Saturday, January 30, 2010

African bugs.

This is a Congolese lady bug, sitting on Kale's hand. It has yellow spots on a black stripe that runs down it's back and red down low on either side. Kale likes bugs.
There is a winged thing that comes out once a year that all the boys run after & jump up to catch. Then they eat it. Right there where they catch it. Adults tell me that it is good if you catch many & saute them. I'll never know.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Congo water source

This is the way we get water in Lubumbashi. Someone hauls it. This week Malumba had the job of hauling 9 of these plus filling up a large plastic barrel. Two boys share the job for 2 weeks then Toto appoints another 2. How far do they carry it? About 1/4 of a city block. In the past many a fight was fought to get the job finished, now (thanks to the Lord's transformational abilities) the job just gets done.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

In Jesus's Hands

This is 14 year old Fabrice. He came to live with us in April '09. He had seen Joe & Yanick at the soccer field for a couple of months and when he heard about where they were staying & since they had all been friends at one time Fabrice asked them to intervene on his behalf so that he could have a place to live & be able to attend school. Finally there was room for him & Michael told Joe & Yanick to bring him. After a couple of months with us Fabrice asked me for paper to draw something he had been thinking about. He drew the picture showing himself as a small sheep in Jesus's hands.

Looking back.

I just wanted to post these 2 pictures to show and remind myself of how far we have come in the area of the school. The picture on the left was taken in June '09 at a celebration of the boys progressing from one class to the next. Out of 28 boys, twenty seven of them passed onto the next class. Eleven of them jumping from 4th grade to 6th.
The picture below comes from September 2006 when we had just started. Teacher Edward was using a door as the blackboard to teach the 12 boys we had started with. Now we have 5 classes, 7 teachers and 6 blackboards. Real blackboards; like the one in the picture on the top.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

He restores my soul.

Here is Tshbaka (pronounced Chibaka) getting sugar for the morning tea. He's around 14 years old and is a wonderful example of the Lord's power to transform. He used to be a wild boy; disrespectful, rude, failed in school & didn't care. After being with us for 2 or 2-1/2 years he is a different guy. He opened up to us over the last year & told some of his background. His father died when he was 10 & he was hit with the ever popular accusation of being a witch. This meant that he was taken to a "pastor" and stripped and beaten. Hard. He was able to get away and that is part of how he ended up living on the streets. Also, in the last months I'd finally asked him why he didn't act like he heard well. Answer. Because he doesn't hear well. He'd experienced numerous ear infections with broken ear drums when he was small; explaining the reason he would act like someone with pretend ears. I am grateful that the Lord has saved Tshbaka and helped all of us get to know him. Now he is one of the sweeter boys we have, much calmer. And he is determined to do his best in school. AND when Tshbaka leads praise... everyone follows. It is awesome to see another of the diamonds God has given us being revealed.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Brothers united 2

Here are James & Matthew (Sengwa). The were reunited when 16 year old James came to live with us in early December. They came from a western province to live with their uncle after their parents died in 2008. Twelve year old Matthew came to live with us in April of last year due to difficulties in the uncle's family. When the difficulties hadn't been ironed out James joined him. I am glad that we had room for them as the next thing for them would have been to join boys on the streets. They are both extremely intelligent and love school.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Comings and goings.

On the right is Bilonda, at the grade promotion we celebrated in June. Even though he was 2nd in his class & had been with us for over 4 years he decided to leave last month. I am sorry he left but glad that he at least is with his family even though they aren't able to put him in school. And the other picture is of Patrick who left for 1-1/2 years but after going all around Lubumbashi decided he would return to us no matter what. Unfortunately it is too common for some of the boys who have been with us the longest to decide to leave. But I am grateful that the Lord has brought much more stability to the mindsets of all the boys so that now we are at 30 boys.