Just before New Years Eve I found my Christmas Flower not far from the river crossing . It's called a Flame Lilly! So beautiful....
Michael and I started off our New Year with a Sunday service at Bulyambeba PWC and His MOT MOT graduation following the service. 17 graduates and a feast for the 250 to 300 invited guests. It is about a 2 1/2 hour drive but anyone else driving other than Michael and it could be 3-4 hours. :) We had to cross a river to get there always a bit of excitement in Sunday dress clothes.
Michael stepped in with the graduates, never seen him do that before but he did pretty well.... Two steps forward and one step back as they entered the church.
Michael and his interpeter. What a great team.
There was singing and testomionoes from many of how the Lord has blessed them with this knowledge they have received. We are looking forward to see this area grow !
The cooking team killed a cow and about 20 chlcken's, there was rice and noodles shema and the best bread buns I've had in a while. Cokes and sprites were also served. It was a FEAST!
Then it was gift giving time.... what a wonderful time that was had by all who attended. New Years 2017 started out wonderful.
It was almost 5:00pm when we departed and the clouds were forming... The Lord blessed us to get back across the river without trouble, we arrived home after 7pm. Michael stayed ahead of the rain.
January starts our school year in Zambia so I am busy checking in on Extended Care children and shopping for needed uniforms and school supplies. We checked in on Komona and found the dirt road had changed a bit from last year and were lost. We stopped by a well and ask if the children knew her Yes she is there and they all pointed. We finally found her and I was so blessed she is doing well in school and has so many friends. Her grandparents told us she loved school. We gave her a Christmas package full of treats and a new dress. I do love when I check in on children who have gone back to their relatives and everything is going well.
Building is moving again at House of Hope! We are trying to have this building completed and ready for 2017 teams. We are also excited for Sheri's arrival in June.
Septic system is completed and trenching for water lines are also dug waiting for pipe.
We traveled out to Chief Chikanta's area to bring 1st term supplies for the Village Hope Feeding Program that Global Orphan Relief is supporting. It had rained and well it was a muddy bumpy ride out and back in. The river this time was much worst and deeper than New Years. Michael shocked me walking the river to find the best place to drive across and then he went a way he did not walk ! Oh what excitement we both felt when we made it to the other side. He looked at me and said not sure why I did that.
Two of Michael's MOT MOT graduates are in charge of over seeing the feeding program. It is so far for us to travel it is a blessing to have the communities help with the Lord's work. They are brother's Peter and Dan, then a group at each site for cooking and sharing the word with the children daily. We helped Peter with a good Bicycle to allow him to travel faster.
I was out checking in on the Children's maize (corn) and found them singing as they worked.... Our Co/op in the village has been late this year getting seeds and fertiliizer so it has just arrived on the 11th of Jan. I bought the children seeds early so they could plant and that maize is hungry for fertilizer.
Michael has a busy month teaching so we went to House of Faith on a Saturday to finish the solar well connections so the trench could be covered. He will be testing this month just two hours a day. The ladies have the keys and will switch on about 8:30 every morning. Washing clothes always takes a lot of water so this will refill the tank easily we are hoping. February the final plan should be in place.
If Michael did not know what to do around here it would be difficult to get any thing done. So blessed he knows so much and thankful. Always little ones watching Uncle Mikes every move.
This is Munsanda our newest little boy who arrived in October. He is growing up so fast!
As Michael was finishing his solar pump connections I heard thunder in the distance and was wondering if the storm would move in on us.... It did about half way out the water was moving in our tracks and I was thankful HE was driving. We made it safely home.... Another day working in the Kingdom.
Shopping with three more Extender Care kids and thanking the Lord they are doing well and are ready for another year of school. Sharon Castro and Livity will all be in grade 9 this year. Without this help of uniforms shoes school supplies and school fees they would not be attending school.
We have been blessed the rented house in Kalomo for our grade 8-12 kids was big enough to make a bedroom out of the dinning room to house the extra children this year. Michael and the boys put up two pieces of partical board and we covered it with a curtain. You can not even tell and we can house 6 more children with the extra bedroom.
Our 6 new children are excited to be in town and have been preparing themselves to study hard. Mama Benita does a good job with them and they all have to sign a contract so we are all clear what is expected of them.
Michael had a rainy week teaching Mot Mot in Monda and even had to use an umbrella to keep the papers from getting wet inside the church. This is turning out to be a good rainy season.
We traveled back to Lusaka to Beit Cure Hospital with House mom Mary Victor and Mackmore for a review. It was found after Victor's surgery last month. He does not have Tracheomelaciaot PTL and does not need to return. We just need to keep working with him. Mackmore's new hearing aids volume was reduced and the Dr feels maybe early next year his opened eardrums can be closed. I will be so blessed to have our Lusaka trips over with! It is always a major planning to get the children out of the village travel early to get to Lusaka by 9:00 then wait to be seen. Then shopping for items needed in the capital then back to Kalomo, then back to the village. Keep Victor and Mackmore in your prayers for total healing in their bodies.
I had one day to shift gears and prepare for the last Village Hope site visit for their 1st term feeding program. It had been raining all week and I kinda felt we should plan another day. After looking at our schedule there was no other day until mid February! Michael said we must go.... we departed at 5:30 am on our journey and I decided to take items for sandwiches, water, sweatshirts just in case we ran into trouble with all the water. I ask if he thought we could take the short cut fearing the river crossings would not allow us to pass. He said he was not yet sure. As we crossed over the Kalomo River ( it was moving fast and overflowing it's banks) he knew we could not go the short cut... so he had never traveled the long way around so again a new adventure. We stopped several times asking for directions from people walking in the rain covered in plastic. About 3 hours into our trip I ask Michael if we had reached a slippery area becasue I felt the back of the vehicle was sliding a few seconds later I thought we had dropped into a deep hole until I saw our back tire pass us ! My heart beat a bit faster as I saw the back of the vehicle. I walked back trying to find any lugs or parts and only found the small hub cover. Michael got out the jack retrieved the tire from the field and took a lug from a couple of tires and from the spare to get the tire back on. The brake cover was really damaged so he did what he could and decided to work on it more after arriving at the church. It was raining pretty hard.... another 1 hour and 15 mins we arrived at the church and we were 1 hour and 45 mins late! I thought no one thought we would be coming so now what! Then the community came out of the church with smiles saying they knew Michael would come.... He took the tire back off and beat the brake cover so it could not cause trouble and we were on our way to the last site. The next few pictures are from our travels in the rain and high water.
Michael helped pull out a Lorry full of maize!
Because of all the rain our planned meeting at the school was not organized well. The head master had to travel out and children have to cross a stream to get to school so many where not there. Peter and Dan will go back in a couple of days to make sure everything is in place. Just thankful we got the food and supplies out so the program will start on time.
It is a beautiful area with rolling hills and valleys. We saw so much maize, ground nuts, sweet potatoes and sunflower being grown. The Lord is blessing with a wonderful rainy season this year! Thanks for prayers.
Every time we travel places I find something or someone that touches my heart in a very special way. I met this little girl when we interviewed back in November for the Village Hope program. Her grandmother told me she had been bitten by a snake and her arm had grown together. I ask if she was able to see a Dr and she said no we don't have transport money to Choma. Michael and I gave her the money to go to Choma and see what could be done for this precious little girl. Peter and Dan ask the grandmother to bring her to see me when we last visited. They had traveled and the Dr wrote a letter for them to be seen at Monze Hospital but again they had no money for the 5 hour journey. We prayed with them and gave the money needed for their trip along with some extra for food becasue they could be there for days if a surgery could be done. I look forward to the day I can show you a picture of this little one with a healed arm.... She gave me the biggest hug and was very shy with I gave her a big kiss on the cheek. Our God is so GOOD!
Mama Benita who oversees our Town house of students in grades 8-12 has truly blessed me with finding places for all 6 of our new students in town. It is not an easy task because all returning students get first choice and then if a space becomes available a new student can be received! Thank you Mama Benita for your hard work and love of the Lord and our children.
Michael found a child in need of help while teaching MOT MOT before Christmas with a large head and a open sore on it's back. We have helped now with two trips to Lusaka and are waiting for news. Seems the first Hospital Beit Cure referred the mother and child to another Hospital in Lusaka. Keep this sweet one in your prayers also.
Michael wore his shorts knowing he would have to walk across and changed into his Sunday pants for church once we arrived... Our rains have been so good the last couple of weeks it has been difficult to travel in the rural areas, rivers flooding over their blanks has been a real problem. We shopped for monthly supplies for House of Faith and we waited another day praying the river would be down so we could cross. Our house mothers were getting a bit nervous becasue transporters were not able to drive into town. We got to the crossing and it was not chest high as it had been . The next couple of pictures are of the crossing and the last picture is the grass on the trees the water was almost to the top of those small tress. It did roll over the hood of the defender :) as we crossed so still many vehicles will not be able to use this route.
Church was good and we were blessed to see many even for Sunday School. They now have a shelter for our Children's services.
I was so thankful we got most of the monthly supplies out for the ladies and I heard thunder and saw lighting in the distance. Said a prayer Lord thank you we got here and please help us get back to town. The trip back a bit over an hour each way was good until we came near a run off area that was fine when we went out but now flooded. So again Michael walked it to be sure of were to drive this time in his long church pants. Thankful the water just rolled up against the hood and we crossed with out problems. We are so blessed with his help of getting around in rainy season. There were two small cars waiting becasue they could not cross until the run off went down. Sometimes it takes hours.
Our House of Faith children received their fertilizer and I was thankful it has started to grow again. Praying it will be a great harvest!
Coming back into town I saw a flower I see every year during rainy season but this year it was more burgundy in color than I have ever remembered before. It was beautiful! You just have to love rainy season for all the beautiful things we see. Even if travel is harder.
Linda Jones was a missionary for over 27 years. She went home to be with the Lord in June 2021. I'm her husband Mike, posting on her blog.