A Note from John 9/1/2020
A New Future for Malawi and a New Building for the Orphanage!
By: John Sklenar
A wonderful event has happened in Malawi that will most likely positively impact the country, as well as, one we expect to benefit the El-Shaddaih Orphanage.
The people elected a new president in Malawi. Amid claims of irregularities surrounding the first regularly-scheduled election, the courts ordered a second election. The result….Dr. Lazarus Chakwera, unseated the incumbent, Peter Mutharika. It so happens that the new first lady of Malawi, Monica Chakwera, is the aunt of Blessings Malangiza, our very own director of the El-Shaddaih Orphanage!
This event is important because, like corruption in the machinery that runs the USA, there is corruption in Malawi. With the new President Chakwera, an ordained minister, there is hope that he will restore the integrity and honesty in Malawi that is missing in so many countries.
Also, having an advocate at the highest level of government in Malawi may be beneficial to the orphanage. For instance, we have been waiting for a year to receive some papers from the government. How much power does a president in Malawi have? We will see. But our hope is that the new president there can have a positive effect on the economy and living conditions.
The country of Malawi is one of the poorest on Earth, with 74% of its people living on only $1.25 per day. One tenth of all children die before the age of 5. Sadly, among the biggest causes of death are malnourishment and AIDS. Blessings’ & Joel’s work at the orphanage is imperative to the 118 children who reside there.
This summer we broke ground on a new building at the orphanage! This ambitious building project is to construct a permanent church building, which will also be used as a school for the younger children. This education component is required by the government as each orphanage must have education facilities on their premises.
The church building is needed because the original plywood and thatched-roof building was destroyed in a storm. The children of the orphanage go to the church every morning and every night to worship and pray. Furthermore, the orphanage plans to use the building to reach out and minister to the community.
It has become unsafe to send the children outside the orphanage walls for school. Included in the $150,000 building cost is $5,000 for razor wire to run around the exterior wall, to prevent thieves from scaling the wall to steal chickens, or anything else not “nailed down.”
The children and staff at the orphanage are helping with the construction. The majority of the older children were sent home to the orphanage from boarding school during the COVID lock-down and they have been able to help with the building project. They have helped in cutting the steel, making beams and columns and have made thousands of bricks by hand.
For those of you who give, thank you for your generosity. To those who can’t give, please pray that those who can give, will.
Religion that pleases God the Father must be pure and spotless. You must help needy orphans and widows and not let this world make you evil. James 1:27