Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Meagan's August Report

Last night, I ran a blog entry from my niece, Meagan Hawley, who lives and works at the Namwianga Mission in Zambia taking care of orphaned and abandoned baies, many of whom are HIV+. Tonight, I'm sharing her monthly update from August. I was not able to reprint her pictures so you'll have to use your imagination! Please keep Meagan and her co-workers in prayers along with the little ones!

Hello again!                                                                                                                                                                       August 16, 2013
This month marks a year since I’ve been back in Zambia! That’s pretty unbelievable to me. I can’t decide whether it feels like I’ve been here shorter or forever. So much has happened this year, and I’m so grateful you all have walked this road with me in spirit and with your prayers. This “summer” has been packed full of activity, and yesterday I dropped off the final visitors at the airport. It won’t even be a week until Harding students are back, so I’ll enjoy this week of quiet and normalcy before more action hits again.

One of the biggest blessings of this summer was the four interns that came to serve with us at the Haven. The girls spent their days making my life easier and the babies’ lives richer with their love and songs and play and time. While they were here, one of the greatest things we were able to do was help build a house for three of our kids who have gone back to their village. I took the interns on some of my village visits so they could see a taste of that side of life here. While there, we found that Kurt and Jessie, two of the babies who had gone home in May, were living in a house with unfinished walls and no door. The girls stepped in and helped us clear the land, lay bricks, mix cement, play with the kids, and other odd jobs. After it was all said and done, our sweet babies now have a house they can be warmer and safe in, and I’m so grateful for the interns’ sweet spirits and desire to help these kids that mean so much to me. (To read more about our house building adventure, read here: http://zambianhavenonearth.blogspot.com/2013/08/a-new-home-for-kurt-and-jessie.html )

Having interns was such a joy to me this summer. One of the parts I love about living here the most is getting to show people this world, helping them walk through and process all there is to know and learn and see. It’s an overwhelming world in many ways, but one rich with life and lessons that need to be learned.

The babies have all been relatively well this summer, and I’ve been grateful for that. Jay died in July at about six weeks from what they think was postnatal sepsis. He was seemingly fine one day and deathly ill the next.  We’ve also said goodbye to Martin, Prince, and Princess. Martin went home with his grandmother and Prince and Princess with their aunt. That never gets more fun, but it’s reassuring to hear reports that they are doing well in their new homes. Florence, John, and Boyd have joined us since I last wrote. John and Boyd are both doing well and have settled in quite nicely to life at the Haven. Both are smiley little guys who brighten up our little world. Florence has had a rough adjustment and is living with me now. She came to us quite a bit older, almost five months. When they are older like that, sometimes they struggle to bond or attach with new people as they mourn the loss of their parents or old home. In Florence’s case, she came from an abusive home and had to be removed from the situation. After she was taken away from her mother and we got her, she went downhill fast. She spent most of her time vomiting and withdrawing from the world around her, and it was heartbreaking to watch. After trying everything else we could try, we finally decided she needed to be in a more one-on-one environment to see if this was indeed an attachment and grieving issue. After being at my house for almost a month, it’s clear that is the problem and things are getting better all the time. When I was skyping my mom today, she said, “She has a light in her eyes now!” which is so different than she did the first days at my house. She is stronger and has stopped vomiting completely. She is seven months old now and still not caught up developmentally or growth wise, but we’re seeing progress every day. Pray for us as we continue to unfold all that’s going on with her and as we decide on where to go next in her situation. My days are still filled with language class and therapies and cuddles and laughs and even cries. Sometimes I think that not much changes here, all the while so much is changing! I’m grateful for a God who doesn’t change and can always be counted on despite whatever may be going on around us. As always, I’m so thankful for you all who’ve embraced me, the aunties, and our babies with open arms on this journey. We are blessed by you.

God bless,
Uncle Steve
Luke 18:1

E-mail me at steve@hawleybooks.com

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