Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Letting go...

Hanging out with the Katherine Mulonga Luamala Community Group! They
 are so grateful to all of their new brothers and sisters in the United States! 
Thank you to everyone who has been a part of their lives!

Finally, the community center is built! In August 2011, the Katherine Mulonga Luamala Community Group set a goal to build a community center! With financial backing for the materials from the States, the group said they would provide free labor. They drew up plans, and then set the foundation in October 2011. After much hard work, 12 men with the help of countless women, finished the building! The opening day ceremony was held on May 16, 2012, hosting the District Commissioner (big deal) and the second person down from the chief (the chief was out, but still a big deal to have them come)!

Walking into the newly built community center to have a ceremony for the
 men who built it! The rainbow made it extra special! Thanks God! 

During the opening day ceremony! All the people in front of the guests
 are the ones who volunteered to build the community center!
An executive board was elected by the community members to run the group and building. The group has written a constitution on their own and they will be making decisions. Right now they have created a sewing, carpentry, gardening, rabbit farming, and beekeeping group. A couple of people from the group have teamed up with the clinic to provide better nutrition education for the community. They also assist with the health care of malnourished children.
Inside the community center making curtains, getting it
ready for the ceremony! 

I am very pleased to see how far this community has come! The teachers, nurses, and other leaders feel empowered and are teaming up together to make a difference.

Even though it is time, I am finding the process of letting go to be very difficult. My mom told me, “There comes a time you have to let go.” She was referring to sending children off to college. I have no clue what that is like, but I can relate.

The members of the executive board have cultivated skills needed for successful transition of the community center to the villagers. No one can determine their futures, but themselves. The time has come to let go and let them continue on their own. The foundation has been laid. I received reports this week! The sewing group is meeting twice a week and will be having a workshop soon to learn how to make the rest of school uniforms. Village banking has taken off! Villagers are saving money and making loans to each other! People have been working hard to plant and care for their own gardens’s too!

I came back to the States a month ago for a bit of a break and to make a little money for my personal support. I plan to go back to Zambia in August to check on my village and work more with Kwasha Mukwenu, the disabled sewing group I have come to love! There is great news I cannot wait to let everyone know about, but... I will have to wait for about 30 days to share! Sorry to keep you on the “edge of your seat”! I am looking forward to the future! I have no idea what is next in my life... I am seeking and waiting for God’s lead!

Although, I feel like my time is coming near an end, I will be in forever communication with the leaders to hear how things are going. They have a heart of being self-sustainable, but we will always be brothers and sisters calling out to each other in times of need! Out of appreciation and love they tell me they pray for you all the time. They ask God to bless those who have blessed them!

Again, I just want to thank so many of yall who have joined this journey with me! You have made a difference in many lives more than you will ever know! 

The mother of Kacious, the disabled boy who was sent to the capital to get a brace for his legs, wanted me to take home something to remember how grateful they were. She gave me a mug and potato seeds. Of course I didn't bring the potatoes home, but loved the offer! This was only possible because of the purse sell in October! If you bought a purse know you helped make a difference in their lives! Thank you!

My favorite couple, Angela and Happy, with their rabbit cage and rabbits!

Inside Angela & Happy's small mud hut and treated like queens to an amazing traditional meal! The rabbits in the background are the community rabbits they are keeping! It had babies right before I left! 

We really got into giving relish to a community member and then coming to their house to eat. After this meal they gave us a live chicken to take home. It was a day of warm hearts, a lot of smiles, and knowing we all love each other so much!
These are the tables and benches the carpentry group made! All I could say was wow! Remember all this is by hand... no electricity to sand or saw. 
The last dinner with the executive board. We enjoyed a chicken and other delish veggies I miss now!
Waiting for the bus to arrive 3.3 miles from Luamala on the road with some of the executive board! They carried all of  Rachael and my suitcases on the back of bikes up and down hills all the way out.

Rachael and I hanging out at a lake figuring out what was next in our lives... later we looked at this pic and recognized the big question mark the water presents.