"Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen."
1 Peter 4:10-11 (NIV)

Day 4, Saturday April 19: First Day of Patients

Before I get started with details of Saturday, let me show you around New Day Orphanage a little via pictures. 

Inside the dining hall. This was a Tuesday family night dinner with everyone!

Walking from the guest house towards the end where the dining hall, pavilion for church, boys and girls houses, school houses, staff houses, etc. are all located. Note the water tower to the left of the road...this is great to climb for beautiful sunset pictures. 

View of the guest house, "The Ark", from the top of the water tower. This is where we stayed and worked out of. Two of the bedrooms are not finished yet, so they made perfect work areas for us. John had one room, and Chris and I set up in the other. 

A few of the boys in front of their house. 

The kids in action playing football (soccer) on their playing field.

The pavilion where church service is held. 

Just one of the many outdoor lights that were recently installed by a mission team that light the pathways at night for safety. Almost all of the lights have name plates for those who donated for them, whether it is given by, in honor, or in memory of. Jason and I donated for one light. 

Saturday started early for us. All 4 of us along with Wes, Geoff (Wes' friend who stayed 5 weeks at New Day and left on our flight back) and Elizabeth (social worker at New Day who translated for us) set off in Bus Number New Day to the Macha radio station to meet patients. The radio station had been announcing for several weeks that our team would be coming and for those who need prosthetic legs or eyes to meet at the radio station on Saturday morning. The radio is a good way of getting the message out since a lot of villages have at least one radio and people spread the word. 

Macha radio station.

Elizabeth translating for Chris. This is Jessica's husband they are talking to. 

One of the patients who came to the radio station, Jessica. You can see her blue head scarf..she's sitting in the ox cart. She and her husband had traveled by ox cart to the radio station and had been waiting for us to arrive. Jessica has a prosthesis that's at least 50 years old...her husband has done several repairs to it over the years but it is badly damaged and does not fit properly. Chris saw her in 2012 but she did not have enough materials to make her a new prosthesis, so Chris promised Jessica that she would be first on her next trip. Jessica and her husband remembered that promise and were excited to see Chris. 

Some women walking through Macha while we waited at the radio station for patients to come. Women carry all sorts of things on their heads...amazing balance!

After we picked up Jessica, her husband and Mr. Green (those were the only 2 patients who met us at the radio station) we went to the Macha hospital to see if anyone happened to go there instead of the radio station. This is outside of the hospital. Families whose loved ones are at the hospital camp out in this area for the duration.

We returned to New Day and found that 3 more people were waiting there for prosthetic legs. Chris and I started casting, and John saw Mr. Green for a check-up and cleaning of his prosthetic eye that John made him in 2012. Later in the day Anold came for casting; he brought his above knee prosthesis that Chris made in 2012 but hadn't been wearing it for a few months because the lock was broken. John also saw Hilda, who works at New Day, for impressions for a partial plate for teeth and another man came for a prosthetic eye. Total count of patients on day one: 5 for casting for Chris and I, plus one leg that had been brought for repair before we even arrived at New Day, and 3 for John. 

John working with Mr. Green.

This is Jessica's old prosthesis. 

John taking Hilda's impressions for teeth. 

A great picture of Esther (in the pink top) translating for us. She was so wonderful to not only cook for us while we were at New Day, but translate when patients came. She was excited to be able to help us with translating and seemed very touched that we came to provide these prosthetic services to the people of Zambia. We all loved getting to know Esther of the few weeks and hear her story.

This is Osia, who has a below knee amputation from a car accident.

Chris casting Joel for a below knee prosthesis. Joel walked for miles on his crutches to get to New Day.

John talking with one of his patients. 

This is Killion, who has a below knee amputation from a car accident last fall. He is a truck driver, which is how he lost his leg, so he was very interested to know if he can drive with the prosthesis. He also liked playing football (soccer) before his amputation, so I know he is very active. Initially when Killion came in, I had Esther translating but after a few minutes I figured out he spoke English and we got on quite well after that. :)

This is Alnold gettting casted for a new prosthesis. He brought his old one from 2012 that is broken but since he's a kid and is growing, he was re-casted for a new one. 

After all the patients had been seen, we walked down to see Kid's Club that happens Saturday evenings. Kid's Club is something like Wednesday night kid's group at churches here with a meal for the kids...consisting of nshima, beans and cabbage. Each kid gets a full plate of food, which in some cases is the biggest meal the surrounding village kids eat all week. 

Some of the kids playing before meal time.

It was so fun to watch all the kids sing and dance.

Everyone sitting under the trees eating their meal.

Jason got assigned fill the water cups duty. :)

To update on the "missing 4 bags story"....we obviously had left Lusaka before the remaining bags made it to the airport, so someone had to travel back to Lusaka to pick up our bags when they arrived Saturday night. A local guy named Steady, who has a truck to haul things, was hired to drive into Lusaka, pick up our 4 bags and some furniture for New Day. He left out Saturday morning to Lusaka and would drive back after picking up our bags at the airport to return Sunday morning. During his travel back at night (which is dangerous to do), thieves jumped on his truck at a construction point where he slowed down, cut the ropes and took 2 of our bags off the truck. Steady was able to get one back but they got away with the other. After he returned Sunday morning, we were able to figure out what bag was missing and thankfully it was not any supplies that were critical for our work. Several tools and supplies that would have been great to have were stolen but we could carry on. 

Whew!...missing luggage, flat tire, stolen supplies. Definitely opposition happening, but we just kept praying for God's guidance and a successful trip. 

*Next post is Day 5: Easter Sunday in Zambia

Day 5, Sunday April 20: Easter in Zambia

Easter Sunday in Zambia was so awesome! New Day Church is held outdoors under a pavilion and includes not only those who live at New Day but also people from the surrounding villages. When you walk up to the pavilion, you go around the circle shaking everyone's hand to greet them. Mwabuka buti---Good Morning, How are you? And the response is Kabotu---Good, fine. I loved the singing part of service....songs in Tonga are just beautiful. 

Part of Easter service included some of the New Day kids doing a performance called The Redeemer Drama. Jenna, a volunteer who was at New Day for 4 months, taught the kids the performance that was motions to music without words. It was so moving and so amazing that these kids did this powerful performance! 

After church service, we went back to The Ark to spend the afternoon fabricating. We worked all afternoon until time for a murder mystery dinner that Jenna planned. The dinner was so much fun...lots of laughter. 

*Next post is Day 6: More patients and fabricating

Day 6, Monday April 21: More patients and fabricating

Monday consisted of fabrication mostly. John had another patient come for teeth, and Charlie came for casting for an AK prosthesis.

John taking impressions.

This is Charlie. Blu went to pick him up to come for casting. Chris had made him a prosthesis in 2012, but Charlie didn't wear it for very long because he kept falling with it. He agreed to try again if we gave him a knee that didn't bend. We gave him a locking knee that has a lever he can pull to bend the knee to sit down. Once he stands up and completely straightens the knee, it locks again. This design worked well for him, and he was really pleased. 

Here's a picture of Blu and Jason working on plumbing, to give a little insight into what Jason was up to on our trip. He got to be "handy-man extraordinaire" and did a little plumbing, electrician work, assistant to Chris and I on some things and even assisted with catching chickens one day to take to another village. (I really really wish pictures were taken of the chicken catching or at least wish I had witnessed that.)

Later in the afternoon, the New Day kids got to play a soccer game against a team that the magistrate (who signed the paperwork to give New Day custody of the kids) coaches. We walked down to the playing field to take a little break and watch the fun. 

Not everyone played so there were quite a few for the cheering section.

Jason got to talk to the magistrate to compare and contrast the differences in judge positions between the U.S. and Zambia. :)

Another beautiful day in Zambia.

*Next post is Day 7: Trip to Choma hospital

Day 7, Tuesday April 22: Trip to Choma hospital

Tuesday morning we did some evaluating. At this point, we honestly thought we would have had more patients. There was great response to the radio announcement in 2012, so we assumed it would be the same this time. We believe that because it was Easter weekend, that influenced the response. Note taken---avoid holidays for future trips. 

Blu suggested that he take us to Choma to visit the hospital to see if making contact there would help. Choma is a town about 45 minutes from New Day on a nice paved road. So...Blu, John, Chris, Jason and I all made the trip to Choma hospital.

The hospital seems like a step back in time. The facility and equipment are all dated. Definitely not the high level of medical care we are used to here in the U.S.

This is the nurse from the eye clinic at the hospital. She was very helpful. She even called someone she knew that needed a prosthetic eye to go to New Day to see John while we were there. She will be letting people who need prosthetic eyes know about John and us coming next year. 

This is the building that the eye clinic and physiotherapy department are in. Chris and I were able to talk with several people in the physiotherapy area (physical therapy). They could think of several people they knew right off hand that need prosthetic legs....but had no way of contacting them until they show up at the clinic. We told them we will be back in May 2015 and gave them Blu's contact information. They will be notifying people throughout the year about our team and having them contact Blu. Good news!

These are all people waiting to be seen in the eye clinic and physiotherapy area. 

After our trip to Choma, we returned to New Day for more fabricating in the afternoon.

In addition to all of John's eye and teeth work, he helped Chris and I with some fabrication. Here he's breaking out the plaster mold from the finished carbon prosthetic socket with an air hammer.

Our little "lab" set up in the not-yet-finished bedroom. The machine closest is a Trautman...one of many expensive pieces of equipment we were able to purchase with donations that can stay packed up at New Day for the next trip with all of our other parts and supplies. We are so very, very thankful for all the donations that made this 2014 Prosthetic Promises trip possible.

Another Jason-in-action picture. Installing the washer and dryer, which we were very thankful for since we had to wash clothes during our stay.

Blu and Jason at work.

Tuesday dinner was family dinner night (I think that's the name they give it) with everyone at the dining hall. Dinner was pancakes and eggs!

Everyone hard at work making pancakes. 

All the kids sit together at one big table to eat meals. Maybe a little noisy with everyone talking at once but these kids are SO well behaved. They all seem to get along well. I was amazed how this many kids can eat meals without mishaps. 

After dinner, John and I climbed the water tower for pictures. The sky seems bigger to me in Zambia. Perhaps it's the lack of large buildings...not sure what the difference is. But, wow!, it's so beautiful.

Jason on the ground from the water tower. He didn't care to join us up there.

*Next post is Day 8: Work continues