Report on the Blankets Made by UCG Women for Distribution to the LifeNets Orphan Centre in Balaka, Malawi


March 20, 2007


LifeNets would like to express deepest appreciation to all the ladies who participated in making more than 220 blankets that were sent to Balaka, Malawi to the LifeNets Orphan Care Centre directed by Dr. Sam Chilopora, a UCG member who also manages the Chizeni (meaning “Heal Me”) Clinic. 


Some of the blankets were made as early as January 2006.  The project was completed and the Women’s Retreat near Portland March 24-26, 2006. 


The blankets were shipped as a tightly packed one meter cube through the expertise of African born shipper Doug Maidwell who lives in Toronto, Canada. The blankets arrived to one of the most remote places in Africa, Balaka finally in early September 2006. 


This was now spring going into the hot summer.  It was not the best time to distribute the blankets as they were not really needed at this time and would simply get dirty during the rainy season. They are most needed during the winter months which are from June through August.  It was felt best to store the blankets in the safety of the Chizeni Clinic until May 2006 when they will be given to the more than 200 orphans LifeNets supports.



Beverly Kubik with Dr. Sam Chilopora at Chizeni Clinic on October 5, 2006
with the safely-arrived blankets from the Pacific Northwest.


We stayed with the Chilopora’s and visited Chizeni Clinic on October 5, 2006 before the Feast of Tabernacles about 60 miles away at Lake Malawi.  We distributed many mosquito nets to the children at this time. This is when mosquito nets are needed: the start of the rainy season, mosquitoes and heat.


Dr. Sam Chilopora received the blankets with joy saying that the quality and functionality were just what they needed for their purpose. To buy blankets of this quality he would have to pay about $50 to $55 apiece.  So, the value of this effort by the United Church of God women is about $12,000!   Thank you, thank you! 


The plan is to distribute the blankets shortly after Pentecost when two young medical students will spend about seven weeks working at the clinic.  The young men are Aaron Blue, son of elder David Blue and his wife Pam and Phil Myers, son of pastor David Myers and his wife Pam.  These men will work with Dr. Chilopora and help with the orphans. 


Here is a little of the history of this project. 

From January 13, 2006 report by Terri Werner:

"The ladies that helped that night got together so we could have a photo op. We got at least 50 blankets ready for fringing and knotting at the seminar, but even with the many willing hands we weren’t able to finish prepping all the fleece. I’m amazed and thrilled at how much fabric we have! I just hope that when it comes time to bring them to the seminar I’ll still be able to see out of the windows of my car! J




Colleen Hofer forwarded photos and a report about the March 2006 Women’s Retreat where the blankets were completed.


In the Pacific Northwest 200 blankets are being made to be shipped to our LifeNets Orphan Care Centre.  The Centre is part of the Chizeni Clinic in Balaka, Malawi. The project is coordinated by Mrs. Dyanne Dick and will be complete in March when we will then ship them to Malawi. The blankets are for orphans under age five who are cared for by Dr. Sam Chilopora of the Chizeni Clinic. 



Report on NW UCG UCG Church Women's Retreat, near Portland, Oregon

 March 24-26, 2006.


Hidden TreasureThe Pearl of Great Price, was the theme of our church women's retreat in Oregon held Friday evening through Sunday noon, March 24-26, 2006.  The setting at Canby Grove Conference Center provided a wonderful woodsy atmosphere, with the rippling Molalla River flowing a short distance outside the wall of windows in our meeting room. 


The opening evening began with a luscious meal prepared by the kitchen staff at Canby Grove, followed by a warm welcome from their hospitality person.  Dyanne Dick then gave a second welcome to our group of 76 ladies and outlined the activities of the weekend.


LeeAnn Luker ended this session by challenging us with lessons we can glean from the pearl and related it to friendships we make.  Just as genuine pearls always have small flaws, we will have imperfect friendships. It takes practice to be a true friend, but a friend loves at all times (Proverbs 17:17). 


Our Sabbath service was conducted by Mr. John Cafourek, followed by a delicious lunch.  We then had open time for visiting and building friendships before our next group meeting. 


Five ladies from various ages and backgrounds spoke briefly on how each one found her pearl of great price – being called into God’s church, the struggles and difficult times, and the blessings received from being in God’s family.  Our moderator, Sandy Cafourek, then dismissed the whole group of ladies into smaller groups and we continued our discussions on finding our Pearl of Great Price: how each one was called into God’s family, how we deal with problems that arise, our goals for being more involved in our local church, etc.  Following our Sabbath dinner, Becky Hornor spoke on “God’s Pearls and Other Jewels”.


We had an opportunity to share our treasure Saturday evening and Sunday morning by making fleece blankets for LifeNets Orphan Care Center in Balaka, Malawi.  Terri Werner coordinated this service project. Many ladies brought a large piece of fleece to be cut, then a six-inch fringe was knotted on each blanket. Our goal was to complete 200 fleece blankets and we exceeded our goal with a total of 222.  Dr. Sam Chilopara and his wife, Esther, a registered nurse/midwife, operate LifeNets Orphan Care Center and care for approximately 200 AIDS orphans under the age of five who are from two neighborhood communities.  Most of the children have nothing more than the few clothes they wear, so each child will be given a personal blanket for warmth in the cooler months ahead.   


Everyone who attended this weekend retreat was humbled by our great treasure and how easily we can share it with these children who have so very few comforts in their lives. 


Ruby Scruggs


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More Photos from the Kubik’s visit to the
Clinic and Orphan Care Centre on October 5, 2006.

Boxes of Portland blankets ready for distribution at the end of May or early June




Part of the 450 meter wall surrounding the Clinic allowing protection for the vegetable gardens and mango groves and soon coming fish pond. This wall project is coming to completion.



Back row: Chief Mpupula from where the orphans come, Victor Kubik, Dr. Sam Chilopora.  In front is Irina James, chairman of the LifeNets Orphan Care Centre. Chief Mpupula of the predominantly Islamic community was very thankful for us sponsoring the Orphan Center for the past six years saying that orphan mortality rate would have been 50%.  Only two orphans have died in that time by our providing food, clothing, medicine and blankets.