Saturday, January 28, 2012

Back to School!

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January marks the beginning of the school year for us here in Mozambique.  Just like in most households, when school starts again, so do routines and structure and new school clothes!!

These fun shirts which say “Meninos de Deus” which means “God’s Boys”, were gifts to my boys from Heidi and Tanya Hus, twin sisters who are friends from college!  Oh my word, they are not Hus anymore!  That is Heidi Fox and Tanya Devoll!  Thank you generous friends!

Let me tell you –I always breathe a huge sigh of relief when school starts again!!  The boys are occupied for the whole morning which means less boredom so less mischief and less fighting.  And they love going to school!  Please pray for their education though, the methods here aren’t the latest and greatest so their learning is often a challenge.  I so want to open up the world for them of discovery and learning and amazement at this world God has created!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A New Home

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These three brothers came to live here at our center temporarily as their home was destroyed and their mother had no place to keep them together. 

The ministry has been helping the mother build a new home and it’s now finished so these boys can go back home to be with their mother!

It has been so lovely to see how close these three have remained even though, due to their ages, they’ve been in three separate dorms.  They were all three excited to return home to their mom, even Edson, from my dorm, who looks sad here in this photo.  It’s a combination of a bad shot and that he was a little overwhelmed but all the days leading up to it he was so excited!  When the time for actual change comes, it can always be a little challenging. 

Please keep this family in your prayers that they adapt well to being back at home, that they thrive there in the family God created for them.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Precious Girl, One Week Later!!

One week later, just seven days, and this sweet little girl is doing so well!  Last Sunday the whole church prayed for her and we know people have been praying the world over as well.  We are so thrilled with the progress she is making!  Not every child comes in as drastically ill as she has but she still serves as a visible reminder of why it is such a privilege to be here. 

 

Of course, I don’t have anything to do with her care, as I am not a nurse or work with the babies.

But I love being a part of a ministry with such tangible expressions of the love of Jesus!

Look at those long fingers, think she’ll be a pianist or a guitar player?photo

The Story of the Hot Pink Towels!

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Shopping can be a funny thing here in Moz.  Sometimes, it’s very straightforward, you go to the store and buy 200 sausages at one shop for New Year’s Eve in 15 minutes flat.  Other times, you drive around to four different stores and still don’t find the chairs you need for the kids’ mealtimes.

The story of buying the towels was half and half.  Here in Moz, many, many things are sold on the side of the road, either by permanent vendors who sell the same things in front of their homes or by mobile vendors, walking along the roads selling any manner of things from brooms and bras to Santa caps and soft drinks.

There is one vendor not too far from the center who sells towels in front of her home.  In fact, there are three different ladies right next door to each other who sell towels in front of their homes.  That’s how it’s usually done here – people are all selling the same thing in the same places, funny.  Diversification anyone?

So the first step is to stop on the side of the road at Sandra’s, where I bought towels once before.  Unfortunately for her, she wasn’t home and lost out on a big sale.  Laurina, a diminuitive of my name that she was SO excited about, was home and assured me she could buy 30 towels, ten of each color for my three rooms which are blue, red and green.  Phone numbers were exchanged and she promptly called me two days later to tell me she needed me to drop by 1000 mets, about a third of the price, so she could buy them.  Bummer she hadn’t told me that while I was there.  So back I go to drop off the money with her beautiful teenage daughter. 

She then called the next day to say she had the towels.  I went there and met her sister as she wasn’t there.  The first set of towels – hot pink! – were of pretty good quality for 100 mets each (about $4).  But the second two sets, blue and orange, were horrible!  You could see thru them!  Even her sister said “she didn’t choose well with these.”  So after speaking with Laurina on the phone with her assuring me she could get twenty different towels, I took my hot pink set and left the others. 

The next day she called again to say she had my towels.   I drove there and discovered she had twenty more of the hot pink towels!

So now we are a boys dorm with 30 hot pink towels!  These boys don’t mind a bit, they just think it’s so exciting to get something new.  I’ve never had the same color for the whole dorm, it’s always been easier to control things by room.  Here’s hoping these hot pink towels will last a good long time in each of the rooms!

Lastly, a big thank you to Rock Harbor Church in Costa Mesa, CA for their generous donation this December.  They have covered not only the towels but so much more – Christmas clothes and gifts, bed cushions and sheets (still to come) and more!  They have a fantastic First Fruits program that I was blessed to be the recipient of – thank you!

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Little Baby Tortellini!

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Well, imagine our surprise when one morning, this little guy showed up!  I have been housesitting in a home across the driveway from my house and dorm and that house has come to be called “Ralph’s House” in honor of the only permanent resident – a 25ish pound tortoise who outlasts all the occupants who come and go!  One morning – we discovered Ralph had a little friend!

Was Ralph really a woman all this time?  And, ahem, how had this happened?  But no, after checking on the internet, Ralph is indeed a man and we have no explanation for where this little peanut came from.

If the kids had found him, they would have been all over themselves showing everyone in sight, as they always do.  And it’s hard to imagine an adult putting him in the garden but not saying anything to anyone.  He’s so little – he’s lucky he wasn’t run over by the lawn mower the day before we discovered him!

I got to enjoy him for a couple weeks before we had to find a new home for him with great friends who live over in Matola.  At least I will get to visit him!

Tortellini, my apologies for not cleaning the schmutz off your back before I took your portraits!  I did get a clue at the end there.

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Saturday, January 14, 2012

Our newest little precious girl

Please be praying for our newest little one who, as you can see, desperately needs God’s healing touch, our TLC and your prayers!

She is 8 months old and weighs 6 pounds.  She arrived two days ago.

Please also be praying for our nursing staff and Tias who look after this precious girl and make minute by minute decisions for her care.  What a privilege to be here serving “the least of these.”

Think I got enough new boys in the last two weeks?

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It’s the time of year for dorm changes.  13 of mine moved up to the next dorm – sad  but we got lots of new little ones in from other parts of the center as well as two littlies from the community. 

Introducing . . .

Jerso and Jeremias.  These boys need prayer for adjusting to  life with structure and boundaries again as they have been on their own.  They’re quite feisty and know their own mind.  They also look out for each other.  It would be easier if they came into a more settled dorm but with so many new little ones who also don’t know the ropes, it’s a bit chaotic here.  Please pray that I and the tias have lots of patience – for all the boys and ourselves!

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Jeremias, who has three other names including a famous footballer, Reginaldo, who came after his mom died and he and his brother were fending for themselves for a month or two.

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Jerso, Jeremias’ older brother.IMG_0258 (2)

Ernesto from the Baby House – he has the funniest little smile that scrunches up his whole face!

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Adilson came from the transition house, also known as Tracey’s dorm.  Isn’t he handsome?  Some kids spend a year there between the Baby House and my dorm, depending on space.  Any Cards fans reading this blog?

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Meet my third set of twins, Lourenco and Francisco.  Fortunately for me, they aren’t identical so I can tell them apart!  They are gorgeous and came directly from the Baby House.

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Francisco, the more outgoing of the twins.

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Lourenco, the follower,  Wonder if he was born second?

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Felix who also came from Tracey’s transition house.  He’s a bit older than the rest of the littlies who came.

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Luis, from Tracey’s, the biggest helper ever!

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Paulo Luis (one of TWO Paulo Luis, unrelated, who live in this dorm!) came from Vella’s transition house.

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And lastly Pai, also from Vella’s dorm.  We’ll be getting two more from Vella’s dorm sometime in the near future. 

So, including Deldon from the previous post, that is 11 new boys to the dorm in about two weeks time!  Please pray for us!! Smile

Friday, January 13, 2012

A few more Christmas pressies!

IMG_0361There have been a lot of changes in my dorm in the last couple weeks.  Just before Christmas, we got three new boys, as in new to the center and the dorm.

To the left is Deldon who is pretty quiet but getting used to this noisy bunch.

Below are Pedrito on the left and Marcos on the right.  Pedrito is as sweet as can be and Marcos is tough but not a bully.  Great kids!

Pedrito and Marcos have already moved up to the next dorm, just this week, but that’s the topic for another post!

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Please pray for our kids who come into the center that they will adjust to their new homes.  And pray for those who move out that they will make their new dorms their home or will be able to reunite with someone in their family who can and will take care of them.  In the meantime, pray for me to be able to love these boys and create a growing, thriving home environment for them!

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

More Christmas Delight!

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Here’s the little munchkins diggin in to their gift bags and enjoying all the little contents – marbles and balls and little frisbees and blow up soccerr balls (the biggest hit) and sunglasses and notebooks and crayons and balls and biscuits and chips and drinks and candy and cars and army men and bendy men and soft toys and so much fun!  They were delighted with their treasures!

Actually, we did the Christmas schedule a little different this year because it fell on a Sunday and we had church at 10.  So the boys got their new outifts and the big dorm gifts before church.  The gifts were  a soccer ball for each room, a Tonka truck and a DVD player!

Then we went to church and the gifts were to be distributed afterward.  Because we feed the community who come to church every Sunday, our center kids weren’t going to eat til 2:30ish so I prepared a little snack for them to eat after church: sardines and pasta!  Can you imagine that being a snack for 4-8 year old American boys??

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New twins, Lourenco and Francisco – aren’t they pumpkins??

I’m glad they’re not identical so I can tell them apart, unlike my other set, pictured below!

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Casmeiro and Felizardo love their snack!

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Then the boys waited for Papa Steve and Pastor Nico to arrive to give out their gifts – they really are so patient and well-behaved – most of the time!

Now, they can enjoy . . .

 

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Paulito and Reginaldo – cutie pie patooties are very happy!

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Twins, Francisco and Fernando looking cool!

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Francisco happy with his drink.  Please don’t tell Mr, Cool, Deldon, that his shades are on upside-down!

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Shelton, darling as ever.  Elton (minus the Sh) very content with his stash!

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Sweet, sweet Lucas enjoyed his gifts and all the fun around him!

What a bunch of little lovebugs – it’s such a joy to bless them in big and small ways.  Thanks to all of you who help make this Christmas celebration possible, especially Rock Harbor church in Costa Mesa, California.  I am deeply grateful to God for your sacrificial giving and tender loving care for me and my boys!

Monday, January 02, 2012

Merry Christmas Clothes!

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Here’s all the gorgeous pumpkins in their new Christmas clothes!  They clean up nicely, don’t they? DSC_0065

Room One, the middlies.  A couple missing, Lucas and Vernanzio.  Darling aren’t they?

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Room 3, the Littlies.  And the hardest bunch to get a good shot of!

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Room 2, the oldest, missing Domingos.  Chico, on the far right, never likes to smile in photos, silly guy.  He’s usually crossing his eyes or something like that. 

The kids love getting their new clothes and they look quite spiffy at church now.  I love how appreciative they are of everything they get.

Did anyone else get new Christmas clothes?