Saturday, October 17, 2009

HCC Profile: Joshua and Gift

(The next few blogs will introduce you to some of our wonderful Zambian brothers and sisters in Christ.)

No matter what time of year you visit the Hope Children Center (and I do hope you can all visit and share in the labor there one day) you'll see gardens growing. Right now, even though its the end of the dry season, the gardens are flourishing with corn, tomatoes, onions, green beans, cabbage, spinach, pumpkins, and more.

God has blessed the Hope Center with a great care-taker of all this produce! His name is Joshua, and he lives in a small brick house on the Hope Center property with his wife Gift and their 4 children (Rachel, Ines, Webby, and Joshua), plus one nephew (Karen) who's mother died when he was 3 or 4. Both Joshua and Gift are very hard workers with quiet, humble spirits and great smiles!
Joshua has worked for HCC since September of 2008. Before that, he farmed in the Teta area, a remote area past Kamena which is where Pastor Navice is from and has started many churches.

Joshua's job is not only to plant, weed, and harvest the gardens year-round; he is also in charge of getting the fields ready before the rainy season. That's when the large plots of maize, kasava, sweet potatoes, and other vegetables will be planted. He lives right by the garden and often spends his nights on patrol making sure the crops aren't stolen (a future fence will help with this). The metal roof of his house has even been commissioned as the place to dry the groundnuts (peanuts) grown there. (Here is Joshua with some of the groundnuts).
Gift helps in the kitchen and in over-seeing the orphans. Some days you'll find her washing dishes late into the afternoon or corralling the kids and getting them to the bathhouse for a shower. She brings joy to those around her and an enthusiasm that is contagious.
We thank God that he's brought this couple to the Hope Center and ask that he would provide and protect them as they serve the orphans of Serenje.

Up and Running

The Hope Center is up and running!

Starting July 1st, the Hope Center in Serenje, Zambia started feed orphans from the surrounding community. Right now, about 50 are in the program, and about 45 come each day for a mid-day meal. (Many more who live too far from the center are being helped with regular food distributions.)

While things are still in the beginning phases, and there is much to be figured out, the basics are in place. Volunteer ladies from the community (most of whom are care-takers for the kids) are taking turns coming to HCC each day and cooking for the children.

The facility is incredible, thanks to God's provision, your giving, and the sacrificial work of some Cornerstone & Zambian men. It truly is a light to the community, and the kids are so excited to spend time there each day. (More posts in the next couple weeks will tell stories about a few of these kids specifically... so check back!)

A small team, consisting of Mark & Betsy Meyer and Rachel Wise just returned from a check-up trip to the Hope Center on Oct. 9th. They were able to see how the feedings were going, check over the gardens and facilities, and spend time with the local leadership figuring out how Cornerstone help in the future.

There will be more posts soon - but for now, here's a couple pictures from this last trip. Enjoy!

Betsy gets plates ready while the children pray and thank God for the food they are about to receive.
David fills up on nshima (the national dish), cabbage from the garden, and beans.
The ladies who cooked for the day are enjoying a meal with the kids.