Thursday, January 22, 2015

Update on Generator


Dear Friends and Family, 

We would like to update you on what has happened at the orphanage since we sent out our last letter on Sunday about the emergency situation in Mozambique and our inability to get water without electricity to power our well.

The past week has been a complete nightmare for everyone living in Northern Mozambique. People are walking around with hopeless faces and hearts full of despair. The orphanage, which is supposed to be a place where people can find relief in a crisis, was not able to help others. Instead, we needed help, as we had no way to get water. Victor and the staff spent every day trying to find enough water for drinking and cooking. 

At first they filled the orphanage truck with all our water tanks, drove to our farm, and filled them with water from our new well that runs on a hand pump. But because of the excessive rains, the ground was so muddy that the truck got stuck and it took many people all evening and all night to get it out. Another day they were able to get water from some missionary friends who have a well, and the next day they got water from neighbors' shallow hand-dug wells, which is very scary because of cholera. The whole situation was getting more dire and stressful every day.

Then after hearing about the crisis, people responded right away and we got the money needed to buy a good generator. The problem, though, is that there are no generators available in Nampula anymore, and we read that all generators in the nearest port city were sold out in one day. Victor and some of the older boys had been searching the city for places to get clean water, charge cell phones, and buy a generator for days. There were no generators to be found. But they did not give up hope because they have always seen God make things appear out of nowhere in times of need. 

Earlier in the week Victor had seen some very small and cheaply made generators being sold for twenty times their normal price, and he was afraid of making an unwise decision in a panic and getting something that wouldn't work more than a few minutes. We had been praying that God would somehow make a generator appear in the city where there was none. 

Then last night, Victor and his guys heard that there was a shop that might have a generator. They went there and discovered that there was a generator that had never been sold because it was broken. They felt it was a miracle that the generator was broken and there for them to find. If it had not been broken, it would already have been sold. They took a risk in buying the generator but felt good about it. But then they had to find a way to fix it and could tell they would need a welder. 

The orphanage has had many welders come to work on our gates and bars on the windows, so everyone is familiar with how much electricity welding requires. If someone is welding and we don't shut off all the rest of the electricity, a fuse will be blown immediately. Also, whenever we have welding done, we have to keep going to the electric company to buy more power, and the electric bill is always higher for the month. So the idea of needing something welded during a time when there is no power is absurd.

It turns out they found a welder who welds with gas and only had to pay him $4 to weld everything needed to make the generator run! To us this whole thing was a complete miracle. 

They got the generator working and hooked up to the well pump and were immediately able to fill all the water tanks in the orphanage. We have no words to describe how desolate you feel when you have no water, and there are also no words to describe the feeling of joy and relief when you get it again.

Victor is sure that this generator will be able to get the orphanage through the crisis. We are only turning it on to get water from the well, charge phones, and turn on some lights at night for safety. Now that the orphanage has access to clean water again, we are able to get out of survival mode and begin helping others. 

We are saving all the rest of the donations we have just received to have a serious industrial generator shipped from South Africa or the U.S. This is something we already knew we would need because of the instability in our area, though we were not expecting anything like this. 

We will also use the donations coming in to assist families who can't make it through this situation on their own. We have already been able to do this a little, and this emergency funding takes the pressure off the orphanage to cut our own food budget to assist others who are in dire need of help right now.

We cannot thank you enough for your prayers and financial support at this time. Last week everyone at the orphanage was feeling hopeless and alone and like nobody "out there" even knows what's happening to us. The immediate response from so many people makes us feel showered with love and not alone. We also know that it "costs" each person to give financially, and we profoundly appreciate the hard work, sacrifice, and generosity each donation represents. Please know that your support is making it livable again inside the orphanage, and you are enabling us to again be able to serve our neighbors and others in their times of greatest need.

We would also like to again give a heartfelt "thank you" to all our monthly supporters who sustain us day in and day out through prayers and financial giving. Our mission, orphanage and education scholarships would not be possible without you, and the lives of the children we serve would be very different. We are always aware of this and extremely grateful to all of you.

Please continue to keep the orphanage, our local church, friends and family, and all the people in Northern Mozambique and Malawi, especially those in the flood zones, in your prayers. Please especially continue to pray for health and safety from diseases such as cholera and malaria.

Thank you so much Friends and Family!

Love,

Victor (in Mozambique) and Christina (in the U.S.)



Sunday, January 18, 2015

Crisis in Mozambique

The Licungo River now cuts the country in half (literally).
Photo Source: Mozambique Cut In Two: Red Alert for 'Historical' Floods - clubofmozambique.com
Dear Friends and Family,
 
As you may have heard, Northern Mozambique and neighboring Malawi are currently in a state of emergency due to historic flooding which has burst open the biggest rivers in the region. Many people have died and thousands have been displaced.

Last Monday in the village of Mocuba, the Licungo River became so wild that it toppled and swept away a bridge that connects the only highway linking the northern half of Mozambique with the rest of the country. The river also swept away ten pylons holding the only electrical wires carrying power to the four Northern provinces. This cut off all electricity and all access to Nampula, Zambezia, Niassa, and Cabo Delgado, where over ten million people live, and where our orphanage and ministry are located.
 
At first we didn’t think this would affect us so harshly because the orphanage isn’t in a flood zone. But our life-saving well, which dear friends raised money to get us several years ago, and which has brought us and many of our neighbors through every drought since, depends on an electrical pump to function. After a few days without electricity the staff was seriously struggling to find water for 50 people to drink and use for showers, cooking, dishes, laundry, and everything else.
 
Victor and the staff have been pushed beyond their limits as they strain to keep sanitary conditions without the use of the well. Millions of people are now fighting for survival, and everyone is under tremendous stress, making the situation even more intense. There is price gouging for normal food items and survival supplies are sold out in stores. This is the time of year when cholera, malaria, and other diseases are most prevalent, and now we are especially concerned about keeping everyone healthy.
 
We would like to buy a heavy duty generator that would allow us to use our well during this crisis and in any future crises that may occur. The orphanage is normally a place where others come when they are desperate, and it has always been a great blessing to serve people during their greatest times of need. This is an important part of our ministry and something we have not been able to do this week, as we have had to put all our energy and resources into finding water for our kids in the orphanage.
 
We would like to ask that you would pray heartily for all the people in Mozambique and Malawi who are affected by the flooding.
 
Please pray especially that the kids and staff at the orphanage will get through this – that God will provide the needed water and food and that nobody will get sick or injured during this time.

If anyone feels lead to help us get a generator or cover the unexpected costs incurred this month, we would greatly appreciate it. There is a PayPal button on our website.
 
We would also greatly appreciate any of you sharing our prayer requests and needs with friends.
 
Thank you so much to all our supporters who sustain us through prayer, encouragement and monetary donations. We know that we could not have this ministry without you and we are tremendously grateful that you are a part of our lives. We hope you know what a huge difference you are making in the lives of the children and families we serve in Mozambique.
 
Blessings,
 
Victor and Christina

The Licungo River passing in front of the village of Mocuba this week.
Photo Source: jornalnoticias.co.mz
Photo I took of the same Mocuba bridge last month. You can see where the river used to be. Mocuba is a few hours south of Nampula and I've always thought it's the cutest village in Mozambique because of the way the coconut trees and houses are situated along the river.
Many of these have "toppled over."
Photo Source: edm.co.mz