A growing family is generally something we say congratulations for. Sometimes for us, the growing of a family is a moment to be sad, though. One of our dear widows, Brenda, has a growing family with the addition of a new baby. The blessing is mixed because the reason of the baby's coming is a sad one, the death of her mother.
In Zambia, grandmothers carry a heavy load. They bear children, take care of husbands, and then here is Zambia, the bury husbands, bury children and then raise and care for the grandchildren, the nieces, the nephews, and more.
For Brenda, she has been mourning her sister, while welcoming this new little one into her large family. One day, Linda came in and had baby formula for Brenda and Maureen (both caring for infants) and they danced, and danced with grateful laughter. So we see that even while we're sad, we can smile, we can have joy, we can see the blessing in the mix.
It was a beautiful, sunny day when Linda, Madeline and I drove down to the local World Vision Distribution Warehouse. The first thousand of a four thousand book donation had finally arrived from a book drive done in the States by Linda's sister. What a terrific sight all those boxes were as they were loaded into our truck and taken to Chikumbuso!
The new library has several bookshelves to hold these and the enormous project of cataloging and preparing the books for check out has begun. Several volunteers have given many hours to this task and their efforts are certainly paying off.
Last week, we received a local donation of several beautiful large tables that will be perfect for children to sit around and read together. It always is so helpful for small groups to get together and spur each other on to better and better reading skills.
We are eagerly awaiting the next shipment of books!
Many of our ongoing students are the top students at Ng'ombe PTA school. It's good feedback for us on how our students are performing compared to children able to attend other local schools.
Many of the students are already coming back to Chikumbuso after-school, using the new library as a meeting and study venue to work on homework.
I spoke with Christine Tembo again yesterday and she says school is going well. She's using a new World Atlas in Geography and is still very interested in her Civics class. It's good to be back in school in a new year, new class, new faces and friends.
We're also very excited that one of our students has begun college. This is a first for us and we are very proud of Joshua!