Sunday, March 27, 2011

Snow...oppss, I mean, sand Angels!

In the states, we made snow angels.  In Africa, we make sand angels! 


Nsala is walking!!!!  Watch out Josiah!!!!!!


OK, now she is tired!  OK, so am I!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Busy Times

Our busy and hard working team of 2 left last week. Robby and Chico blessed our lives and many others during their short time here. They also worked very, very hard and accomplished a LOT!!! They helped to fix the water tank that was leaking water fast and requiring extra electricity (which costs us a lot of money) to keep it full and they created a traditional outdoor cooking area and wash area. They also funded the outdoor cooking pots that we will use to cook the pap over the wood fire. AWESOME!!!!

      BEFORE                                              AFTER

Several churches and a sports store supplied new soccer shoes, shin guards, jerseys, tape… sports equipment for soccer and track!!! AWESOME! I thought it was great that Mansfield supplied the jerseys because I am from that area of Pennsylvania. Go Mansfield!!!!


While Robby and Chico were here we had the first talent show of COZV since we have arrived. We did not have big sign up but we had a great evening of entertainment. For more pictures, see "Talent Show" album in our photo gallery of our web site The categories were and awarded were:

• Kindergarden – Best team spirit                 
• Clowns, Inc. – Funniest (Mwinda, Matties, Davis)

• Little Girls Ballet – Most graceful

• Angle Voices – most heavenly (Nicky and Della)

• Troy and Chad – Most harmonious 2 guitars (really Martin and Djolo)
                                                                                                            • Three West Siders Dancers – (Martin, Djolo, Mwinda and Josiah)

• Boys Choir

• Best MC – Albert

ALL received prizes but the ones we had to participate in were taking the little girls (7) ballet to town and treat them to ice cream and dinner for the musicians (Nicky, Della, Albert, Martin and Djolo) They came for dinner on Saturday night. Good thing I got 2 roasts because these kids can eat!!! No leftovers for us!!! Taking the little girls to town was fun. They were knocking at our door at 7am on Saturday asking when we were leaving. Excitement for what we consider such a simple thing is so fun and such a blessing.

The little children (18) are coming for Bible Study at our house on Thursday afternoons at 4:30. They are very attentive and had some great participation and excitement! Along with the Bible Study they are being challenged to learn the books of the Bible and are excited to be successful. Candy is a good incentive I have to admit. No one needed an incentive to come to Bible Study however. They just knew that it was their special time and the big kids could not push them aside. Last week the study was on friendship and this week it is thankfulness.

We all enjoyed a bon fire and “fire cakes” (S’mores) that were sent from the states – Thank you Lisa!!!!.
YUMMMMY. Finger lickin good!

On Thursday we attended and participated in the celebration of a life, our employee, our friend, Sydney. We only knew him a short 5 months but during that short time he blessed our lives. He always had a big smile even during his illness. He always had a positive attitude and would say “I am going to be alright. I just have to get a little bit stronger.” He was a teacher and mentor to our children. We transported his body and several people in two 4X4’s on Thursday. We went WAY back in the bush, through the dirt, sand, trees and mud. Many people were there. We sat on the ground under the trees in Africa. The mom fell over when she entered and was crying very loudly. They helped her up to continue to where she should be sitting (on the ground). Lorna had an opportunity to get up and speak on behalf of Children of Zion Village. It was a spontaneous speech since they did not give us any ahead of time invitation. 22 of the children came and sang a song at the funeral and a song at the burial site. Once the funeral was over we got up and walked further into the bush to the burial site. The casket went via a canoe (which is a cut out tree here). The rest of us went on foot. Due to the flooding, we had to walk through some ankle deep water. The grave was already dug. There was a sermon and singing. Once the casket was put in the ground, we all could go and put a handful of dirt (sand in this case) in the grave. The tradition has it that everything that comes out of the ground or off of the ground goes back so they put all of the sticks and stones and trees back into the grave if they took them off of the ground. They build up a mound on the grave and we can all come a few at a time and get an artificial flower and stand around the grave. Then all kneel at the same time and poke their flower in the ground on the grave. All get up at the same time and then the next group comes. It creates a beautiful grave.

We thank God for the short life and Blessing that Sydney has been to us and others. He was 24 years old and will be remembered and missed by many but we trust that he is at home with our heavenly Father and in no more pain and discomfort. We look forward to seeing his smiling face again one day when we too are called home.

The river is rising but we feel confident that at this point since we have not had to evacuate that we will be safe to stay here. BIG PRAISE!!!! The water at the bridge is higher than we have seen it yet so we may have to start going in and out with the boat instead of the car but we really feel we will be able to stay in the village!!! We are so thankful for this.
The water has come through the sides of the road twice and some men have repaired it. One time a vehicle broke down the “sand wall” and today some children (not ours!) put holes in the sides. So, the water then comes pouring across the road. All is fixed tonight so we will see what tomorrow will bring.

Monday March 21 was the 21 year celebration of Independence for the country. We took a load of kids to the sports complex in town where they had a celebration. There were speeches and traditional dancing. All was great for the first couple of hours until the sky opened up and the rains came. We left by noon to get back to the village for our own celebration.


We used the new cooking area and pots and grilled chicken outside and cooked pap and “soup” to put on the pap. We moved the tables outside and had a wonderful picnic under the trees. We sang the national anthem and sang happy birthday and had a cake with 21 candles. All had a great time and we were very full for the rest of the day. Thanks again to Robby and Chico for their hard work on this cook area and the money to buy the cooking pots for outside! It is wonderful!!!!!


He prepres the way before us. 
We must continue to follow and obey his call. 
Thank you Jesus for your ongoing grace and Love!!   

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Projects underway and Sports competition excitement!

Our two volunteers are here and they are busy!! What a blessing they are and what hard work they are doing. They are working on building a traditional cooking area and a traditional washing area. The cook area will have a place for 2 fire pits and a roof. The braai for the meat is already there so they are adding on for the fire pits for cooking “pap” or “mealie” in a large cook pot over the flame.

After the walkway concrete was poured all the children were given the opportunity to initial the edge. They continue to look to see and show where their initials are.

The wash area will be concrete where they can scrub and wash their clothes by hand (they way they do in the villages). We hope to use this area this weekend and allow the kids to cook the adults a traditional African meal.

The water tank was leaking a lot of water and purchasing a new one was not something we could add to the budget so the staff and our volunteers took down the water tank. They taped the leak and worked and worked and finally (after the rope broke and the tank fell 2 times) they were able to return it to the high platform where it sits. So, instead of losing a gallon of water an hour, we might be losing a gallon of water a day!! BIG IMPROVEMENT!!!

Some of the children participated in a sports event on Monday. They competed against other children from other schools and in their age group. They performed hard and we are very proud of them. The ones that received first place will all compete on Saturday at Regional’s. Some of the second place winners may also get to compete. Congratulations to ALL and Good Luck on Saturday!!!

The results:

Kado: 100 meter dash First place                          

Long Jump Second place

Lisedi 100 meter dash First place

Vivian: 200 meter Second place
Nawa: 200 meter Second place

Gotty: 100 meter dash First place                  

Long Jump First place

Kjolo: 100 meter dash Second place

200 meter run: Second Place

Della: Discus Second Place

Albert: Discus Second Place                                                            

Sosta: 100 meter dash Third Place

Saturday fun time: We will have our first of many Talent shows on Saturday evening after we return from the Regional competition. Here is a preview of just one of the performances to come. Stay tuned for more pictures and the outcome of the show!

     Praise God from whom ALL Blessings Flow!!!
The water is going DOWN!!!!  PRAISE GOD!!!!!!!!!  Thank you for your prayers!!  We hear the "flood is over" AND we hear "the flood is coming the end of March"  Only God knows!!!  We will continue to Trust and Obey for there is NO other way!!                                                                              

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Our Beautiful Christmas Baby

You know that we received a beautiful baby girl on Christmas eve.  For our first Christmas in Africa, we were thrilled.  Well, now we are even more in love with this beautiful child.  Today she had some time at our house and I took the opportunity to do a photo shoot.  BEAUTIFUL!!!!  Enjoy Baby Liseli!!! 



SWEET!!!!  SWEET!!!!

Yes, we love her LOTS!!! 

AND, we have 58 more kids that God has given us to love and we love them TOO!!!!!! 

Praise God from whom all Blessings Flow!!!
God has provided and Loved and Blessed and We Give HIM ALL of the thanks and Praise!!!!!   FOREVER!!!   AMEN!