Can I tell you I cried???
Look at their proud, smiling faces! (DeAnna, that's your David carrying the trophy!) This photo was taken in church the next day.
All the boys except one have lived in my dorm previously, most of them moved up last year, see this post, and some moved up the year before. I kept telling them they should thank me for all that I taught them (not to mention all those soccer balls I've bought) but somehow they didn't think I'd taught them all that many skills. Hmmm.
A city league organized a two week tournament since it is school summer holidays here and our center was invited to arrange a team to participate. All of this happened while I was gone except for the last game which was held during our Christmas celebration on the 18th. It broke my heart that I couldn't go to cheer them on, especially when they won and took first place for the whole thing!
The next day, one of the other young boys came to tell me "Mana Laura! The boys are having their ceremony today! They left at 7 this morning." It was 9:30 but we hopped in the car as fast as we could (which mean at least 30 minutes as the boys who wanted to go with me had to be rounded up and tell their Educator, etc.) and took off for the stadium. The problem was, the boy who was SURE he knew how to get there ended up taking us on a 30 minute detour before we found someone who could tell us where it was.
When we walked into the stadium, the boys were down on the field with all the other teams. I tell you again, my eyes welled up with tears when they saw us. Their faces broke into huge grins, they waved and called us down on the field with them which we gladly went.
Oh, my heart flooded with joy at being here, serving these children who don't have family members to cheer them on in their accomplishments and dreams. What a great privilege to be there for them, proud of them. All the other kids had family members who were supportive. Who do our kids have? They have us and the Lord Jesus!
When you wonder why I left my family and friends and comfortable life in America to come here . . . when you wonder why I'm STILL here after almost seven years . . . think of those boys on that field, winning the first place trophy, having no one there who is proud of them . . . and then having someone arrive in the knick of time to celebrate with them.
It only takes a second to put yourself in their soccer cleats and realize what it must have meant for them.
Long after I'm gone from Mozambique, when people ask me what some of the most special moments were, I'll tell them about this one.
Once again, thanks to all my readers who help make it possible for me to be here!
Psalm 68:6: God sets the lonely in families!