We first need to recognize our new and existing donors. Your support enabled our accomplishments in2021. A few facts. Donations received in 2021 represent a 120% increase over 2020 giving. In addition, the number of individual and corporate donors doubled in 2021. We appreciate your generous and sacrificial giving to Orphan Shade.
We have had donors direct funding to specific needs in 2021. Specific gifts were given to support the purchase of a used vehicle from Japan, customs and import fees for the vehicle, bibles for the Pangeti church and furniture for the Pangeti home. These specific gifts have been a tremendous blessing. We are very thankful to these donors who have partnered with us on specific needs.
After 5 years of start-up delays, corruption, personal frustration and little fruit, our little ministry in Malawi had a big year in 2021. God was gracious in making a way for us to establish ourselves in the Pangeti village in deep southern Malawi. Despite the crippling Covid-19 virus that stopped the world in 2020, we were able to construct a home, find local double orphan children, discover the new house parents in a distant village and open the home in calendar 2021. All these events were major milestones for the ministry. But there is more…
Local villagers were changed by the gospel because of the relationship between Orphan Shade and a local branch of Faith Works Dynamite Church. 20+ people in the village were saved during construction of the home. These villagers were introduced to the gospel by Pastor Kausiwa and his team. Several construction workers received salvation after developing a relationship with Pastor Kausiwa. Lastly, a chief from a neighboring village was saved because of observing the construction site and learning that it was associated with the Pangeti church. But there is more…
The grand opening of the home was marked by a large weekend celebration in November2021. It began with an Orphan Shade sponsored football match(soccer) in the village. Pangeti FC challenged a neighboring village to a match. The gospel was presented in the circle in the center of the pitch after the match. Approximately 120 people accepted Jesus as their savior. This included all the football players on both squads(30+ young men). But there is even more….
The grand opening church service was held the next day. The audience was between 300 and 400 adults plus children. The audience represented a diverse group of constituents. The audience included members of the local Pangeti village church. The audience included members of FWDC churches from distant villages (as far 100 kilometers away). The audience included politicians and tribal leadership from the region. Finally, the audience included many villagers from Pangeti and surrounding villages. Worship was led by multiple choirs from distant churches. Political speeches were made by the local MP (Minister of Parliament),Regional TA (Traditional Authority or the chief chief) and several other dignitaries. Then the gospel was preached. Approximately 150 people accepted Jesus as their savior. We give all the glory to God.
We need to recognize our partner church network, Faith Works Dynamite Church(FWDC). The leader of this ministry is our friend, Pasto rPrince Kampomo. Prince also serves as a co-founder and director of Orphan Shade. FWDC represents a network of over 100 rural village churches in the southern region of Malawi that were planted by Pastor Kampomo and his team over the last 15 years. These churches often meet underneath the canopy of a large mango tree, usually do not have bibles and are very generous givers despite significant poverty.
Prince and his team have gone above and beyond to prepare for the opening of the Pangeti foster home, identification of the children, selection of the house parents and conduct of the grand opening weekend event. In addition, the post-opening startup period of the Pangeti home has surfaced multiple issues that have required multiple trips and on-site support from Prince and his team. We are very thankful for their tenacity and compassion for the new family.
We have learned some painful and valuable lessons in Pangeti. The lessons have been catalogued and have been acknowledged to be critical to our success in the future. The consultant in me really pushed the leadership team to articulate areas for improvement without casting blame. This process has been very healthy for the team. The lessons learned have resulted in some significant changes in the process of starting up in anew village.
The lessons are many. The spiritual warfare issues experienced over the last 6 weeks could have been prevented earlier. Therefore, we will introduce the gospel and deal with spiritual warfare with the children before moving into the home. We identified that that transition would have been aided by earlier involvement by the house parents. Therefore, we will initiate recruitment and onboarding earlier in the process. We also identified deficiencies in the design of the home that resulted in higher cost. Therefore, we have made significant design changes that will increase functionality and decrease cost. We are thankful for these lessons and more.
Wash, Rinse & Repeat
One of our critical tasks in 2022 is to build two key living documents. The first document is our start-up recipe or guide. This document will serve as our process to initiate the ministry in a new village. We will take our steps plus learnings from Pangeti to create a repeatable process for future villages.
The second document is an operation manual. It will represent the future “how to” guide to operate a home day to day in a new village. We have high expectations for how the children should be raised. We will leverage this content to train future pastors and house parents.
Orphan Shade has selected the next village to build a home for local double orphans. The Chipolopolo village (say it ten times fast) is near the East Bank of the Shire River in southern Malawi. It is very close to the Mozambique border.
Prince Kampomo recently notified Pastor July (the pastor of the local church) of our decision. We visited this church jointly with two other nearby churches at a worship service in October 2021. We had the opportunity to have a meal in Pastor July’s home after the service.
The village headman (senior chief) was ecstatic when he was notified of our plans to build a home for double orphans in his village. Our direct experience in Pangeti was that the village headman gained stature amongst his peers and more senior chiefs by addressing the problem of orphan care in his village.
The hunt for property in the Chipolopolo village has begun. We have asked the local church leadership team in the village to quietly search for ½ acre of land that is near the main road, has shade trees (very warm area), near the village water well and near Pastor July's home. We hope to secure land and complete the legal transaction by the end of January 2022.
Our vision in 2016 was that the partnership between Orphan Shade and Faith Works Dynamite Church would accomplish much more together than as individual organizations. Prince Kampomo and Jay Schierloh believed that Orphan Shade need the local church to oversee and adopt the residents of the home and make them part of their outward ministry. Conversely, we believed that the local church would experience growth from a local ministry platform of the new home and the residents. The phrase, “we are better together” was coined a few years ago.
We are very thankful to God who made this vision a reality on the first try. We realize that this outcome is based on an N of 1. However, the momentum gathered in Pangeti will propel us to replicate this model in new villages.
Please pray for Orphan Shade in 2022. Please pray specifically for the new family and the local church in Pangeti. Please also pray for the land purchase, selection of children, selection of house parents, home construction and the local church in Chipololo. Finally, pray for wisdom for our leadership as we launch this new year.