Thursday, February 26, 2009

Currently, Mzuzu United Methodist Church meets in a temporary wood and thatch hut in the middle of a cornfield, where they also care for 80+ orphans and abandoned children. The dream of their pastor, Rev. Copeland Nhkata, is to build a new sancturary to house both the congregation on Sunday and the children during the week. He will need our help to see this dream come true:

Dear Rev Michael,

See the dream sanctuary for Mzuzu UMC. You can advertise this dream for fundraising towards its construction. You can also share the information with your friend in South Korea who may be interested in helping us build the church building and orphan care center.

Rejoice with Mzuzu UMC in the Hope Scholarship success of Francis Nkhata, one of our students with 2 distinctions, one credit one pass in certificate in Financial Accounting. Photos to follow later.

We Love You and we are proud of your service.


Friday, February 20, 2009

Three Orphans Doing Well

Even before their mother died of AIDS, WorldHope Corps was supporting the three young children: Rose, Ruth and Happy. I was pleased to receive this update today:

Rev Michael,

I am glad to report that I have been to see Esnat's children- Rose, Ruth and Happy. They are still good but seemingly it is not as easy for the old grandma to provide the best motherly care in terms of bathing the children. But there is some evidence of care.

Happy was unwell last week and that is what hindered me to send pictures then. Looking back at the condition in which Bob last found this boy, there is improvement and hope that Happy will grow on.

I have bought groundnuts, milk soap and lotion for them every month since Bob assigned me to do the job. Corn is always supplied. I will send a full account to you soon.

Much Love,


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

One Year Later

I asked Bob Robinson to share a little about Esnat and her children he met last year in Malawi during our March Mission Trip to Malawi, and why he decided to help them after their mother died of AIDS last summer:

Dear friends,

In March 2008, I traveled to the sub-saharan country of Malawi. I went because I heard they had 1,000,000 orphans out of a total population of just over 13,000,000 people due to the ravages of Hiv-Aids, malaria, dysentery (no clean water), and just grinding poverty (a lack of food, shelter, medicine, clothing, housing, and education). So why not go help as many children as I can in this national pandemic, I thought.

Once in country, I learned that the 3rd leading industry after farming and fishing is coffin building. In fact, they teach the children to build coffins as a trade to earn money. So in effect, you have children burying children. 270 people die every hour of every day due to the highly preventable causes noted above. For example, I talked to a 17 year old boy who told me his mother died when he was 6 years old due to an infection from a cut on her finger. A tube of Neosporin could have saved her life.

They call Malawi the "Warm Heart of Africa." I found the people to be gentle and gracious of nature, and grateful for the little they do have and the little help they do receive. They live on less than 1.00 a day and average one meal a day. The women who are the primary caregivers feed the children 1st, often going without food themselves. On a visit to an orphanage school called FOMCO, I met two sisters named Lute and Rose Banda.

The very first thing I noticed as they talked to me about their father who had died of AIDS in 2002, their mother Esnat who had AIDS, and their three month old brother Happy who was HIV positive was the blank and desperate look of hopelessness on both their faces. As the girls told me about caring for their mother and brother, hauling water and fetching firewood I felt sadder and sadder.

Lute and Rose (5 and 9 years old respectively) took me to meet their mother Esnat. The four of them lived in a rented two room (less than 100 square feet) mud brick house with big holes in the roof thatching, with a pail to catch the rain, and their few belongings neatly placed or hung on the wall. Esnat told me about her deceased husband, her own health issues, about Happy's father who had deserted them when things became too hard, and her fears for her children should she not survive. I listened and just tried to be with them for a few minutes hoping my presence might give them a little hope. I gave her a little money, hugged her and the kids, and I left.

Later that night in my room as I prayed out loud for Esnat and her children and wrote about them in my journal, I started to cry some very painful tears. I spoke to God, "I just can't leave here and do nothing to help that family God, I just can't". They seemed to symbolize all the hardship, pain and loss I had seen in Malawi up to that point. The next morning, I went to see Dennis Singini (CitiHope representative) to ask if he could help me help the Banda family. I gave him money for them and I have been sending them support money ever since. I know that it would have been physically, emotionally, and spiritually impossible for me to leave Malawi without helping.

In July, 2008 Esnat died. The children went to live with their grandmother and are doing well. I have only told a couple of people that I'm helping Rose, Lute, and Happy. This has felt like a covenant between myself and God who has called me to serve, and talking about it would some how break that covenant. This is why I'm just writing about my experience now. People have asked me, "Why go to Africa to help when we have so many in such need here?" And that is a fair question. I tell them that there are so many government and non-profit /charitable programs and organizations available ---a huge safety net here. The difference for the people of Malawi and so many other 3rd world country's is that we are their safety net.

I ask you to look at the pictures of Esnat, Rose, Lute, and Happy, talk to your God, look into your own heart, and see where you are being called to serve.



Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Hope Home Report for December-January



A)Fees MK167500.00
B)Food Provisions MK92800.00
C)Transport MK13000.00
D)Internet MK8715.00
E)Administrative Cost MK14000.00

Total MK296015.00

We had lots of new faces of Orphans and vulnerable children making the attendance go beyond 100 for our recent picnic held on the 23rd of January 2009. It is a common trend that during the rainy season, between January and April, many families starve hence this intrusion into our program BUT as Christians, we could not, throw them out but we felt duty bound to show them love and kindness. We thank God that the resources sufficed but we will try our best to keep the numbers at 62.

Brother Michael, I really wish to encourage you and all Friends involved to keep supporting the Hope Homes Scholarship because it is a source of healing and relief to many lives in Mzuzu. As you work, remember that one day God will pat you on the back more than our words can do.

Another success story from the Hope Homes Scholarship is that Isabel one of your students, has been employed as an Accounting Clerk as from January 5, 2009. I will send her pictures soon.

We give you all our thanks and prayers. Remain blessed.