Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Breath of Heaven Orphanage

These are our friends, Michael and Aretta Devine, who served here in Zambia about 10 years ago.  A few years ago they helped start Breath of Heaven Orphanage here in Lusaka and just came a couple of times a year.  They have just recently come back to live full-time and help run this orphanage.  This time they came with two of their grandchildren whom they have adopted.  Sunday after church we went to visit them at their home and to see the orphanage.  They have 40+ kids that are at the orphanage now.
Please pray for Michael and Aretta as they minister at this orphanage every day.  Pray for wisdom and guidance as they seek to share the love of Jesus with all these kids on a daily basis.   Pray for the ongoing construction, tilapia farm, gardens, school program, and all that they have going on.

 This is one of their grandsons, Nathanael .

 The kids have a huge playground to enjoy!

 This is where the Devine's live plus any volunteers who come to help.

 There are currently 4 homes which house all these kids.  Each home has a house mother who lives there with them.  She is the one who cooks for them as well.  There are about 6 older kids that go to a local school but all the others are taught in these buildings as well.

 They are in the process of building a 5th building so that they can bring in more orphans.

These is an area where they will plant some vegetables and then behind it will be a Tilapia Farm.

Monday, March 12, 2012

A Testimony

After church yesterday we had lunch in the pastors home and one of the deacons ate with us.  We began asking him about how long he had been coming to this church and he began sharing his testimony with us.  I wanted to share this particular testimony on here because to me it shows the power of prayer and God's Word.  Many years ago this man went to a Catholic church.  He said that the church did many good things for others but they didn't really teach the Word of God.  He continued going to this church for many years while continuing to get drunk and take drugs.  He finally decided to get out of that and he joined the Watchtower or Jehovah's Witnesses.  He continued drinking and doing drugs.  This whole time his wife was going to the Baptist church.  His wife would come home from church and she would talk about what she was learning about Jesus.  The things he was hearing with the J.W.'s was not matching up with what his wife was saying.  He wanted to know the truth about Jesus.  So he began seeking this information for himself and not just believing what he was told.  He went to the Baptist church with his wife and that day they were singing this song called, Take Me As I Am.  He was listening to this song and realized that he wanted that for himself.  He made that song his prayer and asked Jesus to take him just as he was and to forgive him of his sins.  He has now been at this church for 7 years and is now a deacon.  His wife was not eating with us but I feel certain that if I were to ask her she would say that she had been praying for her husband for many years.  So often, I have Zambian women ask me to pray for their husbands salvation.  They ask how long will they have to pray for their husbands because it seems it is not working.  I know one woman who prayed for her husband for 20 years and he finally prayed to receive Christ.  I always share this verse with the women and tell them to not give up.
1 Peter 3:1-2 says, "Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives."

Saturday, March 3, 2012

My Heart Cries

This past Thursday Hannah and I went to Ng'ombe compound to visit some of the patients of one of the caregivers which I'm leading in bible study.  I have been wanting to go out with some of these caregivers to build a deeper relationship with them and to encourage them in their work.  Little did I know what God had in store for us on this day as He allowed us to hear stories and see with our eyes the reality of what most Zambians go through each day.  My heart cries for the ones we visited today and all the others in every small home in that compound.  Each home represents families with their own set of problems and hurts.  Most of them living in darkness and not knowing the Love of Jesus and just trying to make it day to day.  I left this compound wondering how can we make a difference?  It is so overwhelming!  There are so many people who need help.  The task is so big.  I'm so thankful that there is no task to big for God.  Even though I don't understand His plan I know He has one.  That is why it is so important that I daily do what God has called me to do here in Zambia. 
There are a couple of pictures that are graphic so if you have a weak stomach you may not want to go any further.

 These first few pictures were taken as we drove through the compound getting to the church we were meeting at.  There are many compounds just like this one in Lusaka where thousands upon thousands of Zambians live right on top of one another with little place for trash which just piles up in ditches and the side of the road.  

 There are many markets along the road where women sit day in and day out selling the same thing their neighbor beside them is selling hoping to make enough money to buy food for their family for that day.

 How would you like to get your hair cut here?

 Hannah didn't get a picture of the whole church but this is a portion of it.  This is where I meet the Palliative care givers for bible study.  This is also where a school meets during the week.  On this particular day school was in session.  There are over 400 students that come to school here each day.

 This lady is cooking two huge pots of porridge to give all of the kids.  She is stirring the porridge over the fire and it was at least 95 degrees outside that day. 

 We walked the path with the mother of the first patient leading the way to her home.  

 This is Aggie and she is seven years old.  Last Thursday she was hit by a car and it did this to her leg. She went to the local clinic and they just gave her antibiotic.  The man who hit her then took her to a private clinic which was better.  They cleaned it well, gave her antibiotic and pain killers, and wrapped it up.  It had been one week since the accident and the girl is still not able to walk any.   It was bandaged when we went in but almost as soon as we sat down they started taking it off so we could see the wound.  It was very hard to look at especially knowing there isn't much you can do to help. Esther, the caregiver, asked me, "Is there something we can do?"  Not having any medical training myself I called my friend Lesley who is a doctor.  I explained everything to her and she gave me advice to share with this family about cleaning it properly and how to properly take care of this little girl.  The mother of Aggie could not make herself clean the wound so the grandparents are taking care of Aggie at this time.  

 Please pray for Aggie to heal quickly and properly.  Pray that infection would not come and that the family would be able to keep the wound clean and care for her properly.  Pray there would not be any muscle damage and that she would walk again.
 We knew before we left home that we would be visiting a little girl who had been hit by a car.  Hannah asked if she could give a children's bible to the girl.  She also wrote a couple of bible verses on a piece of paper and drew a picture to give Aggie.  She was enjoying looking at the pictures in the bible even while we were there.  
I prayed for Aggie and her family and we left.  My Heart Cries for little Aggie!

 These are some of the children waiting outside for us to come out.

 These next few pictures were taken while walking to our next destination.

 This is Esther that I am walking with.

 This is Leah Piri.  She is 5 years old and HIV positive.  About 3 months ago she stopped walking and barely has an appetite.  While we were there she was trying to eat a piece of bread and drink some water which had flies all over it.  Her mother who is also HIV positive left Leah several years ago.  Leah's grandmother and great grandmother are the ones caring for her now.  It's hard to tell from this picture but her little legs are so tiny.

 This is the great grandmother who is blind.  When we walked up to the home she was outside washing dishes in a basin.  She lead us inside by crawling up the steps since she couldn't see.  It was very dark inside and hot.  This is where Leah sits all day long. 
As we left this place I just had to ask myself what kind of mother would leave her child in this condition to be taken care of by the grandmother and great grandmother.  Please pray for Leah to be able to eat properly and regain her strength.  Pray for her grandparents to be able to care for her properly.  The outcome is not good.  My heart cries for Leah!

 We passed one of the ladies from my bible study selling things in a little stand on the side of the road.  All day her little girl who is 9 months old just sits there with her as she tries to make a living.

 Back at the school there is a clinic which is open one day a week.  This is Susan who is a nurse trying to help those who come.  There was a very long line of people waiting outside just to see a nurse.
Pray for Susan and others who give of their time to help these hurting and sick people.  Pray for wisdom as they try to discern what is wrong with the patients.

 These two pictures are of a couple of classes meeting while we were there.  
Pray for these children to receive a great education so that one day they too can make a difference in Zambia.

This is Esther who heads this all up-the school, the clinic, the food distribution, and the care givers.  I was trying to encourage her as we were walking through the compound telling her what a good job she was doing by helping so many.  She very humbly said,"It is not just me, I have a great team who works alongside of me.  You are now on our team too Suzie because you pray for us and encourage us."
Please pray for Esther and her team of Palliative care givers, teachers, and cooks, and clinic helpers as they strive to serve those who are in need in Ng'ombe compound 
Psalm 147:3 says, "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds."

Friday, March 2, 2012

Our trip to Luangwa

This past weekend we went to visit Kenny and Lesley Vines and their two children Tyler and Kenley.  You may remember that they were in Chongwe living near us for a year while they studied language.  In July 2010 they moved to Luangwa which is east of Chongwe.  Luangwa is one of the hottest places in Zambia to live.  Most days the temperature is well over 100 degrees outside and inside the house.  
Kenny is teaching in several different locations.  Lesley works in the local clinic once a week, takes care of the children, and visits with the women at their weekly meeting when she can.  


 We enjoyed playing with the kids!


 Hannah and Tyler

 Saturday afternoon Kenny drove us around showing us some of the area.  We got to this point and didn't think we could continue on so we had to turn around.

 Kenley enjoyed jumping in this so much.  

Please pray for Lesley as she works in the clinic to fully understand what her patients are saying to her and that she would communicate effectively.  Pray for wisdom as she diagnoses patients.  
Pray for Kenny as he teaches TEE that the men would be faithful to come and eager to learn.  Pray for wisdom as to how to plant churches in this responsive area.
Pray for Tyler and Kenley to have special friends as they grow up in such a remote area.