Good hard day

This morning we began the process of selecting kids for our child sponsorship program. I was so happy to be getting back to the schools and the kids after spending a few days doing the non fun stuff like car shopping and signing bank documents that Bwalya kept putting in front of me! I have learned alot about car shopping in Africa. First, don't ever trust the kilometers on the car. I learned this by looking at a car and commenting about the high number of kilometers on it. Then we came back to the lot a few days later and somehow it had about 50,000 less kilometers! Now that is a miracle!

As Bwalya so elegantly said "It's like God drove in reverse in the car for a few days to help us out."

I told him that doesn't work and i knew this because it didn't in the Ferris Bueluer movie. Then the conversation of who Ferris Bueler was started, which lasted for quite some time.

I've also learned that all the car lots and salesmen are related. So they just run from lot to lot as you try to make a deal. This is quite entertaining to watch. But I'm pretty sure it's one big conspiracy too! They also are terrible drivers themselves. We learned this by so naievely getting in one's car as he drove us to his brother's lot across the street to try to make a deal there. I thought I might have knocked out a tooth at the speed we were taking some pot holes at.

The last thing I have learned that if you throw in an iphone with the deal, you can knock down a substantial amount on the car. This is good information to have.

Needless to say I was happy to have today of just good old school!

So we began the child sponsorship process today.
We are working with great community school leaders and teachers who know the kids and work with them on a daily basis. Ruth, our discipleship leader was awesome in this process too!!! She really took charge and we got to follow. This is something I LOVE to do in Zambia, follow behind the folks who know how to run things!

We interviewed alot of kids and took photos for their bios. I am always shocked at this process or hearing the stories that break my heart. But I also was encouraged at the potential I saw in the school we were in and how we can REALLY make a difference. The teachers and head masters commitment to these kids was very evident. And Ruth was so excited about our program. Watching her work with these kids for the first time and seeing them naturally draw to her was awesome. I could see how with a little help, the school could preform even better. The hard work is there, they just need resources to really help the kids.

One particular story that stuck out to us were two boys Brian and Armon who live in a child headed household. This means that Brian the oldest, cares for them. Brian is 11 years old. The boys watched their father kill their mother years ago and then the father passed away in prison. The grandmother was left to care for them but leaves them to care for them selves for months and months at a time.

As they came in they were hesitant of us, for good reasons. Two white girls, a computer and Ruth all trying to talk to them. After some time of warming up and explaining why were are there, they began to open up. As I sat and spoke to Brian whose frame is tiny due to malnutrition I began to wonder how God chose me to be so blessed in this world. Brian is missing half his hair on his scalp due to a terrible ringworm infection and yet he still had a sweet bright grin as he held his little brother's hand while we talked. The bond between the brothers is palpable. And I understand why, at the ages of 11 and 7 they only have each other.

As Brian and Armon walked out of the room, I knew this is why we are there. With just $35 a month per child we can provide the basic needs and an education for these kids, and God will do the rest.

If you are at all interested in our child sponsorship program or want to sponsor Brian or Armon please just let us know through email at: alissa@ariseafrica.org.

Off to take a shower - it's been a few days folks!!