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