A month ago, we took Luis back home. Today we did a follow-up visit. It was beautiful.
We arrived to a table set for a feast. Luis' grandparents were there to express their deep gratitude for our help in bringing their grandson back home. His grandmother shed tears of joy as she tried to express how much joy she felt that day, a month ago, when we first showed up at the family's house with Luis. Then she asked to pray for us. Her prayer was in Shanghan, the local language, so I did not understand her words but I felt the Holy Spirit. I knew that, once again, God had used us to restore a family. It was obvious that, with the return of Luis, this family was filled with new hope for life.
We discussed with the family what small business they had decided to try. They asked if instead, we would be willing to use the business money to build a house for Luis next to his mom's house. We asked them to do some research on the cost involved in this and we'll let them know if Masana has the finances to do it or not.
We had brought a suitcase full of new clothes, a couple of blankets, a sleeping mat, and a few other items Luis will need as he resettles with his family. Again, tears were shed as Luis opened the suitcase and showed his family all that was inside. One by one, his family members came to hug us and thank us again for all that we have done for their family.
Then we were served a feast. The women in the family had worked so hard to prepare these beautiful plates - prawns, chicken, salad, rice, and potatoes. It was literally some of the best food I've had in Mozambique. And how perfect to enjoy this meal sitting under a large tree in a village with a family so full of joy.
As we left, the entire family accompanied us to the end of the road. Then we said our goodbyes and continued on to the bus stop with just Luis and his mother. Luis' mom asked to speak to my coworker alone. Lauren and I walked on ahead with Luis chatting with him about life in his community and how he passed his time.
As we boarded the ferry boat to cross the Maputo Bay back to the city, my coworker told us that Luis' mom was HIV+. She had just found out and has not told her son or other family yet. That is why she wants us to build a house for her son....so that he has a place of his own once she is gone.
Watching the island disappear as the boat crossed the bay, tears filled my eyes. Such a mixture of emotions filled my heart as I thought of this joyful family so full of hope. And this mother carrying a secret....to afraid to tell her family for fear of crushing that hope.