recently, i have been asking God what it means to live as a family. for me, family is mom and dad and brother. so what is "family" to 350 orphans? family is no longer so much about blood relation but more about people who are important to each other and offer each other love and support. my question is, how do i fit into this family here in zimpeto, mozambique?
when i first arrived 2 months ago, i was easily falling into the role of "friend" because i so love
hanging out with the kids and youth. but i feel like God is calling me to be more than just a "friend" to these kids. they have lots of friends already. what they lack are mothers and fathers. proverbs says to "teach a child in the way he should go and when he is older he will not depart from it." i want to earn a place of respect with these kids so that i am able to speak truth into their lives. . . to teach them in the way they should go.
let me introduce you to some of my "kids":
mateus is 17 years old. in the past year or so, he discovered that his mom lives in the city so in october he chose to go live with her. she practices witchcraft and disappears for days at a time leaving him to care for himself and his siblings living at the house. he's an amazing young man who really loves the Lord. he likes to sing/rap and dreams of starting a dance team to minister to people in the city.
pai is 11 years old. he came to live at the iris center in march of 2007. when i first met him last may, one of the only things he could say in english was "pai love sarah.!" he quickly won my heart! pai has a hard time sharing me with the other kids though and gets pretty jealous. he really loves one-on-one time with me and has become my helper when i bake cakes or cookies . . . which i do a lot of here!
manuel and nelson both work in my garden cutting the grass and watering the plants so they have a key to my garden gate. they are 17 and 18 years old. many afternoons i come home to find them sitting on my patio doing their homework. they both speak amazing english and i love sitting and talking to them. i think i have more of a "big sister" relationship with them because they love to get my opinion on things going on with them or at the center.
inacio is 10 years old. he lives in my dorm. he is full of personality! he knocks on my door multiple times every day to see if he can come play in my garden. everytime i walk walk out to the play ground, he quickly finds me. inacio makes the cutest faces and the funniest noises. i just love being around him because he always makes me laugh!
i look forward to introducing you to more of my family!