I'm very excited to report that we will be sending $1,500 to my ministry partner in - Z i m - tomorrow for food costs. She just spent $600 on credit for some grain. She will use the money to pay that off and then to purchase more grains. The children are having to cut back on their portions and number of meals, but this will keep them going for a few weeks, hopefully. They also have a small vegetable garden, which is not producing enough to feed 70 mouths on a daily basis, but they can get creative with it to add some flavor and nutrients to their porridge. The children will not get to have any meat, juice or milk for quite a while. Even though I know this will be difficult for them to adjust to, I do believe they will be okay and my prayer is that we can help them afford to add these things back into their dietary routine soon.
**for the record - credit does not mean credit card.**
Through this process I have learned more about how critical the school fee situation is. I want to be perfectly honest with you. I knew school fees were a problem a few months ago, but I didn't inquire about details. I had the overwhelming sense at that time to not try and meet every need. (This was before BFGO). I didn't ask for details, and true to form for my ministry partner, she didn't press. (She trusts God more than I ever have!) The decrease in donors and goods led them to start a garden. This was wonderful! I'm anxious to see where their garden actually is because they really don't have room for one, but this is what you do in Africa when the going gets rough. You cannot run to the welfare department and apply for food stamps. You can't go to the food bank. You claim a plot of 10x10 land, possibly even on the side of the road, and you cultivate it, sleep on it, live on it and harvest whatever you possibly can. I couldn't be more blessed and thankful to know that my friend there was not going to wait for a donor. Obviously eating has to come before education, because what good is education if you are starving to death? BUT HERE IS THE DEAL WITH EDUCATION: If the kids are not in school, the governement can shut down the orphanages. Now, when you think of government, you think of the good ole' USA. It isn't the same there. Not by a longshot. The government *there* can take the buildings, the land, the whole shebang. It isn't our world. It is a very different one. So it is very important that the kids all be in school - it helps not only them, but to legitimize their orphanage home. RIGHT NOW TODAY - all of the children are in school with unpaid fees. They could be expelled at any time. The total cost to cover all of the children is $4,220 for this session. There are 3 sessions per year, so yes school is expensive. Their fees will be due AGAIN at the end of April.
We are looking for partners who will either give a one-time gift today or who will partner with us monthly at either $27, $37, or $47 per month (or more) to keep up with these expenses on an ongoing basis without needing to claim such a sense of urgency. Would you prayerfully consider partnering with us? We really need a minimum of 120 solid partners to do just this, even if we never do anything else.
We sincerely appreciate you!
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