) and Bridget (grade 7). It has been impressed on these children that they are being given a once in a lifetime opportunity and that they must study hard and take it seriously.  So far they seem to be doing great. Just look at the pride on their faces! 


Our goal next year is to have Precious and Junior join those four as they are older and need to continue on in their education as well. Unfortunately Precious is very DSC_0011 far behind in school (she failed last year and cannot read) and this is Juniors first year in a government school so we felt that it would be best to keep them here for one more year but allow Olivia and Travis to intensively tutor them 5 days a week on Reading and Math.  They are starting at the basics and doing great so far, even sacrificing after school sports to get home early and make the most of this opportunity.  We are very proud of all of our children here. 

Please Pray

-that God will continue to provide the funds for the additional $700 per month that it will cost us to have these 4 older children in school in town (school fees, supplies, housing, food, house mother etc)

- that God will grant the children wisdom and knowledge as they study hard to do well in school and provide any additional resources (such as tutors) that they might need

- Please pray especially for Precious and Junior to be able to be caught up and that God would grant them grace and encouragement for all the extra effort they are putting into learning

- that the villagers in the community would come together and work hard to do their part for building the grade school (ie. digging sand, rocks, building bricks etc) and that their commitment to the project would continue and not just be words for the sake of the children and their education.  Also for God to provide the funds for our part of the building (Cement, doors, windows, roof sheets etc…)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Happy Reunions and Happy Smiles

Alyssa (and Rachel) Returns100_1724
January 21st was a happy day for all of us here as Alyssa returned from 6 weeks in the States and along with her friend who volunteered for a few months here last year, Rachel Villafone.
The smile on the faces of the children and housemothers was priceless as they ran up to hug and great them with wild abandon.  100_1510One thing that the villagers here know is that life is precious and that when  someone leaves (even if just for a short time) it is never guaranteed that they will return, even with the best intent.  This makes their joy and the welcome all the more real when they do.  It’s always a time for celebration and is amazing to witness, never getting old.
Unfortunately neither had much time for rest with less than 2 weeks before school opening to get the preschool ready for the 2013 year.  It was all hands on deck and there was lots of cleaning, painting, building of furniture,DSCN1628 fixing doors, hanging shelves, and organizing to be done but God answered Alyssa’s prayers to hold off   on rain during the day and we actually had our first week of sunshine since the rainy season really started.  After many long hours of work (and many late at night or early in the morning) the school was ready and it was well worth it.  There were many happy kids at school on opening day.  To read more about the preschool check out Alyssa’s blog at http://alyssabolles.blogspot.com/
P.S.  True to God’s nature – after the week of sunshine that Alyssa prayed for the heavens opened once again and have barely stopped : )
Children’s Christmas Blessing
Thanks to the Dutch Reformed Millium and Otavia Church of Livingstone, our children at the children’s home were blessed with Christmas gifts again this year.   Since the presents only arrived in January, no one was expecting them and so the kids were even more surprised and excited.  The older children loved their different gifts of backpacks, school supplies, umbrellas, face cloths and body spray and the younger children and toddler loved the toys that they received.  Thank you DRC of Livingstone for all of your practical help over the years and for bringing such joy to the lives of these precious children.
For more pictures of the children receiving their present please visit  https://picasaweb.google.com/missionoflovezambia/DRCLivingstoneChristmasGiftsJan201302
The Joubert Family
Our family is doing well and both Jakob and Jeremiah are growing Dec Jan 2013 184 like weeds.  Jakob loves playing in the dirt and the mud of the rainy season and playing with all of his friends at the children’s home and Jeremiah is now walking and wants to do everything that his older brother is doing.  They are loving life in the bush and we are so happy for God’s watch care and protection over both of them.  On a personal note if anyone wants to see some fun current pictures of them you can visit https://picasaweb.google.com/missionoflovezambia/BoysFunInTheMudFeb2013
We were blessed with a visit from Jako’s mother over Christmas and cherished every moment that we got to spend together.  The boys especially loved all of her hugs and special attention and we enjoyed getting to make new traditions of our own for our first Christmas here in Zambia.
And then in January we were blessed with a visit from Pastor Harry Davies from Emmaus Baptist Church in Centurion, South Africa.  This was the English speaking IMG_1761 church that Jako and I attended after we got married and Pastor Harry is the pastor that did the baby dedication of both of our boys.  Despite all of their dedicated prayers, support, and encouragement over the years, this is the first time that anyone from the congregation has been able to visit.  It was such a blessing to be able to show him the ministry here in person and all that things he had only heard about or seen in pictures previously.  He was a great encouragement to us as a couple, family, missionaries, and fellow workers for the Kingdom.  Thank you Pastor Harry for taking time out of your busy schedule to come and check in on us and for all that you and the church have done for us over the years.  We are blessed and so grateful to God for providing for us and allowing us to be here.