Saturday, July 22, 2006

Birthday Girls!!

A very special day!
July 22, 2006
Today we celebrated three birthdays for three very special little girls! Rita-16, Dionicia-11, and Aidinha-6. They each received invitations for their party, and have been asking me about it all week. I've been looking forward to it as much as they have!
Dionicia just arrived last week. Her mother died and her father left her and her brother. So they came to live here. She has never had a birthday party before. She was grinning from ear to ear the whole time!
The girls were given princess treatment today, because they are so special and wonderful. Each girl got to choose fancy clothes to wear (from my bag of special occasion clothes). They opened their gifts to find hair bands, chap stick, candy, stick-on earrings, and beads with string. Just what little girls love! We had spaghetti and salad for lunch on glass dishes with forks, and pop poured in glass cups. (Here they eat with plastic plates and use their hands)
We made pretty crepe paper flowers, played "Pass the parcel" with a present wrapped in layers, and in each layer they got either a candy, or a task (like jumping on one foot or singing a song). After unwrapping the last layer they found a colorful new jump rope, which they were thrilled to play with. We played other games, and they ran around the big yard chasing balloons and laughing. Afterwards they sat quietly drawing pictures and writing on paper, while eating cookies, and absorbing the attention of missionaries, and a sweet Mozambican dorm parent.
It was so fun separating them from the 400 children living here, making them the center of attention and celebrating their lives. It is amazing to show these girls God's love for them! Every day is just such a joy. I love it!
God has made us each the center of HIS attention, and he just loves us so much! What an honor to be called sons and daughters of God! Let's live like it!
Bless you all richly.
With love and joy,
Anna Coumos
Following Jesus in Mozambique, Africa

Saturday, July 08, 2006

The Lord is bringing changes

Hello Everyone!
The Lord is amazing! I am doing so well, and I love being in
Allot has happened since my last update. So I will try and fill
you in, and not make this too long and boring.
We ended the dental team on an excellent note. We had a wonderful time at the smaller orphanage, though our power source was very unsteady, so we mostly just did simple extractions. Their last day here we went to the community, and set up our mobile dentist office in a canicu reed school building. We had two wooden tables for the patients to lay on, and lots of balloons for the children. We spent the whole day there, and worked on 65 or 70 people! We did children in the morning, and adults all afternoon. I lost track of how many fillings and extractions we did. The people were lovely, and the day was beautiful. AND!! --->I got to use my first latrine, which was fun. :-)
I went to South Africa last Thursday (June 29th) to get a new visa. I went with a dear lady named Tracey, who is from England. We spent one day there pretending to be tourists. We went to "God's window" which was an amazing view. We also went to several other sites, including "The Pot Holes", "Mac Mac Falls" and "Brisbon Falls", "The pinnacle", and "The three Rondawels" (sp?). It was amazing to see God's beautiful creation!
And now, since you have been wondering about the title of this blog update (you were, weren't you?), I will tell you. Ros Lazar (the wife of Steve Lazar--they run this center) came over one day last week to discuss something with me, which she has been praying about and wanted to put before me to consider and pray about myself.
At the moment we have 66 girls here in the girls dorms. In the past we have had a wonderful missionary here named Debbie, who did all the medical for the girls, as well as looking after their needs and all the responsibility of running the girls area. She went home for a year to rest, because she was quite burnt out. So then another sweet missionary came named Annelie. She is also a nurse and moved into Debbie's house (which is attatched to the girls dorm) to take Debbie's place. But Steve and Ros have been praying about what to do because looking after the girls is a full time job, and their medical responsibilities is another full time job, so it is too much for one person. So they asked if I would trade houses with Annelie, and be responsible for the girls? And they are moving all the medical stuff to the clinic, so the girls cannot knock on the door all the time when they have a problem. They will have to go to the clinic to be seen.
I have really felt like this time would not be a repeat of the last time I was here, so I have been patiently waiting for the Lord to bring me more. I knew this was His doing, and I am thrilled!
So July 4th, while you were at parades or picnics, I traded houses with Annelie, and began the wonderful ministry of caring for the girls.
I love the girls so much, and am thrilled to be a part of their lives. They range in age from 5 years to 18 years. My responsibilities are quite wide ranged, and I can choose my own schedule. I really have a free range, which is amazing to me. I am able to do what was done in the past, or do my own thing. Annelie has handed it over to me, and has really encouraged me to use the gifts God has given me, and my creativity, to minister to these girls however I want. Not to feel like I have to do things the way she or Debbie did. I can't tell you how awesome that is to me!
So I am just getting into things, and it is going well so far. I have spent 2 days reading through all of their charts, learning about their social and medical history. For some of them it is quite sad. The parents may have died, or been abusive, or neglected them. But I am excited to minister God's love and hope to them daily. I am so thrilled about building relationships with them and setting an example for them.
On the physical side of things, we are starting a renovating project in the girls area. We have 12 bedrooms, and we are going to repaint the walls in each room, and tile all the floors! This is a big, and expensive project, so we will just take it slowly. We just bought the materials to do the first 2 rooms. I will be sewing curtains for the rooms, as well. A short term team is coming through in a few weeks and has asked if they can help in the girls area. What an answer to prayer! I am going to coordinate this project for them.
There are many needs which I would like to meet. One of which is buying bath towels for all the girls. None of them have any, so when they are done with their shower they are dripping wet when they put their clothes back on. If you would like to donate money for this, that would be greatly appreciated! A towel costs about four or five dollars here. You can give many to my mom, or through our church "Community of Believers", and in an envelope marked "Iris Ministries".
I will continue working in the baby house and with the preschool, but my responsibilities have been cut back a bit to make time for the girls. Yesterday a set of 3 week old twins were brought to our center. Their mom died 2 days after they were born, and their father works and cannot give them the care they need. It is a boy and a girl (Vasco and Lucy). They are so tiny and perfect! I had Lucy for 3 hours today. She is lovely. You will see in this picture, Benia (one of my girls) holding baby Lucy.
We have been praying for the Lord to send us more babies, especially those who really need care. We have had 5 come in the last 2 months! He is faithful.
Thank you for your prayers, and for joining me in this mission to Mozambique, Africa. The Lord is doing some amazing things, and I am so happy to be a part of it!
Bless you richly. May you experience the faithfulness of God in the areas of your life that you have been struggling with. He is amazing and so full of love!
Love always in Jesus,
Anna Coumos
Private bag X11340
Nelspruit 1200
Republic of South Africa