(If you are a new reader, my niece, Meagan, lives and works at the Namwianga Mission in Zambia where she takes care of orphaned children.Meagan sends out a monthly update with pictures. Space does not allow me to post all the photographs but here is her report and some good shots.)
Hello everyone! Life at Namwianga is as busy as ever, and time seems to be flying by fast! I have had a fun, busy few months, and in a few days the third Harding University group will arrive! We are busy preparing for their arrival and looking forward to the blessing they will be.
In June, Kellie Lemons came to stay with me and work at the orphanage for a few weeks. It was so wonderful having her here, and we really, really appreciated all the love she showered on our little ones. Fortunately she was well accustomed to the inconveniences of life in Africa, and she wasn't fazed at all by the lack of electricity and water the whole time she was here. It was such a blessing to have her here with me for awhile.
On July 5th, I had more family arrive! My brother Ben, his girlfriend Courtney Jenson, and my three cousins Betsy Watson, Emily Kurt, and Rachel Kurt all came for a two week visit. The day they arrived, Ben proposed to Courtney at Victoria Falls, and it was so much fun! We had been planning it for awhile, and it was a perfect surprise! We had a great time while they were here, and they helped so much at the orphanages. They all had their favorite babies, of course, but they were very good about making sure they all got extra love and attention each day. We spent almost the whole time at the orphanage, but we also made many clinic and hospital visits with the babies and visited a baby that went home a few months ago. We all had fun painting lots of little fingernails and toenails and handing out comfort turtles from a small church in Kansas at that particular village. Although they were here for two weeks, of course it didn't feel long enough. I feel like I am the most blessed person in the world to have so many of my family and friends come over and join in the work that is going on here at the orphanages. It was so, so sad for me to see Ben, Emily, and Rachel go, but the beauty of it was that Betsy and Courtney stayed! Betsy will be staying here until next April and Courtney until next February. Both of them are going to be helping out at the orphanages on a daily basis. Betsy is a nurse, so she will be able to assist us with a lot of the health care needs of the babies, and Courtney is an early childhood education major, so she has begun doing some group language work with the toddlers.
At the end of July, Betsy, Courtney, and I joined a group of Americans on a medial mission to Western Province, Zambia. We worked in the pharmacy for the week, filling prescriptions and dispensing medicines. We camped outside the whole time, and we woke up almost every morning with frost on our tents! People never believe how cold it can get here in our winter! We came back from Westreach and picked up our two other guests, Kelsey Kelly and Jana Miller. These two, along with Betsy and Courtney, graduated from OC in May and decided to spend a year here serving. Jana will be tutoring school children who need extra attention at one of the Mission schools, and Kelsey will be working with the girls at the secondary school, teaching their Bible class and just being a mentor and friend. I am so excited that they are all here!
We have had a really healthy stretch at the orphanage the last few months. All of the babies are doing well, growing, and thriving. We are about to open up the third house at the orphanage, Marjorie's House. It will house all of our babies with HIV and TB, and it will be an environment where we can hopefully give them even more specialized care. A team from Tennessee came over in May and painted murals in all of the rooms so this house would be a bright, cheery place for our sick babies to be.
Please keep all 70 of our babies in your prayers, but especially these precious souls with HIV. They need prayers of healing and comfort, and we need prayers for strength and courage and patience and wisdom as we try to love and care for them as best we can. Please pray for their transition into their new house, and please pray for all the hands that will be holding caring for them daily. The toddlers at the Haven 2 are just wonderful. They are growing up too fast, which means they are going back to their villages too fast! It is so neat to watch them change and learn and grow, but so sad when it means they are big enough to go back with family members in their home village. The last few months we've been going on a daily "nature walk" to go see some bunnies that one of the house parents has. Pretty much from the time I get there in the morning until I leave, they are asking for bunnies. They love the walk, and they could do it with their eyes closed. We walk, we stop, we walk backwards, we jump, we run, we stop and look at flowers, we stop and look at bugs, we stop and look at rocks, and then we get to the bunnies. They are learning to stay really still and just watch them before yelling out, "Bye bunnies! Tomorrow!" We sit in a little hut outside and make a rainstorm with our hands. We go by the auntie who is cooking outside and get a little taste of whatever she's making. We go by the school house and greet the school, learning words like windows, tables, chairs, clock, etc. And then it's time to go back home! Corralling them back inside is the trickiest part of the entire walk! There are 24 toddlers now, and 23 of the 24 are walking! We definitely have our hands full! I don't have much else to report right now. I am so thankful for your prayers for me and all of these precious babies.
Have a blessed day!