On Friday, Sydney and I went into Kabanana to tie up some ends and finish a few things in the morning before heading to the Copperbelt so that over the weekend I could visit his family and meet my mother in law etc. On the way while driving we got some unanticipated news. Due to unforseen circumstances, we will not be moving to Kasama and Sydney will not be taking up Pastorate in that church at this time.
He was meant to leave for Kasama and begin work yesterday, so obviously this was also quite short notice.
This was a huge blow and leaves us now in a *humanly* uncomfortable position, as I had decided to leave the orphan ministry to follow him, and at the very least we had been banking on two incomes for the next few months and then settling in Kasama together after June. Because of this, I had also given away my home's lease to a friend from my church. This now leaves us both in a sticky situation with plane tickets, surgery and wedding expenses and plans looming on the horizon.
Please continue to keep us in prayer as we discuss the way forward. For the time being, however, we will be remaining in Lusaka until Sydney finds work- wherever God wills for it to be. This now means a quick search for a home and a significant downsizing until we are sure what this will mean in terms of employment for both or either of us.
We know that this is God's will and he has his plans and purposes for this seemingly major setback. We also know that by whatever means He WILL take care of us. As I back look over the past two years, I see very vividly how God has sustained me and in fact given me more than I asked or imagined and I am confident He will continue to give me what I need.
This has caused significant stress and strain on both myself and Sydney and we have both been physically unhealthy for about a week as well- but by God's grace our relationship has grown increasingly stronger and we are closer now than we were a month ago. We know this is just ONE of the many hurdles we will face in the next 50 years of marraige should God sustain us.
CONSIDER IT JOY AS YOU FACE VARIOUS TRIALS< KNOWING THAT THE TESTING OF YOUR FAITH PRODUCES ENDURANCE.
We stangely feel quite contented and peaceful and have prayed unceasingly- We thank God for this opportunity to grow in endurance as we run this race. Please do continue to keep us in prayer at this time as Satan has opportunity to attack and cause weariness at all angles.
Now, also as a ministry we also got some sad news. on Thursday, I took Alex for a check up at the hospital. They did lab work and we got some bad news. The last time we went- in December, his white blood cell counts to do with his HIV were high, meaning he was ok. They did not put him on any HIV medication at the time because his health was fine. We brought him back because his weight has dropped and found that his Cd4 (white blood cell) count dropped drastically from 421 to 233. They also did liver and kidney function tests and found that his kidneys are borderline, but his liver is below proper functional levels.
The course of action is to start him effective immediately on ARV's- the treatment for HIV and AIDS. Once he starts, he has to be on them for the rest of his life or it will effect his organs even more. They did warn me that if the numbers drop below 200 which he is close to, the chances of him being able to fight any infection- even as small as the common cold- are less than desireable.
Alex is special to me individually, and is very special to Fanny and Maureen as well. We spend a lot of time with him and he has been a source of both joy and heartache as we ride a rollercoaster of caring for him- please specifically keep him in prayer.
Also, we are awaiting the results of the grade 9's. We are sure most of kids did not pass. We have to walk a delicate balance with them because some of them put in more effort than others, and in meeting with their teachers at the end of the year we have recieved some new information that may change our course of action with them as well for this year. We will be meeting as a ministy after the results come and putting our heads together on individual basis for each child as we make decisions on the way forward with them. We want to offer them every opportunity to succeed but we also have to be prudent. Pray for our wisdom and their commitment.
Philip was quite ill this week and it was determined that he has malaria. He is on treatment and is improving but it is clear that he is also quite undernourished at home so we have supplimented a few meals to be sure he is eating as he continues to mend in health.
I was called in by and met with Felix and Patrick's teacher yesterday and learned that they are not attending school regularly and face disciplinary action for absences.
Otherwise- the new school run by Curtis and Fanny is up and running and thriving! 21 of our kids are there and already in only 3 weeks, English is improving. (We have a "no english on school grounds" rule). They even bicker during play times in english- quite humerous!
In the past two weeks, Fanny, Andrew and I have paid all school fees and exam fees as well as purchasing all the backpacks, notebooks, socks, shoes, sweaters and uniforms for the kids as well as food for the month. It was a major feat but we are glad they are all set!
I think that is everything for now. Please just pray for myself and Sydney- we really, really need it right now.