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Mt Zion Volunteer Team

A team of volunteers from Mt Zion, COZV's founding church, worked hard on a number of projects during their recent mission trip. One of the tasks they accomplished was the building of a raft to hold the water pump which provides all of the water for COZV. The raft enables the pump to be serviced without anyone needing to enter the water where crocodiles live! The launching of the raft was a cause for celebration of both the children and the volunteers.

As always, the volunteer team brought loads of love and fun to share with the children at COZV. Music, games, crafts, Bible studies, village visits, and extra people to play with were ways our ministry was blessed by our friends on this team.

Time of Transition

The Children of Zion, Inc. Board of Directors would like to announce the transition of leadership at Children of Zion Village. Gary and Rebecca Mink have partnered with COZ as missionary directors since we built COZV in 2002. We have been blessed by their work and we thank them for putting their hearts and hands into the lives of our COZV children for the past 7 years. The Minks will return to life in the USA in August.

Several people will serve as interim directors while the COZ Board continues the selection process for our new full-time missionaries. Although many of the children and staff have suffered loss again and again, they are comforted by the fact that the interim directors are all people whom they know and love. We praise God for His provision and continue to ask for His guidance in all aspects of the ministry.

Please feel free to send notes of thanks and encouragement to the Mink family. These may be sent to our email or postal address and we will get them to the Minks.

Volunteers

Have you ever volunteered to serve people from another culture? Have you ever blessed children who do not have a traditional family? Have you ever received hugs from dozens of little ones, all on the same day?

Sarah, a recent Children of Zion Village volunteer, told me that her experience at COZV was very different than she expected - but it was absolutely wonderful. God taught her a lot about herself and about others, and most important, she knows that she has made a difference in the lives of a group of children. Sarah is planning to return to serve at COZV for an extended time.

In the next few months we have several church teams and a number of individuals volunteering at COZV, giving 2 weeks to several months of their time to be a blessing. The teams will work on building construction as well as do special projects with the children. The individuals will share their skills wherever needed. Some will teach a trade to some of the children. Some will assist in the classroom. Some will teach Bible lessons. Some will spend time encouraging the staff. Some will work with the young children. Some will help in the agriculture area. Some will help with administration or cooking or cleaning or maintenance. There are always needs. There are always people to bless.

Is God calling you to come and serve with us in Namibia? We are currently accepting applications for volunteers to serve after October, 2009. Is He calling you?

Home Again!

The children are back home to COZV! The property has continued to dry up, the government has inspected, and we have been given permission to return to Children of Zion Village. A day of boat trips back and forth to bring children, staff, mattresses, cooking equipment, tables & benches and school materials back home, and life is slowly returning to "normal".
 

Sunshine and a Breeze

Thank you for all of the prayers for Children of Zion Village. The waters of the Zambezi River have continued to go down. God has sent loads of sunshine and a gentle breeze to help dry up our property. The Children's Home has been cleaned and the beds put back in place. Now we are waiting for the government to give us permission to move back "home".

Although we've had quite a few snakes, crocodiles that stayed a little too close for comfort, and a mother and baby hippo who have been visiting daily, our family has remained safe during this crisis. Prayers are needed for many in the region who lost loved ones to the flood waters and crocodile attacks and to the many, many who have lost their homes.

Please keep the children, the staff and the volunteers in prayer as they move back to our property as soon as permission is granted.

Evacuation

Thank you to everyone who has been praying for Children of Zion Village during the flooding of the Zambezi River. Last weekend the children were all evacuated from our property to a nearby facility. Efforts are being made to continue with schooling and other routines for the children. Furniture and supplies have been brought from COZV to the temporary facility. Staff members and volunteers have been staying with the children each night as well as caring for them during the day.

Continued prayers are needed for the safety of the children. We have young ones who are now at an unfamiliar, unfenced property near a flooded river. The hippos, crocodiles and snakes have been disturbed from their usual habitat and are wandering where they do not often go. Pray for guidance for the Minks, the staff and the volunteers as they care for the children and make decisions each day.

And please pray for the sun to shine and dry up our flooded property so that our COZV family is able to return "home" soon!

Zambezi Flooding

The annual rains along the Zambezi River have once again causes flooding in many areas. Local villages are under water and people are camped out in the middle of the roads, which tend to be a bit higher than the surrounding ground. Although the rains have ceased, the flood waters continue to flow down the Zambezi from northern areas.

At Children of Zion Village we are suffering the worst flood situation since we opened our doors in January, 2003. Currently several of our housing units are flooded and most of our other buildings are surrounded by water. Along with the danger, destruction and mess of the water and mud, comes the crocodiles who like the shallow water and the snakes entering buildings looking for a dry home.

We have been offered a dry field near town to set up a tent camp, but the chaos of housing, feeding, supervising and caring for 58 children in that setting makes us hesitate to move. There would also be concern of thievery from our abandoned property.

Please pray for the safety of the children, the staff and the missionaries at COZV, and pray that the water begins to recede.

"Being Here"

Some of the girls who are in a Bible study learning about the book of Psalms were asked to write their own Psalm. The following is their beautiful piece.

"Being Here"

A Psalm of gratitude for Children of Zion

Oh Lord, how loving is your name in our ears.
We praise you for our home beside the fresh river; for the birds sweet song that we hear.
Thank you for your protection through the day and night.
Thank you for our mother and father,
our brothers, sisters, aunties, and uncles.
Many around us are starving, but we are well fed.

You are our Provider.
Many children are alone,
but you have sent us many people from all over the world to love us.
Thank you for the many gifts you have given us; peaceful sleeping and joyful days.
We are all sinners but you forgave us and changed us, oh Lord.
Thank you for Christian education.
Thank you for all you have done in our lives.
Please don't leave us;
be among us.
We want to see Your Kingdom.

Engela, Anna, Emelia, Lisedi, Rochester, Efa ages 10-12

COZV Staff

We are so very blessed by our staff at Children of Zion Village. These men and women share their talents, their energy, their culture, and their love with our boys and girls. The staff work long hours with energetic children and are so very important to our ministry. Each staff member was presented with a Children of Zion t-shirt at our staff Christmas party last week. What a beautiful crew we have!
 

Christmas Comes Early

We had 58 very, very excited children today. Christmas has come early at Children of Zion Village. The worn, stained, stinky, shredding foam mattresses the children have been sleeping on have been discarded. Thanks to the Kingdom Builders, a generous group of business people in Maryland, a truck arrived in Katima Mulilo today bringing new sturdy mattresses for all of the children's beds. We keep the children busy with school, barn and garden chores, sports games, and other activities. A good night's sleep helps to provide everyone with a good attitude during the day!

On Friday our staff will be treated to a Christmas braii (cookout) with a special meal (including goat) and activities for all to enjoy!

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