Many of you know my niece, Meagan Hawley, daughter of Dave and Sally, and all-round awesome young lady! Meagan lives at the Namwianga Mission in Zambia where she takes care of orphaned and abandoned babies, many of whom are HIV+. Here is her report from August. I was not able to download the pictures included in her report so I added some from her Facebook page!
Hello dear friends! Happy beginning of school to you all! I miss that time of year in the States—so much excitement and newness. I hope your teams did well yesterday, too, whoever they may be!
I’m finally able to take a little bit of a breather after a whirlwind summer of visitors and activity. It’s always such an exciting time of the year, and I’m also always glad when it’s over and life returns back to “normal”.
I had a wonderful group of interns this summer. They were all in the HIZ 2012 program, so I already knew them, respected them, and trusted them. All three girls are thinking seriously about doing overseas mission work after graduation, so it was important to me to mentor them and share openly my heart and my life here. They were such an encouragement to me, and the babies were so blessed by their extra love and attention.I had the opportunity to participate in a week long evangelism and medical outreach in the Western part of Zambia at the beginning of August. It was an absolutely amazing experience. The outreach is Zambian led, Zambian driven, Zambian organized, and it was just such an honor to be a part of it. I have been to some very remote places in my life. Some people might even say I LIVE in a pretty remote place! But I have never seen remote like this is remote. It took us about 23 hours in the bus to get there. There were so many break downs with the vehicles, so many flat tires, just such a tough place to get to. The landscape totally changes that far west, and you’re basically in the desert. The roads are straight sand, and it’s really difficult to make things grow. We were about 4 hours from cell phone reception of any kind. The people were living in poorer conditions than I’ve ever witnessed, and it was totally eye opening to me. My job was to help in the pharmacy mainly, but the coolest thing kept happening. Ba Halale, my language teacher and the director of Westreach, kept finding babies with severe malnutrition or severe developmental delays, cerebral palsy, and failure to thrive. These children will never have access to medical care where they are. These kids need intervention, but their location makes it impossible. Because of my work at the Havens and my daily dealings with these matters, I was able to counsel all of these mothers and teach them some of the physical therapy and infant massage their children desperately need. I was so glad to be able to be used in that way.
We sang a Tonga song called “Kunyina Uyelene Jesu” over and over again that week. The title means “There is no one like Jesus”, and the song talks about searching the earth, looking everywhere, and finding that there is no one like Jesus anywhere. The whole time we were out there camping, I was just convicted all over again about the urgency of that truth! We were out there in the middle of nowhere, further out and more remote than I’d ever been, but Jesus was already there. He’s everywhere. He’s everything. He is worthy of all of our praise, He causes people to travel all over the world to tell people about Him and to testify about who He is and what He can do in their lives. And these people living in desperate conditions were able to hear about Him, about the hope that this life of struggle isn’t all there is if you know Jesus. I watched my Zambians teammates spend hours studying the Bible with men and women who had never heard the Gospel. I listened each night at the fire as they asked us to pray for particular people they had studied with and felt were on the brink of giving their lives to Christ. And I was inspired and humbled and reminded of so many things I already knew to be true. I love this country. I love these people. I love Jesus and want to make sure everyone understands who He is and the hope and forgiveness that are found through Him. It was a hard week in a lot of ways, but I am so, so glad I got to be a part of it.
I felt confident leaving for Westreach because all of our babies have been so healthy! We are praising God for this season of good health and growth in them. Our sweet preemie Memory struggled in July and was hospitalized for about a week. She is doing so much better now, is up to 6 pounds, and is starting to smile and coo. Please keep praying with us for her continued progress.We had one of our babies come back from the village in June. We had discharged Kent over a year ago, and we found that he was completely malnourished and in serious condition. We worked with the doctors at Zimba Hospital to treat his malnutrition, and he’s finally back within a normal weight range for his age (almost 3 years). We aren’t sure what his future will hold, but we are hopeful that with some proper counseling about nutrition and other matters, his family will be able to take him back again soon. We’d love your prayers for Kent as he continues to heal physically and emotionally from this traumatic time.
Mercy is back at the Haven after about 4 months at my house. I can hardly stand her being gone, but she’s doing great! She has gained so much weight, has transitioned beautifully back into the daily swing of life at the Haven, and is about to be walking! I can’t tell you how grateful I am for those that have prayed for her healing over the last 6 months or so. She still goes up and down a bit, but by and large it seems she’s out of the woods. Praise God for that!
I hope you enjoyed getting caught up on what’s going on in our little world over here. Thanks for caring about us and the work going on in Zambia! I appreciate you all and your prayers so very much. Meagan
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