Mana Ana in Mozambique, Africa with Iris Ministries
I am so excited to be writing to you all and sharing with you God’s faithfulness.
I’ve never written an “update letter” before, so I have just been praying over the last
couple days that God would place on my heart what He wants me to share.
My dad and I had a great time together while he was here. It was so nice to have him here while I got started into my area of work here. It was very difficult for me to see him go, but God has blessed me and the long termers here are so nice!
I have settled right into the baby house (Casa dos bebes). There are 26 children in there ranging in age from 3 months to 4 _ years old. I love each of them so much! One of my biggest prayers before I came, and even while I am here, is that I would be able to be a mother to the motherless children. God is teaching me how to do that. From learning all their names and personalities, kissing them on the head every night before they go to bed, hugging them every morning, holding them, praying over them, laughing with them, kissing their booboos, working on colors and shapes with them so they remember at pre school, and sometimes disciplining them, … I believe God is reaching their little hearts.
All the little children call me “Mana Ana”. The kids love me and are constantly wanting my attention.
“Mana Ana, Olea akey!” (Look here!) “Mana Ana, Helena y Angelo…..!!” (Helena and Angelo are the 2 most strong willed children here. Heehee) “Mana Ana! Mana Ana! Mana Ana!…” Oh, how I love them!!
In the baby house I help feed the kids, oversee the bedtime routine, and take a couple kids out every day to spend more one on one time with. I also put together projects for the short termers to help with, such as washing and sorting all the toys.
Besides working in the baby house, I have been helping the hospitality team by giving tours of the center to the new short termers that arrive, and going on some ministry outreaches.
Last Sunday I went with a lady named Corrie to the police station to feed some street kids that the police arrested (they didn’t commit a crime, the police are just crazy here). The police took us outside behind the jail and they had 2 little tiny dark rooms and we did one room at a time. They let the guys come out (about 20 filed out of each little room). Some of the boys looked quite young—like 14 or 15. and we prayed for the food, then gave them plates of rice. After they finished the rice we passed out bread. They won’t let us take time to pray with each of them or share the word of God, but at least we can pray before they eat. Corrie has been going every day for about 3 weeks and feeding them. She has pleaded with the police to release the boys but they won’t.
Last week we took 10 children with aids out for lunch in the city. That was so much fun! They were cutting their french fries into little pieces and eating them with a fork. And they had never had sausage before so they weren’t sure how to eat it. Then we took them for ice cream.
The critters I am learning to get used to include: lizards and cockroaches (and a few other insects). The cockroaches are really fast so they are hard to kill. There are tons of lizards. I had one on my wall one night and I just prayed it would stay on my wall and not join me in my bed. It took me a long time to get to sleep that night because I kept wondering if it would grow huge in the night and come eat me. I’ve seen a few mouse droppings in my room but I haven’t seen the mouse. Corrie found a mouse in her BED the other day under her mosquito netting!! She came to the kitchen as white as a ghost and asked one of the guys to please come take care of it. My family can tell you that if I see a mouse in my room I will probably die….
Another thing I have gotten used to is the driving. Often times the roads are really bumpy dirt roads. And you just pile as many people as can possibly fit (or sometimes can’t possibly fit but we make them fit) into a land rover or pickup truck, and then you pick up people on the way and drop them off a mile later so they save a mile of walking. And every time you stop for a few seconds’ people are coming to your windows trying to sell you all kinds of stuff. And here people are constantly walking across the road and they come sooo close to getting hit by cars! It’s so insane.
Yesterday (Saturday—it’s Sunday the 8th now) I went with 5 long termers and 4 kids to the Indian Ocean to a beautiful beach. It was so incredibly gorgeous!! I LOVE the ocean. The water was cool and stretches on forever. The waves felt so good. We found a HUGE jellyfish washed up on shore. I took several pictures. It was really quite sickening to see a jellyfish up close. And it was still alive so we couldn’t touch it. I love seeing God’s creation. He is so smart. I don’t know how He could think up some of the things He’s made. God, you are so amazing!
I have been having some wonderful time with God. He keeps reminding me that I am called to the NATIONS. Right now I’d be happy to stay in Mozambique forever. But God is just giving me a vision of mothering children all over the world. And telling people about God’s passionate love for them. I have learned how to really “do devotions” in the morning. It’s not just getting up at 7:00, reading a chapter in my bible and a chapter in my devotional book, and then being done. I’ve been asking God to wake me up, and so sometimes it’s as early as 5:30. I’m learning to worship him without CD’s and without a worship leader. Just singing praise to Him from my heart. God is so faithful and I love Him so much! All fruitfulness flows from intimacy…
I have been lending my computer to a long termer named Erik for the last couple days, so it’s taken me awhile to get this written. Tonight I spent a couple hours in the girl’s dorm. I’ve made friends with several girls. Rosa is 16 and she is so sweet and so funny! When I was sick (last week I was sick on Sunday-Tuesday and throwing up. I think it was the flu.) she prayed for me and the next day I was better. So anyway, she always calls me “Hey, White” and I call her “Hey, Black”. Today we changed it…she is “Bronca” (white) and I am “Preto” (black). She’s is just so funny and crazy and I love being with her. She speaks English pretty well but she denies it. So she is teaching me some Portuguese. And Corrie is teaching me Portuguese as well.
The weather here was very cold after dad left! And it rained really hard for 3 days. The day I got sick we had hail! Now it is starting to get very hot.
All right, so I guess there is no real structure to this e-mail. I am just telling you what’s going on in some random order. But God is awesome. Thank you to everyone who has sent me, both financially, and with your prayers. God bless you all!!! I love you and miss you.
My prayer requests:
*Pray that I wouldn’t feel so lonely. It’s hard living in the short term compound because people are constantly coming and going. They are all very nice, but I hate that they have to leave so it is very hard emotionally.
*Pray for Felizmina--- She is HIV+, so she is 4 years old but smaller than a 1-year-old. She is very skinny, and only weighs about 14 pounds. She was just brought to the center 2 weeks ago. She is so precious and smiles all the time. Pray God would heal her from aids!
*Pray for health among the missionaries. It seems we are all getting sick—half with the flu, and half have malaria!
With much love in Jesus,
Anna Elizabeth Coumos
4 hours ago