Saturday, November 29, 2008

Look at Our New Gate!!!

On Thursday the welders came and began making our front gate bar by bar.
They came with long iron rods, measured the entrance, sawed each one by hand one-at-a-time on a rock (see picture), and then welded the rods onto a frame they made. This is yet another completely-from-scratch construction that awes me. All the electricity in the orfanato was going completely off and then on again each time they used their machine. After two days they finished the gate and little groups helped carry each section to the entrance.
These types of projects are so fun because everyone gets involved.
During the gate making we also had some pretty frantic driveway laying going on right outside. The road that goes along the front of the orphanage is always pretty busy and you will never be bored watching people pass by. Of course the person who was the most involved with construction was Simba. He attended to every empty cement bag and tried as hard as he could to accompany every single person carrying a stone, gate, or shovel back and forth to and from the gate. As it got later and later the sun went down and everyone continued working by the light of our car. I even figured out the night settings on my camera and got a picture of this dramatic sky above our house!


Last Sunday Victor baptized 37 people at the church, including 9 kids from the orphanage. The annual church conference was this past week from Thursday through Sunday. Many people traveled from far away villages to attend and a large group slept and ate at the church. On Sunday morning the church was the most packed I have ever seen it. Before the service began everyone went down the steps outside in the back to the concrete baptismal tank. Then all the people being baptized lined up and entered the water one at a time and were baptized. It was wonderful and very emotional to see each person enter the water, especially our kids from the orphanage.


Age 14

I was born in a family that is not Christian. I did not know Jesus and I never went to church. When my mother died my dad had no job and could not take care of me and my sister. He brought us to the orphanage where people with no parents and those that are in great need live. It is here where I started learning of Christ and it is here at the orphanage where I became a Christian. The reason why I wanted to be baptized is to acknowledge to everyone my sins and my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ – that he exists and died for my sins and I am a new creature because of Him. After being baptized I feel very happy and joyful.

Grade 6

I became a Christian as a young child. Since then I have been learning more about God, which has helped me to grow. I wanted to be baptized to show that I had become a new being in God and that I want to continue to follow the ways of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Age 13

I have been learning about the ways of God since I was little and became a Christian as a child. After being baptized I was happy again when I thought about the water and how my sins were washed away. I feel very happy in my heart.

Age 12

My parents were Christians but I was very little when they died. When my parents died my grandpa took me to this orphanage where I learned about God and it is here where I became a believer. I became a Christian when I heard about Jesus – I believed in Him. I have wanted to be baptized for a long time. I have been born again in my spirit but I wanted to show everyone my faith through baptism. After my baptism I thanked God.


Age 12

I have learned about God since I was a young child and I became a Christian when I was little. I wanted to be baptized today because I want all to know that I have repented from my sins and have a new life in Christ.

Grade 10

My father was a Muslim, but since my infancy I have been taken to church through the grace of my uncles who were pastors. After the death of my parents I continued to live in God and learned more about Him. After having put God in my life, in my growth it has been my desire to be baptized, for He has done many great things in my life. My baptism was wonderful and made me feel strong. It is a very great thing to believe in God and in Jesus Christ.


Age 14

I went to church when I used to live with my family but I never understood. After coming to the orphanage, through the teaching of the word, I learned about God. I wanted to be baptized because I have repented and chosen to follow Christ. Besides being baptized, my best experience this day was partaking in the Lord’s Supper. This whole day was a blessing for me.


Age 12

After I started going to church and hearing the gospel of my Lord Jesus Christ, I became a Christian. I wanted to be baptized today to show that I have repented. After being baptized I felt too happy.


Age 17

My dad was a pastor and I became a Christian when he was still alive. I went to church with my family and learned about God there. The reason why I wanted to be baptized is to show that I know I am a sinner and I repent and I want to follow God. I was happy after my baptism because I thought more about what it means to be born again and I feel this freedom.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Huge Storm

To say that the rainy season started with a bang yesterday would be a massive understatement. Yesterday afternoon a monster storm hit Nampula and I think the orphanage was right in the middle of it. Besides huge thunder, lightning and wind, the rain was so hard and heavy that half the orphanage became a knee-deep lake within less than an hour and the road running next to our property was a gushing river afterwards. Everyone was pretty happy because the combination of unbearable heat and unpredictable water availability has been hard. Even though most things got completely soaked, the kids were all thrilled because it was the first rain and everyone was rejoicing together. The younger boys are all sleeping in the dining hall now but the older boys are still in tents, which look more like messed up sail boats right now. Because of some generous gifts we have just recently received we are actually able to begin working on the foundation again today. We are constructing the boys dorm raised off the ground so the kids inside will not be affected during the rainy season. In northern Mozambique – when it rains it storms. I think the one person who had the best time yesterday was Simba, the orphanage pet. He was just jubilant after the rains stopped and as the kids were running around in the puddles, he was the most glorious of all – racing, splashing, chasing, and being chased. When we tried to take pictures of him in action a little crowd of kids would stand behind the camera and laugh and cheer whenever he was captured. Our goal now is to be able to move the boys into their new dorm by mid-January. We are working hard to accomplish this! Picture 1: Rock, Filipe, Jeremias, and Daniel at their tents after the storm. 2: Kids running from the rain. 3: Kids in the water behind the girls dorm. 4: Francisco. 5: Nolita, Clara, and Mena watching from the girls dorm. 6: Canito, Samito, Salmon, and Francisco at the entrance of the orphanage property. 7: Kids and Simba at the entrance of the property. 8: Simba chasing. 9: Simba running. 10: Mena with her "baby."

Monday, November 17, 2008

Church Picnic

A few Sundays ago we had a huge church picnic at the orphanage. When it was announced in church that we would be having a “picky nicky” everyone thought the word was so funny since only the teenagers had heard it before. After church the whole congregation walked to our property, which is about a kilometer from the church. Though the weather is unbearably hot this time of year, Sunday ended up being unusually cooler (still in the 80s but wonderfully nice for Nampula in November) and it even rained a little. We were able to serve BBQ chicken, thanks to Ashlie who brought several large, very heavy bottles of BBQ sauce from the U.S. Nobody (except Ashlie, Victor and I) had ever tasted BBQ sauce before and everyone LOVED it! Janete and the kids made lots of cakes and we also had rice, soft drinks, and this special Macua milkshake-like thing called maheyu, which is made from water, sugar, and flour and a huge favorite here. A lady in the church made about a dozen enormous jugs of it and when we drove them to the orphanage in our car the maheyu splashed all over the place. I appreciate that Victor has about three layers of protective coverings in every part of the car (which is also very good for the many times people give us the gift of live chickens). Anyway - at the picnic all the adults sat under the cashew tree while the kids played with Simba and each other around the orphanage. It was really fun having all the church families here and we hope to have many more “picky nickys” in the future.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Ashlie's Voice Class

Ashlie teaches a voice class three times a week in the afternoons. Her students are our kids in the orphanage band and young people from a choir in Nampula. The class has been a lot of fun and the kids love it. Ashlie was able to identify shallow breathing in every singer and has been instructing them on breathing techniques that will help them enhance their beautiful voices and keep a note with full strength for a longer amount of time. The class begins each lesson with a verse, then voice techniques and then singing. The three songs the class has been working on lately are Kum Ba Yah (the African style version), The Lion Sleeps Tonight, and Hosanna in the Highest. The choir sounds fantastic and now we hear the songs from class being sung all over the orphanage throughout the rest of the week.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Vacation Bible School

This week Sueli ran an amazing Vacation Bible School program here at the orphanage. Sueli, Cornelia (from Germany), and Rubenita (also from Brazil) came five afternoons in a row for several hours. Our kids went out into the neighborhood and invited all their friends and neighbor kids to come each day. Sueli taught great Bible lessons with lots of stories and then they played fun games. The kids were all very sad when the week of “Holiday Bible School for Children” (as the kids have been calling it) ended. Victor was especially happy to see so many children from the neighborhood participating in something like this here at the orphanage. All the kids went home singing songs from the Bible and had Bible stories to share with their families. Thank you Sueli, Cornelia, and Rubenita for a fantastic week!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Mango Tree Basketball

The kids found a real basketball hoop in a big box of missionary donations and immediately put it up in a little mango tree. Now there have been huge, extremely enthusiastic basketball games played here everyday since. In Mozambique (like almost everywhere else in the world) futbol (soccer) is THE game and basketball is not as familiar. Nobody really knows the rules but it is so fun to watch the kids play because they are so into it. Last Sunday after church we all sat under the trees against our house and watched the most wild game of “basket.” There were four teams of three and a new team would rotate in after every point. It’s half court but there is no checking of the ball so anyone at any time can get it and take a shot. There were also at least one or more kids in the tree with the hoop for when the ball would get stuck in the branches. And the best thing was that whenever a team would make a point, the next group would be SO excited to enter the game that they would actually cartwheel in! Everyone was laughing and cheering the whole time so it was completely entertaining and SO fun to watch.