The Children of Zion Village is a Christian home for orphans in the southern African nation of Namibia. It is located along the Zambezi River in the northeast corner of Namibia. Our children come from several different tribal and language groups.
The "village" opened in January, 2003 and is now home to 57 children. Most of the children have been placed in our care because they have lost their parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles to AIDS.
Here the boys and girls receive love, nutrition, shelter, healthcare, academic, vocational and Bible education, and become part of one large Christian family. Our missionaries, volunteers, and Namibian staff work together to raise the children in our "village".


Norcross FUMC celebrates 10 year anniversary for GIC

But when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, you will be filled with power, and you will be witnesses for me in Jerusalem, in all of Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.  Acts 1:8

We were so excited to be invited to our home church for their 10th anniversary of Global Impact Celebrations.  When we were still living in the states, we helped to organize such events and we know that there was a lot of time, work and prayer put into the celebration.  It was awesome to be greeted and hugged by our church family.  It was humbling to sit next to other missionaries and hear their stories.  It was refreshing to hear 2 amazing guest speakers: Carolyn Moore and Max Wilkins.  It was fun and encouraging to speak to the youth and the children and answer their questions and see some excitement about Namibia. 

We arrived in Atlanta Thursday evening after the Global Gathering with The Mission Society.  We are so blessed to have Sharon and Gary Grahn welcome us “home” into their home.  They are the BEST and we could never repay them for their kindness.  Friday afternoon we went to the church to set up our display table of photo books, and a slide show.  After meeting and greeting, we entered the family life center for a wonderful meal and were honored to sit at one of the head tables with Dr Dick McClain, Dr Jim Lowry, Angie and Rick Miller, LuRae Ahendt and our wonderful volunteer/daughter, Rebecca Westbrooks. 

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The evening celebration was food, the awesome youth praise band, introductions of the missionaries and an incredible speaker, Carolyn Moore.  Are you a verb or a noun?  When God says “jump”, do you jump?  When God says “move”, do you move?  When God says “go”, do you go?  When God says “give”, do you give?  If you do not, what is stopping you?  Lack of faith?  Satan?  Your family?  If God’s timing is NOW, He will take care of everything else.  He does not send the equipped but He equips those He sends. 

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Saturday morning we joined a big group to package 40,170 meals for the hungry as part of the “Stop Hunger Now” program.  Everyone from the young to the old participated styling their beautiful hair nets and having a great time.  Each time the gong was sounded we knew to celebrate another milestone of packaged and sealed meals. 

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Saturday evening we spoke to a large group of youth at a home visit.  It is always an honor to know that God is planting seeds in these young people when they participate in such an event.  Sunday morning was a beautiful service with our guest speaker and President Elect for The Mission Society, Max Wilkins.  We then enjoyed talking to the young children.  They were full of energy but were very focused and ask great questions.  They also enjoyed with the beaded skirt and wearing the shantangi.  It was really awesome to see the energy and knowledge these children have about missionaries and missions. 

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We are so thankful to God for our church family, friends and the other missionaries around the world.  We went to Namibia weak and unequipped.  God continues to fill us with His strength and wisdom.  He equips us with what we need as we ask and fills us with joy that only He can give.  He will do that for all of you that call on His name.  We are NOT special and it is not about us.  It is about furthering His Kingdom in His Name.  

Praise the Lord, my soul!  All my being, praise his holy name!  Praise the Lord, my soul, and do not forget how kind he is.  He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases.  He keeps me from the grave and blesses me with love and mercy.  He fills my life with good things, so that I stay young and strong like an eagle.  Psalm 103: 1-5


Global Gathering – The Mission Society celebrates 30 years

We are very blessed to have The Mission Society as our sending agency.  They are family to us and we love them for who they are and how they have responded to God’s call on their lives.  In Florida in January (yes, it was cold) over 200 missionaries gathered.  Gathered to share and learn, gathered to love and pray, gathered to reflect and refresh and mostly to celebrate what God is doing in the world. 


If we are not one with each other, we cannot be one with God.

Where do I lack courage to see God?

Where am I broken with others?

We are people who have been forgiven and made one.

And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way:  Bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.  Colossians 1:10

Become more fruitful and less frustrated! 

Is the life that you are living the same as the life God wants to live in you?

The gospel is bearing fruit and we are the fruit of the gospel.  The power is in the gospel, not us. 

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We celebrated through word and song, through prayer and praises.  We celebrated Dick McClain for His service to the Lord.  He is preparing for retirement and we thank him for his friendship and service.  We know he will continue in service to the Lord and we will continue to pray for him and Pam, his wife, as they move into a different culture.  Thank you Dick and Pam!!!! 

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“The only reason that you would have to wait on God is if God keeps you waiting.”  Be strengthened with His power with His glory and might.  You will be strengthened in patience for great endurance.  Grow in the knowledge of God.  Christ in you.  The Hope and Glory!  AMEN!!!!

Christmas with the children January 12, 2014

The children are back from visiting with their family/relatives.  They always come back with so much excitement to share stories with their Zion family/friends.  They also come with an expectation of Christmas.  This all means something very special for us.  It means we get to share the Christmas story again.  It means we get to get in our Christmas costumes of Mr. and Mrs. Claus and pass out gifts that come from people in the states that have been given the gift of giving.  It means the sharing of the forever and constant love of God. 

We start our day with a worship service to the Lord.  The ladies are also working on cooking a nice meal of chicken on the braii, potatoes in gravy/soup, cabbage and pap.  This time the pap was thick enough that it took one to hold the other that was stirring so she did not slide across the floor and also 2 to hold the pot.  The rotations began so one would not become too tired to continue.  We enjoyed the meal outside under with a warm day and sunny skies.

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The girls were styling their Christmas wear and ready for a fun day!  The boys could not stand still for a picture.

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After lunch the children are ordered to their rooms while the elves set up and the evidence is hidden. 

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Then the bell rings and they rush out of their rooms to see what they can see.  Then they try to guess from which way will Santa be coming in????  Will it be from Auntie Jenny’s office, will it be from the kitchen, will it be from the main door???  Once Santa hears Christmas singing, he rings his bells and this year, they came from the river side.  No one was even looking in that direction since that entrance has not been made from that side before.  Names were called and everyone from small to big came to receive their gift – after saying “thank you”.   

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Smiles and laughter abound.  We thank God for His love and for His Son who lived and died for us.  We thank God for you who pray for us, the children, the staff and support God’s ministry in Africa. 

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Christmas Day at Zion Village 2013

Merry Christmas Zion and to all of our families and friends around the world!!!! 

… they will call him Immanuel – which means “God with us.”  Matthew 1:23b

Since most of the children (all except for 7) are out visiting their extended family in the villages, it is quiet at Zion on Christmas day.  We have been trying to do something special to include the children and the staff that are on duty.  So, the night before Christmas, we made large pans of breakfast casserole to put in the frig to be ready to pop in the oven on Christmas morning. 

That morning we joined together to have a Christmas devotion, led by Travis.  While we were doing that, the breakfast was heating in the oven.  After the devotion, we enjoyed a nice breakfast casserole.  This is different for most but they enjoyed it a lot. 


When breakfast was over we started to prepare lunch.  A lunch of chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy and corn.  With everyone helping, it was not difficult at all. 


In between eating, we played with the small ones.  Such a joy!!!  Liseli even was helping Mayando put on his sandal that fell off:)



After lunch we enjoyed a small gift exchange with our team mates, Lena and Johannes Ebner and volunteer, Amanda. 


AND, we had a huge surprise of 3 big boxes from Norcross First UMC, our home church!  We will have enough M&M’s, pain killers and coffee mate to last for the next year --- maybe!  We were also so blessed with crafts for Bible Study and much more!!!  THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!


Time for some photos by the river…   God has given us so much and we are so thankful.  Thankful for Jesus, His son, thankful for His love, His grace, His forgiveness, His comfort and peace and we are so thankful for each other and our calling here to Children of Zion Village. 


Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.  Luke 2:14

“Delivering” Christmas to the Villages

It is a privilege to be able to share the love of God and the reason for the season of Christmas and the reason why Jesus was sent to this world – to love and to save – with 7 surrounding villages.   This includes telling the Christmas story and delivering food and small toys/stuffed animals for the children and this year we were so brave we sang a few Christmas carols. 

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In one village we saw how the rain destroyed the house and they relocated.  Also we saw how they have to put a bucket down a deep pipe/well to get water to water the entire garden!  That is some hard work yet they are not hateful but they are very loving people. 

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Smiles after receiving small stuffed animal gifts.  God always blesses us with just the right thing and the right amount when it comes to handing out gifts for so many children and families.  NEVER Doubt God’s promise to provide!!!

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We did drive deep into the bush and through water.  Last year the car broke down.  The year before last we get stuck.  This year we were blessed with safe travels and no problems.  Even the looked like it might dump lots of rain, but we even stayed dry!  GOD IS GOOD – ALL THE TIME!!!

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Hugs and love.  Waves goodbye until next time!!!

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Merry Christmas and may God Bless you one and ALL!!!! AMEN!