Dear Family and Friends, 6 June 2009
Wow! There is so much to tell you. We seem to be in a whirlwind of activity right now and it is hard to keep up on everything. But, I will try to fill you in on some of the highlights.
The 2008-2009 school year in Burkina is almost over. Final exams are over but the standardized exams after 6th grade, 10th grade, and 13th grade will be occurring in the next 2 weeks. We have 17 6th graders in our school this year who will be taking the CEP, 8 children in the orphanage who are taking the BEPC, and 3 orphanage children who are taking the BAC, the final exam of high school. Please continue to pray for our children and all of the students taking exams this year.
A short-term team from California, MO is coming to visit the orphanage this week and will be staying with us for 3 weeks. Some of the team members were here last year and some of them are coming for the first time. We have all kinds of activities planned for the team from caring for babies (imagine that at an orphanage!) to prayer walks, to mini-VBSs, to possibly building a chicken coop. Please pray for the team as they travel this week and as they seek the Lord's will for their time here in Burkina.
Our baby, Rachel, will be meeting her adoptive parents this week and will be leaving soon to go to Italy. Rachel came into the orphanage when she was just 3 or 4 days old. Her mama was not well mentally and Social Action called us to see if we had the space for a new baby.
Rachel is now 14th months old. She is lively and engaging. And, we are so looking forward to introducing her to her parents.
Please pray for Rachel and for her parents in these next days and weeks of adapting and adjustment in their family.
We received a very special and unexpected visit from some friends from the US Embassy this past week. They came to visit the orphanage but also brought us new backpacks for each of the children in our primary school, and small hygiene kits for each of the children in the orphanage. The gifts were contributions that have come in through the Embassy and they thought to bring some of them to us. Very sweet! Very thoughtful!
We also received notice that we have been granted $2500 from the US Embassy. This money is going to be used to build a small 'Chicken Raising/ Hen Laying' project to help feed our children.
New school project--
Last but not least is the excitement and anticipation of building one or more new school buildings for the children of Yako. We have been looking for a large piece of land and thinking and dreaming about what our new school complex is going to look like.
This past week, Liz, Brittany, Miriah, and I made a trip to Boromo and then on to Dano to do some research on a company who is doing construction using mud bricks. We saw a church and a school made out of mud bricks and then visited some friends in Dano who has built their home using this construction method.
Using mud bricks, we can build a school building about the same size of our current school building for about ¼ the cost of our existing building. The work is guaranteed and the exterior of the building is covered with a stucco-like substance which will protect it from the wind and the rain.
One huge advantage of the mud brick construction is that the building stays much cooler in the hot season and is warmer in the cold season. Our friend's house that we visited in Dano stays from 10 to 15 degrees cooler than the outside temperatures. And in this climate, this is very appealing.
Well, I must close for now and I will try to write again real soon.
Love and blessings!
Ruth. . . . Mom. . . . Grandma