my friend dominique is here visiting. she is such a treasure from the Lord....so encouraging. she is a very gifted writer and i wanted to share with y'all how she described her first days here in maputo with me:
as we entered the city, it was night time and there were some street children who appeared from nowhere in between the cars--- with smiles on their faces rushing to our car to welcome Sarah back. she rolled down her window to speak portuguese to them and to ask why some of them where not home. we moved on with the traffic light. as we finally neared where she lives another group of older street boys approached the car with big smiles again--- one had a very very large bandage on the side of his neck from where he had had surgery a few days earlier to remove an abcess that had been larger than a baseball. sarah had taken him to the american embassy where a doctor so kindly did the surgery for free. now the boy was coming to the car to show Sarah that he was well and that he had been changing the bandages himself and keeping the wound clean. his name is Declesio, he is about 17 and has been living on the streets and now he does want to go home... to be reunited with his father. it has been making me think of the prodigal son in a new way, wishing that his father would rush out to meet him. but the culture here is very harsh sometimes to the children, especially to the boys... they are often very unwanted by the time they decide the streets would be better. i think he is brave to want to go home. -- that was my first evening in Mozambique.
while here, i have been going in the morning to the very humble area where the street children gather from 8-12:30 to pray, to receive bread and hot tea, to be allowed to wash their clothes, and then to be taught in two main classes for a few hours, then to have lunch and a life lesson from the word. the entire ministry team are mozambican except for my friend Sarah (who raises her money through unveiled faces to be there) and they have very little and live in the midst of the the threats that poverty makes on lives here. even this morning, before one of the teachers came to work he helped his neighbor go to the hospital because she and her two children had malaria. she will be better, but he lamented about how sick she was today. the other teacher here, he also brings the boys back to their homes--- counsels them as they adjust, leads them to see the decisions they can make...the small ones, that will make the difference in their lives... from brushing their teeth, to staying in school, to truly praying to God and knowing their lives are his. i went with him and sarah as well to visit a teenager they had brought back home--- they had helped him start a small business and all of his money was stolen, so his family took him to the witchdoctor to see if he had curse on his life... they though encouraged him to focus on school, to take the opportunity to do well in his classes and while we chatted in his dirt yard about seven of his siblings watched us. we prayed for him. and when he bowed his head i felt the reality of his the depth of his faith--- i felt that he really knew You Lord.
in another village where Sarah helped to reintegrate a boy to his family, she still visits him every week and now has a small children's church each time in front of his hut. this boy was quite young-- not a teen, about ten and had been living in the streets... now though he waits at the entrance of the village for Sarah to come, and this week about fifteen children were waiting--- as young as a year old... and then when they saw us they ran to the car ...then turned to run to meet us at the hut, some staying behind for the one year old. when we got to the hut there was an air of excitement and as soon as one village girl put a mat down, all the children immediately sat for the lesson that was about to be given by the young mozambican boy whom Sarah had brought with her. the children were hearing some of the stories from the word for the first time. a mother sat nearby listening.