June 30, 2009

I have a vision of little Rosa. She is chubby and very healthy. She is dancing, singing and running around the throne of God in heaven. She is able to do all the things she was not able to do here on earth. She is whole. She is a joy to the heart of God as he watches her worship Him. Hallelujah!

June 29, 2009

Losing Rosa

I am heartbroken. So sad. Little Rosa died this morning. Yesterday I checked on her at the center and these are the last photos I took of her getting a bath. She looked so pretty in her little dress. Little did I know it was the last time I would see her. I don't question God's sovereignty as I know there is no better place for her then in heaven with the Father. I only am troubled that in 2010 there are still precious little ones starving to death. Please pray for her family especially her sisters, Zefa who is 5 and Zuere who is 7 and was her little mommy. They will need Jesus' comfort.

June 27, 2009

Becoming Mozambican!

Well, it is official. We are now Mozambican residents. Praise the Lord that yesterday we became official. We picked up our DIRE's which means that for the next seven years we have every right to live in Mozambique without the need for anymore visas. We are so happy as this means we do not have to leave the country every couple of months and we will save quite a bit of money that can be used in a better way. THANK YOU JESUS!

June 25, 2009

Nate and Wells

Well, as most know our youngest son Nate fell in a 60 foot well nearly two years ago here in Mozambique. Needless to say, it was a traumatic experience but also a miraculous process. In the end God did many miracles; saving his life from the initial fall, providing a pediatrician and surgeon that were qualified in Zimbabwe, making provision for housing and food in that country when things were extremely difficult, providing excellent health care in the USA when we did not have insurance and ultimately healing his bones that had not healed correctly. It has been a growing experience and I still am growing. You see at the center we are having a hand-dug well put in so we can have water for the garden.
The man digging it has been working away and currently it is at about 24 feet. Nate does not fear the well. It is not a foolishness on his part it really is a true sign of God's emotional healing. Honestly, my stomach still falls when I see him on the edge of a well looking in but I realize for his well-being although we must be careful which we diligently are I must step back and not let my own fears prevent him from displaying the healing and courage that God Himself has placed in Nate's heart. I'm in awe of my little man, who will turn 10 on July 7th and shortly after celebrate 2 years of recovery from the well experience. Today, with the help of another missionary next door I took the clothes that were on him the day he fell in that well which I had saved after the nurses had cut them off and made a pillow cover and a cool bag to give him for his birthday this year. Oh how we come full circle in life. Thank you Jesus.

Saving Rosa

It's been a difficult day. Heart wrenching and emotionally draining as I am concerned for our smallest orphan Rosa. Today we went out to the center like we normally do on Wednesday's to spend time there and for me to teach English to the older kids in the afternoon. Three of our little girls were there that haven't been coming for over a month now because they had to go with their father to their mashamba (garden/fields). These little girls ages 2, 5, 7 lost their mother from the birth of the youngest girl Rosa. Their father has tried his best to care for them but little Rosa is suffering. She is around the age of 2 (we believe) but literally is the size of a 3-6 month old. She is lethargic, has discolored hair, very little muscle or fat. As I held her I was aching inside because I know if we don't soon intervene and figure out a way to help her father feed her she will die from malnutrition. I experienced such a strange mix of emotions while holding her and praying for her. First and most strongly there is desperation, sadness, and even fear that we might lose her. There is longing for Godly wisdom. And a small bit of hope that we really can make a difference and that with God's help she may make it. I need wisdom from heaven. I need courage. I need hope. I do not know how to approach things. I want to take action immediately but I must be sensitive to cultural ways and come up with a solution that is feasible for her family. I feel as though I am racing the clock and may run out of time. Please Lord Jesus, help me. I am asking that you please pray for little Rosa

and for me as I try to help her.

June 24, 2009

Disturbing Grocery Store Visit

I had a disturbing visit to the grocery store called Shoprite here the other day. When we first came to Mozambique back in 1996 there was no such store so we are quite pleased that we now have a grocery store and it is a sign of progress after the war to be sure. But there are times that although you are in a grocery store and it almost feels like normal grocery shopping you are reminded that this is still Africa and you are not in America nor are things done in the American way. The other day was one of those times. I was walking down the isle that has items like canned food, flour, condiments and came up to the pasta section. As I was reaching for a bag of macaroni, I looked over to see an employee putting these two odd pieces of wood under the shelf. I had to look closer but upon inspection realized he was putting two pieces of wood that were to act as rat traps under the shelf. They had a sticky substance painted on them for the rats to be caught as they ran across the ground onto the boards. Now, I am not naive enough to think that the grocery store does not have rats because although I have not seen them during the day I have seen evidence of them on things I have bought before but I was a little surprised that the employee was so outright with his job of catching rats during the middle of the day. Although the store is only open during the day so not sure when else they would do the rat catching. Oh and yes, I did use the items that I had previously bought that had evidence of a visit by a rat. Even now in our fridge is a water bottle that has lovely little teeth marks permanently etched on the edge of the pouring spout. TIA=This is Africa!

English Class

So, one of the new challenges I have taken on at the center is to teach an English class to some of the older orphans. From 6th grade on they must take English in school and all of them truly struggle. They are given English worksheets to read and answer questions which they attempt to do but have no idea what the words on the page mean and no understanding of how to use the language in a conversation. I figured since English is one language I know and am fluent in unlike my abilities with Shona and Portuguese that I could help the kids in this area. We have class once a week, on Wednesday afternoons. Last week was the first week and really the kids did quite well and we all had a good time. I started with the basics of letters, numbers, colors and how to greet others and introduce themselves. And of course to reinforce all of those newly learned items we had to play UNO. It took them a little while to understand it but they enjoyed it. I am thankful that the Lord has made ways for me to contribute and feel useful as I continue to learn the language. The kids and I are actually in the same boat, both struggling to fully comprehend and use a new language.

June 23, 2009

Sleeping Guarda

Ok, so part of life in Mozambique unfortunately is that we have to employ guards for our house. Thieves are such a problem that having a guard is "normal" and oddly they becoming a regular part of our life. The guard is here during the evening and overnight not really to stop thieves from coming but more as a deterrent as well as our first line of defense. We also have dogs but they are not yet big enough to scare away intruders. So our guards main job is to stay awake and make noise if someone attempts to cause problems or break in. I don't envy their position as I know it is difficult to stay awake all night having worked more than my share of night shifts at a hospital. Let's just say that although we have a guard we are grateful to know that the angels of the Lord are camped around us as well because it is not uncommon to find our guard sleeping. But hey at least he usually does it across our front door so thieves would have to disturb him to break in.

Jesus Loves the Little Children

Today I woke up knowing God was telling me that I had to share during our Sunday service with the orphans. I was willing although it is not my normal position but kept asking the Lord all morning what I am to share with these kids. The Lord laid on my heart 1 Jn. 4:7-8 and gave me the words to share with them about how much He loves them and that His love inside of them allows His love to pour out of them. They needed to hear that although they have difficult lives and often feel and are abandoned HE LOVES THEM and JESUS DIED FOR THEM BECAUSE HE LOVES THEM SO MUCH. At the end during my closing prayer I was pouring my heart out before the Lord asking Him to show them and let them feel and know His love. Tears were streaming down my face and all I could say was "Jesus please show them they need to know." We all need to know, right? Please pray for these little ones to truly know and comprehend that HE loves them.

Marc's Father's Day

Marc has had an interesting Father's Day to say the least. We got up and went to church this morning together as a family which was nice. He slept in and I made him a breakfast sandwich (on toast not a bagel since those do not exist here). At church our friends let us know their car had to be towed (by that I mean pulled with a rope by another missionaries car) home late last night because it died on their way home from a mission outreach up north. After church we went off to the center to spend a few hours with the orphans. We enjoyed rice and boiled chicken...it's actually good although it was a little unnerving watching the little boy in front of us that was sitting between Micah and Nate eat his chicken head and clean that sucker to nothing. Then I preached a message to the kids about God's love and them needing to love each other. We checked the well (it is still being dug-so far they are at 28 ft) and the garden to see how they are going. Then we left and stopped at the local market ( a bunch of stalls where they sell fruit and vegs) and bought two pineapples, 10 tangerines and a bunch of bananas for $2 to take to our friends house for afternoon coffee/snack time. We went back to our friends house that had thebroken car and Marc looked at it for them and found out that their "driver" had forgotten to connect something and they now have a blown engine. Not good news. After trying to encourage them that even though they now are without a drivable vehicle and have 2 broken vehicles in their yard that God is still in control and that even this He has a plan for somehow. Finally we left there and came home in time for us to feed the puppies and for me to make dinner. We ate dinner including some ice coffee that I had made for Marc which he thoroughly enjoyed,well we almost finished dinner when Marc got another call from some other missionaries that live next door to us saying they are 10 miles out of town and there car is broken down could Marc come pull them home. So off he went. He got home a little while ago and spent some time watching a video with the boys and now is off again. But this time it is good. It's 8 pm and he is picking up a couple of friends (one an American married to a Brazilian lady and the other a Brazilian guy married to an American lady) and they are going over to another Brazilians house to watch a soccer game between Brazil and Italy on his friends TV. I am glad he gets to do that since it's about time he has a relaxing Father's Day don't you think? So the boys and I will hold the fort down here until he gets home later tonight and hopefully I will still be awake enough to kiss him and tell him that I love him and I am so glad that he is the Father God choose for our boys. Did I mention we love this life, we really do.

So maybe your Father's Day won't be as eventful but I do hope it is fullof your family, the Lord's love and good friends.


This is Farofa. He is one of the orphans at our center. For some reason I am especially fond of Farofa. There could be many reasons; maybe his killer smile and cheerful attitude, maybe it's his clever sense of humor, or his mischivious grin, or because he has attached himself to our family whenever we are at the center. I don't know exactly what it is I just know that I am finding myself loving this little boy. How could I not. He's precious!

Needs Everywhere

Today we stopped by some other missionaries house. They are an American/Brazilian couple that we are enjoying getting to know. We stopped by to give them some green pepper seedlings and a few extra blankets that we had. They do a similar type of work. Thier ministry is actually an orphanage specifically for street kids and is just getting off the ground so we knew they could use whatever blankets we had after distributing to our orphans. When we arrived they explained to us that they needed our prayers because they had a busy afternoon ahead of them. Two little boys, street children had knocked on their gate earlier in the day and asked them for money. They told them they did not have money for them but they could give them a bath, some clean clothes, some food and talk about giving them a safe place to live. So here I was in my friend's living room looking down at these two little boys (probably about 8 and 10 years old-many children here do not know their ages). They had been scrubbed down in the bath, had clean clothes on that our friends had gathered from their own in their house and had eaten two sandwiches each and were sitting on a grass mat on their floor playing with their little boy who is 4. My friend explained that they had been praying that God would bring the little ones He wanted them to have and here were two that were precious to Him. My heart went was full of joy for the boys that they could be loved on for a little while and prayerful for my friends as they had the task of finding the grandmother of these two boys this afternoon and trying to convince her to let them care for them. Often the grandmother's will not let the children receive care because they use them for begging. It is so sad and frustrating and selfish. But because their thinking is that if they let them go to the orphanage where they will receive food, clothing, a place to sleep and schooling then they will not have someone to beg. It is difficult in this land to not become overwhelmed by the needs all around you, everywhere. And even more difficult to not become frustrated or heartsick that when you are able to help the people themselves often stand in the way and will not let you. Jesus please teach us all how to selflessly love others, that is my prayer.

Called to Court

Yesterday Marc received a text message on his cell phone from the Tribunal Justice in town. That is equivalent to our court system. They requested his presence in court at 8:30 am this morning. At first when you get a message like this is a country like Mozambique you wonder and question what is going on. You never know what might be happening. You could be called and charged with something or it could be to do with something random. In our case it turns out he was called in order to watch the proceedings against two thieves that are supposedly the thieves that were involved in an armed robbery at our center back in March. Although we are impressed that they "have the guys" we will never truly know the full story. This is Mozambique after all where justice is far from democratic. So Marc dutifully went to court this morning as requested. He was prepared for it to take some time because things here just do. Good thing he was because he ended up sitting from 8:30-1:15 WAITING. Those in charge apologized that they had forgotten to have the thieves brought from the prison. Here once you are accused you are held in prison until you can prove that you are innocent not the other way around like in the USA. So the men in charge sent a note to the prison requesting that the thieves be brought to the court house but they still were not brought. SO court will wait for another day as it will be rescheduled. At the end of it all they told Marc he doesn't need to be there because the case is really with our staff member that was attacked. Some days are more productive than others and some things you just have to laugh about.

Highly Valuable "Tupperware"

Marc and I were commenting tonight how different life is here in Mozambique. We have a guard at our house most of the time, not because we want to but because we have to for safety. That in itself takes some getting used to. But that is not what I want to write about tonight. You might have noticed my title for this entry is Highly Valuable "Tupperware". This is also known to us as our trash. You see our guard who is a lovely older Mozambican man that travels quite far by bicycle to work as our guard likes to pick through our trash. He does not do it out of disrespect he does it out of necessity or at least concern that we are throwing things away that he considers valuable and big blessings. You see he delights in finding containers of any type, small, large, plastic, glass, tin in our trash because he can take them home to his wife to use in their "kitchen" and for many different household uses. We have taken to seperating them for him now. We have two bags that go outside, one with trash and the other with containers he may want that we put aside for him. We call it our Mozambican recycling program. Of course this does not mean that he does not still go through our trash but at least we feel like we are making it easier for him. AHH life in Mozambique-so different from the USA!