Have you been wondering what happened to us after we made our big announcement about the Market Center? We have been steadily working on getting everything in place for the opening of the Market Center, and are happy to announce that we will be opening on April 30th. That is six days away. Be still my anxious heart! These last few weeks have been full of hiring staff, building preparation, buying supplies, scrounging up toys, and interviewing parents. In some ways this opening will be easier than the Kisongo Center opening. The parent contract we created for the Kisongo Center has evolved into a full-on parent packet full of information for each incoming child. We know the daily schedule, the menu and the general flow of the week. Many of the new staff have spent the last few weeks training at the Kisongo Center.
I feel that God has really blessed us in providing the incoming staff. The new manager for the Market Center is someone who we worked with years ago at Neema House. She quit working for Neema House in 2015 and we have been out of touch since that time. A few weeks ago she called me up out of the blue, asking about a job at our new center. She is someone we trust who will be a great manager for the Market Center. This was a definite answer to prayer, as this position is so important to the smooth running of the center. We have hired three nannies, one cook and one cleaner for the Market Center. We are still hoping to have 50 kids at this center, so as we fill up I will have to hire several more nannies to keep the child to staff ratio at a good level.
You might have noticed the new construction on some of our Facebook post. Warning! Shameless plug to follow: What, you missed the Facebook post? You should follow our page to get the frequent updates. Click Here to check out the Facebook page. The Ministry of Social Welfare has required that we build an additional office space and playroom in order for the property to be fit for registration. Because we want this to be our flagship property for our daycare registration, and because this property was exactly what we needed, and more importantly where we needed it, we agreed to the building. The cost of the building is a faith building experience for us. Every time we need to make a payment to continue construction, somehow the money appears. We are hoping that the building will be done in a few months and then we can start our registration process.
Meanwhile, at the Kisongo Center, we have continued to be thrilled by the reports of the life changing impact we are having with the families enrolled in our programs. More moms have reported finding jobs, and being able to pay bills to support their families. The kids are thriving and gaining weight. We have a local missionary who is coming in weekly to teach Bible classes. It is so fun to see the kids respond to the stories of the Bible taught in their own language. We do have a very sad thing to report. One of our children, a one year old girl, became very sick last week and passed away at a local hospital. It is shocking to write that sentence. Life is so very fragile and more so when you are a vulnerable child in a developing country. We are all grieving her loss and aware of how blessed we are to have access to healthcare and good nutrition. Please be praying for her family, especially her mother. We pray that our work here can truly make a difference in the lives of these kids and families. That we can provide resources to decrease poverty, which will increase access to healthcare and save lives.
In the midst of all of this preparation, we have been wading through one of the worst rainy seasons in the last decade (as per people who have lived here that long). Here are just a few pictures of what our landscape looks like. We went from dry, dusty desert to frog infested swamp land. You get 10,000 bonus points if you can spot the chickens in the playground picture.
Here is picture of our front yard. This was the highest the water has gotten this rainy season. It was about five feet from entering the living room. Thankfully the rain stopped on this day and the water receded. Every time it rains we pray that the water just stays out of the house.
Here are our current prayer request. I cannot thank you enough for praying for us and our ministry.
- Pray for a smooth opening of the Market Center on April 30th. Pray for peace for the us and the staff. Also pray that the children will make a smooth transition, as it will be the first time for many of them to be in the care of non-family members.
- Pray that we are able to connect and enroll families who will benefit our services.
- Pray for those affected by the flooding in Tanzania. There are many who have lost homes and family members due to flooding and mud slides.
- Pray for continued health and safety for our family.
- Pray that we will be able to raise funds to pay for the building and to raise monthly support to cover our budget. We still need $500 per month in dedicated support to cover the monthly operating costs of our current ministry. If you are interested in supporting our ministry financially, please click HERE to go to our donate page. Thank you!