It's hard to believe we have been on this adventure for 9 days yet it seems like we've been here longer because so much is packed into one day!! Today began with such wonderful news!! Leonard came early to tell Wendy she is a grandma!! Or in African a gogo!!! Wendy's daughter
Amanda and her new son Jeremiah are healthy and well!! Wendy was beaming!!!!!
We were given African chitangas by the encounter ladies group as gifts so we proudly wore them to church. We
attended Leonard's home church Bible Baptist Church. Dave Jarvis and his wife were leading the service for the members that were deaf in the building next door. Our team had opportunity to visit the children's deaf home that he and his wife run last year. Quite an amazing couple from the states that have made it their mission to teach these deaf children and offer them a home!
Robin sang a wonderful spiritual during special music time and Leonard gave a message on getting a spiritual checkup. Very timely!! We were given a very warm and special welcome by everyone at the church. After church we did a quick change at home base a quick lunch and off to Violets orphanage. This always is a community clinic so we weren't sure what to expect!! We were warmly welcomed with songs and clapping! And many hugs and smiles!! We treated about 60 children and 30 moms! It was quite a day!! Please visit our media page to look at the photos!
Melissa and Team Africa
The Adventures continue!! Today began with a visit to Childlife Touch Orphanage ( I told my team that this is truly my "favoritist" day!!!! These sweet children and caring, compassionate ladies are such a joy and are the reasons I return every year !! They welcomed us with their sweet smiles and angelic voices singing their welcome song that rings in my head even as I'm writing this. We introduced our team and they sang more songs. The team set up a health clinic and spent individual time evaluating each child and attending to their medical needs. We even had blood pressure screening and eye glass clinic for the caregivers.
Leonard and I traveled in town to the market to purchase many food, pantry and hygiene items for the ladies and children. I also paid my annual visit to the Chemist/pharmacist to purchase items to provide them with medication for the children. The rainy season is upon them which means many colds and illnesses as well as the constant threat of malaria.
Marina showed the children how she could do back flips! Needless to say, everyone was impressed. This inspired the children to show all the "moves" they had.... Somehow this morphed into us teaching them the chicken dance and hokey pokey!! Soooo fun!!
As I snuggle into my bug net it's hard to capture all that happened today!! It began with a political visit from the District Commissioner- the chain of command to making a difference can be exhausting. I needed to explain to him the intention of our visit and that we were following up on the outcomes of last year’s Helping Babies Breathe classes. I asked for permission
for a return visit to give hima report.
The team then traveled to Thompson Hospital to speak with the midwives and encourage them to continue carrying the HBB torch into remote villages. They were excited to help but had been bound by constraints of no funds to travel on their
days off to have these classes.
God places the proper people with us!! We had a midwife who worked in the ministry of health who was tagging along with us… By the end of this blessed long day she became our greatest ally!
From Thompson, we basically had a “sit-in” on the Mayor’s lawn at the civic center until he cleared his schedule to see us! With all respect but sheer determination I had, I led my team into his office, respectfully greeted His Honor and told him he needed to help fund this program for all his health care facilities. He attempted to pass the buck to his MP (member of parliament) but after I had the opportunity to speak to the MP on the phone I had both committed to funding the program! It was successful!!!
We then visited the TPM encounter ladies group that knits baby hats for our program. They sang for us and gave us a royal welcome!! What a treat!!
We then traveled to Roan midwifery school. They had NOT been following through with the program as planned but through a great deal of problem solving we have helped them come up with a place. It just means Melissa must continue with more political visits next week to prove to politicians the need for necessary funding for this hospital as well!!!
A terrific meal was fixed for us when we returned to our home base. If I knew how to spell all the dishes I would!!!
Tomorrow is the mobile orphanage clinics!!! YEA!!!! Keep the prayers flowing! THANK YOU!!
Melissa and TEAM AFRICA
This morning we woke to a beautiful sunrise and a cloudless African sky! After breakfast we met for some reflection time. We then prayed as a team and said goodbye to Kasama and started our journey to the Copperbelt province of Ndola
and Luanysha. The plane was tiny (our own private jet) and the ride was bumpy and choppy but we all made it safely to our destination!
We arrived at Annie’s Guest House in Luanysha. The team from last year had the wonderful opportunity of meeting Annie and hearing about her mission. She is a very young smart lady that rescues girls from a life of sex slavery and prostitution.
These young girls have been trapped in a life where they have been told they have no value other than selling themselves for sex. Some of these girls are as young as 12. She has an admirable calling.
We had a very chaotic unpacking and repacking of the 20 suitcases that were ground shipped when we arrived in Lusaka 4 days ago. It was quite the sight but all is ready to distribute to the various hospitals and our mobile clinics are ready to roll and all kinds of goodies for the orphans and village children. We have a very amazing dinner prepared by the staff and thoroughly enjoyed it!!!! Our rooms are comfortable…Linda’s and my room even have larger than life mosquito spiders…I’m told that’s a good thing :) Anyone who knows me knows I HATE SPIDERS!!!
We have a scheduled appointment with the mayor of Luanysha tomorrow followed by a visit to Tompson and Roan hospitals to follow up with the staff regarding our teaching of last year. It is important for us to measure the outcomes of our teaching and help encourage them to continue teaching the Helping Babies Breathe program to other birth attendants. It should be a full day tomorrow. Good nite!
Melissa and Team Africa
What an amazing day!!!!! It began with our final class of Students for HBB. It was a great class! Linda had an opportunity to
demonstrate a short version of our class to some hospital officials. It's important to include the "higher-ups " in the program. The District Commissioner heard of our graduation and he came with his secret service to attend our graduation. It was quite the honor. We asked the Medical Director of KGH to hand out the graduation certificates. We had a total of 47 graduates! They were so excited to receive their certificate, a new stethoscope and a picture of them receiving their certificate.
The District Commissioner was so impressed about what we were doing and so appreciative for our hard work. I spoke at the
beginning of the graduation and had opportunity to express just how much prayer and donations from people in USA and Canada and that the success of TPM spreads way beyond those who come to teach. The local press showed up and interviewed me on behalf of TPM which was exciting. The local radio station taped the graduation. We are famous!!
We then headed to the local market! Leonard really wanted me to make some Guacamole soooo we went to the local market and gathered all the ingredients... Along with some homemade bread, mangos, dried sardines and caterpillars!!! Dinner will be fun!! - - follow up: the guacamole was a hit with all the team and all the staff at Wamulungwe Lodge!
We then traveled to a local village and spent some time with the children and all the people in the village. There were about
5000 people living in the village. Quite an experience!! Then back to the lodge for a team debriefing and reflection of the last 5 days.
Tomorrow we will jet off to Ndola for more teaching and spending time at orphanages and village schools and we will travel deep into the bush to a rural clinic.... So stay tuned!!!!!! FOR PICTURES VISIT OUR MULTIMEDIA PAGE
We just boarded our own personal plane to Kasama!! We feel like rock stars!! Our flight from London was delayed for over 2 hours and we missed our connection in Lusaka but God had other plans of us having our own personal airplane!!! Leonard worked it all out for us. All 30 bags made it safely from the US and Canada. We will be in Kasama in 2.5 hours and will hold our first class THIS AFTERNOON!! GAME ON!