COVID-19 Delta Variant
Our (Jay & Stacey Schierloh) planned June 30th departure for Malawi did not happen. Malawi and much of Africa is experiencing a third wave of COVID-19. Therefore, the government elected to close the borders and airports to non-citizens. Our partners in Malawi have recommended that we stay home as the virus spreads. Therefore, we have cancelled all arrangements.
It turns out that the delay has been a bit of a blessing. The used car that Orphan Shade purchased in Japan (yes Japan) has not yet arrived in Africa. It is now scheduled to arrive by ship in east Africa (Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania) in early August. Additionally, the home in Blantyre that we planned to rent fell through at the last minute. We are patiently waiting for conditions to change. We are hopeful that we can spend several months in Malawi this year.
We are very encouraged by the construction of foster home #1 in Mpangeti. The sheet steel roof (color: green) was installed on the home last week. The builder is now applying a paintable plaster surface on the exterior and interior of the home. The home is scheduled to be completed in the next few weeks.
Another phenomenon of building the home has been an open door for ministry to local people. The local pastor has used the home as a platform to share the gospel in the village. In addition, the local church pastor and church members have befriended the construction workers and have led several men to Jesus. We are encouraged by this activity and pray that more ministry will occur when we hold the grand opening.
We are thankful for M’Bandakucha builders continuing with the project despite the passing away of Mr. Idi, the owner. Idi likely died from a stroke (very high blood pressure). However, we celebrate as Pastor Kampomo led Mr. Idi to accept Jesus Christ as his savior one day before he died. This was significant as Idi was a life long practicing Muslim. Sadly, Mrs. Idi died one week later from COVID-19. Life is very fragile.
As reported previously, three women from Prince Kampomo’s HQ church in Blantyre interviewed a total of 33 girls (double orphans) and their guardians in the Mpangeti village. We are waiting on the interview results and photographs. We will review each girl’s history, living conditions and their fit in our selection criteria. Most importantly, we will pray and ask the Holy Spirit to guide us in the selection.
Prince Kampomo and I are developing our plan for 2022. The plan is based on opening the first home to 6 to 8 orphan girls and the House parents this summer. We expect to learn a great deal from operating for the next 6 to 8 months. This experience will guide us to hone a cohesive program in order to expand to other villages. We plan to present the plan to our board of trustees later this year in Malawi.