Thursday, Jan. 19th

Shelby and I spent our last full day in Mwanza enjoying the children and staff at Fonelisco Orphanage. The name derives from “Foundation of New Life for Street Children and Orphans.   Our first task was to provide teaching on the delicate subject of sex education which was focused on the young girls entering puberty. Our students included not only the children, but also the older female staff. It was the older woman who asked most of the questions and required clarification on previous misinformation. Pregnancy, HIV and sexually transmitted diseases were discussed in length. They were so engaged in the teaching and discussions that the class lasted over 2.5 hours. Shelby and I then separated, with her remaining behind at the orphanage to hold, play and pray with the children. I left with Joseph Elias (the head director) and Paul (director of day to day operations) to buy food (including the rarity of beef for their evening meal), medicine (anti fungal medication), cleaning supplies, a large cooking pot, underwear for the boys and girls, toothpaste, shampoo, soap, and other miscellaneous items. I had quite an adventure moving about the city’s markets to find the best discounted prices. We returned to the orphanage late, only to find a child sleeping in Shelby’s arms. I asked whether she was worried whether I would return. Shelby just smiled and said, “Not when I have the blessing of holding these little ones.” We left the orphanage hearing the children and staff praising God in song, and asking for blessings on Hope Ministries. Shelby Hicks and Patricia Westergren

Here are some photos and videos with the team at the orphanage.  They all fell in love with these beautiful children.  Check on the moves of the one boy!