Monday, September 10, 2012

Work has started on the wall--

This past week we broke ground for the construction of a wall around the school property. This is a rather massive project in that we have six acres of land to close in.

We will go slowly but for starters we have a general contractor and 4 young men working on digging the foundation. The composition of our land is almost solid rock. Not good land for farming but excellent foundation for school buildings and a wall. The work is slow and hard because it will be completely done by hand, we are very thankful for this land that the Lord has given to us.

In late October we have a team of men coming to visit the orphanage and to work on putting up the wall. Our team of local workers are digging the trench, will lay the foundation of iron reinforced concrete, make the bricks on site, and then the visiting team will start putting the wall up. The wall will be built in two meter sections divided by reinforced concrete support posts.

A note to those who have contributed towards this project: Putting up a wall is not a particularly glamorous project to give to but it is something that is very needed here to protect what the Lord has given to us. Thank you so much! I stand amazed at the goodness of our God and at the generosity of his people! May the Lord richly bless you!

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Would you please sponsor a child?

‘Back to School’ time means an increased need for sponsors!

School starts here in Burkina on October 1st. So, this is the time to be preparing for the first day of school.

This year we are adding two new classrooms to our schools. We will be running a full six grades in our primary school and we are adding 9th grade to our secondary school.

When all of the excitement settles the reality of the additional challenges of paying teachers’ salaries, equipping new classrooms, buying books and supplies, and feeding over 300 children a nutritious meal everyday becomes very pressing.

Our schools are primarily funded by our child sponsorship program. If each child in our schools is sponsored, we can pay our teachers a competitive salary, we can provide a challenging learning environment in each classroom, and we can feed our children a nutritious lunch everyday. (Some of our children otherwise will only get one meal per day.)

Would you please consider sponsoring one of our children? Do you think that your youth group or Sunday school class or home group would consider sponsoring a child?

I can say with all of my heart that ‘sponsorship changes the life of a child’. We still have many children in the orphanage and in our schools who need a sponsor. Would you please consider sponsoring one of our children? Do you think that your youth group or Sunday school class or home group would consider sponsoring a child?

If you are ready to take a child into your heart, check out our website (, click on sponsor a child on my blog, or call Sheltering Wings at 314 635 6316.

Here are just two of the children in our primary school needing a sponsor.

Rene (0821)

Nouroudine (0889)

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

New School Uniforms

Back to school time is an exciting time in any culture and here in Burkina it is especially exciting. Only about 1 in 5 children here get to go to school so for those that do get sent to school, it is a privilege and they LOVE school.

This past Saturday the director of our primary school called all of the children to come to school and to be measured for new school uniforms. Our uniforms this year will be the same as last year, navy pants and skirts, and pink check shirts.

The tailor was called and it was arranged for him to come at 8:00 to start measuring the children.

As I was preparing my first cup of coffee for the morning at 6:30, I heard children in the courtyard. I looked out my door to see 30 or 40 children already at school waiting to get measured for their uniforms.

Ah, the excitement of ‘back to school’ is one of the many things that I love about Burkina.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Three Little Stars

Three little ones with visual problems have recently come to live in the orphanage. So, this week we piled three babies and two baby-caretakers into the car and made the trip into Ouaga to see an eye doctor.

Arouna is now six months old. He came to us as a premature infant of just 3 days old. Having had a very rough start, Arouna is still very small for his age and is behind developmentally.

Although we were very worried, the good news is that Arouna can see! When a light was shined directly into his eyes, there was a response. Yay!

Our next step is to take Arouna to another specialist to try and determine why he cannot hold up his head on his own, is not yet sitting up, not grasping things with his hands, etc.

Please pray for Arouna and for us as we try to find names for his problems and possible treatments to help him.

Madina is a delightful little 18 month old. She is here with her older sister, Mariam, who is 3 years old.

Madina has several vision problems going on. Her one eye is severely crossed and her good eye shifts slightly horizontally. She also has what is called ‘tiny eyes’ in that her eyes are abnormally small.

The eye doctor said that perhaps she could have surgery for the crossed eye when she was 5 or 6 years old but that he did not think that she could get this help here in Burkina.

Christiane is a little 12 month old baby who also has a crossed eye. Her good eye tracks really well but the crossed one does not and she may already be in danger of losing some her sight in this eye.

The doctor gave the same prognosis for Christiane as Madina in that she may be able to get surgery later but not here in Burkina.

Please pray for us as we care for each of these children. They will all three most likely be available for adoption but we are still in the process of getting all of their paperwork completed before that can happen.