Sunday, December 25, 2011
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Living in Mozambique as an orphan is a challenge like everywhere else in the world. In the developed world many orphans are held in state institutions – cold places, shades of grey places – survival is the key and if your lucky you could be placed with a family for Christmas ... maybe. I understand why God would state in James 1:27 “Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless (orphans and widows) in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world.”
|Our annual Christmas Orphan party was again a huge success with orphans waiting somewhat patiently for the big occasion.|
Mozambique has very little or no state institutions for orphans. In a way they are luckier than those hidden in grey, cold buildings and sometimes find themselves in loveless surroundings. Orphans in Mozambique is just as a harsh environment. Most of the time they simply just stay in their mud and grass hut after parents die and look after themselves ..... going from hut to hut to ask for food. In villages where food is scarce people try to help these orphaned kids but sometimes the church is the only place where they can find some refuge. They are true ‘surviving heroes’ but heroes only go that far without good nutrition, medical help and education. Kids are lonely and kids as young as 9 has to take care of younger brothers and sisters. Kids are in survival mode and only God really knows what they see .... when they get up in the morning.
At Love Mozambique we have shared many a tear when we come to villages and see the multitudes of orphans looking for help. In Northern Mozambique alone we help more than 1 700 orphans by using the local church through various programs. Our little help looks like a drop in the ocean ... but on our base we could again spoil some of our orphan kids in our Amigo Orphan program. Heather Neufeld organized a great Christmas party again which .... as you will see .... the kids enjoyed thoroughly.
|Our orphan girls celebrating their gifts at the Christmas Orphan party.|
|I just love this face .... a happy orphan is our aim and when I see this .... I know God is happy too.|
|Girls celebrating their new Christmas gifts.|
GAMES AND FUN THROUGH TEACHING
|Past. Mariano shares the Christmas story with orphans under the tree.|
|Games with the orphan girls led by Heather.|
|Lots of games with the kids made the day much fun.|
|Dancing is part of the festivities and all our widows joined us for the occasion. Many of these widow mothers also look after all our orphan kids. All our Amigo Orphan kids has an adopted family through the widows that help us.|
|One of the widows, Mai Vaida who looks after some of our orphans, prays for the food and the event.|
OTHER HIGHLIGHTS OF THE XMAS ORPHAN DAY
|Eating chicken and rice with Coke must surely be one of the highlights!|
|Widows being treated to a special meal!|
|A happy day and the team (still looking energetic) with our local orphans.|
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Photo: And yet another orphan enjoying the day. Love those
eyes and smile!
Please pray that God will reveal HIM (as he always does!) Maybe on Christmas eve you could say a pray to the millions of orphans around the world and those who die so young in Mozambique. Join us in prayer or if you want to give a gift that lasts .... contact us at email@example.com
Thank you to the many who never forgets .... who reaches out and through your help says: I am here ....! Thanks for "being" in the moment with us.
Many blessings on you and your family!
All photos taken by our reporter and missionary on the ground: Heather Neufeld (thanks Heather!)
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Past. Toca, he must be very close to 60 years of age, got up and started testifying. Testifying the ‘electrifying’ way, if you ask me. He was fired up and started sharing: “God has a special plan for each. I started this program as an illiterate man, forgotten by many until I joined the 6 year Bible program. I told God ... here I am ... illiterate, poor and someone that never went to school. BUT ... I have a desire ... I want to be Your servant and teach your people in the Zambezi Delta your Word. Help me! And GOD did”, he told 48 other pastors who by now could not sit still on their chairs. Past. Toca joined the SBF (Bible Faith Seminary) program more than 10 years ago as an illiterate man staying in a small forgotten town, Baue on the banks of the mighty Zambezi river. Through a truly amazing miracle from God he started reading and writing the Bible .... and a ‘walking miracle’ as he describes himself.
|Past. Toca (left) from Baue with his interpreter, Past. Elias from the same area.|
One after one pastors got up and shared their miracle stories of how the program not only changed their lives and the lives of their churches, but how communities were totally transformed as they were busy completing their 6 year theology course.
|Some of the students busy with studies on the book of Revelation. All of them are pastors of their own churches. Most of the are from Northern Mozambique.|
We have a total holistic approach when it comes to the understanding of theology. The nearly 1 000 pastors in the SBF program follows an extensive 6 year course while they concentrate on various social problems within their immediate communities like:
- · Orphan problems – creating orphan programs to take care and feed them with the help of the community;
- · Starting pre-primary schools to educate kids before they start their official school year;
- · Sustainable agriculture programs and food security for their communities during starvation periods;
- · Using the church to teach hygiene and help local communities with literacy in various health issues;
- · Providing solutions in agri programs by getting water to people;
- · Using the church to help neglected women to empower themselves through literacy programs and participating in the 6 year theology course the moment they can read and write.
We just completed yet another intensive seminar with these great servants. We were fortunate to hold our first seminar in our newly built (although not yet finished) Leadership and Training centre. We shared various topics from Sustainable Agriculture, servant leadership techniques, health and hygiene related issues, food procurement models for communities, counselling techniques to mention but a few.
Once you meet these men who serves God without a salary, without any additional benefits just plain pure raw love and commitment ... you are truly humbled. And when you, as teacher , want to share .... you immediately decide to keep quiet .... and just listen to what God is already doing through them!
|One of our new students, a pastor from Northern Mozambique receiving his certificate after completing 2 modules of his 26 module theological course.|
YES ... and some strange food. Roasted flying ants. They are actually very nutritious and don't taste that bad at all. And if you are hungry .... this really would get you going throughout the day!
Monday, December 12, 2011
|It's that man Joao - wrestling with a crocodile - and he always does it with a smile!|
Joao Benjamim grew up in Mutarara .... and I have shared many postings on his many gifts as he serves God with us in Mucombeze. As you know Joao speaks nearly 8 languages and carries a degree in Economics and Business Management. But what you don’t know, is that being from Mutarara, a small town on the banks of the Zambezi river, he knows no fear. To survive in Mutarara you need to overcome the extreme 45 degree Celsius heat but even more crucial – when it is your turn to fetch water in the Zambezi river, you have to overcome crocodiles and hippos. Which he did!
We have been terrorized on our mission farm by a few crocodiles who killed more than 8 of our sheep we keep on the farm. Well ... the crocodile was caught (and although he doesn’t look all that fat to me ..... we did call him the “Sheep Dundee” of our area.
Well here is Joao showing off at the catch of the day!
|Just checking on the vice-grip hold! And those teeth looks ..... well very clean and very ready for action!|
|Domingos Oziah - our animal guru. He knows animals, the bush and all the creatures in the river. Visiting him is an experience you will never forget. He cooks a mean eal from the river!|
|Joao Benjamim and Domingos Oziah just showing the crocodile who's boss in the open bush!|
|Now this photo teaches you many things! Tendai shows the world that fear is secondary in the bush. OK her face does show another story altogether - but for a 3 year old to that ..... she gets the prize of the day.|
|And that was enough for the crocodile!|
Please note: ALL PHOTOS taken by our photographer on the spot - Heather Neufeld. Always at the right place at the right time. Thanks Heather!