Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Hope, Both Now and In the Future



I am sure many of you have been wondering why there hasn't been an update since October.  Time slipping by and an opportunity to connect with those directly involved can sometimes cause uncomfortable delays.  Because I live 350 miles from Beka and the center of things, I must rely on her to provide me with information to pass on to all of you.  Although there are occasionally snippets of exciting or uplifting things that are shared, the gleaning of events on Facebook and what I hear from others just isn't adequate enough to fill these pages.

It is a heart-breaking decision to have to make, but this will be my last post on this blog.  Because Beka has been extremely busy with the boys, her health, and getting resettled here in the states and trying to keep close contact with Anna, communication between us has been difficult.  But I don't want my inability to keep you informed here to discourage you, to cause you doubt, or to think that what God has accomplished through Anna and Beka has come to an end.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  He continues to work tirelessly through Beka, Anna, and others to insure that Wongani's Hope Toddler House is completed and that the children in Malawi are provided a safe haven during their formative years.  God will also be providing its supporters with other avenues to keep updated on the progress being made in Malawi.  In the meantime, I'll try to catch you up to what I do know.





Beka and the Boys



When they finally made it back to the states, Beka, Wongani, and Pilirani (Pete) settled into her parents' home just in time to celebrate their first Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas in the United States.  I'll allow your imaginations to fill in the blanks about their reception by the family, and also the things thboys experienced during these special times.  There is no doubt that all rejoiced over the ability to have all the family in one place.











After settling into their new home, Beka made a trip to her oncologist to have a mole checked and was pronounced in good health.  However, as some of you already know, she contracted staph in a wound or insect bite on her hand that required minor surgery in order to speed the healing.  With God's healing touch, Beka quickly recovered. Beka also saw a specialist about her back and to discuss treatment.  As was mentioned in another post, the degenerative discs in her spine have caused extreme discomfort and severe headaches.  Please keep her in your prayers, and pray that the doctor will offer a final solution to this problem.

 


















I have heard that the boys are settling in quite well with their new friends.  If the photos I've seen are any indication, a passel of little boys are proving that we shouldn't regard "snips and snails and puppy dog tails" as being a myth!  They are inclined to explore all possibilities, and this little group is no exception.

Steve and I were able to meet Wongani and Pete at Pastor Paul's memorial service last fall.  They were shy, but when I introduced Wongani to my grandson, Isaac, who is a year younger than Wongani, they shook hands like little gentlemen and spoke each others name. 

Beka wrote me Wednesday night to catch me up on her little family and the happenings in Malawi.  She's been very busy taking the necessary steps to get Wongani's and Pete's American citizenship status completed.   It's unfortunate that our government refuses to recognize the legalities performed in Malawi so that they would automatically receive it, especially considering that Beka is a natural citizen.  But, there are hurdles and legal costs that must first be faced before it can happen.  I'll let Beka tell you in her own words the progress she is making:

"After meeting with an immigration lawyer, we have been advised to stay in the country for 2 years and then start a set of paperwork which will make it much easier for the boys to obtain citizenship. That means they will be here on expired visas, but it won't be a problem as long as we don't leave the country. They are not mentally or emotionally ready to return to Malawi so this is the option we are going with."

Although Beka initially home schooled the boys through the online school, Washington Virtual Academy, rather than placing them in public school, Wongani and Pete are now attending the Bickleton School District and have settled right in.  As mentioned, the boys have lots of new friends and are involved in activities like "Hardcore" wrestling for "little guys", and Beka reports they seem to be naturals and are really enjoying it.  In fact, on a recent Facebook post, Beka reported that Wongani won his match 11-2, and Pete pinned his opponent in 15 seconds!  Way to go, boys!  The busier she keeps them, the more it will help them become accustomed to their new environment.  I'm betting baseball and other sports are on the agenda!

Beka and the boys made a trip to California to see her family and to introduce Wongani and Pete to the toddler house supporters, including Mr. Reisert and his students.  The class had continued this year to be busy garnering much-needed funds.  I would like to extend a heartfelt "thank you" to this wonderful teacher and his students and the love they have for this mission.  It's people like you, Mr. Reisert and Beka's family in California that will see it to its completion.







During the trip, the boys got to see the Pacific Ocean for the first time and play on the beach, and also visit the zoo.

 


Back in Malawi 

In January of this year, Mabton Grace Brethren Church officially designated Wongani's Hope as one of their funded missions.  Anna, Chifu, and Chikumbutso subsist on $300 per month.  That's not much according to our standards, but some of the support they so desperately need is now being given monthly and Anna is truly grateful.

It was determined that a Board of Directors needed to be established, which was created just a few weeks ago.  Youth Pastor of Mabton Grace Brethren, Caleb Schlagel, and others meet once a month so that recognition for the toddler house and the work being done there can be broadcast to the world in hopes that others will volunteer their time, talent, and resources to get it completed.

In January, Beka informed me that, as usual, the crops were planted and the animals were thriving, including three more nanny goats, bringing the total to eight, twelve rabbits, and 7 new piglets with more on the way from the other two sows.  Anna also raised another 100 broilers, of which 97 survived, and sold them in the local market for a profit.  However, because of the high cost of feed and poor production, most of the laying hens have been sold.  Also, Luso, their cow was sold because she wasn't producing, and two yearling heifers and one wet (producing milk) cow have replaced her.  Beka said, "It is exciting to have milk to sell and drink when needed."

Anna continues to visit little Naomi once a month.  Along with the formula they provide for her that's purchased with the monthly gift a MGBC supporter donates, Anna took ground nut, soy, maize seed, and fertilizer for her family to plantNaomi will need the additional protein that the porridge made from the produce will provideHowever, Anna has discovered that all is not as it should be and she and Beka are concerned about Naomi's welfare.  Here's what Beka wrote: 

"Naomi has not been doing well over the past month due to lack of care by her relatives.  They are busy in the fields and not giving her the care she needs. We have decided to take her to the farm if they will allow.  So far they haven't agreed, mostly because they realize they will no longer get extra supplies and help if Naomi is not living with them.   We told them that her health and well-being is the most important thing and we are praying God will do a work in their hearts and change their minds.  We don't want to see her suffer now after she has come so far.   God is good and I know He will work out the whole situation." 

Keep little Naomi and her family in your prayers and that, one day, she'll glorify God with her testimony.

A few months ago, Anna and Chifu contracted a bad case of malaria.  It was severe enough that both had to be hospitalized.  However, I heard from Jimmy Mdumka, from Ministry of Hope and who visited Anna during this time, that both are on the road to recovery.  Beka reports that Anna is gradually regaining her strength, but that it was a very bad bout of malaria.  Anna is facing harvest, soon, and will need all her energy to see it through.  Please keep her lifted in prayer.  And while you're praying, Beka has also requested prayer for more rain.  Apparently, the rain hasn't been as "steady" as normal and it's needed to insure a good crop.



A New Chapter Begins



 
On August 10, 2013, Beka married the love of her life, Caleb who, as mentioned before, is the Youth Pastor at Mabton Grace Brethren Church.  Following their honeymoon in California, the new couple settled Wongani, Pete, and Caleb's daughter, Desi,  in their new home in Mabton, Washington.  Desi is also attending school with the boys and some friends in Bickleton.





...and they certainly are a beautiful family!




I must say, Caleb and the boys look dapper, don't you think?  And all of their smiles are revealing.  At last, Wongani and Pete have the family they always dreamed of, and the best father a child could ask for.


May the LORD richly bless the Schlegels with His grace and guidance throughout their lives!









The Future of Wongani's Hope

"Hope."  It speaks volumes, doesn't it?  We all hope for certain things, whether it be material or personal.  But the greatest hope we can desire is that which is promised by Jesus Christ.  He has never failed us in the past.  Nor will He fail us in the future.  Wongani's Hope Toddler House will be built in order that His Gospel of salvation may be presented to the children of Malawi, who will carry it out from the gates to their families and friends.

The spread of the Gospel is God's main purpose and reason for building the toddler house.  Malawians face hardships we can only imagine.  Their lives are troubled with poverty, disease, hunger, and death.  But there is One Who sees their tears and understands their heartaches, and He's reaching out to them through His faithful servants who are willing to travel that hard road and offer Malawians true Hope.

God is looking for the faithful few who will join Beka and Anna and continue to work towards the completion of the haven He has begun in Malawi.  He could build it without our help, but God desires that all of us lend a hand, whether it's through our generous donations, our time, or our talent.  Each penny that is given goes directly towards the building of the toddler house.  There are no administrative costs.  No overhead costs, or unnecessary spending on frivolities.  All of it - and I mean ALL of it - is used to complete what God has begun.

The newly formed Board of Directors are providing a newsletter to all of you who are following, watching, and supporting Wongani's Hope.   I pray that, each month, or however often it is sent out, that you take it before the LORD and ask Him to continue to bless the work being done in Malawi, Africa on His behalf, and that He will receive the due honor and glory He so richly deserves. 

Life has a way of changing direction and causing us to wonder if God intends us to stay on the path we've been following, or if He has other things in mind.  And when this happens, the first place we go is to His throne on our knees.  I know the silence I've experienced has taken me there, and I know that Beka has been there, as well.

What does the future hold for the project, for Anna, and for Beka now that she has a new family to consider?  The boys won't be able to travel back to Malawi with her because of the visa situation, and that will eliminate the opportunity she had in the past for lengthy stays, not to mention the cost of flying all of them would be a huge burden and drain on their limited funds.  Beka explained the best way she could her thoughts about this:

"Honestly, I am doing a lot of praying, too, because I don't know God's plans for us, especially when it comes to Malawi.   I will most definitely be involved, and still travel back and forth, but it seems God may be shifting things a bit.   I have mostly done the work in Malawi and just traveled to the U.S. for medical purposes and fundraising, but the more I pray about it the more it seems God may want me doing more of the work from here and less in Malawi.   The project will remain my main focus and I know God is still calling me to be involved, I am just not exactly sure what that looks like yet."

All of us, at one time or another, have taken our petitions before God and found that the answer didn't come as quickly as we would have hoped.  We want it now, not later, especially when the problem, trial, or burden never seems to ease.  Those are the times we need to be diligent and go to our knees and directly into His Word to seek an answer, and to receive the comfort and be granted the patience He freely gives when we ask.

"Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." ~ Heb 4:16 ESV

As long as we remember and believe that He will never forsake us, regardless of the circumstances and what may come, and that His timing is perfect, an answer will be given.  We may not receive the answer we want, but we know that what God determines will be for our better good.  I hope you will join Beka and myself in prayer for God's continued guidance, and for the future success of Wongani's Hope.

It has been a tremendous privilege to be a part of the beginning of Wongani's Hope.  My husband, Steve, and I count it a great blessing to have met Beka and to have shared her heart and desires with all of you.  Through her, we have come to vicariously know Anna, Chifu, Sandi, Keith, Linle and the rest of Anna's family and village.  There are many we would have loved to personally meet, but we know that one day we finally will as we all unite together in glory.


I also came to know and love Jimmy Mdumuka, a good friend of Beka who works for Ministry of Hope another worthwhile and God-honoring mission - his wife, Doris, and their beautiful son, Precious.  And all through Facebook!  Who would have thought!  Yewo, Jimmy, for having the patience to teach me a little dab of Chitumbuka.  I don't know if I'll ever be able to completely grasp it, but your dogged determination and persistence in making me learn is much appreciated.  Perhaps one day Steve and I will be able to afford the trip and take you up on your offer to come there, stay with you, and "see the orphans of Malawi."  To meet you, your family, and those at Ministry of Hope is one of our greatest desires, including a wonderful opportunity to truly learn your language face-to-face.

Thank you to everyone for faithfully visiting this blog.  It was my dream that it would do what it was intended to accomplish:  spread the "hope" and garner support for the wonderful people half a world away who desperately need Jesus Christ.  I truly pray that I've met that requirement and succeeded in introducing to you what has proven to be a blessing for all of us.

Steve and I will continue to support Wongani's Hope through prayer and giving what we can.  I've even suggested to Beka that, possibly, the posts on this blog could be transferred to a new website.  Whatever avenue is made available, I pray you will make the effort to keep up-to-date on the toddler house, give what you can, and share God's glorious work for the people of Malawi, Africa.

To Jesus Christ, our God, our Savior, and Faithful Friend, may ALL the glory and ALL the honor be given through the work of this mission.


The Lord's Prayer (In Chitumbuka)
(taken from Mazgu ya Ciuta - 1996; Matthew6:9-13)

Nteura imwe pa kuromba, mutenge,
Uadada vitu mwa va kucanya,
Litumbikike zina linu.
Ufumu winu wize.
Khumbo linu licitike
pano pasi, nga nkucanya.
Mutipe lero kurya kwitu kwa lero.
Ndipo mutigowokere mateu yitu,
umo nase tavagowokerera va mateu vitu.
Ndipo mungatitoreranga mu kuyezgeka,

kweni mutitaske kwa Muheni.

   

Saturday, October 20, 2012

"Warm Wishes" Quilt Auction on Ebay!


As promised, here's the link to the Ebay site for the quilt auction.  The auction ends on October 27th.  Details can be seen on the Ebay page.

Please help support Wongani's Hope by placing a bid.  You never know!  You may be the lucky winner!









Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Answered Prayers Wrapped In a Quilt of Love

Have you ever had a need and gone to the LORD with your request, only to find yourself praying for patience until He answers one way or the other? 

What we often fail to remember is that what we want isn't always what He wants for us.  Maybe our will doesn't quite line up with His and what we're asking for may not come in the way we want it to.

Or sometimes, there can be long delays, especially if the need isn't immediate or required to fulfill our desires.  The whole time we are waiting can fill us with apprehension and even fear for what may come without God's answer.  I know I have experienced both, and I'm betting all my readers have also been through these anxious times of silence.

But there are those occasions when God responds so quickly that it stuns us, leaving us in complete and utter awe at how fast His hand brings about that which we are asking.  He has once again proven not only to Beka, but to the rest of us how much He loves her and what she's doing for Him in Malawi.

In the last post, you learned that Beka added little Pilirani to her family, and the circumstances surrounding the adoption process are no less amazing.  God moved the hearts of the Malawi authorities to expedite Pilirani's adoption, taking every obstacle out of the way to insure it would happen.

You learned that Beka would have to go through the costly visa and passport process, at $160 per application, so that she and the two boys could come home.

You also learned that Beka would need $4500 to purchase plane tickets for the three of them.  It seemed like an astronomical amount of money and considering that she desired to come home this month, the possibility of collecting it in that time frame appeared nearly impossible.

However, there was also the added worry of making sure that Anna, Chifu, and Kieth, along with others who are helping at the farm, would be taken care of while she was gone.  A new growing season was beginning and funds were needed to guarantee another crop.

Considering Who we worship and serve, was there any reason for any of us to fret over all of these needs being met?  Our faith and trust can waver.  We can be caught up in doubt and question whether or not He will answer in a timely manner.  But when He so graciously and so quickly extends His providence, we are reduced to humble penitence for ever thinking He doesn't hear and heed our prayers.  What a great and merciful God we worship, and let me tell you why.

Within a mere two weeks - that's 14 days - God has made sure that each and every prayer request made on behalf of Beka, Anna, and the boys, no matter how small or how great, has been met:

  • The need for $320 to apply for Wongani's and Peewee's visas and passports was met and they have been secured.
  • The donations poured in and as of last night, Beka now has the $4500 required to purchase three plane tickets for their long trip home.
  • Additional funds were given so that Anna's needs are covered while Beka is back in the states.


Did I tell you that we worship and serve an amazing, merciful, and beneficent God?  I am speechless.  And all of these tender gifts have humbled me.  I hope you will join us and pour out your heart in praise to the LORD for all that He has done for Beka, the boys, and Anna.  He is most certainly worthy of it!

Beka is hoping to be able to come home on the 25th and the way things are moving, she and boys will be back in the arms of her family by that date.  What a joyful reunion that will be.

 





On another note, Beka's grandmother, Jean Feth, sister, Mandy Carpenter, and good friend, Katy Isley, are busy working on a fundraiser for Wongani's Hope.













Jean created this beautiful abstract quilt for an auction the three women are planning.




On Friday, October 19th, the quilt will be up for auction on EBay.  Bids will be taken until Friday, October 26th.  A link will be provided here on the blog in a new post so that Beka's and Anna's supporters can visit the site and bid on the quilt.

All of the proceeds from the auction will be donated to Wongani's Hope. 

Many thanks to Jean for her creative and tireless work, and for Mandy's and Katy's help in organizing the fundraiser.  These are the kind of things we can do to help see the toddler house completed.  I hope it inspires others to brainstorm for ways to raise donations and awareness of the work Beka and Anna are doing for God in Malawi.

Once again, join us in praising God for His amazing providence.  And a RESOUNDING THANK YOU! to all those who responded to the Holy Spirit's urging and gave SO generously!  You have answered many, many prayers by opening your hearts to Beka's immediate need, and your love for this ministry will never be forgotten.

Watch for the EBay link and please share it with others!

In Christ,

Karen

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

When One and Two Makes Three




Over the course of the last month, the battle between technology and the need to write a new post has been vehemently waged.  It began with computer start-up issues, freeze-ups, crashes, the dreaded blue screen, strange noises emanating from my speakers and my pc, and eventually the need to call a technician who is a lot smarter than I am when it comes to the internal workings of these dastardly and daunting machines.

Because this IT tech is a friend and a whole lot cheaper than one who isn’t, it’s now been over three weeks that I have found myself without my computer.  I’m trying hard to be patient; foregoing multiple phone calls asking why I’m still staring at an empty spot where it used to sit, and demanding that the work be completed.  You just don’t do that when a friend has offered his services at a discount.  But, at this moment, I’m really wishing I had called the Geek Squad. 

As things rapidly progressed in Malawi, my inability to pass the information onto Beka’s and Anna’s friends and supporters brought frustration over how it was going to get accomplished without a computer and the internet.  However, God was always aware of my problems and He graciously moved a special person to help deal with them.

Prior to my computer taking its last breath, an old friend whom I had reconnected with on Facebook, and a supporter of Wongani’s Hope, offered me a laptop he and his wife were no longer using.  And the best part was that he was giving it to me at no cost.  Although I didn’t expect it for a few months, it suddenly showed up on my doorstep last week, along with a check to help Beka with some urgent needs (which will be explained soon, I promise!).  I was back in business!  Or…at least I thought I was. 

A couple of days ago, Beka wrote me a message I was finally able to read because of the generosity of my friend, Bill Stone, and his wife, Cheryl.  Thankfully, Beka’s note contained additional information I needed to complete this post.  I sat down yesterday to fulfill my promise to get all the news to the readers of this blog, only to discover that my internet provider (my telephone company) had knocked some of its customers off the web to perform repairs.  It wasn't until late last night that I was able to regain access to the web.

I was truly beginning to think there was another war being waged and this time it was about this post getting up in a timely manner.  What my opponent didn't know, though, is that Chiuta Dada was in control of the situation.  The enemy will never learn, will he? 

Now you know why you haven’t heard from me in a while.  But, I’m back, and let’s get busy catching up to Beka and our Malawi family!


Wanangwa wakufumira kwa Chiuta!

 

You may be wondering about the title to this post and what it implies.  Even more, you're probably puzzled over the ChiTumbuka phrase above.  For those of you who aren't following the Facebook ChiTumbuka lessons that our good friend from Ministry of Hope, Jimmy Mdumuka, is providing, the phrase means "a gift from God."  As you will find throughout this post and the addition of other ChiTumbuka words, I'm working hard at learning a little bit of the language.  I hope you will also find it fun so that, when Beka comes home, you will be able to share your new found vocabulary with her.


By now, all of you are aware that Wongani became Beka's adopted son on July 19th.  What some of you may not know is that Wongani had an older brother back in his home village that was greatly suffering from malnutrition and in need of immediate attention.  I received a private message from Beka back on September 17th.  She introduced me to Pilirani, explaining his predicament and what she had been praying about for a long time to remedy the situation:


Wongani's brother, Pilirani, came to join our family 2 weeks ago and he fits in perfectly.  He is a sweet little boy but has had such a tough life.  Despite all of that he is always smiling and is just enjoying being loved and taken care of.  After only a week he started calling me Mama.  He will be 8 years old on October 3rd, but has never been to school and is extremely malnourished with stunted growth.  You know that Wongani is already too small for his age (5 years) but Pilirani is the same size. They wear all the same clothing and shoes and people always mistake them for twins now.  I know with love, proper nutrition, and biggest of all, God, he will be okay.

Chiuta Dada, God the Father, moves us in ways that can cause us to question Him.  Beka is no different.  She deeply felt that He was asking her to give Pilirani a home filled with love and attention, but because of her finances and other responsibilities, more prayer was needed:

God has been nudging me to take him for a long time but I wanted to be sure it was what He really wanted.   It is no problem to love and care for another child, but it is also a huge responsibility, and on my own I have very little.  I kept saying, "Are you sure God, is that what you really want me to do? Not me, right?"

And God's response was, "Yes, daughter.  You."

But after continued nudging I realized that that was what He really wanted.  At first I was just thinking fostering, and Anna would be taking care of him when Wongani and I come home, but I really believe God is now telling me that Pilirani is also supposed to officially join our family (Wongani and myself).

Once again, Wongani's and Pilirani's father accepted Beka's offer to adopt Pilirani, waiving his parental rights and responsibilities:

The father agreed without hesitation to adoption and my lawyer also believes it should be easy since I already have Wongani and they are biological brothers.  I decided to go ahead and start the process, though it is more expensive this time--$500.   God will provide though just as He always does. When He is the one asking us to do these things there is no reason to worry--of course it is difficult not too with our human nature.

As word was sent out on Facebook and calls were made to family and friends, God once again quickly poured out His providence upon Beka.  The legal funds were gathered, a court date was set for today, and the same judge that heard Beka's petition for Wongani approved her adoption petition for Pilirani.  He is now officially a member of the family.  I can't think of a better way to celebrate his birthday every year.  Like his brother Wongani, Pilirani has been given a new birth into a life filled with promise and hope.



Ucindami kwa Chiuta!  (Glory be to God!)  I am anticipating great things from the two msepukas (boys) as they begin to learn of the Mzimu (Holy Spirit) who has so tremendously blessed them.


Tirombe (let us pray) Wongani's and Pilirani's lives will be devoted to the service of Yesu Khristu and that they will be effective witnesses to their people in Malawi, drawing many to a saving knowledge of their Fumu (Lord) and an eternity of praise and rejoicing.








When Three Come Home 


All that's left now is for Beka to complete the passport and visa process for both boys.  Wongani's passport has been secured, but a fee of $160 per visa application is required.  Beka has begun the necessary work to see that her little family can come home soon.

Back in Benton City, Washington, an anxious family is waiting to meet their new grandsons, nephews, and cousins.  Not to mention, a large circle of friends who are also excited to finally meet Wongani and Pilirani.  But in order for Beka and the boys to come home, three plane tickets need to be purchased at a cost of $1450 per seat.  I haven't heard from Beka how close she is to accomplishing this daunting task, but I'm sure that God will provide for that, as well.  He wouldn't have brought this family together as He did if He didn't also know the deep love that awaited them back home.  Without a doubt, Valerie and Chuck are looking forward to having the arms of these two little boys wrapped around them, as well.  The following, which Valerie posted on the Keeping Up With Wongani's Hope Facebook page, reveals all:


Beka shared this story with her dad: she and Wongani were talking about, what else, flying to America and landing at the airport. Wongani asked who would be there to get them. Beka said that Grandma and Grandpa would be there and maybe others. He said he would run to us and give us hugs, then asked if "Grandpa would carry me through the airport"!  Now if that doesn't bring a tear to the eye, I'm not sure what could.

Tempokani (welcome) to your new family, Wongani and Pilirani!


And Let's Not Forget the Farm!

A new post wouldn't be complete if I didn't give you the latest on how the farm is progressing.

Beka reports that all is going well.  She and Anna planted a small vegetable dimba (garden) in front of Khonde House that's flourishing because of the addition of the natural fertilizer the animals are providing.






Anna's son, Keith, built a drying rack for the new crop of onions...









...the new pig house has been completed before the rainy season begins...








 







...and the nkhumbas (pigs) are loving it!









Chiku is keeping a watchful eye upon and diligent repair to the solar panel that provides the house with a few lights and the ability to charge batteries.  Stay in prayer that power to the farm is hooked up soon.












The smiles on the faces of the people of Malawi never cease to amaze me.  When Beka first began telling me of them, she said they were a gentle and loving people.  It's also obvious that they have generous hearts when it comes to helping others...and having a good time while doing it.





There is no doubt in my mind that having chiwisi maji (fresh water) right at your doorstep is a huge blessing.  Although the modern convenience of having a washing machine isn't available, the concrete sinks on the right side of this photo provide Beka and Anna with the ability to keep up with the boys' dirty malaya (clothing).








Beka wrote that an alternative to the nkhuku's (chicken's) ability to free-range needed to be improvised.  Apparently, crows were feasting on the chicks their "local chickens" were producing.  A refuge was built to keep them safe from the ravenous crows.





As the new growing season approaches, the work that faces Beka and Anna looms ahead of them.  They will soon be preparing the land on the farm and at Chilolo, preparing both places  for next year's crops.  Getting the ground cultivated now is vital so that when the mvula (rain) season starts, all they will have to do is plant the seeds.

But our two friends do all of this by hand; tirelessly tilling, furrowing, and hand-seeding the soil without the benefit of farm equipment to ease the burden.  Keep them lifted up in prayer for the strength they will need to see it through.

With the escalating price of seed and fertilizer, Beka and Anna will need our help in the coming weeks.  After the rainy season begins, fertilizer prices rise, and it's something our friends want to avoid.

As you can see, there are many things to praise God for:  the inclusion of Pilirani into Beka's family and God's timely manner in which it happened; the health and welfare of our precious friends in Malawi; the provision the LORD has blessed them with; the wonderful people with whom Chiuta has surrounded them; progress on the farm...these are just a few and the list is endless.

I am grateful to Chiuta Dada for making me a part of Wongani's Hope, even though it's a small part.  My husband, Steve, and I, along with much of my family are blessed beyond belief to know Beka.  And the greater blessing will be on the day we are able to finally meet her two sons, Wongani and Pilirani.  We're praying that day will be soon.

Yewo chomene (thank you very much) to all of you who also have given your heart and donations to the building of Wongani's Hope.  May Chiuta Dada continue to bless Beka and Anna, and all those alongside them, as we watch His will completed for the people of Malawi.

In Yesu Khristu,

Karen