Saturday, December 19, 2009

Do they celebrate Christmas on a different day in Mozambique?

Christmas 2009 062 No, they don't - we do, this year!  Because a number of staff will be away on Christmas day this year, we decided to celebrate a week early so today was the big day.  And I am appropriately tired for someone who arrived two nights ago, slept poorly with jet lag and arranged Christmas for 34 boys and ten ladies!  Whew!  I am so glad for the help I had in Rebecca and Meghann, without whom it would have been an underdecorated dorm and I would still be filling gift bags and crossing our names on new clothes!

The day begins with peanut butter for the breakfast bread, always a welcome treat. 

Christmas 2009 043We gathered them all up at 9am to give them their new clothes and can I give you an example of how easy they are to please?  They cheered when I mentioned the new underwear!!!  They are so  easy to love and bless!  They all went into their Christmas 2009 036respective rooms where they got matching outfits.  Followed up with our annual room photos which you can delight in here.

After lots of photos, we eagerly awaited Pai Natal (Father Christmas), complete with a song to Christmas 2009 047welcome him into the  dorm.  This year, Pai Natal was our center Pastor Nico, along with our director, Papa  Steve.  We're a packed house with lots of visitors coming to enjoy the fun too. 


NORMALLY, I would give Christmas 2009 029out the dorm presents first - this year a seesaw for the garden, a plastic bike, soccer balls for each room and skateboards for each room.  I FORGOT!!!!!  I guess I was a little overwhelmed after all. Here they are on my bed, ready to hand out - sad!  So we progressed directly to the boys' gifts. 

Christmas 2009 030Oh, the joy and delight and exclamations when they receive their gifts and dig to their depths to see what treasure lie therein!  They knew we were assembling them in my house the day before and were SO excited!

Christmas 2009 100Squeals of delight over a kids' meal toy, a bouncy ball, a lollypop!  Showing all their friends, tearing open their biscuits, calling out 

Here, Feliciano wastes no time trying out his new coloring book, one of his favorite things ever! 

Christmas 2009 111to everyone who will look - it's joyful madness and it lasts for almost an hour before they calm  down, comparatively.  What little lovelies! 

Shondino looks pretty happy with his present too!

Christmas 2009 138 Pai agrees!  After enjoying their presents for awhile, the boys eagerly await the center bell which calls them to the church for the last special event of the day - LUNCH!  A big plate of rice and salad and fries and beef and CHICKEN!!!  And a SODA POP!  Oh, they're so thrilled!

Christmas 2009 192 Here's a shot of the whole church set up for the festivities.  We had dramas and singing and dancing while the tables were being prepared.  I just found out we served about 500 people and had enough for 7 plates leftover!  That's amazing!  I'm so glad we didn't run out, God always provides when we give generously!

Speaking of, thanks so much to all of you who give generously to me and my boys, making times like this possible!  God will indeed always provide as we submit ourselves to Him and his plans for us!

I'm so thankful I can be here with my boys, blessing them, caring for them, enjoying a hug and an impromptu game of catch with a new ball.  What a delight to be able to pour out love and blessing on them when they can give nothing in return.  Except of course their love!  

  I am the blessed one!   Merry Christmas!


Marcia Francois said...

Laura, I am so encouraged when I read your posts. It is SOOO lovely to see the gratitude and appreciation in those boys' eyes.

I want to do a little something on my blog - maybe put my Organise your Home ecourse on special for a week or so and give you 25% of all proceeds for the boys. Something like that. Would that work for you? Email me :)

but don't fret about timing - we can do it anytime it's convenient


Laura said...

Marcia! I am so blessed by your desire to contribute to my boys!!! (You might not know it by how long it's taken me to respond but it's been a bit crazy in the two weeks I've been back. I arrived two days before we celebrated, then was in charge of the actual Cmas dinner, the New Years Eve celebration for the kids and have stepped in to oversee our Hospitality department for two months while the leaders were away so i've been training a couple times and now they're gone and I'm it! Whew!)

I would be so blessed if you wanted to do something like that for us thru your business! What would you like from me? If you give me some advance notice, I can prepare something for you and then you could arrange it at your leisure. It should prompt me too to reorganize my home too! While I am away in teh States, things get crazy, then I come home with my stuff I've bought, etc., etc. usually my house is more of s storage closet for the boys things but some of that can't be helped as I need to control it or it's broken or lost too quickly. Anyway, I've gotten off track.

So, I would love that, let me know how I can help. You know we get quite a number of visitors from South Africa each year, perhaps some of your clients might even catch a vision to visit! Are most of your clients in SA?

happy new year and thanks again so much! I am so blessed!
Love, Laura