Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Sobering facts about the men and women on the Vietnam Wall "Carved on these walls is the story of America , of a continuing quest to preserve both democracy and decency, and to protect a national treasure that we call the American dream." Something to think about: Most of the surviving parents of the dead are now deceased themselves. There are 58,267 names now listed on that polished black wall, including those added in 2010. 
 
 The names are arranged in the order in which they were taken from us by date and within each date the names are alphabetized. It is hard to believe it is 36 years since the last casualties. 
 
 The first known casualty was Richard B. Fitzgibbon, of North Weymouth , Mass. , listed by the U.S. Department of Defense as having been killed on June 8, 1956. His name is listed on the Wall with that of his son, Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Richard B. Fitzgibbon III, who was killed on Sept. 7, 1965. There are three sets of fathers and sons on the Wall. 39,996 on the Wall were just 22 or younger. 
 
 The largest age group, 8,283 were just 19 years old 33,103 were 18 years old. 
 
 12 soldiers on the Wall were 17 years old. 5 soldiers on the Wall were 16 years old. 
 
 One soldier, PFC Dan Bullock was 15 years old. 
 
 997 soldiers were killed on their first day in Vietnam . 
 
 1,448 soldiers were killed on their last scheduled day in Vietnam . 
 
 31 sets of brothers are on the Wall. 
 
 Thirty one sets of parents lost two of their sons. 
 
 54 soldiers on the Wall attended Thomas Edison High School in Philadelphia ....wonder why so many from one school? 
 
 8 Women are on the Wall -- nursing the wounded. 
 
 244 soldiers were awarded the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War; 153 of them are on the Wall. 
 
 Beallsville, Ohio with a population of 475 lost 6 of her sons. 
 West Virginia had the highest casualty rate per capita in the nation. 
There are 711 West Virginians on the Wall. 
 
 The Marines of Morenci - They led some of the scrappiest high school football and basketball teams that the little Arizona copper town of Morenci (pop. 5,058) had ever known and cheered. They enjoyed 
roaring beer busts. In quieter moments, they rode horses along the Coronado Trail, stalked deer in the Apache National Forest . And in the patriotic camaraderie typical of Morenci's mining families, the nine 
graduates of Morenci High enlisted as a group in the Marine Corps. 
Their service began on Independence Day, 1966. Only 3 returned home. 
 
 The Buddies of Midvale - LeRoy Tafoya, Jimmy Martinez, Tom Gonzales were all boyhood friends and lived on three consecutive streets in Midvale, Utah on Fifth, Sixth and Seventh avenues. They lived only a few 
yards apart. They played ball at the adjacent sandlot ball field. And they all went to Vietnam . In a span of 16 dark days in late 1967, all three would be killed. LeRoy was killed on Wednesday, Nov. 22, the fourth anniversary of John F. Kennedy's assassination. Jimmy died less than 24 hours later on Thanksgiving Day. Tom was shot dead assaulting the enemy on Dec. 7, Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. 
 
 The most casualty deaths for a single day was on January 31, 1968 -- 245 deaths. 
 
 The most casualty deaths for a single month was May 1968 -- 2,415 casualties were incurred. 
 
 For many Americans who read this they will only see the numbers that the Vietnam War created. To those of us who survived the war, and to the families of those who did not, we see the faces, we feel the 
pain that these numbers created. We are, until we too pass away, haunted with these numbers, because they were our friends, fathers, husbands, wives, sons and daughters. 
 
 There are no noble wars, just noble warriors... 
 
 "That we never forget" 


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Saturday, July 30, 2011

A Bike Ride with God




A Bike Ride with God - Author Unknown

At first I saw God as my observer, my judge, keeping track of the things I did wrong, so as to know whether I merited heaven or hell when I die. He was out there, sort of like the president. I recognized His picture when I saw it, but I really didn't know him. But later on when I met Christ, it seemed as though life were rather like a bike ride, but it was a tandem bike, and I noticed that Christ was in the back helping me pedal.

I don't know just when it was that He suggested that we change places, but life has not been the same since. When I had control, I knew the way. It was rather boring but predictable ... It was the shortest distance between two points. But when He took the lead, He knew delightful long cuts, up mountains, and through rocky places at breakneck speeds, and it was all I could do to hang on! Even though it looked like madness, He said, "Pedal." I worried and was anxious and asked, "Where are You taking me?" He laughed and didn't answer, and I started to learn to trust. I forgot my boring life and entered into the adventure. And when I say, "I'm scared," He'd lean back and touch my hand. He took me to people with gifts that I needed, gifts of healing, acceptance, and joy. They gave me gifts to take on my journey, my Lord's and mine. And we're off again. He said, "Give the gifts away, they're extra baggage, too much weight." So I did, to the people we met, and I found that in giving I received, and still our burden was light.

I did not trust Him at first, to be in control of my life, I thought He would wreck it; But He knows bike secrets, knows how to make it bend to take sharp corners, knows how to jump to clear high rocks, knows how to fly to shorten scary passages. I'm learning to shut up and pedal in the strangest places, and I'm beginning to enjoy the view and the cool breeze on my face with my delightful constant companion, Jesus Christ. And when I'm sure I just can't do anymore, He smiles and says ... "Pedal."

Monday, November 1, 2010

Our updated info

Hello from our new home in Vancouver, Washington.

We have a new home phone number:
360 750-8800.

Our new address is:
5416 NE 54th Ave
Vancouver, WA 98661

Bev's cell phone:
404 791-3624

Ken's cell phone:
404 791-3584

We received our things from our storage unit in Maine so Bev has the house looking more like a home. Now we are waiting on our shipment from Africa with most of our dishes, kitchen pots and pans, my tools and some clothes.

This seems to be a very nice neighborhood and have already met some of the folks living around us. Last night was Halloween we had many, many trick or treaters. I wish we had kept a count, there must have been close to a hundred. Had a large bucket of candy, that I thought we would never get rid of, so I was giving out a hand fulls to all the first little ghosts, goblins and fairy princesses. When that got down low we went to giving one piece each, then dug into the pantry for the little boxes of juice drinks, fiber bars, boxes of rasins and ended up in the fruit dish, which was not a big hit, (had a few "no thank you") and ("that was weird") as they walked away.

It is very nice to be close to family again. Our granddaughter Audrey is, of course an absolute delight.

We would love to see you if your ever in the Portland, OR / Vancouver, WA area. The coffee pot is always on and we'll leave the light on for ya.

We thank you all for your prayers and support over the past 4 years. You may never know the blessing you were to us and to the children of Rwanda until you reach your reward in Heaven. May the Lord truly bless each one of you and may you joy in the knowledge of His salvation and love.

God bless,
Ken & Bev

Monday, August 2, 2010

Zambia info

ZAMBIA INFO

Seasons

There are two main seasons, the rainy season (November to April) corresponding to summer, and the dry season (May to October/November), corresponding to winter. The dry season is subdivided into the cool dry season (May to August), and the hot dry season (September to October/November). The modifying influence of altitude gives the country pleasant subtropical weather rather than tropical conditions for most of the year.

Rainy season

Rainfall varies over a range of 500 to 1,400 mm (19.7 to 55.1 in) per year (most areas fall into the range 700 to 1,200 mm/27.6 to 47.2 in). The distinction between rainy and dry seasons is marked, with no rain at all falling in June, July and August. Much of the economic, cultural and social life of the country is dominated by the onset and end of the rainy season, and the amount of rain it brings. Failure of the rains causes famine from time to time.

The rains are brought by the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) and are characterised by thunderstorms, occasionally severe, with much lightning and sometimes hail. The ITCZ is located north of Zambia in the dry season. It moves southwards in the second half of the year, and northwards in the first half of the year. In some years, it moves south of Zambia, leading to a "little dry season" in the north of the country for three or four weeks in December.

The highest rainfall is in the north, especially the north-west and the north-east, decreasing towards the south; the driest areas are in the far south west and the Luangwa River and middle Zambezi River valleys, parts of which are considered semi-arid. None of the country is considered arid or to be desert.

Flooding is an annual event on floodplains, to which people and wildlife are adapted. Flash floods after unusually heavy rain cause damage when they occur in places that do not experience annual floods. Erosion and the washing out of roads and bridges are common. Crops are frequently damaged by flooding and hail. Too much rain when the maize crop is flowering, or late in the season when it should be drying off prior to harvest can be very damaging and promotes rotting of stored grain.

Dry season

Plant and animal adaptations

Deciduous trees which lose leaves in the dry season to conserve water predominate over evergreens which have waxy leaf cuticles for the same purpose. The deciduous trees usually produce fresh green or reddish leaves just before the rainy season. Grasses and some other herbaceous plants dry up above ground but regenerate quickly with the onset of rains from roots and tubers, etc.

Except for those living in areas of permanent freshwater, animals are adapted to the long dry season, as seen in migration and breeding patterns.

Bushfires

In the middle to late dry season, bushfires are prevalent, and smoke is noticeable by smell and as a haze. The fires are ignited by villagers hunting, burning crop residue, and preparing chitemene gardens; or by lightning in the early rainy season. Because such fires happen annually, there is no great build up of dry fuel in the bush, and so the fires are not usually devastating. They may kill animals, and damage crops if the rains end early and fires happen before harvest. The presence of fire-adapted plants and palaeoecological studies indicate that such fires have happened for millennia.

Water sources in the dry season

Most rivers, lakes and swamps, except in the far south and south-west, are permanent. In addition, dambos (grasslands which become marshy in the rainy season) are prevalent in most of the country and water is usually available in them from springs or shallow wells. Dambos also release groundwater to streams and rivers towards the end of the dry season, keeping them flowing permanently. Small earth dams are often constructed in dambos as a source of water and as fishponds.

For the human population, the location of rural settlements is determined by access to water in the dry season (though boreholes are now commonly used to augment supplies). Traditionally, people have also migrated in the drier areas where rivers dambos are not prevalent. In Barotseland, people move with their livestock, grazing them on the Barotse Floodplain in the dry season and moving to higher ground at the margins during the rainy season.

The ability to grow enough food in the rainy season to last the long dry season is also a factor in population distribution. Traditionally some communities have divided the year into farming in the rainy season, and fishing and hunting in the dry season, when herbivores can be found more easily as they visit sources of water, and fires can be set to expose them or drive them into traps.

Temperature

The elevation of the great plateau on which Zambia is located, typically between 1,000 and 1,300 metres (3,281 and 4,265 ft), modifies temperatures, which are lower than for coastal areas at the same latitude, and pleasant for much of the year. On the plateau (covering about 80% of the country) temperature ranges, depending on location are:

June (cool dry season): 6–12 °C (42.8–53.6 °F) (mean daily minimum) to 21–26 °C (69.8–78.8 °F) (mean daily maximum)

October (hot dry season): 17–22 °C (62.6–71.6 °F) (mean daily minimum) to 28–35 °C (82.4–95 °F) (mean daily maximum)

February (rainy season): 14–19 °C (57.2–66.2 °F) (mean daily minimum) to 25–30 °C (77–86 °F) (mean daily maximum)

Most of the country is frost-free but in some years ground frost occurs. This is restricted to the highest exposed hills, or more widely in the lower humidity areas of the southernmost parts of the country.

Temperatures are higher at lower elevations, such as the Luapula-Mweru and Mweru Wantipa/Tanganyika valleys in the north, and highest in the lower Luangwa and Zambezi valleys in the south, typically experiencing 40 °C (104 °F) in October, with rising humidity making for uncomfortable conditions.

During the rainy season months of November to April or May some days may be humid, but daily maximum temperatures are usually a little lower than in the hot dry season. The rain can be cooling, unlike in the humid tropics.

Wind

Prevailing winds in the dry season are generally moderate but occasionally more severe and may bring cool dust-laden air from distant arid regions. Whirlwinds are very common but not usually destructive; waterspouts can be seen over lakes.

In the rainy season, winds are localised with thunderstorms and may be destructive but usually confined to small areas, such as blowing roofs off buildings. The country does not suffer tornadoes or cyclones of widespread destructive force.

Languages of Zambia

The official language of Zambia is English, which is used to conduct official business and is the medium of instruction in schools. The main local language, especially in Lusaka, is Nyanja. However, Bemba and Nyanja are spoken in the urban areas in addition to other indigenous languages which are commonly spoken in Zambia. These are: Ambo, Aushi, Bisa, Chikunda, Cishinga, Cokwe, Gova, Ila, Inamwanga, Iwa, Kabende, Kaonde, Kosa, Kunda, Kwandi, Kwandu, Kwangwa, Lala, Lamba, Lenje, Leya, Lima, Liyuwa, Lozi, Luano, Lucazi, Lumbu, Lunda, Lundwe, Lungu, Luunda, Luvale, Makoma, Mambwe, Mashasha, Mashi, Mbowe, Mbukushu, Mbumi, Mbunda, Mbwela, Mukulu, Mulonga, Ndembu, Ng'umbo, Nkoya, Nsenga, Nyengo, Nyiha, Sala, Seba, Senga, Shanjo, Shila, Simaa, Soli, Subiya, Swaka, Tabwa, Tambo, Toka, Tonga, Totela, Tumbuka, Twa, Unga, Wandya and Yombe. Estimates of the total number of languages spoken in Zambia add up to 72,[20] thirteen (13) dialects are counted as languages in their own right which brings this number to 85.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010



Dear Family and Friends,


As the beautiful Rwandan sun sets on our time at Rafiki Village Rwanda we look back and praise God for the privilege and blessings the Lord has given us in knowing and loving these wonderful Rwandan people. We will miss many dear friends as well as our dear mama's and precious children here at Rafiki Village Rwanda.

As difficult as it is to leave Rwanda we so look forward to a new village, new friends and new children in Zambia. Those we are leaving and those we will soon meet will ever be in our prayers. It does not matter so much the physical place we are located as long as we are where the Lord desires us to be...."not my will but thine O Lord." We know God works all things for good to those who love him.

We thank God for each of you who have partnered with us here in Rwanda. You are vital to this ministry, our support team and to us and we pray you will make the transition to Zambia with us. We trust God that our hearts are big enough to love another village full of wonderful mama's, children and ROS teammates.

We ask for your continued prayers as we travel to Zambia and adjust to life there. May we continue to witness the wonders of the Lord's love, His work and His provision as He equips us to serve with joy unspeakable. Also please pray with us for the new team in Rwanda as they settle in to a new village, new language and learning many new things. And for these children as God continues to work great things in their lives.

Here are some photos from the past couple months here in Rwanda.


Ken & Bev with all the Rafiki Rwanda children, Mama’s, Aunties and the New Team members.






Kitchen staff that Ken has been working with.

Mufasha and Bebito, they are siblings and two of our newest children.

Bev with Juliet and Jen. Juliet was our house helper and is now working as a teacher’s aid in the school. Jen is Juliet’s sister.

Sam is the assistant to the village director and nearly like a son to us.


Thank you for your continued support and may God bless you. Much love,

Ken & Bev




Monday, May 24, 2010

May Newsletter



"See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up do you not perceive it?" (Isaiah 43:19)

Dear Family and Friends,


What a delight to see how God’s children have developed over the past year. It hardly seems possible that it was nearly a year ago when our first children came to call Rafiki Village Rwanda home. We are so blessed to have the privilege of being a small part of their lives.

Bev’s teaching of the eleven children in the Three Year Old Class and the Kindergarteners has been the delight of her heart. In our last newsletter the Three’s Class were learning to use binoculars. The Kindergarten lesson in April included memorizing the poem “Grandmother’s Glasses” for an In-School Recitation held on April 28th. It was simply amazing how much better you can see to read when wearing spectacles!


Ken and Sam have made many trips to the villages in Bugesera District doing background inquiries on possible new children coming to Rafiki. After weeks of interviews, paperwork and medical exams nine children will be coming to live at Rafiki on May 10th. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

As part of personnel restructuring Ken has taken on the kitchen oversight duties. Only God knew that Ken’s Culinary Arts training back in the 60’s would come into use 40 years later. New equipment has been added to the kitchen, thanks to a generous donor, which will make life a little easier for the kitchen staff to be able to put out more meals in less time.



Special thanks for the generous donations for playground equipment. Very soon the children were having an absolute wonderful time learning to slide and swing for the very first time. Also we thank the donors for funding earmarked for the drilling of a well for the village.

One last news item is we are being transferred from Rwanda to Rafiki Village Zambia. We are sad to leave these dear children and the friends we have made in Rwanda, but as we pack for this move we are looking forward to the new challenges God has for us in Zambia. If God has touched your heart with a burden for these Rafiki orphans and you would like to help keep us on the field please contact the Rafiki Home Office with your donation or pledge. Our name and ROS # 176 has to be on the paperwork for pledges and donations to be appropriately credited to our account. We are ever grateful to God for your love, prayers and support, which undergird as we serve the Lord with Rafiki.

Pray for-

· Mama’s and children as they adjust to a new team of ROS.

· Sam, Ken’s Assistant, as he encourages the new village director and team.

· Nationals to continue to work well, mindful of safety and with integrity of heart.

· Each ROS transitioning, those who leave and those who come to Rwanda.

· As we prepare to hand-off our responsibilities here in Rwanda.

· As we adjust to a new village and new responsibilities in Zambia.

·
All who are preparing to come to Rwanda will be excited and blessed of God.

Praise God for-

· The time for overlap of ROS to afford a smooth transition

· He is the Blessed Controller of all things, His will and His ways are perfect.

· Our time in Rwanda, the privilege to know and love these precious children and people.

· The opportunity He has given us to serve here.

· You who uphold, encourage and support these children, this work and us as we serve in the name of Jesus.

Lovingly in Christ,

Ken & Bev