I 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!
The 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.
I 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.
And 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!
*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.
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.