I am VERY TIRED and the last thing I want to do is write a big blog so here are the hilites of why this has been one of the best weeks ever- and why we should praise God together for his goodness... (as well as a prayer request).
In absolutely no particular order:
1. Protasho and Patrick are understanding and speaking English. It is not perfect and they need a lot of work- but they went from "How are you, Fine" being ALL they knew in English to carrying on full conversations in 3 months. They can also spell a lot of words and are starting to sight read. I am crying typing this.
2. Someone who cuts Megan's hair has offered to come give free haircuts for all our boys!! This may seem so silly but they need it and lice and head sores are an issue here so it's a blessing!
3. We had a "girls day" on Tuesday and I had a great opportunity to minister to the girls as well as have them open up a bit. We painted eachothers nails, ate brownies, talked about peer pressure &boys, and played with barbies. It was a complete success.
4. They began digging the foundation for our new building this week!!!!!!!!!!!
5. Someone from my home church sent another donation to me personally, which makes me able to fill my tank with gas and buy food so that I can better minister and spend more time with the kids. Praise God!
6. My friend who left gave some money for us to put twoards getting blankets for the kids, and one of the visiting pastors also gave money and together it covers the cost for a bale of blankets which will mean we can give each of our kids 3-4 blankets a peice! They sleep on the hard ground, and the season is shifting and getting cold so this is a HUGE deal and a load off our backs!
7. Today we had a "family lunch" and we cooked nshima, chicken, rape, eggplant and soup for the kids. They all got full bellies and left with big smiles- another huge success!
8. I hooked a sponsor up with two of our kids this week. One had the same birthday as her husband, and the other, who is a twin, has the same birthday as her own twins! Then I hooked up the last of the kids with another woman. This boy broke his hip and one of her children has had a broken hip also. This may seem odd- but to me it has God's handiwork written all over it. (as a side note, the two kids we have who have mental disabilities are both coincidentally linked with two families that have a disabled child. God is in control)
9. My relationships here are great and I am blessed with the most amazing friends and church family who are nothing if not the most loyal and amazing friends I have ever had.
10. I had the most wonderful time with Daniela and I was encouraged and refreshed by her visit. Also I am feeling 100% better!
As for the item for prayer:
Many of you have prayed for this family before (the Tembos). Wisdom is one of ours in our Kabanana/Chipata group who is HIV+. We took him for a Cd4 (white blood cell) count a few weeks back and they ran some tests on him to check his liver function so that we can get him on the proper medication right away. His count is VERY low and he is sick nearly every week with skin sores, coughing, vomiting and many other various ailments.
This morning I drove to Kabanana to pick him up and begin his treatment and his mother, Alice, said he "went to play" and it's too hard to find him. With his health, he rarely travels far from home so we knew she was avoiding the appointment. She got very heated and finally said that she refused to let us put him on medication. She herself is, by every calculation, suffering from full blown AIDS at this point, but still claims to be HIV negative. (She is tiny, weak, frail with sores and rashes all over her body- frequently ill) When we had first brought Wisdom to the clinic, the nurses pulled us aside and asked if the mother is on medication because by the looks of her she is in her very last days, and we had to try to explain that she insists that she is HIV-. She took away the medication they gave Wisdom before, and told us to "close the chapter" on asking about this for Wisdom, and that he can decide when he's older. Unfortunately- with his Cd4 count he will not make it to "older" to make that decision. She believes, and has brainwashed him also, that medicine is satanic, and HIV can simply be prayed away.
She is also asking us to tell her where he got HIV from since he is such a young boy (it was obviously mother to child transfer) and it is impossible to explain this to someone so far in denial. It was a very hard and emotional morning, to say the least. We left the home and went to the clinic to explain this to them and one of the counselors there offered to come and speak with her. We have an appointment on Monday to bring this counselor to her home. Please pray that she receives us and softens her heart.
Wisdom and Alice are both very sick, but Alice's pride is in the way of admitting she has this disease and finding help for her son. This is a huge burdon to us and such and emotionally taxing situation. Please pray that she will allow Wisdom to take medication, and even take them herself- and prolong her life so that she can better care for her children. (She is in her upper 30's and appears to be around 60.)
I know that God is in control of the situation. Please uphold it in prayer with me.