Last week Nate and Micah were at a friends playing when their dog got off their porch. He ran to be near Nate and when Nate grabbed his collar so they could put him back in the porch the dog bite him on his ear. The dog tore off a good size piece of skin at the top peak of his ear and around the back. We were able to take him to the two private clinics in town pretty quickly with the piece of skin in tow but no doctors at either of the clinics because it was a holiday. Got to love medical care in Mozambique.....Ended up coming home and asking our next door neighbor, a veteran missionary from Ohio, who was an army medic to come over and help me try to clean it and reattach the skin. There really wasn't the option of sewing it back on (actually most suggest you don't do that with dogbites anyway) since there wasn't alot to attach it to in the back so we cleaned it well and layed the skin back on hoping it will reattach. It does not cover the whole torn area but we are hopeful that his ear will look quite normal although he is sure to have some scaring. Have had a couple of Canadian nurses take a look and they don't think the skin is going to reattach but instead form a scab and come off. We will have to wait and see. We have him on preventative antibiotics as well as keeping it slathered with antibiotic ointment and covered when he goes outside or sleeps. He is doing great. Not much slows him down we learned that when he was in two full leg casts and would scoot himself around on with a flip flop under his bum on the polished cement floors of our house in 2007 after he had fallen in the well. This is only a minor side track for him in comparison.
The white patch is the skin we replaced.
It looks very dramatic since we used a surgical mask to cover his ear and then bandaged it so he could not hurt it while he slept.
Thanks for always praying for our kids as we live this often crazy life!
Marc returned late yesterday afternoon and it is good to have him home in time for Father's Day today. In all he traveled 2,500 kilometers in 6 days which is 1,553 miles. Much of that was on pot holed and narrow, muddy, bumpy dirt roads. Needless to say he is glad to be home and to not be bouncing and swaying in the car anymore. The car did fantastic on it's first long distance bush trip despite the fact that we need new front end shocks. I thought I would share some photos from his time away at the Pastor's conference. Enjoy!
Stopping for breakfast along the road with the other missionaries, visiting Brazilian pastors and two national pastors that traveled with him.
Faith is definitely required when driving after dark.
A friend found along the way.
His sleeping quarters.
His own bathroom. He even received a bucket of warm water in the mornings to use for "showering."
The pastor's bicycle parking lot inside the church (so they wouldn't be stolen). Some of the pastors rode their bicycles three days so they could attend the conference.
The church's bathroom.
The village children outside the church.
The pastors worshipping.
Complicated road situations. They ended up going with the 4x4 on around all of them to the right through the grass area.
This was after the car had been washed. At one point the whole back half of the vehicle was caked in mud and you could not see out any of the back windows.
Marc has been gone this week in northern Mozambique, near Malawi's eastern border for a Pastor's conference (I will blog about his trip later). While he has been gone the boys and I have been hanging out here at home. We coordinated our school schedule with Dad's time away so this would be a vacation week and it has been wonderful. The boys and I have been watching movies, watching World Cup games, having dinner at people's houses and just generally being lazy. It's been wonderful.
We miss Dad though and are ready for him to come home this weekend!
Life here in Mozambique can be emotionally raw and draining.
In the shower this morning I was thinking back over the last 16 months that we have been here and several emotionally charged events came flooding back to my mind.
A seven year old girl grieving over the death of her baby sister, carrying guilt that didn't belong to her because she was her mama and always carried her tied on her back and she let her die. Telling her it wasn't her fault but knowing only God can convince her that He does not hold her responsible.
A grandma that cares for her orphaned grandchildren losing one of the five year olds to death. She's sad but she is more concerned about the funeral debt that is lingering over her head not because she didn't love her but because the debt is still here and the baby is already gone.
Picking up a very weak, ill old man that was tied to a bicycle being pushed by his family. Going to the hospital hoping they would help but instead being told to take him to the morgue where they lay him on a bed, cover him with a sheet and wait for him to finish dying.
A homeless, crazy man wandering down the middle of the street heading for our car where I sit waiting for Marc. God's small voice telling me to look him in the eyes, to not avoid him and his existence. Being filled to overflowing with compassion and God's love for him.
Concern for Marc realizing that he has malaria. Remembering he gets so violently sick, so very fast. Praying we get him medicine fast enough before he is really suffering and his body starts shutting down.
Back to the shower this morning.
God was whispering to me that I was not a part of those things to help solve them but more for His work in my heart to be done.
He needed to change me.
He needed me to see His love and compassion more.
He wants me to Himself.
He desires my moves and thoughts to be generated out of His heart.
He needed me internally not just externally.
So we move on together understanding that He leads.
My only job is to follow His heart.
To engage only in the things that He softly whispers to me.
To be internal.
To allow Him to show me what must change in me.
Out of that overflow comes love, comes dedication, comes servanthood.
Today's celebration of Children's Day at the local church we attend was a great success. We estimate that we had about 120 kids there. Have you ever tried to count that many little kids while they are bouncing around excitedly? Not so easy. Just thought I would share some photos from our special day.
The welcoming tree...they were excitedly looking for themselves in some photos.
The boys showed off their dance moves.
The older kids were the worship leaders with the drummers help.
Some of the children helped lead worship.
Playing pin the driver in the chapa (taxi).
Waiting in line to see a children's video.
The younger kids coloring. We had over 40 of them together on one straw mat.
Well, obviously we are back online. Miraculously, it only took a few weeks to get the underwater cable fixed in the Indian Ocean although reports were saying it would take up to four months. We are thankful to be re-connected. Amazing how dependant you become on cell phone and Internet communications, even here in the middle of Africa. Celebrating Children: June 1st is Children's Day in Mozambique. Obviously, we have a heart for the children of Mozambique but we feel it is especially important to try to impart that heart to Mozambican adults as well. Unfortunately, here children are often regarded as burdens, objects or slaves. To help remedy this June 6th, Andrea and the boys will help missionaries, Rosane and Luciana, who are from Brazil, host a Children's celebration at the local church Mudzingadzee Foursquare Church. We will have fun playing games, teaching about how much Jesus loves children and giving them special treats. At the same time Marc will be inside preaching a message on God's heart for loving children. It is sure to be a fun day! Bible Study: Andrea recently wrapped up teaching a study on James during the women's Bible study she is leading and has now started in Psalms. In Psalms it is neat to see God's clear and perfect instructions are given to His people for living a Godly life and that obedience promises blessing. He is faithful and worthy of our praise. Hand of Blessing: This month has been another month that we have been privileged to be the hand of blessing for others. An American NGO worker was packing up her organization to leave Mozambique and wanted to donate some items to a few different missions. We were able to receive them from her and then distribute to two different missions. They received medical supplies, toothbrushes, balls, stuffed animals, sewing machines, water purification bottles, clothes, blankets, etc. What a blessing! We want to thank you for standing with us through prayer, encouraging notes, packages and financial support. Your gifts and generosity turns our hopes of living and serving here into a reality. Thank you! Please celebrate with us these praises!
A HUGE answer to prayer came this month. We finally received paperwork that we have been praying for the last 10 months. It is significant for us because we want to make sure we are in proper order with all the local community governmental offices and this document allows that to happen.
Faithful prayer and financial supporters.
Please join us in prayer about the following.
We pre-bought farinha (corn flour) to distribute to the widows and orphans of the church but the manager of the store pocketed the money and we are now being denied the farinha. This means we will have to either not distribute or try to come up with the funds to replace what we have already purchased. Please pray that this problem can be resolved and for us to have wisdom.
That the Children's celebration will go well and that the children will truly understand God's love for them.
Marc will be traveling to Northern Mozambique June 14-20th. He will be assisting in hosting some Brazilian pastors as they attend the National Foursquare church's conference. Please pray for safety as they travel some very remote roads and for a good time of fellowship and ministry to the local people and national pastors in that area. Also, for the boys and I as we stay home during that week.
Today the boys had a great experience. They were "in charge" of helping to deliver and hand out food for some orphans, widows and lepers of a local missions sponsor program. The climbed in the back of our friends pick up truck that was loaded with maize, rice, beans, salt, fish, soap and oil. We drove to several different locations where those being helped lived and the boys helped read the distribution sheets and hand out the correct allotments. By the end of the morning they were ready for a good shower because they were dirty, dusty and had weevils (little bugs that live in the corn) crawling all over them. But they had a good time and it was great for them to serve others and see how little others have to live on for a month. I count it a blessing that they had this opportunity. It is our prayer that they will grow up feeling empathy, having compassion for and loving others.