Saturday, July 28, 2012

Visitors from Canada

One thing that we all struggle with here at the orphanage, is saying ‘good-by’ to our visitors.
We recently had the privilege of meeting Heidi Braun and Sherisse Penner, both hailing from Canada. Heidi and Sherisse are both teachers at a private Christian school and they came to visit with lots of love in their hearts and with their hands full of kind and thoughtful gifts.

Heidi and Sherisse worked in our baby rooms, they worked to clean and organize our storage room, they loved on and played with our older children, they visited some of our sponsored children in their homes, and they participated in every other activity going on here that they could.

Thanks for the visit, Heidi and Sherisse. We miss you!

Nearly a Ton of Milk!

How much milk does it take to feed 20 babies? Well, it takes a lot of milk!

But, after waiting for over 3 months and after receiving many, many generous gifts just for milk, we received a shipment today of almost a ton of milk!

Through the help of a local association of orphanages that we belong to, we were able to buy milk from France at a greatly reduced price. The milk is a very good quality and we were able to buy it for about half of what we normally pay here in Burkina.

The container came over land and it was delayed in Mali for almost 6 weeks. And, wouldn’t you know that we ran out of milk about 6 weeks ago? But, we bought milk locally case by case and received the call yesterday to go to Ouaga and pick up our milk.

Thank you, Lord, for safely bringing the container all the way to Ouagadougou!

Thanks to each of you who so faithfully give to help us with milk and with every facet of our needs here at the orphanage.

And, a special thanks to Yako-Trieves, friends from France, who contributed 1000 euros worth of milk!

We have estimated that a ton of milk will last us for 5 to 6 months. What a relief!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Two Little Angels--

This is Mariam.

This is Madina.

This past week, we took in two little girls, Mariam and Madina, into the orphanage. These little girls are sisters, probably half sisters. They have the same mother but probably have different fathers.

Mariam is about 3 years old and Madina is about 18 months. Their mother is not well mentally and the mother and girls were living on the street and roaming from time to time in the bush. Social Services has taken the children from the mother and asked us to care for them.

To complicate an already complicated story, the day that the social worker brought the girls to us, their mother gave birth to another baby.

Please pray for Mariam and Madina and also the newborn baby. Pending their home study and paperwork, these children will probably be available for adoption.

Also, these precious children need sponsors. If you would like to take one of them into your heart, please send me a note.

Little Ones Needing Forever Families

Will you please help us to spread the word about these precious special needs children needing families?

Sylvain is 4 years old. He does not see well and the specialists here cannot give a clear diagnosis. He sees well enough to run and play with the other children but even with glasses he has trouble seeing close up. Specialists here say that he will need to learn to read using Braille.

Sylvain was abandoned at a young age and he is ready for a loving family.

Olivia is about 5 years old now (2012). She was abandoned as an infant and is being cared for in an orphanage.

Olivia smiles and interacts a little bit with her caretakers and the other children. She cannot sit up on her own and requires total care.

Her diagnosis is not clear but my unspecialized opinion is that she is suffering from a rather serious case of cerebral palsy.

Djimila was born in January, 2011. Her mother was very young, just 17 years old when Djimila was born. The mother tried to kill Djimia two times. With help and advice from family and friends, the mother brought her to social services where she signed papers giving Djimila up for adoption.

Djimila’s left leg has been amputated just above the knee because of severe infection that threatened her life. She is developmentally behind for her age. At this time, it is not known whether this is because of her rough few months of life or whether there is the possibility of mild cerebral palsy.

Jude was born in October, 2011. He was conceived outside of marriage. His mother was already married to another man and could not bring him into the home. And, his father would not take responsibility for him.

So, Jude was placed in an orphanage. Jude looks to be a very healthy little baby, but pending a second blood test, he may have sickle cell anemia.

Friday, July 20, 2012

And the Walls Keep Going Up!

Just a couple of pictures for you of the continuing progress on the construction of our new school building.

The roofing has been delivered. Our quality control guy verified that the quality of the metal roofing is good and is what was specified in the estimate.

We will be holding 3 new classes in this building this school year. We will be moving our 5th and 6th grade classes to the new building. And, adding a 9th grade to our existing secondary school of 7th and 8th grades.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

A Garden for the Orphanage

Burkina Faso has just two seasons, a rainy season and a dry season. When it is the rainy season, it is very, very wet. And, when it is the dry season, it is very, very dry.

We are now in the rainy season. The rains have been really late in starting this year but in the past 10 days, the rains have been plentiful and consistent.

One of the short-term missionaries here with us for one month is Cassidy Maples. Cassidy is in her senior year at College of the Ozarks where she is majoring in horticulture.

Cassidy and several of our primary school children started a garden last week and already corn, lettuce and cucumbers are starting to come up. Cassidy and the children tilled the land using a daba, a short-handled hoe-like tool which is the primary tool used in farming here in Burkina.

Our children are very engaged in the project. They come and check the garden each day. They water it by drawing water from our surface hand-dug well. And, sometimes it looks like they are just watching to see if they can see the plants growing.

Thank you Cassidy for starting this garden with our children! We can’t wait to see the fruit of your work.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

New Tyke Bikes

We recently received a very thoughtful gift of 6 toddler riding toys and 2 toddler tricycles from Sarah Oeder. Sarah was a short-term missionary who worked with us for one year and is returning to Burkina for her third time this summer.

This past week we scrubbed and washed the bikes and this morning pulled them out so that our toddlers could play with them. Our children ranged from 18 months to 3 ½ years and they were each delighted with this new experience.

Almost everyone started out by going backwards but one by one they figured out how to make them go forward. And, it didn’t take long to find out how much fun it is to ‘bump’ into your neighbor.

Thank you so much, Sarah. We can’t wait for your visit!

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Visit from one of our sponsors--

One of our great joys here in Yako is introducing sponsors to their precious children. Today was one of those days of great joy.

Linda Wilk has sponsored two of the children in our orphanage since 2005 and today she met her children face-to-face. Linda said that although this was the first time to meet them, it was as though she already knew them through their letters, pictures, and exchanges.

Barka had prepared a meal of spaghetti and grilled chicken for Linda. The food was well prepared and very tasty. Barka’s mother, two of her brothers, and her mother’s sister-wife were all there to greet us.

Barka just finished the 10th grade and passed the BEPC, the standardized test which allows her to continue to 11th grade. We are very proud of Barka.

Alexis was ready and waiting for us when we arrived in his village. Alexis is a very quiet and shy boy but there was a twinkle in his eye that showed he was so pleased to meet Linda.

Alexis just completed the 8th grade with a very good mark of 12,75 out of a possible 20. He will be entering the 9th grade this Fall.