Saturday, May 5, 2012

THANK YOU! (and you, and you, and yes, you too, and you....)

I want to start this week with a really big Thank You to all of you who have contributed towards our house project, thus far! This week we got to a major “milestone”- we put up the very first roof Beams! After a good discussion with the guys about which method would be the best for lifting them we eventually got one up! And we celebrated all around! It’s a pretty dangerous process lifting up 9 meter poles by hand, but they guys got it done! On Monday we hope to lift up the remaining poles and then work will start on prepping the ceiling boards to cover them.
 The first beams ready to go up.
 Rick helping to lift the first beam up.
 Success!!! YEY!

 Standing under the door frame in the middle wall- looking up I can see Beams on both sides! SO EXCITING!

Of course, we never could have gotten to the roof beam part if we didn’t have fabulous walls made from bricks- lots of bricks and concrete that many of you donated funds towards! One of our supporting churches actually challenged their AWANA kids to each sponsor bricks. Every week when they sponsored a brick, they could write their name on a paper brick and affix it to the wall of a model of our house in the room they wanted to help build. Such a sweet idea! We asked the church to send us the names and yesterday I went over with my sidewalk chalk and wrote out each individual name on a wall in our home.  I know many of the people who donated- in fact some of them are family friends who have known me since I was born, some are relatives, some are strangers, but each of them now has a place in our home. It really made me appreciate the giving of others to help our ministry here as I wrote each name on a Brick.
 Me and Tendai putting the kids names on the wall.
 All the clubbers names. (hard to read, but i promise they are all there)
 The leaders names as well.

Long story short- Thank You Hampton Baptist Church AWANA clubbers and leaders- we appreciate your thoughtfulness, giving and especially your prayers, we miss you and hope we can visit again next time we are home! Its not just Hampton Baptist that has donated towards our home though, there are many many of you, too many to name! From our home churches, supporting churches, family, friends and even folks we have never met- so many have donated sacrificially to help us build our home. We are so grateful for all of you! Please join with us in praying that the remaining funds will come in. We are very very very close to being out of funds, and will have to stop work on the house until more funds come in. Although many of the "big" items are done, as we all know, its often the "small" things that will end up costing the most! Wall plastering, paint, bathroom and kitchen fixtures and cabinets- all add up! Thank you for praying with us!

In other news,  We delivered orphan food last week- and I was privileged to hand out a few more bags of goodies from the Fort McMurray church to the last few Amigo Orphans who had not yet received. I cannot tell you how much I love being able to give little girls their very first dolls. It is something we take for granted, the ability to pretend play, to imagine, to share our secrets with a dolly who will never spill the beans! Many of these girls care for siblings or relatives from the time they are 3 or 4 years old, carrying around younger kiddos on their backs as they fetch water and firewood.  But that early “life experience” does not stop their joy in receiving their first dolly- the smiles when they get that first dolly just give me goosebumps! Here is the smile Celina gave me as she showed off her brand new dolly!
 Celina so excited to have a dolly of her own!
 While handing out the orphan food, the chickens are allways something we have to keep an eye on! They constantly try to get the maize!
 Until Granny M comes with her stick!!
 Joao was feeling rather poorly this week, missing school since he had Malaria.

The Amigo Orphans also met for their twice monthly meeting this past Friday.  All the kids within walking distance come, and it was a lot of fun this week (as usual) watching them play. I tried my hand at some jumprope (which sadly, I can no longer do with any sort of grace- I used to LOVE doing Jump Rope For Heart at school, but im realizing that was many years ago apparently) and also enjoyed playing some Frisbee.  I absolutely love watching the kids interact with each other and Pastor Mariano, laughing and just enjoying being kids! Mariano told the story of Noah and listened to their concerns and requests- mostly for more pens and notebooks for school! (at least they are taking school seriously!)
 Cerio and Tito play football with Magnum, and Tendai.
 Mariamo makes a valiant attempt to catch the frisbee.
 Joao spent some time trying to read the children's Bible. (he was feeling much better!)
Love Cerio's Smile!
 One of the local ladies stopped by to purchase some of our lemons to resell in the community.
 I love lemon season here!
 couldnt resist this pic of the smaller Amigo Orphan boys sporting the shoes they received a few months ago.
 Tendai was LOVING the games too!
She aparently also enjoys drawing with chalk in the new house!
Rick went rat hunting after a particularly brave rat decided to parade across the floor in front of us as we watched TV one day. Lets just say the rat was no match for hunter rick and his pellet gun. :) (ill spare you the pics of the rat)
Prayer & Praise
- We are all healthy at the moment! YEY! Pray we stay healthy!
-Safety as we travel- Rick is preparing for a really big trip up north to do Children's Ministry Training Seminars in two different communities as well as a lot of prep work for the team coming in July.
- For our ministry funds and house project funds to come in. This month our DIRE's (residence visa's) have to be renewed, which means we pay 1500.00 dollars just to stay in the country!
-For the health of the local community- so many people are suffering from Malaria and flu.
- For safety as Rick and the guys work WAY up high on our house walls to get the beams in place!
-Praise for some good chances to fellowship with and visit with Orphan families lately.

God Bless, Rick, Heather & Tendai

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