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, May 10, 2013

Good News and Looking forward!!!

Introducing Betty, Our Newest Housemother

Thank you to the many people who have prayed for a Godly un-married woman to take the place of Rachel and be the new Betty housemother to her precious children,  Knowing that they had lost so much (even more so now with the loss of Rachel) we knew that this was crucial to them feeling safe, secure, and loved.  We prayed (and asked you to pray along with us) for many months and in just the right time, God provided Betty.  She is young, energetic, hard working, often laughing, and has had a very teachable and humble heart.  The children and housemothers love her and so far she seems to have been the perfect fit.  Please continue to lift her up as being a full time mother to so many precious children has a lot of challenges.  Please continue to pray for her heart and energy to be filled by God so that she can be giving out of her excess to help heal and restore these precious children.

Side note – Ruth Update

Little Ruth continues to amaze ruth us every day.  She will be turning 3 at the end of the month and has just about fully caught up with her peers in all areas of development, – physically, she is walking, running, jumping, and even climbing the rock wall at the preschool, she is loving her new housemother Betty and is showing great attachment there, and emotionally is dong great as well.  What an encouragement to see a life so transformed and changed by the grace of God.  We feel privileged and truly honored to have been chosen by God to be a part of it. 

Another Family to Join us!!!

We are so happy to be able to finally announce that Natalie19-8x10Nate and Melanie Sweerin (along with their infant daughter Natalie) joined our MOL family here in April.  They have committed to spending a year with us and we are very glad to have them back here with us again.  Many of you might remember that Nate spent a total of 6 months with us here over two summers (in 2009 and 2010) and Melanie joined him for his time in 2010.  They were such a huge blessing to us then – Nate with his ability to fix vehicles, strong back, enthusiastic hard working spirit, and general handiness and Melanie with her love for people, servants heart and service of helps.  In fact they were both here when we arrived our first newborn baby, Genesis, born 6 weeks premature at only 2 kgs (4 lbs).  We didn’t know if she would make it but Melanie took her on, keeping her body warm by kangarooing her and waking up to feed her every 2 – 4 hours!  It is largely in part a tribute to Melanie’s care that Genesis is a happy active 2 1/2 year old now!

Now we eagerly look forward to what the next year will hold for them as they come to help us and the ministry.  The goal for the year is for Nate to help Jako with all of his tasks from fixing and maintenance of all the projects here, management of the projects, discipleship, friendship evangelism and community development while Melanie will be taking over the task of overseeing the community preschool (Twana little school) and helping the community with their goal of building (and opening?) a community grade school for grade 1 and 2 next year.  On a personal note, since the work out here can often be very lonely and tiring (always being on call 24/7) we look forward to having another couple around to bear the load, help prevent burn out, for friendship and support, and for the freedom that it will give us to be able to leave for various reasons (getting supplies, business, visiting the States the later part of this year).  We pray that God will show them clearly during their time here if they are to serve here longer with us or not.

Please pray for this courageous young family as they sacrifice the comforts of security of home to come and serve along with us here. For more info on them and their journey please visit http://nathanandmelaniesweerin.blogspot.com/

Another 10 years (and more) !!!

On a personal note, March 8th Jako and I (Amber) celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary.   family 1

While our marriage has been anything but typical - from the way we met, to our mix of cultures, to where we live and the way we live our life, we have come a long way.  From borrowing vehicles, traveling from South Africa to Zambia, living out of a tent with barely anything to our name, to all that God has blessed us with now – an orphanage with 18 wonderful kids, a house, vehicles, and so many other blessings God has been soo good.  Our life is still far from easy but we think the song “Just another day in Paradise” by Phil Vassar describes it perfectly.  We are so thankful for all of God’s blessings these past 10 years and can't wait to see what the next 10 will hold!

School Updates

Our Children in Kalomo

In February we had a big surprise when we were informed by the landlord that they no longer wanted us and our kids going to  school in Kalomo to be the renters of their house anymore.  We were dumbfounded as we had gone to great strides to pay the agreed upon rent on time and were given no reason for their change of heart.  It was sad for us because kids and housemother had spent countless hours cleaning and preparing the house, making it sparkling and Jako had fixed several things so the house was in much better shape then when we first received it!  Since the children were doing well in school and houses were hard to find this became a matter of urgent prayer.

Amber 007 Thank you to all who prayed with us and Praise God because He provided us another great home that we moved everyone into at the beginning of April.  It is in a new location so the children have to walk a bit farther to get to school but everyone seems to be adjusting well and we are thankful for God’s provision once again.On a side note it was great to have the children home for a visit during their school break in the end of April/ beginning of May.  All looked well and everyone was happy and smiling.  Purity, our Kalomo house mom is doing great and is well loved and adored.  

Community School Progress?

We are also happy to report that the community seems to be keeping up their end of the deal with building school toilets, hauling sand, bringing stones, and doing whatever they can in Amber 010 preparation for the community school that they have requested that we help them with (after the success of the preschool and all that they have seen their children attending being able to learn.  The hope at this moment is if the community continues to do their part, that God will provide the funds for us to start building in the next few months and hopefully open grade 1 (and possibly grade 2) in January of next year.  There is a lot still needed to make this a reality so please pray that God will continue to move the hearts of the community to make this a priority, to provide all that is necessary to make this come to be (including funds for the building itself) and lead us in every step of the way.  Thank you Lord for the hope and commitment of the community so far. 

Changing Seasons

Isn’t it funny how life imitates nature sometimes?  Just as we are experiencing the changing of seasons in the land around us - (the grass is withering and starting it yearly progression from green to brown, maize is being harvested, and colder night and morning air is replacing the heat) MOL seems to be experiencing a change of seasons with our ministry and staff here as well.

Travis Returns Home

After serving with us for 9 month, Amber’s 18 year old nephew, Travis, returned to the States on the 21st of April.  He was a Travis 1 great help and while he spent a lot of his time under vehicles and covered in grease (helping Jako keep the vehicles in working order during our difficult rainy season), he also helped lead community Bible studies, was also deeply invested in the boys at the children home’s and enjoyed his weekly Bible study with them and tutoring of some of the other children.  He was well adored by the locals and as the youngest member of our team was affectionately nicknamed “Madala” (aka old man).  While he will be missed we look forward to seeing what God has in store for this young man with a missions heart and thank God for the privilege of being able to serve and live with family for the time he was here. 

Alyssa’s 2 year commitment finishes

Another BIG change and sadness for us is that Alyssa Bolles, 2 year commitment with us has finished and she will be returning to Amber 001 the States on May14th.  Many of you may remember but Alyssa is the one who came here with the task of starting a community preschool way out here in the rural village bush.  When she first arrived there wasn’t even a complete school building and in the time since then she has been involved in every aspect of the school from roofing, overseeing building, painting, building furniture, finding and training teachers, developing a curriculum, teaching styles, teachers manuals, teacher contracts, teaching herself, building the playground, designing art projects, decorating the walls, organizing donations, and impacted over 150 students in the preschool so far. 

On top of that the community has seen such just how much the children are learning (they say even more than the older children at the community schools) they have begged MOL to help start a Alyssa teach 2 community grade school.  Alyssa has been instrumental in working with the community to see the community start building bricks, bringing sand and stones with hopes to start building and possibly open a grade 1 (or 1/2) next January.  We held a surprise going away party for her in the village (that was greatly attended) where villager after villager Alyssa teach 3 shared how much Alyssa had meant to them.  She even has 2 village babies here named after her!  While she has been a big blessing to the ministry, the preschool, and the children and mothers at the children’s home, she has also been a big blessing to us as a family.  Jakob and Jeremiah are going to miss their special friend and while we wish great things for her in the States, she will Amber 003definitely be missed here more than she will ever know.

Please pray for Medis (the local villager) and Melanie as they help the preschool transition from the season of Alyssa’s leadership to the season of more indigenous leadership and self sustainability.

Rainy Season Recovery and Hardly a Harvest

rainy roads dryingOn our last two notes of the season the  GOOD NEWS is that the roads have finally begun drying up and we can now take our regular road to and from town instead of taking the tricky bush diversions that extended our drive from 2 – almost 3 hours,

The BAD NEWS is that due to the heavy rain and our decision not to waste money on fully fertilizing   the crops that were most likely going to drown our harvest this year was  extremely minimal at best.  It was hard to see the total of 3 1/2 bags of unshelled maize that was collected compared to Maize 2the approx 200 bags that we had last year however last years harvest was so plentiful that we still have some maize left over to get us through a part of this year.  We will have to buy for the remainder.  As unfortunate as this is for us, please pray for the many villagers who we fear will suffer from hunger this year because much if not their entire sustenance is based on their yearly crop which was poor all around this year. 

A sad loss for our Mission of Love family

It was a day of sandess  on March 8th as a young teenage boys came to deliver the news of the passing of one of our beloved house moms - Rachel.  While she was Rachel Genesis never able to have any biological children of her own she spent the last few years of her live deeply investing in the lives of the children at the orphanage - raising Genesis from the time she was born, taking in Mainza when he was a very malnourished 14 month old who couldn't even stand with assistance, and selflessly loving on and caring for Precious, Junior, Cecelia, and Pilohead as if they were her own.  In fact, it was because of Rachel that we were able to take in a very sick RUTH.  Even though she already had 2 young children to care for she was the one who agreed to take her in and who loving nursed her back to health, carrying her on her back constantly and even spending weeks with her in the hospital.  She loved meeting new people and was always eager with a smile and a laugh. 

We were saddened to her of her getting sick 5 months ago although we will miss her greatly at least her suffering on earth was ended.  There were many tears as we heard the news but we hope that she believed the WORD and that she is singing and dancing and worshiping and Jesus feet now.  We did hold a private memorial service for us, the housemothers, and the children where we sang, shared our fond memories of Rachel, and together grieved over our loss while remembering that she was now no longer suffering.  It was a stark reminder of how temporary this life really is and Jako used it as a time to remind everyone that this is not our home and God’s plan for life in this world and in the next.  Please pray for the children as the deal with the news of yet another loss and for her family in the village as well. 

Rachel family