Saturday, October 22, 2011


ALL 30 of the kids

Today we had a great day with the HOPE Kabanana kids.
We rented 2 buses and all the children plus Maureen and her children and Fanny and her children came over to spend the day with us. Katryn prepared the lunch for 50 people, Maureen and Fanny coordinated all the children getting to my house, Fanny lead a devotional and I hosted.

This was the first meeting with the 8 new kids. (Maybe we should have told them they are not always this fun!)
The Last time the kids were here was back in April and we were very glad to have them over again. I think next year we will plan again for at least twice in the year to have them all over and then try to have individual kids more often as we are able.

The kids had a blast! I love being able to have them over and see them enjoying themselves so much. I also love to have my kids hang out with the kids. They did a great job helping serve and host as well and that makes my heart so happy. To see Caleb playing alongside Steven, whose whole house is smaller than Caleb's room. Ian and I taught the older boys how to play Marco Polo in the pool. Emma played ping pong with the boys and was right there making bracelets with the girls. Jackson sharing his shorts so another boys could go swim. Sarah making cookies for all of them and helping get drinks and spending time with the girls. Grace fighting with her little friend Jackie. ha ha- and then loving on him too! :-)

Probably my happiest moment of the day was taking the little boys for a swim. Several of them couldn't swim so they all played in the baby pool until they realized I would take them one by one into the big pool. They started off timidly but by the end of the time they were jumping into my arms and then kicking and flailing their arms to swim as I held onto them and we moved around the pool. Steven was absolutely adorable. The tiniest of all our kids and he pumped his arms and even got a running start to jump. And Frank, as soon as he hit the water he was laughing the whole time. Even Joseph, reserved... quiet, troubled Joseph, let me take him around the pool a few times and half way jumped. That was great for him.

Fanny and Maureen both commented on what great fun the kids were having and we were all so thankful for a great day!

Waiting in line for lunch


Emmanuel and Christopher

Mwansa, Tisa and Faith

James on the swing

Several of the new kids with Steven, "shh...Don't kubeba"

Ping Pong

Older boys swimming

More fun on the trampoline

Mary (I almost didn't recognize her since the last few times she has only been wearing Hannah Montana nightgown)

Little Boys after their turn swimming


Playing on the keyboard

Ian talking to Koumba and Philip

Posing for the camera

Girls turn to swim

Emmanuel and Amos

Frank, Enda, James

Faith and Everlyn

Caleb showing the boys the rabbits

Joseph holding the rabbit

Playing ball

Grace and Jack ( Maureen's son )

Saturday, October 15, 2011

New Kids

Here are some pictures of the new kids we are beginning to sponsor for school next year in Kabanana.

James 10

His cousin Mary 9

With the grandmother

Peggy 10

Steven 7

Peggy and Steven with their mom and siblings

Emmanuel 13

Frank 11

Edna 10

Amos 13

with his sister

HOPE KABANANA Sept/Oct update

(Even though we are almost half way through October, this is a Sept update.
James has asked me to write one every month and I am a bit behind for this next one.)

September had the kids starting back for their final term of the school year. Strange to think that Sept back in America kids are just starting their school year but here they are finishing the 3rd term. We had some issues before with kids not even attending school though they were sponsored and being sent to school in some of the cases. At least to date, those kids have been more faithful in school attendance so we are hopeful that they all will finish out the school year well.

One of the girls Barbara is writing her grade 7 exams. When kids are in their exam writing years of school ( grades 7, 9 , 12 ) if they do not pass they can not continue on in school. In Barbara’s case she did not pass last year and so we took her out and put her in a better school and she has been going to tutoring all year but it seems that she has some learning disabilities and so we do not know how she will do this time if she will pass. So you can be praying for her.

We have had more sicknesses with some of the kids, various infections often as a result of the living conditions. For several of these kids it is pretty bad, one family in particular does not even have an outdoor pit toilet so they just go somewhere in the yard. They also have issues with rats and bed bugs so those kids in particular have been more sick recently.

Also among many of the kids they are still not taking care of themselves in regard to basic hygiene. I think this will need to be a continual subject that we address with them.
Also sometime next year I plan to have a health/hygiene class with the guardians. Hopefully if they see the need they will encourage their children in this. But if the guardians don’t think its important to buy soap then how will the kids wash themselves.

We have been able to plan out for the rest of the year and the kids will be having their christmas party in mid November after we leave for America, but while Kat is still here, so that should be a fun time again for them.

Next Saturday all the kids will be coming over for lunch and to swim at our house. They are very excited about that!
Last time they came after we took them all for the HIV testing.

We have been able to identify and add 8 new kids to the program. They will start their school in January but we are including them in our programs, meetings and church attendance for now. We are all very excited about these kids and are looking forward to getting to know them better and help minister to their families.

We have been trying to add younger kids to the program and those from even “needier” situations. So the ages of these kids range from 7-13. We are in the process of matching these children with sponsors right now.

More on this later...

The church building/classrooms have been completed to the level that they are now meeting for church. That is exciting and we hope to visit them for church in the next few weeks.
They still need to complete doors, windows, flooring, etc but the good thing is that once it is useable they have been eager to use it. Kabwata Baptist Church donated their old pews and so they have already been enjoying having a place of their own.

future classroom for tutoring

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

"The LORD can take him now then"

I know many of you that read and follow the blog have been praying for Wisdom Tembo and his mother. Of all the kids he is the most needful healthwise of our prayers.

Last time I blogged (June 27th entry)- “Then God will have disappointed me” about his mothers response to if the Lord did not heal him as we were setting a specific time for prayer and his mother to consider allowing him to be put on the ARV’s.

Since that time, over these past months he has continued to decline in his health and needs to be on the ARV’s last year. I had told his mom that we would be coming back right before the new school year to discuss it further and to take him to the clinic to start the medications. She “agreed” though I knew in her heart she did not agree and she would not agree.

So Fanny and Maureen and I went back to visit her in September. We exchanged our greetings and then got right to the point. She of course would not agree to take him back to the clinic and said outright that if the Lord wants to take him now then he can take him. It was so frustrating to see her response and ultimately her lack of concern for Wisdom.

I even said to her, I can not understand how as a mother you would let your son continue to get sicker and sicker if there was a way that you could help him. She was very apathetic to anything that was said. And quite honestly at this point there was nothing more that can be said. ALL of us have spoken to her and pleaded with her. The clinic workers have come to her home and spoken to her and I think even her older children have talked with her on the matter. But as Fanny said when we were leaving, she is like Pharaoh, her heart is hardened.

As I sat on the tiny stool in her tiny house, with only the light from the outside coming in I looked around. Stacked in the corner was charcoal and supplies and things that were bought for her to start up her own business. (A few hundred dollars worth) Hangings on the wall that were gifts given by sponsors of her children. Her oldest son, now graduated from high school, a teacher and enrolled at the University through the help and work of HOPE Kabanana. All these things made possible by the Lord’s blessing to this family. And she stubbornly refuses to let us help her son, to help him live a longer, productive, healthy life.

What more can be said.

Our meeting was very brief, but the conclusion of the matter was that for now, we will stick to what we said several months ago. He will not be sent to school next year as part of our program.

Sounds pretty harsh in one sense. Is it Wisdom’s fault that his mom will not allow him to be put on ARV’s? No it’s not. Not at all. He loves going to school and attends church faithfully. But he might for a time have to suffer even more and “sit out” as we wait and see what his mom does.

She was fine with us saying that we would not be paying for school then next year, but as we discussed among ourselves, he is still in school, he is still part of the program. She might change her mind come January when all the kids are starting back to school with their new uniforms, shoes, and backpacks.

What I can’t get away from is that without being put on the ARV’s, he is going to die of something sooner rather than later. His CD4 count continues to go down, and it is not as if this is lying dormant in his body, he continues to fight sickness all the time. His mom is herself still in the process of dying. And just maybe by us withholding school for a time she might come to her senses and agree.

Yes, I want him to go to school and get a good education, and I want him to be happy. But more than that I want him to LIVE. And one thing I have learned over the year is that decisions, when it comes to people’s lives are not “foolproof”. There is not a manual that says ‘when you encounter this situation in the orphan ministry in Southern Africa then do this’ ...and it will work every time.

We pray for wisdom, the wisdom from above that is, and then we pray for Wisdom.

A picture is worth

A thousand words...

Once we get outside the city and into the compounds we are often looked at curiously, or suspiciously.
Last week we were in Chipata, visiting the homes of new orphans. I was taking pictures of the families and their homes and as I was leaving one of the neighbor boys peeked out from behind the gate at me.
I was so glad I had the camera still in hand because this one says alot.