Greetings from Hallelujah House of Yahweh!
There is a lot to report since the last newsletter, with visitors to HHY and progress on several projects. But first, and most importantly, we would like to start with a prayer request.
As the US economy strengthens, the Zambian economy is sliding rapidly downhill. Most of the population in Zambia is struggling to cover the bare necessities. Because of low water levels (all of their electricity is water-generated), power to cities is regularly being cut to “load shed”. This has resulted in businesses closing or severely cutting back on worker’s hours, which lowers income at a time where every little bit makes a difference on whether or not the family will be fed, clothed, or even have a roof over their heads. More children are being put on the street, and reported suicides amongst adults are high. HHY is in “maintenance mode”, covering our costs but little else. While the exchange rate from dollar to kwacha is very good, the doubling of prices since 2012 has climbed even faster. Please pray for stabilization of the country’s economy and that HHY will be able to cover costs and see success in their sustainability efforts so their outreach can touch even more lives.
The children are in their final term of the school year, and reports of their progress are generally good. Both Jennifer and Grace are in the 12th grade, and will be completing high school this year. A big thanks to those of you who have provided support for their education. Not many kids in Zambia get a chance for a high school diploma, so this is a very big accomplishment for them!
The focus at the farm over the past months has been on infrastructure and sustainability efforts.
Our pigs are very healthy, and breeding is going well. We should be able to sell some of the larger pigs in December for our first profit from this initiative!
The well is providing clean water, and the tank is filled whenever the generator chooses to cooperate (bad choke). This has been crucial the past few months, as the well where we were hand-drawing water ran dry. From the well with a pump, we have been able to pull enough water for cooking, drinking, washing, bathing, providing water for the pigs and goats, and keeping the garden and orchard watered. As for the orchard, 100 trees were planted in September, thanks to the generous giving through our partner, Holistic Global Partners. Trees included citrus (lemon, lime, grapefruit, and orange), avocado, and several other varieties. Strawberries were also planted, and those doing the planting were able to enjoy the fruits of their labor even as they labored.
Harvest in June was very profitable, in spite of the fact that we had chosen not to invest in large-scale planting last fall. The maize that was put in produced a very large and high quality yield; we were also able to take a share of the soybeans that were planted on our land by our mechanic when he realized he needed our help to get them in during the short harvest window. The soy was sold to help pay for the pig feed, while the maize is being used as a food source for HHY.
It is our intention this year to farm as much of the land as our funds will allow. Several months ago, a visitor to the farm shared information he had learned and experienced regarding “conservation farming”, where the land is not cultivated but rather the grasses are left to grow to assist in weed control. This will reduce the amount of chemicals that need to be sprayed on the growing plants, as well as keep the land’s minerals from being depleted as rapidly. We are excited to try this new approach and compare the yield with past years.
Work on the dormitory was put on hold due to a lack of funds, while a small house was built for Victor, Racheal and Marlys Shekinah, who moved to the farm in August.
Praise the Lord for a well that is providing us with clean water!
Marlys was able to spend two months at HHY from mid-April to mid-June. Her primary focus while in Zambia was to help with organization and planning, from budget to upcoming projects. She also had a lot of opportunity to bond with her namesake.
While Marlys was with the HHY family, we were able to host a photographer/videographer from Silent Images. Lydia spent most of her 5 days with us with her eye behind the cameras, and we have some great pictures and a couple of awesome videos that we are looking forward to sharing with you when we launch our updated website.
Shortly after Marlys’ departure, the Welton family came for a visit from Florida. They were in the area to assist with a vehicle purchase for another family relocating to Zambia, and were able to carve time into their schedule to spend time with HHY. It was a wonderful opportunity to see the ministry through fresh eyes and to hear ideas on how we may continue and improve our sustainability efforts. We were truly blessed by the visit and look forward to repeat visits in the future!
In addition to the rising prices in Zambia making it necessary to stretch every kwacha further than ever before, we continue to struggle with the lack of a vehicle. Bicycles are serving our short-distance needs, but when materials need to be hauled, rental of a vehicle is very costly.
The second church has not been able to be rebuilt after collapse during a storm earlier in the year, and keeping up with the structural weaknesses of the first church is becoming more difficult. We are considering asking for US church support with a mission team in 2016 or 2017 to come and rebuild the churches. Please pray about this, that God will give us guidance and that He will place this burden on the hearts of those who are intended to be involved.
Thank you for your continued love, prayers, and support for the ministry of HHY. Through your encouragement we are able to push forward with the work God has called us to do. God bless you!!
Victor, Marlys and all the "family" at HHY
- Praise God for the success our children are showing in school!
- Praise God for the generous gifts that have helped us to build momentum with sustainability efforts!
- Praise God for the wonderful individual gifts of school support and bedding for the children, and for the block forms that will make our building projects a bit easier and less costly!
- Praise God for visitors and their understanding of and participation in the work HHY is doing in the community!
- Please pray that the nation's economy will improve and that the heartbreak of extreme poverty will be eased for many.
- Please pray for God's continued provision for the daily and long-range needs of HHY.
- Please pray for the continued health and well-being of the children and staff.
- Please pray for the continuing success of our sustainability efforts.
- Please pray for our school ministry as we continue planning and seeking funds to build.