Thursday, December 27, 2007
Thursday, December 06, 2007
Eliza and Antonio (twins) arrived in November
They had to have daily hand and feet soakings to kill the worms that
had burrowed under their skin. They came from a situation of neglect
Eliza and Antonio
They are now happy and healthy and extremely cute!
They have settled in quickly, and love to play and tease.
God's love is sooo amazing!
October 10-11, December 6-7
In October we had a children's conference for the kids at our center plus the kids
that come to school here. In all we had about 450 children ages 5-12.
It went so well! Lots of crafts, juice, cookies, games, and 4 themes.
The second conference in December is for kids from the communities and villages around
Zimpeto. We invited kids from the city garbage dump, and sent busses to pick up children from several Iris churches. We had about 600 kids attend!
We stuck to the four same themes:
First: Jesus dying on the cross for our sins and ressurrecting to give us new life
Second: The message of Salvation
Third: The Holy Spirit
Forth: Hearing God's voice
Sharing with these kids the Truth of God is like pouring life into them!
May there be much fruit from the seeds planted durring these two outreaches!
This has been a full and blessed year! God has done so many thing. It is worth every day living for Him. May you be blessed as you finish off another year! May God's favor and transformation fill the new year!
Thanks so very much for your prayers...I need it. It's hard being away from my family, especially durring Christmas, and a few deaths of close friends. But I am so encouraged by your love and support. Thank you for being sensitive to God prompting you to pray for me.
Love in Christ,
Thursday, October 18, 2007
We had morning and afternoon sessions, and served lunch inbetween. It was lots of fun with skits and dramas, memory verses, 4 lessons (Jesus dying on the cross, a salvation message, hearing God's voice--I got to teach that one, and Making the right choices), crafts, games, prizes, 450 little dixie cups filled with juice, and cookies for snack time, and a juggler! It was lots of fun. The kids really had a great time, and it was so awesome to see them drawing pictures of what they felt God saying time them, and hearing a 5 year old recite the memory verse from the day before!
We are planning another one in November for community children, and kids from the city dump. I am looking forward to it!
Friday morning I and a missionary friend from Denmark, who is working here, left by bus for South Africa. She had to get a new visa, and we were both looking forward to the rest. We stay for $10 a night at "Mercy Air - Wings of Love". A missionary aviation where they send out emergency planes, and also go on outreaches. They have guest housing for missionaries, and this time we were blessed to stay in a missionary families own house because they were at home on furlow.
We arrived at the bus stop in Nelspruit (about 3 1/2 hours from our center in Mozambique), and took a very short walk up the side walk to a little cafe for lunch. We then started back towards teh bus stop, to the grocery store right by it, and on the way stopped in at a cell phone shop to buy credit for our phones. Suddenly a lady appeared in the door way to the shop announcing that "There are some robbers that were going to rob you to ladies, so please stay in the shop until we tell you! The police are after them now." The first thought that ran through my had was " Lord, how are protect us and look out for us! We are just walking along our merry way, and you are going behind us guarding us and looking out for us!"
A few minutes later another lady shows up in the door way saying they have caught 3 of the men but questioned them and there are still 3 more guys (6 in all!) that ran off, so please stay in the shop until they tell us. The man behind the counter, seeing the surprised looks on our faces, says, " Oh it's no problem, that's why I carry this...you are safe here." ANd He reaches into his leg pocket and pulls out small gun! We are now going "Ok, are we safer outside or in here with you mister?!" He said he would take us wherever we needed to go, so he walked us to Shope Rite. Then he says to do our shopping and he will wait for us and take us wherever we are going, but we thanked him profusely and said we would get a taxi. We called the taxi, and the guard at the door to shop rite (By the way, there ARE guards at the grocery stores, and every else around here) said to wait with him until the taxi arrived, and when it did arrive he motioned to the taxi driver, and gave us the all clear that he would watch to make sure we got to the car ok.
Once inside the car and the doors locked, we told our taxi driver the story. He said in a repremanding tone "How could you be so stupid to walk around Nelspruit?! I carry a gun, and I woudn't even do that!" And when he dropped us off at Mercy Air he handed us a newspaper article about a man who was mugged the day before and they were going to kill him but he ran off.
For all of you wondering, I won't walk there again... but also know that I and many other missionaries HAVE walked there many times, but the violence in that area is growing and now we are seeing it. My story is to let you know God is defending us and we are free in Him! No need to live in fear. I wonder how many times God protects us from things we never even know about??
Monday, September 24, 2007
Just wanted to let you know I AM alive and doing wonderful!
My computer is also still alive, but in South Africa being fixed.
I will update you when I can get it back!
But lots of good things happening here. Yesterday a girl who went to live with
her uncle came to visit. I was really worried because I hadn't seen her for so long
and nobody knew where she was. She has moved back in with another uncle and is
now about 30 minutes from the center. It was so good to see her looking healthy
Last week I went to the beach and as I was walking along the sand by the water, I heard
some shouting and comotion. I looked out to see a HUGE hump back whale rise up out
of the water, headed straight towards 2 fishermen in their boat!
They were paddling for their lives, then the whale turned and swam to the right of them.
The whale was up out of the water for more than 10 minutes. He almost got stuck on the sand and was tossing around trying to get off the bank. Then he dissappeared back into the great deep. It was incredible! I had been praising God for how amazing the oceans are and His works are wonderful. Then it was this silly moment like God saying "You think that's something, wait till you see what else I have made!" Then the whale came splashing up out of the water. It trully took my breath away. And to think that their are thousands down in the water! It was such a gift from God to see such beauty He has created. Sometimes I think the life down under the ocean is just for God to enjoy, and give us glimpses of every now and then when He wants to surprise us.
LIfe in Mozambique is far from life in America. Trucks driving down the road with the bed packed with people, standing because there would not be enough room for them to sit. Sandy roads that even 4-wheel drive trucks start getting stuck on. BEAUTIFUL sun sets every night, and then an amazing display of stars in the sky...you can see like layers of stars where some are higher and some are lower. Lizzards, cock roaches, NO MICE!!:-) I love Africa. I love the children and the sweet Mamas and the love God has for all of them is sooo rich!
Blessings to you all!
Monday, September 10, 2007
So sorry I have not updated you all. As it is, my computer decided to give me some difficulties so it is currently in South Africa being fixed. I have been checking my e´mails about once a week on other people's computers.
Things ARE going amazing and I look forward to telling you all about it! Please stay tuned till I can post photos and give you a proper report.
Just want to thank you for lifting me up and encouraging me! God is mighty and wonderful!
A brief update...
Last night was our grand opening of the new kitchen in the girl's dorm. We had a festa that included cooking all day (butchered five chickens...but more to come later, I won't spoil it all now). What a wonderful evening of celebrating God's blessings on our girls. It always amazes me and fills me with joy to see "orphans" and "unwanted" and "abused" children dancing and laughing and filled with joy. God turns our mourning into laughter and our sorrow into shouts of joy! It is incredible, and beyond words.
Please pray my computer is fixed properly and that I get it back safely.
Bless you all!
Saturday, August 18, 2007
I meant to post these while I was at home, but was having trouble with Blogger.
So here is a taste of what I enjoyed doing at home for 10 weeks:
How easy to grate zucchini with the Kitchen-Aid attachment!
22 cups of zucchini in the freezer. Mom will make allot of zucchini. bread this Winter:-)
We ate so much zucchini this Summer:
We all got frappicino's at Star Bucks. It was so nice to be with my dear family a little while longer...
Lots of laughing and talking and being. Then lots of crying and hugging and me not wanting to go any sooner than necessary!
(*Notice we all wore our "crocks" for fun:-)*)
Friday, July 20, 2007
3 more run through's, but it will all be ok tomorrow). We served pizza, subs, salad and watermelon for dinner. Had a Make Your Own ice cream sundae table set up for dessert. I walked around with my darling nephew who is 5 months old till he feel asleep draped across
my arm. He was drooling down my arm and it was landing on my toes...lol.
Bethany grew all the topiary's and flowers she is decorating with at the green house where she
It's exciting to have a brother get married, especially when it's to my friend!
Today we decorate the reception hall.
Tomorrow is the big day...!
Monday, July 16, 2007
"What we do is but a drop in the Ocean, but without that drop it would be missing." --Mother Theresa
"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." --Jim Elliot
"God never said doing His will would be easy, He only said it would be worth it." --Joanne Shetler
"Wherever you are, be all there. Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God." --Jim Elliot
"When Christ calls a man he bids him to come and die."
"The Harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field." --Jesus
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!" Isaiah 6:8
to my friend Bethany! It's gonna be a fun week! Lots of preparations and lists. Lots of getting together, and being together.
And in 3 weeks and 2 days...I am going back to Mozambique:-) We have received two new babies
while I was away. Both very malnourished. I am so looking forward to meeting them, and seeing all my precious girls, and how much the other babies have grown.
Until then, I am going to enjoy every moment with my family, and friends.
Have a blessed week!
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
Sunday, April 01, 2007
My dearest family and friends,
thank you sooo much for praying for me/us the last 2 days. I sooo appreciate your loving e-mails,
i really have felt lifted up in prayer and it's encouraging to know people are thinking about me and praying for me.
I don't think I can explain very well the events of the March 22 but please read Sally Cosgrove's (fellow missionary)
report on www.irismin.com click on "late breaking news". That is how it was. There's also pictures. I have not taken
any pictures, so you can see what is on there.
It was a lovely day, and Ellie and I were just closing discipleship with the girls. It had been a really good lesson on what
salvation REALLY is. The girls left and we stepped outside to see where this "thunder" was coming from. It was a hot
day and the sky was blue and completely cloudless. We could see smoke off in the distance and people were saying it
wouldn't be dangerous unless there were missiles (what we discovered was happening is that an old munitions base about 5 km's away had started exploding). I walked up to the baby house and was just going inside when a
missile hit the bible school just behind the baby house. It shook everything. Just after this a bomb hit the corner of the
church building on the other side of the center, and several windows shattered. I and everyone around picked up babies and
ran! First we were told to go to the soccer field. All the kids and everyone was in a panic and running with all their might.
Then a missile hit the soccer field and there was lots of shrapnel flying, so we turned and ran towards the prayer hut.
The kids that had already made it to the soccer field fled out the gate off the center. Some caught buses going by, and
the rest ran across the street through the fields. Several were taken in by families and hid in their block houses.
Those of us who ran to the prayer hut (about 150 people) weren't sure to go inside, or stay outside. We just stood their covering
the kids and babies as best we could, and calling out to the Lord with loud voices. Then shrapnel started flying overhead and
we ran into the prayer hut. We just crouched down on the floor. Some people put duct tape over the windows so if they broke
they wouldn't shatter. The roof is just reeds so you could see through and see missiles and shrapnel flying over head. We just
prayed and prayed and sang to the Lord. We sang a song in Portuguese that says "Jesus passes by, Jesus passes by. And when
he passes by all will be transformed. All sadness will flee and all joy will come." During this a missile flew very close to the roof,
and landed just on the other side of the wall of the center where it exploded.
This went on for 4 1/2 hours. I could not stop praying in tongues and singing. I didn't know what else to do. I had one baby between my legs, and
a child sitting on each leg. It was so loud with bombs going off (5 of which for sure exploded on the center) and the ground shaking.
The missiles would whistle as they flew overhead. Then everyone would go dead quiet waiting to hear where it would land and explode.
When it finally stopped we just sat there quiet waiting to see if it would start again. Some guys went to the kitchen and brought back the
food and plates and we fed everyone in the prayer hut. Around 9:00 all my girls except for 3 came back. Several boys came back as well.
That night walking back to dorms everyone was feeling very trembling and nervous. We checked the rooms, and the worst damage in the
girls rooms were some lights that fell from the ceiling and shattered, and windows had broke. A few had cracks in the roof, but nothing major.
We got all the girls into bed, some slept on the floor in other girls bedrooms.
I talked to my parents on the phone. I slept at another missionaries room that night, and we stayed up late talking. It was so quiet and strange to
go to bed Thursday night.
Friday morning the other 3 girls returned, and all the boys came back throughout the day. I just walked around the center with a couple Mozambicans
and another missionary, Ellie, and looked at damage (not too much). It is nothing but a miracle that NOBODY was killed or injured! God totally protected
us! Even our workers came back, saying all their neighbors houses were flattened, but theirs just had broken glass. All the neighbors were killed or
had lost limbs, but they walked away without a scratch (just traumatized).
Late Friday morning the police were worried it might start up again and asked for everyone to leave. We loaded up all the girls, baby house, and
youngest boys dorms on trucks and took them to another Iris Ministries center about 40 minutes away. around 5:15 last night we came back after
the police said it was safe, people could return to their homes. Driving down the road so many buildings were hit. The mental hospital close by was hit about 3 times, and several people died. The gas station was hit through the front window, but amazingly missed the gas pumps which is a miracle.
Today has just been a sort of strange day. It was the educator shift change, so all the dorm parents from the last shift went home (some were still unsure how their families were) and the new shift came on. The head dorm parent for the girls dorm was a wreck. I just wrapped my arms around
her and she cried, and then told me she and her sons were all laying against a wall, and 4 of her neighbors who were sitting against the wall were
hit and exploded from the waist up. It's horrible!
With all the terrible things that happened, God has chosen to keep us safe under the shelter of his wings. He has a covenant with Iris Ministries (shown by the symbol of the rainbow) that will never be broken, and He has brought us through in faithfulness. God is so amazing! I had it going through my
head this song: "My God is so big, so strong, and so mighty. There's nothing my God cannot do." I just say to you that even though this world may be
destroyed, with my eyes I will see God! He has brought us safely through to the other side. We met death face to face, and walked away in victory.
God is perfect and His ways we will never understand, but He is faithful.
We have LIVED through Psalm 91. And now may we see healing and peace flood people here. May this be a season of turning to God with ALL our
Please pray for the healing of shock and trauma (for me, every time I hear a drum, or a loud truck rumbling by, or a kid whistling like that sound of a
missile flying through the air, I just cringe and feel so awful inside). Pray for God do draw these children and people unto himself, and for us to have
wisdom in dealing with what takes place after something so tragic.
I bless you for your prayers and love. i love you all so much!Love in Christ, my Victory Banner,
Mozambique Africa, Iris Ministries
In my family, when you turn the age of the date of your birthday, it is your "Golden Birthday".
So to be 21 on the 21st of March was extra special. And my family at home and my missionary
family made it more special than I could imagine! In the morning a group of 9 of us ladies went
to a fancy hotel for their "simple" breakfast (if you call fresh baked chocolate filled crescents, choice of
fresh fruit juice, and bottomless tea or coffee 'simple'). We had such a lovely morning dining like
royalty, and chatting away. When the girls got home from school, all 48 came to see me and wish
me a happy birthday and give me their darling hand made cards and drawings. Some of them gave
me bracelets or little nick nacks from their own small box of belongings. How sweet.
My family sent me a package full of 21st birthday decorations and party supplies, as well as my favorite
maple creams (too good to share...). Some of the missionaries took the box of decorations and went to
set up the yard we'd be having our evening celebration at. In the evening we had a bring and share meal
at one of the missionaries houses. It was so nice to just enjoy fellowship. They went around saying what
each person did on their 21st birthday (I am the youngest missionary here). Then two ladies from England
sang to me "She's 21 today, she's 21 today! She's got the key of the door, never been 21 before!" (In England
when you turn 21 it's about being old enough to have the key to your own house). Everyone sang happy birthday and I blew out the candles, then they lifted me up in a chair and sang to me (in Mozambique, the
special guest at a wedding or whatever celebration gets lifted up in a chair!). And they put me in the middle
and everyone prayed for me. It was so special! I got lots of sweet gifts and cards. Lots of purple and lavender things, since that's my favorite color:-)
The Lord blessed me so much! What a birthday to remember...
Sunday, February 04, 2007
We had a Birthday party for Annelie, our lovely nurse who works in the baby house and clinic. All the babies came and had a blast playing in the pool, singing Happy Birthday, and ofcourse, eating lots and lots of cake:-)
What a joy to celebrate with these little darlings. God has done such miracles in each of their lives. Our babies are living testimonies of our faithful Father. Their lives shout glory to the Lord!
Saturday, February 03, 2007
It was 110 degree F this day...
Filled up 200 water balloons...
Chased one of the dorm mother's all across the play ground and through another dorm,
and back to the girls dorm where she locked herself in a room for 45 minutes. When she finally
came out we had 3 big water balloons to "get her" with, and lots of buckets and cups of water to dump on her:-)
It was so refreshing playing with water, that Olga was caught in the bathroom having her own water cooler!
Oh those hot days of Summer...
Monday, January 29, 2007
This past week has been anti-procrastination week over at "The Sparrow's Nest". Mrs. Wilt has encouraged all her readers to do one thing each day that they have been procrastinating. That wasn't hard for me to find plenty to do! I've cleaned out the huge storage cabinet in my house for storing all the clothing, craft supplies,
toiletries, birthday and Christmas gifts, and the list goes on and on. It's difficult to keep clean with such a variety of stuff stored there. This week I emtpied it out, tossed some things, sent some things to the Community, and organized the whole cabinet. I even covered some cardboard boxes with pink and yellow wrapping paper and made labels for them. Ahhh...It feels so nice to have that done! It took a whole day (with a 2 hour break to have a water balloon fight with the girls...), and it will be such joy to keep it clean now.
For those of you praying for Judite...Thank you so much! A week ago we weren't sure if she would make it. She has had a turn around and is so much better! She will be coming home this week. Praise the Lord!
Thank you all for your prayers and support. You are a blessing.
May you feel the Lord's rich love for you this week.
Saturday, January 06, 2007
Happy Year 2007!!
In December I spent a week in Botswana with my dear friends from church, Jake and Khanya. They were visiting Khanya's family, and having a wedding for her sister. It was so fun being a part of the family and spending time with the relatives! The wedding was beautiful. Such a nice break, to be away from work, and with my wonderful friends.
Paulo is doing wonderful. It has been a privilege to pour into his life and give Him God's love. The tias (dorm mothers) love looking after Paulo, and have worked and persevered with him in many ways. He is now sitting up on his own, and picking things up with his hands. The girls are always playing with him, trying to get him to laugh.
In my last blog I posted a picture of these 2 darling miracles when they had first arrived. Here they are, doing so much better! Sina is now over 4 kilos, and doing fantastic. She loves to smile and coo, and her health is perfect.
Mateus is off his feeding tube, and eating just fine. He is health, crawls around and tries to stand on his own. He will be walking soon! He has such a sweet nature, always smiling and loves people. Thank you for your prayers for these 2!
We had a joyful Christmas, and a rainy new year's eve (which was welcome after weeks of hot, dry 100 + degree weather).
My Hopes for the new year are:
1. Start a program to train the girls in skills they can use when they leave the center to be able to make a living (sewing, crocheting, cooking, etc.).
2. Taking more time with each child God places in front of me. Never rushing them off, or being impatient (Lord, give me grace!), but just giving them all the time in the world and making each person I meet feel special and loved. That I might be the fragrance of Christ to them!
3. Get to know the Lord better. I have all eternity, and it starts now. I want to know Him and to learn to abide in Him. I want to learn to just BE in Him. Not work for something. I surely don't deserve and can do nothing to deserve Him. But as being His daughter is an honor and privilege, I don't want to take that lightly. I want all that God has intended for me. I want to live for Him with passion and excitement and joy. I want to know Him fully, even as I am fully known.
It will take commitment, but I am ready to start this year out, and see where God takes me this year. I am learning so much day by day.
I will be coming home mid June, and probably coming back to Mozambique in August. My brother Greg is getting married to my friend Bethany In July, and I look forward to being a part of the wedding. They are so perfect for each other! It's been so neat watching God bring them together.
I pray you each have a wonderful year 2007, and God gives you the desires of your heart, and fulfills your dreams.
Be blessed! Thank you for your prayers, support, and encouragement. I am truly blessed.
Love in Jesus,