Friday, March 28, 2008
Saturday, March 15, 2008
This past Wednesday we welcomed 2 new boys into my dorm! There names are Alberto and Enrique. They are 12 and 10. Their mom passed away back in December or January and they were living in the house alone with neighbors giving them food. Somehow the social agency became aware of them and brought the boys to us. They have different fathers. We've been in touch with Alberto's father and he wants nothing to do with his son. We've yet to locate Enrique's father. Neighbors told us there was an older sister who was married but no one knows where she lives.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Outside of my house I have this great yard for my boys to play in. Since I arrived in December I’ve wanted to plant new trees and shrubbery and really make it a beautiful place. That has finally begun to happen!!! Nelson and Manuel are two of the older youth who live here at the center and I pay them $8 each a month to work in my garden. They have really taken ownership over the garden and are so excited about seeing it improve. Manuel has all these ideas about putting plants everywhere and I have to continually remind him that the younger boys will trample all over them!!! But it’s so wonderful to see them taking care of the things entrusted to them.
Isaiah 35 has always been one of my favorite chapters in the Bible and even more so here in Africa where it is so hot and the ground is so dry. “The desert and parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy . . . water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert. The burning sand will become a pool, the thirsty ground bubbling springs. In the haunts where jackals once lay, grass and reeds and papyrus will grow . . . They will enter Zion with singing, everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away!”
I believe that the things happening around us in the physical world are a sign of things going on in the Spirit. Replacing the dry dead ground with plants and grass and encouraging Manuel and Nelson in caring for them, is my little way of declaring that sorrow and sighing will flee from the fatherless children here at the center and that gladness and joy will overtake them!!!!
Sunday, March 9, 2008
For in you the fatherless find compassion. “I will heal their waywardness and love them freely.” Hosea 14:3-4
Back in January, I wrote a blog about a young boy named Selso who had run away from the center. We had found him in the city during street ministry and brought him back to the center against his will. Just wanted to give a quick update on him.
Selso has since moved into my dorm and is doing great! He is one of the sweetest boys!! I took him and some other boys to the pool recently. It was incredible to watch him playing and to see so much joy on his face! I was flooded with memories of the night we brought him back from the street literally kicking and screaming. I can’t fathom why one of our kids would choose to leave the center. Here they have a bed to sleep in at night, 3 meals a day, school, and a huge family made up of other kids, Mozambican men and women, and missionaries. What does the street have to offer? A dark ally to sleep in? Begging for scraps of food? Selso was not meant to live like that! No one is!
Sounds familiar doesn’t it? A perfect picture of the prodigal son.
So many of us choose to live apart from our Father because we think the world has more to offer. Eventually we end up disappointed because the love we search for in the world isn’t good enough. Although God would never force us back kicking and screaming, He is there ready to heal our waywardness and love us freely!!!
Friday, March 7, 2008
Agustino is one of the HIV+ boys who lives in my dorm. A few weeks ago, he came down with a severe case of malaria and was hospitalized for almost a week. Because of the HIV his body just can’t fight off sickness like the other kids. He still has not completely recovered. Most days, he shows up at my house after lunch looking pretty down and sits in my house or follows me around the rest of the day. He has lost quite a bit of weight and is very weak. He even struggles to walk sometimes having to hold onto walls as he goes. The nurses at the center and the doctors at GATV (a free AIDS clinic in the city that our HIV+ kids go to each month) are concerned his battle with malaria may have sped up the progress of AIDS in his body.
I have begun preparing meat for him every evening and giving it to him to add to his rice and vegetables in an attempt to increase his protein intake and build back up his strength. I am claiming the promise of God found in Isaiah 40:29 that He will give strength to the weary and increase the power of the weak. Please join with me in praying for Augustino’s complete restoration!