Last night (Friday April 25) I joined a few fellow missionaries and Mozambicans on a one hour trip to Manhiça (a few villages over from here). We were joining with a couple Mozambicans that work with Campus Crusade for Christ in Maputo, to show the Jesus film. This would be the first time to show the Jesus film in this village. We arrived before dark, and then guys set up all the sound equipment, screen, and film projector (the old reel kind, the film was in 4 reels!). Ellie and I prayer walked around the area until I got called away by the Mozambican ladies to help prepare dinner. They gutted the fish and I peeled and cut up the tomatoes, onions, carrots, and peppers (and that was fine by me. I hate gutting fish!). We knelt on a reed mat and prepared the ingredients over pots. Then went to the cooking fire where we cooked a pot of beans, a pot of fish and sauce, and a pot of rice (a staple here). As we cooked it was quickly getting dark, and soon there was no light at all to see what we were doing. So the ladies would hold a stick in the fire to light the end, then hold it up over a pot so she would have enough light to check the progress.
The only noise we could here was the bugs and tree frogs chirping away, and the little generator being revved up. The sky was incredible, layers and layers of beautiful stars! Here, without the glare of city lights, we can experience the true and natural beauty of God's creativity. Millions and billions of stars, layers and layers deep, flooding the sky like sparkling gems! And every so often a shooting star flies across the sky. AMAZING! God is amazing!
That morning Pastor Andre had received the final go ahead from the village chiefs to show the film. Before then he had been told no, and he kept asking again. So the 2 men showed up in their little white pick up truck to see what this movie was all about. We put out 2 chairs for them, and soon a crowd had gathered, seating themselves on the ground or on grass mats. And the movie was begun. This edition was in Shanghan, their native language.
I was still standing by the ladies and the cooking fire and their comments were something like this: "Oh, but they didn't really speak Shanghan did they? They spoke English right?"
"Look, their baptizing them." "Look at those beards! Oh, they must never cut their hair!"
It was quite amusing:-)
I moved over to where the people were sitting, and they were really enjoying it. Then about 20 minutes into the film, the picture cut out! The men gathered around trying to fix the machine, but couldn't manage. So Pastor Andre preached a little, then Ellie's husband Alex preached. And they invited people who wanted to know Jesus to raise their hand, and many did and accepted Jesus as their Savior! Then they asked who is tormented by bad dreams at night, and many more raised their hand, and we prayed for them and told them in those moments they need to call on Jesus. He is the only answer to bring them freedom from evil spirits tormenting them.
The guys handed out tracks and bible story booklets. I hate that part because it turns into a mob everyone is pushing and shoving and fighting to get one of these booklets. I stood guard over the projector so no one would knock it over.
Everyone was invited to come back on May 16th to watch the movie again. We blessed the chiefs with a bible each and several of the booklets, then we prayed for them and fed them beans and rice.
The night was getting sooo cold. Many of the children who had come had sleeveless shirts on and bare legs. I can imagine they must freeze at night when they go to bed in their little grass houses, unprotected from the wind and rains.
When all had gone, we sat down on grass mats with the people living there, and ate together in the dark. I love beans and rice! It's my favorite meal here. We said good byes and thank yous, and squeezed too many people in the truck, to find our way back in the dark on the sandy path ways we call "roads".
At 10:30 we arrived back home, and I was showered and in bed with my fleece sweatshirt on in 20 minutes.
I love being in Mozambique! I love being out in the villages and sharing in the joys and sorrows of the people here. I love ministering to a Pastors wife while cooking over a fire with her, and speaking a few shanghan Fraze's to the old ladies sitting on the mats. I love washing dishes in little pans, drinking tea made with water boiled over a fire, going into the bushes to go to the bathroom (or in some places, going into the little grass outhouse with a hole in the ground to squat over). I love seeing and hearing and smelling and breathing God's nature and feeling His love for the people here. They are my family and we are God's children!
Today after lunch I gathered up the girls for an afternoon of games!
We had 3-legged races, hot potato rounds, the Mozambican version of "Duck Duck Goose",throwing a ball into a bucket contests, running races, a game that involves coming up with a fruit that starts with the letter "...." and then "Miss Rosa" has to guess which fruit it is, wheel barrow races, and a few rounds of "The Human Knot"...
It sure doesn't take much to have fun. I was thinking how much it means to the girls, just spending time with them! Just simple things make a world of difference.
Hope you are also having a fun Sunday!!
P.s. I have no idea why all the text here is underlined, seeing as I don't have an option to underline the text on my control panel. That's weird!
Paulo was found tied up in a plastic bag behind a building about 2 years ago. He was found by a man who runs a children's center down the road. He came here the end of 2006, and moved into the girl's dorm for extra care. Tonight Nancy, my dear friend and sister in Christ who is a missionary here, was doing milk in the girl's dorm. I was sitting with her and playing with Paulo. He is so happy! He can sit up now, and use his right hand to turn himself completely around in a circle. He can hold himself up on his feet when he is leaning against a bed. He makes lots of baby talking now. He smiles the most delightful smile (and when he's especially happy he squints his eyes too. It's so cute!:-). Tonight he was drooling and he took he lifted his shirt to his face and wiped the drool. I wanted to cry, I was so surprised! I've never seen him do that before! He is learning to eat on his on (though he hates to, because he LOVES food and can't eat fast enough. It takes too much time having to do it yourself).
Paulo is a miracle! He was left to die in a plastic bag. God, our awesome Father, didn't leave him to die! He picked him up and gave him new life! And he is doing so well! It is such an incredible joy to see Paulo's smiling face every day. And it is a privilege to watch God do miracle after miracle day after day. Our God is an awesome God!
"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Today's discipleship group was the girls ages 5-10. We showed the Veggie Tales film of "Madame Blueberry"... in Portuguese! It was so funny to watch "Love songs with Mr. Lunt" singing about his beloved cheeseburger, in Portuguese LOL. I am sure the little ladies did not get a word of his little song of his cheeseburger that he "Ama muito" (loves so much!).
When the movie finished, our Koala and panda bear puppet friends (named Salt and Pepper) came for a visit, and for the girls to share with them what they learned about. They told them all things they are thankful for, and drew pictures of the things they wanted to say thank you to Jesus for (clothes to wear, food to eat, a spoon to eat food with, "Mana Anna because she loves me"... awww...).
I certainly have allot to thank God for! Here are a few:
My cozy bedroom...my sanctuary with the Lord! It's my favorite colors (lavender, yellow, and green), and so relaxing. I have a big wicker chair I bought when I first came here. It's where I sit when I wake up in the morning, and talk to God and read my bible. It's where I came in the middle of a busy day, to take 10 minutes of stress relief with the Lord. It's where I come at the end of the day to rest. It's so peaceful! I love my room:-)
49 girls ages 5-18. I love living in Mozambique, and I LOVE mothering all these sweet girls! It is such a privilege to be here, and to give life and love and God's healing to these girls, who would otherwise be in many different and terrible situations. God brings the lonely into families, he lifts the poor from the dust, and he sets them with princes in heavenly places!
The girl's kitchen. Every Saturday morning one of the dorm mothers takes about 5 girls, and walks to the market down the road with a list of ingredients they will need to buy. They give the money to the girls to work out how much things cost, and how much change they should receive. Then they come home, and we cook! The girls are mastering make rice, and several yummy Mozambican toppings. It took a long time to get this kitchen in place. But God has really used it to be a blessing, and to bring the girls into more of a family here. It's so good for the dorm mothers to teach the younger ones how to cook, so they can care for their own families one day!
Every day miracles! I get to watch kids and babies come in starving and sick and neglected and hopeless and abandoned and orphaned and dying...and they blossom into healthy, chubby, wanted, hopeful, happy children full of God's love! And sometimes a sick child is brought here, and doesn't get better physically. But we get to give them the best of life for their last days. And love them straight into the arms of Jesus!
And last...drum roll please...
MY DAD AND SISTER ARE COMING IN 4 WEEKS!!!!!
Yes, that's right! From the way they talked, I thought they wouldn't come until I returned from my visit home sometime in October. They surprised me while I was in South Africa, and bought tickets to come!
I am sooo excited you are coming, Dad and Cara! I can't wait to give you big hugs, and show you what I do, and spend time with you. I am looking forward to lots of "girl talk" Lol:-)
They will be here May 9th-May 20th. I can hardly wait!
Thank you Jesus for blessing me and giving me more than I could ask! You are amazing, God! And I love you so much.
Count your blessings today, and thank Jesus! It really does make your heart happy! And the joy of the Lord is our strength. So keep being filled with joy, and you will have strength to do the impossible with God!
See this little smiling face? Meet Nemias (Nehemiah). He lives in our baby house.
Would you believe that one week ago he was in a coma? We weren't sure if he would live another night. He had already lost 6 pounds in 3 days. He was so weak and not breathing well. This photo was taken in December. After much prayer, God did a miracle! He came out of the coma he had been in for a few days! Each day he made progress. His diarrhea stopped. He started eating again. He came home from the hospital yesterday and today I was holding him and playing with him. He is doing so well! God is sooo good!
There has been allot of sickness in the baby house. Vomiting and diarrhea. Most of the cases were not malaria. But it was just getting out of control, one baby after the other was getting sick!
Then on March 20th this little princess, Irene, who came a few months ago (this picture was taken the day she came--she is albino), suddenly went from this earth into Jesus' waiting arms.
Jesus loves all the little children of the world. I am not sure why he allows some to die so young. It is impossible to understand.
This has been a difficult week. I have found myself just laying down on my bed to cry out to God. And He is so loving. It is okay to cry and ask him "why?" and say "I don't understand!" On Sunday morning I was just about to walk to church, and my phone rang. It was Ros Lazar, calling to tell me Jordina had died the night before. Jordina used to live here when I was here k in the girl's dorm in 2004. I got to know her pretty well, and she was so sweet! She was living with one of the ladies from the church, and working in our baby house last year. Then she got pregnant, and had her baby in November. In February her baby got sick, and she was too late taking him to the hospital. Then she got sick, and on Saturday died. It was so sudden! It is so hard to believe.
A few weeks ago in home group Ros was sharing and said how at home, when something bad happens or you hear of an injustice, you grieve. She shared of how when she was at home for a visit, and heard about a situation here with a little girl, she just couldn't get it out of her mind all day. And she couldn't figure out why it was so bothering her. She said here, we seem to go from one big trial to the next, without breaks. It is just the norm. So sometimes we don't allow ourselves to grieve or feel in these situations. We just get kind of numb. I have been thinking so much about that. And so I have been praying God would make me soft again. That I wouldn't just add it to the list when we get a new child who was abandoned, or kicked out of the house, or sexually abused. But Lord! Help me to be soft and break my heart! Help me to carry these to you, and help me not become emotionless.
"Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you." 1 Peter 5:7
"And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:7
When I say this, I am not talking about having a pity party for myself. I am just saying, when a child was abused or someone dies unexpectedly, it's ok to be angry, to cry, to hurt for that child. And when I am moved by the situation, I can carry it to God for His answer and His healing and freedom! But it takes me open and soft, not hard and numb. This week I have been really feeling the pain of these situations. And God has been taking that pain and replacing it with his peace and strength.
Lord, teach me to be soft and pliable to the work of your hands. Teach me to carry each situation that comes up, and each person or family to you in prayer. Amen.
Gilda lives in the girls dorm. She went in to hospital last night with a chest infection (it seems), sores and thrush in her mouth, and vomiting. They haven't found what's wrong, but she is being fed through a tube now, while they run tests and give her medicine.
Please pray for 100% healing, quickly!
Edited to add: Last night I went to the hospital to see Gilda. She is doing so well! Her mouth sores are all cleared up, her breathing is back to normal, and she is not vomiting anymore. She also had the feeding tube removed. She is taking medicine through an IV. Monday is a holiday in Mozambique so the doctors won't be doing their rounds, but hopefully Tuesday she can come home. God is good!
Welcome! We are Josiah and Anna - newlyweds following God together. We are starting up a small business to sell some of our handmade treasures for your enjoyment and use. We hope you enjoy checking out what we are up to, and we invite you to check back often for new posts and items for sale!