Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Change Is Coming

Roberto and I the day we signed the lease on our apartment

A little over 2 years ago, Roberto and I signed a lease on our first apartment where we have lived for the first years of our marriage.  It's been an amazing little place full of many happy memories for both of us - dinners with family and friends, Sunday afternoon lunches with reintegrated boys, video games with the boys, Melina's first year of life, afternoons with Felix.  We have been so grateful for these 2 years on our own as a family.  But now change is coming.  October will be our last month in our little apartment.  We'll be packing everything up and moving 2 blocks down the Masana.  

In July of next year, Ian, one of the other missionaries who works with Masana, will be returning to the States for grad school.  Ian has lived at Masana since 2010 and taken such great care of both the boys who call Masana home permanently and those who spend a short time living at Masana as they transition back to their own families.  Roberto and I will be stepping in to fill that role while Ian is away.  We've decided to go ahead and move in to the Masana house in January, when we return from the States with our new baby girl, so that we have 6 months to learn everything we need to from Ian. 

Roberto and I are so excited for this new season ahead of us and we ask for your prayers as we make this transition.  We are praying that God will use our family to impact the lives of the boys who live at Masana permanently as well as those who pass through for a short time.  We are so excited that God has opened this door for us to be more hands on with Masana and we look forward to serving Him as we serve the boys.

the Masana house

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Freedom for the Oppressed

The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free
Luke 4:18

These past months, one of the young men who lives at Masana has been fighting an addiction to alcohol. He is 18 years old and has been addicted to alcohol for 10 years....that means he was 8 when he started drinking. Sadly, that is not uncommon here in Mozambique. Legally, minors can't buy alcohol but that law is never enforced and a vender would never turn someone away because of their age because that would mean less money in his pocket. Such a sad reality.

This young man finally agreed to go to the one and only rehab center located in our city....and it just happens to be Christian :-) When we first spoke to him about going to this center he was completely against it and chose instead to leave the love and comfort of the Masana house. And we had to let him go. But we didn't stop praying that the Holy Spirit would work in his heart and bring him back to us. After almost a week of wandering around the city, drinking way too much, and climbing the wall of Masana to sleep in our outdoor bedroom each night he came to his senses and returned to Masana for the help we so desperately wanted to give him.

Monday will be one week in the rehab center. One week sober. One week down in this battle for freedom from the chains of alcoholism. My prayer for this young man is that he will turn to the Lord in this time and that he will find strength to face each new day alcohol-free. Here amongst the street kids of Maputo, it is time for our God to be made known as the God who sets the oppressed free. Join me in praying....not just for this young man but for all the young boys in Mozambique who turn to alcohol at an early age for the comfort that only God can give.