hello family and friends! Roberto, Melina and I are happy to in Georgia for the holidays! One of the tasks we have each year during this time is to raise our support for the following year. Below, is a summary of 2013 and information for those who would like to support us as we continue ministering to the street boys of Maputo.
2013 was truly a year of family for Roberto and I as we welcomed our little Melina! She has been a joy to love and care for. Melina has fit perfectly into the Masana family where all of the boys love getting to play with and hold her. It's beautiful to watch the street boys care for little Melina and we hope and pray that her presence among them will remind them of their siblings back home and that their desire to return and be big brothers will be ignited.
At Masana, we helped 17 boys be reunited to their families this year! These boys range in age from 12 to 18. Some were on the streets for as long as 3 or 4 years. We were able to help these 17 leave the streets and begin their lives back home by buying clothes, blankets, and shoes for them as well as registering them in a local school and providing their school materials. Over the course of the year, we visited these boys and their families numerous times. During these visits, we are able to sit with the family and teach on Biblical principles needed for a family to function. Each visit, the boys and their family members look forward to the traditional stories Luis, our director, tells to teach Biblical characteristics.
In 2012, 5 street boys started saving up their money to take swimming lessons at a local pool that Roberto was teaching at. It's amazing how that hour or 2 a day of participating in a sport and being around "normal kids" transformed these boys! All 5 of them went home towards the end of last year but only 2 of them have done well at home. These 2 boys continue to participate on the swim team but now paid for by Roberto and I rather than money they make on the streets. We have the privilege of having these 2 boys over to our house every Sunday for church and lunch and a time to catch up.
Armadura Gym was opened in January 2013 after many months of prayer, fundraising, and remodeling. It is Masana’s first business to help the center one day be self-sustainable! The gym is in Maputo and currently has over 100 clients with monthly contracts. After rent and employee salaries are paid each month, the rest of the income goes towards the general budget of the Masana day center. Roberto manages the morning shift at Armadura. During this time, some of the older street boys have the privilege of working out which gives Roberto the opportunity to build relationships with them and help them realize that God’s perfect design for them includes their families. We have also been able to employ 3 former street boys at the gym so that they have an income!
There are 6 boys who live at Masana. These 6 boys lived on the streets in the past but their family circumstances were not ideal to return to so they became our Masana family. They live at the Masana house with Ian and Alexis, 2 other American missionaries. Roberto and I have really tried to continue to be a part of their lives even though I no longer live at Masana by eating dinner with them at least once a week, helping some of them with activities like swimming and guitar lessons, and opening our home to them. Our apartment is close to Masana so these 6 boys often stop in to visit, play games on the computer and watch tv. Though we are an odd looking family of Mozambicans and Americans, we are none-the-less a family.
We are grateful for our family and friends who support us year after year so that we may continue this ministry of restoring families in Mozambique, Africa. With the addition of Melina to our family, our annual budget has increased a bit and we are in need of additional support. We are working towards raising $34,000. If you are able to help, donations can be made online at www.abbasambassadors.org or mailed to Abba's Ambassadors, PO Box 523, North Myrtle Beach, SC 29597. Please just indicate that the donation is for the Mondlane Family. All donations are tax deductible.
We pray God's richest blessings over you and your family this holiday season!
Roberto, Sarah and Melina