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Costume Birthday Parties! New land to develop! New School Possibilities! So much is going on! And Ways You Can Help!

Hi Friend, we have been so busy and are excited to tell you all God is doing here in Zambia.

These hot, dry months are also known as our birthday months. Sixteen of our twenty-eight children have their birthdays in the months of August through November. October is our biggest of all with nine children celebrating their special days. We honor each child on their day with a song and a treat. Then we have a monthly party to celebrate. For October we decided to let the kids have a dress-up, costume party. We pulled out two trunks of costumes and let them dig in and put on whatever they liked. Then they placed freeze dance and had a great time. Each birthday child also got a small gift. We're very grateful for those who have donated costumes over the years, and also those who have sent packages of toys. This has allowed us to have things tucked away for special events.

We are so happy with all that has happened this year. 

We are looking forward to finishing this year strong. In the following sections you can see ways that you can help us meet our goals, tackle some big needs, and get ready for 2014.

 

At the beginning of next year we will be officially opening our new school.  In August Amy attended a training course for the curriculum which we will be using for our children. They are going to be working through curriculum from ACE Ministries. The Christian curriculum is excellent for our situation as it allows each child (after the initial preschool/kindergarten year) to work at their own pace and learn good study and self-discipline habits. Eventually they will earn an International Certificate of Christian Education which will open doors to universities all over the world. We are working now to raise the necessary funds to get our school registered with the Ministry office in South Africa and to get the beginning packages and starter kits. Amy will also need to receive another week of training which will take place in South Africa. You can learn more about this project on our website.

 

We're still making progress on our new school building. We have purchased all the bricks and brick force wire that we need for the first section. The next step is to find the cement (not as easy as you might imagine) and then hire a contractor to put up the walls. We are working to get this done before the rains come in earnest. They have already started some, but it isn't full on rainy season yet. Please continue to pray for this very big project. The current inflation issues have made this construction a bit more challenging. You can read more about that issue in the column below.

 

One of the challenges of living in a developing nation is the high rate of inflation.  Back in May, just as we were winding up our annual fundraising push, the government here in Zambia removed the subsidies from fuel costs. This caused a 20% price hike. Of course, this means that everything around us went up by at least that much--though many have taken advantage and raised their prices by much more.
As an example: when we opened the orphanage 5 years ago we paid $88 for each 50 pound bag of powdered milk. The same bag now costs us $181. We need at least 3 per month. We urgently need sponsors to come alongside us to help provide the monthly donations that allow us to care for these twenty-eight children and meet all their needs.

The Kazembe Orphanage Website has gotten a face lift.  Please go check it out! We think you'll enjoy the changes. Be sure to go to the 'How to Help' section. There are so many options there! We have more to add to the site as well--features on our staff, pictures of the beautiful scenery around us, testimonials from volunteers, and more. Stay tuned and keep checking back.

 

We finally signed the papers for our new land. Eventually we are going to outgrow the land we are currently using, and so we want to begin already to prepare for the future. We found a piece of land on the MMMM river and signed an agreement with the owners for just under 20 hectares (about 50 acres) which will give us plenty of space to grow vegetables, raise animals, have fish farms, and work on our alternative energy ideas. There are so many possibilities!  
Of course this is all going to take time. Right now we are in the planning stages. We are surveying the land and deciding where future buildings can stand and looking at the best location for orchards. If we begin slowly clearing the land and planting trees, we'll be in good shape when we are ready to make the move. 
The plan at the moment is to have the new land be more of a junior/high school location. The large space will be good for the kids as they get older. They'll be able to expend energy in helping to cultivate crops and fields and care for animals. 

 

Christmas is right around the corner! We're excited about all the fun that comes with celebrating this season with children. We spend all of December learning about Jesus' lineage and the men and women and stories that came before Him. We end the month with a celebration that lets the children feel loved and special. If you would like to be part of making this event happen for our children, we'd love to get some small packages together for each child. You can visit www.kazembeorphanage.com and look at the kids' page and choose a child. Or, simply send a package with simple gifts for boys or girls to P.O Box 750007, Kazembe, Luapula, Zambia (no Zip code).

 

Join us for a Shoe Drive! Above is an adorable look at our kids as they were three years ago. A church in Baytown, Texas raised money and purchased a large amount of Crocs for our children--enough for the kids we had back then, some to grown into, and for new kids coming in. It was so adorable to see the kids walking around with 'Mickey Mouse' feet. Crocs are perfect for Zambia life because in rainy season they can get wet (and dry quickly), in cold season they can be worn with socks if needed, in hot season they are loose and allow air to flow. A couple years ago we bought several Croc-style shoes to fill in the gaps that we had. However, we bought them at a discount department store and they didn't hold up as well. And now we are completely out of shoes. 
We are asking if you would like to be part of a shoe drive to help meet this very urgent need. On our website you can get a list of all the kids and their shoe sizes. We would like to get a pair for each of them in their current size and one size larger so they can have something to grow into. Genuine Crocs are the best for our situation as they hold up really well. Also, classic styles & colors are fantastic because they can be used for boys or girls. Crocs are also really lightweight and can be mailed easily. Please contact us for more details if you'd like to help with this need.

 Remember to check out the blog-- Amy's Adventures -- for fun photos and stories a few times a week. We took in some abandoned 'orphans' this week. Take a look.
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