Sunday, December 26, 2010

Wishing You A Happy New Year!



White Elephant Gift Exchange

We set up tables for dinner in our apartment. Relaxing, visiting, gift exchange and a movie for the kids were next door at Gabe and Sada's.

New Friends!

More new friends. They are serving here in Sierra Leone with Williamette Medical Teams.
left middle: John and Kaysie
right middle: Chad and Robin, and their 3 children

Gabe & Sada

Christmas Dinner Table!

We were so happy to have Christmas plates, napkins and cups provided by Cindy Wiles (GCPN). The table runners were also a gift from Dennis and her for us and Gabe & Sada. It felt quite festive around here!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Pa' Hassan (Daddy Hassan)

We love this man to pieces! He takes such good care of us as our day guard Monday through Saturday, 6:30am - 6:30pm.

Security Wall

Security wall and Pa'Hassan's gardens, and of course, the view out my kitchen window! Razor wire is now complete.

Razor Wire

In October before we arrived, perimeter lights and glass shards were added to our security wall. This week the razor wire was installed! I think we are safe. :)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Some of the War Widow's Camp kids!


Signing for a parcel

Palm Oil

The women were so excited to have a good quality palm oil. They did not waste a drop as they filled containers.

Ground Nuts

Ground Nuts (peanuts) are a great source of protein, but a luxury that most cannot afford. Each family received $25 US dollars worth which is about a month's wage here. During the agricultural phase of the project fields will be planted with rice and ground nuts.

Working Hard!


89 parcels were assembled and distributed among the War Widows. Earlier in the week, 85 parcels were given to families at Mile 91.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Singing and dancing!

Singing and dancing as we rolled in and unloaded at the camp. For years different organizations have come in, interview the women, taken pictures and said they would try to help. This was "the first help" to arrive!

War Widow's Camp

Unloading the trucks for food distribution.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Merry Christmas!

It's amazing to think we have been in Sierra Leone over 5 weeks! In some ways it seems like we arrived only yesterday, but as we think of all that's been accomplished it's hard to believe things could have come together so quickly! Only God!

We were blessed to have a day to work from home yesterday at a more relaxed pace. We'd worked 12 straight getting ready for the first food distributions this week. Today was another great day as we were greeted with singing when we rolled into the War Widow's Camp! So many have worked so hard to make this happen! We are beyond words! We'll get pictures posted soon.

We would love to wish you all a MERRY CHRISTMAS! Your prayers and support mean the world! Thank you! Bless you!!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Neighbors working on Ishmael's home!

The roof is off and fresh wooden poles are being put in place. We are wondering if the old metal will be reused?

Ishmael's home - FIRE!

Ishmael's home burned last night. We are so sad for him. Tom has been working with him on the plumbing at the Hope Centre and has great respect for him. As I type from the office I am working out of at Hope, there are men on his roof. They have removed the last of the corrugated metal that was not caved in. The back wall collapsed during the night. All contents of the home have been removed, but it is not likely that much will be salvaged. A steady stream of people from the community have stopped by throughout the day. We were there this morning, and Ishmael let Gabe pray for the family followed by a prayer from the principal of the Bible College across the road. Ishmael is Muslim! Please join us in praying that he will be impacted by caring Christians during this time. And pray that we will know how we can best help him as they rebuild.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Mile 91 Orphans

Look at these faces!

Pujehun Orphans


One of the orphans at Pujehun is a victim of the rebel atrocities during the war.

Pujehun Orphans - in Southern Sierra Leone

100 orphans and caretakers: we spent the afternoon explaining the project to them and community leaders.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Ground Nuts

Some of the orphans grinding ground nuts.

The Facilities at Margaret's Orphanage

The kitchen and shower facitities behind Margaret's for the orphans.

Margaret Tucker - Founder of War Widows

Margaret is one amazing lady! She founded the War Widows Camp as well as an orphanage in her home at the camp. She has 26 children of all ages under her care including Martin, this severly disabled teen. She has the help on one assistant. Living conditions are a concern as several of the children sleep on mats on a crumbling concrete floor.

Love to sing!

The War Widows broke into song several times Sunday afternoon! So fun!

War Widows Camp

Sunday afternoon we spent time with the War Widows. These ladies were waiting on us to arrive. By the time we left I'd say that most of the 86 women had gathered. They will soon be receiving food parcels monthly, continued help with skills development and high yield seed for their farming.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Beach at River #2

What a view! River #2

It took 3 hours because of traffic and dirt roads to drive the 22 miles from our home to the beach at River #2, but once we stepped onto the sand and saw the view in either direction, WOW, was it ever worth it!

THE BEACH - River #2

We were so excited yesterday to have a chance to relax after a non-stop week! Mike and Chelsea (UNICEF) invited Gabe, Sada and us to accompany them and Hannah (working with UNICEF for 8 weeks) to spend the afternoon at one of the 16 beaches along the Freetown Peninsula. This was our first time to River #2, named for a river that flows into the ocean at this beach. Our meal, grilled shrimp or barracuda, was served on skewers with rice or fries right at our table on the beach. Tom and I both ate to the full for $18.82. Unbelievable!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Social Work Interns!!!

Fantastic three days of training for 10 young people from The Evangelical College of Theology, Jui, Sierra Leone!! Pictured on the left is Alfred Kargo, Country Director for Buckner and instructor for the college. God has got so much in store for these students as He uses them over the next 13 months to work alongside us and Buckner International to go into the homes of nearly 300 families made up of the poorest of the poor...widows, orphans, foster/kinsman families. We will begin the adventure Sunday afternoon when we make our first visit to a War Widows Camp made up of 86 women, their children/grandchildren and 26 orphans that they have taken in. WE CAN'T WAIT!!!