Interviews of the farm market and mini mart staff

Two projects of the Village of Hope are the Farm Market and the Mini Mart. The goals of these two projects are to provide work for people, and to help support the children at the Village. Both together employ 6 people, not counting the others who are hired to do odd jobs. At the Farm Market they sell vegetables, fruit, eggs, and chickens. They also do what is called an outreach where they go and drive to the small roadside markets and sell their produce. The Mini Mart sells miscellaneous household items and food. I also bake cookies and sell them there.

My Father is the Mentor for Economic Development. He is in charge of keeping the Market and Mart open and increasing the volume of business. He is always thinking of new ways to make it more attractive, different things they should sell, and new ways of getting them. He helps with the staff and hiring. He has organized steering committees to oversee the businesses. As a result, he has brought order and timeliness that has enabled things to run more smoothly. He has a very capable staff, all of which are very kind and helpful. I interviewed some of them to get their perspective on the projects. Let me introduce the people to you:

Dad delivering potatoes

Sharon is the restaurant manager, but since it is not open yet and still under construction, she is in charge of the Mini Mart. She supervises the Mini Mart, makes decisions as to what should be there, and watches over the construction of the takeaway restaurant. She has had much experience in the restaurant business since she used to be a restaurant manager at Maple Hurst. I asked her what she thought God had done for her since she had been working at the Village of Hope. She said that He has given her wisdom all the time and allows her to interact with all types of people from all walks of life: atheists, Christians, poor and rich. She says her purpose for working here is to bless people. She blesses everyone who comes in with a cheerful attitude and good products, and she blesses the Village of Hope by providing extra money to help the children at the Village of Hope.


Mr. Chingenge is the manager of the Farm Market. His purpose is to serve customers and to make it a welcoming environment. He is always busy, and works very hard. He says he really does it to serve the children, not to make money for himself. When I asked him how God had blessed him in his work, he told me that it was through God’s provision of this job. This is the first job he has had. A Christian environment, good pay, and a way to serve are some of the things for which he is grateful.

Mr. Chingenge and Dad

Sylvia is a sales clerk for the Mini Mart. She greets customers and gives them a warm welcome. Her purpose, as she told me, is to make people happy and to keep them coming. She has had many different experiences in life. The main types of jobs she has had must have been very interesting. She used to be a housemother for abused children, and worked many different places. Then she came to the Village of Hope. As she said, the Lord has blessed her from the time she was born, up until this present day.


Gift is also a sales clerk. He keeps track of the sales and keeps the environment clean. He also goes with Dad to do the outreach. Before he came, he had just completed high school. He feels the hand of God on his life in many ways. Many people want a steady, well paying job like he has, but he is the one who got it. The Lord is the one who gave it to him, he says. When I asked Dad how Gift contributes to his job, Dad said that he always does his job cheerfully, serves the Lord gladly, dresses nicely, and is always singing.


Alex works as one of the guards. He makes sure no one steals, and gives a warm welcome to the customers. Previously, he had a similar job keeping the books at a store. I asked one of his co-workers what is one thing that Alex contributes to his job. He replied that he is always doing his job professionally and especially gives a good reception to the customers.


Dustin, a young man visiting for 13 or 14 weeks from America has gotten the chicken business started. The work ethic over here is not the best ever, and he has had a struggle getting started, but he has had many opportunities to invest in people’s lives. Sometimes he takes a group of boys from the Village of Hope to help him. Besides raising chickens, his purpose in being here, is to help aspire people for a higher goal and to help them get a vision for their life.

The chicken business has involved building from scratch chicken coops out of old housing for staff. He has had to deal with getting materials such as drinkers, waters, feed, vaccine, vitamins, egg trays, and many other things. He has also had to figure out a selling system, how to purchase the best chickens, and how to expand the chicken houses.

Before he came here, his hobby had always been birds. When he met Mr. Schwartz, they immediately hit it off and discussed how they could get a chicken business going. Dustin was glad of the opportunity because it gave him a reason to go to Africa. After two years of communication, he came in the end of June.

It has been a blessing for my father to work with these people and to use the gifts that God has given him that he used in the computer industry. Even though there are daily struggles and issues he know that God works all things together for his glory. He also recognizes that the focus is not the farm market or the mini mart, but the children of the Village of Hope.

Dustin and a chicken


Letters from the children

I asked some of the children to write a letter to my friends. I thought it would give sort of a glimpse into their lives. They love to share the gospel, and are always telling someone about Jesus. To me, the letters show how the children look at their life at the Village of Hope. Maybe it is not always easy for them, or for their housemothers, but they love it. Here they are:

Dear my friends,
I love you so much. I hope you like to go to church. And do you like school? I like to kick the ball.
How old are you? I am twelve years old. I live in the Village of Hope. I go to school at the School of Hope. My best friend is Isaac. I have four sisters and one brother. I like to wash dishes.
My favorite song to sing in church is “One More Time.” I like church. Where do you stay?
Love, Paul


Dear friends,
I love you. God bless you. God loves you so much, that He told His son to come and die on the cross for you and me. God wants you to tell a good news of Jesus to every one. I love you so much.
I am ten years old. How old are you? I have three brothers and four sisters. Isaac, Adam, Moses, Selita, Maggie, Docklin, Sharon. I like to work in the garden. My mom is good. Her name is Mommy Rose.
Your friend, Brighton


Dear friend,
God protect you. Your best food is what? God bless you and me. Jesus died for our sins but he rose from the grave. He said He will come again to take us to heaven. I pray for you. Jesus is our best friend. I love Jesus. Do you love Jesus? I am thankful for my friend. God must be number one in our work.
Do you like school? Your teacher’s name is what? I am nine years old. I like to help my mother.
Love, Moses


Dear friend,
I don’t know you and you don’t know me. Come to visit me. I am ten years old. I love you. How old are you? My friend is Sharon Jaula, Mary, Prudence. My Mother is Rose, and my auntie is Doreen. My best thing is to pray. I love to reading Bible. My favorite is rice, chicken. My favorite is school. My teacher is teacher Bosman, teacher Yambayamba, and teacher Precious. I like to sing. My favorite song is “I Want to See Canaan.” God bless you. God kudalisa you! Thankful for the things you did to us. Thank you for praying.
Love, Selita
p.s. you are sweet!


Dear friends,
I love you. What grade are you? What food do you like? I like nshima, rice and many other foods. I like to sing. I like to sing with Mary, Auntie Sarah, Auntie Iryna, Auntie June, Uncle Alan, Joe, Prudence, Selita, Paul, Isaac, Brighton, Moses, Natasha, John, and everyone else. I like to polish the floors, and I like school. I love church. I like to pray. I love the Patty family! What things do you like?
Love, Sharon Jaula


Dear friends,
I love you. God loves you so much. I am eleven years old. And you, how old are you? I want to tell you about God. God is good all the time and go and tell the people about good news. What is your favorite? My favorite is to read and I love school, and to go to church. My name is Prudence.
Love, Prudence


If anyone would like to write back, please do. You can post it in the comments section. I told the children that someone would write back, so please do if you have a chance. They would really enjoy it.


Meet the Hamelrycks!

Let me present the Hamelrycks. In God’s sovereignty, the Hamelrycks made their first visit to Zambia 5 months after we made ours. They are from Maryland, here to stay for 4 years, and have 10 children. In the following article you can get to know them better.

For Mr. Hamelryck, living in Africa has always been a lifelong dream. His grandfather, Paul, was a missionary to the Congo in the 1940’s. His father was born there. When his grandfather died, his grandmother moved back to the states. She used to tell him stories of Africa. In1987 he came to Africa for four months.

Mr. and Mrs. Hamelryck had said that as each child completed their senior year, they would bring them to Africa. So, when Gabrielle completed her’s, Mr. Hamelryck brought her to the Village of Hope in October 2008. While here, he decided to move and bring his whole family. In March Mrs. Hamelryck came with her husband, and in July everyone came.

As Harrison puts it, they do every thing from watching movies to putting out brush fires. Cole says they still do all the daily functions – eat, sleep, school – but they take as much time as they can in the day to get to know the people. He likes sitting out by the container and visiting with the workers. They all agree that they love playing with the children, especially Chipi, Izzy, Martin, Shane, and Nola. Nola has excelled in a game that the children taught her that is similar to jacks. Mrs. Hamelryck explained to me that her primary role is to be a wife and mother. Besides that, she feels drawn to help the women, especially the housemothers with child rearing. Mr. Hamelryck feels God leading him to disciple the men, and has started a twice-a-week meeting for the workers, where he teaches them about construction and how to take care of their tools.

Over all, the Hamelryck family likes it here. Of course, they miss their friends and family. Gaberielle especially, as she is the eldest and is in college. When I asked if anyone missed the States, most of them said “no!,” but a few of them did confess to missing it a little. They say it has been difficult leaving just about everything behind, but as Mrs. Hamelryck said, it has taught them contentment.

When I asked them to describe their house, they all said it is busy, loud, and fun. People love to step in and visit at any time of day. There is always a group of children outside their door, waiting for someone to come and play. They are never idle, and always have work to do. Whether it is washing dishes, unpacking, or painting, they are always busy. Harrison admits he will be glad when the paint job in the girl’s bathroom is finished. It has taken them over a month to paint orange and white polka dots on the walls!

Just as God called our family to the Villages of Hope, so He called the Hamelryck family. They are learning many things, and among them is contentment.
Phillipians 4:11 “… For I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.”