We are gearing up for the new school year. It starts tomorrow for both the kids we sponsor in Ndola and in Kabanana as well as our own kids.
On the home front, Emma is going to school along with Ian and Sarah Catherine and the little boys will be doing school at home again. Emma is thrilled and can not wait for the morning.
In Kabanana there has been much work done these last few weeks by Maureen ( who has started full time now ) and Katryn.
Maureen helped us to identify 8 new children and we hope to be adding a few more as well. Some of these kids live in Chipata which is the neighboring community and our goal this year has been to enroll all of the kids into better schools.
This has meant that the ladies have been visiting schools and seeking to find places for the various children at different grade levels.
We are excited as we begin this new year at the possibilities with the children. Our Kabanana kids are the main focus of the orphan ministry this year as we are seeking to develop these kids in the way that we can do with weekly interaction.
Katryn will be tutoring the kids 2-3 times a week. This will take some time for her to work out the schedules, but has already been given permission from some of the schools to take the kids early one day each to work with them.
This is so important, since most of the kids are behind in school, being older for their grades because they have not been able to attend school for lack of money.
We also are planning to hold montlhy meetings with all the kids together.
the first meeting this month will be on explaining HIV and talking to the kids about a few health issues because we will be following up a couple weeks later to get all of the kids tested.
This will be a challenge, but we want to know their status and we thought it best if everyone is going together and no one is singled out.
We will then be meeting with these guardians periodically as well.
There is so much to do and the needs are so many. There are So many kids that need help to pay for school and to be able to go to school.
Please pray with us that the Lord will continue to provide the money so that we can send the kids to school.
I went up there this week and we walked around chipata, meeting the kids and then paying for one of the schools.
As we sat in the office of the school, which is no larger than a bedroom closet, Katryn, Maureen and I sat squished together on 2 chairs, sweat dripping on all of us. I looked around at the concrete walls, the dimness of the whole school and just realized what a surreal moment.
We all have these, moments of , "I can't believe here I am doing such and such...in Africa!"
This school is better than some of the other schools the kids have been in, but when you look at it, from Western eyes, you would be surprised to think it is a school with children 4 yrs up to 7th grade.
It has been about a month since I was there last and at the end of this year I will be honest and say I was very stressed and overwhelmed. Not just with the orphan ministry but with everything! So I have had these few weeks "off" so to speak and they have been refreshing. As I walked around the dirt roads, saying hello to kids and people as we walked by, I smiled to myself and remembered, I do love to be here! I do love to work with these kids. As heartbreaking as it is and stressful at times, I want to continue to help them and I am looking forward to the impact we can have in the lives of the kids here in 2011.