Chairman’s Report for June 21, 2024

In this issue of the newsletter
Update: Transition house for aged out orphans to open this month!
Update: Educational programs established for our graduates!
Update: Orphanage farm planting completed, and harvest dates established.
New: A true firsthand story of the Christmas massacre in Plateau State

Progress at orphanage transition house!

Work completed: Most of the work needed for the new transition house for teenagers aging out of our orphanage has been completed.

The ten teenagers selected have cleaned up the property themselves, including doing many of the required repairs.

About the furnishings! About the only items we needed to purchase were mattresses and some small items like chairs. The bed frames, desks and other larger items were made in the orphanage wood shop! The bed in the photo below is an example of the quality workmanship at the orphanage wood shop.

Israel stands by the new bed he will use at the transition house. At the orphanage he had an upper bunk bed with a much smaller mattress.

Only one larger project needs to be addressed and that is the drilling of the bore hole for an adequate water supply for ten young adults. That will be done before the end of June.

Advertisements were placed in churches for caregivers and a security officer for the transition house. Interviews were conducted of applicants, and background checks completed.

The requirements for a live-in couple and monitors to watch over the transition house were set very high.

The five teenage girls in the program will be in a separate area than the boys. One of the reasons this property was chosen was the ability to provide a separate area for the girls.

The program should be in full operation by the end of June, with all ten teenagers who have aged out of the orphanage now in their new home.

The ten teens moving out of the orphanage will mean ten open slots for the orphans most in need from the attacks in Mangu, Barkin Ladi and other areas in Plateau State. Our ministry is still working to find homes for orphans created in the attacks during the Christmas period.

Educational programs will begin almost immediately. The next newsletter will include profiles of some of the transition students. All are graduating from the orphanage school with government test scores far above those of public-school students! Generous gifts from our supporters made this possible!

Fifth year of farming for orphans!

Planting is almost complete: Nearly all of the crops have been planted in one and a half hectares of land just outside of Jos in a protected area. In the United States that would be 3.7 acres, the rest of the world uses hectares. The land is rented for the growing season, but it is the same land used last year to grow an amazing harvest of potatoes and corn.

The Irish potatoes were planted on May 11th and are expected to be ready for harvest around July 12th. Last year the crop was so large that many sacks were donated to less fortunate orphanages in the area. The sweet potatoes were planted on May 16th and take longer to grow than the Irish potatoes. The harvest is expected around August 17th.

The maize (corn) was planted on May 17th and the harvest will not be until late October or early November. The ground nuts (peanuts) were planted on May 24th and should be ready for harvest around August 25th. The soybeans will be the last to be planted.

Farming is about much more than food. The Religious Freedom Coalition budget for the orphanage could easily pay for 100% of needed food. Farming is about instilling a good work ethic and feelings of self-sufficiency in the children.

Everything is done by hand! Over a period of several weeks the fields are cleaned, prepared and planted by hand. There are no large, mechanized farms as in the United States. Many of the family farms in Nigeria are smaller than the orphanage farm.

The farm is less about food than about honor. From the very beginning sponsoring the farm was intended to instill a feeling of self-sufficiency.

Although the farm produces only a fraction of the food needed for the year, the children are learning to provide for themselves.

The work is shared as different age groups take on different tasks on different days.

Potatoes, Sweet potatoes and corn are on the menu! The earth in the Jos area of Plateau State is very rich. The rainy season months are May through September and most planting is done in May and June.

In the upper left one of the teen girls is planting sweet potatoes. In the middle a teen girl holds up her bag of Maize (corn) seed. The Irish potatoes are being planted far right.

In 2023 the harvest was so plentiful that more was produced than could be stored for use by our orphanage. A portion was given to smaller, less fortunate orphanages in the Jos area. Please pray for the success of the crops once again this year!

Aid for new orphans created in terror attacks.

I did not start out the newsletter with stories of the new orphans from the Christmas attacks because I wanted to give some uplifting news first. The stories of the orphans are depressing at best. Of the many I received this is just one.

Katbam and Katlong are twins born to the late Elisha and Abigail who were both killed on December 24th , 2023 at Darwat community of Barkin Ladi.

The twins witnessed the murder of their mother who was shot while trying to carry them to a nearby village for safety. She died on the spot. The father had been shot dead by the Fulani herdsmen earlier the same day. They had to drop out of school to work for their food and clothing. In an interview, Katlong said…

We were frying on the eve of Christmas when started hearing gunshots all around the community. In fear, we were led by our mom into a nearby farm that leads to Barkin Ladi community. This was to run for our dear lives. Our mom was shot by one of the terrorists. We continued running while our mother laid there lifeless. I looked back and saw the man who murdered her come and took her dress and left her naked in the field“…

While sharing what happened with our agent in Plateau State, Katlong couldn’t hold back his tears. His brother joined him to cry. This is what really happens as Muslims attack Christian villages. These are stories hidden by the mainstream media to protect our “Sunni allies.”

Please pray for the persecuted Christians around the world and for the safety of the newly orphaned children in Plateau State. And yes, please pray for our leaders in Washington!

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