Wednesday, May 28, 2008

May 27, 2008

Dear Family and Friends, 27 May, 2008

Construction Update
Thank you so much for your faithful prayers! Our contractor has agreed to continue the work as defined in our contract. After much effort in communication, he finally admitted that he had taken money that should have gone into materials for the clinic and used them to recover from a problem on another project. He went and got a short-term loan, bought the materials needed for the clinic and is now back on-track for completing the clinic as agreed in the contract. I am thankful that the Lord helped us to resolve this problem without embarrassment to the contractor while at the same time protecting our interest and integrity in the contract.

If there are no more unforeseen delays, the clinic will be completed by the 15th of June.

School Update
Our primary school children continue to study even though almost all of the secondary school children are already finished with their school year. This week is the time of final exams for the primary school children so they are still working very hard.

Please pray for the sixth graders who will be taking the standardized CEP test in June. This is a pass/fail test which will allow them to continue to 7th grade or require them to do 6th grade again. Also, please pray for our 10th graders who are also taking a standardized test, the BEPC in June.

Although school is finished for most of our secondary school children, their final grades will not be available until sometime in July. Most of our children feel that they passed this year and we are thankful for this, but we will wait for the actual report cards before announcing the success of this school year.

A Chance for Herman to go to school?
Herman is a little 7 year old boy who has been blind from birth. We found Herman in a small isolated village about 25 kilometers from Yako while doing a home visit of one of our babies in the Friday Milk Program. (The baby, Diane, is doing very well.)

Herman is the 4th child of his mother and of the 4 children, 3 of them have very serious handicaps. The first born child, age 16, is also blind from birth and the 3rd child, an 8 year old, is not well mentally.

In talking with some friends and with Social Action we learned of a school for the blind in Ouagadougou. We went and visited the school a couple of weeks ago and then returned there this past week with Herman and a dossier requesting a place for him in the first grade in the 2008-2009 school year. There is a waiting list though because they only accept 10 children in each class.

This picture of Herman is not real clear so I will try to get a better one for you real soon.

Please pray that the Lord will give Herman a place in school this year. The waiting period can be up to 3 years and then Herman will be 10 years old before starting school.

Would you please consider helping us with the expenses of sending Herman to school? He will be placed in a family who live near the school and they will take him to school each day and pick him up. The fees for the school and for the receiving family are about $600 per year. We do not have this amount in the orphanage budget right now but we are trusting that if the Lord gives Herman a place in school then He will also provide the funds that are needed.

I must close for now but I will write again the next time that I am in Ouagadougou.

Love and blessings to you!
Ruth. . . Mom. . . Grandma

Monday, May 12, 2008

12 May, 2008

Dear Family and Friends, 12 May, 2008

Construction Update
The work on the clinic continues but not without some interesting twists. I think that you can clearly see the progress that the men are making.

The twists came in three different phases this past week, one when the contractor asked to re-do the estimates for the work because the prices of materials have gone up, and the second when he wanted to stop the work until the prices go down. On the surface one could almost laugh at these requests but they were very real and very serious.

The third twist came when the contractor wanted to stop the work because there is no cement available in Yako. He can get it in Ouagadougou, the capital, but the price is higher plus he would need to pay transportation costs to bring it to Yako.

After much negotiating and with the help of our technical advisor on the building, the contractor did agree to continue the work as agreed in our contract.

If the men continue to work at the pace that they have been working at, our clinic will be finished towards the first of June. Please pray that our contractor will remain steady and finish the work as agreed in the contract. The contract is a legal and binding contract but because of the weaknesses in the legal system here, taking the contractor to court would only be a last, last option.

Our orphanage nurses at work.

Another Adoption!!
One of our little ones, Ferdinand, has been approved for adoption and a lovely Burkinabé couple who live in Ouaga have been approved to adopt him. Ferdinand was abandoned by his mother when he was about 2 years old and she has not been seen or heard from since. The woman caring for Ferdinand often sent him into the market area to beg for food and Social Action picked him up and brought him to us because he was sleeping at the bus station.

Ferdinand is in the first grade this year at our primary school and as soon as school is out for the year, he will move into the home of his new parents.

The Truck
Again this week we had repair issues with the truck. A small oil leak turned into a problem with the brakes and then a problem with the alternator. For sure, I am not a mechanic, but when these things happen I feel very insecure regarding the ability of my local mechanic. :o)

After going back to the mechanic 6 times, and after sending him to Ouaga to get a part, the truck was running again and this morning I called my mechanic here in Ouaga to come and check out everything in the motor. He talked with the mechanic in Yako and after making another minor change said that the truck was again in good running order.

Please pray with us for a new vehicle. The truck can continue to serve us well for general hauling in and around Yako but more and more we are feeling the need for a more dependable vehicle for travel between Yako and Ouaga and Yako and Ouayaghuia.

School Updates
The school year is winding down here. Many of our secondary students have already finished their final exams and next week will be the exams for the last school. Everyone is still anxiously awaiting their final scores.

The final exams for our primary school will also be this next week. After the grades are all totaled and averaged, school will be over for all except the sixth graders who will continue to study and to prepare for the CEP. The schools have arranged 2 pre-tests for the sixth graders to help them prepare for the exam and in the second round of these tests, our school ranked 3rd in the community in the children’s scores. This is the first year for our school to have children taking this exam so we are very proud of our teachers and of our children’s work.

Little Teebnoma
Wanted to end with a ‘Teebnoma update’ and this photo of Teebnoma. Teebnoma was taken away from her mother by Social Action because the mother was trying to kill her. She came to the orphanage about 8 weeks ago, was sick and malnourished and unable to walk. Teebnoma has stolen the heart of each of our workers. She is about 18 months old and this week she started walking.

Love and blessings to you!
Ruth. . . Mom. . . Grandma