Dearest Friends, Family, and Supporters…
We pray that this letter finds you well, and enjoying the warmer weather where you are. As for us, we are in our winter and the coolness feels nice.
Our time in Zambia is quickly coming to a close, and the weeks and months ahead feel very scary, painful, and strange. We are certainly in the grieving process amidst the very busy season of teams, interns, and change. Things have been given away, sold, and the house is starting to look empty of things, but certainly not children. The house says “something big is about to happen.” One room is piled with things that we are bringing home. That squeezing your life into 14 bags… again… feels familiar but unwelcome.
However, despite our own emotions, things on the ground are going well. We continue to look forward to 4 more boarding homes being completed by the end of the year, and a total of 100 students in boarding for next year. Currently there are 74! Plans continue to be made towards growth for the future, and students continue to be serious about their learning and are producing good results. The forward momentum continues, and will continue. The program is solid and we have made a plan for the responsibilities to be divided and therefore conquered. Shane will continue to observe reports and be available to leadership on the ground while he is in the US office. Next year we will have our first graduating class! We so pray our family (or at least part) is able to return for that celebration.
As in a previous email, we will remain on support for the next 12-18 months. We so desire for you to continue your support as our family transitions. It is necessary for us to continue with the ministry God has placed us in. In addition, we have some one-time needs that are coming our way because of the relocation. We have been very blessed with families advocating for us to collect a lot of things needed for our return. If you have been one of those who have donated furniture, etc… we are so so grateful.
We would be so grateful if you would consider a one-time gift to help our family transition back to the US. Some of the one time expenses we have coming to us are listed below:
· Immigration Fees for our 2 oldest children ($5,000)
· A second car/van for our growing family ($7,500)
· Medical exams/checkups/etc for our children to enter school ($1,000)
· Plane tickets & school fees for our 2 foster boys: Brian and Webby ($8,000)
We have not made very many requests over the last 5 years. We’ve rarely asked for an increase in giving to our personal support. We ask that you prayerfully consider a one-time gift to help our family transition well. If you are unable to do so, but able to increase giving for a period of time, we ask that you prayerfully consider that. We look forward to a time where we are able to transition off of support, but we always welcome opportunities to see God’s faith stretching provision.
Beyond giving, we truly covet your prayers. There are many many details that must come together in the next couple of weeks. Pray for emotional endurance, a good ending of a season here in Zambia, wisdom for the steps ahead, and the hearts of our children especially. Pray we would be wise in making the many decisions necessary to transition from another country. Pray for the people and children we leave behind. Pray for the VISA appointments for our foster children, that they would be granted the student visa allowing them to remain a part of our family. (Surprise! Many of you didn’t know we have more than 5!) Please pray for provision. Pray for protection for the family we leave behind. Pray for good, Godly friends for my children as we start a new life in Normal, IL.
Words cannot express how grateful we are to each of you. Tears feel my eyes and my heart feels like it will explode with gratitude. The work that has taken place here over the last 5 years is a product of YOUR faithfulness. It would NOT have happened without YOU. God is at work, and I believe that in Heaven… if not before… some of our Zambian children will thank you. Their lives are changed forever. And, this is not the end. My vision remains for this place and these children. We still have work to do and we pray you will continue that with us!
We will be sending an update as soon as we get settled in the US. Please feel free to call us or email us anytime. After June 16th, you can reach us at 423-404-3334. Our email and giving information is below.
We love you all beyond words! Nalikutemwa! (We love you!)
Shane, Mitzi, James, Paul, Zack, Kaytie, & Elijah
Check and Mail: Please make checks payable to “Lifesong for Orphans” and mail them to:
Lifesong for Orphans, PO Box 40 Gridley, IL 61744
*In the memo line, please write “McBride: 97800"