Friday, June 19, 2009

Playing Cards with Emilton

Today we went to check-in on Emilton, one of the boys we have taken back to his family. He is doing so well!! Morgan Collins, who goes to The Vine UMC, has sponsored Emilton's reintegration. She had sent a package for him with a few card games and some candy. So I delivered the package to him today and got to teach him how to play the games. There was one game called Blink that was so funny to watch as he was learning. Its a game where speed is the key to winning. His aunt was watching us play and just laughing the whole time!!! Thanks Morgan for sending that package for Emilton....he told me to tell you thank you for everything.

Reintegration is a huge part of what we do at Masana. Our heart is to see the boys ready to leave life on the street and return to their families. Since January, we have taken 9 boys back home. For each boy that goes home, we meet with the family members, register him for school, buy him clothes, school supplies, a uniform for school, and other things he made need at home. For the older youth, we help them start up a small business. And with one boy we have had to help him build a small house as his grandparents live in a small hut that only has space for 2. If you are interested in sponsoring one of the boys as we reunite him with his family, please email me at

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Black Market

Here in Mozambique we have this horrible thing known as the the black market. its a very bad place. and here is why: it feeds the theft around the city. people steal things...such as lights off of cars. . . and sale them on the black market. then the owner has to go buy them back at the black market. this has happened to my car twice now in the past month. and each time it has cost me $120 to get the lights back. what a waste.

T.I.M. (this is mozambique)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

A Day of Home Visits

Yesterday, we went to check in on 4 of the boys we have taken back to their families in the last few months. The first boy, Fazinda, lives in Mani├ža about an hour and a half from Maputo. We stopped along the way and bought 6 large sheets of tin for the construction of his house. Then we headed to Castigo's house which was over an hour from there. We got a little lost trying to find his house and a neighbor in his village had to get in the car with us and direct us to the right house! This was our first visit to Castigo and Fazinda since they had gone home so we took each of them a suitcase full of blankets and clothes. We'll return to their houses again in August to help them start up a small business. Next, we drove to Xai-Xai. I was determined that I wasn't going to backtrack an hour to the main road just to go back in the same direction. I knew there had to be a more direct route . . . and there was but it was mostly dirt roads. So the shortcut didn't really save us any time. But we made it to Xai-Xai where we visited 2 boys, Antonio and Leonel. Antonio was having some problems with the village chief about registering as a resident so we went to his house and spoke with his wife and got it all sorted out. Then it was off to Leonel's house. . . sadly at this point it was already after 3:00 and we still had more than a 3 hour drive back to Maputo so we did not stay long.

All of the boys are doing well with their families! Leonel is the only one in school right now and he is making good grades. In January, when the new school year begins, we'll help the other boys get registered for schools in their communities. Antonio's small business of selling cokes on the beach near his house had failed but he surprised us with the news that he has gotten a job at a little shop near his house! I put together small gifts to take to each of the families - a plastic tub with some basic food items. And thanks to my brother, we were able to take a soccer ball to each of the boys...which was their favorite part of our visit!!!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Lug-nuts Are Very Important

Monday night I went to dinner with some friends.  As we left the restaurant, one of my friends, Dominique, commented on some strange noise my car was making.  My car is always making some new strange noise so I didn't think to much about it.  Tuesday night, I was driving home with Dominique after our children's day celebration in Matola and the car was doing really strange things.  A chapa (minibus) behind me started flashing his lights at me.  About that time I felt what I thought was a tire blow.  I pulled off the road and as I did, Dominique looked out her window and said "the tire fell off." All of the lug-nuts were gone and the tire had fallen off!  

As we got out of the car, the chapa driver pulled up behind me and told me he was trying to tell me i was fishtailing.  Thankfully there were a couple of guys standing right beside where the tire fell off. They very graciously volunteered to put the tire back on. We removed the lug-nuts from the spare tire and the guys got to work. It took quite a while because when I pulled off the road, only the front tires made it over the curb before the tire fell off. I do like to provide a challenge for the guys coming to my rescue! They were very kind though and even went and got chairs for Dominique and I to sit in while we waited.

Still have no idea what happened to my lug-nuts. Stolen? Fell off? A combination of both? T.I.M. (This Is Mozambique)!! 

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Children's Day in Matola

We had such a wonderful time celebrating children's day with the kid's in the village in Matola. They were so excited to receive the simple gifts we gave, play games, and eat chocolate cake! Here are some pictures from the celebration:

We started the celebration with a little math lesson

Then I taught the kids about the parable of the prodigal son and talked to them about being children of God.

In the parable, the father gives his son a pair of sandals upon his return to symbolize his position in the family. We gave all the kids flip flops to remind them that they will always be children of God.

Each child got gifts - a coloring book and crayons, flip flops, a tooth brush and tooth paste, and some candy.

Nelson did a demo for the kids on how to brush their teeth! 

Then we played games....this is one of the kid's favorites called "Terra/Mar" (in english that is land/sea)

Next was musical chairs. We didn't have music so the youth helping me just sang random made up songs in Shanghan!

The winner of each round of musical chairs got hoisted up in the air for a victory photo.

Then the kids wanted to race. We paired them up and they ran down the path beside Lena's home, to the trash pile, and back.

Finally, all of the kids got a piece of chocolate cake and a coke. 

And that was children's day in Matola. Thank you again to everyone at Sanctuary Baptist Church that gave so that I could do all of this for the kids. It really was so amazing to watch them enjoy the simple games and gifts. So much joy was brought to those kids through your giving!!!

Children's Day at Masana

June 1st is a holiday here in Mozambique honoring children. The festivities surrounding the day are similar to Christmas - presents and a big dinner! At Masana, we had 27 street boys come to the party. We had a big lunch with chicken (that we killed ourselves!!), potatoes, salad, rice, cokes and chocolate cake. Each of the boys received a gift bag as well full of candy, playing cards, a winter hat, and a pair of flip flops. It was such a fun day!!!

The flip flops that each of the boys received had a lot of significance. Over the past months, God has continued to teach me about the prodigal son. With each boy we have reintegrated, I've felt like I was watching this parable live. A couple of months ago, we reintegrated a boy named Emilton. You can read Emilton's story here. After this, the Lord really began speaking to me about the significance of the shoes given to the son upon his return home. Everyone who was a member of the family would have worn shoes...only servants went barefoot. So for children's day, each of the boys received a pair of flip flops. Luis and I did a teaching on the prodigal son and talked about the flip flops symbolizing their position as sons of God. My heart for the boys at Masana is that they would truly know their identity as a son of God.

I want to thank everyone at Sanctuary Baptist Church for your gracious giving. The boys were so blessed!!!