The kids rushed out to see us taking our hands and screaming, “Uncle Caleb and Aunt Sonja!!” I notice first how skinny they have become. I recognize a lot of their faces, I try hard to jog my memory of each name, some of the faces are new, others take me a while to recognize—I forgot how quickly you grow up when you are little. We’re back, everything looks the same, I am overwhelmed, but it feels really good to be here.
The issue is food. When we were here last year an organization in Oregon had been sending them money every month for food, electricity, and water. But their funding has slowed and leadership waivered so money comes to Patrick and William occasionally but not consistently.
Patrick and William are smart and there are smart people helping to lead them. They are striving to be able to generate income of their own. It is nearly impossible for nearly 50 orphans and just 2 grown men to be completely sustaining. But at least if they could make some money they would not be fully dependent on others’ goodwill.
They had been given money to purchase a used taxi (which is actually a 15 passenger van which seats 19 at any given time and runs more like a bus). The taxi has the potential to earn $150 a week. Unfortunately, the used taxi that they bought needs a new gear box which costs $800. They have found a mechanic that will allow them to make payments once the taxi is running again. It will take them 5 weeks of income to pay it back. Hopefully, it will soon begin generating some income for the orphanage.
We are also learning about a new chicken coup the orphanage is building. It is a very impressive structure with the capacity to hold 2,000 chickens. The orphanage could earn $800 selling the eggs of these chickens. They are going to begin with 250 chicks. Keeping the chicks healthy and providing feed for the chicks will be obstacles, but hopefully in a few months the chickens will be laying eggs to be sold at the market.
So they need the weekly income from a running taxi to pay for the chicken feed for the 250 and later 2000 chickens that will lay enough eggs to be sold in order to buy food for the children living at the orphanage.
There is a lot of risk in these operations that we have been discussing with Patrick and William. We want to have a plan in case the income isn’t exactly what they expected.
William, Patrick, Caleb, and I really need wisdom. I know as much about cars as I do about raising chickens (which is nothing at all). It is evident that we as Beautiful Response will need to help fill in some of the gaps in order to provide food. Still it is empowering and sustaining for the orphanage her to be able to generate their own income.
So we pray for favor, wisdom, and discernment as we seek to provide for those whom we love and are loved even greater by the Father.