Sunday, September 14, 2008

Returning from our Summer in the U.S.

It took us five days to get back to Nampula. From Wednesday morning to Thursday afternoon we spent 25 ½ hours flying from Seattle to Atlanta to Senegal to South Africa. We spent the night with the Reymans in Johannesburg and then took a 9 hour bus to Maputo, the capital of Mozambique. On Saturday our flight to Nampula was cancelled but we got a chance to have lunch with Victor’s cousin, Adelina. Then we had to spend another night there before getting our last 2 ½ hour flight to Nampula.

When we finally arrived home at the orphanage the kids were just coming home from church and when they saw us they all ran full speed into our arms, mostly screaming and laughing and then out of breath. The first one was little Caneto who ran straight into a huge hug with Victor! It was sooooo cute!!! The kids even had little balloons and signs welcoming us home. Everyone complimented us on how fat we have become. They keep telling me I am “gorda” with huge smiles! Ha! It’s a compliment but as an American I don’t think this will ever stop sounding hilarious to me (being called fat in such a thrilling way)!

Our reunion with the kids was a very happy moment. We walked around the property and found everything spotlessly clean. One of the best surprises was an amazing new garden of cove (collard greens), planted by Daniel. Last year Daniel tried to plant a cove garden and labored over it for hours. The garden failed, maybe because it had no shade. We found his new garden between the wall and the dining hall. This shaded area must be perfect for the cove to grow. We also found that he has planted lettuce, tomatoes, and mini-potatoes. There isn’t space to grow enough food to feed all the kids everyday but the new garden is incredible and is providing vegetables for meals each week! Daniel has done all of this on his own initiative and the whole orphanage is thrilled with him and proud of the new garden! Besides shade, another way our new wall has made the garden possible is that it keeps out roaming neighborhood children, goats, and chickens. The kids told us that chickens once got in and tried to eat from the garden but our new dog, Simba, chased them out and no chicken has ever come back since. I don’t know if chickens really have a memory like this but it sounds good to me.

For dinner we had a big feast of chicken, rice, and an American-style chopped salad made by Victor. Then we had singing and sharing and prayed before going to bed. During the sharing time all the kids said good things about how well the staff had run the orphanage while we were gone. They also kept telling us about how much the Brazilian missionaries had been helping them during this time – with hospital visits, Bible studies, and many other things. The kids asked about all our friends and family in the U.S. and we gave them a few reports about what we were doing and who we were able to visit. Victor also said that he had become so “fat” because of all the good cooking. Then Mama Maria yelled out that she knew all about it because Victor had called her on the phone and told her that he was eating potatoes made by Christina’s mom. This sent the whole orphanage into roaring laughter for about five minutes. Everyone LOVES it when Mama Maria talks because she is so funny and happy and expressive and even jumps up and down for joy! We don’t know if we’ll get any bad reports later but everything we have seen and heard from the kids tonight is fantastic and we are thrilled and encouraged by their happiness and unity.


Anonymous said...

Found you blog while "blog hopping."
What a beautiful life you have!

Shannon said...

I am so glad that you guys made it back safely. The journey home sounds longer than ours! WHEW!
Christina, I was so happy to have the pleasure of meeting you when you were here in UT! It was great working with you to get the project started! We will be praying for you guys every day! Let us know if there is anything specific. Hugs!

Sunny said...

Hi Christina, All the kids look sooo happy to see you guys! We miss you and Victor. I hope you're getting some good rest after the long trip. I'll email soon. Love you and praying for you- Sunny

momsi/Nonni said...

Soooooo glad you made it home safe and sound. WE mmmiiiissss you both so much. John was so disappointed he didn't get to talk to Victor but glad things went so well for you.We have been praying for you and all your travels. This is great having the blog. Tell all the kids the Nichols say HELLO! Love ya,Momma Nichols

Anonymous said...

Hi Christina and Victor,
What a lonnnng trip to get home, I know you're so glad that journey is over. Gary and I feel so lucky to have been able to spend some time with you and hear about how much you are loving those children! Christina, it's such a delight to see you all grown up and doing such a good work-and so far from "home". Looks like you made a good choice by marrying Victor...We'll be praying for you both and all that God will be sharing with you! :)
Excited to read more!
Michelle Ventimiglia

Juventud Sin Limites said...

Hi Christina and Victor,
I'm glad you guys made it back safely. It was a honor and privilege to meet you guys. You are truly an inspiration to both me and Abraham. We will keep you in our thoughts and prayers.

loisthomp said...

Hi Victor and Christina!! Wow! Isn't G_d just awesome!!! Who woulda thunk it! Two worlds so far apart but yet by the great orchestrating hand of G_d, you two were brought together for His purposes! Praise Him in the Highest!!
Christina, this is Angie Thompson, Tim's mom and Georgia's mominlaw~~
What a great joy it was to hear from G that you had married and now with Victor are there in Mozambique. I must admit that my first initial reaction when she told me of your plans to relocate to Africa, tears of joy rolled down my eyes, tears of excited and completion filled my eyes. It had to be only G_d who brought those tears in my eyes for you!
Say, our church, Tacoma Christian Center has started a Missions Ministry this year. They started by sending a couple of ladies to Africa two years ago, I'm not sure where they went but this year a larger group was gathered with some of our teens and they went to Sierra Leone.
I would like to submit your Ministry to our Board as a consideration of support. Do you have any supporting documentation about your Ministry, or the Orphanage? Also, what is your phone number, I can call you from my house since I have Comcast and the rate to calling to another country is low.
Well, I will wait to hear from you.
if you would like to email me directly, you can reach me at:
Lov You!!