Hello everyone! There is so much to tell. I love Africa so much. For some reason it just feels right when I get here. I know it's where I am meant to be and already am thinking about next year.
We have spent the last 2 days at the orphanage and also doing a lot of shopping and getting the things we need. Today we had a refrigerator delivered and everyone was so excited. The kids have made a remarkable amount of progress. Last year we brought over 2 sewing machines. They have a tailor that comes in and teaches the girls sewing and they actually are doing an excellent job. Some things are made of fabric, others of empty cement bags! It seems that they may actually have a contract in the next year to make school uniforms! This is so good because it means it will bring money in to help with support. It is amazing to see how much they have learned. The feeding program is also doing well. The children all are so healthy looking and all smiles! I have gotten so many hugs and love from the kids. I just love it! Hopefully as each girl graduates we can get a sewing machine to her a gift. Then she can make a living with it.
Tomorrow we will be teaching the girls that are older how to make cookies. They in turn will teach the younger girls. This will be another means of support for them. They will be able to sell the cookies as well. We are going to start working on child sponsorship. This would mean that someone will sponsor the child one on one. There are about 50 children that are not in school. It cost to be educated here. The amount varies from about $50 a month to maybe a hundred if they are a full time boarding student.
We have one boy from last year who is being sponsored now by a good friend of mine. His name is Peter. His was a special case and a sad story. But we now have him as a boarding student. Last year he would not let me even hug him. This year he came up to me and gave me a hug and had tears in his eyes!!! He is such a good boy. He is 12 or 13, never been to school but now is in 2nd grade. He is beginning to speak English and smiles all the time!!!
I will tell more later about him and all the children. Tomorrow we also will be painting the girls fingernails! It will be a first for them. The shoe store will be coming out and measuring each child’s foot and we will purchase new shoes for each child! Clothes will be distributed and shoes given and it will be our last day with them. I will take more pictures and share them when I return.
One of the main goals of our mission is to help these children become self supportive, by teaching them skills they can use to maintain life. It seems as if we are making progress.
I almost forgot! We work with a village in the bush and last year there were about 9 or so pastors that traveled more than 10 miles on foot and bicycle to attend a pastoral training seminar. They wanted to learn form our Pastor as he did a teaching session with an interpreter. This year we will be blessing them not only with food like we did last year (we fed the entire village with a food distribution for about $300.00) but with 12 brand new bicycles so they can in turn go out and minister to others! We also will be bringing clothes this year and having suits made for about 7 pastors.
Kathleen and Bill, First Baptist Archer City