Friday, March 06, 2015

Meagan's March Report From Zambia

Meagan and Joel
Many of you know or know of my niece, Meagan Hawley, daughter of my brother, Dave, and his gorgeous wife, Sally. Meagan is on her second long-term tour of duty in Zambia where she serves at the Namwianga Mission, taking care of babies who are orphaned or desperately in need of a home for a variety of reasons. Many of these kids are HIV +. I was blessed to spend time with Meagan over the holidays. She is a jewel, a light on the hill. Here is her report for the month. Unfortunately, I was not able to integrate all the pictures she included!

March 5, 2015
Hello to you all! I'm writing you to the sound of rain on a tin roof! It’s one of the best sounds in the world, and we're so grateful for what the good rains are doing for the country. I feel like there is so much to catch you up on, but also like not much has changed! People tend to think my life over here is exciting and adventurous, but in reality it’s very routine and most days look exactly the same! 

Right now, the majority of my time and energy and days are spent with the following little ones. 
Azariah and Ezra

Azariah and Ezra came to us about 2 pounds each. At 3 months, they are slowly gaining weight, but still need a lot of cuddling and tummy time and massage to promote growth.

Roinah is 4 months old and not holding her neck up at all, so we’re working on strengthening those back and neck muscles with some therapy and massage and plain old practice!

Mary is a little over 2 months old and not thriving or growing. We are trying to get to the bottom of her issues, and I’m spending a lot of time just rocking and cuddling this sweet soul to try and get some life back in her. 

Jonah just turned 3 and we continue to await his operation to treat megacolon. He is way behind where he should be developmentally, and he’s still not speaking at all at 3 years old. The doctors think and hope it’s all related to his medical issues, but we are still working to see what we can do to help him communicate more with us.

Of course there are still whole group language classes to be taught and nature walks to be taken and books to be read and trips to the clinic to be made. So between all of it, the days are plenty busy! But it’s my privilege to spend my time fighting on behalf of our sickliest and struggling to help bring them around to where we want them to be. While we are seeing progress and growth, would you please still join with us in praying for these who need a little extra love and concern right now?

My grade 8 bible study girls turned into grade 9s, and now they've gone and grown another year and are grade 10s! In Zambia, grade 9 is a big testing year. If you pass your grade 9 exams, you qualify to go on further. A lot of transition happens in this year because your marks determine where you can even attend school. All that to say, my sweet little class of 16 girls has changed on me! We’ve spent a couple of years getting to know each other and investing in each other, and now some of them are gone to school somewhere else. The biggest adjustment, however, is that about 15 new ones have joined the grade, transferring in from other schools, and that has completely shifted the dynamic from a small group of 16 grade 9 girls that met in my home every Wednesday night to a big group of 30  now grade 10 girls that no longer fits in there well! The teachers told me it wasn’t a good idea to just carry on with my originals and find another teacher for the new group, as much as that’s what I would've liked to do! So, we are continuing to try to find a balance of old and new and a place to meet that accommodates all of us comfortably. This makes me sad because there was so much growth happening, and I’m not sure what kind of dynamic this new situation will bring. But change is good and I’m excited to meet get to know the new girls and invest in them and see what they have to offer to our little bible study family. I’d love prayers for us as we embark on this new adventure together!

I loved getting to see so many of you when I was home on furlough. It was a wonderful time of sharing and reconnecting, and I’m more grateful than I could ever tell you for the way God has joined our hearts together in this ministry. Thank you for opening your homes and hearts to me and allowing me to share about the work happening over here. I appreciate you guys!  

God bless,
Uncle Steve
Luke 18:1
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