A note from John 6/1/2020

Hello everyone!

Although we’ve been silent on here for a while, there have been many exciting things happening with El-Shaddaih Orphanage and Blessings for El-Shaddaih (BESI).

Before we get into everything that’s been going on, I’d like to give a brief overview about BESI and our family’s involvement in the El-Shaddaih Orphanage. The primary purpose for this IRS-approved non-profit company (BESI) and it’s website is to help generate financial support for El-Shaddaih Orphanage, located in Salima, Malawi, Africa.

Blessings for El-Shaddaih is the commitment of one Iowa family to see to it that all of the children who live at El-Shaddaih Orphanage are fed, clothed, and educated. Our goal is to see to it that the children become Christ followers and productive members of society, breaking the cycle of poverty in their families and their country.

Joel and Blessings Malangiza are the caretakers of El-Shaddaih Orphanage. They care for the 117 children that reside at the orphanage. They help to provide a Christ-centered, loving home to children who have either lost both parents or whose parents are unable to care for them anymore.

My daughter, Josie, and I made a trip to Africa, 5 months ago (January 2020). The purpose of our trip was solely to visit the orphanage and to see what needs were most prevalent. We have identified that the orphanage desperately needs a church building, a school building and razor wire for the top of the perimeter wall.

The previous church was completely damaged by a storm in 2019. Since then, the children have been meeting for church in a tent. Because the government requires all orphanages to have a school on campus, the children have been using the dining hall and a crude plywood structure for school. This is obviously only a temporary solution.

The plan is to build one building to house both church and school! On our trip, we were able to meet with architects about this. We helped to review the plans and discuss revisions to get the costs reduced to a more economical level. See the architect’s rendering below!

Another necessity is to purchase razor wire for the top of the perimeter wall. This is imperative because the orphanage has often been victim of thieves who climb the wall to steal chickens or anything else that is easy for them to grab. Salima, Africa is not like what we are accustomed to. It is a very poor area, where people are starving and will steal just to feed their families.

In the last three years, El-Shaddaih Orphanage has made great strides. They have doubled the size of the hog building, built a women’s dorm, dining hall, quarters for missionaries who visit, and laid a permanent cement block wall around the entire compound. The block wall was entirely done by the children and the staff of the orphanage! They made their own bricks and then laid each brick to form the wall. Amazing!

I’m excited to share all of this with you! Stay tuned because we are planning to have a monthly blog post dedicated to telling all of the stories of El-Shaddaih Orphanage. I’ll also be putting out a quarterly update on needs, finances and building updates. Good things are coming but we continue to need your help in supporting this cause that is so close to my heart.

James 1:27
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans
and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

John Sklenar
Blessings For El-Shaddaih, Inc


Join us in helping El-Shaddaih Orphanage. Your gift will have a huge impact on the over 100 children who live there. To find out how you can make a difference, visit our "Get Involved" tab or send an inquiry on our Contact page.