Friday, December 31, 2010

Merry Christmas!

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What a fun day we had here in Zimpeto, Mozambique!  Everything went so smoothly and I am really grateful for that as I was still trying to get my head around it, ten days after returning from the US! 

35 outfits, 35 presents, 35 drinks, one big bicycle, one tricycle, three soccer balls, three dvds, a tonka truck and a reindeer headband = a successful, joyful Christmas!  It's hard to tell whether the presents or the massive chicken dinner that follows is the most popular part of the day!  You can look at the photos and try and decide!

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The world over, kids love video games!

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Neto is all smiles in a sea of boys and their presents!

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Jerome and the rest of the boys love the chips and sweets!

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Shelton is enjoying one of the dolphin toys I found at a thrift store in the US for .25 cents each!  Score!

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Room Three Pumpkins, the youngest bunch!  They LOVE that there are skateboards on their new clothes!

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No one would blame you if you started humming, "All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth" when you see this! Click on it to see a larger photo with Pai, in black in the center, missing his teeth.

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Silly boys, tricks are for kids!

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That's a lot of chicken!!!

(Obviously, that's for the whole center, not just my boys!)

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Sam is doing his best to eat all of his!

I hope you all have enjoyed a Christmas as lovely as mine has been (although much cooler I hope!), giving away love and blessings to those who appreciate it so much!

A special Thank You to Rock Harbor Church in Costa Mesa, California for helping sponsor our Christmas celebration this year!  We appreciate all of you who give sacrificially to help provide for these precious boys.  May God bless you richly in return!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Home in Zimpeto

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"Ma-na Lau-ra! Ma-na Lau-ra!"  The shouts may have been heard as far away as the city!  I arrived in the center Monday afternoon as a passenger in Mana Tracey's car.  Several of my boys who were playing near the driveway paused their play to see who was coming up the drive.  When they saw me, they began shouting my name and then ran behind the car all the way to the middle of the center, their little feet pounding like elephant's hooves the whole way.  Wow, such a wonderful welcome.  I could barely squeeze out of the car to begin all the hugs and kisses and listen to all the goings-on since I was last there.  "Mana Laura, our new "baby" (he's 3 1/2)!"  "Mana Laura, I passed my class!"  "Mana Laura, I'll be starting Grade Two!"  "Mana Laura, our new boy, Edson, he stole two little cars from your house!"  "Mana Laura, I've missed you!"

They are so love-ly and to love-ing and I am richly blessed to be here serving them!

I am adjusting slowly and would describe my emotional state as somewhat fragile, a bit of an unknown for me.  But there are a lot of little reasons that keep me pressing ahead.  And I try to cling to the promise, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!"

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Wednesday, December 08, 2010

He won't be there to meet me when I return . . .

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"God is always working to make His children aware of a dream that remains alive beneath the rubble of every shattered dream, a new dream that when realized will release a new song, sung with tears, till God wipes them away and we sing with nothing but joy in our hearts."  Larry Crabb

I'm still singing songs sung with tears but am comforted in knowing that there is a new dream God has planted "beneath the rubble of my shattered dream."  I'm not sure what that dream is yet, and sometimes I am not interested to be honest, but mostly my faith knows that God is going before me and he has my hand and is leading the way.

Meanwhile, tomorrow I fly back to Mozambique, although it will take me a few days to get there.  I would appreciate your prayers as I am feeling rather anxious about the transition back, primarily because it will require facing the reality that my little-y son Pedro won't be there to meet me when I arrive.     I miss him.