Jun 20, 2011

Jun 7, 2011

The many faces of Mozambique

Someone remarked this week how "God made so many different faces"! It was funny to hear it said out loud, as I had been noticing the very same thing.
Each one completely unique and special, right down to every freckle and dimple!

When you stop and think about how much God cares about us.
Psalms 139:14 I will give thanks to you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are your works. And my soul knows it well.
I often need to remind myself of this....we are wonderfully made and perfectly loved by Our Father in Heaven.
 Each one of us! Fearfully and wonderfully made in the imagine of His Son, Jesus.

Just a couple of the many faces that God wanted me to notice this week.... fearfully and wonderfully made faces!
Please continue to pray for all the faces of our friends here in Mozambique. As you pray ask God how you can help ....what is it that you can do to bless them?
Please visit the CRI website at :     http://www.childrensrelief.org/

Jun 1, 2011

Another baby goes to heaven....

When I was 13 my sister Maria died, she was only 10 years old.
I can still remember clearly asking God, why? why would you take the life of a sweet little girl?' She loved to sing and dance, and she loved people...she had a gentle spirit and was wise beyond her years.... why God?

Like many who have experienced death in such a personal way,  I spent many years trying to come to terms with death and dying. Of course, like everything in this world, I couldn't make sense of it without the help of the Holy Spirit.

I am so grateful that finally I am able to rest in the truth of what the Lord has been trying to get me to understand. This life, our time here on earth isn't the 'ultimate gift' that God has for us. Eternal life in Heaven with Him, Our Father and Creator is the 'ultimate gift'.

It's clear to me now that God needed me to do more than understand about out temporary lives here. He needed me to fully embrace the importance of our eternal life with Our Father in Heaven. So that the Holy Spirit within me could share the real truth of eternal life with those that are grieving.

I still do some crying, well actually I do a lot of crying, but that's okay. We're suppose to grieve, and share in each others sorrow. But with that we are called to share in the hope of eternal life. The hope that comes from a personal relationship with the Lord.

Last Saturday, a dear sweet women from our church in Centro Emissor experienced the loss of her child.  Just over a year old, he was the youngest boy in family of 4 older sisters.

You can read Kathy's blog for the rest of Fatima's story...http://dondodancer.blogspot.com/

On the third day following the funeral there is the Day of Consolation.  During the 3 days after the funeral the family is to do no work. Their needs are met by friends and neighbors. Women help with the laundry, prepare meals, wash the dishes and tend to the young children. This help will end today, Tuesday the day of Consolation.

 I picked up Zito our church plant leader and we headed to Fatima's home.
It was the typical scene as we arrived at Fatima's home. The women were all seated on mats and the men were sitting on small stools and benches separate from the women. 'Real' chairs, the best they have, were set out for Zito and I and Lou ( a visitor from Chicago).

I was asked to begin the ceremony with a prayer, and then Zito gave a message. He referenced Moses and the people of Israel, explaining how they were so busy trying to be satisfied with things of this world. He encouraged Fatima and her family to seek the things of Our Heavenly Father, to keep our eyes focused on Him. Repeating often that God is The Only Way, The Only Truth and The Life Eternal.

We then prayed again for the family, their home, and their health. We then shook each one's hand and offered words of comfort. Finally we were asked to lay hands on each one in the family and pray specifically for them. ( This part made me cry, it was very emotional) But also such a blessings to be allowed to pray on their behalf!

Ever since the funeral I had felt a profound need to pray. To pray for protection for Fatima's home, our church at Centro Emissor and specifically to pray for protection from the evil one. I prayed that God would guard their hearts and draw each one nearer to Himself as a result of their grieving.
God had continued to place the need to pray on my heart and so I was blessed to see the peace on Fatima's face when I prayed with her.
I was especially blessed as God allowed me to have the words in Portuguese to be able to speak to her heart. I told her that God loves her and will never leave her alone. I told her that day by day she will feel better as she keeps her eyes on God. That He loves her and that He is loving her child right now in Heaven.

Matthew 5:4 Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted. Please pray for the people we know and love in Mozambique. We hear each day that someone's family member or neighbor or friend has died. May God continue to bless those who mourn and may they feel the comfort of the Lord.

May 29, 2011

Domingos and baby Antonio

This young man is "Domingos, who works at the farm". That's not actually his name of course, but that's how we differentiate one Domingos from the next. Or one Fernando from the next:)

So when we saw him last week with his new little baby, 5 month old Antonio, we were just thrilled!
You see last year, Domingos and his wife were expecting a baby and he couldn't have been more proud.
That was all he ever talked about when we'd go to the farm to pump our water.  Then when his wife was in her 6th or 7th month we got word that the baby had died. Domingos and his wife were of course crushed. I'm sure I was not alone when I asked God, why?

So you can imagine our excitement as we saw him ride by with little Antonio strapped to his back! I had to make him stop so we could get a photo! 
We were all smiling, but our smiles were nothing compared to the smile of a proud papa! 
You very rarely see men carrying or holding their little ones. I have never seen a man with his baby strapped to his back! This picture just blesses me and so I had to share....
So once again we thank Our Lord for His perfect plan for our lives!

May 26, 2011

Our Empregada's

These are our girls, Maria, and Rita...our cooks, laundry ladies, and all around house keepers. Rita takes care of our house and Maria manages the team house. They willingly do anything we ask them to do, and are always quick with a big smile and polite 'ta bom' (meaning it's good, or okay)
We really care a lot about them and are blessed that God has placed them in our lives.

They cook all our meals from scratch, no box mixes, or frozen bags of anything. They do things like our grandmother's used to. We are blessed to have stoves in our homes, but in their homes they cook over an open fire.They wash all of our clothes by hand and hang them out to dry. Then before the day is over they iron everything they've washed. This is to kill the small bugs that lay their eggs on our clothes.

Kathy and I bought them new uniforms again this year and they were so happy. When they came to work the next morning they were excited to show us how nice they looked. I just had to take a picture.
Please pray for our girls when you think of us. Life is hard here for them, but Our God is good all the time and we know His plan is perfect!