I’m sending you greetings from all of us in Kalomo! It’s been great being back in Zambia and mobile once again! I was in South Dakota for 5 months due to a broken wrist, broken shoulder, and detached tendon in my foot, that all needed repair and healing. I’m starting to feel more like myself and working to move our projects forward.
I came back to Zambia the beginning of December. Since that time many students have started a new year of school, a lot of construction has taken place, and I’ve been giving Lenten retreats, one to a group of professionals and the other to the whole parish on Holy Saturday. There is much variety here and every day is different and full of surprises!
The skills training building on the parish property has been completed! We are in the process of getting electricity connected, purchasing equipment for the classrooms and offices. We are hoping it will be up and running in June.
We have completed construction on three houses for the Child Headed Home Project. One house was built for the three young boys (Kenny, Danny, and Nipo) who were living in a mud house that collapsed. They now have a secure home with lights, water and mattresses to sleep on for the first time. The second house was built for a boy named Fansen. We sponsored Fansen in school and he just completed grade 12. He is taking care of a young boy in primary school, who we also sponsor. The two of them are living in their new home. All of these young people who have been left to fend for themselves are so grateful to have a place that is theirs. They no longer have fear of being chased away with nowhere to go. All of them recently came and asked for blankets for the cold season, so we know they have a warm place to lay their head at night too! The third house, which is almost complete, is a large house we are building to keep a number orphans and vulnerable children, whom we sponsor in school. Some are left on their own in town so they can attend school. The house we are building will give them a place to stay that has loving and mentoring adults, companionship, safety, lighting, water and a comfortable place to sleep!
At the moment we are sponsoring about 67 orphan and vulnerable students to go to school. Three of these sponsored students are in universities! One is a disabled child, who is attending a special school for her condition.
We received two food containers again this year. The containers were filled with humanitarian food aid from Kid’s Against Hunger organizations in Monmouth, Illinois, and Aberdeen and Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The container from South Dakota also included lots of stuffed animals from some gracious partners. The stuffed animals went very fast and were a big hit! We use the food throughout the year, especially for those who are sick, children who are vulnerable, and those who come to our door with no food at home.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for your continued partnership and loving generosity! We are only able to do the ministry we do because of you! We are so grateful you have chosen to be a part of us! Let us continue to pray for one another and God Bless each of you!
Sister Deb Nelson