Saturday, February 28, 2015

Wonderful Visitors!

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I had the most wonderful surprises this week.  THREE of my old – and older! – boys stopped by to visit me, all of which I hadn’t seen in a couple years. 

Francisco came to see me with his baby son who is named in my honor – Lurio!  SO sweet! He has been living in South Africa. Francisco and Pedro were best friends when they both lived in the center.

Nandino – yes, about a foot taller than me, he is seriously leaning in this photo – popped round for a visit.

And Rafino stopped by today.  He has moved back here to Maputo after he and his brothers moved north while his oldest brother studied to be a doctor.  His brother is a doctor now and working in our local hospital.  They have all moved back and care for their elderly father.

Please keep these young men in your prayers.  Life is not easy in Mozambique – the unemployment rate is very high and corruption to find jobs is rampant.  Please pray for their futures and all that God has for them will be theirs!

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Something about that 12 year anniversary (which honestly, they don’t even know about!) has them coming home for a visit!  What a blessing!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Puzzling!

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I love puzzles!  I seem to have passed that on to many of my boys, for they often choose a puzzle when they come in to play.  Felizardo was particularly proud of putting together the Solar System puzzle. 

Floor puzzles are the best.  I brought back two of them in my luggage, even though they are big and heavy..

The Solar System puzzle will feature in our little unit study on space coming up in the next month or two.  Feel free to chime in if you have any ideas on teaching Space concepts to younguns who’ve not been exposed to much (like science museums for example!).

Monday, February 23, 2015

One or two years–or TWELVE!

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!CD group cropped

(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!

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(I wore this skirt this weekend too!  That’s it, I’m going shopping!)

Much love,

Mana Laura

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Why yes, in theory, I do still have a blog!

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And a few dozen gorgeous boys ready to be written about and shared with all of you kind readers!

These were banners of their handprints they had made with recent, amazing, visitors, Lisa, Jo and Jo and their three sons.  Ladies, you’ll be happy to know the banners are still intact and look lively and happy in their rooms!

As I am now back home in Mozambique with my boys, and settling back into routines, I will be sure and get back into writing, keeping you informed of our little adventures here in Zimpeto. 

I must add, the offer still stands – why not visit us and join us in our adventures?!

Love, Mana Laura