This season in Africa has been one of the more difficult times that I have experienced due to the fact that Beth was suffering from significant pain in her shoulder and stayed back in Iowa for joint replacement surgery which will be accomplished on October 13th. My plans, for now, are to return to Iowa for a brief visit and be with her through this surgery and then return here through November 19th.
Over the last month, we have hosted two short-term mission teams; each of them helped us to accomplish lots of good ministry work. So far this year we have been able to distribute nearly 5000 washable, reusable, menstrual hygiene kits through a Rotary Global grant and the assistance of these teams. In the near future, I hope that we can offer impoverished young ladies a free menstrual cup if they would prefer that over the reusable hygiene kits. Our goal is to distribute menstrual hygiene products to another 5000 impoverished young ladies over the next 9 months as part of our women’s empowerment program. We were also able to do eyeglass outreaches and free shoe distributions. Most of our short-term mission teams find their time spent at our Del Cramer Children’s Campus to be the most rewarding. Nearly everyone enjoys interacting with the children there as part of our pilot feeding program. Another big favorite is visiting the babies at a baby shelter that we partner with in Polokwane.
Dustin has stayed busy with our construction team building new Enviro Loo toilets. We are also busy putting together a new company that will service each of these toilets to keep them functioning properly. The solid waste products need to be removed from the septic-type tanks about every 3 months and this new company will help us to be sure this is accomplished so that all of the toilets we construct will continue functioning properly for many years to come.
We have an application submitted with HyVee company to fund an additional 10 wells with us over the next several months. Please pray with us that it will be approved.
The goodwill these mission teams helped us to generate in a large public high school here this last month is helping us to open an additional Celebrate Recovery site. This school has over 2000 students and offering Celebrate Recovery in this school will benefit many of their students.
In November, we will have a team from the Lutheran Church of Hope in Ankeny and West Des Moines come and help us further train and expand our Celebrate Recovery programs. With this team, we also hope to be able to open a new CR program in the provincial prison in Polokwane.
Our child feeding program continues to expand every month, and I will focus more on that over the next couple of months. Please know that thousands of hungry African children are receiving nutritious meals because of your prayers and support of our ministry.
Please pray for Beth as she goes through her surgery later this month.