Thursday, April 23, 2009

Please Pray for Water!

(from Zack in Serenje) The Well, locally known as a borehole. We are finally getting one put in, or so I thought. They are pretty expensive, but I found a guy who was recommended by another American guy who does boreholes with a smaller, more portable rig that is cheaper to transport to remote areas such as ours. Everything was fine, the price, the timing, and I had the confidence that they could get it done brfore I go. One week now. They came on Sunday and started drilling, they got about 1/4 of the way down and they hit hard rock, they repeated this three times before they came to me today and told me that they were giving up. Bummer deal man, for me. Now what? Please pray that I would have wisdom and that the right solution present itself. There isn't much time left.

The Big Water Tower

(From Zack in Serenje)
So we had to build a tower to put the water tank on in order to maintain proper water pressure. This has been a hassle, because water towers are not in my realm of expertise, nor have I ever built, or put one up before. Seemed simple enough. With a little engineering help from Justin Dahlberg, we got it all built. It is a tank, definitely not going to collapse. But moving it proved to be quite an ordeal. There were 50 people all barking orders in a language that I don't understand. At one point I told them that "I needed more Indians and not so many chiefs." They just looked at me with a blank stare, I guess when I said Indians, they were thinking of guys with turbans on their heads instead of the guys with feathers on their heads. Whatever. Anyway, with the help of the truck we were able to move it. Tomorrow we get to tip it up. Hopefully that goes well.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Zack's last trip to the big city

(Zack wrote this of his last supply trip to the capitol city of Lusaka)
The last few days I took what I planned to be my last trip to Lusaka before I leave for Iowa. It was going to be a day and a half trip, it ended up being a two and a half day trip. Everything takes sooo long to get anything done. The first day we went to the embassy to get my new passport, that was uneventful, then off to immigration. still not a big deal, as we were leaving we went down one of the most busy streets in the city. They had the whole street blocked off, a marching band and about 1000 people were marching with "Labour Day 2008" banners. I was confused. Last i checked, it was 2009?? anyway we took a lot of side streets to finally get where we were going. Finally, I asked someone if it was Labor day, Of course it wasn't. "why were they marching", I asked. He then informed me that they were Just practicing for the real Labor day on May 1st, and they will do it a couple of more times before then too. it is no wonder why this country is so messes up.

I was able to get another huge load of supplies to put together the next couple of weeks. This trip to Lusaka made me glad that i had Randy to do a lot of these trips for me. We are planning to have the well driller here tomorrow morning to start. We have the pump here ready for installation. The water tower is built and being painted. we will then carry it to the place and tip it up. It will be very good to have clean water. Please pray that we could get electricity to the site before I go.

It is kinda surreal to think that I am going to be heading home in 2 weeks. the time has gone fast. this is the great past though, seeing it all come together. next week the facility will host the pastor training. Of course there will be a lot of things unfinished, but it is better than the grass huts they used at the site last time.

I got a ticket for driving without a license the other day on my way to Lusaka. I had an international license, but it expired in January. I wonder what all of the other officers thought when i showed them since January? oh well, I was in the wrong, so i paid the ticket and I didn't want to argue that one.

Today was the first time since November that I have had a Nshima craving. Those of you that have been here know what that means, the rest of you, ?ask someone who has. So we had some for supper tonight. complete with cabbage and scrambled eggs.

My friend Jen, from Minnesota, is still here heading up the painting crew. She is doing an awesome job and is planning on coming back for a while in July to finish up and loose ends on the painting and finishing details.

The rains are now over. This is the best time of the year here. No rain, things are still green and the temperatures are mild. It is kinda like early fall at home. It is the beginning of winter here. it will continue to get colder at night and still be nice (70's) during the day.

Not sure it I wrote it or not, but i will be home on May 2nd. it will be bitter sweet. but more sweet.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Crew

Here is the full crew that worked together over the last few weeks. I love the Zambian/USA mix!And here is why we're doing it! Notice that she is carefully protecting an infant under her chitenge (the wrap that is used as a skirt or to carry a baby) and blankets.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Back to School

The main objective that we have at the Hope Center is to keep the orphans from starving - giving them food they would otherwise be unable to attain. But along the way there are other needs that we can meet. Here are some of the Hope kids outfitted for school.
Though not a primary goal of the Hope Center, as funds are available we will seek to get each school-aged orphan into the government school.
In order to get into school the children have to pay fees and they must have a school uniform plus shoes. All this adds up to a hefty sum of about $100 per year - way out of the reach for many of the families who've taken these kids into their homes.

Cornerstone's junior and senior high students are going to be raising money for the Hope Center. The funds raised will go to make sure each child can enter school. All the money raised in addition to these costs will go toward food and other essentials for the children. For a minimum of a $25 gift donors receive a Hope Center T-shirt and a picture of one of the Hope Center kids.

Pray that from our youth a great gift will be given to the ministry of the Hope Center kids.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Its a Wonderful Life!

(A Note From Zack in Zambia)

Well, it doesn't always seem that way, but deep down, it really is a wonderful life. The last few weeks have been a roller coaster. I really don't remember where I left off last time, but we haven't let up on the building. Now we are painting, finishing floors, casting concrete counters, fixing doors, setting sinks and making electrical connections. It has been fun to stand back each day and see the progress being made.

I was fortunate enough to have a group from Cornerstone church come to help with the work. They were a huge encouragement to Randy and I and help us accomplish a lot. I know that they were also touched by their time here. Also, my friend Jen, from Minnesota is here visiting for a few weeks. She is helping with the painting and other finishes on the buildings.

During their time here we got to interact a bit with the orphans and their care givers. It was another reminder of why we are here doing what we were doing. So refreshing for that time to come now when the weight of the project and the "task at hand" gets so heavy.

When I picked up the group from the airport, I somehow lost my wallet which contained my passport, cash, credit cards, drivers license, etc. it was really embarrassing. Here I was, the leader of the group, the "guy on the ground" and Im the one making stupid mistakes. Oh well, humbling I guess. I went through the process of getting a new passport, which was surprisingly easy.

We are down the the last few weeks. Randy leaves this Wednesday. I have a couple more weeks and then i will be home. I should be in Des Moines on May 2nd. How has the time flown. I cant check out yet though, there is still a lot of work to do. I look forward to the day when the children will be cared for there. Already, some of the orphans have been stopping out the check the place out. They are blown away. Thanks to all who are making this possible for me and for the children here.

Worker guys

How cool to see the American and Zambia brothers working together to make the Hope Center a reality!
As the children look on. These are the guys we're there for.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Beautiful Faces

Now you can see why it is not difficult to love and serve the children of Zambia. Here is Brian (from Cornerstone - working there for three weeks) helping at a distribution. Can you tell which one is Brian? He's the one with the grey sweatshirt!


Here is Zack addressing his workers at 7:00am on the front end of our week at the Hope Center. Take a close look at the buildings...
After our time was coming to a close, take a look at the way the buildings looked with plaster and paint!