Sunday, October 29, 2006

I guess you could say things are getting pretty serious...

This one goes out to all the "Napoleon Dynamite" fans out there who can really appreciate the geeky beauty of the character Kip...and my creepy rendition of him. I dressed up for our Youth "pumpkin night" as Kip and thought I'd share it with you. That's me on the right and the real Kip on the left incase you were confused...the similarities disturbing, I know! But I won best in show and got a big bag of smarties!! All I need now is to get some "Glamour shots by Deb" and I'm set. "Do you have some sort of vest I could put on?"
One last one just to creep you right on out!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Possibilities...

Here is a glimps into some of what will hopefully be involved with while in Zambia.
There are thousands of "hidden orphans" in Lusaka. These are children who have lost one or both parents, and are living with relatives (or sometimes neighbors). They are last to get food or clothing or education. They are often treated like Cinderellas. Street Kids often get help because they are obvious, and obviously in need. But many of them (probably half) have chosen to run away and run their own lives. But there are ten times (if not a hundred times) more children who have not run away from home. These suffer abuse, rape, hunger, loneliness, grief, and a sort of lonely neglect. Parents and relatives here don't speak much into kids' lives. There are thousands of young girls (early teens through eary twenties) who are aching for an older sister, a mother, someone to come alongside and listen and give time and advice. Currently there is no one to do that there.

Youth activities is a great way to get into their lives. Many churches have you
th programs, but have little idea how to mentor the kids. A few years back three visiting young women organized a meeting through AZ (Action Zambia) with any young women interested in meeting with them. They expected about 20 girls, and about 100 showed up. The visitors gave a small devotional, then opened the floor to questions. The girls pelted them with everything from how AIDS is spread to how to fend off an uncle who demands to sexually abuse them. They were starving for input. However, real ministry to these girls can only be done on a discipling, mothering/sistering, long-term basis, with plenty of cultural understanding and some local language thrown in. There are programs, but the relationship is what is most needed.

Second, there are girls who have gone into orphanages who are very inter
ested in such relationships. Megan (an AZ missionary) went to a huge orphanage to check on two girls who have been placed there. They were brought in, and didn't look at her face (being polite, as all children are expected to do here). But when she shook their hands, they saw the white skin and looked up. JOY! The first girl jumped into Megans arms and wrapped her legs around Megan. They are so hungry for attention and an older sister.
(Provided by Liese Ripley-AZ)

As well I am hoping to be able to record the local music as part of raising awareness and support for different needs there here in North America. As part of this I hope to kee a solid connection and awareness with those at home through regular audio/video updates and establishing a connection between my youth group here and youth in Zambia. That's the dream anyway!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

On-line Donations!

Thanks to this new fangled technology called "the internet" it is now possible for you to make donations on-line!!! Simply CLICK HERE to make an donation! Don't worry, it's a safe and secure site.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Proud to be a Farmer

Julie Nickel and me at the Corn Maze
Well, I've got a new job! And contrary to how convincing the above picture is that infact I am a real farmer it's not true. I have begun working at the Sears Portrait Studio here in Abbotsford. And yes, they actually let me take pictures:) So if anyone is in the market to get some glamour shots done, come on in. We have some gorgeous teddy bear and cloud backgrounds! I am still in training and as Christmas is approaching this is when things are going to get very busy. Apparently you aren't a true Sears Portrait Studio associate until you've worked a Christmas. And I was told on my first night of training that "You will cry". So I'm looking forward to that! But it actually seems like a pretty fun and interesting job, plus I'll get to work with one of our youth girls, Trish, so that will be fun.

Zambia support is still continuing to be raised as I aim to leave in January. I've been trying to get an exact figure as to where I stand in relation to my goal but I'm just waiting on the Action office for that. From what I've calculated I would guess I have about $5000 left to raise. So we're getting closer. (Just a note: if you were planning on sending in support it would be awesome if you could do that as soon as possible. Thanks so much!)

Finally, I continue to work with our youth group as a leader and am loving it. As you can tell from the picture above (taken last week at our time at the Chilliwack Corn Maze). Lots of fun and the youth are awesome!!

So that's a brief life update...lots to be thankful for.