Sunday, January 25, 2015

Happy 8th Birthday to Joseph!

Today we celebrated Joseph's 8th birthday! It is 105 outside right now - a perfect day to surprise the kids with ice cream cones & lots of water pouring!! This was Joseph's 3rd birthday to celebrate at New Day!

Wrestling decorations!

He loved his ice cream (and new Legos!)

So did Teacher Hildah...

Mama Lala and Lulu doing the Twist!

Lulu gets a boost from Aunt Niki to see the action!

Malilwe knew exactly what to do with her cone!

Muchoni and Prince are ALWAYS together...Muchoni is the perfect big brother and Prince rarely leaves his side!

Time for some water pouring!!

Mama Joyce chasing Mama Liz!!!

Of course Uncle Blu is going to get wet!

Cason gets his buddy!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Construction Updates!

Here is a picture update of some projects around New Day!

The fish pond is complete! By the end of next week, it should be full of tilapia!

Looks good! The middle dirt area will be the dock for fishing!

The Palace!! This is our staff house - it is built like a quadplex with an 2 bed/1 bath apartment for Elizabeth, Abby, Mulenga/Miriam, and Hildah! It is located behind and between the Tidwell/Wilcox houses, and because it's right on the edge of the property, they said they would feel better with a fence around it.

The entrance to Abby's house

Abby's sitting room/kitchenette. The staff opted to spend their bonus money on rugs, tvs, refrigerators, and stoves. They are still saving up for furniture!

Abby's guest room - she can't wait for her father to come and visit!

Abby's master room

Abby's bathroom

Miriam and Little Laurie watching election results in Elizabeth's house

Meanwhile, Mulenga's old house is almost done with the conversion process to turn it into an orphan house. We have built 2 more bathrooms, repainted, and now just need a good cleaning and bunkbed construction! The girls' old house is in the conversion process with an additional bathroom being built. week we will break ground on a new 4 room classroom block for the New Day school as we prepare to take in 14 more kids this year!

Friday, January 23, 2015

A fun week!

School was out on Tuesday due to presidential elections (still waiting for official results - a VERY close race!!), so the kids got to play in the fish pond as it was filling up! Can't wait to have our own tilapia!!

The tooth fairy is going broke over here..

BeND Ministries (Beyond New Day) got to help send 8th grade Cynthia Kagele to school! Her father died and she lives with her mother, working in the fields. However, she scored high enough on her 7th grade exams to gain entrance into Macha Girls School - a great girls' boarding school in our area! We put the word out, a sponsor volunteered to pay for a year of school, and we headed to the store to buy her everything she would need! Blu & Pastor Maxwell drove her to school today - she was so excited/nervous/grateful!!

A great reminder!

Johnny Boy has requested pics of our new staff house (The Palace), so I will try to head out there this weekend and get some pics, as I'm sure many of you want to see their finished houses!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


Because sometimes you just need a good story to start your day.....

Hello Cambree,

Your momma told me you needed a story from me for an assignment that is due on Friday. I want to tell you about how I became a Christian! I did not grow up in a family that attended church or believed in God. But, my parents did not mind my walking to a church a little ways from my house when I was 10 years old. When I attended this church called Elmwood Baptist Church, I met a friend named Debbie King. Debbie came to church with her parents and they were very nice to me. After Sunday School Debbie and her parents asked me to sit with them in church. I was so excited to be able to sit with her and her family because I really didn’t know anyone else and felt a little nervous. I sat with them every Sunday that I came to church and sometimes, if the weather was really bad they would drive me back home so I didn’t have to walk. Debbie and I had so much fun sitting together in church! Sometimes we even got in trouble because we were talking too much or too loudly. I remember we played lots of Tic-Tac-Toe and Dot-to-Dot! I soon became very comfortable in Sunday School and church and could sing the songs and listened to the preacher. Every single Sunday the preacher, Rev. Morgan Thompson, closed his message with Revelation 3:20, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come to him and eat with him, and he with me” and then we would sing Just As I Am, every Sunday. One Sunday during this song, and suddenly understanding that Jesus was knocking on my heart’s door, I stepped out of the pew and into the aisle and walked up to the preacher and told him I wanted to open my door and let Jesus in! I had not planned to do it, but knew that Jesus was speaking to me right then and I had to let Jesus in!!!! I was very emotional and overwhelmed by how I felt as that 10 year old girl, but I knew from that moment on that Jesus was in my heart and my Savior. Everyone in the church came up to me and hugged me and told me how special my decision was. I thank GOD for calling me to be his child as a 10 year girl and I thank GOD that my parents allowed me to go to church even though they did not. I thank GOD for Debbie King and her parents. And I thank GOD that both of my daughters and most of my grandchildren have opened their hearts to Jesus, too! I love GOD and I love you, Cambree, I am so thankful you have Jesus in your heart!

Love you,

Mama Dee

BeND Ministries

New Day is kicking off a new ministry this year called BeND Ministries - Beyond New Day. We are seeking ways to reach out to the schools and villages around us in order to help the most vulnerable and share Christ's love. We are bringing the first two needs from BeND to you this week. One, an 8th grader named Cynthia, was posted on New Day's facebook page. I decided to post the other here on my blog. You may remember seeing pictures of 22 year old Prisca, who was born with a severely bent spine. Prisca has never been to the doctor - her mother simply told her that she bent over too much as a child, causing her back to bend. New Day sponsored Prisca at school for awhile, but because of her age and academic struggles, we began seeking another way to help her. Prisca has been accepted to Chodoort Training Center in Choma, where she will take a 2 year course in tailoring. When she is finished, she will be a fine seamstress with the knowledge and skills to open her own business and provide for herself. The cost for Prisca to attend Chodoort is $380 per year, or $32 per month. If you are interested in sponsoring Prisca, please email me at

UPDATE: Within a few minutes of posting this, I was contacted by someone offering to sponsor Prisca. Thank you! We will continue to bring you BeND opportunities/needs as they come our way!


The final book in the Boy Named Boy series is out! Get your copy heretoday! Ripples is available on your kindle or as a paperback. Thanks everyone for your support!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

First Day of School 2015!

Another First Day of school is here! The Zambian school year runs January - December, so our kids started a brand new year today! Caedmon is in 5th grade, Cambree is in 4th, and Cason is in 1st! Here is a look at some first days gone by!

First day of Kids Day Out in Brownwood - 2009

First day of homeschool in Zambia - 2010!

First day January 2012

First day January 2013

First day August 2013 in the USA

First day January 2014

First day January 2015!

Mama is ready to go too!

Prince & Lulu started Preschool with Aunt Niki!

They have so much fun collecting and counting eggs, learning letters, and playing lots of games/singing silly songs!

Mama Lala's class...4 days after she got back from the USA...impressive!

I am excited about this school year! Here is what my typical day will look like:

5am - walk around New Day, 5:30am - personal quiet time, 6am - get ready for school, 6:30am - breakfast for family, 7:30am - everyone out the door!

Teach morning classes - 5th grade Math, 4th grade Math, 4th grade Language Arts

Lunch break and New Day blogging/administrative/finance responsibilities until 2:45pm

Reading class until 3:30pm, followed by workout, cook supper, and family time!

It should be a great year!

Pre-School Activities!

The week before school started was a good one! As I blogged, we went to Lusaka for our anniversary and to pick up the Wilcoxes. Out of their 8 checked bags, 3 didn't make it, so we were "forced" to spend another night in the big city! What does one do an extra day in the city, you ask?

Check out the new Pizza Hut of course!

And go to Mugg n' Bean..again.. (My husband LOVES hot tea! He ordered a "trash burger" with hot manly! ;)

And play cards..while Wes & Laurie are in jet lag...good times..

After multiple trips to the airport, we decided that nobody REALLY knew where their bags were, so we opted to head home! (Wouldn't you know...their bags arrived on the next flight after we left...with Korean Air tags on them.....??) It was great to get back to New Day and watch Papa Wes and Mama Lala reunite with the kids!

Now that we have so many people cooking for themselves at the orphanage (Tidwells, Cooks, Wilcoxes, Carolyn, Debbie, Hildah, Liz, Abby, Mulenga/Miriam), we had to change the way we do our grocery trips. Every Saturday, the New Day bus heads for Choma for a 5 hour trip where whoever wants to go can get their groceries! It was our turn to drive this past week, and we had a great time!

Carolyn & Deb hanging out at the museum

Blu is Superdad because he brought a baseball bat and ball!

Just relaxing waiting for everyone to finish shopping! We got back just in time to serve 128 kids at Kids Club!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Look who's here!

Wes & Laurie are back!! After flights from Springfield to Dallas to London to Johannesburg to Lusaka, they will make the final 4 hour drive with us tomorrow and be back at New Day! They did a phenomenal job speaking at churches, fundraising for New Day, and hopefully enjoying a little refreshment and time with their families! It is great to have them back!

Headed to supper at Spur!

That means...we're next!! 2015 will be a fast and furious year for us with 2 school terms, volunteer season, our kids flying back to the USA 5 weeks before us, our own furlough, and three (Yep, three!) vacations! I am looking forward to a great year of serving Jesus, growing closer to Him and teaching others about Him, and seeing our families in the USA! :)