Tuesday, January 28, 2014

New Day Happenings!

The most popular question I get when we are on furlough: What does a typical day look like for you? Well, it depends on who the "you" is, but here is a typical week for some of the New Day staff!

Blu has been busy working on the guesthouse roof! He is building trusses and spends most of the day up in the air! If you know Blu, you know he loves building things and being outside, so he's happy! He is also leading a Tuesday 12:30pm Bible study for new believers, and he has a Thursday afternoon Bible study in Kabanga. Twice a week, he spends some time in the afternoon reading with two of the New Day kids, and he also preaches or teaches Sunday School every Sunday as well, so he stays busy!

Darbi is staying busy teaching 3 classes each day in the New Day school. She spends most afternoons on the computer doing New Day finances, writing thank you notes to donors, and writing Bible studies. She is doing yoga twice a week with friends and is loving that! She is reading with two of the New Day kids twice per week, and she is teaching a youth girls' Bible study every Friday afternoon, Kids Club on Saturday afternoons, and Sunday School on occasion.

The Cooks are busy trying to get their house finished!! They are spending most mornings with a paintbrush or cleaning supplies in hand, putting finishing touches on the house before moving in. The Cooks have also taken over the running of the New Day kitchen and are busy doing a complete overhaul (removal of unwanted pests!). They do the orphanage's weekly grocery shopping in Choma - a huge job! Niki and Kelsey are teaching a weekly Art class and Sunday School on occasion, and Niki is also subbing for Laurie's weekly discipleship class with the New Day kids. Kelsey is busy in the mornings with her 7th grade homeschool classes, but she helps out with the New Day kids, reading with Cynthia or supervising movie time/bike riding time! Ricky preaches or teaches Sunday School on Sundays as well, and the Cooks are a huge help at Kids Club.

Teacher Carolyn is back in the swing of things, teaching Language Arts at the New Day school every day for Grades K, 1, and 2. She also teaching the Tidwell kids twice a week for American Social Studies. On Tuesdays, she makes three huge peach cobblers for the New Day staff and children's dessert!

Teacher Diana has her hands full each morning at school with our 3 preschoolers. They are learning quickly and have each inherited Diana's Texas accent. When our next orphan houses are built and new kids come into the orphanage, they will go straight to Teacher Diana's class.

Debbie is always busy! Between collecting 150 chicken eggs per week and milking our milk cows, supervising the bull that is "visiting" the other cows, and growing all sorts of things, she rarely takes a break! We are all enjoying the huge bell peppers she brings us each week! She also helps with Kids Club and is subbing for Laurie's Sunday kids' discipleship class for the village children who have accepted Christ. She also teaches a weekly women's Bible study in Mapanza.

Jenna, our intern this spring, has a crazy schedule that even I have a hard time keeping up with! She has a variety of jobs such as leading morning devotions for the kids, teaching the Kindergarten Bible class, taking guitar lessons from Blu, giving flute lessons to Kelsey, teaching Music class in school, doing yoga with Darbi, teaching Drama class every afternoon, and putting together 2 Easter programs for the New Day kids to present. I'm sure I'm forgetting other things, but that made me tired, so I'll stop there!

Other things we do regularly include:

Tuesday night Family Dinner Night - the Americans cook for the New Day staff & kids. This month is hamburgers, chips, and peach cobbler!

Birthday parties with lots of water pouring!

American Fellowship every Sunday night - great American food and fun games!

English Worship once a month - praise songs & English preaching

Weekly Sunday worship - either at New Day or at the village of Nabukowa

So that's what a typical week may include at New Day! We get tired, even sometimes exhausted, but everything we do is to point others to Christ, and that makes it worth it!

In February, Wes & Laurie will return and we will be "whole" again! Mandy, our nurse coming for a year, and two new interns, Haley & Kailey, will join us, along with a 2 week volunteer team!

Thursday, January 23, 2014


Grief is a funny thing. It comes, and it goes. It seems to not affect you at all, and then suddenly it is in your face. Things you would never expect trigger tears, while things you would expect to hurt instead bring a smile. We are still grieving the loss of Precious.

We grieve when Uncle Blu plays a song on his guitar and comments that it was Precious's favorite song to dance to. We grieve when Uncle Mulenga says that 2013 to him will always be "the year we lost Precious." We grieve when the kids run through the fields, chasing the goats, knowing there is one less than there should be. We grieve at birthday parties, when we blow up 20 balloons instead of 21. We grieve at prayer & praise service, when Axer does a funny dance and Precious isn't there to see it. We grieve when we have to make a copy of her death certificate to take to the Social Welfare officer in Choma. We grieve when Cason plays by himself in the bucket at Kids Club. We grieve when Teacher Debbie prays that we will have the strength to go on, knowing Precious is completely healed. We grieve when her sister Glory says she is afraid to go to the hospital, because people who go to the hospital don't come back. We grieve when Machila answers "Precious" in class when asked to name someone she would like to meet. We grieve when we fill up the cups each day for snack time. We grieve when we don't want to go and visit her gravesite, not yet. We grieve when we walk by the tub filled with her clothes that the housemothers begged us to give away. We grieve, but we do not grieve as those without hope.

We have hope, because we know Precious is dancing in heaven. We have hope, because we know that she is running through God's fields. We have hope, because we know that we will have the strength to go on. We have hope, because we know that Glory will be ok. We have hope, because we know that Machila will see her again. We have hope, because we know she has no need of hand me down clothes anymore. We have hope, because we know she really isn't in the dirt on the edge of the New Day land. We have hope, and we have the opportunity to teach our children, the village children, and the people around us about the reason for our hope. And because of that, as Mulenga said last night, our hearts are filled with gratitude, even through our sorrow.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

January Birthday Celebration!

We partied hard at New Day today, celebrating 3 birthdays! Joseph will be 7 years old this Friday! He is SUCH a sweet kid...love him!

Teacher Carolyn loved the balloons as much as the kids :)

My sweet boy :)

We had a balloon popping game - loves the winces of the kids in the back as Joseph sits on his balloon!

Lots of gifts, but hard to take pics with 19 other kids jostling me!! He got a spiky light up ball, Avengers Frisbee, coke, chips, sweets, and a harmonica & recorder (your welcome housemothers!) :)

He was ready to run from the water pouring!

He finally sat in Mama Joyce's lap and got soaked!

Mama Joyce had a birthday on Christmas Day, but she was out of town, and Liz was also out of town on her birthday - January 2nd.

Love this!

I have never seen anyone as excited as Elizabeth was about her gifts from Mama Lala!!

Joyce also loved her gifts and loved modeling her purse for us!

Liz is FAST - this is the only pic I got of her getting water poured on her!

Joyce on the other hand....there were too many good pics to choose from, so I'm sharing them all :)

Kalenga shows his love...

And Mama Martha...

And Mulenga...

Be jealous ladies...I married a construction man...

...and a man who can make cinnamon rolls from scratch!

Caedmon wanted a picture to show Grandpa all of his U.T. gear...blah... (Blu's college's biggest rival)

Saturday morning fort-building time!

School days - Cambree writing her Texas 2nd grade class a letter

Caed & Machila working on addition properties with beans

Just a 'dreamin!

It is a well-known fact amongst my family & friends that I dream...a lot. Very crazy, bizarre dreams, which sometimes lead to interesting things happening in our house in the middle of the night...

So the other night I was laying on my back, with my mouth wide open, and I was dreaming that I was running and then doing a GIANT leap over a big pile of laundry. In my dream I made the most awesome, guttural, superhero sounding noise ever as I made the jump. It sounded kinda like "WAHHHHHHHHHHH" in a deep voice. It was a good jump.

Little did I know that in bed, the sound that woke Blu up from a dead sleep sounded more like a dying giraffe..."Har-HEEEEEEEEEEE!!!" He jumped, took note of my peculiar position, and kicked me to wake me up and then headed to the bathroom.

Meanwhile I woke up and thought, "Weird..why is my mouth wide open?" I slowly sat up in bed and decided I needed to go the bathroom. But I realized Blu was in there, and I didn't want to scare him so I would sit there and wait until he came out.

Meanwhile, again, Blu was in the bathroom thinking. He was thinking about how Shade had recently told him that when people die, it is not pretty. Blu thought about the awful sound I had made and my weird posture and mouth wide open and decided I had just died. So he slowly opens the bathroom door and peeks out. I am in bed, watching the door, and say "WHAT are you doing??!!!" He's like, "What are YOU doing?!!" We laughed for like 30 minutes - tears streaming down our faces. :)

Then last night I dreamt about a traditional African ceremony and the brutal murder of Curious George the Monkey to serve as food for the ceremony... It's fun being me! :)

Thursday, January 16, 2014

PJ Night :)

There's not a lot of things cuter than kids in their brand new pajamas!





Glory & Gertrude





Mweene didn't have his on, but he wanted his picture taken. After being at New Day for 15 months, he is FINALLY coming out of his shell! He definitely has had the hardest time adjusting, but it is great to see him smiling, answering questions, laughing, and even learning to ride his bike!

The moon over the Matthew House

I came home to a rose blooming! Teacher Diana must have been doctoring it!

Our new housemother, Mama Martha. I took some pics of her for our website!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Outdoor Lights for New Day!

Check out this new outdoor lighting for New Day designed by Chad from FBC Bartlett!

For $100, you can cover the manufacturing and shipping of one light to Zambia. There will also be a nameplate on the light that says "Donated by ______" The main purpose of these lights is for security, both from theft and snakes! You can give online via our website: www.newdayorphanage.org, or you can mail a check to:

New Day Orphanage, 3112 West Avenue R, Temple, TX 76504. Make sure your gift is labeled for outside lighting and tells what you want the donation plate to say! Thanks & God bless!

New Day Staff says Thanks!!

The New Day Staff was so grateful to receive their Christmas bonuses! They each received 1,000 kwacha BONUS - that's almost $180! They were shocked and so happy! Thank you to all who gave!

Meet Jenna, our Spring Intern! She is blogging about her adventures in Zambia here!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Bikes, Rain, and Back to School!

We had to get in all the fun we could these last few days before school started! Many of you always ask about the weather in Zambia. It has been HOT, but most days the clouds roll in around 4pm and cool things off! We've had some big downpours as well!

We raised money for bikes for the kids back in 2012 and they finally arrived! Sisi was FLYING on hers!

Niki had fun riding too!

Giving Kefbert a boost, trying desperately to make him understand to hold his legs out!

Kelitah zoomed past me!

Glory needed some help from Uncle Blu!

Cynthia is a little more cautious!

Christina with her crazy hair. This girl can ALWAYS put a smile on my face! :)

Cason being...Cason

Cason was SO proud that he learned to ride without training wheels - can you see how far that chest is sticking out??

Axer gets some help from Kelsey

Where are the boys, you may ask?? Inside watching Spiderman, of course!

Ms. Carolyn's church had a pajama party and donated pj's for each of the kids - awesome!

We had our weekly "American fellowship" last night, and it started pouring about 10 minutes before. We cannot be deterred from good food and games, though! I snapped a pic of Diana and Carolyn carefully wading over!

The kids had us ALL pile into the boys' room for a special presentation - it was pretty wild!

We enjoyed our own game of Baptist Poker!

The guest house - ready for the roof!

The Cooks' house - almost done!

Today was the first day of school! I am teaching 3 subjects, so I was all ready to go too!

Caed started 4th, Cambree is doing 2nd, but 3rd grade Language Arts, and Cason is in Kindergarten!

They begged to do a silly pic..

Caedmon & Machila got right to work in 4th grade Language Arts with me! (I'm subbing for Laurie in this class until she returns!

Cambree saying "I hate handwriting!!!!"

Kelitah & Laurie heading to Art Class