We found the same with our town kids who were testing when we arrived back just a couple of weeks of school left for the year. House of Hope in the valley also Everyone was well and everything in place. What a wonderful group of people I have helping do the Lord's work here. I am blessed!
It was a wonderful sound to hear as we got near to House of Faith after being away for three months. We could see the children running to the gate with smiles and lots of exciting noises. Michael stopped the Land Rover and got out before the gate to pick the children up one by one lifting them to the sky for the Uncle special. It was a very special time of hugs and high fives. Several of the children told me how much they missed us and to try and not go away that long again. They had not seen Michael since his surgery because he was told to rest at home and not go into the villages because of all the bumping on the off roads. I was so very blessed at how our moms had handled things while we where away and everything was in order and all the money came out just right no shortages. A couple of things came up and when it was shared what they did it was just what I would have done if I was there. My heart is so blessed at all they did and the children were healthy and happy.
We found the same with our town kids who were testing when we arrived back just a couple of weeks of school left for the year. House of Hope in the valley also Everyone was well and everything in place. What a wonderful group of people I have helping do the Lord's work here. I am blessed!
I was also excited to see things had been planted when we arrived back and the rains had started nicely. We talked before I departed about planting within our fence this year and not planting corn or maize. Last year our harvest was very low because of animals that were not being watched by their owners were in the children's fields eating. We also heard area school children where helping themselves to fresh maize. They had cleared , plowed and planted beans popcorn melons and pumpkins. Our garden area is just to wet for gardening in rainy season but we found last year it's a perfect place to grow sweet potatoes that need and likes lots of water. the next few pictures are of the new area of planting. Praying our idea will work. Last year maize prices dropped here like never before. We can buy a bag of mealie meal 25kg for K34.00 or $3.40 beans we send $80 a month so maybe our decision will be a good one and the children are learning new things growing a different crop this year.
Our fruit trees made it through the dry season and we will be planting more soon. Rainy season gives them a great start! Mango's Guavas, oranges and lemons. Children are learning everything needs loves and care to keep them alive and growing when the rains stop here. They did a pretty good job this past dry season.
After checking in on the sites I started Christmas shopping for our Happy Birthday Jesus parties. Because of the early rains and all the puddles appearing on the village roads I shopped for our three month closet supplies. I always want to be sure what is needed is on site for the children.
Each Christmas the children get new plastic shoes. This year I was excited to see Chinese Croc's again. They last much longer than other shoes here. Lots of smiles..
Michael had his first Mot Mot classes just a week in a half after we returned and the rains came down.... He said he stayed dry in his tent but the temporary roof on the church building did not always keep them dry. The week of classes went well and everyone was thankful Michael had healed nicely.
Michael is always blessed to be able to share at a Sunday service. This week he was ask to share at the church I attend here in Kalomo. They started less than two years ago and had about 300 in attendance in a small class room. what a blessing!
Well it seems the great rains have slowed a bit and things are dry. Our kids are doing their work weeding and we are praying the rains return at just the right time.
What a wonderful Happy Birthday Jesus Party we had .... the children sang Christmas Carols in Tonga and did the Christmas story in a play form. We are so thankful for our teacher who helps each year with this big program. All our staff was there and all were blessed. the next pictures are of the room and decorations.
The children did such a great job even with a dance to light your candle and light the world.
Each Christmas for several years now a special someone gives money to bless our house mothers and staff with a bonus for all they do for the Lord and the children. It is such a blessing to our mom helping them with Jan school fees for their children or seed and fertilizer for their fields. They also get small gifts from Global Orphan Relief just to let them know they are appreciated and loved. Second picture is off staff who help with all the small jobs to keep things going with over 40 children.
Our Extended Care kids and some of our Kalomo School kids also are able to come and are given treat bags full of sweets and a shirt or a skirt. What a wonderful way to see all the kids. They are growing up on us...
We can't forget the treat bags full of snacks and sweets and the Chocolate cake!
We did not have a program at House of Hope. We traveled with three month supplies and fresh foods for January, clothes for the kids and Christmas shoes and treat bags. Michael gathered them around for the Christmas story. We were so blessed with all their hands going up to answer questions about the birth of Jesus.
Michael's was invited to Monde for their Christmas Eve service.
Michael and I had a quiet restful Christmas Day. Thanks Creative Ministries team for all the nuts and baking chips you brought us. We loved our special treats.
Michael was invited to Naluja for a New Years Eve service. Everyone is excited to see what is in store for 2018!
We are looking forward to what 2018 will bring and praying the Lord will bless you and your families like no other year before. Keep watching and listening for his voice, He has very special plans for you in this new year.
We are back in Zambia and getting things in order to see all the children. Reports while we have been away have been good. Everyone is well. Michael has fully recovered and back to working again. We have so much to be thankful for this year. We visited all our girls and their families, our parents, brothers and sisters. We did not book a schedule to share about the work here this trip back but we received calls from many and Michael was able to share all of his Sundays. He always loves to share what the Lord is doing.
Our girls planned a family beach week to Panama City Beach FL for Thanksgiving, what a very special family time we had. We had not been together as a family on Thanksgiving since 1998. It was central with two girls coming from VA and DC and one from TX. My heart is full of memories of a very special trip back.
We are having a wonderful restful time with family and friends. All is well with the children in Zambia. More updates will come in my November Blog when we return. Thanks for prayers
What a month! We saw the Lord 's healing hand upon Michael at Livingstone Central Hospital after emergency surgery. Thankful for the Lord's love and care for us. First I will share about our August team. We picked up our Engedi Church team on the 5th of August and headed to House of Faith arriving before dark to settle in. We had a wonderful service the next morning with teachings singing and testimonies, the afternoon was spent planning for their 4 day VBS with the children.
Monday morning the children where excited to get started and so loved all the fun. Michael went into Kalomo to take Sheri into Livingstone. She would stay overnight with friends and they would take her to the airport the next day for her flight back to the states. He stayed overnight in Kalomo to do some paperwork Tuesday morning in town. The rest of HIS miracle story after all the FUN pictures with the team.
Putting water in a coke bottle with a sponge! What a challenge.....
Royal and Victor enjoyed all the fun too!
Even our toddlers had lots of fun....
In my 23 years in Zambia I have never had to leave a team in the village and rush to the hospital but there is always a first time for everything. Michael was suppose to come back Tuesday at lunch time but called to tell me he was not feeling well and thought he should rest before coming out. Then about 3 he called to tell me he was feeling better but would rest some more at home and come in the morning. I thought this was a bit odd for him to not push to get back out but I was so busy with the team I just said ok. When he was not out for breakfast Wednesday morning I called about 8:30 am to ask what time he was coming I needed him to cook lunch on the grill. He told me he had a difficult night and thought he had a blockage and needed to go to Zimba. I told him I was on the way. As I was sharing with team leaders what I needed to do they where great just show us what needs to be done and we will do it. Elizabeth came and shared she had been an ER Dr for over 22 years and would I like for her to come along. What a blessing she was to us both the next 48 hours. I jumped in the defender and we made it to Kalomo in a record time for me. We found Michael in the Nissan with the engine running ready to go. I knew it was serious. Elizabeth checked his vitals and we made it to Zimba Mission Hospital n record time also. So many people helped us along the way to be registered, see the Dr then blood work Xray and sonogram all done within the hour. Dr Joan told us it was a blockage and we needed to head to Livingstone or Lusaka becasue they could not help with the problem. We decided Livingstone was the fastest so an injection for pain was given and off we went. I was kinda numb driving very fast to get us there. It seemed as if the Lord was ahead of us and we had no problems arriving before 12:30 or the lunch break. Again we had special help from above and Michael was seen before 1:00 by the surgeon. He saw the X rays and said surgery was needed soon. Elizabeth started asking questions thinking surgery should be the last option. While she was talking with Michael and the Dr I went out to call family again for an update for prayers. Within 30 mins Brandi called that a plane would be available in a hour to take us to South Africa for treatment. The Dr shared he had no equipment to know what the problem was until he opened him up. He share it could be an large area he would have to open. Elizabeth again ask about equipment and we found there was not much they would be able to do if they found a problem they could not fix. Michael had decided he wanted to do surgery now in Livingstone. As I talked with the Dr I ask what he would do if he was me. He shared he thought he could do the surgery but he truly did not have the capacity to do what they could do in South Africa. He told me to share with my husband and get back to him for our decision. Michael told me he did not want to go out and his decision was made. Again I was numb...Sheri and Brandi tried to talk with him on the phone but again he said I will have the surgery here I feel at peace and know the Lord is with me and if something happens then I get to go home to be with Jesus. I shared that decision was not fair to me and the girls. Sheri called again to tell me she was getting a flight back to Zambia and would arrive about noon the next day. She had made it Dubai. It took a long time to find the Dr becasue he thought we would go to South Africa. When I finally found him he blessed me with a prayer that the Lord would guide his hands to do what needed to be done. We ask that the Lord be HIS EQUIPMENT. They put a tube down Michael's nose trying to release some pressure he was feeling and in a lot of pain now even with the injection. We where visited by another Dr to tell us two emergency C sections needed to be done before they could take Michael in. I was starting to lose it... The person sent to syringe the tube was having trouble and if they did it to fast it could cause something to collapse. I could have misunderstood all of this but I knew it was critical time for him. Elizabeth ask if she was allowed to do it and he said yes. She got two bowls from the tube to his stomach over the next couple of hours we had to wait to get into the OR and it gave Michael needed relief. They came for him about 6:00pm and we had no idea how long the surgery would take. Elizabeth and I went to get supper and a room for her if she felt he was doing ok after surgery. She was willing to stay with him overnight if she felt he might be in trouble. It was a long wait and no one came to share anything with us. About 3 1/2 hours in I was feeling pressure hearing things I did not want to hear ( you will be a widow tonight your husband is dead and they are fearing to come and tell you) I know in my heart the enemy is a liar but they were thoughts that were trying to get into my mind and sprit. I decided I just needed to walk or march around :) Elizabeth stayed in the room in case they came to share news with us. About 4 hours in I shared with the Lord I needed a word please. I was coming back into the Hospital from the lighted parking lot where I had been marching around to see a man who ask if I was Mrs. Jones? I said yes, he smiled and shared he had just left my husband and he was doing fine. I give him a hug and cried all the way up to see Elizabeth. It was another 45 mins before we talked with the Dr and got to see Michael. We went to wait outside the OR door so we would not miss the Dr. When he found out we were waiting he invited us in to share what had happened. Two bands of scar tissue had wrapped around and blocked his small intestines. He said there was only 20 cm of good small intestines and you can not survive without small intestines. There was a very serious infection in the Large intestines. The Dr shared that when he cut the bands of scar tissue from the small intestines blood rushed into the damaged tissue and they came to life in his hands. He testified the Lord was there. Many other things happened during the procedure for Michael to be having a full recovery. The Dr shared the next 72 hours was needed for him to know how to share the way forward with us. We saw the Lord's hand on Michael at the end of the 1st day when he no longer took pain meds. The nurses could hardly believe. Everything that needed to happen happened. Sheri arrived and stayed with her dad while Elizabeth and I went to get the team back in the village. It's a 2 1/2 hour drive one way. When we arrived at House of Faith the team had finished their program on time said their good byes packed up and prepared sandwiches for the drive ahead. I brought them into Livingstone a night earlier than planned but I just wanted to be near Michael. We stopped at the hospital to pick up Sheri and went for Ice Cream at 9:30pm to top up a bit since they only had peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and potato chips. We got them to their rooms and a good nights sleep was had by all. I was blessed I got to stay with Michael at the Hospital After breakfast Sheri came to stay with her dad and the team came up to see him and to say a prayer over him. I was blessed I could still take the team shopping and to see the falls and we stayed on schedule. It also kept my mind and body busy to not just wonder things :) Saturday the team visited Botswana for the day and Sunday they departed. Michael's body started working as it was suppose to work after surgery and the Dr told us we would be going home Monday morning! He was on a liquid menu for 4 days and was told on the 5th day he could have anything he wanted to eat again. Sheri departed Tuesday after we got him settled in at home. He is eating everything again resting and getting stronger everyday. We go for removal of stitches on the 24th. One morning I went to the nurses station to ask a question and found them in prayer asking for the Lord's help that day to care for his children. We have been blessed all is well. If we had gone out to South Africa maybe they had not seen Typhoid like the Dr here in Zambia has seen it and maybe after travel time and tests it would have been too late. The Dr did tell us 24 hours longer and he may not have made it. The next pictures are of the special people we found at Livingstone Central Hospital.
Blessed with a nice room and a fold out chair so I could also stay with him nights and Sheri stayed days.
Before the team arrived Michael had a Jesus Film weekend in Zimba District where he has visited many times over the years. This time the church was in a new building doubled the size as the old building, sound equipment and members serious about the things of the Lord.
Royal and Victor are improving but it is not happening fast. Royal is kinda army crawling out of his bed mornings and even in the room where we do his therapy on a big ball. his legs have more trouble but his arms and shoulders are stronger. Victor is gaining weight and crawling every where even scooting. He walks with the help of a chair as he pushes it all around the room. He walks if you hold his hands but just has not got up his nerve to do it alone. They both are making sounds but still not saying words. Keep these special boys in your prayers.
Luuwo went back to relatives this month after helping us at House of Faith as a mothers helper for a few months. Global Orphan Relief provided her with a sewing machine material shears thread and a tape measure all she needs to learn from a lady near by her family. Keep Luuwo in your prayers to be the best Tailor in her area. We are praying for her to be known from all around on the great and creative work she will learn to do.
Luuwo and her extended family
We took Michael for stitches removal a bit early on the 21st becasue they looked like they were pulling cutting into his skin. The Dr. shared it was time for them to come out. It's now been 3 weeks since the surgery and after 3 weeks of resting he is looking and feeling well again.
We thank the Lord each day for what HE has done for us. A miracle of saving Michael's life. Thank you for your prayers for us here. We truly have to depend on JESUS for our needs.
I just need to testify that I am running for HIM again with no problems with my joints! Thank you for your prayers and please continue them, we have one more team of 10 arriving the beginning of August. We had one team delay their visit until December this year.
I was so excited to see my family arrive on the 2nd of July for a 9 day stay. We visited both Children's homes, an Island on Lake Karbia, had 4 puppet shows with Creative Ministries, visited Livingstone and Botswana. It was an action packed trip I will keep in my heart forever.
When might you come for a visit?
My first picture is of my family practicing for their first show for the community, it was a holiday here so the children where out of school but the adults came and one person gave his heart to Jesus from the small crowd!
Sometimes I get so behind I just put things in a closet and close the door for another time.... When they ask how they could help me I decided I would open the door and ask for their help organizing things in two different closets. What a blessing they gave me of clothes organized and socks handed out along with some special items we found in the closet... Thanks for your love family on this special project.
Lights in the Activity Center are always a problem to change out, so thankful the next group will be able to see how to eat at night :)
Loving on our babies !
They did a special show for the House of Faith kids before bed so we could depart early the next morning for the valley. The children loved it!
Prayer time for the children
Because we are not set up at House of Hope yet with the activities /guest building we had to travel with more items than planned. Neil did not know it but had an interesting ride ahead of him to the valley.
The team did their third show at Ngombe School near House of Hope. What a fun time it was ! Many received Christ into their hearts...
Their last show was for our House of Hope kids in the new Activities building. It is not finished but usable... We stayed there in the team rooms. Lights and bathrooms worked :)
I decided to take them on a Lake Karbia adventure. I was told it would take us about 1 1/2 hours to get to the Island and then about an hour to prepare food for our buffet lunch. It turned out to be an all day adventure arriving back to the mainland just before dark but a fun restful day with a good meal together. The Island views were so beautiful. Making memories.
All teams coming for a visit here when their ministry time is finished we head to Livingstone to see the Victoria Falls and shop the Curio's market s. We went to church and had Afternoon tea at the Royal Livingstone. It was truly an awesome week together.
Remember if you come and visit you also could be seeing this awesome Game Park in Botswana. This is just a few of the animals we saw on the river cruise and on the land drive.
Our guide told us the griffe was licking the ground for minerals :) Very interesting to watch them
Our new Bath house for teams at House of Faith is moving right along. When our August team is here Michael will have some time to oversee the plumbing and setting up the water. This is going to be a blessing.
Our Creative Ministries team left a lot of adult clothes. We organized for all 16 of our moms, washers and fill in moms to receive a pile of clothing. They were so very excited and blessed. Thanks Team
House of Faith's sweet potatoes should be ready for digging soon. Looking forward to seeing what is under the dirt :) Thanks Melinda for all your hard work on the drain.
Well I was not there when the Sweet Potatoes were dug up but I got a picture before they divided them up to share at each house. We decided from the harvest we planted to late and will plant the whole garden this coming rainy season in January.
Our schedule has been busy the last couple of months and we delayed our Grade 7 students Graduation trip until July. We had a wonderful day of excitement seeing animals in the game park and visiting Victoria Falls. Lunch was at Hungry Lion with french fries and fried chicken. Before our trip back to Kalomo we had Ice Cream sundaes. Keep praying for our kids in town. We have 13 in grades 8-11. Mama Benita is doing a great job.
Michael and I spent a couple of days at House of Hope working on the Activities building and trying to just spend a bit of time with Sheri. She has been very busy with the children and will return for her last year of studies in August after a trip to Congo DR. We loved watching them learning together.
Royal and Victor are improving but it is slow going. So thankful for the two ladies who come 5 days a weeks to work with them. Keep them in your prayers.
What an exciting month we have had running all around preparing for our Creative Ministries team and trying to have the House of Hope Activities/Guest building ready for our board /family team that is visiting the first of July. So many things took place, an older boy at our town kids house needed much prayer that was dealing with a spiritual problem a few rumors needed attention at House of Faith and we hit a cow with the Nissan coming back to Kalomo from House of Hope after three days of Michael working to get power and water connected at the new place for a team visit. We can testify that our God was with us through it all and the Nissan has been repaired we were not hurt in the incident and made it almost back to Kalomo with Michael walking about 5 miles to collect our vehicle to pull us home after the damaged water pump let out all the water. Rumors are sent to try and bring division or put a crack in the mix so the enemy has a chance to come in and destroy. I am so grateful the crack was closed and no truth of the rumor was found. Our Lord has blessed us again and we PRAISE HIM. Sheri arrived from the states and we are excited to have her back at House of Hope for a few weeks before her last year of studies for her masters in DC.
Our older girls at House of Hope always bless me with their help when I need to get clothes to our kids. These clothes are for winter and from Engedi Church. They sort and even help the younger one with sizing. Thanks Faith and Terca!
Michael taught a week of Mot Mot, visited churches for Sunday services and got a lot of the building completed that no one else could do. He installed a pressure pump at House of Hope redid our whole water system adding the second tank for water storage. Wired the new building for electricity and got the plumbing done in three bathrooms! I thank the Lord for his knowledge of all things to get the job done. The next several pictures are our days making things happen on site at House of Hope. We are so grateful for Golden who also knows how to get the job done on such a unique building design. Our cross lighthouse!
It's been great getting to watch new toilets and shower rooms being built for teams at House of Faith. We had hoped the building would be close enough that our Creative Team could finish it but that did not happen. Our building team had to harvest their crops becasue animals has started feasting in their fields and so many Church Conferences had to be attended. We are still happy with what did get accomplished .The next few pictures are of that building and it's progress.
We have always been blessed over the years with Creative Ministries teams and our June team did not disappoint us. The children had so much fun and even started opening up, sharing prayer request after a couple of nights of house devotions. Their puppet shows gave the children lots of smiles and laughter and they learned so many life principles in every skit and show. I am posting a lot of their teams pictures. You can see the JOY on their faces...Thanks Creative Ministries for your love and care for our kids at House of Faith.
We had a awesome team of ladies teaching our kids worship with dance. They called the girls 8 years and older and the some of our boys where hurt so they allowed anyone that wanted to worship to do so !
They even did a special program in church ....
The whole congregation enjoyed our team, children's ministries and testimonies . The main service message was awesome, Does Jesus know YOUR name?
We had a great night of praise with the kids in the kitchen the night before the team departed!
We had a great time during our Livingstone visit before the team departed. A night around the camp fire was also wonderful. Thanks Creative Ministries praying you will return again soon to bless us again.
We had so much trouble finding the last items needed for the new solar power system that Engedi donated to House of Faith last year along with the new well. Finally everything arrived and is connected and running great. Michael spent a lot of time also on this project in May and again this month to get it completed.... Thanks Engedi for this large blessing. It has been so wonderful to run the small fridge and freezer together and still have power with teams.
July 2nd we pick up family and Noah Ministries will have 5 board members on the ground in Zambia! We re so excited to show them around and have some fun. Keep us in your prayers for another busy month ahead. Praying the Lord's blessings over each and every one of you.
January is always a busy month paying school fees, buying supplies and uniforms everything needed for Global Orphan Relief's school programs Extended Care and our Town kids. House of Faith kids uniforms still fit them so we made a few repairs and decided to change up our colors starting our 2nd term in May. The children loved the new color. Do you know how hard it is to get 30 children or more to all look the same way with a smile!
Things are again moving on the House of Hope Activities /guest building. The temporary off road through the mountains has been made much better so the large trucks can now pass with a half load. So heavy building material can also be delivered like cement. It delayed the flooring a couple of weeks. We will be going down in June so Michael can oversee the plumbing and the wiring. Exciting to see this building coming together. Floors and the roof is finished and plastering of all the walls is almost done too.
Poles are in place for the power to go up the hill to the house and a water tank has been purchased and in place for the water lines to go in. The trenching has already been done. So things are moving slowly but surely. We will house a team the first of July there.
We have been told by the Zambian weather service that it could be one of the coldest winters in a very long time here becasue of all the rain we received. Normally we dont buy our House of Hope kids winter jackets becasue of the HOT place near the Lake. But this year Mama Lizzy thought maybe we should be ready in case it is COLD even at the Lake. The children loved their new market coats I found them.
I can count on one hand the number of times I have been sick with a team visiting us here in Zambia over my last 23 years. I added a finger with our May Engedi team :( I woke up about 2:00am feeling cold and pulled up another blanket and went back to sleep. About 6:30 am I called for Michael to pray for me I felt awful,cold body aches fever. After he prayed for me I rested on the couch until about 9:30 then took a shower and went to Livingstone to collect the team. I made it with all the driving but when we reached House of Faith I had to lay down I could not fix dinner for the team. I was so blessed how the team leaders jumped in to dice tomatoes chop lettuce and onions heat the already cooked Taco meat and warm the flour shells . I woke up the next morning feeling better but rested in-between meals for a couple of days to try and keep up my strength. What a blessed group they were ...
Our kids always look forward to team arrivals. If we have teams in May they help the children harvest their maize and that is one big job to have extra hands to help with. Thank you Team Engedi for your love and extra hands in the children's field this year.
The kids were also excited to have a whole day of fun,singing playing games and just hanging out with the team.
Our babies all had a great time too! I loved just watching them try to figure out what was happening all around them.
This group was also very hard working. They blessed us in so many ways. Michael is out teaching a couple of weeks a months so some of the maintenance things are always on a list of mine for him to get done. The list was a bit long and the team got it done! Thanks team Engedi for all your love and HARD work to help in any way you could, without complaining with some of the task :) Andrew was such a trooper even helping with a septic pipe problem.
Shopping for and organizing to give out clothes at three sites is always a very big job for me and I was so blessed by all the new clothes the team brought the children and gave them out ! What a blessing and Hugh time saver that was for me. Thanks team Engedi.
Church was also wonderful with an encouraging message from the team. Kids ministry and testimonies!
House of Faith's new Team Toilet Building is coming along also.... We are praying our builders will have the walls up and the septic built so our end of June Creative Ministries team can complete the building. Roofing, plumbing and door hanging will all need to be done and a bit of painting :)
Our older town girls received a special gift of three American Girl dolls and loads of clothes. Thank you Julie and Kaylee they were so very excited!
Money was raised for Royal to get a new wheel chair. We are excited for all the new ways it can help him to sit correctly with comfort. Keep Praying for Royal to walk one day.
Fast update on the new Team toilet/shower building It has started to move. Keep praying we can have the June team complete this building.
It's so hard to be far away from your family when they are having trials. My mom had knee surgery and Michael's dad has had health issues also this month. Please keep our parents in your prayers for strength and good health and our hearts to be at peace not being able to visit or help them.
Our rains have slowed and I have been spending more time at House of Faith. I am preparing for a very busy seven months ahead. Cleaning,sorting preparing planning and I am thankful things are coming together. The shipment of clothing The Celebration Center sent the children in December of last year is again a Hugh blessing with hooded sweatshirts, warm Pajamas, underwear and socks. Our May Engedi Team will be bringing warm clothes so I am thankful I will not have to do a lot of market shopping this year. 67 children is a large number to find clothes for. They where so excited picking their clothes. We have them packed in a bag in the mothers rooms until mid May when the seasons change to winter for us here and when I start getting very very busy. School just let out for first term and will go back on May 12th. Then I start paying school fees again for the Orphan School program and maybe organizing for warm blankets for the 156 orphan feeding program children.
Chipigeo will be two in June and was so excited to receive his big boy pants :) Thanks Celebration Center!
We have had BEE's in the Activity Center at House of Faith for over a year now. We had asked several people if they could help us remove them, they said yes but never came. With so much activity taking place with teams this year we pushed to keep asking. Mr Gideon was asked a year ago to help but he said he was told they left so he did not come. The first night he went into the crawl space on the team room size of the building he stayed up there over an hour and decided he needed to make another plan. The next night he came I tried to talk him out of it. He shared there were 1,000's of bees under the rafter near the edge of the building making it very hard to reach. Our night worker arrived along with Justine and they decided it was the night for the bees to leave. I could not stay in the room while they were trying to get the bees so I walked the grounds praying. 1 1/2 hours later still no bees leaving. After three hours two pans of comb and honey full of bees came down and so many angry bees outside..... They shared the Queen was very smart and they felt they did not remove her but would give it a couple of days to see if she would fly away since they robbed her.
The next morning they came to take a look and there were 100's on the outside and they felt the queen would fly but the second day they had gone back inside. They are making a plan to get the queen to leave. Very brave men.....
The Activities/Guest building at House of Hope is still moving and we are shopping this week for sinks, toilets, shower heads, wiring, light fixtures etc in Lusaka. Keep praying it will be ready for teams...
Victor, Royal and Baby Faith went with us for Therapy this month and Frances felt things are moving. He suggested a couple of changes for Royal and we now have him in a different wheel chair that his body and legs can be in a more upright position and longer times in the leg braces. This month Royal also was found at the bedroom door way! He had done an army style crawl and was making his way to the Living room. Mama Daisy was shocked to find him there. He was laughing and smiling BIG at what he had done. About a week later Mama Daisy found he had rolled over in his bed, again Royal was laughing and smiling. Keep Royal in your prayers to continue to move forward in every way possible.
Victor is very moody and I have found when I talk with him and encourage him first before I try to get him to do something it works much better . He needs time to think about things before he is ask to do them :) He did show Frances he could walk pretty well with the walker. Problem is we don't have one of these at HOF. He just uses a small chair turned around. It works...
With our little Faith her right leg and foot is kinda turned outward. He told us not to be to worried right now and as she continued to learn to walk he felt it would correct it self but that she has flat feet. She will walk differently than most children. Exciting morning but everything was good.
Money has been given for a toilet /shower building for teams at House of Faith. Michael went out this week to lay the building out. We are hoping our June team with Creative Ministries will finish the building if the construction team can get the walls up and septic system built and ready. We will see.......
Michael's newest Mot Mot class in Bbilili is averaging 55 or 60 people in the class each day. He ask for 30 leaders but feels he can't turn people excited away right now. Keep this new class in your prayers.
Well for the middle of April we have been receiving clouds and showers after a three week dry spell. So our roads in and out of the village have been messy again. No flooded rivers :)
Because our winter here is a couple of months of COLD I normally give out coats to the children and then collect them wash and store for next years cold time, they are still in very good shape and can be reused. This year we have been told by our Zambian weather station that it will be a very cold winter becasue of all the rains we received. I needed another 10 coats at House of Faith and after speaking with Mama Lizzy at House of Hope we decided to buy coats for the children this year even in the HOT valley area. Michael and I were there yesterday and it was the first time in a long time I was not HOT. Market shopping for coats is not to hard but finding small coats for our under 3's is difficult. I was blessed to final find what I needed after a few hours walking checking each stall selling coats. I will now wash them and send them out.
Our building crew at House of Faith have finished the digging for the foundation for our new team bath house. I am wondering what my husband is up to ... the center of the foundation looks very different.
Michael and Golden spent time together yesterday making sure things are on track with the activities/guest building at House of Hope. They have been delayed becasue there was no cement in the area becasue of the road problem in the mountains where an area washed out. Traffic or large trucks are now moving with limited loads in and out now that they have prepared the off road much better. They are preparing for a large pour of cement for three floors soon and they need a few sheets of tin to finish the roofs. I sat in the large room yesterday thinking the best way to lay it out for a kitchen, dinning and relaxing area the children can also learn in..... Decisions will be made soon. We are still praying to house two groups there in July. We did buy toilets, sinks, shower heads plumbing and a kitchen sink while in Lusaka this month. It's exciting to see it come together.
At Christmas our housemothers where given a special gift from a very special person stateside to show appreciation for their hard work and love caring for orphans. Mama Lizzy used her gift to plant corn. She was so excited to show me a part of her harvest yesterday. 7 ox carts full..... She had someone build her a bin to store it in and it was too small for her harvest. The bin is FULL and she told me she still has 4 ox carts in the field... She will be able to feed her extended family all year with this blessing....
Mama Daisy called me with sad news of a mother passing away and that the family needed our help. We gave a tin of infant formula a bottle and instructions on how to feed the baby and how to clean the bottle and nipple and shared they had to go to their District SW office. About a week when the formula was finished they came back with news they had to see another district and they did not have transport money. They only live about 5 km from House of Faith. I called our Social Welfare office and it was decided we could help the baby until the age of 2 years when it should be returned back to the family after the need of special foods and care are finished. The father was very happy he would be able to visit his little girl nearby as she grows. Her name is Tracy and she is 2 months old.
Please keep our BEE situation in your prayers... They are still there, not in the 1000s but now in the 100s. A plan is being put into place and we are hoping they will find another home before our May team arrives. We are preparing for our first teams arrival coming mid May.
The wheelchair Royal was put in at Therapy is not working well for him. I found this in Lusaka and money is being raised by Global Orphan Relief to get Royal the chair he needs. Please pray and help if you can. The cost is $600.00 for the chair and at this time $300 has been raised. There are only two right now in the country and one can be sent to Livingstone for us when the money has been raised.
We have received another child a 2 year old girl named Diana. Another child still not sure of white skin. I am thankful after 4 days out both the children are now ok with me being around them and even give me high fives like the other children. Of course 2 week old baby Peter has no problems with me holding him and loving on him.
While I was out this week I checked in on our kids doing school. I was so blessed to see them using their I School tablets taking a small test before they went on in the subject. Teachers Ronald and Kelvin are doing a great job with out kids. One thing I have been truly blessed by is hearing them teach in English. In the community school nearby it is mostly taught in Tonga and when the children get to grade 8 in Kalomo they struggle becasue it is all done in English. We are seeing a different in this years grade 8 students. Last years grade 8's are still struggling a bit but are catching on and for that I am so grateful.... We have a team coming in June with teachers! Praying they can help catch up a few of our children needing something extra.
The children planted Sweet Potatoes in our garden area this year along with a few beans. The sweet Potatoes are loving all the water... not sure about the beans will have to wait and see.
Mackmore has been taking his hearing aid out and Mama Mary is nervous it will be lost in the wet grass. I thought to buy a couple of head bands to try and keep it in his ear. So far he has not been taking it out but the other children have taken the headband off to put on themselves. Always a challenge around here.
The double orphan child Michael has been helping with a large head (water on his brain) has had treatment in Lusaka and we believe he will be ok. The large open sore on his spine has been removed and closed and the fluid has been drained from his brain. There is a review this month and we are expected a good report. His name is Ernest please keep him in your prayers.
Luuwo one of our 20 year olds has been helping at House of Faith with all our babies. Her relatives will be meeting soon to help plan her future. Keep Luuwo in your prayers. She is such a blessing.
My adventure was shared in our newsletter about my first time to be stuck in sandy flooded waters. I just thank the Lord he had it happen to me with the only working tractor in our area about 1,000 feet away. I now know what it is like to kinda be stranded in the village not being able to get across the rushing river and flooded streams. It is not a great feeling. I have taken out a few food items that can be stored like peanut butter, crackers, rice, oatmeal, cereal, boxed milk just in case I get stuck again in the near future. Also I saw that when I rocked the vehicle trying to get out of the sand and water I buried the back tires but it got the engine out of the water... Everything happened in a good way for me and I am so grateful. I got back into Kalomo safely after a extra day and night and it took 2 hours and 15 mins to drive the normal 1 hour.
We had planed to go and check out the progress on the building at House of Hope mid week. We had passed much of the mountainous areas leading us into the valley when we saw many cars and trucks stopped. Then we saw the sign ROAD CLOSED Oh my what should we do now. Michael got out and ask some questions. Seems the two areas they tried to fix with many tons of coal so people could still pass one area dropped and washed away no one can pass until they get the temporary bridge constructed. They cut a one lane road around the mountains so people can get in and out of the valley We heard it reopened late Friday and went down early Saturday. Life is always an adventure here, thankful we made it....One area is still holding with the coal.
We found the Actives Building at House of Hope moving slowing but moving. Two bedrooms and two bathrooms have been plastered and have their cement floors. The big room has half a roof and then one more bedroom will need to be done roof plaster and floor. We are hoping to make a trip to Lusaka for the finishing supplies wiring, toilets, sinks, etc. Hoping our two July teams will be able to stay there.
A few of our House of Hope kids.... Visiting on a Saturday I was excited to see them all. With their school schedules I am always missing 4 or 5 of them.
We have a new baby calf that was born the last week in March at House of Faith. The children loved watching him wobble around his first couple of days
It's that time of year when you really need to keep a watch on your fields. We were told children in were in Mama Mary's field helping themselves to some pumpkins and goats in the children's field helping themselves to maize and knocking down the stalks. I went to check in on the children's maize before I came back to Kalomo and found about 18 goats helping themselves again... I followed them and found out who's they were. Seems the children where in school and the goats were just enjoying themselves while no one was watching them. They belonged to our Pastor so I went for a chat to ask PLEASE have someone keeping an eye on your goats they are enjoying our maize.
The children's maize is looking pretty well and will soon start drying. We are hoping our May team can help the children harvest.
Weeds have the prettiest flowers sometime but they are truly just weeds. I have always loved daises...
We have three guava trees almost ready to pick fruit on. The children are always pick it to soon... Trying to teach them to leave it on a few more days until it is kinda a cream color.
Our chickens are doing very well this year we have almost 60 larger ones and so many babies it is hard to count them all.
Well the rivers and the streams are not flooded anymore and things are getting back to normal with transport out of the villages. We will start therapy back with the boys soon and we have a little girl Faith who has had a couple of asthma attacks and she is only 15 months old. This last one she was in the hospital for a week. We thank the Lord she is smiling and happy again but keep her in your prayers. We started this week preparing for teams. Cleaning the team rooms and the storage closets and getting schedules together so nothing will be last minute. Keep me in your prayers, we have 4 large groups and a group of my Carolina family members also coming making it 5 groups in 4 months! I am so excited to have them visit.
What a great month for RAIN! Our prayers have been answered and crops are getting what they need for what looks like a great harvest. It has been a challenge to get food out for the kids at both sites this month. Rivers have been over flowing and our travels have been interesting. We are blessed our vehicles can pass through high waters if Michael is driving. If it is above my knees I dont like to try it. :) Our trip out with Mid month supplies we could not pass. the waters where very high and rushing. Michael stood on the back of the truck to try and get a single with our phone to call the ladies. He was able to use the speaker phone and get them to bring the Ox cart to collect the food on the other side of the river. He made several trips across with eggs, cabbage, tomatoes, bread buns and meat. Mama Daisy was traveling with us and decided she would cross the river so she would not miss any more days after a family funeral in town. The next several pictures are of that afternoon.
The building at House of Hope is coming slowly with the rains. Another roof is on and another room is being plastered. The first room now has it's floor poured too.
House of Faiths maize crop loved the fertilizer it received mid January and is now making cobs of corn.
We decided to plant sweet potatoes and beans in the garden this year looking forward to seeing what they will do in March.
We received two new children this month both boys. Chabota came to us after his mother was found dead early morning after complaining of chest pains the night before. He is 18 months old and does not like white skinned people just yet. :) Mama Mary has done a wonderful job helping him feel welcomed in his new home.
Baby Peter is just two weeks old and his mother is having mental problems. We are caring for Peter becasue he needed a place of safety. We will sit with his family at the end of March to see our way forward with Peter. We are praying his mother can be helped and can care for him again soon.
Traveling out last week we saw a rainbow!
Michael saw a dung beetle as we where going to House of Faith. I look ahead as to where we are going and somehow he always sees little animals on the road .
As we traveled to the House of Hope there are rivers and streams that overflow. Michael got us across without problems and also helped a young man on a bicycle up the hill with his loaded bicycle.
These are a few pictures of the kids holding a valentines heart. They are all special in HIS sight!
Michael has been out teaching two weeks a month even in all the rain! It has been a challenge just staying dry but all three classes are moving well.
I spent a lot of time in Kalomo this past month becasue of the rains and not wanting to travel out alone in the mud and cross the high river. Hoping to have more pictures and stories for you next month. Thanks for prayers!
Linda Jones has been a missionary for over 23 years. She enjoys working with children and anyone in need.