Saturday, March 26, 2011

April 3rd!

If you live in the Temple/Belton area, and even if you don't, you should head to Bodega Bean in downtown Belton on April 3rd! Enjoy some awesome food, get your coffee fix, and 10% of sales go to New Day Orphanage to help Hope paint a mural and road signs for New Day! Don't miss out!! :)

Friday, March 25, 2011

New Day update

Things are moving right along at New Day! I'll give you an update on what is happening!

PLUMBING: Plumbing, plumbing, and more plumbing. Blu HATES plumbing. He is almost done with the kitchen/dining facility and will move on to the orphan house from there. They are doing all of the plumbing with galvanized steel, so there is a lot of pipe threading being done.

ELECTRICITY: Zesco came and inspected, and it did not go well. Another man did the inspection (apparently the man in charge) and he was very rude and gave us yet ANOTHER list of things we need to fix/do differently. We finally decided to get them to give us a quote so they can come and do it themselves. SOOOOO frustrating...electricity does not look like it will be in our near future.. please pray!!!

SCHOOL: School is going great--the kids absolutely love it and the teachers are doing a great job!

KITCHEN: Kalenga experimented with banana bread and pizza this week! We walked in one day to find the staff eating bread topped with jelly and chocolate cookies for breakfast....we'll have to do a session on nutritional meals for sure! :)

ORPHAN HOUSE: I spent the week painting the orphan house. We are now cleaning the floors and in the next 2 weeks will be furnishing the house and getting ready for some little children to move in! Exciting!

And below you can see the pics of the new buildings we are working on! Thanks for praying for us here at New Day as we are working HARD!

Our lettuce got a little tall before we picked it.. :) And I promise, my kids are usually clothed... well maybe promise is too strong of a word...

We tiled for the first time ever--love my new bathroom floor! The same color as the Mapanza dirt! :)

The foundation for our donated 40 foot container that will arrive next week! Yay for storage at New Day!

The foundation for our guest house (which will house 2 full-time volunteers starting in January 2012, as well as future teams and volunteers!)

The footings and box are done for the Wilcox foundation!

Pounding the dirt and getting ready to pour the slab for the Wilcox house!

Racheal's Birthday

I have to admit, I don't wake up every morning saying "Thank you Lord that you have called me and my family to Zambia!!" But on March 21st, I did... :)

We were so BLESSED to be able to help Racheal celebrate her 19th birthday...her first birthday without her mom, and her FIRST EVER birthday party. :) She couldn't stop smiling, and it was an awesome time together!

Racheal coming into the kitchen for her party

A Zambian tradition--you pour water on the birthday girl!

Blu leading the kids in a game of Simon Says

The other staffers got her some lotion, powder, candy, and cake

We got her a new outfit and some hair..gotta admit it was my first time to ever buy anyone hair :)

The New Day family at the party

Me, Racheal, and 2 cuties that snuck into the picture :)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Mud Baths :)

This is what happens when Mama goes to Bible study and Daddy is in charge of the kids... :)

New Day Kitchen

The kitchen at New Day is up and running!!!! So many people helped us out by donating things, but I have to give a shout out to a few specific ones!!

1) FBC Bangs hooked us up when it comes to food!! They collected coffee cans filled with rice, flour, macaroni, sugar, cornmeal, and salt! We have commercial sized canned foods of green beans, peaches, and corn as well! Thank you!!

2) FBC Alvarado and the "Hale sisters" (BethAnn, Karen, Robbie, and Kendra and their families) pretty much bought our whole Target wish list for us. It is amazing to go in and have brand new kitchen things. Ok, ok, I'm a little jealous of the fancy tupperware in the kitchen :) The "Hale sisters" gave up their Christmas presents to each other in 2009 to buy supplies from our Target wish list :)

3) The amazing trio of Larry, Herb, and Steve from Nebraska built us our beautiful kitchen cabinets :) We love them!

And to so many others who gave money and donated kitchen items, New Day thanks you!! :)

Kalenga planning the menu...with LOTS of help from Elizabeth!

Our awesome kitchen cabinets :)

This is our washing area in the kitchen...2 huge sinks and drain boards, along with a white board where we can write the weekly menu. Amanda Gowen was one of our first donors to New Day--she sent $100 and the same day Blu and I went to Home Depot and bought these 2 deep sinks for the orphanage! Thanks Amanda! :)

We purchased a really nice gas stove and oven here in Zambia, which is working great now since we don't have electricity...although I do find myself staying awake at night wondering if Kalenga remembered to turn off the gas.... ;)

These are the very full cabinets over our electric stove and cooktop (in great condition purchased for VERY cheap from First Baptist Bangs and craigslist!!)

This is the breezeway that looks out into the dining hall and where people come by and get their food, cafeteria style

Kalenga is our head cook and has been busy planning a menu and keeping things running smoothly. He REALLY wants to learn how to cook some American food, so this week I gave him a lesson in making cornbread and banana muffins. I think he got teaspoons and tablespoons mixed up on the baking powder in his muffins, so the Zambians were a little bit unsure of them, but he will get it! Future volunteer teams--come with your favorite recipe to teach Kalenga to make! :)

New Day School

Cason doesn't go to school, but he wanted a "first day" picture taken too :)

Cambree striking a pose for her first day. When she got there and saw that the other girls all wore dresses, she now insists on wearing a dress every day! She keeps the teachers on their toes every day! One day she snuck over to the color chart and put one of the other kids on "red" (bad behavior!) She's a mess...

Caedmon all ready for his first day. He loves to pick his own clothes each day and make sure everyone is ready to go. He is our early bird so at about 6am he is asking if it is time to leave yet...

Our teachers, Hildah and Abby, all dressed up for the first day of school :)

Pics of the classroom--thank you AGAIN to everyone who donated things for the school!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

School Days!

Well, the New Day School has officially begun!! School started Monday morning at 8:00am! Our kids were there bright and early (actually they were AWAKE bright and early, asking us if it was time to go yet!!)

Coming as a missionary to Zambia, I thought I would miss out on a lot of things--sending my kids to their first day of school was one of them. But the excitement was in our house on Sunday night and Monday morning as we got ready for school!

There are 5 students in the school, 4 girls and Caedmon! They range in ages from 4-6 and are in Preschool to Grade 1. The teachers are adjusting to teach at their level, so Caedmon is doing some Kindergarten and Grade 1 material. Since I started him homeschooling this year with Kindergarten, we are finishing up homeschool in the afternoons. Then, this summer, he will only go to the New Day School, and when we are in the USA next Fall, I will homeschool again. After that, he will probably attend school full-time at New Day!

I was very impressed by the teachers (they were VERY dressed up for the first day!). As I listened at the classroom door, there was definitely a lot of learning going on, and more discipline than I had expected! It was fun to listen in to Tonga class! Right now, the students are doing Phonics, Writing, Math, Science, Social Studies, Music, Bible, and Tonga. Their day ends at 12pm.

Thanks to everyone who got the New Day School up and running!! From textbooks to teaching materials such as manipulatives, to reading books, to school supplies, to desks, to white boards, to bookshelves, etc., etc., thank you!!! :)

Friday, March 11, 2011

Weekly Update!

We are still very busy at New Day! The girls and I are finishing up the kitchen/dining/classroom/pantry/laundry facility. School is all set to start on Monday and the kitchen will be completely ready to use after this coming week! We have been sweeping, and sweeping, and more sweeping!!

A few notes on the school--Abigail is the main teacher and Hildah is the assistant. In January, we have two American teachers coming to volunteer and oversee the entire school. The children in the school right now are Caedmon, Cambree, Laurie, Machila, and Purity (ages range from 4-6). After April, we will be getting 8 orphans at New Day who will join that class. We are using American curriculum (a variety) and starting the kids with basic preschool/Kindergarten levels. They will go half day, from 8:30am to lunch. They are all so excited to start school!

Meanwhile, Blu is still working on plumbing (his nemesis). We have also started the Wilcox house. It feels completely different from when we built our house because now we are here every day, we know what materials to buy and where to find them, and we know the Zambian workers very well (who to hire and who not to hire!) It will be fun to watch their house go up!

Until next week's update, thanks for praying!
The foundation of the Wilcox house all dug

Getting crushed stones ready to go in the foundation

Pouring the footings

One of our 3 bookshelves in the classroom!!! Thanks to FBC Bartlett, FBC Bangs, and Mrs. Dianna and the Alvarado Public Library for so many books for our classroom!! The funny thing is that most of the books are from the 80s, which is my childhood, so as I pulled out books, I was yelling, "Freckle Juice!!!!!" "Beezus & Ramona!!!" The Zambian girls were like, "what is a freckle??" :)

Abby and Hildah getting posters ready for the classroom

Monday, March 7, 2011

Back to Work!

Wow what a week! We enjoyed a week's break in Lusaka, until we got stuck there!! There were riots in Mazabuka, a town we have to drive through, so we weren't able to pass through until Sunday. It was a weird feeling to not be able to leave Lusaka until the Embassy gave us clearance! But, we made it through safe and sound and are ready to head back to the bush for some work!

Darbi and the girls are going to spend the week getting the classroom set up, because school starts on March 14th! We sent a truck out today of boxes and boxes of school supplies and books that were donated for the classroom!

Blu will spend his week getting a spot cleared and cement poured for our container that was donated to New Day, finishing up plumbing on the girls/guys workers' houses, and doing some shelf building for the pantry/kitchen.

With homeschool thrown in there and a celebration for Zambia's Women's Day tomorrow, it's going to be a crazy, busy week! :)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

New Day welcomes Wes & Laurie Wilcox!

A letter from Wes & Laurie:
"Approximately seven years ago, God began placing a burden on our hearts concerning the many orphans in Zambia. God kept placing orphans in our path, and we could not ignore the situation. At first, it was Wes who began to feel that God wanted us to work with orphans; specifically, opening an orphanage. At first, we were not in agreement as we knew it would mean leaving the IMB and the work we were doing.

Wes shared his vision with a young missionary couple, Blu and Darbi Tidwell, who were working under us at that time. They were preparing to go home after two years of working with us, and Blu made the statement, “If you decide to open an orphanage, we will be your advocates in the states.” They returned to the states to at- tend seminary, and that was the last we talked with them about the idea.

During all of this time, Wes was praying about the orphanage situation and that if it was God’s plan, we would be in unity. Toward the end of our second term in Zambia, things were changing to bring both of our hearts together concerning His plan.
Meanwhile, God was doing some great things in putting together a long-awaited team of missionaries to join us in working among the BaTonga People. Therefore, as we went home for our second stateside, the orphanage idea was drifting to the back of our minds. We were excited that we were finally going to have some team members in some strategic places in the Southern Province of Zambia, and as we spoke in the churches, we were able to share that our team was growing.

It was during our stateside (furlough) that God revealed His plan. We went to visit the Tidwells to ask them to join the Tonga team, but they gave us a surprise instead. When we asked them what they were going to be doing when the finished seminary, they told us they were coming back to Zambia to open an orphanage. Our hearts sank a little wondering if we had failed to accept God’s call, and now He was giving it to another. But then they said, “We need another couple to join us, and we want that couple to be you.” Our hearts were overjoyed, and we knew immediately that this was God’s plan. He gave us the peace we both needed.

We prayed about the when of leaving the IMB, and told the Tidwells we felt the Lord wanted us to return and complete one more term. We wanted to finish strong and help our new team get settled in. Our term is now coming to an end, and we have prayed much about when to resign. We had considered going home and resigning after our stateside was complete, but could not get a peace about this, so we are submitting our resignation, effective April 18, 2011.

We hope to continue to work hand-in-hand with the Baptist Mission of Zambia to continue to reach the Ba- Tonga People for Christ. It is not our goal to do only “social ministry,” for we realize that our priority must always be the Great Commission.

Looking for Ministry Partners
We will be in the states from the end of April until the middle of September. We will spend part of our time visiting family, but we also hope to be able to share our new ministry with our friends and church family throughout the states, in hopes that many of you will feel led to continue to partner with us in our new adventure with the Lord. Although we are more than willing to share what God has done in our ministry the last 3 years, our focus will be to share what God is doing with the new ministry that we are joining. If you are interested in having us visit your church while we are home, please contact us as soon as possible so that we can make our plans.

Thank you for your prayers,
Wes & Laurie Wilcox

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


My sister and her family returned to Zambia! We all went to the airport to get them and are spending 3 days together in the capitol city!

The kids get their first glimpse of their cousins through the glass doors!

Sisters :)

Me and sweet Amos

The girls - Isabel, Abigail, Cambree, friends Taylor & Emily, and Aunt Ellen

Me and my Isabel

Caedmon, Isaac, and Micah showing their muscles

Abigail rubbing Caedmon's newly shaved head :)