Monday, March 26, 2007

Armory Explosions photos

The Fireball

This first one is from our property This is taken from the city, from where the other photos were, I think this was taken at least 12 kilometers away.

Some of the ordinance, being gathered afterward

Community Damage:

Infulene Psychiatric Hospital, about one mile from us









Damage at our Center:

My back door, blown open through the shockwaves

Our Bible School, this building was just completed about six weeks ago!


Our finance office. I sit at the desk at the right helping with Hospitality emails twice a week,
beginning a couple days before the explosions.


The corner of our church - amazing the church itself wasn't hit, just the corner of the roof! You can't quite tell the deep hole, to the right of where Fanuel is standing. Someone has a photo of the rocket (missile, shell?)
that hit here and when I get the photo, I will update it here.

Sunday following the explosions, worshiping in church.
We praise God for his faithfulness to us and protection over us!!!!
What can we say that is adequate to give thanks?
"If you make the most high your dwelling - even the Lord who is my refuge -
then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent." Psalm 91

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

My City Flat

My friend Debora (who has since moved back home to Germany) had a flat in the city for four years. When her last two roommates moved out, she offered me a room to use at my leisure, for a reduced rate. I didn't want to LIVE in the city, but since I live in the dorm with my boys, knew I could really use a getaway. So we decided on two nights a week, which has pretty much been Tuesday and Friday nights. Wed mornings I return about noon, when the boys get out of school. Saturdays, I tend to stay most of the day, until about 5 or so, to have a really restful day. It has been a God-send! So peaceful (although quite noisy - but the noise has nothing to do with me!) and I have lots of time to read and go for walks (the garden I wrote about in two previous blogs is right across the street), sleep in, go to nearby restaurants. It really has been an amazing blessing. The best part is - I'm always excited to go back home to my boys!

The Living Room












My bedroom, with a balcony! I like to say I have an ocean view, if you're standing up and pressing your face against the security bars!









The kitchen (doesn't it look like something in a movie set in eastern Europe??)










The living room view of the Indian Ocean! This was kindof a hazy day so you can't see the distinction of the ocean so well but it's there! Every room has a balcony, even the kitchen. We're on the third floor by the way.

Mercedes Pens

Have you heard of The Mercedes Pens? Or The Pen Guy ? My friend Justin Fox told him about me and my boys and he sent us a box full of tons of pens! Earlier in the month, we sent him an old pen each to add to the Mercedes Pens car. He's got two photos of us on his blog, when my boys sent him the pens and then he's just this week received them! It's so cool how he puts pens all over his actual car. He also goes to different events where kids can add pens as well - they love it. My boys couldn't believe the photos! Of course, almost everything is a novelty to them but they thought this was especially cool! Thanks Pen Guy!

Photos: All blue shirts, the day we sent our old pens to The Pen Guy.


Multi-colored shirts, the day we received new pens from The Pen Guy!

Kings of Room 3

Have you ever seen more gorgeous kings??? We are adept at using scraps here - these were leftover after some visitors cut out some other craft and when I saw them, I said "don't throw all that paper away, I'm sure we can use them for something!" Voila! Crowns! These are my littlest guys, Room 3 (Not pictured: Feliciano).

Another African sky

It truly is stunning! I marvel at God' amazing creativity nearly
every day

Lunch with my Tias

As promised, Vella and I were able to take our Tias out to lunch this week. It's a beautiful garden setting, with the actual tables overlooking the Indian Ocean. The ladies loved it, it was quite a luxury for them. We finished off with the ice cream you can see here. Vella and I so appreciate all these ladies pour out into our boys and wanted to do something special to share that appreciation with them.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Baby Shower!

One of my Tias, Sandra, had a baby girl named Elgidia about six months ago. You can see how on top of things I am by noticing that we, my co-worker Vella and I, had a baby shower for her last week! It was just for the Tias here and one of Sandra's friends but we had a great time. This is the third baby shower I've hosted for one of my Tias. They love to make the baby try on EVERY outfit! Elgidia wasn't very happy about that idea though so we convinced them they didn't need to and they stopped after about the third outfit. Although the purpose is a baby shower, I enjoy the opportunity to bless all my staff with some yummy food and fun and games.

Playing Games

My boys love to play! Who doesn't? I have been reintroduced to some childhood games like Hi Ho Cherry-O, Jenga, Concentration (a modern twist though - using Monster's Inc cards!), Bingo, Don't Break the Ice, etc., and it's been a lot of fun. I wrote in my "four years" group newsletter, which will be re-sent this week from South Africa, that one of the things I try and do throughout the day is have small groups of boys, three or four at a time, in my house for "four-on-one" time. I'd love it to be one-on-one but it would take me forever to get through them all! I so enjoy this more relaxed time with them. Tonight I took Manito, Nelinho, Nelson, Agostino and Joshua for a half hour walk with me, I had Tome and Joao help me in the garden, then Selso came in to complete a Search-A-Word sheet I had given him a few nights ago (in English!) and Agostinho came in to color. Agostinho is my most squirrely little guy and I know that quieter time together will result in him not being quite so manic every time he sees me! Here's a shot of the boys playing - the winner always had to shout "HI - HO - CHERRY-OOOOOOOOOOOO!" which was very darling with their accent! And here's a shot of Nelinho, Manito and Agostino playing with Bionicles I think they are?

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Happy Birthday Mom!

Today is my mom's birthday! (Well, the 9th was, I had problems posting this message) It's never polite to tell a lady's age but let's just say she's seen a lotta livin'! She celebrated in her usual low-key style ~ making pork chops for her and Larry for dinner! Mom, I am so proud to call you my mom, so thankful for each day of your life, especially in light of recent health trials, and so grateful for how you love me! Happy Birthday!

Friday, March 09, 2007

Car repair and the Congo

I was going to write an entry about my car repair adventures this week. But this morning I've been looking at the Iris Ministries website (the ministry I work with here in Mozambique), catching up on what is going on in other parts of the ministry. While I was waiting for blogger to load (I'm always multi-tasking), I was reading about a recent trip some people took to the Democratic Repulic of Congo, where we have a blossoming but difficult work begun. I read the pastor's letter, then looked at some photos, then read Norberto's letter, who recently visited with Rolland Baker. As I sat eating my breakfast of granola with yogurt, I had tears in my eyes as I read of the suffering of these people, and yet the joy they often have in the midst of it. It's not that it's bad that I have food for breakfast, nor is guilt the appropriate response. Jesus has enough for us all! Especially if we who have much are giving much to those who have little. Even in the midst of my work here with my boys, as I read about the Congo I felt deep compassion and conviction well up in me. Compassion for their precious lives and conviction over how I still live so much of my life to please myself, rather than serve others around me. What can I do? Am I doing enough? And not just doing, but am I loving Jesus enough every day that through and through, I do his will and not simply mine? I think when I got to the photos of the children (here), mostly boys, and could SO easily substitute my boys' faces for theirs - these are REAL children! Not just photos of masses of people in Africa! They have hearts and minds and hopes and dreams and feelings and futures! They are hungry and weak and tired and ill-clothed. Yet they can be joyful, rambunctious, precocious, playful, loving, giving as well. This isn't meant to be a passionate plea for help, it's not a well-thought out blog, I'm sure it's a bit convoluted. I really intended to write about my car but it seems a bit silly to me at the moment in comparison. If anyone wants to read about the work begun in the Congo, you can check out www.irismin.com. Then on the left hand side is a list of areas in which Iris is working. And by the way, if you go down to the Zimpeto listing in Mozambique, that's where I am and my photo is there! Please pray for God's kingdom to continue being built in the DRC and in every corner of the earth!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Afternoon in the Park

Last week, for my Afternoon program, I decided to take all my kids into the city, to a lovely park overlooking the Indian Ocean. One room at a time of course! The "Jardim nas Namorados" is relatively new, only a couple years old, and is gorgeous! They've done a great job landscaping it, there are pathways to walk down, lots of benches in the shade overlooking bougainvillea bushes along to view of the ocean (down below) and a playground area with swings and seesaws and lots of space to play futball. There's also a cute little cafe, with AC and TVs! So we all went in and had a little desert cake and enjoyed the AC and the boys could watch futball on tv as well. They were thrilled. With each room, I brought the Educator for the room as well and each one kept saying, "it's so peaceful here! "

So I've got an idea. I think next week, while the kids are in school, I will take my Educators (Tias) there for breakfast! They will love it and they need to be spoiled a little to appreciate all their hard work with the boys. I'm looking forward to it!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

My apologies for technical difficulties

Sorry folks for two things:

1. When I'm in Mozambique, I can't upload photos to blogger. I'll try and add them whenever I'm in South Africa, so check back every so often.

2. SO SORRY about the ridiculous problems with my last group email. The messages you are getting are from my server here in Moz, they kept my email as possible spam and then released it from quarantine and then flooded your inbox (or junk mail) with messages about it. And, annoyingly, they sent it on to you as an attachment, which people are rightfully reluctant to open. I'm very sorry about all this and don't know why it has begun happening. I have three messages into their help desk.

I know I should just be grateful I have internet at all . . .