It’s easy to forget the benefits of the simple things we use everyday. A table with chairs provides so many functions, such as enjoying a meal with family, a workspace, a desk. Until recently our friends in three Malawi villages did not enjoy such a luxury. A few months ago, the EL team purchased a fold up table and chairs so children and adults might enjoy various activities during library visits sitting at a table instead of on the dusty ground.
Psalm 23:5 reads, "You prepare a table for me in the presence of my enemies." Spiritual and physical poverty are very real enemies in the lives of our friends in the rural villages of Malawi and Zambia. Day to day life is a struggle, and access to simple resources and the good news of the gospel is limited.
God used YOU to provide this table that makes life just a little easier in three Malawi villages. The July Good News shares the stories and pictures of how God is using your gifts to change hearts and lives. Thank you for partnering with us.
"You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows," (Psalm 23:5)
Thanks to a generous gift from a church in Hawaii, Jacob sent this exciting report:
"We had the opportunity to share Bibles during our last visit. When a person is gifted with a Bible they are very happy as Bibles are too expensive for them to buy. Without having a Bible of their own, they depend on a preacher to read it on Sunday in church for them. In some cases, you find out that a church minister does not have a Bible, so he borrows one from another member who by chance might have one. In these villages, a Bible is one of the most precious gifts that people receive. They will cherish it.”
Children especially enjoy hearing Bible stories during library visits. Thanks to friends from the state of Georgia, the three village book monitors have received several copies of Children's Bibles. Now Bible story time can continue between visits!
Introducing Miss Grace K.
This remarkable eighteen year old young lady is in her final year of high school and graduating this September. Grace, encouraged by one of her teachers, has been serving with the EL Malawi team since January. She became interested in the library because of her aspirations of becoming a teacher. Jacob reports that her teachers testify to her skills and talents, praising her accomplishments at school and her passion to help others. Grace has been selected for the high honor of giving the "leaving speech” at graduation.
Jacob (EL Malawi Director) says,
"Grace shows much interest in the mobile library program and though young and still a student herself, she has contributed so much as she engages with all the children including Dorothy. She has brought many people to the Lord without even sharing a word, as her life is a great testimony. Her passion to help people in the villages has changed the communities. She is a role model to many young girls and boys; many older people also greatly admire her character. We thank God for connecting Grace to us. She has even started helping as often as possible in the storefront library."
ELI is thankful to have Miss Grace as a member of the EL Malawi team, providing the platform for such a gifted young woman to achieve her dream of making a difference in her community and beyond!
Thanks to YOU, Dorothy's education has been funded through August! Praise God.
Each month, there is a noticeable change in Dorothy's life skills as she continues to learn sign language and develops her ability to communicate with others. She smiles as she participates in games with other children, completes puzzles and even writes alphabet letters. Dorothy’s joy was evident as she received the gift of a stuffed animal. A special blessing in the life of this little girl who was lonely and locked in a world of silence.
Dorothy and Grace enjoy a very special bond and we pray that Dorothy will one day understand Grace's message, "Jesus loves you Dorothy."
Every month that Dorothy attends school increases the possibility that she will grow and flourish in a hearing world. Please prayerfully consider a gift of any amount for Dorothy's education The cost per month for this life changing opportunity is $800.
Jacob was able to reopen the library after more than a week of closure. From 9am to 4pm, Jacob manned the library by himself as children "poured in" to investigate the book shelves and all the other wonderful resources.
Jacob reported that children were pulling on his hand all day and asking for another puzzle to complete. He noted that the solar system and human skeleton were the favorites. As the boys fitted the pieces together, they became explorers seeing for the first time the vastness of the universe and wondering at the complexity of the human skeleton. These resources spark imagination and curiosity in science and build critical thinking skills, the very building blocks of learning.
No lunch for Jacob that day, but he was happy to bring such joy to the children.
Mr. Benson's Farmstead Library
Mr. Benson's farm is located several miles from the Susu Library, but that didn't stop him from walking to the library several times a week. He loves to read and understands the value of good books. Learning about the need and the role of being a village book monitor, Mr. Benson was inspired to volunteer his time and home. The children living in Mapulanga village attend schools with very few resources and it is too far for them to walk to the Susu Community Library, so Mr. Benson brought the library to them.
In the beginning, the villagers were not very interested or enthusiatic about this opportunity, but Mr. Benson persisted in demonstrating the value of reading. He and his wife began holding frequent story time sessions for the children, and soon the literate adults were checking out books to read to their children at home. They especially wanted books available when the schools were closed, as they observed their children becoming "dull" if they weren't learning! Farming life in these villages is difficult and requires many long hours of hard work, but the adults are finding time to engage their children in reading.
The Susu mobile library visits Mr. Benson as often as possible, but he still walks to the library when the children need more books to read. His new vision is to create an educational center on his farm, where children have access to many books, educational resources and tutors. Mr. Benson loves God and has a heart for his people and their future; this is made possible because you had a heart to give.
Brunelli Sewing Project
June's Good News featured the story of the Brunelli Village Literacy class and their dream of learning to sew and start a small income generating project. A big thank you to those who contributed. Only $300 remains to fully fund this project and launch these determined women on a new venture. Your gift of any amount will be a tremendous help and encouragement.
Susu Tomato Project
The Susu farmers were so excited, because of their careful attention to the tomato field, a bountiful harvest was ready for market and they expected a good profit. They were so grateful for the truck purchased last year to transport their harvest further away to Kabwe; however they were disappointed when they arrived at the produce market and found many others also selling their large tomato crops. What to do? The team prayed and began to discuss other market strategies. ELI donors had funded a truck purchase, so they had options.
The tomatoes were packed into smaller trays and the Susu truck carried the produce and the "salesmen" to the outlying crowded compounds of Kabwe. Street by street and door to door the salesmen went. The new customers were delighted, as it is a long walk to the main market and home again with a large purchase of tomatoes. A new Sweet Susu Produce business has begun.