Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Fun with the Sun

Okay, okay, please don't be mad at me. I know I haven't updated in a long time. I'm sorry.

Anyway, this is what's going on in the orphanage!

Do you remember my exciting update about the bigshots from the bigshot hotel chain saying that they were going to donate formula to us? That was in February, and I heard from them last week. They said, "We're going to come out to the farm on Saturday and bring the formula we ordered in for you and some food for the kids." Great! The last time they made a visit to the farm, I was beautiful from spending the morning cleaning the house in Jake's sleeveless work shirt. They showed up with well-dressed South Africans and white people with video cameras. Needeless to say, I was pretty well mortified. This time, I was prepared!

They said that they would be there by 10 o'clock on Saturday morning. So, I got up early, showered, dressed up, and even put on some mascara for the occasion. My clothes matched, my hair was brushed, it was a day to be remembered. I seem to also recall thinking, "Maybe I should do the dishes." No, no. No time for that. I had to rush over to the orphanage to make sure the kids were clean and in their finest for their national debute. I pulled out new clothes and shoes and things and after all the kids had had bathes, they got to put on shining new outfits without mango stains, bleach stains, dirt stains, and stains from who knows what else. Even the babies got to dress up. Now, dressing up and keeping 53 kids clean is more of an obstacle than I'm willing to admit at this moment. And doing it with Mukansunda screaming my back because she's in an attachment stage was another thing all together. However, it was a joyful day! I didn't care about anything but the kids having a good time and getting that donated formula. I was singing the "I won't blow my budget this month" tune.

Once the kids were all dressed up, they were kept inside (for obvious reasons). The women swept off the new back porch. Jacob started up the grill (the manager who called suggested we have "braii" ready for cooking.) When they rolled in on their big tour bus, the kids were singing and I was calmly prepared to greet them.

The South African HEAD CHEF of the Royal Livingstone (the $600 a night hotel in town that sits practically ON TOP of Victoria Falls) came off of the bus and informed me that he had roasted chicken, fresh bread, fruit, and vegetables for the kid's lunch (along with 10 cases of formula). Great! "Let me just show you to the braii." He said, "Oh, it would be much better if we had a stove and an oven." Okayyyyyy. "Let me just show you to my hallway that is my kitchen. The dishes aren't done and I'm pretty sure the stove has crusty stuff on it. But, Mr. Very Rich and Famous Head are welcome to it!" Before I knew it I had the head chef and 5 line chefs in my kitchen. They had to improvise and enlarge my stove with aluminum foil and duct tape. I tried to explain lack of counter space and the chef said, "We're not going to blow a circuit or anything are we?" No, I assure him, (lying through my teeth).

To make my unbearably long stories short: The kids had a great time. They all got to eat chicken legs and Italian bread to their little heart's content. They stayed clean for about 5 minutes, but I don't think the Head Chef noticed. A great time was had by all. Except for the manager that came out with the group. She said, "I don't like to come to this orphanage cause there are just so many kids and they are just so young, and it's just so sad." No, I assured her, it's not. It's sad that they would have died in the bush. It's not sad that they don't have a billion personal toys or 10 pairs of shoes. It's sad that you have ignored it for so long because it hurts your heart to come. (Okay, so I left out the last part, but I was thinking it.) I am grateful to the Sun International for their donations and to the Head Chef for ignoring my dirty dishes!

Have a great week!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

We're Back!

We are so sorry that it has taken so long to post a blog; however, we have just gone through nearly one full week without Zesco (electricity) and of course it happened during Easter weekend. You can tell Jessi and I have been here for nearly a year now because without hesitation we grab our pots and head out to the fire pit as soon as Zesco goes off. One night Jessi made a nice traditional Zambian meal of nshima, rape, and sausage. Another night i decided i was going to learn how to kill, de-feather, cut up and cook a chicken. That morning a man was walking by our farm entrance with two chickens on sale for 30,000 kwacha (roughly $7.50) so i bought them both and that night we feasted on chicken, nshima and green beans with some of our Zambian friends. I must say that it's going to take some getting used to slaughtering chickens, but i'm managing.
With Zesco being out every night, Jessi and I have gotten used to eating "candle-lit dinners" though the romance of it all seems to go away when you know you can't switch on the lights! I do want to say though that we praise God for it all! When it all comes down to it - we can survive without electricity, air con's, carpeted floor, etc. God really can become your all in all at a place like this. It's almost forced upon you at times, but praise God that we've had a chance to grab ahold of Him and say "i don't know what i'm doing or how i'm going to get through this, but i'm not letting go..." He NEVER fails us! He's always there. Always helping us up when we fall and leading us on that "straight and narrow road."
Jessi and I are so excited to get back home and begin to share the vision God has put on our hearts. We will be returning May 31st and probably remaining in the States for 4-5 months as we prepare for this next phase of ministry. We will be remaining with Sons of Thunder, but entering into a whole new facet of ministry. Upon returning to Zambia we will begin pitching a tent and living for one month at a time out in different areas of the bush in Zambia. The burden of our heart is that many Zambians have been "evangelized", but so few have been discipled. We believe that it is essential for us to live with them in order to truly reveal Jesus Christ to them. We will also be trained in bucket drip irrigation so that we can teach the people better ways of gardening so that they can have year-round gardens. A ministry in Florida called ECHO will be equipping us with the proper training, irrigation kits and drought resistant seed so that we can really start feeding Africa. We will also be placing good, clean water (wells with hand pumps) at each of these bush villages so that they can have good drinking water and a way to properly irrigate. Rotary International has shown a big interest in sponsoring the cost of the wells. Paul says that he so loved the people he was with that he not only shared the gospel with them, but his very life. That is what Jess and I feel God has called us to do. Through walking alongside these people; working with them, eating with them, playing with them and loving them - we believe that God is going to change not only their outward circumstances, but the inward condition of their hearts (which is what TRULY matters). On returning to Zambia we will be building a home for us to live in and purchasing a ministry vehicle that will be adequate for all of our travels across Zambia so we have some very large tasks ahead of us. We ask for your prayers that God would open doors no man can shut and shut doors no man can open so that we are led just as He would have us to be. We love you all so much and we feel so priveledged that all of you have partnered with our heart and God's heart in this vision to spiritually and physically feed Africa! We'll keep you posted as best we can! God bless...