Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Brothers, Sisters, and Cousins in the Orphanage

VoVo, Gil, Janete (brothers and sister), and Ruben (cousin). These kids were tiny when they first came to the orphanage more than seven years ago. Now the boys are all teenagers and Janete is on staff.
We have 54 kids in the orphanage right now and most of them have siblings here with them. I always get really emotional when taking their pictures in their little family groups – especially little ones where there's just two of them and I think about what it must have been like at some point when they had nobody but each other.

Jordão, Dorcas, and Jose (brothers and sister). Our newest kids who arrived just a few months ago.

Ofeita, Francisco, and Atija (brother and sisters)

Dionisio and Estela (brother and sister)

Graça and Isac Pequeno (sister and brother)

Martinho and Carlitos (brothers), with cousins Anabela and Virginia (sisters) and Mena (niece)

Mauricio, Felix, Isaque, and Canito (brothers)

Merecido and Celso (brothers)

Cocas and Minoca (sisters)

Samito, Silas, Helder, Felix, and Ronilda (brothers and sisters)
Manuel and Marinho (cousins)

Pilonte and Rock (cousins)

Clara and Salmon (sister and brother)

Regina and Lazaro (sister and brother)

Terçia, Zaqueio, and Leonora (cousins)

All the kids who don’t have any family in the orphanage: Back row: Gabriel, Little Victor, Nolita, Claudia, Gizela, Sara, Filipe, Daniel; Front: (Simba), Belson, Canito, and Jeremias.

The photos in this entry include all the kids in the orphanage and were all taken this month (September 2009).

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

OUR NEW WELL!!!

We have GREAT news, which is that we now have a well!!!!!


Over the past five years we’ve had kids walking several kilometers carrying water on their heads, a shallow hand-dug well which quickly dried up, and city water piped in only to be shut off during the times water is most needed in the dry season. Last year during the dry season we had no water for over a week several different times. It was scary and stressful. The kids could not take showers or wash dishes and cooking and drinking water had to be rationed.


After hearing about this last water crisis one friend took it upon himself to raise money for a well for the orphanage. After receiving this awesome gift, we waited for the next dry season (which is now) and were then able to have a deep well drilled. We are SO happy to report that we now have a 55-meter deep drilled well right behind the boys’ dorm, inside our property! It is hard to even express how incredible it is for us to have our own water source and we don’t even know how to describe the relief we now feel, knowing we will not have to face another water crisis.


We would like to give our greatest thanks to everyone who gave donations for the well and especially to those who raised the funds on our behalf. And we would also like to continue saying thank you to all of you who support us through prayer, donations, letters, and visits! You make it possible for us to care for 54 kids who would otherwise be living in the very worst situations. Thank you so much for making our ministry here in Mozambique possible.


Here are some pictures of the well . . .


A man from the drilling company testing the water while all the kids watch.

This isn’t an old-fashioned well with bricks going around in a circle and a bucket being dipped in from a rope. It’s a PVC pipe going down 165 feet into the earth with an electric pump (currently plugged into the dining hall kitchen via extension cord) pulling the water up.

TJ measuring water pressure.

TJ marking down his findings.

Isac Pequeno, Jordão, and Canito getting water.

Our next task is to build a water tower, hook up a gigantic filter, and then connect pipes that will distribute the well water throughout the orphanage. We are SO grateful to have our very own engineer, TJ, with us right now working on the design for all of this!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Isac Pequeno, Canito, Estela, Ofeita, Belson, Mena, and Jose making little round, three-layers-high, mud cakes.

Our little beast Simba is fine and happy. (If you saw the kinds of hideous wounds this dog has come home with you would not believe he is still alive.)

The girls had a big soccer game, practicing for a competition at school. (In this picture: Graça (very far left), Sara (header), Leonora, Estela, Gizela, and Terçia.)

All the boys watched from the wall. (Girls playing: Graça, Anabela, and Nolita. Boys sitting on the wall: Pilonte (very far left), Mussa, mechanic, Martinho, Salmon, Little Victor holding Dorcas, Manuel, Francisco, TJ, Jordão, and Felix (at gate).)

Gabriel was the referee and instructor and VERY VERY serious about it. (Graça, Leonora, Sara, Gabriel, Nolita, Terçia, Gizela, and Ronilda.)

Estela and Virginia – two girls nobody wants to mess with, especially Virginia!

Victor eating sugarcane with a huge machete-sized knife in the kitchen. (Normal for him, entertaining to me.)