Posted by: Lisa | May 26, 2012

Helping at Magwero

Just outside Chipata is the Magwero School for the Blind and Deaf. (Down a dirt road, through some tall brush, etc.) Damon and our friend Kevin have been working on trying to organize some different projects to help the living conditions there. While we are very limited in sign language (well, we can finger spell!), our heart’s desire is for the children at Magwero to know that someone cares, and that it would open the doors for them to understand a loving Heavenly Father.

This past week a building project the men had been overseeing was scheduled to be completed and ready for painting. After asking around a bit, we were told they could find a wall that little girls could paint. We made plans to take the whole family for a day of serving and the girls were ecstatic. They asked questions the entire trip out there- “What color paint are we going to use?” “Will we paint inside or outside?” “Will we have to share a brush?” “I hope we use pink paint!” (Don’t laugh! We are in Africa, where buildings are painted all varieties of vibrant colors!)

Well, we got to Magwero, only to discover that the project was delayed. There were a few details that needed to be completed before the building was ready for it’s coat of (pink?) paint. We did anticipate this being a possibility, but it didn’t diminish the girls’ disappointment.

While those in charge figured and planned the next step, someone picked up a stick and started chiseling cement off the rebar windows. Then another person grabbed a stick and joined in. Before we knew it, there was a whole slew of people cleaning up the rebar and at least prepping that for the painting process.

While it wasn’t quite what we’d planned to do out there, the girls did get a sense of helping after all!

Natalie did a great job on the bottom 12 inches of each bar! ๐Ÿ™‚

After “all the hard work” that they did, they enjoyed some free time on the school’s playground. Felicia and Natalie were climbing and swinging like monkeys on these bars! Joey was just glad to be let out of the stroller for some exercise. ๐Ÿ™‚

While we didn’t quite get to do all that we’d hoped this day, it was still encouraging for us to get to go see what’s been going on at Magwero and let the children feel a small part of that work. Maybe sometime in the future there is still a painting date to be had… We’ll see!



  1. You might consider starting journals for your children. By that I mean, get a cheap spiral notebook (or staple or paperclip some scrap paper–our favorite is the backs of old missionary prayer letters!) and have your children dictate four or five sentences every day or every eventful day. I can tell you from experience that they will love hearing or reading their own childish comments when they are 10-13 years old from when they were 3 or 4. It’s quite amusing, and they often say, “I remember that day!” Possibly it strengthens the memories for them to tell you what they thought of the day. Just a thought. We started journaling when we moved to England and we have been doing it ever since. Sometimes during lunch, they all get out the journal from a month and year that someone picks and they take turns reading what each one wrote for that day. So the little ones like having their own input at times like that. I know, you already have too much to do! Don’t feel pressured. It was just a thought.

    • That’s a cute idea! I already write in journals for them starting when they’re born. Letters to them, milestones, what they’re learning, what I’m learning as their mother, etc. It would be cute to start one in their own words. Maybe on furlough we’ll pick up some journals. (They’re kind of hard to find here…)

  2. The first picture reminds me of when 90 people from your church came down to help repaint our little church in Shavertown. I can’t quite remember if you were there but I remember Damon’s family was there. (I remember that best because of the big comments and jokes that were made about how to spell their (now your) last name! ๐Ÿ™‚ )

    • I do remember that trip! And, yes, I was there- but very easy to miss. My brother and I rode down with our neighbors the Testas, who already had 10 children of their own. We were part of “that crowd” in the big white van. ๐Ÿ™‚ The funny thing is, I don’t remember that Damon was there! ha!

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