This New Year has been an exciting whirlwind for Kershaw’s Challenge! We are thrilled to share all the details with you. Big things are happening on the home front and in the lives of Zambian kids!
Traveling to Lusaka, Zambia for the second consecutive year together, we remain so thankful that our lives continue to be changed by our visits. There is nothing like seeing Africa for the first time—but it gets even better with every trip.
This year, we lead a group of 20 college students from Park Cities Presbyterian Church in Dallas, Texas. Our mission this trip was to host a children’s day camp for vulnerable orphans who attend Destiny School. We were each assigned to a group of kids with the opportunity to play games, share the gospel, and hear their life stories. Both of our groups were filled with little kids who loved to run around and play. Clayton played soccer and basketball for hours on end. Knowing their everyday, strenuous lives, it’s awesome to watch kids being kids. Ellen sat on the ground with the little ones on her lap, as the older girls braided her hair. We loved every moment of it.
Camp lasted through lunchtime, when we had to say goodbye to the children for the afternoon. Our American team was split up into small groups to visit and volunteer at other Lusaka based ministries. In particular, we visited a family-run school that is committed to taking in children from the village and teaching them Christian values. Our team also volunteered at Mother Theresa’s orphanage, where loving nuns raise over 40 infant children with the love of Christ. We loved spending time and holding the babies who live there. It reminded us of how much we all need affection and are born with an innate need to feel loved and nurtured. Those babies just wanted to be loved. We pray for them all the time, asking that these children would come to know the Lord at an early age and that His love would transform their lives.
One of the most spectacular afternoon excursions was visiting the land of Hope’s Home. What an overwhelming feeling to walk on and pray over the land that will someday be the home of 10 precious children! This land represents the love and vision of all the Kershaw’s Challenge donors. Children will know the love of Christ and have a place to call home because of the people who helped raise support. “Thank you” does not even begin to express our gratitude to you—you have helped this dream come true. It’s beautiful to think that this is not only our dream. Hope’s Home is the dream of kids who deserve a chance at life. They long to be loved and told, “the sky is the limit.”
During our recent visit, we met with several architects and construction companies. In the process, we realized how important it is to see this project through to completion before beginning another one. There is still so much that can be done to help Hope’s Home reach it’s full potential. So this year, we are hoping to raise support to purchase beds, desks, dressers, and all the necessities to make this feel like a true home. There is also a great need to create a reserve medical fund for the children who need emergency medical treatment. We pray this can be another goal of 2012. Another dream is farmland and a chicken coop, and our Zambian friends have scouted out land nearby the orphanage suitable for a both of these. This could be a tremendous blessing to the home, creating sustainability and offering an opportunity to teach the kids about planting crops.
It is a prayerful step this year to open up a child sponsorship program for the 10-12 children living in Hope’s Home. This is a great opportunity to personally pour into the lives of individual children. We consider sponsoring Hope one of the greatest blessings of our lives. She has changed us and we will never be the same because of knowing her. We love writing letters back and forth with her. She is growing to be such a strong and vibrant person. We can all make a difference in some way. Impact begins reaching one life.
Africa will always be the heartbeat of Kershaw’s Challenge. But we are excited to also be used by the Lord back home in the states. Therefore, our hope is to begin partnerships with other ministries based in our hometown of Dallas and our “home away from home,” Los Angeles. We look forward to updating you on those two projects as soon as we have the details ironed out.
It is a joy to partner with you on Kershaw’s Challenge. Last season was an incredible testimony to the Lord’s goodness and plan. It is humbling to be a part of something like this…thank you for coming along for the ride. We can’t wait to see what this new season holds. Thank you for your prayers. Thank you for support. We are so grateful.