Last week, on Saturday, I told you that the Provincial (State) Social Service Director had notified us of the 5 member “Child Headed Household” who needed full support from our program as their mud hut was in poor condition. We received the request late Friday afternoon, just as a heavy rain storm hit.
Rain poured down causing massive flooding for the next 36 hours dumping 6.5 INCHES (163mm) of rain on Balama.
I spent the night praying for all our orphans, their homes, our food warehouses, and other buildings, for water ran 6 inches deep everywhere I looked.
The already compromised mud hut of these orphans collapsed on Saturday night. NOONEWASHURT thanks to quick thinking Emelia, the 19 year old young lady who heads this household. She was able to get the kids out BEFORE their hut collapsed. They spent a miserable night in their neighbors kitchen, as many mud huts all over Balama went down during this storm.
EMILIA and her family just arrived at our house last Sunday morning.
Sunday, at 5 a.m., I sent AWANA Youth Pastor Carlitos Jorge by bicycle to their house to check on these children. When he came back saying their house was totally destroyed, I organized a group of men to help them carry what they could salvage to the main road. Our driver, Genito, fetched this family and their belongings with our 4 wheel drive Land Cruiser. We gave them emergency refuge in a large empty room in our Foster Father’s home next to the Boy’s Dorm. On Monday, Feb. 8th, Emelia, her 2 small children, and her 3 orphan brothers, will move in with one of our foster mothers who has a large vacant room at her house.
(NOTE: A teenage girl without parents can easily be seduced by a man, for she has no one to guide her. Such is the sad case of Emilia. This week, she began receiving daily counseling from Anna, our Orphan/Foster Mother Supervisor. By living with a responsible Foster mother, Emilia will learn what her mother would have taught her about child care, and we will add to that how to become a righteous woman in the eyes of our Lord.)
It will take a few months, but our building team is collecting huge fence posts and bundles of bamboo in order to build Emilia’s family a house on the only remaining vacant lot the church owns. We looked all week, trying to buy a mud hut in our area, but none exists. The “Pao Peeky” type building (sinking fence posts deep in the ground at 1 foot/30cm intervals, then tying them together with bamboo and mud) makes stronger walls than mud brick, and is the only type of housing that can be constructed in the rainy season.
Our big family is growing! We give thanks to JESUS for answering our prayers to keep these children safe.
Emelia’s 3 brothers are super excited about getting to go to school with uniforms, books and a new back pack! Even with all Emelia has endured, she has qualified to enter into the 6th grade. At 19, she will now get to continue her education for the foster mother will be able to watch over the children while she is in school each afternoon from 12 noon to 5pm.
Again we extend our thanks to our friends in Wichita, KS for their generous gift that is making possible this
construction of a new mud hut in the rainy season!
FERNANDO is so proud and happy to have his own new school supplies. THANKYOU to his faithful sponsor church. That happy, healthy smile is so beautiful.
Staff handing out school supplies to our 60 school-aged orphans.
ATUMANE ®, and assistant LUIS (L) complete the last of the 60 school uniforms on their pedal powered Singer Sewing machines. Fabrication begins in November, as it is time consuming work.
Today broke with a beautiful sunrise, and found our team organizing 2 tables full of school supplies, back packs, school uniforms (made at our base on foot pedal Singer Sewing machines by our sewing team of Atumane and Luis). It was a busy 3 hours, but all 60 school age orphans received everything from notebooks to pencil sharpeners THANKSTOYOURGENEROUSLOVEGIFTS!
Down the road, about 6 miles from our Balama Mission Base, an Australian company is setting up a huge graphite mine. Their management staff dropped by this week, surprising us with a suitcase full of shoes!
Alex, wife of Peter, the health and environment manager at the mine, has taken us under her wing. The mine staff from Australia works on a rotation schedule, so as they fly from Australia to Balama, Alex has the men bring a suitcase full of nice shoes and clothing for our orphans as part of their baggage.
The bag we received 2 days ago contained shoes for 16 of our orphans! Those children were so excited! The 48 children who didn’t receive shoes were taken immediately to buy shoes at the Balama market by 5 members of our staff. They just returned overflowing with joyous laughter, for I could hear them coming long before they arrived at my house to show me their new shoes.
“CUTESHOES”, THEUNIVERSALCOMMENTWHENGIRLSGOSHOPPING… Our girls and boys were sooo excited.
Thank you Alex and family for all your hard work! We also thank your special “Courier Service” for bringing the gifts to our doorstep.