Hello from Mozambique! After a wonderful two months in the States, I am back with my little darlings in Zimpeto with Iris Ministries. Oh how I loved their extravagant welcome full of hugs, love and tons of hand written cards! I've missed them so much and am so happy to be back with them again! I suspect they've missed me too! Here's a few of them playing in my house today!
It hasn't quite been a week yet and I am still making lots of adjustments! Here's a sampling:
*110 degree heat with humidity - I forgot how much the heat takes it out of you, just walking across the center is a chore!
*Speaking of walking, I never sit down! I forgot how on the go I am with the boys and various other things to do!
*Being tired - I feel so tired! I'm sure that's a combination of all of these things plus jet lag!
*Things we take for granted in the US that you can't here - ATM's with no money, bank machines at stores that don't work, no propane in the whole city til after the New Year (that's what we use to cook!), NO cell phone coverage for two days - for the entire capital city! (and except for businesses, no one here has home phones, only cell.) I forgot how difficult the most basic things can sometimes be here.
*Cockroaches - do I need to elaborate?
*Dirt and dust - I must have forgotten because I feel like I've never seen so much of it in my life!
*Mosquitos and mosquito repellent - ugh!
*Broken things - three broken windowpanes, two broken screens, two broken swingsets, one broken CD player, half broken DVD player and half broken VCR (meaning they now work only half the time, but there's no rhyme or reason!), one broken bicycle, four broken or lost locks.
*The awareness that despite my praying, dreaming and hoping while away, I return to find that it is incredibly hard to try and really raise 29 boys with all the obstacles we face.
However, while I am adjusting to the difficulties, I am also welcoming the positives! Another sampling:
*A million hugs a day - I read somewhere once how many hugs a day humans need to thrive but have forgotten the specific number because I am so confident I've far surpassed it!
*Seeing how joyful my boys are - I guess they don't know about all the challenges?
*Seeing my darling Pedro! It's hard to express my joy at being with him again!
*Wonderful greetings from the staff and knowing they're glad I'm home!
*Abundant, safe water at our center - what a blessing this truly is!
*Driving on the left side of the road, I do enjoy it!
*My two cats, PussPuss and Antonio - they were really happy to see me!
*The African sky, day and night!
*The African wind (what would we do without it in the heat?!)
*Feeding several hundred people an early chicken Christmas dinner on Sunday and preparing for several hundred more on Thursday. What a profound joy to feed the poor as we are called to do.
*Preparing presents for the boys, knowing they'll love their gifts - they LOVE Christmas! It's all very exciting!
*I'm grateful that I don't mind cold showers (and take two or three a day right now!) since we the propane we have has to be used for cooking!
*I'm very grateful that there seems to be a generous supply of Coke Light in town right now as we often run out and that would definitely fall under the adjustment category!
*I am obviously (hopefully!) even more grateful for the love of our Savior, Jesus and the hope he has brought me. I'm so privileged to be able to share that love and hope with these darling boys he has entrusted to me for this time.
Honestly, I always find the transition back to Mozambique a bit difficult. It's not that I'd rather be in the US and find being here an obligation, it's more that I come face to face with all the challenges and simply how difficult things can be. I guess I see then how selfish I can be and how as much as I say I'm willing to endure hardships for the Lord, deep down I hope He won't give me any and everything will be easy!
But since I know that's not the truth, I pray God will be my strength and sufficiency and will develop perseverance and character in me until I reflect his glory. I suspect I have a long way to go but I am on the journey!
If you think about it, please say a prayer that all of God's purposes will be accomplished here in my life and the lives of my boys! Thanks!
(Ps: if you're thinking of visiting - ignore the top section and come anyway!)