Saturday, February 27, 2010

Driving, Driving, Flying, Driving, .....

We made yet another quick trip down to south africa this past week- for two reasons- 1) to enjoy several days of holiday with Ricks parents in Kruger Park, see them off at the airport, and then 2) be with Bero before, during and after his surgery to release the skin contractions on his arm. Below are some pictures from our adventures. Above is the adventure it took just to get there. I believe Rick's parents now finally KNOW what a mozambiquan "highway" is like.
This is the toll bridge at Xai Xai (shai shai), wonder how much the cows have to pay to cross????!!!
Bero skipped the crazy roads and was able to fly down with the Mercy Air team returning to south africa after a week at our farm in Mozambique.
Bero and Paul Middleton, Mercy Air Pilot.
In additoin to spending several days in Kruger with Ricks parents, we took Bero for a morning. He (although living in the african bush his entire life) has NEVER seen Elephants, Lions, Girafes, Zebras.... etc etc. Needless to say he was so excited.
Bero's trademark smile.
Some animal pics from the two Kruger trips. Fighting Antelopes.
Lions... Bero saw so many lions- it was amazing!
bad pic... but of course it is a lion directly outside my window (thats the grey in the bottom of the pic).... soooo forgive me if i didnt stick my head out for a better angle!
African Sunset
African sunrise... thru a spiderweb, with the spider!
i love Zebras!!
Bero and the zebras.
yet another lion!
this guy was a little male, but he was so close it was amazing. we had seen bigger, much bigger ones earlier with Ricks parents, but nothing even close to being this near to us.
Bero the morning of his surgery. The surgery released that wholeband of skin that is restricting both his arm and his hand, as well as amputating one finger that was not useable and was hampering the rest of the fingers.
Bero with the surgeon before the surgery.
Bero after surgery with his nurses. Although the surgery did not make it possible for him to completly extend his arm it has allowed him much much greater range of motion, as well as hopefully making his arm more "normal" looking cosmetically. We praise God that he came thru the surgery completly fine and is happy with the results!
Tomorow, Rick and I head to Beira to pick up Corissa and Chris, two short term visitors who will be volunteering for a month here. Corissa was in our youth group years ago when we were pastoring, and we look forward to seeing her again, as well as meeting the man who stole her heart!
Please keep praying for Tendais paperwork- we really need the judge to be on board with us, and need prayers for us and him!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A whole lot of fun!

The kids at our orphan meeting on Friday really enjoyed the water fight we had- especially when they got to attack the leaders! In this pic Fani, one of the missions workers who is helping us with translating gets soaked!
These kids literally wear STRAIGHT thru the soles of their shoes... and then they just keep wearing them!
This past week I had the joy of getting pictures and profiles of EIGHT new orphans that are being added to our Amigo Orphan Program- their smiles lit up the area! Here are three of them- Twins, Abel and Zacharias, and their little sister, Rimbudzai. We now have ten orphans waiting for individual sponsors.
Here mom hands out new school clothes and a backpack to Gina, (who along with her brother Farai, are also waiting for sponsorship)
After the orphan meeting we played outside for a bit waiting for Rick to come pick us up. Tendai LOVED playing with Grandma and Grandpa.
We went to our Shepherd Domingo's house for supper and to see how he feeds his family. He has wisely saved his money and now has a small water pump that he can use to water his garden which provides fresh veggies and some maize for most of the year. He also has a larger maize plot, litchee trees, peanuts, chickens for meat and eggs, and in addition to ALL that he uses reeds and grass to make amazing hats that he sells to supplement his income. Oh wait.. I forgot, he also made a canoe out of bark and uses handmade nets to fish our local river- where there are crocodiles.
Domingo and Rick in the "canoe"- really a large piece of dry bark stabilized by pieces of wood slightly larger than twigs.
After touring Domingos garden, his wife fed us some amazing supper!!!! Including some wonderful sweet corn.
Mom and I sat on the mats and ate with the ladies and children, Dad, Rick and Domingo sat on chairs- this is completly customary.
And finally... Tendai is showing some (albeit limited) interest in walking.. Grandpa is really good at helping her along with a stick to hold!
This week we are driving back down to South Africa to drop Ricks parents off, as well as be there to support Bero before, during and after his surgery, before we leave him in the capable hands of several people from Mercy Air who have agreed to check on him after our departure. Please pray for safety as we travel, and for Bero as well as he heads into a major surgery, in a foreign country where they dont speak his language!
God Bless, Rick, Heather & Tendai
We are now in south africa, enjoying Kruger Park, and all of the amazing animals it has to offer. Tendai, unfortunatly did not get her paperwork, so she is at Marc and Andrea's keeping them busy and being entertained I am sure. We praise God we have such amazing friends who are willing and able to watch her for us, and grateful too that she loves them and their boys!
Mom and Dad leave on Monday, so we have one more full day with them before dropping them off- their visit was short, but we are so glad they were able to come at all! God Is Good!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Visitors from the great white north!!! (aka Canada... aka... HOME!!)

Ricks parents arrive in Nelspruit South Africa.. what a blessing to see them for the first time in nearly two years!
We caravaned back up to the Farm, with Ron and Barb of Mercy Air. They had a trailer so it was a bit slower going for them, at one point when we stopped to wait, mom and dad decided to for a stroll.. on the "highway".... as one friend pointed out.. the BIKE is on the pavement and the truck is on the shoulder... typical!
After many days of travel, Tendai got to meet grandma and grandpa! What a special moment!
On sunday we went to visit Pastor Paulos church in Honde. The last time we went they were meeting under a tree, now they are meeting under a thatch roof! In this picture two children bring offering. We were so humbled when they gave us a love offering of melons, maize, bananas, etc. Many of those people did not recieve ANYTHING off their fields this year, and it was a huge sacrifice to give us some food. It is so humbling to recieve a blessing like that from those who have so little. To refuse it would be offensive, but wow... is it hard.
A young girl came up and asked for prayer- she was suffering from malaria- I absolutely love watching Rick pray for those in need.
Tendai having a good cuddle with grandma!
Afterwards Dave and Kathy helped to hand out a small loaf of bread and a cup of juice to the kids in the orphan program at pastor paulos church.
On Tuesday we visited our school kids. Mom and Dad instantly made friends with about thiry preschool kids... they didnt even freak out too badly when Dad started doing his crazy face teeth falling out trick!
We also helped serve Lunch to the school kids.
The kids enjoy a healthy meal every school day. And you can tell they are thankful! Look at that smile!
Another major event from this week was the raising of the water tank at the Training center- this will make a huge difference as the guys can now get water pretty much whenever they need it for cement!
Dad helping to attach the fittings.
We visited the pre-school one day as well.
Me making friendship bracelets with a group of orphan girls and students from our school that are now studying in Chitundo. Its a great way to be involved in their lives and find out what the issues they are facing are.
Tendai REALLY wanted to make a bracelet. She kept copying how the older girls were moving their hands.
Rick spoke about having faith, and backed it up by falling into the boys arms!
Gabriel, a young man the mission is sponsoring, prayed for the meeting.
And.. just cus weve had a number of creepy crawly encounters lately... here is a Puff Adder that one of the guards killed this morning. Two days ago there was spitting cobra killed.. and this afternoon rick tried to kill TWO green mambas down the path from our house.
and last but not least.. a photo of a REALLY big bug. eww.
We have been enjoying having family out soooo much. It is so great to see people from back home after being away for so long. It has been so special to see Tendai with her new grandma and grandpa, and for her to meet her first extended family members! Even with so much blessing though, we remember those around us who are not as fortunate. The rain situation is still very bad here, many have lost their entire crops. We also have many in our area suffering from Malaria, including one of our sponsored children.
In two weeks Rick and I will be with one of our sponsored children Bero, in South Africa as he undergoes a fairly involved surgery to release the skin contractures that limit his mobility greatly. They are the result of terible burns he recieved as a toddler. Please pray for him, for us as we minister compassion to him, and also that the needed funds will come in to cover the costs involved. We praise God that the surgeon donated his time, significantly lowering the costs.
We also are asking for continued prayer for Tendais paperwork- our petition for travel docs and for the adoption have been officially registered with the tribunal, and we are now waiting for the judge to aprove the travel docs. Our lawyer said he believes it could happen in time for her to travel down south with us.. we are really praying for them to be approved by Tuesday!
Thanks to all of you who have been praying, I have been having headaches for over a week now, and Im so thankful to all who prayed, as they seem to have gotten much better recently.
Again, thanks for the prayers! God Bless, Rick, Heather & Tendai