Saturday, December 04, 2004

December 3, 2004 Update

"Mana Ana"
An update from Anna Coumos, serving Jesus in Mozambique, Africa with Iris Ministries

Bondia! Good morning!
I am sorry it’s taken me awhile to get this update letter out. So much has been going on around here. But now things are quieting down a bit (for me anyway).

Well. Where do I begin?! In the last several weeks God has really been stretching me. It’s been so good. I’ve learned allot about God, allot about people, and allot about myself (my, there’s allot I need to work on).

Every day can get so busy. Sometimes it’s just overwhelming. But God is so faithful. He just pours out grace and everything I need to get through the day. Over and over He brings me back to Isaiah 43:1-3, 5:

"Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior…Do not be afraid, for I am with you."

Wow. What a promise! I am just amazed that the God of the Universe. The Same God that created the Heavens and the earth and all that is in them, would want to be friends with ME! He cares for me, He protects me, He provides for all my needs…He loves me. That’s a Huge and amazing revelation to me.
I love the Lord so much! I love in Isaiah 49:23 (the last part), where God says, "Then you will know that I am the Lord; those who hope in me will not be disappointed." Lots of things can let you down. But God will NEVER let you down.
I have two passions here above all else—the baby house, and the girls dorm! The girls are all so special to me. About once a month I make a healthy snack for all 94 girls. Sometimes peanut butter and jelly on crackers, sometimes bananas, or something else. I have them all go to their rooms and usually one or two of the girls help me and we go from room to room. First we pray together, then pass out the snack It’s so fun. They love it.

One of the short term missionaries wanted to have a party with some of the girls. So today we had a festa with the 2 youngest rooms (5-8 year olds). Some of the girls have gone home for the extended school holiday, so we just had 7 girls for the party. I translated for Katie and told the girls, "The reason for this party is because you are all very special to God. You are His daughters. And because God is a King, that makes you girls His princesses. So today we are going to treat you like princesses!"
Benia (7 year old) prayed, and we passed out candy and juice. Then we blew up balloons for them to play with. Another short term missionary did the girls hair in colorful clips, and some of us painted their nails. They we’re so excited and unable to contain their joy, which bubbled out in laughter!
To me, it is such an honor to be a part of these sweet girl’s lives. They are all adopted by God, and they ARE princesses.
Casa Dos Bebe’s
The baby house will forever be stamped on my heart. I love each of those babies with all my heart. We’ve had several new babies come in the last couple months. It’s amazing to see them in the state they are when they come—often expressionless, and sick—and watch them change and grow with love and care.
I go there about 3 or 4 nights a week to put on a movie and help diaper and dress the kids after their baths. After the video is finished and all the kids are in their rooms, I go into each room to pray with the kids. They come one by one to sit on my lap, and I pray the blessing from Numbers 26 over them, as well as the Spirit of adoption, and health.
We just got over a bad bout with malaria in the baby house, so it’s really important to pray health over them. One of my boys, Ivo, had malaria really bad and didn’t come to preschool for a week. One day I had the rest of the preschoolers gather around and we prayed for him. He is now healed and back to his happy little self. The kids are never slow to say, "Jesus healed him, because we prayed!"
I have been given lots of supplies from various people for preschool, which has been a great blessing. The kids are learning and growing so fast! Angelo can almost write his name. Aidenha, who couldn’t trace shapes or letters when we started, is now tracing her name all by herself. They are learning to stand in a line and wait their turn, instead of all crowding around. They are learning to interpret stories I read to them into their own words and tell it back to me. It’s so fun to watch their minds develop! I love it.
We have been learning a new number every day. What shocked me was today when Salito was counting his blocks, but not in Portuguese. In ENGLISH! Sometimes I count in English and then Portuguese, but I had no idea they were catching on because they never repeated me. I just love teaching preschool.
Felismina is learning and growing so quickly. She has the cutest voice—I love it when she talks. She has come so far from when we first got her 4 months ago! She can walk if someone holds her hand. She is such a happy little girl. Full of life and spunk. She has brought such joy to the baby house. She is also very bright and is doing excellent in preschool!
Here Kitty, Kitty…
I’ve adopted a kitten! It’s a cute little white kitten with brown and black stripes. She is so adorable. A missionary treated it for worms and fleas, and now I’m taking care of it. She has found a nice home in my flip flops and sleeps there every night. She is really adorable. I’ll keep her until I leave, and then I am giving it to some other missionaries at another Iris center, who want it to keep the rats down.
Coming to an end…
My time here is coming to an end (all too quickly!). I am hoping to come back long term. But it’s still very sad to think about leaving this place—a place that has become my home. On Sunday I was sitting in church holding one of my dear babies (who was sound asleep), and watching the toddlers hold hands and dance. It was so precious, and I couldn’t help but cry a little, thinking about leaving in 6 short weeks. I can’t believe I have been here for almost 6 months!
I love Mozambique so much! I love the people. My heart just sings for them. I have made friends with so many of the Mozambiquan ladies and children. It’ll be hard to leave. But at the same time, I really look forward to going home and seeing my family. I look forward to seeing all of you and sharing with you what God’s done. I am looking forward to preparing for my return to Mozambique, as well.
Well, it’s time to close. This has become much longer than I planned. I hope you don’t mind.
May God bless you richly. Thank you so much for praying for me.
Here’s another praise report: I haven’t had malaria for 1 ½ months! Hallelujah!
I’ll see you just after Christmas. Please continue to e-mail me. I love hearing from you.
Love in Jesus,

1 comment:

Mozambique Journal said...

Gosh, Anna, you're long winded.
I'll miss you when you go back to Africa in a week and a half for ONE WHOLE YEAR! =O(
But maybe I can have your room LOL
Cah-Dah *Laughs*