Just a quick update on this week. On Monday we had a barber volunteer to come and give all the boys haircuts. The power went out at Fanny's where we were doing it so we had to load up and relocate to Maureens but luckily they all got new looks! (Some of the boys are away for the holiday, but those who were around all got their hair done. After that we brought a counselor and a social worker to the Tembo's so that they could try to convice her to at least let Wisdom take medicine. She is absolutely unshaken in this, and we left with little to no progress made. In fact, it seems Wisdom is even more on his mother's side on the issue now. We have another appointment next Wednesday.
We were given a donation by the Pizzino family as well as a friend, Daniela Ando, for us to use toward something the kids needed. On Tuesday, we went into town and purchased a bale (large bag of slightly used) of blankets. It is getting cooler at night and the kids don't have beds (as you can see, in one of the albums I took a photo of Kaumba's room) and some of them just sleep on the cold hard floor so we were able to give each child at least 2 blankets! We devided them up and labeled them and then Wednesday we set out delivering them. We were able to sit and talk with the families more while we made these deliveries.
On Thursday they were all supposed to leave for a 3 day vernacular confrence, but after they all gathered with blankets and toothbrushes and clothes in hand, the bus broke down and they all stayed in Fanny's house for the night! The kids were invited with their families, plus Fanny's family makes somewhere near 35-40 people sleeping in her little home! They were able to get packed up and head out this morning!
A few items for sponsor's knowlege and for prayer:
When we visited Everlyn's home we talked extensively with her Auntie and got some more personal information. When she was born, both of her parents died while she was still nursing. The Auntie took her in and is raising her as her own child- Everlyn is not aware that this is not her mother. The Auntie's husband (who Everlyn thought was her father) died a year ago so essentially she has been double orphaned and then single orphaned. Her Auntie sells water for money, and right now is a bad season for that. People are not buying because it's no longer hot and dry. Only one of the Aunties 3 real children is in school- he was supposed to graduate grade 12 but she was unable to pay for exam and school fees so he will not be finishing. The other two would be in grade 9 and 6 but are not attending due to finances.
Protasho and Patrick are being evicted from their home on the 30th of this month. Their rent has been 80,000 Kwacha (16 dollars) per month. The mother recently got a job and there is no reason she shouldnt be able to pay this. They are not telling us the real reason for the eviction but we have reason to believe that since I am seen there 3-4 times a week the landlord assumed I am giving them money (white person= money) and raised their rent to an amount they cannot pay. We cannot help them with rent, unfortunately, because if we did we would then be asked by every single family to pay their rent. They have told us they are not going far and I have decided to drop the boys off within walking distance of the home and try not to be seen there to save them from this happening again.
When we went to the Sakala's (the home of Faith, Tisa, Christopher, Harrington and Emmanuel- plus the mother/auntie) they were so excited to be recieving the blankets! They live alongside the road and it gets very cold there. They have a tiny little house and all 6 of them sleep together on the floor. The mother was holding one of the blankets and said "I am even salivating in anticipation of the sun going down just so I can use this blanket." We noticed the cupboard and shelves were empty and asked about food. They had nothing in the home but tomatoes. The mother sells tomatoes but since they are in season, they are not in high demand because everyone has them so they had no food to be seen. We immediately went to the market and got them mealie (cornmeal), fish, some vegetables, oil and sugar to stock the shelves. This woman is VERY determined to work and support her family and never asks us for anything, so it was nice to see her accept this gift with tears in her eyes. She wants to start a charcoal business (cold season is fast approaching so charcoal sells well) but doesn't have the start up money yet. Also, Tisa is having chest pain and racing heart beat every evening. She was taken to the clinic and her BP is very high so they are monitoring her and we take her back monday. It could very well be malnutrition and stress from her living situation.
Kaumba's roof blew off his house in a rain storm but he has been helping his father repair it with scrap metal and peices they find in the dumpster. They seem in good spirits and are working hard to repair the home before it gets cold. There are many holes in the roof so it will be very cold- they thanked us PROFUSELY for the blankets!!
Kelleys garden looks great and we found him and Morgan working on it together- the initiative these boys are showing is absolutely wonderful.
Lastly, there are photo's in the last album on my facebook of the plot where the church building/ ministry house will be. We are VERY excited and they begin building next week- praise God!
You can imagine how difficult it is to see this much need and feel a bit helpless at times. There is a never ending list of things that need to be/could be done for these kids and their families and neighbors and it can be so frustrating to not be able to do everything, but by God's grace we are at least doing everything we can- he is opening doors and creating opportunity for us to obey His word and care for the orphans and the widows and for that we are thankful!