Dear Family, Friends and Supporters,
Please don’t ever think that just because we haven’t written, there is nothing happening….the reason I haven’t written is probably because there is SO MUCH happening! For example…June and July have been a whirlwind!
First a team of 6 visitors from North Carolina and three overnight conferences…one for 6th and 7th grade girls on Purity, one for all 60 men of SoT on Spiritual Leadership and one for all 60 ladies of SoT on Spiritual Gifts. Pictures and descriptions can be found in the August newsletter. God showed up in each conference touching people and changing lives. It was an awesome time of ministry for each respective group! It was the first ever men’s conference or meeting for the SoT men and the impact has been significant! They are still talking about it and sharing testimonies of what God did and they are hungry for more.
Following the NC team, there were 25 visitors on a team from Connecticut that came for two weeks, or at least I thought there were 25 until a couple days into it when I realized we were one short. I came to find out that one member of the group failed to come, making the table setting in the dining room three tables for 26 (including Sal and I). The group of teens were absolutely wonderful as were their chaperones and despite my anxiety over cooking the right amount of food every night, we managed to survive nicely. They worked and played at the preschools and school and helped dig holes in anticipation for more albida trees come July. We had a lunchtime fellowship in Mubuyu that we hiked to and from. It was a fun time and something that I think I will continue. Holding it that early in the day was a good idea. Everyone could see…no need for torches; everyone was awake…not falling asleep waiting on food; and everyone could help, talk or play with the children. The ladies of the village, as well as some of the men who jumped in, performed a march with singing that was very well received. Even I jumped in!! (lol)
Payroll and medical statistics for both the month of June and the second quarter followed on the heel of the group’s departure on the 4th and Pastor Jerry’s departure on the 6th. Saturday night after Pastor Jerry left, we heard a vehicle and voices outside the house as we watched TV only to discover two white hunters from Kenya and a Zambian Wildlife official. They came to report the lion that had escaped back in April was still on the loose and had been reported in our area. They were going to be looking for him this night on the property (because lions come out to hunt and eat at night)!! Well, needless to say, the lion remains on the loose leaving livestock attacks in the way…the neighbors horses were attacked, a goat and a cow attacked at Kasiya etc. Here our guys just found the footprints out by Simaubi and John 1 and 2.
We then had Greenpop for a day of tree planting on the 10th and fed approx 120 people a typical Zambian meal. They not only worked out past the gate planting orange, nache and albida trees, but they planted the beginning of a “food forest” at the back of the main house.
Early in the morning on Friday the 12th, we had a group of American pastors from Lusaka that came and stayed in the conference center until Sunday to do a seminar at the church. I did not know them and had not expected anyone, so it was a surprise requiring Linah to learn American food and a little bit of cooking with Advent. Thankfully I still had a bit of American food leftover from the large group of visitors earlier in the month.
The pastors left on the 14th and we started to get things back in order. I spent two days in the clinic apartment cleaning and sorting boxes of equipment and supplies still leftover from the SAVE container stocking the new shelves that Godfrey had made and putting things in order for an inspection with the Province and District Ministries of Health, as well as CDC!! We were the only clinic in the entire Kazungula District that had been selected for inspection by the CDC (Center for Disease Control). The inspection was to review our HIV care for adults, pediatrics , PMTCT (Prevent Mother to Child Transmission), and counseling and testing, as well as our computerized Smart Care system and Quality Assurance program. The inspection occurred on Tuesday the 16th with a tour of the facilities and review of all books and programs. Interviews with Sal, Janet and myself took place while a doctor from the Province helped Sal by seeing patients so he could be available for those conducting the interviews etc. Linah and Advent provided tea, scones and butternut bread for the visitors. We are very happy to report that we scored exceptionally well making the District very happy! Out of a possible 3.0 in each of the six categories, we scored 2.82, 2.8, 2.8, 2.64, 2.58, and 2.33!
With Alexander’s help, we then proceeded to have a farm giveaway on Friday the 19th with all the clothes and shoes and things people had left behind. Also 13 volunteers from Greenpop returned on that same Friday just for a few hours to work more on the food forest and are coming back at least one more time with all the Greenpop volunteers on Wednesday for another tree planting day with lunch. So far we have albida, orange and nache out front past the main gate and the food forest at the house has one lime, one lemon, one nache, one mango, one custard apple, one Mexican custard apple, one cashew and one avocado. They are talking about mulberry and banana next.
After the food forest group, we had 15 Zambian pastors stay at the conference center for the District meeting this weekend and now it is Sunday and I have a couple minutes before Church to write a few short paragraphs.
In between all of this, we had an outbreak of bilharzia at the school involving 140 children reporting blood in their urine, a wife beating on the farm, a husband and wife who lost a set of twins at 28 weeks… the younger one after three days of life and possible hope, and a wife caught in bed with another man. Even as our family here grows and makes strides forward not only in business and maturity but also in their walk with God, we do have our setbacks and times of discouragement. I have to continue to remember “There is no one righteous, no not one.” I have to remember that it was God’s plan for this place and our part in it. Our job is to just do what He puts in front of us and sometimes frankly it seems daunting and tiring and overwhelming. Your prayers are what holds us up….When we are weak, God is strong.
Thank you all for your support, love and prayers. Please don’t forget this “teenage ministry.” We may not need the fish anymore, but we certainly need help in the learning how to fish. We still need the poles, the line, the reels and the bait and strong fishermen to come beside us and help us fish. Heck, someday we will even need the boat! (lol ) Don’t give up on us or think we don’t need support…..we do. No man is an island…we are all the Body of Christ. Each one has his part.
P.S. By the way, there were 44 babies delivered in June and so far 32 in July……The maternity center continues to be a pressing need!
Thank you from all of us at SoT Zambia!