By Brenda Erdahl
For years the people of Maple Lake have supported Carol McBrady’s work to save orphans in Africa with their prayers and financial support, but they were always thousands of miles away.
That’s all changing with the creation of Bridging Zambia, an effort meant to finally bring the two communities together, faceto- face.
On September 8, nine locals, including a representative from the Maple Lake City Council, will travel to Lusaka, the capital and largest city in Zambia, Africa. From there they will make the half-hour journey to Kulunga Bana Farm which serves as home to orphans 12 and under.
“The support of this community has been overwhelming, unbelievable. Maple lake really is the reason Carol can do all this,” said Mary Pat Craite, Secretary of the Action Children Zambia Board of Directors headquartered in Maple Lake, and McBrady’s sister. “The Idea is to bring us face-to-face with what everybody has been so supportive of. I’m so excited.”
Craite in particular is looking forward to the trip. Although she’s gotten to know the children through Skype, it’s always been a long-distance relationship and they have never had the opportunity to meet in person until now.
“I’m so excited to go. I talk to the kids almost every day. They call me Auntie Mary Pat but they say it ‘Pawt’” she said.
The average child at Kulunga Bana farm is about 10 years old, Craite said, and they crave attention.
“The last volunteer who went there said ‘I need more hands, they all want to hold your hands when you walk, and they want you to read to them all day long.’”
The Maple Lake missionaries will have several goals including finishing construction on the guest house. Those going overseas will have to be prepared to rough-it as the guest house currently has no flooring and few creature comforts, although Craite’s been assured there will be plumbing in it by the time they arrive thanks to the fundraising efforts of a board member from Now, Maple Lake residents can get involved in Carol California.
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