One of my favorite authors, Erwin McManus, says, "home is ultimately not about a place to live but about the people with whom you are most fully alive. Home is about love, relationship, community, and belonging and we are all searching for home."
the past week or so i have been having some problems with my landlord and neighbors. i live in a building with 5 other apartments and my neighbors have been complaining about the street boys being around. my landlord wants me to set better boundaries between my work and my home. i've tried to explain to him that this is not work for me. i gave up everything to move to mozambique and minister to these kids. that ministry doesn't just end at 2:00 when the center closes. it is so important to me that the boys be able to visit me in my home. they sometimes come to play with the toys i have here or just to ask for a cup of water. they also come to me when they are sick or injured. i love that they do these things!! to me its a very small way to share the love of God with them and its all a part of building a relationship with them so that they will receive the Truth that i speak into their lives. i've spoken to all the boys and asked them to help me by not loitering around the building waiting on me to come home or wake up in the mornings. i've also asked them not to come after dark. in the end, the landlord agreed to give me a couple of weeks and see how it goes with these guidelines for the boys. i'm pretty sure it will be a one chance thing and that if a neighbor calls to complain again i will have the option of telling the boys they aren't allowed here at all or moving out. i would choose to move out before i would tell the boys they aren't welcome in my home. i hope it doesn't come to that though and i ask you to pray. pray that the boys will be more respectful of the other people that live here. pray also that the hearts of my neighbors would be softened towards the boys. the boys aren't doing anything bad but there are so many negative stereotypes about street kids. i've been able to talk to them a bit about this and challenge them to start making better choices about how they behave, treat other people, and even their appearance. i've told them that they can't expect to wake up one morning and magically their life be changed. the responsibility to make wise decisions is theirs and they have the power to help break some of these stereotypes put on them.
i'm only here for 2 more months. november 21, i'll be going to visit my family and friends in the states. when i come back to mozambique in january, i'm planning to live with some friends who are starting a new project called kunhymela house. the heart of this ministry is to provide "a home that serves the disenfranchised just as Christ served them during His walk on earth, by living in community with them and focusing on relationship over all else." i will continue working with masana and we will partner with kunhymela house when we have street kids who are really sick or for the boys who are preparing to return home. it will be such a blessing to live with a other people who have the same heart as i do for the street kids!!!