Friday, November 28, 2008

Dear Family and Friends, 27 November, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope that all of your celebrations were filled with thanksgiving for all that the Lord is doing for you and with the joy of being with family and friends. Liz and I celebrated yesterday in Ouaga with several missionary friends and a few Burkinabe friends. We all ate too much! But, the food was great and it was fun.

The 2008-2009 school year is now in session. The children are working hard and our teachers are very motivated to help each child succeed. Here is a picture of our first grade class and their beautiful school uniforms. All over town we see children in pink check shirts and we know that these are our primary school children.

The sponsorship program continues to be a tremendous blessing to the children and their families. The last distribution for this year will be held the 18th, 19th, and 20th of December. Each child will receive some grain and special condiments for their holiday meal. And, each child will be measured for a new outfit.

On December 23rd all of the sponsored children will be coming to the orphanage compound for a Christmas party. We are going to start the day with a soccer match and then play various games and relay races with them. After lunch, there will be some quiet time where several of our ‘church groups’ of sponsored children will present special songs and/or skits that they have been preparing. The Christmas story will also be presented to the children with puppets and with live actors.

The children in the orphanage continue to prosper and we are thankful for this. Outside of small colds and runny noses, all of the children are well. Our clinic is operational for all of the children in the orphanage, our school, and the sponsorship program. Our nurses are well trained and it is rare now that any of our children must be hospitalized. Sometimes the care-takers of a sponsored child wait too long to bring a child to us but even this is changing and our nurses are able to treat the children earlier and have quicker and more efficient results.

Two of our orphanage baby care-takers attended a 2-day training session in Yako this past month. The training was offered by a French association that is working in association with a national association of orphanages in Burkina. The training was excellent and Laurentine and Nongewendi returned and gave the training to the rest of our ladies. This picture is of one of our nurses, Beatrice, and Deborah.

Lots of water!
We have wonderful news to report concerning our well! To give you a quick refresher, we had tried drilling twice this past year and the equipment that was being used was not powerful enough to go deep enough to get good water. They found water but it was not clean water.

In 2004, we had made a request for help to a Burkinabe Christian association called O.D.E. who funds water projects but we never heard a response from them. But, in October, they called saying that if we still needed a well, they had found the funds to provide this for us. What a day of rejoicing that was!

I went twice and talked with O.D.E. to explain the problem that the other association had in drilling our well. They sent a technician to Yako and his research verified that there was lots of water under our property but that it was very deep. But, O.D.E’s equipment was powerful enough to drill even to 120 meters!

The men and the equipment arrived this past week and in just 2 days, they had drilled to a depth of 78 meters and found a huge supply of water. We are truly thankful to the Lord for this gift of water. The men will be returning next week to install a hand pump which we will use for a while. Sometime later we will install a water tower and pipes that will bring water to each corner of our courtyard.

A New Vehicle?
We have looked at several used vehicles and are hoping to make a decision on one real soon. The latest one that we are praying about is a 2006 Mitsubishi 4 X 4 that has been owned by a Chinese diplomat of the Chinese Embassy. I have asked 2 mechanics in Ouaga to look at the car and also 2 friends and after everyone has given their evaluation, we will make a decision on the car.

Adoption News—
We have received notes and pictures from France, Italy, and the US and all of our adopted children are doing very well. Just this past week we received news from Mathieu and Mariam who are living in France and here is a picture of Mariam.

We are now preparing Ibrahim and Rochelle for adoption. Little Rochelle, 8 months old, will be going to Italy and Ibrahim, 2 ½ years, will be going to Spain.

This is Lisa who lives with her adoptive family in France.

Liz Richert—
Last but not least I would like to introduce Liz Richert to you. Liz is from Michigan and she has come to work with us for one year. Liz is a short-term missionary through Serving In Missions (SIM). She has finished her university studies in Social Work and is giving a year of her life to serve the Lord in Burkina before making a commitment to work and other life responsibilities.

It is great to have Liz with us. She is working in several areas: caring for our babies, tutoring our older children in English, teaching English to our 5th and 6th graders, and assisting in home visits for our sponsored children. Because of her major in Social Work, she is also closely following the adoption cases of Rochelle and Ibrahim.
Welcome to Yako, Liz!

Love and blessings to you!