June 22nd – Day 6
The day dawned, much like our other workdays, with our “Paul Revere” (Mark) back on track with his alarm clock duties. Most of the team has taken to drinking hot tea in the morning and throughout the evening, as we always have it available to us – we are feeling slightly “British” with the language and spelling influences from the UK here in South Africa. In addition to drinking gallons of water and our hot tea, and tang-like beverage each morning, our treat each evening is an ice cold bottle of either Coca-Cola (regular of course – no diet around here), or Fanta Orange soda. Talk about a flashback to the past and an appreciation for the little things in life!
Jay did a great job with our devotional this morning and we were off and walking toward the villiage for another day at the church/orphanage/school by 8:00 AM. It is still so funny as we walk to and from the lodge to see and hear the little children pointing and shouting Muzungu (white people), and even more special to see their huge smiles. They enjoy practicing the one question that they apparently know – “hello – how are you” and their own practiced reply of “fine”. The adults of the village are also friendly with most we pass saying “hello” or “good morning”. If Patson is along with us he is frequently stopped along the way. He is well respected by the community and recognized as a caring man of God! Despite the slight hill just before the lodge as we are walking back (it feels like a mountain at the end of the workday carrying our backpacks), the walk to and from the orphanage as a team, with Patson and his family and/or church team accompanying us, is very cool!
As expected, the men got right to work when we arrived this morning with a very tall order of more prep and painting. They have a huge goal to complete all of the inside painting and as much of the outside as possible (it is already primed), however, it will be a sprint to the finish line. The guys are working tirelessly and with great spirits, making a lot of progress working along-side their Zambian brothers. And you be the judge whether this picture of our worn out painter is staged or not:
Thank you for your prayers for the hard work that the men are completing and the examples the Traders Point men are setting!!
Our day with children was a bit more challenging than the previous day. The childrens’ schedule was changed-up as they had only one meal later in the day, closer to 1:00 PM, instead of the two they’d had previous days.
The orphanage will prepare one or two meals for the children depending on how much money they have, however, feeding the children is a primary goal and concern for the Work of Grace. For many of the children, this is the only food they will have all day.
Today’s theme for the children was the bible story of Daniel in the lion’s den. Our teachers shared a story, color time and then a craft – helping the children each make a prayer journal to take home!
Filler time until lunch was going outside to blow bubbles!! What a joy – the surprised laughter, shouts and giggles were priceless. The other big accomplishment was that Laura taught them a new dance!
The children learned the Wiggle Song, although they may still be partial to the Butterfly Song as they were overheard singing it on the way to and from the latrine. The children are talented and joyful when singing and dancing about God’s creation! We have already fallen in love with these children and our hearts are aching for the issues they face, and understand why the Work of Grace has such a mission to help these dear children. Praise God for the church, and specifically for their efforts to provide a school for the village children and soon to be a safe home for some of the orphans; for their hard work and their dedicated love and care for these children!!
The women’s ministry didn’t disappoint today, meeting in a freshly completed room painted in a lively “Butter Milk” shade. In addition to enjoying one-on-one time with women throughout the day as they stopped by to say “hello”, visit, and ask for prayer, we had another strong attendance at our afternoon bible study – with about 35 women in attendence. They trickled in throughout the afternoon, and when given the choice, asked for a 2nd bible study story during the last 45 minutes of our 2-1/2 hours together. Cathy presented a study on Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and the fiery furnace, and it was well received. As the women have such significant issues that they are dealing with, we wanted to give them hope that even though we know God can do anything, even if he chooses not to “rescue” us from the “furnace” (challenges we face), as Christians, we know that he will never forsake us, and will always be in the furnace with us by our side. Brenda finished up with the story of Mary, illustrating her joyful obedience, in the face of God’s plan for her life to become the mother of our Savior which significantly deviated from the course her life was on! The women wrote down every word from our notes we had posted and really participated in our discussions today! Thank you again for the prayers for the women!
We have found that there are some amazingly strong women in and affiliated with the church! Justina is just one example, who has applied for and received multiple certificates which allows her to go into hospitals, prisons, clinics and nursing homes twice per week to witness to the patients about the salvation of Jesus. God’s work is alive in Zambia!!
Before we left the orphanage, one of our children injured himself in a soccer accident. Please pray for Patson Jr. – for healing of his wrist. It is likely a break, but we will know for sure in the morning!
I know this sounds like a rerun, however the evening held for us the typical – showers, a great dinner, laughter around the table regarding some of the events of the day, good natured ribbing between the guys, planning for the next day, and a debrief to deal with the typical feelings and emotions related to a meaningful mission trip. We also enjoyed our typical late night time together in the conference room working on our daily devotionals and sending e-mails home! Of course we have to watch the time, so Bryce doesn’t get “locked in” the lodge and can’t get out to his luxurious suite in Newfoundland.
A special thank you to Chris for sneaking out to buy chocolate cake for all of us as we had mentioned we were craving the night before, and a very special Happy Birthday today to Lilly Pad – Brian’s little 2-year old daughter!
Thank you for checking in on us and for your on-going prayers! Blessings to each of you from Zambia!
God is good, all the time – All the time, God is good!!