Anyway – because of legal reasons and policies the orphanage could not take this little boy, Jose, when she first brought him because Victor and I were in Chimoio at the time. But she was so determined to help him that she delayed her trip until our return and in the meantime actually found his family.
As soon as we got back to Nampula she brought Little Jose to the orphanage. He is tiny. He is smaller (shorter and skinnier) than our four-year-old but walks around like an old man. His personality is HUGE. Jose appears to be completely in his own world, oblivious to all around him while at the same time it seems he’s in on a joke that nobody else is smart enough to “get.” He is a complete character to say the least. It is impossible to tell his age but he may be between 7 and 12. It is also impossible to tell what’s going on in his head, which may be a new challenge for us.
When the orphanage staff investigated where Jose had come from we found that his mother has severe mental disabilities that completely prohibit her from taking care of a child, his grandmother can not remember her own daughter’s name, and there are two more siblings including a baby sister who is named Covaella, which in Macua translates literally into, “this is what I was afraid would happen.”
After finding the other kids and the conditions they were living in the staff decided to take all three into the orphanage. Jose’s older brother is probably about 12 and is named Jordão. Victor changed the baby sister’s name to Dorcas. She is probably about one and a half years old.
Please pray for our three new little ones. Jordão is easy going and fits in as if he’s always been here. He acts like he’s in heaven now. Little Dorcas will get a check up at the hospital next week – she will probably need a lot of medication to overcome worms and malnutrition. Claudia, one of the older girls, is in charge of Dorcas and all the others take turns helping with her. It seems that they are all excited about having a baby to work with. Little Jose needs the most attention. Because he was living on the streets he can be pretty wild. He has been living by rules of survival, which are contradictory to the rules of the orphanage. But he is also adorable and funny and extremely entertaining. Whenever he thinks of it he bursts into a very serious and deliberate Macua song with a dance that goes with it. Sunny says she can’t even imagine the orfanato without Jose and I think that everyone else is beginning to feel that way too.
One more thought . . . when we were in Chimoio we visited Maforga where they are working with kids similar to ours. One of the people in charge talked about how “we” (people who have had Christianity in our families for many generations) have had people praying for us and the ones taking care of us for generations. My parents have prayed for me since before I was born - my grandparents and even great-grandparents too! And my parents were prayed for and their parents were prayed for. Think what a big difference that must have made in my entire life! Then think about a child who has never been prayed for (and their parents were not prayed for). Not only that but for children here - many kids’ parents did sacrifices to evil spirits on their child’s behalf. Parents and parents’ parents practiced witchcraft and engaged with evil spirits who they believe are angry dead ancestors. Imagine what kind of a difference this could make in a person’s life!
After Victor heard that Jose’s baby sister was named “this is what I was afraid would happen,” he explained to us that many people give their babies names according to how they want “the spirits” to interact with them. Some women believe that they have miscarriages because the spirits ate their baby, so the next time they get pregnant, they immediately name the baby a name that is something disgusting to eat so that the spirits will not find it tasty. For the rest of the child’s life he will walk around with a name like “rotten relish” because of the fear that drives the practice of animism.
When Little Jose was living in the streets he would imitate what a witch doctor does, which was funny and entertaining to people passing by (especially because he is so tiny). This is how he earned money to survive. But imagine what kinds of negative things have had an influence over Jose.
Your prayers for our kids are very very important. Thank you for all the times you have thought of them already and please continue to pray especially for our new little ones – Jose, Jordão, and Dorcas – they have come out of a rough place and they greatly need your prayers.