A local friend’s thoughts…..

“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” Frederick Douglass, abolitionist and statesman

A local friend came to visit the school and was pleasantly surprised to see how different the younger kids are compared to the older ones.  You can really tell the difference between having trained teachers and faithfully feeding the children, compared to how the school was before.  The classes were crowded (over 60 kids per class), and of course, they were not eating.  So sad.  Eunice, a Grade 8 student, recently recalled how supper – if, and when she had it – consisted of some tea and bread.  My point, I guess, is just to say that there is so much to be grateful for.  We are witnessing, first-hand, the many positive changes taking place right before our very eyes.  Now, I’ll insert a prayer request.  We have been intentional about meeting the physical needs of the children of Lifesong Harmony School, but it’s time to go deeper.  Deeper with the gospel…..deeper with the message found in the living word of God.  There are so many emotional and spiritual needs.  Please pray that we would be able to reach the hearts of the children with the truth….so that they can truly be set free.

Soooooooo, you know how excited we are to have the Grade 8’s at the school?  I guess the reason that touches my heart so much is that it’s a picture of hope and progress.  The kids are benefiting from the ministry, and the fact that they’re moving forward is so exciting!  It was so fun to go and pick the material for the new uniforms!  Dennis wanted to go for a Scottish-style of uniform and I think he succeeded!!  Whaddya think?  Don’t they look GREAT?!?   We are so proud of them!

 

Brand spanking new uniforms!  YAY!

Backing up a bit….when we first arrived from Canada, the first thing that the teachers and staff did for me was gather together as a group to hear the details of my dear father’s passing and about the funeral.  Some of you may be aware of the fact that I have the tendency to go on and on (and potentially bore people)…..:) but that’s not the impression I got with my friends here in Zambia.  Needless to say, I was so touched.  After the meeting, I sat with a few of the teachers and I showed them every single picture of the funeral, and I mean, every picture, and they sat there listening intently and, you know, I just felt like they cared.  It was therapeutic.

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Gathering in the cafeteria to give me a chance to talk about my dad’s funeral

Lastly, we have had the pleasure of having a Canadian team come to visit….it was Doug Savin, Bob Ritzmann, Gary Tomic, Louie Jahn, and Peter Friesen (a friend of Louie’s). We enjoyed having them here, and showing them all that the Lord has been doing on this side of the globe!  We also welcome Adrian Acs out of San Diego (Vista Church).  He is working on the Lifesong Harmony Home, and he is determined to finish the home as quickly as possible. Below are some images of the progress…I’m just adding a couple of pictures to whet your appetite for the great unveiling.  Stay tuned!

 

Sneak peek of Lifesong Harmony Home
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ADRIAN!! (said in a Rocky Balboa voice 🙂 and the team

 

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THANK YOU – From the Delic Family

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Dear Lifesong donors, supporters, and followers,

Well, may we begin by simply saying… thank you!! We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, without your faithful support none of this would be possible. What specifically are we referring to, you might ask? Listed below are the details:

  • Over 500 children are FED, EDUCATED, TAUGHT THE LOVE OF CHRIST, AND HAVE A SAFE PLACE TO PLAY!
  • A HIGH SCHOOL BLOCK (WHICH INCLUDES A WASHROOM BLOCK WITH A TOTAL OF 14 STALLS – 7 FOR EACH GENDER) HAS BEEN BUILT!!
  • A GIRLS’ BOARDING HOME HAS BEEN PURCHASED AND IS IN THE PROCESS OF BEING RENOVATED! THE HOME WILL PROVIDE 25 LIFESONG GIRLS WITH A CLEAN, SAFE PLACE TO LIVE, ALONG WITH LOVING DISCIPLESHIP AND CARE.
  • A FULL-SIZED LIBRARY WITH ABOUT 5000 BOOKS!! SIDE-NOTE – THERE ARE NO PUBLIC LIBRARIES IN KITWE TO OUR KNOWLEDGE SO THIS GIVES LHS KIDS A GREAT OPPORTUNITY!

And that’s just to mention a few! So, can you see why we are so grateful and excited? We often get asked, “Why do people from across the world care so much?” To that we can only proclaim the truth – and that is because Christ cares, and people are being used as His hands and feet! Richard Stearns in his book “The Hole in our Gospel” says it well: “Our charge (as believers) is to both proclaim and embody the gospel so that others can see, hear, and feel God’s love in tangible ways. When we are living out our faith with integrity and compassion in the world, God can use us to give others a glimpse of His love and character”. In other words, when we support the “least of these,” we in turn are demonstrating God’s love in tangible ways. Stearns goes on to say that “(when we) live with generosity toward others, love and care for them unconditionally, stand up for the defenseless, and pay particular attention to the poorest and most vulnerable, we are showing Christ’s love to those around us, not just talking about it”. The point then is clear, Jesus always cared about the person as a whole; providing for both spiritual and physical needs. So, once again, with thankful hearts and praise on our lips to our Heavenly Father for his bountiful love and grace…we say, THANK YOU!!

PEACE ON EARTH + GOODWILL TO MAN!

With grateful hearts… Merry Christmas to all!

The Delics, in Zambia.

Delic Family Update | September 27, 2017

8 weeks!  That’s how long I was away from my dear family.  When I think of it, I can hardly believe that we managed to survive being without each other for so long.  First of all, I am so grateful to Dennis for being Mr. Mom for so long… for bearing the responsibilities of both parents, and doing it with grace and love.  A missionary friend of mine (Mandy Smith – a great friend and faithful pray-er) commented that this was a testimony of how much Dennis loves his family, and it was evident that God was his support the entire time.   Also, I am so proud of my two girls who helped share the load of doing the cooking for the family!   Leaving my family back in Canada was heart wrenching, but when I heard that Grace wasn’t doing well (she had a stomach bug), I knew that it was time to get back home.

A number of great things happened while I was away, one of which is that Jackie and Dean came to visit!!  I can’t believe that I wasn’t here, that made me so sad.  Dennis and the kids were so excited!  Jackie helped Valarie (the school administrator) in the office (organizing the students files, teaching Valarie how to print labels), she organized the supply room, and helped in the library.  Dennis told me that he was so proud of his sister… the fact that she’s so industrious, and brave!!  I would be remiss to mention the fact that Jackie and Dean helped to lift the spirits of my family here… making life a little easier and fun!  Dean, was helping at the school building shelves, and preparing for future construction work at the girls home.  Thanks to both Dean and Jackie for making the effort to come out and for officially being the first family members to set sail to the seven seas and visit us here!

School was out for much of the time that I was away; however, the Grade 7’s did sit for their mock exam in July… we received the results back from the Ministry today!  Many of our students passed the cut-off point!!!  Off to Grade 8 they go… oh wait, they don’t have to go anywhere!  Why, you ask?!?  Because LIFESONG HARMONY SCHOOL WILL HAVE GRADE 8 NEXT YEAR!!!  Thank you again, donors (we really like you guys!!).

We are so excited to announce that one of our pre-school teachers (Marian) got engaged! Her fiancé came to the school and surprised her with the ring!  Congratulations Julius and Marian!!

In closing, I read this quote by F. Scott Fitzgerald that I could relate to when I travel back to Canada from Africa.  It reads, “it’s a funny thing coming home.  Nothing changes.  Everything looks the same, feels the same, even smells the same.  You realize what’s changed is you.”

Until next time.

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July 3, 2017 | Zambia Update

Hello all! We are just checking in with an update of what’s been happening at the school lately (and not so lately).  First of all, we welcome Ashley Tomic, who came to visit us at the end of May and will be with us for the next couple of weeks.  We had a need to update our sponsorship photos for our website, and Ashey filled that particular need perfectly!  She’s done an AMAZING job of taking beautiful photos of each and every child.  She’s been working diligently (kudos to Dan and Corina for raising such a responsible young girl!) at her post and as of last week, she has completed the task!  She will continue working to update the bios of each child as well.
Another new development at the school is the Kachimfya program.  It is an after school program that focuses on life skills that our Grade 5 – 7 students may find helpful when they graduate.  The truth of the matter is that not all kids are strong academically, so the Kachimfya program provides opportunities for these kids to succeed in other areas… more specifically,  agriculture, computers, and sewing.  The program lasts for 3 terms beginning with theory.  A little background – the Kachimfya (which means “I am an overcomer”) program was started by a young single woman by the name of Amy Singleton.  She originally hails from Miami, and came to Zambia about 7 years ago. When arriving here she felt that there was a need to empower the youth.  The following is a quote from the Kachimfya website: “When Zambians graduate high school, most cannot afford post-secondary education or trade school. Attending the Kachimfya Program allows students to learn new skills, it restores their hope, and teaches them to become self-sufficient.”
We are looking forward to having work teams visiting this summer.  As we speak, the educational team has arrived, and we anticipate further help as the weeks go by (maybe even some family!).

June 1, 2017 | Lifesong Harmony Home

“Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.” 

It is with that intention – the intention of providing a brand new ending for the abused and vulnerable girls under our care – that we embark upon this mission.  Women in general are oppressed in Zambia, and the number of abused young ones is staggering.  This is common knowledge. The only problem is that little to no effort is being made to help alleviate the suffering.  The other day a Zambian social worker came by the office and confirmed that the government is in support of the idea that Lifesong has for the home.

Having said that, I feel honoured to announce that a property has been purchased. The future home for the vulnerable: The Lifesong Harmony Home. With that, all of you came to mind.  How you’ve sacrificed your time, money, and energy to join in with what God has called us to do and ultimately to make this endeavor a reality. It was a difficult road, to be sure, and there are many challenges that we will have to face going forward, but we are not relying on our might, or our strength, but in the power of the Almighty God.

That brings me to what our vision/mission is and I think that the following acrostic sums up our thoughts.  It is to;

Recover

Encourage

Share the Gospel

Counsel

Unconditionally love

Educate

 

And of course I would be remiss to mention our needs:

  1. Sponsoring a child for $35.00/month. This covers all of their needs (education, food, uniform, staff etc.).  Over 200 students still need to be sponsored.
  2. There is an outstanding balance for the girls home of about $20,000.00
  3. School bus – $10,000.00
  4. Solar panels and set-up – $25,000.00 – this would cut out our utility bill (side-note:  our electricity provider increased the tariffs by 70%!!).

Finally, we wish to thank our friends, family, brothers, sisters, and fellow advocates for standing in the gap for the “Lizzie Musonda’s” of the world. May we take a proactive stand against the evil that threatens to defraud young girl’s of their basic human right – the right to peace and safety.

Many blessings to you from all of us at Lifesong for Orphans (Canada).

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Aerial of home and proximity to school grounds
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Layout of girls’ home

April 12, 2017 | We made it back home!

After travelling more than 18,000km and visiting close to a dozen churches in the past three months, we are finally home! A sad parting with our family in Canada left us feeling deflated, but the warm welcome we received at the school served to cheer and lift our spirits! On behalf of Lifesong for Orphans (Canada), thank you to all of you for your love and continued support of this ministry.

Dennis Delic and family