Happy New Year! We pray that it has started off well for each of you. We have been enjoying it and can't believe that the month of January is nearly over. Here's a quick update of what we have been up to lately. We would love to hear from about how your family has been lately as well.
Orphan and Widow Visits: We have enjoyed going out to the local village recently to make visits to widows and the orphans they are parenting. Most of them are very old grandmothers caring for their young orphaned grandchildren. It is humbling to see how these women live in such destitute conditions. Very small, dark, dusty mud or cement houses with grass or tin roofs. They are doing their best but often struggle with the basics like finding enough food, clean water, clothes to wear, staying healthy, or funds for schooling. We are prayerful about how we can help them. Our goal is also to help the churches recognize and work to meet their needs. We would appreciate your prayers as we visit, encourage and minister to these dear ladies and children.
Hungry Season Quickly Approaching: Unfortunately, Mozambique has not received the normal rains that usually saturate the land in December and January. We have yet to have a real rain storm therefore the crops are withering and the people are fearful that they will starve this year. It is not a unlikely scenario. Nearly every year there is a gap time when the crops have run out and the people suffer for a short period of time because they never seem to plant enough. But that is not what we are talking about this year. We are talking about a complete lack of harvest because the maize planted back in November has withered and likely died by now. Most of Mozambique depends on the crop of maize (corn) as it provides the staple of their diet and without it there will be suffering from hunger, malnutrition and starvation. Even those that have access to money will have a difficult time affording the inflated costs of foods in the next few months to come. We would like to ask that you pray with us for the rain to come soon and that the crops already planted will not have been done so in vain. As a preventative measure, we have pre-bought 1,100 pounds of ground maize while it is still reasonably priced. Our goal is to make it available for our guards and their families to buy it at cost or below depending on the situation when it's needed in the coming months. As well, we have purchased a portion for us to give away to the orphans and widows we minister to in the local village who will surely be the ones to suffer the most. Please pray that we wisely steward the maize we have been able to purchase over the next several months as there will be many in need looking for help.
Our Family: It is unbelievable to us but we are approaching the one year anniversary of our arrival in Mozambique. It has been a challenging year since we arrived in February 2009 but also a blessed one. It has gone very quickly and yet at times it also seems that we have been here far longer than just a year. For the most part we have been healthy. This past month has been our toughest so far with both Nate and Andrea having malaria and Micah having a bad ear infection. We are so grateful that there is decent medical care available at a private clinic in town and that we have access to medications when needed. Please continue to pray for us to remain healthy.
How blessed we are to look back over 2009 and know that so many have given so we can be here serving. You have stood beside us in so many way; praying, giving finances, encouraging us, sending us packages, sending us letters. We can't express how grateful we are to have such an amazing support team behind us. Thank you! We praise God for you and your willingness to sacraficially give towards the ministry here in Mozambique!
As a Mozambican lady said to us the other day, "I pray that the best of 2009 will be the worst of 2010 for you." Amen.
Blessings from Moz from the Pavkov Family!