Friday, March 26, 2010

Under the Mango Tree

Kevin and I were discussing our blog and the significance of changing its name and the work here to develop this orphanage. We decided to change our blog name to “Under the Mango Tree”. 
            Mango trees are very significant in many ways.  They become a gathering place for people. Our blog represents a gathering place for people to enter in to our lives here in Sudan and the work of Hope for Sudan.
The trees are tall, big, and long lived. Not only do we have much land that God has given us, big and vast . . . our heart and God’s heart are BIG as we prepare to receive kids and build a LONG LIVED place for them to grow spiritually and physically. 
They are deeply rooted. We desire Hope for Sudan to be deeply rooted in God’s truth, character, and fruit for many years to come.
They produce sweet fruit.  Hope for Sudan will produce sweet fruit in the children.
Mangos have a mild sweet odor similar to the “Lily of the Valley”.  “Lilly of the Valley” is a symbol of humility.  Like Jesus in Phil. 2: 5-8, to do His work, we MUST empty ourselves, taking the form of a bondservant and humble our selves by becoming obedient to the point of death, to ourselves and our fleshly desires.  We desire to walk in humility and teach the children to walk in humility.
They provide shade for protection.  Hope for Sudan will be a place of protection and provision for those that are not forgotten. 
The fruit and leaves are traditionally used as floral decorations for public celebrations, religious ceremonies, and weddings.  Hope for Sudan is a celebration of life, provision, protection, growth, and peace!
            So, we hope that you will enjoy your visits with us “Under the Mango Tree”!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Recieving mail

Many people have asked us if we can receive mail in Africa.  We can receive it through one of our MWP staff members in Kenya.   Send mail to. . .


Kevin and Shalene Massie

c/o Eugenio Kirima

P.O. Box 250-00521

Embakasi Village

Nairobi, Kenya


We can also receive mail at the MWP P.O. box in Alabama. . .


Make Way Partners

Attn: Kevin and Shalene Massie

P.O box 26367

Birmingham, AL 35260


Team members will be brining our mail over to us throughout the year.


We will fly into Nairobi on April 7 and plan on being there a few weeks.  We will return there periodically to get supplies, mail, and rest.  Please pray for our safe travels and for a peaceful election.




Kevin, Shalene, Abigail

Friday, March 19, 2010

Correction to the election date

The Presidential election is scheduled for April 11, NOT March 11.  Please put it on your calendars to be praying for Sudan on that day!

Blessings of peace,

Kevin, Shalene, Abigail

Thursday, March 18, 2010

"Little Tent in the Bush"

            Many days I reflect on how much I feel like I am living “Little House on the Prairie”.  I loved that show growing up, and maybe I secretly longed to live like that.  Was that God preparing me to live in Sudan?  I was sharing with Kevin that life feels normal here.  That is a weird feeling since nothing about our lives is “normal” as we would think of normal.  But, what is normal as a Christian?  Serving one another, reflecting the character and love of God, caring for the widows and orphans, honoring, respecting, and loving your spouse, and walking with our creator daily, these things are normal.   I am spending time observing the culture here and the people around me so I can truly see them and love them as Jesus would.  I am a student as I learn from this culture and learn Arabic so I can communicate.  
I am thankful for a young woman, Susan Bakhita, we have hired to help us take care of Abigail, with some chores, and language learning.  Our heart, in who we hired, was to help support a widow in the community.  This young woman lives with her grandmother, who is blind.  In providing her a job, we are helping support her and her grandmother.    She is a member of the church where Romano pastors and hopes to minister in the church one day.  I am thankful for a Godly young woman to learn from. 

                 Mixing Soil for the blocks

The building progress is coming along!  We have a man from a company called Hydraform, where we purchased our block making machine, here training our guys to make blocks and build our first building.


 Our first "Life Saving" blocks!         

We are thankful to have found soil 50 yards away from our compound that will be used to make these blocks.  We won’t have to truck in the soil.  The blocks are designed to fit together and will make our building process quick and smooth.  Next week we hope to begin building our administrative building.  We have the foundation dug for this. 


Abigail continues to grow and win the hearts of those she meets with her smile and big blue eyes!  She is beginning to test her ability to stand.  I find her standing over her toy box to reach the books that are behind and standing up in the bath.  Recently, she stood in the bath and looked up at us while she slowly took both hands off of the side of the wash basin to stand UNASSISTED!    We were amazed.  She seemed very proud of herself.  It is hard to believe she will be a year old in less than a month.  She enjoyed sharing her Veggie Tale video, “God Made You Special” with our compound cook’s children.  They seemed excited to see a video probably for the first time ever!

Here are some things we enjoy and that make our lives abnormal here in the bush. . .
  • Making popcorn on the stove top, not in the microwave
  • Setting the mouse traps before bed
  • Filling the water filters twice a day
  • Washing cloth diapers in a wash basin
  • Having our “sink” on the ground in 2 wash basins
  • Looking overhead for creatures (snakes) when you enter the pit latrine
  • Sleeping under a mosquito net
  • Falling asleep to the sound of the generator, praise God for some electricity!
  • Abigail enjoying playing in the tent in her toy box before it gets too hot!
  • Beautiful sunrises and sunsets
  • Staff and family devotions
  • Playing guitar and singing in the evenings
  • “If you see vegetables in the market, you better get them. . . they may not be there tomorrow”.
  • Washing clothes in a plastic tub with a wash board and hanging them on a clothes line to dry (did I mention “Little House on the Prairie”?).
  • Seeing chickens roam the compound, not normal for us anyway.
  • Pit latrines and bucket baths
  • VERY bumpy roads
  • Cooking and living outdoors
  • HOMEMADE egg plant parmesan, spaghetti, pizza, creamy garlic pasta, potato salad, curried lentils, Mexican re-fried beans and Spanish rice with avocado salsa and homemade tortillas, eggplant stew and rice, tuna salad
  • Dinner by headlamp instead of candlelight
  • Porcupine for dinner. . . they really are going to eat it!

Please pray with us for the first ever “free and democratic” Presidential election coming up on Sunday, March 11.  This is a critical time for the Sudanese people.   Please pray for a peaceful process and vote.  Pray that our building process will continue to go smoothly.  Pray for Kevin, Abigail, and I as we are flying to Nairobi on April 7 for a respite and time for reflection and personal growth.  Pray that we will be open and listening to the leading of the Holy Spirit as we live our daily lives in Sudan

Love, Kevin, Shalene, and Abigail

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Massies on the Move!

Kevin and I appreciated Matt keeping Abigail for a few hours while he was here with us.  We took a ride through the bush on the motorcycle.  It was a great date!  We enjoyed a cold drink at a local hotel and time “away” to catch up. 
  We had “spur of the moment” visitors with us today.  Michelle Perry and Jenny Joy came by to meet us.   They are with Iris ministries and have started an orphanage in Yei, Sudan.  It was neat to have them in our kitchen and share tea and our heart for giving life, love, and home to orphans.
            Abigail had a play date with our compound cook’s son. As the babies sat in the floor playing, I listened to these women that work so hard to provide food for our laborers as well as take care of their own homes.   They shared their laughter and amazement of seeing Kevin cooking a meal recently.  They asked me to hold a seminar to model how I got my husband to cook for me.   I chuckled and said, “In our home, we work together sometimes on meals.  Kevin enjoys cooking and is very good at it.” 
           We are happily standing on the site for a future orphan home.  We have a beautiful view of the mountains behind us!   We look forward with joy and expectation as we dream about laughing children that will soon be occupying that space!
            Abigail was worn out after entertaining people today our tea times!  Then, she was up and helping mommy cook stir fry.  
            Please pray with us for the upcoming election on Sunday, April 11.  We will be flying to Nairobi on April 7 as a precaution during the election.  We will enjoy a brief respite on a lake for reflection and much needed time for our family and with God.  We will also be celebrating Abigail’s 1st birthday and taking her for her 1 year vaccinations. 

Kevin, Shalene, and Abigail