Saturday, February 18, 2012

A Gazebo by any other name is a Pajorta!

IMG_0318

There’s the almost finished product, a new Pajorta, otherwise known as a Gazebo, in the beautiful late afternoon sun.  The sky was just gorgeous!  (Technically, it’s not the finished product because the straw has been trimmed around the edges to give a nice clean cut look!).

IMG_0297IMG_0298

Here’s Ermilio creating our pajorta.  It took him and another man about three days.   This is third pajorta we’ve had in the nine years I’ve been here.  The wooden posts get eaten by termites and we have some very strong wind storms (like the cyclone that passed through on Saturday and the two from two weeks ago) that easily take them down when they’ve been weakened by the termites, 

The garden gets full (HOT!) sun in the early afternoon when the kids are in there playing so it’s wonderful to have a shady place for them to play that isn’t inches from my living room when I am trying to teach the afternoon program in there!

Special thanks again to Rock Harbor for their generosity in making this possible.  This simple structure is deceptively expensive and we wouldn’t have one if it weren’t for Rock Harbor!

But while I’m at it – a  big THANK YOU to all of my supporters who help make all we do here possible.  It all ads up, every dollar, and I am so blessed by the generous, sacrificial giving that makes it possible for me to be here blessing these gorgeous boys!  Thank you and may God bless you richly!!DSC_0063

(Here’s a shot from the frame of the old pajorta that had fallen down – he was able to re-use quite a bit of it thankfully.  I was always amazed the boys didn’t destroy it when they used it for a jungle gym!)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Puzzling!

IMG_0330

These gorgeous boys love to put together puzzles!  Well, actually they love to play with puzzle pieces and they are learning to put together puzzles!  Many of them are still working on the idea that the colored sides don’t mix with the plain brown sides!  But they’re getting the hang of it and learning to reason out how puzzles work.  They are one of their favorite things to do! 

Here’s a sampling:

IMG_0327IMG_0328IMG_0329IMG_0331

I happen to love puzzles too and am working up my courage to start one that is 1000 pieces!!!!  My friend Jannie is my inspiration!

(By the way, has anyone ever noticed all the wicker in my house?  It’s everywhere in Mozambique, wood is expensive and hard to find.  The only wood item I have is my kitchen table which I bought in South Africa and brought back over the border.)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Colors and Shapes

IMG_0325IMG_0319

Please try and ignore the fact that every single photo ever taken in our “sala grande” or, big room, is awful.  The lighting in there is the pits! 

So since I have so many new boys now, a third of the dorm is new to me, I decided to start the year off with some “assessment” of where they are at.  I use quotes because I am not a teacher and there’s nothing formal about my assessment, just an idea of what the kids know and don’t know and who works well together with whom, etc.

IMG_0322

We’re taking a look at colors and shapes and numbers and letters and if the kids know how to cut with scissors or hold a pencil properly or write anything or even follow directions!

IMG_0324

This was a two part activity, the first as you see here, where I called a different boy to stand on a different shape or color.  Then I had each boy start on a particular shape and I called out the next shape they had to jump to, progressing thru all of them. 

I think the novelty of standing on a piece of paper was the biggest hit of all!

IMG_0326IMG_0323

Although Feliciano IS quite a bit taller than everyone, the fact that he is in the front and that he is on his tippy toes makes him look like a giant!  He has some special needs that have kept him in my dorm even though he’s older than the rest.

IMG_0320

 

Just an attempt at a shot of the layout of the place.  The boys sat so patiently while I would call out a boys’ name to go stand on a particular shape or color.  They love helping each other too!

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Beginning the battle . . .

Windows Live Photo Gallery Wallpaper

Or maybe I should say taking back up the battle?  It seems to me that at some stage in my life I at least participated in a skirmish or two in this area . . .

The last few days, I’ve felt God reminding me that it IS in fact possible to take our thoughts captive to Christ, that I am not at the mercy of my thoughts but I can actually take my stand in the “battlefield of the mind” to quote a famous book.  I haven’t read it but I think I will.

Lately, I feel like I have been at the mercy of my thoughts which have kind of spiraled around negatively more often than I care to admit.  And I haven’t much tried to do anything about it.  Much to my sadness.

So over the weekend, I felt God speak to my spirit gently and remind me that I don’t need to indulge every negative or grumpy or hopeless thought that comes my way.  I was mulling this over when in church on Sunday, during the worship time, I really felt God wanting to do some work in this area of my life.  Our pastor opened up the altars for anyone who wanted to be prayed for something they wanted to give over to God.  I went forward as did many other people.  My friend Wendy snapped this precious shot of some of my boys (and some other kids too) praying for me which is so lovely to me.

After some prayer time and we had all returned to our seats, our pastor called up our guest speaker, one of our visitors named Larry.  After amazingly greeting everyone in Portuguese, Larry declared, “THOUGHTS! That’s what I want to talk about today!”

Well, he had my attention!  As did God, even more so.  Isn’t it amazing when He works things together like that? 

I look forward to renewed vision and purpose in this area of my life and the good things that will come of it.

Anyone else battle this area, now or in the past?  Have any words of wisdom, books or scriptures that have inspired you?  Please feel free to share!

Second Corinthians 2:5:  We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Going Home . . .

These gorgeous boys came to live with us last year but this week, they were reunited with their parents and grandmother and they will go home to live with them.  The oldest boy is named Edson.  The two twins, Fernando and Francisco, lived in my dorm until January when they moved to the next dorm.  The youngest, Reginaldo, was still living in my dorm.

Look at those faces!  So full of life and joy and spunk and they were such a delight!  We will certainly miss them but we are so glad they can be restored as a family. 

Please pray for a smooth transition for them all!