Saturday, July 31, 2010

Answered Prayer- Help is on the Way

Last Sunday morning I sent an email to another friend who was interested in coming to work in Zambia.
Details were being worked out, and we were looking at probably February for her to come.

Feeling overwhelmed and heavy hearted with all that needed to be done, (having just spent time Saturday with the kids in Ndola) I wrote an email. I admitted that it was probably based on some emotions at the time but I laid out how we need help, and NOW, and can she come any sooner. I do believe at times, the Lord moves upon us and stirs our emotions to have us do what He wants us to do.

I didn't hear back for a couple days, which made me think I was either too forward to ask, or she was working on it.
Thankfully it was the latter. We drove home Monday afternoon from the Copperbelt. James and I discussed on the way home all the work that there is to do and how it would be great to have help soon.
When I woke the next morning I prayed specifically for the Lord to bring help.

Immediately after my devotions I opened my email to check and the Lord had answered that prayer. She had worked things out to come and details were rapidly falling into place. Within a couple more days she had tickets and now has a date for coming. In less than a week, the Lord had moved things and showed that He had been preparing the way.

Her name is Katryn Belke. She is from our home church in Louisville and her heart is here in Zambia. She has been on 2 short term summer mission trips while she was in college and since that time has desired to come back. Her parents are very supportive of her and encouraging her to come and work alongside us. This has been a great blessing.

Please rejoice with us in God answering prayer. Please pray for her as she finishes her preparations and for safety in traveling and transition well to life here in Zambia.

There is much work to be done. If you remember a few months back in April, another friend Leah Falciola visited and still desires greatly to come and work. She is more than ready.
Please pray that the Lord would move among hearts and that she too could come now and work alongside Katryn and I in the orphan ministry.
The work that needs to be done would be better done with two people going to Kabanana together, or traveling up to the Copperbelt every other month to meet with the kids there. Others have expressed desires as well to come and help in different capacities. We thank God that He is putting the work on the hearts of others.
The Harvest IS plentiful.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


We wanted to share some joy with you today!

The Lord has blessed our desires and efforts and We have begun the process to adopt a little girl.
Those that know us, know that this desire has been on our hearts for the past 8 years.
We have actively pursued it for the past 3 years, starting the process in the Summer of 2007.
The road has been long and very rough ( including our heartbreaking "failed" adoption in Ukraine in Dec 08).

We now are rejoicing again and hopeful that soon this little girl will be in our home.
We met her a few weeks ago and have been visiting her. We hope to have her in our home in a couple weeks, to begin the 3 month fostering before the adoption can be completed. She is 1 1/2 years old and has been in an orphanage since she was about 6 months old. No one has ever come to visit her....Until now!

Please rejoice with us and pray for a smooth and speedy transition into our home, and completion of the adoption!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

As they are

The previous post was the "Happy" one. This is the "back to reality" one.

(And since I know that some kids read the blog, I want to say first check with your parents before reading on).

Unfortunately and very sadly, though Saturday was happy it was also cloudy by hard realities.
As I mentioned, I was told that many of the kids were not attending the Sunday School classes. This is discouraging since the kids are supported and all that is asked of them is to attend Sunday School or church.
The church in Ndola has continued to meet for the class sending 2 women on a rotation to teach the kids. Other kids from the area come but only about a third of the sponsored orphans attend.
Last time I was there as we visited the homes, we encouraged the kids to attend. Sometimes we were told the guardians will have work for them to do, or hinder them in some way from coming.

Then the comment made about breakfast. Well I took it in stride as they were telling me, but came home so saddened by that. I know it is a reality. I read about that before I came, that often it is "which meal will I eat today?" and not what will we eat for breakfast? But still to hear it said and know it is true for even maybe some of these kids.

A couple of the older boys, have been "in trouble" a few times. When you look at the home situation you can't help but say that is a large part of the reason, but still.

As I arrived on Saturday I greeted each kid and said their names. I got more than half of them right.
As I looked at them, I felt an "ownership" of these kids.
I have been looking at their pictures, finding sponsors for them and talking about them for the last 3 months. And here I was to spend some time with them and talk to them.
And then my heart became burdened and heavy for them again.

After the kids left I asked one of the women that works in the ministry from the church, about a specific girl.
Last time we were there the mother told us she was HIV positive. So we were surprised to hear that she was not on any treatments yet or had been to the clinic.
I have asked about her a couple times over the past months to see if treatment began or how she was doing. But even from one city to the next in Zambia communication doesn't seem to flow very easily.

So I was face to face and able to ask about her.
Well evidently she is not positive but negative. The mother is positive and possibly made that up so she could get some extra funds or food channeled that way. ( I will say this is my theory anyway. Sadly she is not a good influence on her kids and the home)

But the reason this information came out I was told is because the girl was "defiled" last month. She was then taken to the hospital for testing and treatment of other STDS.
The wicked man was a neighbor who was not taken into custody but rather is currently on the run. She is 11 years old.
I asked if she has received any counseling from the church and was told no, but soon she should go to the hospital for some counseling.

My heart breaks.

I think this blow hit even harder because within the same week, last week as we delivered the things to the kids here locally we heard some sad news there as well.
One of the teenage girls was working for a man as house help. He was a friend of the family and it came out recently that for several months he was "taking advantage of her".
Now we just found out that she is 4 months pregnant. She is in her last year of high school and now she is pregnant. He was taken into police custody.
One great question then becomes, does she now have the disease? Will she get a test? Will she give this baby a chance at a healthy life by taking an HIV test to see if she can then gets Medicines to prevent the transmission if she does have it. Even I mentioned something about would she have access to prenatal vitamins. I was told yes they give them out at the clinics but there is a suspicion about them that they cause birth defects in children.

From what I have been told, It is so hard to ask people to get tested. They often will not and are offended and maybe even more so scared to find out. So my prayer for this one is that she will open up to us and we can help her.

You know you can read about Africa and HIV/AIDS and orphans and domestic abuse and sexual abuse and witchcraft, charms, demonic activity and the like. In fact I did before I came.
And your heart might even been pulled at and torn by reading those things. Mine was.
You can try to think of how hard that would be to see and encounter those things. I did.
But it is not something you can be prepared for. When it happens to those you now know and your heart is already going out to, and you are already trying to help...the burden becomes even greater.

When I was reading the life of Amy Carmichael, she wrote a book titled, "Things as they are". It was the honest telling of what really was going on in the work she was doing. Early on she sought to tell others of what was going on in her work, not just the good and prospering but the real life bad things too. Unfortunately the missionary society or board at that time only wanted her to report the "successes" and the good things. So many of her descriptions and stories were published at a later time because of it.

When I was talking to James Saturday night and not able to sleep because my heart was heavy for these kids, we remembered her title. And he said, that's what you need to write and people need to hear.
So these are the things as they really are.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Saturday's Visit with Hope for the Afflicted Orphans in Ndola

We arrived in Ndola Saturday afternoon, checked into the lodge and then went to get some lunch.
Maureen came with us. She was going to help me when I was meeting the orphans and then also visit her children and bring them back home with her. So it worked well for both of us.
After a quick lunch, (and Maureen eating chicken nuggets for the first time- she had no idea what to pick off the menu so she got the same thing Emma ordered! ) we dropped James and the little boys off at the lodge and headed out to the Kawama / Pamodzi area.
We got to Sharon's house. All but 5 of the children were there. We said hello and then I explained that I had brought letters for everyone. That people in America and the UK were praying for them and wanted to hear how they were doing. The kids all smiled and seemed very happy. Then I told them after they read the letters we were going to write back to them and then have a treat I brought. They also liked that.

So I took the letters out and started passing them out. I told them they could go ahead and open them, but many of the kids just held on to them for a little bit while I continued to pass them out.
I then said again, go ahead. All the letters were translated into Bemba by Maureen. Some of the kids can read and write in English well. Some of them can not but can in Bemba. And some of the kids can not read or write even in Bemba. So we passed out the letters and when the kids opened them they looked so happy. They read the letters, looked at all the pictures that were included and then started showing their friends the pictures and the letters. Then they read the letters again. Especially the older boys and girls. Then I asked Maureen and 2 other ladies to read to the kids that needed help. I saw several smiles and heard laughter and they seemed so happy. I wasn't sure if all the kids had them read to them so I started asking the older ones to read to the younger ones.
Then I realized that several of them had the letter read to them more than once. One little girl Dyness was so sweet. She kept showing me the pictures. Then we went over the names of the children from her family. She repeated the names after me and seemed so pleased.

After I knew all the letters had been read then Sarah and Ian helped to pass out the paper and pencils so they could start to write letters. The older boys seemed to take quite awhile writing and thinking about what to write. I am curious what all they said in the letters. While the younger kids were waiting for their turn to tell the ladies what to write, what they wanted to say, I told them they could draw pictures on the back of the letters.

When I was going through the letters when they arrived to make sure all had pictures and return envelopes, I removed the dollars and pounds that had been included to buy postage. (Its about $1 to mail a letter internationally). I realized though as the kids were opening the letters that I forgot to take one out. The boy, Daniel was so excited, he had a dollar bill! I explained what the dollar was supposed to be for, but wouldn't dream of taking it from him. He was very happy!

The kids finished up the letters and then I collected them to take home to mail. We then passed out the brownies and cookies that Sarah and I had made. I was hoping to get milk for them as well but we ran out of time as we were driving into Ndola. So we passed out the snack and while they sat and ate it I explained that I had brought toothbrushes and toothpaste for them.
(Pastor Brian Borgman had brought them over). I gave a quick overview of brushing your teeth and how to do it. I felt a little odd talking to older kids about how to brush their teeth. When I started I asked the kids to raise their hand if they had a toothbrush, and then quickly said , "you will still get one today, just let me see who has been using one". Maybe 2 kids raised their hands.
So I then explained about brushing them twice a day. After breakfast I said and before you go to sleep at night. I then heard a couple boys laughing. I smiled and asked them what? One of them said, "What's breakfast? We don't have breakfast!". I smiled with them (trying to keep it light) and then said ok, well before you go to school. And not only does it help prevent tooth decay, but it makes your mouth fresh.

A couple of the older boys took 2 toothpastes, and I knew how many I had and asked if everyone had one. I had brought enough for all to have one toothbrush and one toothpaste. I asked again and then finally one boy held his second tube out ( for Ian to collect) and then he nudged the other boy to give his up. He took it out and then handed it over.
After that, I told them thank you for coming and that all their sponsors were praying for them.

Lister, one of the woman from Grace church Ndola then started talking to them about attending Sunday School and church. Evidently over half of the kids have not been going to church or the Sunday School class for the younger ones. She talked to them for awhile in bemba and then I added that those people that had written the letters were wanting to hear they were going and learning about God.

We then all went outside for some pictures, and then the kids said goodbye and all headed to their homes.
(I have more to write later, but here are the pictures for now)

Joshua showing his friend Joseph his pictures and letter

Sharon reading the letter to Patrick

Patrick having his letter read to him again

Joseph with his letter. Elias in the background in the yellow shirt, I think you can see him smiling

Florence reading her letter.

Felix writing his letter

The kids writing the letters and drawing pictures

Florence and Daniel writing their letters.

A few pictures of the kids. They smiled more this day and seemed to be more themselves, than I have seen them before.
I had asked just for the kids to be there, not the guardians and I think that helped as well.






Dyness with her toothbrush

Then I took a group picture. I told them this was the Zambian smile.

Then I said, now lets do an American smile, so they smiled more

Then I said, (which we do sometimes with our kids,...) now a silly picture!
They just looked at me. So I took the picture anyway. They looked the same.
Then one of the kids said hold up your letters and toothbrushes. So here is that picture

Friday, July 23, 2010


Today James took Robert and Brian up to Kabanana to see the Lusaka College.
They sat in on one of the classes and then had lunch and were able to meet the students there.

It went well and then Robert had something to deliver to one of the boys there from his sponsor back in California.
So they went to his home and gave him the gift. He liked it, though the Zambian culture is very reserved in expressing their excitement or even approval of something. (At least all those that we have interacted with). So his older brother was watching on and he seemed to express some of the joy and excitement.
Last Friday when we delivered the mosquito nets and blankets and sweaters, we only got an occasional smile.
Though one boy, Wisdom did get visibly excited about the new sweater when I asked him to try it on.
It was refreshing, and Fanny said, he couldn't contain his excitement.

Often I will take a picture of kids asking them to smile and they are pretty expressionless and then after I show them themselves on the camera they will break out in the smiles and laughter. Only then its too late.

So we head up to the Copperbelt tomorrow for the weekend. Robert and Brian are flying up and we will be driving. As soon as we arrive I have a meeting scheduled with all the orphans and I am bringing letters and pictures of their sponsors for them.
I also made cookies and brownies and hope to give that to them as a treat. Brian brought over a duffle bag full of medical supplies and toothbrushes and toothpaste, so I have packed the toothbrushes and paste to give to the kids.
Maureen translated all the letters and she will be going with me to meet the kids.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Pastors arrived

Pastor Robert Elliot and Brian Borgman arrived here early this morning. They are scheduled to teach this coming week at the Copperbelt Ministerial College.

They joined James, Emma and I as we visited an orphanage that I have been visiting the last few weeks.
Here is a picture from this morning. The kids at the orphanage are just starving for attention. They come up to us and just all wanted to be held and loved on.

They will head up to Ndola on Saturday. We are also going up to visit over the weekend.
Please pray for the preaching and the upcoming classes this week.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Traveling around Zambia

We saw this pretty soon after we left Lusaka.
I had no idea what this meant.
It is quite common for the minibuses around town to have sayings or just words on their bus, but this one was quite funny. What is this supposed to mean?

Driving around Zambia is interesting. As soon as you get out of the main cities, there is really just huts and villages everywhere. The drive we took to Eastern Province and up to South Luwangwa Park was on one of the main roads in Zambia.
It is a 2 lane highway. With Monkeys, cows, chickens, dogs and goats roaming about. Not to mention all the people walking on the sides of the road or riding their bicycles.
Once we came over a hill and their were about a dozen monkeys just hanging out in the middle of the road.
Another time, Cows crossing back and forth. One almost ran into our car.

As part of James's job as missions coordinator we made two quick stops on the way up and then attended a church service at one of the churches in Petauke.

We also saw the boys that herd cows. One of the churches in Sinda has a ministry to reach out to these boys.

Sometimes we saw smoke rising up in the distance from far off villages.

One of the challenges of traveling is that you can not stop whenever you want for gas or food. We drove all day long and apart from a few snacks I had brought we didn't eat lunch and then didn't have dinner until about 8:30 at night.
There were no places to get lunch. Same with using the facilities. We stopped at one of the gas stations at which point we opted to continue on until we found a place in the great outdoors outside of town. (Think worst public bathroom you have ever seen and then multiply it... that would get you out of town fast!)
Coming from a girl who used to get off the interstate, take a good look at the gas stations from the outside and then choose which one to stop at, this is quite a change to say, "Let's get out of town and then find a place. " Who would have thought?!

The other challenge is finding a place for us to stay. We stayed at 3 different places, all of which included me in one house or cottage with some kids and James in another with the other kids. Not quite what you picture when you think, "Family vacation". And then they charge you on a per person basis. So each person has to pay, not just a flat rate for the room, so it can be very pricey when you are paying for 7 individuals.

We really enjoyed the time in the Park, though we thought it was ironic that we were the farthest out in nature we have ever been and it was not peace and quiet at night. We both didn't sleep very well. We heard lions and Hippos burping and making hippo noises all throughout the night!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

South Luwangwa National Park

One of the most amazing things to see was all the different animals together.
Elephants, Impala, Zebra, Bush Buck, Kudu, Monkeys, Warthogs, Birds...
It Made me think of what it will be like in the new Heaven and Earth, where the lion lays down with the lamb and all the animals are living in harmony. This scene also made me think about what it would have been like for Noah and all the animals after the flood.

We saw so many animals, but when we would drive up to a valley and just see animals everywhere, all kinds of them together, that was truly Amazing!

There were so many hippos!

This picture looked like the hungry hungry hippo game. 4 of them floated into the corners. We tried to explain the game to the kids but realized they have never played it or seen it!


Ian scoping out the wildlife with his binoculars

On the last drive of the day they surprised us with a bush brunch!
We were driving way out where no one was and we arrived with a table set up and tea and a full brunch.
We overlooked the river with hippos. It was quite nice!

The Baobab Tree

The Predators


We saw a leopard in the daytime up in the tree, then we saw him again that evening drinking water at a stream.
The photo doesn't capture the beauty of it all. It was so beautiful, the driver turned the engine off and shined the light on him and we just sat there in the peaceful quiet and watched him with his reflection in the water.

Then the next evening we saw a leopard again with a kill. It was up in the tree. An impala.
The leopard was guarding his kill, and at the bottom of the tree were about half a dozen hyenas, just circling.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Lusaka Ministerial College

Post by James

Thanks very much for praying for Lusaka Ministerial College, which began meeting in the middle of May. We are more than half-way through the first term, which will end in early August. In our first couple of months we were here, we saw a great need for and interest in theological training in what are called “compounds” or townships—what we also call shanty towns, which are unplanned areas that have a high density of population and poverty. Churches seem to start up and close down overnight here, and the main “education” for those doing church planting are the TV preachers or tent revival sort of speakers they may happen to have come across. All of this only serves to confirm the people in ignorance and superstition with a glaze of Christianity cast over it all. Most people in the compounds would profess to be Christians, and a large majority go to “church,” and yet the drunkenness, laziness, superstition and dishonesty in these places remains dominant and entrenched. Whatever gospel is being proclaimed is certainly not “the power of God unto salvation” from the enslavement of sin and ignorance. It is usually, rather, the promise of prosperity and riches and healing (if you have enough faith), mixed with some self-help counseling on topics of interest. The name of Jesus is readily and frequently mentioned, as well as different Bible texts, but all with a distorted meaning and disconnected from a truly Christian worldview. That is the bad news, but the good news is that several of the pastors in these areas feel their need to know God’s Word better, and are teachable and engaged.

I began to speak with pastors in these compound areas about the need and potential for training. Eventually, the idea of starting a college formed. Though there is a theological institution run by the Reformed Baptist churches here and elsewhere in Southern Africa (called Sovereign Grace Theological Seminary (SGTS)), it is mostly a correspondence school, and is out of range in terms of location, curriculum and cost for the pastors in the compound areas. With the blessing and help of the churches here, therefore, we started this work back in mid-May. We began by meeting Wed and Fri mornings, but have since extended the hours until 4pm on those days to make sure we cover the courses thoroughly by the end of the term. The college is set up to have three terms per year with about a month off between each term, which is how schools in Zambia operate. We are planning on teaching 4-5 classes per term. The majority of lecturers are pastors in the area, and I am also scheduled to teach at least one class per term. Right now, we have 19 students, which is very encouraging. The students pay a modest fee for the school, and also for the books which we ask them to read. The fees are a bit of a challenge to meet, but not impossible. They cover about 20% of the school’s costs right now. The reason we require payment for the school and for books is that Africa as a whole has been cursed by a hand-out mentality that dominates the society. Often, missionaries have unwittingly fostered this mentality by simply giving out for free everything to the students. And where there is no personal “investment,” there is often little personal application and impact into life.

The other area we think is critically important is mentorship of the students. This is a bit of a challenge with students who are pastors of churches. However, we are asking instructors to visit at least one of the students’ churches per month, and also that the students visit one of the instructors’ churches once a month. You can see the reasoning behind this articulated well in Pastor Mbewe’s blog from a recent forum he participated in, where he talks about preaching being “caught not taught”: In short, the issue is that we are wanting to do more than dump instruction on the students. It is our burden to see that they “get it” and that their churches change and grow as a result. And that cannot be done without relationship on the personal level, pastor to student, and on the corporate level, as a student sees and participates in the normal local church life of a healthy congregation.

About our students: around half of our students have a Pentecostal background of one type or another, and the other half are mostly Baptists, with a couple of other types mixed in. Many of our students started the churches which they currently pastor. These churches are usually under 30 or 40 in attendance, and the pastors have a very low salary. The churches are usually fairly new, having begun in the last three or four years. In light of the theological diversity of the students, we made it clear upfront that we would be teaching from a Reformed perspective and have a confessional basis. We ask that students let us know of any disagreements with the statement of faith which the college believes. However, many of the students don’t have a confession of faith in their churches and are not clear on what they believe themselves. But I also told the students that we aren’t here to change the church sign or denominational affiliation of any of them—just to see them come to understand and apply God’s Word in their lives and churches. The great need here is first and foremost a grasp of the heart and message of Scripture, and the development of a consistent and faithful way of interpreting and preaching it. So, that is our concentration. Thankfully, we have had help in teaching courses from others, including Victor Kanyense and Isaac Makashyini, two Reformed Baptist pastors from the area. They are doing a great job and it is a privilege to be able to work with them in training the men.

Starting a college has proven to be a huge undertaking! It consumes a lot of my time and energy, as I am wearing a lot of “hats” like the college administrator, principle, lecturer for two of the five courses, lunch coordinator (now that we meet in the afternoon), and a lot of other jobs. I am seeking to get some of the students and other lecturers involved as much as possible and am beginning to get some help from them, which is a relief. We now have a small library taken from books I brought over earlier for KBC. Because the books were a combination from two libraries, we had a second copy of several of the books, and these are now acessible for the LMC students. What a blessing, since we didn’t even know that this college would come into existence when we first planned the KBC library project! It is encouraging to see the men checking out Martyn Lloyd-Jones, J.C. Ryle, Sinclair Ferguson, A.W. Pink, and other good authors when the main influence to this point for several men had been Benny Hinn, Kenneth Hagin, Joel Osteen, and others. During the interviews with the students, such teachers were commonly mentioned in answer to the question, “Who has had an impact/influence on you and your ministry?” Those of you familiar with these names will understand how it was sad to hear that and showed how much work there was ahead. In the first couple of weeks, I hit hard the prosperity gospel which teaches that the more faith you have, the more blessings and prosperity will come your way. It is a huge problem in Zambia. The students were receptive and seemed appreciative of these lessons. The Lord has helped us and it is encouraging to see changes in their thinking and interaction slowly developing as they sit under the teaching in the college. We need much prayer for this work!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Another Level

Living in Africa is difficult. Every day there are things that don't work as they should, something that was suppose to happen does not happen, things take twice or three times longer to accomplish than back in the States.
Sometimes things seem like an Endurance test. It's long and hard and then when you think you can't wait any longer, or hold out, you have to wait more and hold out some more.
Roads are rough and crowded, water is cold, and trickles out instead of full blast many times, ...the list could go on.
My point is not complaint but stating the difficulties here.

But living in Africa is difficult on another level. Not just difficult because we come from a pampered life style in the good old US of A, where we can expect certain things.
But difficult because of what we see and hear every day. DIfficult on an even greater level.
I felt this most last week.

We see so much. Just in one day, last Tuesday for example. Everywhere we drive we see kids in tattered clothes, no shoes.
I was visiting a friend's house and realized that she only has water for a few hours each day.
Then the time at the orphanage, which I already mentioned about Akim. But another little boy was crying and crying. One of the workers was kind of rough and tired of his screaming and grabbed him and took him to another room to cry by himself and settle down. He tends to cry everytime I am there but that day he was even more upset. He was eventually brought back in and started crying again. I was putting another baby down and saw him start throwing up a little. It was from being worked up and crying so much. So I went to get him and wrapped him in a blanket and took him to the porch. He laid his head on me and just wimpered and tried to settle down.
It was time to go and so I had to put him back and then he started crying again.

Leaving the orphanage to pick up the kids, I passed the UTH hospital, which is known for not being a good place to go when you are sick, but the only option for most Zambians. Next to the hospital is the morgue. Where I pass the turn off to the mortuary, there are 2 signs that stand out and then a line up of ladies selling flower arrangements. The one sign talks of the risk of AIDS and promotes abstinence and exposes the lie that relations with a young girl does not cure AIDS, and the other sign is a simple one posted to a tree and says, "Cheap coffins for sale".

At the next traffic light there was a funeral procession with the casket. Every day we hear or see a funeral procession.
Every day! If we are not driving around town and see one, we will hear one going by the house. Because people stand in the back of a truck and sing as they drive to the burial. A couple streets from us is where one of the graveyards is.
After we picked the kids up I told James in the car on the way home that Akim died, last week. And then I just started crying. When the woman at the orphanage told me, it was so matter of factly, because it happens all the time.

As I was waiting for James at school, one little girl came up and told me that her Auntie died and earlier this morning Sarah said a classmates cousin who was 8 yrs old died. Encok was off early one day to attend a funeral as was Mr. Chipeta a few weeks ago. Then as we drove onto our road we saw a mentally ill man walking in only a pair of shorts and torn up socks. He was covered in dirt and just walking around. And it was windy and cold.

I did see Johns at the market last week and he helped with the bag. I was noticing he had a torn up falling apart windbreaker on.
So after we got the vegetables I went to a place where they were selling used clothing. They had jackets for $4. I wanted to get him one. So I bought it and gave it to him and told him to wear it. He put it on reluctantly and I was not sure why. Then when we went to the car I tried to explain I did not want him to sell it, or have another boy take it, but it was for him. He said ok ok and then put it on. Well he left and normally I take off in the car, but I had gone with a Zambian friend and so I went back to look for her. I was standing by the entry and saw him. He just stopped in the distance and looked at me. I waved and looked at coat on. Then I looked away trying to find my friend. Then a few minutes later he walked by with the coat on and said, "Hello Madame" and waved.

So I don't know if the other boys will say something to him, or if he gave it away for something, or if he hid it somewhere b/c he looks more pathetic in rags and therefore might get a better "tip". I don't know, but even that was a bit discouraging.

I had asked my friend in Kabanana to see if the kids we are starting to support there have warm blankets and coats, what they need to be fine for the cold. She said no, and now is going to find out what we can get for them.
But these are just examples from the past week. It is hard living here. One friend told me that over the course of a month, her mother goes to about 20 funerals. But this is normal. I don't think I could explain it to the Zambians why it is difficult. And I think maybe even the few Zambians that I know read this, might not understand exactly, because it is not normal for us.

I wrote to a friend back home and was explaining the difficulty of all this, but I said it is not that I want to leave. I don't. I just wanted her here to go through it with me. To help.
So that is the "another level".

Thankfully in God's perfect timing we had already been planning a "holiday away". We have been here almost 6 months and were both feeling the need to have a break. So we left last Saturday and just returned home last night.
We went to South Luwanga Park. So the next few blogs I hope to show pictures and tell you of our "Holiday".