Thursday, June 28, 2007

SPIDERMAN!

My boys LOVE Spiderman! They love making his hand gestures in photos, they love drawing him, they love playing with him and they love sleeping with him . . . on their birthdays! On the night of their birthday, they get to sleep with the Spiderman sheets (thanks Gould Family!) and over a year later, not one has stopped being excited about this treat. Superman is gaining ground in popularity but I don't think Spidey's role will ever be usurped!

Here's Angelo and Adilson enjoying the new toys I brought back from the States (it was worth all the hunting Dad!) and Abelo delighted to sleep snuggled up with Spiderman.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Dia de Independencia de Mozambique!!!

June 25th is the July 4th of Mozambique - their independence from Portugal. We've never really celebrated it here before, I don't think they have as many parties as we would have in it's honor. But the day before, I woke up and thought, "we need to celebrate their country's special day!" So we did! The day before I had four boys make flag/posters. The day of the party, all the boys sang their national anthem (I am attempting my first video post here - we'll see how it goes! Didn't work.) and then they all made their own flags, you can see a sampling in the photo above. Then we had chili and pasta and cookies and juice - not exactly the national foods but what I had on hand to make for 45 at the last minute! I won't miss celebrating the 4th of July quite so much since I've had an Independence Day party now!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Vanguard University throws a party!


I just had a team of 8 people visiting from VU in Orange County, California. They were such a blessing, they baked and worked on projects like cutting out miniature clothes and taught my Afternoon Program two weeks in a row - and they let me join them to play Catchphrase! Just before they left, they threw a big party for my boys which went so smoothly you'd of thought I was paying the boys to behave! Here's photos from the big event: craft time learning about the armour of God protecting us from the enemy's schemes;

face painting, starring Joao;


Feliciano with the aftermath of the "make your own cupcake" station;


and a classic photo of the end of any really good party - Thabo asleep long before bedtime! Thanks VU for coming and pouring out God's love and kindness on my precious boys! Thanks for blessing me so richly and with such fun and positive attitudes! I love having visitors! Anyone else wanna come???

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Shoeboxes of Surprises!

Although the boys love their clothes, their favorite part of Children's Day has to be the presents! They look forward with great anticipation to receiving new toys (that hopefully won't be broken within the day!). This year we were blessed to receive shoeboxes filled with toys from Samaritan's Purse. These are especially fun, and a bit nerve-wracking, because we don't know what's in them, the boys don't all receive the same things and so there's a lot of fun and squeals of delight but I'm always a bit nervous some boys will end up with toys they don't like very much while another boy gets a light-up Spiderman or something. I needn't have worried - everyone was thrilled with their gifts - there wasn't one PEEP of a complaint or disappointment! I was so proud of them. It's a bit of controlled chaos when everyone gets their gifts - it's just stunning to be a part of all the madness and the joy! I hear lots of "Mana Laura, aqui" loosely meaning, "look here!" and it's just tons of fun. I was especially pleased everything went so well this year after being in the States until the day before. It just couldn't have gone more smoothly. Oh, and although I'm always reminded of how much they like to get scarves and gloves (notice the boy on the right in yellow has gloves on and the boy in back in blue is putting his on!),who knew they would love washcloths!!! Silly boys, my heart's delight!

New clothes for Children's Day!

Aren't they handsome? Here's my beautiful boys, so happy to
receive new clothes (you should see how delighted they get when I give them new underwear, you'd think it was a gameboy!). This year, one of our former nurses, Gail, who works at an ER in Good Samaritan Hospital in Kentucky, initiated a project for her co-workers to donate new long-sleeved shirts for my boys. They sent FOUR boxes of new clothes!! Thanks you guys!!! We'll be able to give out more which will be a special treat for them. I love blessing them with tangible gifts given with love - it's just so special to be a part of God's plan in which "every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father above!"

Monday, June 18, 2007

Lovely Thabo!


Precious Thabo arrived on May 23rd, one week before I arrived back. I'm told he's about ten times better than he was when he arrived! He will be turning eight next month if you can believe that. One of our pastors had seen him sitting often alone, both skinny legs bent at odd angles behind him, unable to stand or walk. He went back with our home visit staff and found that his mother and granny had died previously and an uncle and aunt had taken him in. However, after finding out he was HIV+, they never took him back for medical care. They were essentially allowing him to waste away. In addition to how tragic the neglect was, one of the worst things is that care for HIV+ people, including ARVs (anti-retral virals) are free in Mozambique! He is now living with us, getting loads of love and attention and medical care. When he arrived, he was covered in sores and you can see now he barely has any. He simply needed to be taken care of! He is also learning to walk with assistance and can take steps as he scoots along a chair edge. He can also crawl from place to place now, something he couldn't do when he arrived. Would you please pray for Thabo and believe for total healing of his body and his heart and emotions? Every day he gets stronger, sits up a little straighter on his own, moves around more and talks a little bit as well. I've even seen him smile once! I am praying for the joy of the Holy Spirit to flood thru him as healing power pours thru him as well! What a privilege to be hear and serve him and love on him!