Monday, April 30, 2012

Cambree and Salome

Cambree has a good friend named Ba Salome. When Salome first moved here in April of 2011, Cambree used to come to the women's Bible studies and sit by her. Salome told Cambree that she needed to scrub her feet with a rock to "move the cracks" as Cambree says. Salome then found Cambree her own special foot scrubbing rock, and the friendship was forged. :) Cambree has been begging me forever to go and visit Salome, and I'll be honest and say that I've been putting her off. Salome lives in a grass hut, and I wasn't sure I was ready for all the questions that would come from my precocious 5 year old daughter. But alas, on Sunday Cambree asked me if she could go home with Salome and spend the night, so I decided we should finally make a plan to go and visit. Cambree was SO excited all day and drove her Mama a little crazy :) Salome told her she should wear her best clothes to come and visit someone, so Cambree got dressed up in her Cinderella dress and asked at 7:30am if it was time to go. No, sweetie, we are going at 3pm.... Cambree made a special package to take to Salome: a ziploc bag with an apple, some cashews, some coloring pages, and her special Wendy figurine from her Peter Pan set. :) I put a box of milk, a loaf of bread, a can of beans, and a package of sugar in a bag and at 3pm, we were all set to go.
Salome lives quite a ways from New Day, and it was a LONG walk in the African sun! Laurie and Debbie came with us and we all enjoyed the walk.
When we got there, Salome dragged a mat made of pieced together maize sacks over to the tree and we all sat down. When we asked how old she was, she went into her house and got out all of her important papers and pictures. She showed us her birth record card, (born Dec 29, 1949), her mother's birth record card, and pictures of all of her children. She had 6 children - 5 girls and 1 boy, and all of the girls have died. Her husband died in a road accident in 1984. She has had a hard life, but she knows Jesus. Salome spends her mornings in her fields - she harvests maize (white corn), ground nuts (peanuts), root vegetables, sweet potatoes, and sugar cane. She is a HARD worker. Cambree gave her our gifts and in return she gave us sweet potatoes, ground nuts, and sugar cane. We all made the long trek back to New Day, dodging thorny bushes and looking out for snakes! Tonight in the bathtub Cambree started talking about Salome's house. I told her that God had blessed us with a big house and she said, "Mama, has God blessed Salome?" I said that yes, He had. He provides for her and He gave her friends like Cambree who can help her. I then told her that because Salome has Jesus in her heart, Jesus is preparing a mansion for her in heaven. Cambree said, "Will I get to live there too? Because I asked Jesus in my heart so many times!" I explained that yes, she would live there too, but that she didn't have to ask Jesus into her heart so many times, only once and He would stay there forever. She said, "But I asked him into my heart so many times because I still do bad things!" I then called in the big theological guns (Daddy), and he had the pleasure of leading Cambree in asking Jesus into her heart ("for the last time!"). I thank God tonight for Salome. She doesn't know it yet, but as she goes to sleep in her grass hut tonight, she has been instrumental in a little girl who is growing up in Zambia giving her heart to Jesus.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

A Name for Sankwa

If you heard us speak when we were in the USA, then you surely remember the story of Sankwa. Sankwa arrived at New Day after being dropped off at Social Welfare by his aunt and grandmother. They didn't even know his name, they just called him "Sankwa" which means "Boy" in Tonga. We had initial questions and doubts (we knew he and Misheck couldn't really be brothers), but Social Welfare assured us that this was a child either orphaned by death or abandonment, and God showed us clearly that he belonged at New Day. We were shocked this past week when Sankwa's biological father arrived at New Day looking for his son. Here is his story: Sankwa's father, Peter, had 2 wives. He has 8 children by his first wife and 2 children by his second wife...Sankwa was the youngest of these two children. When Sankwa was 3 years old, his mother died, and as is customary in Zambia, Sankwa was sent to live with his aunt, since he was still very young. He lived there for about 4 years until his aunt died. When she died, the children (Sankwa, Misheck, & Baby Faith) were sent to live with their grandmother. She kept them for about 2 months until she finally realized that she could not feed or care for these children. So she took them to the Social Welfare office in Choma, and New Day was given custody of Sankwa & Misheck. Apparently, during those 4 years, Sankwa's father assumed that Sankwa was living with the aunt. He knew that the aunt had died and that the boys had gone to the grandmother. He had been in and out of the hospital very ill for 2 years, and even when we saw him we could tell he was not a healthy man. Peter's mother, Sankwa's grandmother, recently asked Sankwa's father to go and find her grandson. After doing some traveling and questioniong, he found out that Sankwa was living at New Day, so he came to visit him. When we asked Sankwa's father what he wanted specifically, he said that we "could keep him for me." Or, since he is not an orphan, if we forced him to take him back, he would do that. We explained that technically, Sankwa is in the Zambia Social Welfare system and cannot be taken back without a fight. When he arrived in May of 2011, he fit the description of an orphan, one whose mother died and who had been abandoned by his father. We had his father sign him over (again) to New Day custody, but we explained that really it was just a technicality - the government (Social Welfare dept) had already given us custody of Sankwa. You may wonder how 7 year old Sankwa handled all of the same way many Zambian children who have been through hardships do - with a detached attitude, ready to go back and play with his friends. Although this situation was frustrating to us (why were we told his father was dead when he was alive?), we know that God placed Sankwa at New Day, and we are rejoicing in the fact that our precious little boy is no longer called Boy. His name is Bernard, which in Zambia is pronounced more like Bennett, so we are calling him Ben. :)

Friday, April 27, 2012

Amazing Blu :)

I married a man who can do, well, pretty much anything. :) He can build a house, do plumbing, do electrical stuff, build anything out of wood, etc. etc. etc. :) This past week, he built two queen size bed frames for Debbie and Diana. (And did I mention he's pretty cute too? :)
When the Wilcoxes were in Lusaka, he also took apart their bathroom to fix some plumbing issues, and managed to get it all put back together and cleaned about 20 minutes before they arrived ;)
Every day I am thankful for Blu!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Going Huntin' :)

A couple of days ago, the kids decided they were "going huntin'." So they got dressed up, and decided they needed pictures of themselves first. Of course, this was all done without Mama or Daddy's knowledge - I found these on my camera last night :) The little diva, in her best boots...wonder what she thinks she's going to hunt?!
I'd beware of the little one if I were you!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Date Night!

The thing we miss most about America is our parents (and our kids' grandparents)! Because we love them of course, and maybe because they babysit for free so that we can have the occasional date night! So, it had been 3 months since we'd had a date night just me & Blu, and now that we have some Americans around here, we were able to leave our kids with Ms. Carolyn and take a quick trip to Lusaka! Here is a glimpse of a Zambian "date night!" :) We didn't want to spend extra money on fuel, so we decided to take the bus! That would give Blu a break from driving and would give us 4 hours together to talk, read, and listen to music! :) The Shalom bus - loading up to leave Choma!
Upon arriving in Lusaka, we hopped on a taxi to Manda Hill, a large mall, and ate at our favorite Indian restaurant, Curry in a Hurry :)
Mmmm...chicken tikka masala, Bombay chicken, rice, and garlic naan - YUM.
Then it was time to shop! We bought very random things like: a toaster, a new shower head, glade plug-ins, towel hooks, and books/candy for the kids!
For snack/supper, we went to Mugg & Bean and indulged in Black Forest Cake, Chocolate Mousse Cake, a Caribbean Cappuccino, and a Mochachino!
The main reason we went to Lusaka was to see the Hunger Games movie :) Here we are sneaking a kiss in the theater!
We stayed the night at the Mennonite Guest House in Lusaka and then got up early Sunday morning to get a taxi back to the bus station to head back to New Day! Blu ready to load up on the Mazhandu bus headed home!
Me on the bus ride home - it was the "business class" bus and they gave us muffins, drinks, and newspapers! It was a classy ride! Teams coming this year - if any of you have to ride a bus, have no fear - they are just like American charter buses!
Thanks to Ms. Carolyn for spending the night (and getting NO sleep!) with our kids! It was a great date! :)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Happy Birthday to Axer!

Our sweet and sometimes sour Axer turned 4 years old today! She is a loveable girl who LOVES to sing songs to Jesus! Happy Birthday Axer!

Axer handled the water pouring very well!

We couldn't let Axer have water poured on her all by herself! :)

Axer got a Zambian doll from her sponsor in the USA, Mrs. Valentine :)

Axer was delivered to the party by Papa Wes :)

Axer & Debbie - the (very wet) birthday girls!

Axer and Ms. Carolyn

Axer's "cookie cake" made by Mama Lala :)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Today is Debbie's birthday, and we acted as if we would just wait to celebrate her birthday tomorrow with Axer. But we had a surprise up our sleeves! For the last week, we've been planning a fajita feast, complete with tortillas, chicken, beans, rice, guacamole, and even jalapenos!! We topped it off with chocolate cake and HOMEMADE ice cream (YAY for electricity!), and homemade caramel sauce, Hershey's syrup, and toppings! We love birthdays, and we love Debbie!

Blu, Debbie, & Wes (who was in the middle of saying "Two handsome guys with an old woman!..or something like that ;)

This was before Debbie knew that Wes & Laurie made homemade ice cream to go with the cake.... :)

Debbie had a little help blowing out her candles :) She loved the handmade cards from Caedmon & Cambree!

Monday, April 16, 2012

New Day Happenings

There's always stuff going on at New Day, so today I'll mentally walk you around the land and tell you what's been happening! I know this blog would be much better with pictures, but for simplicity's sake (and because I'll be blogging some other events the next couple of days), no pics today. Sorry!

As you enter the main entrance, the girls' staff house is on your left. Teacher Hildah & her daughter Laurie are still on vacation in Lusaka, visiting family and going to the doctor. Teacher Abby stayed here this term break instead of going home because she recently had the chicken pox and did not want to pass it to her family members! Our social worker Elizabeth returned today with her daughter, Machila, and her niece Purity. Elizabeth just got her Zambian passport and tomorrow will begin the USA visa application for her trip in June!

On your right, you can see the Lukondo (Joy) and Luyando (Love) houses. The kids are out of school until May 2, but every morning from 9am - 10am they are having tutorial classes in Reading and Math. The rest of the day is spent playing soccer on the soccer field, braiding each others' hair, and playing on the playground.

As you keep walking, you pass the "shelter" on your right. This is where church is held - 78 were there on Easter morning and around 60 were there this past Sunday.

On your left is Kalenga and Mulenga's house. They just got back from a weeklong leadership conference with another Southern Baptist missionary in our area. Kalenga stays busy leading the church and making sure the kitchen is running smoothly. He is looking forward to doing some evangelism & discipleship with teams this summer. Mulenga stays busy doing...everything. :)

Here we are at the big kitchen/dining/classroom. Morning tutorials, meals, and Wednesday night praise & prayer service all happen here!

Just beside this building, we have started construction on a 4 room classroom block! We have put this building on hold for awhile, waiting for some funds to come in before we pour a slab.

Behind this, you can see Debbie's awesome hut in the distance. Debbie stays busy from sunup to sundown working in the New Day garden and taking care of the chickens! She is also helping us prepare for the arrival of a pregnant dairy cow! (and her birthday is tomorrow!) :)

A new project is the "cheese cave" beside Debbie's house, an underground fortress that will serve as a vegetable cellar and a place to store cheese made from our cows!

As we head over to the grinding mill and store, we pass our awesome chicken coop. Our chickens are giving us about 9 eggs per day.

The store and grinding mill are doing well, usually bringing in about $30 per day.

As we make our way over to the staff housing area, notice that the temperatures are cooling off - it was 48 this morning and in the low 90s during the day!

We arrive at the Matthew house where Ms. Carolyn and Ms. Diana are enjoying their school break. They are helping do tutorials in the mornings, and they are unpacking the contents of their crate that arrived a couple of weeks ago. They are also eagerly awaiting the purchase of their hot water heater so they don't have to boil water anymore!

Over at Wes & Laurie's, things have been a little crazy this week! Some electrical wires ran together and burned up, having to be replaced, which sounds easy but it wasn't! Cone, our electrician, was here all week rewiring and putting in different phases. Just when the electricity was finished and ready to go, they noticed a leak in some pipes under their floor, so we are currently coming up with a solution for that. When it rains, it pours, but Wes & Laurie have been good sports amidst these trials this week!

Over at the Tidwells, the washing machine has been working up a storm now that electricity has arrived! They have been busy getting ready for teams by remodeling their guest/kids bathroom! The kids are enjoying their school break but still spend several hours a day down with their friends on the soccer field or playground. Blu & Darbi are looking forward to a date night in Lusaka this coming weekend!

Every day is different, but every day is busy! We feel your prayers and support each day here at New Day!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

We have.....WATER!

In September of 2009, we had three wells dug at New Day - 2 for the orphanage and one for the community. The orphanage well has done great, and the one for the community is fine, but the one on the staff side of the land has almost completely dried up. We have been conserving water and pumping all day long and trusting God that he will not let our water run dry!

Meanwhile, Community Bible Church in Nebraska raised funds at Christmas for us to drill a new well. We had trouble finding a company to drill that had a rig until we ran across Bobby & Mindy Roberts. Bobby is from Bangs, Texas - his sister works for Blu's dad and has been a family friend for years. Bobby & Mindy work for a non profit drilling wells in Africa, and they are currently based in Lusaka! Small world? A coincidence? Or God knowing exactly what we needed and orchestrating it in one of His amazing ways? :)

Yesterday the rig arrived and Bobby and Mindy oversaw the drilling of a new well for New Day!

Wes, Mindy, Blu, & Bobby discuss some "water stuff"

Every 5 meters down, they took a sample of the dust that they were drilling through -pretty fascinating!

We were so excited as they started drilling, but after 60 meters water. Instead, they were drilling through rock.
All of this powder is rock dust coming up from the hole they were drilling - they were drilling through rock 200 times stronger than cement!

So they moved to another spot, and 2 hours and 60 meters water.

Finally, Bobby decided that he would pick the site himself. (The other sites were picked by a company in Choma that brought out some fancy equipment to pick the spots, and then the Lusaka company sent a man with divining rods to confirm the locations).

At the dark....we hit water!!!! See the mud splashing up from the hole? Sweet relief!!!

We are so grateful that Bobby & Mindy were here to help us get water! Now we just have to install a submersible pump and dig a few ditches to run pipes to our tanks and we should easily be able to fill our tanks - ready for all of you summer teams! :)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Resurrection Day!

I loved our Easter table! It was a tribute to years from the past: Laurie's mom's tablecloth, Blu's great-grandmother's china, and my grandma's silverware! And the flowers are all my flowerbeds outside (be proud Aunt Ginny, be proud!!) :)

The Americans at New Day gathered and had a fancy Easter meal of ham, corn casserole, potato casserole, carrot souffle, yeast rolls, deviled eggs, green beans, coconut cream pie, chocolate mint dessert, and peach cobbler! :)

My beautiful children :)

Debbie with Cynthia & Cason before church

Ms. Carolyn & Francis before church

Cason loved hunting Easter eggs :)

Climbing a tree for an egg :)

Watching Caedmon hunt eggs made me realize how fast my kids are growing up!!

Caedmon and his best buddy Muchoni

Blu and Mubun talking before the service

He cleans up nice, huh? :)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

New Day's Biggest Needs

Many people have asked recently "What do you need at New Day?" So I thought I would post a blog of some of our biggest needs and upcoming projects!

1) Our biggest, most pressing need is a NEW VEHICLE. In just over a month last year, we were able to raise enough to money to purchase a van. In fact, we purchased a 29 seater bus that is being shipped to Zambia from Japan! It shipped yesterday and should arrive in 30 days. It is an older model but has very low mileage because it has been used just as a hotel/airport shuttle bus for years. We are so excited to get it and to be able to take our kids on field trips and use it to help transport our volunteer teams!

Meanwhile, New Day has one good, running vehicle and another vehicle that is not safe to drive off of the land. It is used mainly for hauling bricks/stones/sand for building projects. That leaves one vehicle for the 10 of us who live full-time at New Day! When we are split up, like this week when the Wilcoxes are in Lusaka, whoever is left at New Day has no transportation.

While the new bus will help with this, it will not be an ideal vehicle for one family's trip to Lusaka or for our weekly supply trips to Choma.

So we are looking to purchase a new 4wd truck, so that New Day has two good, running vehicles for our staff, along with a large van for our kids and volunteer teams.

2) Our second most pressing need right now is the purchase of SEVEN hot water heaters! Now that we have electricity, we want to take hot showers! And we assume that those of you coming this summer would like to as well :)

3) We are always building at New Day, and we have just begun a 4 room classroom block. Construction adds tremendously to our usual monthly expenses.

These are just some ideas of things that are needed here at New Day. If you feel led to give to any of the above, you can give on paypal at our website, or you can mail a check to:

New Day Orphanage
3112 West Avenue R
Temple, TX 76504

New Day says THANK YOU! :)