Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Meet Nandino!

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Nandino, what a doll!

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What a goofball!

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What a silly goofball!

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I think he just wanted me to take a lot of photos!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Disappointed . . . but still dreaming!

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Hi friends!  Just want to give a formal update that I won’t be getting this house that I wrote about back in May.  It’s been iffy for a few months now but never quite settled.  I had hoped that God was just saving me rent money since I ended up being gone most of the rest of 2012.  Well I texted with the owner today and they have rented the back out to someone else and are keeping the main house for their use when they need or want it.  

I asked him to keep me in mind if something should change but who knows.  Well, God knows!

I am disappointed because it seemed so perfect.  But I know enough to know that doesn’t mean it WAS perfect.

But I did dream a lot about moving out with six boys and having our own little family and it really felt right. 

So now I will pray and see if something else comes my way or if I should start looking myself!

Thank you for your prayers and encouragement!

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Christmas is Coming!!!

clip_image004Christmas is Coming!

Kids all over the world love Christmas and my boys are no exception! I think they start asking me when Christmas comes again on about December 26th!

In our center, we celebrate Christmas with a new outfit (complete with undies!) and a gift bag full of treasures, big and small. I usually also have some “big” dorm gifts which might be a few DVD movies, soccer balls, maybe a scooter to a new trampoline if we need one that year. We also enjoy a Christmas feast with chicken, fries, salad, rice, candy and a bottle of soda for each child – they eat til they’re stuffed and we eat leftovers for dinner!

Would you like to participate in this practical and easy way to help make 30 little boys super happy this Christmas? A gift of $20 will sponsor one of my boys for their new Christmas outfit OR their Christmas gift. A gift of $40 will sponsor one of my boys for BOTH their Christmas outfit and gift.

clip_image002 It’s easy to give – simply send a check made payable to Laura Anderson (if you do NOT need tax-deductible credit) or Faith Fellowship (if you DO need tax-deductible credit) and mail it to:

Laura Anderson, PO Box 734, Roseburg, OR 97470.

I will send you a photo of the boy you are sponsoring and also send you a photo of them with their new clothes and gift after Christmas! For that, I will need to know your email address so please send me a quick email at Lauraleighanderson@hotmail.com to let me know you are participating in this Christmas sponsorship.

It’s such a joy for me to bless my boys all throughout the year but there is something special about knowing they are enjoying Christmas. I so appreciate the investment of people that helps make that possible!

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Christmas is Coming!!!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

An Unwanted Houseguest ~ Sandy Pays a Visit

My mom lives in Barnegat, New Jersey, about a mile from Barnegat Bay and a few miles from the Atlantic Ocean.  Her house is less than a mile from the mandatory evacuation line that was set up before Hurricane Sandy hit land – about 45 minutes south of my mom’s house, near Atlantic City where this photo is taken.

Her home is fine, praise God, and not a bit of flooding reached her, no downed trees or damage to the house.  But she, and the surrounding neighborhood, have been without power for almost 48 hours now.  The temperatures are dipping and there is wind and rain forecast as well.

Please keep my mom Joyce and her partner Larry in your prayers along with the rest of the Eastern Seaboard.  She was just released from the hospital with possible bronchitis (possibly something else, the tests were inconclusive) on Sunday and lost power on Monday so that can’t be good for her physically.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A brief visit to Lassen National Park

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While my mom and I were visiting my cousins Donnie and Ann in Burney, California, we took a little impromptu drive to Lassen Park, she had never been before.  She also has the senior’s Golden Pass which costs $10 for life for any of you seniors out there!  So although we only spent about a half hour in the park, it didn’t cost anything!

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We’re so glad we went and saw such beauty!  Like my beautiful mom!

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Such a cool, barren volcanic landscape!

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But I still like this peaceful, inviting, glorious, stunning lake the best.  God, you make all things beautiful!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Surprise! I still have a blog!

IMG_4962Hi Friends!  Sorry I’ve been so out of touch.  Although I have things going on, I realize that I have this pattern every so often of disappearing from blog-land.  I always resolve not to disappear again but it seems to keep happening!

Well,I’m jumping in right where I’m at. I think that is one of the things that prevents me from starting again, as I always feel I need to start where I stopped and play catch  up.

So, without further ado, a little family photo album of my road trip with my mom from Oregon to San Diego to Las Vegas!  (but the photos are in the opposite order, oh well!).  That’s me and her at the top in New Jersey, the day before we left for our grand adventure!

IMG_5052Above is me, my youngest nephew James, sister Sandra, middle nephew Sean and my mom.  We missed you Randy!!

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Sean and Grandma, looking sharp in black!

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Me and James – when did he get so grown up?  I guess ten years in Africa will do that to ya!

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Me and my sister Sanda, the bright spots of color!IMG_5032

In Oakland, my mom (left) and I got to have lunch with my three aunts, Bernie, Barbara and Norma and two of my cousins, James on the left and Mark in the middle.   I love these ladies!  What a treat to have them all together!

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We stayed with my cousins Donny and Ann in Burney and spent one night with them in Reno too.

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Up in Oregon with little Grace Lou Hoo, my cousin Alison’s darling daughter. 

We had a really good road trip except for some hiccups for my poor mom.  She fell a couple times, was sick one night but quickly recovered but then ended up getting quite sick at the end of our trip.  She had to cancel her visit to my oldest nephew in Texas and fly straight home where she’s still not recovered.  Please say a prayer for her that she improves fully and quickly!

But it was nice to take her to see so much family she hasn’t seen in a long time.  Love you Mom!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

My Dad, 1941-2012

Wedding68My dad John Clayton Anderson, died on Friday, August 24.  He was 71 years and one month exactly as his birthday was July 24. 

He had been diagnosed with lung cancer about 18 months ago but he also battled COPD.  The COPD seems to be the culprit in the end although the cancer, and the chemo to help fight it, were factors as well.

Thankfully, he died very peacefully because he was sedated.  And in fact, he has not dealt with actual pain at all, rather the challenges of decreased breathing and anxiety from that and weakness and reduced mobility. 

He had been hospitalized in June and the doctors thought he might not make it then.  I rushed to the US to be with him and he improved!  So I had five weeks with he and Judi during which I could help with practical care and just have time together.  I am very grateful for those weeks.  Last year as well, after his diagnosis, I spent three weeks with them, longer than I usually do, and had a really nice time then too.

Wedding83So although I did not make it back in time to be with him this time before he died, I feel I am blessed by the times we did have. 

I was en route to be with him when he died, that was tough getting the news before boarding the first of three long flights and layovers, a 48 hour journey in all.  But now I will be able to be with Judi, my step-mom, in such a challenging time and help with all the practical things that need doing.  I’m so glad I am able to help.

I have so appreciated the prayers and encouraging words these last two years when I have shared things about my dad.  I also appreciate people who have given to help with the travel costs, what a blessing!  God does indeed provide in amazing ways.

Friends, go tell your loved ones you love them.  Spend time with them instead of the computer.  Forgive what needs forgiving.  Mend what needs mending.  Enjoy every moment you have with the people you love. 

Love, Laura

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me!

Laura AndersonSo last night at around 11:45pm, I was filling out a form online and it asked for my age and had those categories you had to check the box.  For the very last time, I got to check the “40-44” years old box because 15 minutes later, my 45th birthday began.

Wow, how did that happen?

Anyway, I had this distinct thought when I woke up this morning – “I am middle aged!”  Of course, no one knows how long they will live but it’s a good bet I won’t live much past 90 so at 45, I’m halfway there!  Funny enough, that wasn’t depressing at all – it was actually energizing!  What do I want to do with the second half of my life???  What does God want to do with the second half of my life???  I’m up for it!  I look forward to seeing what lies ahead!  If it’s half as good as the first 45 years, it’s gonna be amazing!

However, it hasn’t exactly started out with a bang - it’s been a pretty mellow day here at my dad’s in Florida . . .   a nice swim in the pool, dinner at an oyster bar on the water and my dad in pretty good health.

Mellow but nice.

Happy birthday to me!

(and in four days, I’ll be on a plane home – yay!)

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Happy (belated) Father’s Day Dad!

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(This is my dad trying too hard not to blink for the photo!  In the next picture with Judi, he is smiling and looks great instead of shell-shocked!)

Sorry for the long absence from my blog!  Right after I wrote the last post, I found out my dad had gone in the hospital in Florida and I rushed back to the US to be with him.  Fortunately, he improved rather quickly and was able to be released shortly after I arrived.  So, I ended up with five days on the Gulf Coast beach in Sarasota and then a somewhat regular visit with he and his wife Judi. 

IMG_0096He was doing well and stable so I decided to fly up to see my mom for a week and then would head back to Mozambique from there.  But, he took a turn for the worse again and I flew back down to Florida.  But once again, he improved and after nine days, he got out of hospital last night.

I have changed my departure to return to Mozambique on July 11 so I will be able to help them get adjusted to life back at home while he regains his strength and mobility. 

I’m missing my boys and my life at home but I’m glad I can be here to help and enjoy the time with them.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, I don’t have any word on the potential house in Mozambique – I am definitely hoping to get it but it’s kind of on hold right now. 

Hopefully, will return to regularly scheduled programming shortly!

Love, Laura

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A BIG Step of Faith!!!


House frontI am so excited!  I have a wonderful opportunity that has come my way that has been on my heart the whole time I've been here in Mozambique (no, I'm not getting married!).  I'm still praying for clear guidance and wisdom but so far feel such peace of the Lord. . .


I have the opportunity to rent a house in the community and have a small group of boys come live with me - yes, like a little family!!!  Since I have been here, nine years now, I have said - "if I knew I was going to stay here a long time I would get a house in the community and have a group of boys come live with me to raise more like a family."  Well, hello, how long is a long time, doesn't nine years qualify?!?  I think so!
House front 2House backThe house is only 15 minutes from the center and is owned by an American man who lives in the city.  It's only a year or so old.  It's three bedrooms, with all the trimmings, a nice walled garden area, a verandah and even a dog!  And it's furnished.  The owner's sister in law lives next door and on the other side is a police officer.  The owner called our director to see if he knew anyone who might be interested and they thought immediately of me as we have been talking for awhile about this option. 
House back yardHouse dependenciaI love being able to care for the boys in my dorm, I always have loved that.  But I have lived with a daily frustration of the limitations on trying to raise anywhere from 28 to 48 boys, can you just imagine with me?  All these years, my heart has longed for more depth of relationship with a smaller number of boys.  When Pedro died, I had been in the process of seeing if I could find a place to rent and see if his mother would allow him to live with me, with a few other boys as well.  When he died, I set that dream aside.  But I also lost the one child with whom I had that intimate, growing, deep relationship.  I'm not sure how much I've shared with whom, but after his death, I struggled significantly with losing my closeness with him and feeling I was "left with" this big group of kids with a much more shallow relationship.  In the almost two years since, I have worked through that "left with" feeling but my dream of more impact on a smaller number of children has moved back into the forefront. 
House kitchenHouse bathroomAnd now, a place has come to me!  The owner didn't outright say "it's yours if you want it" so I'm not sure if he has other people looking, but he talked as if it's mine for the taking.
My heart is that I would continue working with the dorm even though I would live off the center.  Obviously, I would work less with the dorm than I have while living here.  In taking 5-6 kids to come live with me, there's no point in doing that if I am never with them!  But I would like to carry on with the boys in the dorm during weekdays.  I'm sure this will be a work in progress!  But, I just wanted to reassure you, I have no plans to stop working with the dorm at this time!

House loungeHouse dining areaWould you please pray for me in these next few days about this opportunity?  Here are some prayer points:


*Clear direction if this is the path the Lord has for me at this time.  This is a big step and I need to be free to "go out with joy and be led forth with peace!"
*Boys!  For God to show me which boys to choose.  I would like to have six boys.  Choosing which ones is quite complicated in terms of any family connections, ages, health, etc.  I don't want six boys of the same age, I want a more natural family feel.  But most importantly, I want the boys the Lord has planned this for!
*Finances!  Of course!  Moving out means a minimum of $900 – $1200 more a month in expenditures!  Wow, seeing it in writing, that's a lot!  But not too much for our God!  The rent is approximately $350, the salaries of two ladies to work with us (a requirement) is another $350.  Then there's electricity, gas, water, food and incidentals.  As I plan to continue on working in the dorm, I do not plan to trade one set of expenses for another, I hope to be adding the expenses of a household onto what I already spend on the dorm, as well as my personal expenses.  In addition, there will be several start up expenses of the household items that aren't furnished.  I will be trusting God to raise up new supporters. 
*Workers - I will need two ladies (Tias) to come work with us, they would be with us four days on, four days off, so I will be quite living with these ladies.  And they will be just as instrumental as me in raising the boys.  So I really need God to provide (and show me!) the ladies who are just right for this job.  I can't just take the two best ones from the dorm as that would leave them in need.  Nor do I want to begin living with strangers.  So, I need wisdom for this!
*Balancing Act - I need wisdom for how to manage having a small home of boys and a large dorm of boys and what my role is in each.  I imagine it might evolve as we go along.
*Decisions - as you can imagine, there are lots of little and big decisions that go into something like this.  It's no small thing to move into the community in semi-rural Mozambique as compared to living in our center.  I need God's peace and wisdom for all the unforeseen (and seen!) decisions that this would entail.

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I surely welcome, no, rely on, your prayers and encouragement and support!  And I do welcome any feedback you might have, if you've got thoughts or questions or advice, a word of encouragement or any such thing.  Please be in touch. 

If you would like to either begin supporting us with $5 or $10 or $20 or $50 a month! or a one-time donation, you can write a check to either myself directly if you don’t need tax-deductible credit or to “Faith Fellowship” if you do and mail it to”:  PO Box 734, Roseburg, OR 97470.  Please feel free to email me so I know and also if you have questions or need more information.  My email is Lauraleighanderson@hotmail.com.