Are you guys getting tired of me yet? I cannot believe I have kept up with a once a week blog. I feel like when I look back on them and reread I have been a bit repetitive at times. So apologies if I sound like a broken record! This week has been chalk full of awesome things and we are so excited for the future and what is to come. Zach has been quite busy this week starting it out with the sickness he brought home from the bush that took a couple days to get over and recover from. He played catch up at the end of the week and got a lot accomplished.
On Saturday Zach and some of the Orphan Aid team here in Liberia plus a small helper, Brady, went to Montserrado One to scout land to put a MEGA chicken house. This chicken house when built will house 400 birds and supply eggs to 3 different orphanages. The children at the orphanages get protein and fat from different things but their diet consists mainly of rice. These rich protein filled eggs are going to help them get stronger, stay healthier, and have more energy for school and play. It has been so neat to see all of it line up and happen. Two orphanages in Grand Bassa already have chickens on site and those girls are thriving and laying many eggs to feed the kids at those homes. Liberia is so lucky to have BRAC (Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee) as an NGO here. Dr. Mahmudunnabi is the gentlemen who so graciously moved to Liberia to help serve the people here by bringing his knowledge of animals, especially chickens! We were lucky to host him on Friday night before they traveled Saturday morning. The boys enjoyed his company, and so did I! A visit to Bangladesh is on my bucket list.
They surveyed the land and found the spot for the MEGA house! This is so exciting. This particular orphanage is already a working farm (which is a reason the boys enjoy it so much). They have many pigs from adults to piglets. They sell their adult pigs for about $100 USD when it’s time for them to go. They also have chickens, ducks, a goat or two, dogs, and one cat! The children all help out on the farm and do their part, much like daily chores. It is fun to watch them learn and take it in as they are essentially learning a trait that could someday help with job opportunities.
This week the well in Bomi County will be fixed and up and running again for the kids to have safe water to drink and use. Again, I will say that OAL has been so blessed by the partnership with Water4 and the representative family here whom I have mentioned a few times before. It’s been as easy as reaching out and saying this orphanage needs a well, or this one needs a well fixed. These processes can take so much time here but it has been incredibly easy with that partnership. Water4 and the the Hentschls time in Liberia is coming to and end as they approach their departure date. Please pray for their family, their two sweet little girls who have befriended my guys, and their hearts as they make the transition back to the states for a bit of time before hearing what God wants them to do next. This family has been such a light for us and we are sad to see them go. But we rejoice that God is using them to be His hands and feet.
This week will also bring the official launch of the Best Version Project. We have been testing the system with soft launches releasing one child at a time on our pages and it has gone extremely well. Each child released has been sponsored and we are overwhelmed with gratefulness. So be on the lookout! I’ll highlight one at the end of the blog also!
As for our family, this week has been a little crazy with Zach’s sickness at the beginning of the week and now all three boys are snotty messes and Isaac got about 3 hours of sound sleep last night due to an incessant cough that he just couldn’t kick. Zach and I are walking zombies today. I am praying that these boys can kick these colds quickly and be back to normal soon! The boys were separated for a few hours Saturday while Brady traveled with Zach to Careysburg and Isaac and Max stayed with me on the compound. It did them a lot of good to have that time apart which has been very difficult for us to figure out how to do here. Isaac got to do karate with a beloved teacher he has from school, and with Kaleb who is a good friend that lives a couple of streets over. Max got to do some karate chops and kicks too!
Zach texted me that they were ready to leave the orphanage but Brady begged to stay. He said that the entire time they were there and barely saw him, and when he finally did he was head to toe in dust and sweat shooting rockets with his buddies. Zach gave him 20 more minutes to play and watched with a joyful heart. I have said it so many times before but I’ll say it again, we are truly grateful (even in the hard times) to have this opportunity. I always thought God put Zach and I here in Liberia, and it was us who listened and said “ok, let’s go”, but I firmly believe God had a special call for my kids also. They are young, and they may not remember it all, but they are here serving without even knowing what exactly they are doing or accomplishing. Isn’t that a beautiful thing? They are just being kids, in a world that sometimes doesn’t want kids to just be kids. My parents were always very good about being honest with us growing up, they would show us pictures of the children they sponsored from UNICEF or other organizations. I had a little UNICEF box I’d fill with change monthly and it was such a neat thing, I loved it! It’s in our human nature to be giving. Giving of our time, talents, and money. With children the joy of giving is embedded in them, so pure, they don’t ask for a thing in return, no recognition. Just time to play, and be a kid. To recognize need and want that need to be fulfilled. I encourage you to be honest with your children. They are the ones who have time to make changes in this world.
All in all this week has been filled with lots of awesome things. Opportunities that wouldn’t have been had if it was not for the bringing together of new people. We have met so many truly wonderful people while living here and those relationships have developed and will be extremely hard to leave when it’s time. We had the honor of celebrating a 2nd birthday party with another family who lives on our compound last night. They are from Egypt and little Zaha and Max like to play. All of the kids had a blast and I just looked around trying to take it all in. It felt so homey. God has truly watched out for us by placing these people in our lives and knowing that it would help us and help our children to feel that sense of friendship and love. The food was AMAZING also!!!!
Lastly, it is my mommas 60th birthday today. I don’t think I can sum the words up about the person she is to me, it would be a novel. We are so lucky to have her. We are so lucky to have her knowledge of things that matter and things that don’t, her matter of fact attitude, and her loving side that would go to the ends of the Earth for her family. We miss her so much and wish we could celebrate 60 with her! Happy happy Birthday!
Best Version Project highlight this week is Festus. He has been sick one time while we have been here and although he got over the sickness we all hated to see him down. He is such a lively little boy that wants to be a futbol player when he grows up. Both of his parents are deceased. He is 6 and would be forever grateful if it was you and your family that chose sponsor him.
Follow this link to sponsor Festus: