Sunday, March 29, 2009

"I am the one who was missing - I am Micas who was lost a long time ago!"

Do You Believe In Miracles???

If you didn't before, I have a story to tell you that just might make you believe!  It's not my story, it's Micas' . . . DSCF3247-1

Micas (pronounced mee-cush) is one of our older youth.  He has lived in our center since about 2000.   Before that, well, let's go way back.

Micas grew up with his parents with several older and one younger brother in Inhambane, about 8 hours north of here.   When Micas was a three years old, his parents decided to separate and his father took him with him to go live with another woman.  I can't recall all of the ins and outs that followed but after his father went to look for work in South Africa, his step-mother didn't want him to continue living with her so he lived with a series of different people.  At one point, he was a young boy living on the street when a kind woman brought him to live with her family because she saw he was desperate and alone. 
I think he wound up living in four or five different homes, each one taking him further and further from his family.  He was living on the streets of Maputo, eight hours from home, when he came to live in our center in 2000, when he was about 12 years old. 

In 2002, he and some of our staff traveled the eight hours to Inhambane to look for his family.  The home he could remember was of his step-mother but they discovered she had died so they returned with no information. 

Just last year, in 2008, he returned again to look for them but since he was only three when he left his mother, he couldn't remember enough to find anyone.  He decided that he needed to quit looking and just accept that he will not know his family and will just walk thru life with God and the "family" he has made at our center. 
Micas has grown up to be a very responsible, kind and smart young man.  He loves the Lord and is growing in his faith, he has served as a Chefe in the dorms (an assistant to the Educator in charge of the dorm) and he has never given the leadership any trouble.  He DSCF2991currently takes a course in the mornings, works here in our gardens in the afternoon and goes to school to finish high school at night.
About a year or so ago, our ministry was given a gift of some property by the government about 30 minutes from here.  It was a large plot of undeveloped land in a fairly rural area.  There were other people living in the area but it's not densely populated by any means.  Our ministry decided to build some homes for our older youth who have no family they can live with as well as some pastors and form a small community there.  It is often difficult for our older youth to leave the closeness of our center to live on their own so living with others nearby has been much more effective for them. 
Micas was blessed with one homes there. 

Last month, Micas went to the local kiosk that sells cold drinks and small snacks.  He asked the young boy who was there with his mother for a cold drink.  The boy asked him, "would you like me to open that for you?"  Micas replied, "yes, as I haven't brought a bottle to exchange for it so I have to drink it here."  He stepped to the side to drink his soda and overheard the boy talking with his mother.
"Mama, this man sounds just like Tio Arone. He has the same voice!"  Well this caught Micas' attention because he has a brother named Arone and it isn't a common name.  So he began to listen more closely.  The boy kept saying to his mother how much Micas sounded like his uncle.

Finally, Micas asked the boy, "what are you saying young boy?"  And the boy replied, "your voice sounds just like my Uncle Arone."  Micas asked, "do you have other uncles?" and the boy replied, "yes," and Micas asked, "what are their names?" and the boy replied "Antonio", "Fernando", etc. . ."  (I've forgotten these names so I inserted common Mozambican names.)

And Micas, undoubtedly with head spinning, thought "Those are my brothers names!"

He then asked the name of their father and the name of their mother and, well you've guessed it by now - they were his parents names!!!
Then the young boy said, "There is just one uncle missing, he disappeared long ago and has never been found."

And Micas was able to reply - "I am the one who was missing, I am Micas who was lost a long time ago!!!"

I'll write that again, just because I can -

"I am the one who was missing,

I am Micas who was lost a long time ago!!!"

I've heard this story three times now and even as I write this, I never fail to cry.  I am moved to tears of joy and wonder as I think of what a miracle this story is and the wonder of God's ways!  To think, a young boy just thought that his VOICE sounded like his uncles!!!  How amazing is that!  And that after all these years, family ended up living in the same small area, that just happened to have been given to the ministry as a gift.  And that the ministry happened to decide to bless Micas with a home there!

Well, I know that none of this just happened!  The Lord "directs our steps" according to Proverbs 16:9 and also He knows the plans he has for us and he knew the plans he had and has for Micas. 

As I've pondered "why did he have to wait so long to be reunited?" I've been reminded me of something very important.  God is interested primarily in building his Kingdom for all eternity.  While He cares for our life on this earth, He is much more interested in calling people into his kingdom who will be with him forever, not for the relatively short time here on earth. 

So perhaps Micas would never have come to know him as his loving heavenly father and savior had he not come to live in our Christian center.  Perhaps if he'd lived here a short time, he might be familiar with God but not intimate with him.  Perhaps God allowed him to be here for this exact time to bring him to a place a maturity and faith that will Micas will carry with him into eternity.  And perhaps his whole family will join him there thru the power of his testimony!  It's certainly not for me to know why things happen the way they do, I am just pondering!

Shortly after Micas met this boy and discovered his family, he made the journey to Inhambane to meet his mother and the rest of his family. Oh, wouldn't you have loved to be there to see the rejoicing and celebrating that lasted for days?!?  Micas discovered that at every family event or gathering his mother would say "but there is one that is missing, we are not complete without my son Micas." She never stopped hoping to find her son but had no idea where to look.  Well, she doesn't need to hope anymore, she has found him! 

And next week, she is coming here to see where he has grown up!!!
Last week, Micas also went to the city, Maputo, to meet one of his brothers and another relative who have been living there, only 40 minutes away, for years!

Micas shared his testimony in church this week and our whole center is rejoicing with him at the miracle of his finding his family!  I am honored to share this amazing work of the Lord with my friends and readers so you can rejoice with him as well! 

Let us give thanks to our God and Father for He is good and his love endures forever!!!

I know this has been a LONG post but it isn't complete without asking you to pray for these four boys who have lived in my dorm until this January when they moved to the older dorm.  Each one of them came from another children's center with absolutely NO known family.  Imagine how awful that would feel - not a cousin or aunt or sibling let alone parents.  That would be hard in any country but in this family-oriented country is would be very difficult for their future not to have anyone.  Please pray that God does a miracle in his perfect timing for each one of them as well!IMG_3493


Betinho Orlando,

about 14 years old.

He thinks his mother's name is Maria.





Joao Albertino,

about 12 years old.

Found begging at the airport when he was about five years old.



Joyful Joao!


Joao Macamo,

about 15 years old.

Joao is developmentally delayed.  He won't ever be able to live independently.




Nelson Machava,

about 13 years old. 

Even his last name is likely not his own - it is the name of the town he was found in. 


Thank you for praying for these precious boys and for your generous support which allows us to be here, providing the family for them until theirs can be found!


Sean Bullington said...

WOWOWOWOWOW! how great is that? GOD IS GREAT! i'm so happy you post these types of stories on here it really reminds me of how much i have and how much everything is a blessing! that is really amazing.

i will pray for your boys... and for you!

Adele said...

I've got goose bumps, friend. I'll believe with you for your boys to be reunited with their families, too!

MoziEsmé said...

What an incredible story! Praying that the others' stories are just as incredible... :)

Susan a.k.a Lucy said...

Wow Laura,
I love this story, and you tell it beautifully. It sounds so linguistically biblical, the pronouncement "I am the one who was missing." Of course the story is so much the heart of the gospel, returning to one's people, finding that which was lost, surprising joy when hope seemed long past, the tiny turns of providence that knits the "impossible" with reality. Love the story, and thank you for sharing your other four boys stories as well.

CABean03 said...

Laura I just found your blog through Amy Hohenstein and I have really enjoyed reading (and crying) through your posts. I will be praying for you and all of your boys! May God continue to bless you and your ministry!