Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Our Girls?

You hear alot from us about "our boys"!  As the parents of sons and parents/mentors/cheerleaders of our nine interns, our lives are full of "all things male."   Male voices singing, bouncing basketballs, broken windows from overzealous soccer players in our yard, boys dorm type pranks,  advice giving on girls and relationships and choosing a mate.   Our interns are not permitted to date while participating with us in the program, but that doesn't stop them from thinking ahead! :)

We've noticed, however, that BECAUSE we have 9 handsome, gifted, EMPLOYED young men at our house, the "stop bys" to our house for any reason under the sun by young ladies is increasing.  In our 25 de Junho ministry, the number of young ladies who attend on Sunday FAR outnumbers the young men.  Some of these young ladies are quite forward, verbally expressing their interest in one or other of the boys.

  Even just a little farther outside of the city of Maputo, in our Agostinho Neto location which is very rural, the ministry is almost entirely young men.  Young women are busy working at home.  They often tend to be less forward and much more timid around young men.  Still, we need to reach them.

The question is always in our thinking, what do we do to reach and teach these young women, even if their intentions for coming are only focused on the young men in our midst?

At this point, Lynne and Mary are the only women, grounded in their faith, here to work with these young women and Mary's effectiveness is somewhat limited by the fact that her language skills are still very basic, she works another full time job and has small children at home.  

Well, we pray ALOT, especially Lynne, for wisdom and a keen intuition and look for opportunities to "go deeper" with the young women the Holy Spirit points out to us.  To give us a heart for those we are to pour our lives into.
This is Martinha, 20 years old, she is a student at the Institute of Technology, studying to be an accountant.  We met Martinha through her mother who works at a local store Lynne discovered while exploring the neighborhood two years ago.  Lynne and Martinha's mother quickly struck up a friendship when they discovered they are both followers of Jesus!  Martinha's mother is a single mom who works seven days a week and worries about her young adult children.  The church they were trying to attend was very far away from their house and she was eager for Martinha to get involved with our ministry.  Martinha is also a believer in Jesus.

Katia is another young lady who just recently came to faith, though she has been attending church regularly for the past 9 months or so.  She is just about to complete the first discipleship course.  She is a high school graduate and preparing to take the entrance exam for university.

In the last two weeks, God has given Lynne some great opportunities to get to know these girls better.  

Will you pray for them to go deeper in their faith and become passionate followers of Jesus?  Will you pray for more of the girls in our ministry to come to faith in Jesus?

Will you also pray with us for another young woman(American, Brazilian, Mozambican, Portuguese) to work alongside us, helping and mentoring these young women, maybe even starting up an internship program for them as well?   As a "icing on the cake" kind of request,  will you also pray with us that this young woman would already have a basic understanding and ability to converse in Portuguese?  We believe nothing is too hard for God and He DESIRES to give us "icing on our cake" when we come to Him in faith, deeply desiring for these young ladies to bring glory to Him with their lives.

These young people are the future of Mozambique!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

25 de Junho

I spoke to my neighbor on Thursday, "Feliz Dia de Independencia, Joana"("happy independence day, Joana"), to which she replied "Estamos livres!"  ("We are free!") 

25 de Junho is both the name of our town and the date of Mozambique's Independence from Portuguese colonial rule in 1975 after a decade long war for their freedom.  Below are some photos of our town.  

Men wheel these pushcarts around all day, laden with a variety of things.
25 de Junho Market area
A view from in front of our house
The flag of Mozambique
Neighbor boys
Hot, fresh bread daily...carried and sold from a plastic tub on top of the head.
All that and carry a baby too?

A random sweet old man!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Six Years!

June 4th marked 6 years in Mozambique!  We thought we would celebrate by sharing some of our "firsts" photos!

Our first week in Mozambique, staying at Oasis guesthouse.  All the boys did for the first week is catch lizards and get filthy every day!  They were 6 and 9 years old.

Our first trip to the beach!

Our first pets, Jack Russell Terriers, Max and Fudge.

Our first house and chance to do yard work.  As seminary students, up to this point, we had only lived in apartments.

Our first Thanksgiving.  We celebrated with our British, Brazilian and Mozambican friends.

Our first church family, in front of our first meeting site, the primary school in Djuba.

Our first Christmas program.  Can you find the "branca"(white girl)?

The first church owned land in Djuba.  Clearing it by hand.

After the land was cleared, our first church "building", a giant blue and white tent.

First signs of falling in love with a beautiful people.

Answered prayers!

Thank you for praying for Felix and Mary, the Rwandese couple who have come to work with us.  they have both completed the residency process and are now free to settle and work with us in Mozambique!  God is so good!

Friday, June 12, 2009


With our friends, Terri and Reid at Silver Spur restaurant.
Andrew in English class

Often, a battle rages in my mind and I find myself crying out to God, aloud, when I'm alone...the battle usually centers around fear or loss or fear of loss and the pain that comes with that.

On my trip to Nairobi this past week, I was hit hard.  FEAR and the pain that comes with LOSS.

I am a fearful person.  Maybe you could call it my "thorn in the flesh".  So, boarding a plane ALONE to another country is a fearsome thing. 

 The first time I had to do this, I was a 19 year old college student.  I had never been on a plane before and was expecting to be flying with friends to the Philippines, but due to a mix up, found myself traveling ALONE from KC to Dallas and then on to LAX where I would meet up with my friends.  I remember telling the trip leader, Mr. Ken Liles, on the phone, "I can't do this!  I've never even flown before."  

I still hear two voices every time I have to fly alone.  Mr Ken Liles:  "I have faith in you.  You can do this!"  My husband:  "Being brave isn't the absence of fear; it's facing your fears, and you are the bravest woman I know!"

So, on Friday I boarded a plane for Nairobi to see my first-born.  I knew that when I got there, I would have to get in a taxi with a stranger.  I knew that while I was there, I'd have to get in a car and drive in some of the world's worst traffic to "places unknown."  I have a terrible sense of direction!

All of  this wasn't the most difficult part, though.  As someone who VOWED she would never send her children to boarding school, I faced another battle:  once again having to leave my fiercely loved 15 year old at boarding school on Tuesday and that inevitable "hole in your heart" kind of loss.

  You might say I had developed a bit of an attitude about Rift Valley Academy.   As if they were holding my son hostage.  I was looking for any excuse to not send him back there next year!  

Monday night, terribly exhausted from my emotional battle, I gave up and cried out to God, "God, if this is REALLY your plan for Andrew's life, I'm asking you to give me some confirmation, because I just want him home with us."  At that moment, any choice would have been preferable to boarding school.

Tuesday morning, Andrew asked me to go to classes with him.  Mother with a bad attitude meeting teachers!  I feel like a liar when I have to hide my feelings!

First period English class:  A brand new teacher.  I expected the students to take advantage of her, misbehave, be uncooperative.  She told them they were going to do a project and asked for immediate participation.  Brave girl to do this on her first day!  I didn't expect to see what I saw:  kids with their hands up, interacting, showing excitement about "A Tale of Two Cities."  HMMM!

Second period Algebra class:  The teacher made a special effort to talk to me.  This is Andrew's most challenging class. He wanted to make sure I knew he was committed to helping Andrew through.

Third period Bible class:  The class was studying, verse by verse, John chapter 11.  The story of Lazarus.  Once again I saw a passionate teacher and passionate students.  They were interacting, their insights were AMAZING, they were being challenged to live their faith when Satan tried to get them to question God's goodness or God's power.

Add those three experiences in with my observation of my 15 year old son as a respectful, loving, caring individual...

mix it all together and you have a mom who left there crying tears of joy, not sadness.  Her cries to God had been answered. 

 CONFIRMED!  Rift Valley Academy is the most AMAZING school I've ever seen!  CONFIRMED!  God is working out a wonderful plan in Andrew's life.  I can't wait to watch it unfold.