Monday, June 1, 2015

Children's Day

Kids from our Nampula orphanage at a playground in town.
On the slide.
Eduardo, Filomena, and Joao.
(Cuamba is in Niassa Province and 358km from Nampula.)
We sent some of our interns to Cuamba to put on a celebration for the children we are working with there. The children we serve are still living with people in the village while they wait for us to build the next orphanage. Some of the children are sleeping in mud huts and others are living in grass shelters. The orphanage truck drove to the place where each child stays and picked him or her up. Most of the kids had never been in a vehicle before so the ride was really exciting! The kids all wore the clothes and shoes that people in the U.S. donated to our ministry.
Victor's sister Madalena, who lives in Cuamba and has been working closely with the children, made them egg McMuffins for breakfast.
She also made them chicken, rice, and french fries for lunch. Some of the kids had soft drinks for the first time ever.
Then there was dancing.
 More dancing.

A cake. Yum!
The kids had a great day!

A world conference for the well-being of children took place in 1954 establishing June 1st as the International Day for the Protection of Children. This date is observed in many countries around the world, and Mozambique has made this day the second most celebrated in the nation.  Normal activities do not stop, but everything is done to make sure this day will honor Mozambican kids.

On the morning of June 1st, the Mozambican government holds an event at the town square to mark the beginning of the celebration. Teachers and students from different schools around the city come to town.

At school the kids are given a party and hard working teachers are rewarded. Each student brings the best food from home to share with their teachers and other classmates. Teachers are filled with good food and can share with the kids who have not been able to bring anything. June 1st is celebrated with lots to eat, soft drinks, music, dancing and drama.

Mozambican children look forward to this day every year. Even if the kids are not of school age, parents work hard to make this day memorable. After June 1st, students talk about their memories of the celebration the rest of the year.

When June 1st comes I think of my parents. In the midst of their own financial struggle to feed their 8 children, they worked hard to give my siblings and I a very special June first party. Driven by obedience to our faith in Christ and remembering those values instilled in us early in life, we cannot help but give all the kids in our care a wonderful June 1st celebration with lots of food, games and dancing. We are able to do this in both the Nampula and Cuamba orphanages, thanks to your faithful financial support. The wonderful men and women of our staff family work hard to accomplish this for the children in our staff family work hard to accomplish this for the children in our care.

Update on Cuamba Orphanage Base

As we have mentioned in the past, we have been working on starting another orphanage in Cuamba. In February 2014 we sent our first missionary, Daniel, to Cuamba, to start the orphanage the same way we started the Nampula one. Daniel is a former orphanage kid who graduated from Bible School a few years ago.

There are now 16 kids in Cuamba who we are helping. We don’t yet have housing for them, so all are still living in various situations that are very difficult. We have been providing the kids with medicine, school supplies, and clothes. Very few of them had ever been to school but all are going now.

We currently have two interns in Cuamba who are running an after-school program, helping the kids learn to read and write. We are looking for funding to build facilities for the kids in Cuamba so they can move there and be fully cared for. Please continue to pray for our Cuamba staff who have volunteered to live in a difficult environment without any buildings yet, in order to serve these vulnerable Cuamba kids.