Wednesday, April 28, 2010

80 cents

What can you buy for 80 cents?

A really good candy bar, king size snickers. A soda from the machine
at Walmart. A cheap cup of coffee at the gas station. 88 cents buys
you some junky stuff at walmart or target that breaks in the car on
the way home, but the kids always love to buy.

Today we had about 80 cents to spend and bought a malaria blood test.

Yesterday we were visiting homes of children sponsored by the Hope for
the Afflicted Ministry. We were in one of the homes at the very end of
the day and met a boy there who was laying sick in the bed.
As we walked into the main living room of the house, we noticed there
was a bed in the corner. It was very dark inside the house, no
electricity and we were there to visit a little girl named Dyness. We
were talking with her when her mother said that her nephew Chola was
sick with malaria all week. He had been in bed. Mrs. Kabwe and Lister
asked whether he had been to the clinic. She said no, and they asked
why not? The medicines are given free at the health clinic but you
have to go and get a blood test for malaria. I asked how much it cost
and they said 3,500 kwacha. About 80 cents. Then she said they did
not have the money.

One of the orphans we had visited just a few minutes before had both
parents die from malaria.
So sad, and preventable and treatable.
So that was much on my mind and heart when we met him.

We finished our work there and were getting ready to leave. I asked
Mrs. Kabwe about the amount again and she said she did not have it
with her and I only had large bills, and knew not to just give the
money. So we left and I kept him in my mind. We had a few more houses
to stop by and then had to race home and pick up James and get Maureen
back to the bus station and dinner and the kids to bed.

Today we had planned to visit one more young man that was sponsored.
We went to Sharon's house and met him and talked with him briefly.
Then I asked her if she remembered the boy with the malaria and if she
had time to take us back to his house so we could get him to the
clinic and get medicine. She said, sure, no problem and she and her
older son rode with us and directed us to the house.

Sharon and I walked up to the house and said we came and wanted to
take him to the clinic. He very slowly came and Sharon's son Joshua
came and helped him get up. He moved very slowly to the car and
carefully got in. He looked to be in alot of pain. I handed him a
cold bottle of water and said, "drink some".

The kids were with us since we had a shorter day today and they all
squeezed in the back.
When we got to the clinic, Leah stayed with my kids and Sharon and I
walked up to see about getting the test.
they told us they were closed for lunch and we would have to wait an
hour. I told them we really couldn't just wait an hour, but they
would not go along and so we decided to have a picnic under the tree
while we waited.

As soon as we started getting things out, they came and said they
could see him. So Leah and Sharon sat with the kids and I waited with
Chola. (We later found out his name was actually Immanuel Chola) He
was the only one there and it was a very small clinic. They took his
blood and then he sat down and waited. He still had his bottle of
water unopened and so again I said, "You should drink the water". So
he tried to twist open the cap and did not even have strength to do
that. He is 18 years old.
I opened it for him and then asked if he was hungry. He said yes and
so I went back to the tree and Sarah made him a peanut butter and
guava jelly sandwich.

I brought it back for him while we were waiting on the results and he
ate it. I asked him if he ever had one before and he said no. I told
him what it was and that PB and J were my favorite. He said it was
very nice.

After he finished the nurse said to me, "How much are you going to
give me?" I was so thankful I knew what the cost was supposed to be,
so I answered, "3,500 kwacha. That's how much it is supposed to be.
And the medicine is free, right? " She said yes and took the money.
The "about 80 cents."
Then she said told me the results from the test and that in the one
slide, he had 10 different parasites in his blood. And then told me
it was a +2. The rating for it I guess.

Then we walked over to the dispensary where we waited and then I
encouraged him to drink the water again, to which he replied that he
had been told its bad to drink water when you have malaria.
The nurse was walking by at that point and I asked her and she said no
it is fine. You can drink it.

So I really don't know where he would have been told that, but the
only thing I could think of maybe was bad water, maybe that could
make it worse? I am not sure...
Anyway, they looked at him for a minute and then brought him into a
room to give him the medicine. She called me in as well to explain the
medicine. It was alot.
The specific type for the malaria. 4 tablets twice a day every 8
hours. So I asked if he could take it then and then have her write
down the next times to be taken. In addition he was given an
antibiotic for 5 days, so many tablets so many times a day, then
another pain medicine for pain he had in his back. Again 5 days, so
many pills so many times a day.
It could have easily been confusing and so I tried to explain it and
then asked her to tell him in Bemba. He said he understood. I thought
she was writing down all the info on a paper that she handed me as we
were leaving. I looked at it later and realized she had been extremely
nice and smiling the whole time looking at me.
The paper was "confidential", or at least the phone number was. But
she stated that she was a divorcee with one child looking for a white
single man in his 40s who was also a divorcee. And please, my me find one.

I was a bit surprised when I realized that was the note. She followed
me out and said something about reading it and I said i will read it
and think about it. ( not knowing what it said...) well obviously I
did think about it.

We got in the car and took him home. I tried to encourage him to drink
alot of fluids and take the medicine. he said he had malaria 2 times
before but had not ever had the medicine.

We said goodbye and left.
80 cents and maybe his life was spared. Who knows. Only God knows,
but as I was thinking today about so many that are sick and dying or
have malaria or HIV positive. So many, you can't help them all.
But for yesterday and today, the Lord brought a young man across our
path, in the context of someone that was known and supported, and we
could help him. Just that one.

As I talked with him a little I found out that he lived on the streets
in Lusaka for 7 years.
He was hit by a car and was taken to UTH. The University Teaching
Hospital in Lusaka. He actually stayed somewhere near Emmasdale.
(Where James preached a week ago).
I couldn't understand from what he was explaining about the timing of
these things, but he is an orphan and at some point came back to Ndola
to see a relative. i didn't know if he was talking about his father
before, or his uncle now or what, but he said he was a bad man. And
then he pointed to his heart and said, "he had a bad heart".
He is in grade 7, but has not been in school recently. I asked if he
wanted to go back to school and finish school. he said yes. But who
knows. I am sure if he couldn't afford the malaria test, he couldn't
afford school fees.

Will he finish the medications he was given? Will he heal and then
head back to the streets?
In Lusaka? Ndola? Will he be around a year from now?
I don't know. But I do know I just spent the best 80 cents I could
spend today.

Tuesday -just a start

I think pictures will have to come later. We ordered a laptop for me, and Leah brought it with her and so I am still trying to figure out how to save and upload photos to the web.

I don't quite even know where to start. Yesterday was a very long day and so full. As we were driving about I realized how we are seeing so much, that many of you will never see or experience. What a humbling and awesome thing at the same time assuch responsibility. I hope over the next couple weeks to share some of that especially through pictures.

I left the house at 7:30 to take James to the church. We picked up Andy and brought him there as well. The classes started at 8:00. I met briefly with Pastor Kabwe and he explained how it would be best to take Mrs. Kabwe and another church member Lister along with Mrs. Sharon Chisala. Sharon is the one that knows the children the best and helps with the ministry but she herself goes to another church. So they wanted the parents and children to know that we were coming as an extension of the ministry that Grace Baptist is involved in.
He said they will think because you are white that you are coming to give and give and when you leave they will tell us that we did not keep our promise to them because they are still there in their poverty. So he stressed, do not promise anything.
We had not planned to, but it was very helpful to be reminded again and understand where they are coming. Mrs. Kabwe explained that even in us seeing where they live, they think that will possibly mean change for them.

We were careful in what we said and I explained to Mrs. Kabwe that a few churches have already been financially supporting these kids and so in our coming to get more information, we are just helping them better understand what they are already supporting. So they will have a meeting with the children and guardians next week to re-explain these things to them after we have gone.

We met at Sharon's house and started with a single mom that lived behind her. She has a son who is supported and he was not there he was working in the fields since it is a school holiday right now. He has a sister who is disabled and in a wheelchair. We spent time with her and then took pictures and went to Sharon's house again. 2 of her 4 children are supported and so we talked with them more and saw their bedrooms. It was so sweet to see the one boy showing us the pictures on his wall. Taken from a calendar of castles in Scotland. Then his brother showed us in another section of his room where the chickens lay their eggs.

From there we drove from house to house over very bumpy, pot-hole filled dirt roads. Though I don't think they can be called roads exactly. And pot-holes do not do justice, more like crater-filled. This was my first time navigating through the rough roads of Africa and it was quite an experience. The first time in my life also where I thought a HUMMER would actually be a very good thing here, and I would have liked to be driving one right then! We have a 4x4 so that is obviously sufficient, but it tells you the conditions. At one point they were directing me to the right and I said, "Are you serious, I can drive through that?" We did and it actually took us through the "bush" and we drove past a beautiful spot where there was a school. I stopped a minute to take a picture out the window and Sharon hopped out and started walking toward the school so we all got out and made a stop there.

I am just coming back to this now, after starting to write earlier this morning. Another long day. I will post what I have and hope to write more tonight when we get back. We are going to someone's home for dinner very soon.

Our day was very "successful" in that we were able to visit all but one of the homes of the children that are sponsored through Grace Baptist of Ndola Hope for the Afflicted Ministry.

Leah and I have been starting to compile all the information now while it is fresh in our minds on each child.
More later...much more.

Hope for Afflicted Ministry

Written on Monday

We have had a very busy day today and yesterday. It is late, and we start again early tomorrow so this will be short.
But we went today to meet the children at the home of one of the caretakers, Sharon.
She is the one that oversees the distribution of food and medicines and keeps track of all the kids.

We met with the group of children and are scheduled to go with Sharon to the individual homes to see where they live.
We started with explaining to them our desire for them to have a "friend in the states" and went over the profile form we wanted them to fill out. That took quite awhile and then I got pictures of all the kids that were there. After that Leah told them a story from the bible of the garden of eden and sin and Jesus Christ. She did great and she is so in "her element" here interacting with the people and children.
After that we sang a song, the only song in bemba that we know and then they sang a song for us. They seem to light up with joy and smiles when they are singing!
Then we passed out the lollipops and took a group picture.

Leah and I will be going and the children will be staying here with Maureen. That will be good for them to have a rest. Things can be non-stop sometimes here. We didn't eat dinner until about 8:oo last night, after eating cereal and toast for lunch. Busy day. More on that later. But it will be nice for them to stay here, and us to go without them. Today they all came with us and I am so glad they did. I think it was a great experience for them. Ian made a couple friends and Sarah helped in gathering the profile sheets we had passed out and keeping track of which ones needed their picture made, etc. Emma helped keep an eye on the 2 little ones and Jackson and Caleb passed out the lollipops at the end.

Jackson brought a couple little animals (plastic) with him to give away. He ended up giving them to a few kids in the neighborhood, even though another boy that was at the home kept trying to collect them and give them back to Jackson. After I explained he wanted to give them, then he understood. But it was cute because he asked about it when we first arrived and I told him at the end, so he waited over an hour before he was able to give them. So they all did great!

All for now, but thanks for your interest and prayers.
Today is Calebs birthday. Can't believe he is 6!

Saturday, April 24, 2010


Our visitors have arrived.
Around noon, we went to the Ndola airport and picked up Andy Dunkerton and Leah Falciola.
It was exciting to be on the receiving side at the airport in Zambia.

They arrived safely, on time and with all their bags! Another great blessing.
There were several goodies that the ladies from the church in North Carolina, where Andy Pastors, sent with him. Coloring books, sticker books, snacks, a dvd for the kids...
He said he felt like Santa Claus. He also brought a new camera that my dad bought and had shipped to him.
We decided mine was probably stolen by someone who was working outside the house and in the kitchen at the time.
So I am excited to have one again.

Leah also had some goods she was bringing for us. Some things I had ordered online and had sent to my friend Rachel's house in NJ, and other things that I had asked Rachel to buy for us. And a few people gave her some things to give to Maureen and her kids.
Such a blessing to have good friends!

Andy is staying at Kaps Lodge and Leah is staying here at the cottage with us.
We are getting ready to go eat dinner but wanted those of you who were praying for safe arrivals for them to know they were answered.
Tomorrow we will go to the orphan sunday school class and then to church at grace baptist where Andy will be preaching and also where the college is held next week.

Friday, April 23, 2010


I have a minute to write a quick story from today.

The drive is pretty desolate from Lusaka to Ndola apart from the main town of Kabwe in between and a few villages. There are still people everywhere that live in the bush and walk to the main road to sell things. I saw at least 2 or 3 different team of oxen pulling a trailer, and a boy with 2 cows he was leading. People sell Charcoal, fruit and vegetables, dried out gourds, straw brooms and mats, honey, and other things as well.

We were driving by and since Caleb was asleep on my lap I was not able to get a picture (maybe on the way home) but there were boys along the road holding a stick with a rodent attached by a string onto the tail. Could have been a mouse or a rat they are different you know. But they were just dangling it out as cars passed by. Sounds like a cruel joke boys would play or maybe teasing.

It was so nice to have Maureen with us. Whenever we had a question she was right there. So we asked her, "What is that they are doing?" They are selling the mice. I said I assume they are to eat right? Yes, they were. But she said they usually are great big ones, so the next time when we saw one, she said, "yes, they are selling them but that one is small, it is an appetizer".

At least I heard "appetizer".
She actually said, "an advertisment".

Meaning there are more where this one came from. They just hold out the dangling rat shaking it all around for you to see. They have many more and even bigger ones, where that came from!
A new take on road-kill.

Heading North

We left this morning to head up to Ndola.
Compared to the last time we packed up and went on a trip, we are traveling very light!

After about 6 hours we arrived in Ndola. We brought Maureen with us. She is from the Copperbelt and 2 of her children live here with one of her sisters.
Halfway through the trip we stopped to get lunch in Kabwe. When we got out, Caleb was feeling very sick and had a fever. So we gave him ibuprofen had lunch and then the remainder of the trip he sat on my lap trying to cool him down and help him fall asleep. Thankfully he did both. The Lord answered those prayers.

We arrived into Ndola and took Maureen and Jack to the bus station to catch a bus up to Kitwe. She will be staying up there with her family and maybe coming down to help here a day or two this week. It is only about 45 minutes from here.
We met up with Pastor Kabwe and he brought us to the home of the Phiri's.
They have a cottage behind their house and we are staying in it for this week.
They are kind to lend it out to the Pastors traveling over from the US to teach the modules. It seems to work out well for the men coming over. It is a blessing to have room for all of us and our friend Leah will be joining us tomorrow.

We will go to the airport here in Ndola and meet her and Andy Dunkerton, who is teaching with James for the module at the Copperbelt College.
Please pray for the week to go well. For the Lord to bless the pastors meeting together to study and learn, Blessing on the time we spend with the orphans and for good health for all of our children and ourselves while we are here.
We have had some virus going through the kids, and please pray everyone is on the mend.

Hope to post more throughout the week if I am able.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tuesday visit

Several of you have said you enjoy hearing about the visits to the orphanage so I will keep writing about them for now. Sarah was with me today.

She remembered a couple of the children that she held the first time and went back to hold them. She also was good at trying to give everyone a chance “out”.

They had already finished feeding time so we just held and played.


Akim was still smiling today and off the IV. So he does look like he is improving. Thank you again for praying and those that emailed or left comments telling us that you prayed for him either individually or as a church.

I held him and sang to him, the only song I remembered in Bemba. (Takwaba uwaba -  There’s no one like Jesus)  

When I was leaving today I told him I wouldn’t be back for 2 weeks so I wanted to see him big and strong next time.  


One girl I picked up was very tentative, she had just woken up from a nap and maybe surprised to see some strangers. She warmed up quickly and after just a few minutes I tried to hand her to Sarah for a minute and she would not let go of my arms.  So I held her awhile and when I finally did put her back in her crib, she screamed and threw a fit and even reached out to try to smack me.  She missed, but for a one year old, I was surprised at this type of outburst of emotion but realizing how that too was manifesting her loneliness only in anger.

So sad.  


As we walk around holding the little ones, there is a bulletin board with a lot of pictures of different kids from the orphanage. There are the preschool age ones playing, seems like a celebration or party, holiday maybe... But there is one picture that jumps out at me.  I showed Sarah today.

A little girl is in her crib, with a stuffed animal in one hand and a baby doll in a box laying in the crib. The same baby dolls that are in a box displayed all over the room. Not played with, but on display. I think I mentioned these earlier.

The girl looks like she either is crying or had been crying.

No amount of “toys” given for a picture or a celebration (but never played with)  will take the place of the family that she longs for.


When we left another toddler was screaming that Sarah had been holding, when she put her down.

Sarah said she felt bad that they were crying but they need attention so what are you going to do?   

My thoughts exactly.









Monday, April 19, 2010

Comment Moderation

Hi Friends,
I just decided to go ahead and figure out how to moderate the comments. So thank you to those that have written comments. Since it is a public blog a few times I have gotten links to others I don't know leaving a comment and then pointing me to their blogs. So this way they will come through an email and then I will be able to have them put up. Also, this way I think anyone, "anonymous" without a google account can leave a comment as well. So if you'd like, try it out.


It's a Process!

For weeks I have been thinking to write this post, but one of tonight’s processes put me “over the edge” to go ahead and write it.

Those of you that have younger children, just think about putting your kids to bed at night.

It seems no matter how much time you spend before bedtime, there is often those feelings of, enough already, just get in the bed.

But think about the rituals. Going to the bathroom. Brushing your teeth, getting in the bed, tucking them in , reading a story, turning off the lights, etc. One last drink of water..

Think about your bedtime process, and we sometimes have talked with friends about how it reminds us of the game at chuck e cheese where you have a mallet in your hand and you press one down and then another one pops up. You think one kid is ready and all set only to find another one up or not ready yet.

Well multiply that for putting the kids to bed here in Zambia.

Brush your teeth. Back home, that meant sending them down the hallway and they brushed their teeth. Pulled open the drawer got the toothbrush, turned the sink on and brush your teeth.

Now, it means go to the cabinet, open the plastic box that has your toothbrush in it ( to keep roaches from crawling on them—just in case) get your bottle of water that has your name on it and start getting your toothbrush ready. But wait, your water bottle is empty, so you have to come back to the kitchen on the other side of the house fill up your bottle then go back and start brushing.

Find the right toothpaste, regular one is too spicy for the little guys, so they have their toothpaste. But they can’t reach it since it is too high up in the cabinet. Put it on then start brushing. Rinse with the bottled water, then rinse your toothbrush back off put it back in the case. Snap it tight, put it in the cabinet. Now go to the potty. One goes into the bathroom with only the toilet. So then they come out and go into the one where the toilet and sink are and someone else is brushing their teeth or they are using the toilet. “Don’t come in, I’m in here!…”

Then get in bed. Back home…just get in bed. Pull up the covers, say a prayer and goodnight!

Here, we have to decide and remember whose week is it to sleep on which part of the bunkbed, or the regular bed. Then put the net down that was tied up during the day. For one of the beds it means pulling the bed out away from the wall, sliding the net down on the side tucking it in then pushing the bed against a different wall so their pillow doesn’t fall off the bed. Then Have them climb up into bed, situate the net around them, tuck it in around the mattress and then say a prayer and goodnight. Maybe it doesn’t seem like a big deal but trust me, with 5 kids it seems like A PROCESS!

So they are in bed all tucked in snuggly then someone has to get out of bed, go to the bathroom again, get a drink, or oh, I forgot something. Net comes up, they get out, mom or dad goes back in tucks them back in with the net around them and another goodnight!

Maybe someday we can eliminate the bottled water for brushing teeth process but have not wanted to try that out yet.

I am certain it is a mom thing, but every night before I go to bed, I check on the kids one more time. It is then that I usually have to readjust one of the bed nets, because someone has gotten twisted up in it.

Then we get ready for bed. And as James mentioned, just locking all the doors and gates is a process. Then we always gather up anything valuable left in the living room. Cameras, computers, purse, wallet, etc. to put in our room with us just in case.

When you get up in the morning same process, unlocking all gates and doors, tying back nets, same brushing teeth process…

This is just one of the many examples of everything taking longer, but not just taking longer, it’s like it is such a process to accomplish something.

Another example, laundry the past week. The water pressure has been low and so then that throws off the cycle and so one afternoon it took all day just to get one load washed, and this was for even having a machine. A luxury here, but even with that it is still a process.

Having drinking water. I am very thankful that our house helper Maureen helps with this. She was gone over a long weekend and I told her it made us appreciate her work for us. I explained how we were out of water and so I had 4 pots on the burners trying to boil all the water. Then finally they all were at a rapid boil and they are supposed to boil for 20 minutes. Well I left the kitchen and totally forgot about them and almost 2 hours later came back and they were still there all on the stove. Only much less water in the pots. Then after they boil you take them off the stove and let them cool and sit for awhile. I think Maureen lets them sit for at least an hour. Then you pour them into the big countertop filter we have. Well I wasn’t really thinking and just started dumping them in, it started to almost overflow when I realized it was at maximum capacity and quickly pulled the pot away.

Then once it is in the filter it slowly ( VERY SLOWLY) drains into the bottom part. Once it has drained, then you can fill up the water bottles. We have big bottles saved from when we were buying water, so we keep those and use them. We will pull a chair over and set the bottle on there to fill up because it comes out slowly and gets heavy. Well a few times both she and I have forgotten about the bottle while doing something else in the kitchen, only to have it overflowing and water spilling over onto the floor.

We store the water bottles in the bottom of the pantry and then take a smaller pitcher and fill that up from the bottles to keep in the refrigerator.

You can be told that everything takes longer to do, but it is only when you are experiencing it that you really can believe and know that is true. And what a process it is!

We all need patience everyday in whatever it is we are doing. Whether at work with other people, school or at home.

Patience, it truly is a virtue.

And one needed here in Zambia as well as back home in America!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Emmas Dale

Today we went to church in Emmasdale. It is one of the areas in Lusaka. James was filling in preaching for Pastor Issac Makashini. He and his family are Zambians that lived in the States for 3 years while he attended Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson Mississippi. They returned home last year sometime and Issac is now in the states for a couple weeks. He is in Laurel Mississippi, only about an hour from James’s parents. He was preaching at a church there today. And a Mississippi boy was preaching for him in Zambia.
It went well and it is always nice to visit other churches and meet new people and hear James preach again.

I sat in the kids Sunday school class with all the kids and after church they passed out mosquito nets to all the kids under age 10. They tried a few different times to hand my kids the nets, which was very kind, but since we already had some we didn’t want to take them when others needed them.
The Sunday School teacher said, they were donated and they wanted to make sure that every child was sleeping under a net. “We don’t want to hear that anyone gets sick from malaria”.

On the way to church we saw a bicycle race. Interesting that some things don’t change. We would always see individuals and groups biking when we drove the back way in Shelbyville, to our church.
Lots of people were watching the race. I took some pictures of our drive to church.

This was pretty neat, all these kids just sitting in the tree watching

They have BP gas stations here

This is a car wash. They have buckets and wash the cars with water from the buckets

As we were leaving the church we said it was "Emma's Dale". Caleb said, "Why isn't there any signs that say Caleb?"
For that matter Jackson could have asked why it didn't say Jackson's Dale. Since Dale is his middle name.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Answered Prayer!

Even just writing this title is exciting!
I went to the orphanage today, hopeful even just to see Akim still there.

As soon as I walked in, I scanned the room to his crib and saw, yes, he was still there. He was sleeping and very bundled up but I started thanking the Lord. That was an answer to prayer.

I changed a few diapers and started feeding cereal to the babies. I kept my eye on him waiting to see him when he woke up. One of the workers kept coming into the room, changing babies and then taking them out all bundled up. Then she came back. Probably about 5 or 6 babies went out and back in over the course of almost 2 hours I was there. I asked where she was taking them and she said to see their moms.

So these are the children who are not true orphans, and occasionally have a short visit with a parent or relative. She took Wamasa out. She looked so cute and alert today. I was glad to know then, that she had a mother. That way I would not start thinking, "maybe she would be one we could adopt. "
A little disappointed,( because the thought crossed my mind-even though I knew this orphanage doesn't really do adoptions) but thankful the Lord brought about that knowledge.

It didn't really matter because Akim was still there in his little crib!

I went over to him once he woke up, and saw that he had been given his bottle propped up. So I took off his fleece blanket and the pink fleece sweatshirt he had on, and changed his diaper. He had on a cute outfit, that would have fit my Jackson. ( a 4year old). He was swimming in it, not to mention swimming in the tiniest diaper all waded up. I got him changed and took the bottle and held him for a long time out on the patio.

He did not want to drink much of the bottle. They put cereal in it, but it seems pretty thick to drink down for such a tiny little guy.

I looked around under his sleeves to check for the the IV ports. They both were gone.
Really, from the moment I saw him in his crib awake and went over to him, he was so smiley. I called his name and he smiled, I looked at him and he smiled!
I took him outside and told him how good the Lord was to Him, and that so many people were praying for him. He smiled.

Then he grabbed my finger and held it in his tiny hand for awhile. We walked around some, sat down, I just was so happy and thankful that God answered our prayers!

After a long time, I put him back in his crib. He lay there content, and then turned to look at a toy that was next to him and he reached out for it and started spinning it a little bit with his hand.

The worker lady walked by and talked to him a minute. She called out his name and he turned to look at her. I said to her, "He is feeling better" she said yes. And then I told her "we were praying for him!".

Thank you so much for your prayers for him.
He is still so weak and tiny and needs to grow. Please continue praying.

These answers to pray encourage us to keep praying.

Such a happy post to write tonight! The kids asked me when I got home, and James heard me come in while he was in his office and came out and we rejoiced at the Lord's kindness and goodness to this little one.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Kafue church

Today we went to Kafue, which is a town about an hour outside of Lusaka.
It was nice to drive outside of the city and see the "real zambia". Zambia says it is the "real Africa".
James preached a conference yesterday on church leadership, especially the deaconate. They are hopeful to choose out some deacons in the church by June. They are a newer church and currently do not have any deacons. Today we went with him for the morning service. It went well and the people were kind, especially Pastor Senkutu and his wife and Mr. Lupunga and his wife.

In the middle of the service today, several roosters walked by the door and started crowing really loudly. It seemed like this is normal as no one else but me and all my kids batted an eye. We stifled some laughs with some coughs and clearing our throats, but it truly was funny! But even funnier than that, James told me that yesterday while he was preaching several came into the building and started walking around the center aisle. Some boys got up to clear them out! And we thought the crowing was funny.

Here are a few pictures from the day.

On the drive today. Once you get out of the city, these huts and clay houses are very common.

A termite hill

Right across from the church is a mosque.

Kafue Church

James preaching at a church in Kafue
Jackson feeling pretty comfy during dads sermon

All our muzungu kids (plus a friend)

Girls at church

Greeting line after the service

Friday, April 9, 2010

Opportunity to "sponsor" an orphan

Probably about half of you will have already read this, but for those that did not receive it on our Zambia emailing list, I wanted to make this opportunity available to you.


Dear Friends,


I have recently been considering the idea and plans to have  a way in which to sponsor the orphans  in the Hope for the Afflicted Orphan ministry. 

This ministry is in Ndola,  and we spoke about these orphans when we presented the work in Zambia.  Pastor Kabwe  was in our home a few weeks ago and I discussed this idea with him.   


For several years now,  a few churches in the US have been the main financial support to these orphans and this ministry.

The children range in age from about 6 to 18.  There are  37  orphans supported.  These orphans have been taken in to relatives homes and are often cared for by  their grandmother, aunt or older sibling.

HFA  provides school fees, buys food for the guardians to give the children, provides medical care when that is necessary, including extra food and medicine for the few children that are HIV positive.


Our family will be going at the end of April  to Ndola and will spend the week there while James teaches the next module for the Copperbelt College. 

My desire is to get a profile on each child and then be able to pass along that information. 

I  am writing to ask  if anyone interested in the work in Zambia would like to “sponsor” an orphan.

My initial thought was to ask churches and see if they would like to  sponsor a child. But it could even be individuals or a group of friends, or a prayer group, etc.   So the offer is open to anyone.


I would plan to send a picture as well as information about each child and their names, ages,  even if we know anything about their family situation , when they were orphaned,  what grade they are in school…etc. 

Then I would be asking for each church/ individual that sponsors a child to do a few things:


1)       Pray for the child  and their guardians

2)      Periodically send a letter to encourage them

3)      Prepare a care package to send to them at the designated time ( more on that later )

4)      Seek to meet any specific needs that the specific child has. 

This would be above and beyond the basic needs that are already being cared for among the support that is given to them.

What I am thinking of specifically is that there are a few children in secondary school that expressed a “need” for a bicycle to ride to school. Evidently their school is far from home and they spend quite a bit of time walking to school.  Possibly this is an area we could help in.  Or maybe if there is something specific to school, or education…maybe providing the means for them to continue their education and learn a trade or a skill, as they finish school. If a girl graduates and wants to learn sewing,  maybe supplying a machine.


 I know there could be several examples, but these are just a few.  The needs would always come through us and in speaking with those from the church in Ndola that oversee this ministry,  and not expressed “needs” that come directly through communication with the child. Last time I was there, a boy asked me to buy him a X-box.  Definitely Not a need!


Regarding sending a care package,

We would send a list of ideas and appropriate things to send, then we would ask you to gather those items and mail them to one location in the USA.

Maybe we would start with once a year and see how that goes.

We would collect the items and  put them all together and ship it over.  We would  then ask each church or individual for a specific amount to offset the shipping charges.

It would be great if we could send one early enough to give to them at Christmas this year.    It takes about 4 months in transit.


Those are some initial thoughts.  We are not asking for monthly support, but more occasional support of certain needs and prayerful support. As well as establishing a relationship, making them to feel loved and cared for by you.


We still have great desires and plans to be working with Kabwata Baptist Church as they seek to establish an orphanage.  They are in the process of now registering with the government and plan to open a home for girls  ages 2-10.  They plan to start with 10 girls and  some house mothers.  The opportunities here would abound as well to help and sponsor those children.


Thank you for your consideration.  Please email me if your church, a ladies group, or individually you are  interested in helping and being a tangible expression of the love of God to these orphans.


In Christ,

Megan Williamson






Thursday, April 8, 2010

Not "my" burden

I have been reading a book about the life of Amy Carmichael called,   “A chance to die”.

A friend gave it to me for Christmas before we left. She said just in case you are worried at giving you a book about dying as you are going off to Africa,  it is referring to our dying to ourselves and serving Christ.


So this book has been very encouraging especially as I read of her heart and service on the mission field in India, rescuing babies and children from the temples.

I came across this section in the book today where she felt so burdened to go and find more of these children, to rescue them.


“One evening when the full responsibility of the compound rested on Amy, she had what amounted to a vision. The tamarind trees around the bungalow were olive trees, and under them a man knelt alone. She knew it was the Lord, praying there in the garden for the children. So the burden was His, not hers. She need not ask Him to share it with her. He was asking her to share it with Him, to search with Him for the lost lambs. “Who could have done anything but go into the garden and kneel down beside Him under the olive trees?”


As I read it I was so encouraged to think, even this burden upon my heart for little Akim and all the children there at the orphanage, is not my burden. But it is the Lord’s. I am sharing in it, and these dear little lambs that I see, are the Lord’s as well.


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Pray for Akim

Today Ian went with me to the orphanage.

When we arrived I noticed there were already 3 or 4 other volunteers there for that day.  Then I always think , well was that the best time to come?  And maybe they don’t need the help today?

But I can never know the schedule so I think sticking with a routine is best.  I have the plan to go every Tuesday.  My friend that took me there typically goes on another day.  I think that is good, that way they can have visitors and help twice a week at least, if not more from other people.


We jumped in and started feeding the porridge to the older babies.  I am getting used to the sharing spoons and all and fed two of the babies at the same time.  Then we went and got more to feed a couple more.  Same bowl, same spoon.  Ian picked up a few babies and talked to them and played with them.  He was not as comfortable holding the little ones, just seemed like they were slipping down. He had a good grip but definitely didn’t seem natural.  So he went and talked with the older babies too and took a few out to play.


One thing I noticed today is that they do take care of these children.  They will wash their faces, put Vaseline or cream all over them,  change them,  talk to them,  even take turns holding some of the littlest ones to feed a bottle.  Several of the workers will touch them as they walk by and speak to them.  So that is good.  As far as orphanages go,  it seems like they do care for the children here.


They must have good funding, because the center is big and also has a medical clinic there as well. A range of school age kids too.  Today as we were walking out a boy came over to say hello. He especially wanted to meet Ian.  He shook hands and then they asked names and ages.  He was 10 also.


So the heartbreak of the day today was seeing little Akim.

 As I mentioned before he is so frail and malnourished.  But today he was laying in his crib with his shirt off, and 2   IV  ports, one in each arm.  He must not weigh more than 8 pounds, I am sure much less  and he is probably under 3 months old. But it is so hard to tell. He was looking alert for a little bit, just looking around.  What could he be thinking?  How is he feeling?  


Try to picture the most malnourished skinny baby you have seen on TV or in pictures,  dying in Africa and that is what it looks like.

 Only worse.  Because on TV  you can be sad, but what can you do? You can’t hold them or talk to them.  It may affect you, but really what can you do?


I was busy feeding the porridge to the others and still keeping my eye on him and watching.  Towards the end of my time there,  another woman was getting ready to hold him.  The worker put a sleeveless t-shirt on him and went to change his diaper.  I was watching from a distance, but when they took off his diaper he was even skinnier.  His diaper was huge in comparison to what it was actually covering.  He was so shriveled up and only then could I tell his stomach was bloated out a little bit because of how tiny is legs were and the loose skin everywhere.

The woman took him out, held him touched his legs a lot and then gave him a bottle with water.  He doesn’t seem to ever drink the milk, and I am not sure how much water he took.   I went over to hold Mwasa ( the tiny girl) because she had started to cry. Such a faint tiny cry.  So I held her awhile and then the woman holding Akim had to leave. She put him back in his crib and after she left, I took him out to hold a few minutes.


I am sure they are getting fluids in him with the IV’s,  but in the month I have been visiting there,  he looked the worst today.  Like he is not getting better.

As I watched him today I thought,  he looks like he is dying.   Slowly.  Please,  please pray for him.  


At dinner I was telling the rest of the family about our visit today and we stopped eating to pray for him. James asked me to pray. With tears and a heavy heart, I did.

Then this evening when I was tucking Caleb in bed,  he prayed for “ this little boy baby” . 

Please share this burden with us and pray for this little one.


Thank you.


Sunday, April 4, 2010

Family Picture

In case you are forgetting what we look like, or need some faces to go with our names and your prayers for us...(not the best picture but it will do for now)

Pictures of Church

Just to give you an idea of what our church looks like.
And this is a very nice church building compared to many other smaller works and churches outside of Lusaka.

One side

Another side

You notice how everyone is packed in the rows pretty good. Makes for some very hot services, in the morning.

This is the "cry room" also the foyer and entry way.
As you can see several mothers have their babies and children out here during the service.

And the bathroom. Not an essential part to show you, but when you are waiting in line at your church bathroom, you can be thankful!
There are 2 toilets. (And you saw the number of people that attend.)
I always carry some toilet paper in my purse because probably only about a third of the time is there any in here. Same with the soap. And I don't know about your kids, but my little ones always have to go to the bathroom at church.

Our very first week at church in Zambia, I took Jackson into the bathroom, and there was a line, and one of the women said, "Ah-Ah, these babies ( referring to a few other little kids that were in there ) they can just go outside, get out!"
He stayed with me and I did take him to the bathroom, but I thought it was funny.

Saturday- Boys!

Saturday we had some of the boys from the McDonald farm over.
James went up there and got them and they came and swam and played futbol. It was like a clown car at the circus when they pulled through the gate and all started piling out of the car. There were 10 boys plus James in the vehicle, some of which are big guys, and two of them were sitting in the truk of the Prado, which doesn't really have hardly space for a trunk anyway.

The kids had been swimming until they got there, so I called them out of the pool to make room.
I was not sure what their swimsuits would be so we scurried into the house to let them have the pool. Thankfully they all had shorts they were swimming in, ( I had heard it’s not uncommon for Zambians to swim in their undergarments, which is why we wanted to get out quick. )
But as soon as we were walking away, they started hollering and jumping in, singing and dancing all around the pool.

They found a pair of the kids googles by the pool and were sharing those. When we noticed that, I had the kids bring out their goggles to share and they thought that was pretty funny that the big boys were wearing kid goggles and pink ones too!

The kids watched from inside, laughing and having fun watching them laughing and having fun. One boy was singing a lot and they liked that.

They swam for a while and then when they were finished, I asked if they wanted to play ball. I don’t think they understood me until I brought out the 2 balls we brought from home ( thank you Justin Ames) and the 2 nets that the kids got for Christmas a few years ago. ( Thank you memaw and pawpaw).

They ran over and started kicking the ball and laughing and playing a game.

I had made some cinnamon rolls for them and brought those out and after they finished the game they had a snack. James had run an errand and when he came back, I went out and finished watching the game and started talking to one boy. His name was John. He is 13 and in grade 4. He was asking about the flowers and the yard and told us he used to plant flowers and a garden. Then he said something about planting them for mama. But when we asked him where, he said at the farm. So I think he meant Mama McDonald, but later he mentioned before he lived there he also planted those things.

He said he could come and plant yellow and white flowers for me.
Then we walked around to the back area where Enock is preparing for the garden. He wanted to see the mounds and then started talking about all the things he used to grow. Then he said, “I wish I could be your gardener boy.” I told him thank you, but we already have a gardener. And he already works in the big garden at the farm. Then after he said when you come on Sunday for church then I can show you the flowers I have planted.

I will be glad to see them. As he was talking to me, I was thinking I am sure it’s nice to have something you did on your own and be able to “show” it.

They left and said, thanks and seemed to have a good time. Since we are not very far from there, we would like the other boys to come too sometime. With almost 30 boys, they have to come swim in shifts.

Before the MacDonalds moved to the farm they had a pool. SO they traded the land for the pool. But Christine had mentioned that the boys when they saw it, were disappointed there was no more pool for them to play in. So we had offered our pool and then said please take us up on it, and she said, “don’t worry we will!”.

It was fun to see them having fun and be able to share what we have been blessed with!

Saturday, April 3, 2010


The group at the college that James preached for

Ian and Caleb
Last week at the McDonald's farm with a few boys that are supported there

Bike loaded down with charcoal to sell

Lady working in her yard

We stopped on the side of the road to look at a table. While James was looking I opened the car to look out and take some pictures of these boys playing futbol.
They saw me and ran over to get their picture made.

I need to figure out how to video tape them while I am showing them the picture of themselves. Their laughter and joy is priceless!

All in a week

It is striking to think about how the things that are so “not normal “are becoming normal to us and the “normal” things we are used to are now becoming, “not normal”.

So many little and big things. All happening in just a week. Sometimes in a 24 hour period.

We started out the week on Saturday finding out little Jack had Malaria. Heard some stuff about how the clinic doesn’t really tell the patients much and sees them and sends them on their way. Heard her older son Richard went to the clinic in Kitwe and the nurse there was drunk and gave the wrong prescription for medication.

Then Sunday we went back to Macdonald’s farm. To think of the great work this family is doing in the lives of boys who used to live on the street. It is truly amazing. As we talked to them before, they mentioned they never would have expected to be doing this 8 years ago when they moved to Zambia. Christine said if they knew maybe they would not have moved. But we then talked about how the Lord moves us in “steps”. Bringing us to where we need to be for right then. If we saw the whole plan it might overwhelm us and we would think how can we get “there”.

We met another man while we were there named Uncle Bernie. He was staying there while his work visa was renewed. He is a 75 year old man from the UK. His wife died about 5 years ago and he didn’t know what to do with himself. So an opening for janitorial work at a place in Zambia became available and he moved here, I think it was initially short term. Today he is married to a Zambian lady and they run an orphanage out in the bush. Just recently they got electricity. Just recently! Can you imagine. With his pension from the UK, about 550 pounds, he supports his family and about 30 orphans. He laughed with us and said can you believe it. I couldn’t even live on my own in the UK or the USA on that amount of money. But here I can live and support 30 other kids!
This man is 75. And still working to see people’s lives touched with the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

With tears in his eyes he told us some of the stories of the children and of those there in poverty. Of the women who literally have nothing to support their children with who then turn to selling themselves for food to eat. He told us of one baby was found in a shoe box in the bush.

Then there is the Orphanage that we have been visiting. I have already told you about that. But this time as we were helping out, we saw them take a few babies bundle them up in a blanket and walk out of the room with them. When we were leaving we saw the babies with relatives in a waiting area outside. They were holding the children. Sarah said, “their babies look so cute, so why don’t they just take them home with them?!”.
Many of the orphans in there are not fully orphaned. Some have family members that come and visit them there. That is very sad. Because then though they can’t take care of them, they still have contact with them and then the child is probably even more confused. Not to mention those kids then are not available for adoptions. Not that Zambia is adopting very many.

Wednesday night James and I went to an evangelistic outreach ministry at the College of Health and Sciences in Chainama. It was good to see all the youth and meet with them and the Kabwata cell group that had the outreach in that area. James preached and the message seemed to be well received, though you never can know outwardly.
The young people there sang in vernacular. At the end of the long time of singing and everyone but us knowing what they were saying, they sang Takwaba Uwaba. One of the 2 songs we know! I was excited to sing along and even in singing that when we finally got to the part where we sing it in English, it struck me how important it is to sing in your own language. There is something about singing Praise to the Lord in your “mother tongue”. So even if you know what you are singing, when you actually sing it how you know, it means more in your heart to the Lord. Which is helpful for me to be experiencing, because I am sure that feeling is the same on the other side of things for the Zambians.

While at the meeting afterwards I was sitting down and a young man came and sat down right next to me. Like right next to…he pulled a chair around and sat down so his knees were touching my knees. A bit uncomfortable, but James was just a few seats over and I thought, surely this guy knows we are together we are the only 2 white people in here. Personal space is different here. I guess it has to be that way. Like when people squish in together in minibuses or in rows at church. We will sit down and think the row is filled now with our family. It is hot so it helps to have a bit of “room”. Well that’s not how they do it here. People will just keep coming in the row!

But back to the young man. He introduced himself as Joseph and then started asking me a lot of questions about America. We talked a few minutes and then he told us that he is supported by a lady in Michigan to go to school here. He is actually from Ndola and was an orphan. I asked him how he met this lady and he said it was a long story, but in short…God. As we finished talking he told us he is always eager to talk to Americans because of this support he has received. I left that conversation thinking something very basic. Help and Support from individuals does make a difference. A tangible difference in the lives of orphans.
This was an encouragement to me, because I am working on plans for sponsoring the orphans in Ndola. And then here I met one that has had his life changed. (More on those plans later)

The other day I was home and heard a knock on the gate. I went to answer it and there was a man asking for work. Any piece work. Or maybe what we would say odd jobs. Just something to do and
Earn some money. Back home this would not be normal. To have someone come up to your house essentially saying, “Will work for food”. But here it is.
I told him we didn’t have anything right now, we actually had hired a man with a lawnmower that very day to cut the grass and we had Enock. He then said, please some assistance or even food. I told him wait there and came into the house and got a banana and some crackers and a snack. I gave it to him and then he said thank you. God bless.

Then at the store outside, a little boy leading his blind mom around, with a watermelon on her head asked if we wanted to buy. He looked about 8 years old. No thank you I said. I went back there to the store today and saw him again. He asked me again. I said no thank you again. He looked so little. But he is just helping his mom to sell what they have to earn money.

And these situations literally are endless. Sometimes I buy sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I do just because I know they are trying to make a living. Other times I do because I want what they are selling.
A woman at church , a single mom with 4 or 5 kids asked me for assistance or a job. I told her I would try to think of something and we are currently working on that. When someone asks for a job and you know there is truly a need for them to have one, you want to help. You want to provide them with a means to support themselves. But obviously we can’t help them all. So we pray for wisdom and resources to help those that the Lord brings along our path.