Expanding the Ministry
Melissa & Kelsey visiting people in the surrounding community.
April 2016 mission team from Alberta having fun with the children.
Trusting you are enjoying the summer!
So far, 2016 is one of our busiest years to date! As the ministry continues to expand, so do the activities and projects. We have been so blessed by the amount of support we have received this year.
In April we welcomed and hosted a mission team of 16 people from Alberta, Canada. The team facilitated many projects - the major one being building play structures on the farm. We now have a complete playground where children from the homes and the surrounding community can play. Most of these children had not seen a playground before and were ecstatic when it was complete. This addition has been such a blessing to the ministry.
Along with building the playground structures, the team accomplished other side projects as well. They emptied and sorted the contents of the sea container that was sent from Canada in the fall of 2015. This container was packed with donations for the ministry, as well as supplies and equipment that would be of great use on the farm. The team managed to accomplish a lot of work with the help and partnership of those on the ground. The other activities and projects included:
-Sorting and shelving more than 80 boxes of books for the newly established library
-Sorting a room full of clothes, fabric, and shoes to be donated
-Making curtains for the chapel and school house
-Visiting villages in the surrounding community
-Visiting an external rural community and giving them supplies and donations
-Distributing bicycles to the farm-hands and children
-Packing almost 300 bags of food supplement to give out during the feeding program
-Giving out chickens and microloans to the women from the surrounding community
-Handing out bags of toys to over 600 children who attended the feeding program
-Serving as mentors for the girls from the Girl Project, and introducing them to the Days for Girls program
-Teaching the farm-hands how to use the donated farming equipment
Furthermore, the team had fun time to spend with the children, staff, and volunteers of the ministry. It was a great experience for the team as well as those on the ground. We look forward to hosting future teams!
As for our daily operations, the children are currently enrolled and attending school. They continue to have homework time, tutoring, and revision after school. Additionally, they partake in sports and culture day on Fridays, which they really enjoy. We hope to include other educational activities, such as attending the museum or the local zoo. The feeding program, Girl Project, and outreach clinic continue to function as usual.
In May we had the privilege of hosting a small group of three women from the Greater Vancouver area of BC. These included: Nataizya Mukwavi, Melissa Villanueva, and Kelsey Walters. In the short time that they were serving with the ministry, they were very productive and took initiative in planning various activities for the homes, staff, volunteers, and community members.
Each serving with their own unique strengths and gifts, they were able to minister spiritually - through public speaking and mentorship; as well as practically - through conducting dental hygiene checks, and providing assessments and tutoring for the children and youth. The Mercy Touch personnel were also blessed to receive teaching sessions on conflict management and self-care.
The girls from the Girl Project were greatly encouraged as the three ladies shared their own experiences of overcoming the many challenges faced by young women. Moreover, the three ladies gave out many donations and care packages to those they encountered, and shared words of encouragement to members of an external rural community. We look forward to hosting more teams, interns, and volunteers in the future.
On May 19th 2016 one of the dedicated Mercy Touch Volunteers and Goodwill Ambassador in Zambia, Mr. Rodwell Sichula died in a fatal car accident. We will miss him a lot. We continue to have a strong team on the ground in Zambia to carry the ministry forward. Mercy Touch will continue to remember Mr. Sichula’s hard work and contributions to Mercy Touch. Mercy Touch children fondly knew him as uncle Rodwell. All the Mercy Touch teams that visited Zambia loved him. He and his wife Mary were great hosts to our teams. Mary continues to volunteer at Mercy Touch Zambia. Please keep his family in your prayers. He was a great blessing and we thank God for the time we had with him.
Please continue to pray for God’s provision for Mercy Touch with regard to resources – both material and human.
Keep up with our blog posts on www.mercytouch.net to read about the experiences of those who come to serve on ground with the ministry! Also, take a look at our video gallery on youtube: https://youtu.be/_-eR9Hidy0E
The new playground.
Organizing the new library.
Our boys are growing up fast!
The April 2016 mission team visiting the surrounding community.
Kelsey, an English Literature major, reading with the children.
Melissa, a Dental Hygienist, checking teeth at the feeding program.