I’ve been here in Mozambique twelve years today! Wowza! How did that happen?
(This photo is actually from nine years ago – I don’t have any older ones at hand. But I did wear that skirt over the weekend!)
When I prepared to come work with Iris Ministries in Zimpeto in 2003, I had in my heart that I wanted to spend “a year of my life, maybe two” working with orphaned, abandoned and abused children. Well those precious children captured my heart and haven’t yet let go so I am still here!
And while they are here with us precisely because they are orphaned, abandoned or abused – or something is not right in their home setting – to me, they are basically just precious children. Whom I have the privilege of loving on, pouring into, praying over, believing for, hoping for . . . with a generous sprinkling of tearing my hair out over thrown in for good measure!
(I am wearing that same skirt as I type this – this photo was from 2007. Maybe time for some new clothes??)
I wonder how many little boys have passed thru my dorm in the last 12 years? Sometime I will have to try and figure that out, I haven’t kept a running list or anything. I would guess hundreds. Some for a few months, some still live here – one is coming to visit me this very morning with his girlfriend and one year old baby who is named in my honor! (I wish he would have waited to have a baby but they don’t all listen to my advice to wait until they are 25 and have a job and home to get married and have kids!!)
Each one of these boys is created by God for a purpose and is uniquely gifted for their part in this world. I hope to see in them who they are and help nurture that into fruition.
That isn’t easy with, on average, 30+ of them at one time, the precious ages of 4-8. This remains my greatest challenge and frustration, how to parent them when there are simply so many. I’m not trying to pretend things are perfect or easy – far from it. But it remains my hope and goal to be used by God in their little lives to lay a foundation of raising them into the young men God created them to be.
Thank you so much to each and every one of you who has supported me in this adventure these 12 years. Whether it is through monthly support, one-time or occasional giving, prayers, encouraging words and scripture verses, creative ideas, visits, care packages, a listening ear, a kind comment – all of it serves to provide for me to be here in tangible and intangible ways. Without you, none of this would be possible!
(I wore this skirt this weekend too! That’s it, I’m going shopping!)