Thursday, November 28, 2013

Is there room for one more in your family?

Hi! My name is David.

David -
Born: either Oct 20, 2011 or March 1, 2010, probably the March, 2010 date

November, 2013, David looks to be in good health and looks to be about 3 ½ yrs old. He was abandoned as an infant near the intersection of a rural road.

David has bright eyes and is very engaging.  Although it is sometimes very difficult to get an accurate diagnosis here, David appears to be struggling with a mild to medium form of Cerebral Palsy. His motor skills are delayed. He walks well without help but he does fall a lot. His speech is impaired, possibly due to hearing loss. He has a noticeable crossed eye.

David needs a home where he can grow and flourish. He will need specialized care including physical therapy. He responds affectionately to love and touch

Saturday, November 23, 2013

A blessing named, Awa

The village chief has given Awa permission to be our language helper and also our care-taker here in Kimini.

Awa is a young woman with the responsibility of caring for 2 young children and she now also has the respondibility of caring for Linda and I in the village. And, we DO need a care-taker.

Each morning and each evening, Awa passes by to see if there is anything at all that we need. She checks to see if our two 20-liter water bottles are full. She takes us around the village introducing us to all of her family and friends. She takes us to the market and helps us to buy food and our daily needs. She takes us to visit the tailor to have a new skirt made. She brings us gifts of rice and beans and offers to do our laundry for us.

In addition, Awa has taken on the task of being our language helper as Linda and I study the local language of Jula.

Then, during the rest of her day, Awa cares for her two small children and watches over her fields of corn, rice, and peanuts.

How thankful I am for this precious young woman and the blessing that she is to us!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

You know you are in the village. . . . when. . .

While laying on your bed, you feel critters scurrying around inside your mattress. Mice! Yikes!

Well, they died, smelled to high heaven. . . and I bought a new mattress.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Kimini News--

Week two in Kimini has brought us many opportunities to meet new people and to work on building relationships with our new friends. We are very thankful for the village chief, and Babou and Awa for their care in looking in on us everyday to see if there is anything that we need.

We met this week with the chief, a local committee from the village and a local mason to talk about our plans to build a little house. All were in agreement and we are leaning towards building a 3-room concrete block house rather than the traditional mud-brick construction. The costs are coming out very affordable for the concrete block and this will provide a much more stable building.

As this meeting was drawing to a close the chief announced that the village would provide the sand, gravel, and rock that will be required for our house. This was a very unexpected surprise and we are praising the Lord for this generous support from the village. The village men and boys will gather this from the bush and bring it in so that the work of making bricks can be started.

We also met with two men manning the Social Action office in Niangoloko, our nearest small town, and talked with them about the needs and problems of the orphans and vulnerable children in our region. They warmly welcomed us and have promised to visit us in Kiminia in the next week or so. As in all of Burkina, the needs of the children is overwhelming.

Babou and surveyors

Today two surveyors from Banfora came to Kimini to survey the land that the village has given to us.

We met first in the chief's courtyard and then together walked over to our property. The men walked the circumference of the land twice, measuring and putting down concrete markers. They then returned to Banfora where they will produce a blueprint of the land. This blueprint will be included among the many papers needed to register the land in the name of Sheltering Wings.

Lots of activity! Lots of fun! And, tomorrow Linda and I will be leaving our pleasant air-conditioning and wifi in Banfora to return to our peaceful little village of Kimini. But, before leaving we did enjoy a visit to McDonald's. . . . Burkina Style!

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Official 'Ceremony de Passage'

This week Les Ailes de Refuge threw a big party.

We invited the local authorities in Yako, especially all of the services who we work with on a daily basis. We invited local pastors, all of our employees and children, as well as local friends.

Two tents, chars, and benches were set up.

Several of the children from the orphanage prepared a special song for the ceremony.

Speeches were made by all, including our own Achille!

Our ladies and several others from church prepared a lovely meal.

And the ceremony started with speeches and kind words and blessings to all. Mike was established as the new director of the Yako project and I am released to go and start a new work in Kimini.

Some things are so bitter-sweet. . . .
It was so good to see so many friends and to share this day of celebration with them. But, it was also very hard to be saying goodby to so many people that I have grown to love so much. Through the good times and the hard times, deep relationships are formed. Yako, and the children and people of Yako, will forever be in my heart.

And now. . . . my heart and attention can turn South and towards the small village of Kimini.

 Today, Linda and I started shopping through a list of basic things that we will need to set up housekeeping including a new water filter. We also each got a haircut before moving into the African bush!

Just a few things remain to take care of and soon we will be loading up the car and heading South. Much more to come. . . .