Thursday, March 25, 2010

Feeling a Little Lonely This Week.

Hey All, Im feeling a little lonely this week. Well, maybe not Lonely exactly, because I DO have Tendai here with me, but I am missing my man as he is down south dropping off Chris and Corissa at the airport, and getting our truck serviced (and about a billion other errands). This will be the last trip down south before we go home on furlough (Lord Willing), so he has quite a bit of stuff that needs to be picked up!
The last few weeks have been very busy for us, with orphan meetings, food delivery trips, hosting Chris and Corissa, planning for other short term teams, school visits.... and more! Here are a few pics from the last little while.
This is Mattias, Mercy Air's Helicopter Pilot. He was the one who told Ron and Barb about the orphanage where Tendai was- and they in turn told us. He wont accept much thanks as he says he didnt do anything really- but for me his simple suggestion of an orphanage in Northern Mozambique led us to our daughter.. and for that we are eternally grateful!
Rick, Dwight and Pastor Ricardo went up north with Mattias and another Mercy Air pilot/board member in the helicopter to survey both the flood/ drought issues and to deliver much needed food aid to associations of pastors who were getting very near to starving. Here in mozambique we had a very severe drought during what should have been the rainy season, and then those living along the zambezi were flooded when the countries to the west recieved tons of rain and the river overflowed onto the flood plains.
The helicopter always draws a crowd.
Landing with a full load of maize.
Our staff here at the mission (we are trying to take a group photo more often!) This includes all our short term volunteers as well.
We went to the preschool one day to visit with the kids there. We brought some coloring sheets, and magnetic letters. Played a few fun games, and then colored- made me miss daycare!
After the helicopter trip, Rick planned yet another trip up north, this time with Chris and Corissa. They drove thru rivers (literally) to reach the Zambezi where they rented a motorboat from a local business and took a two hour trip across the Zambezi to deliver maize to a community on the other side.
Here one of the pastors shows the seeds they have been eating since their maize ran out.
Unloading the maize from the boat before it returned for a second trip across with yet more Maize. Each trip with the motorboat is 2 hours (against current, its shorter with current) but if they hadnt brought the motorboat these pastors would have had to take a 3-4 hour trip (with current) and then paddle back in a dugout canoe fully loaded with maize, against the current.. for a minimum of 7 hours.. most likely much more!
We Praise God that he protected them on their journey, especially when the truck (Izzy) broke down (they had to take Izzy since her canopy comes off much easier and they needed to bring back large fuel barrels with them). They had to drive THRU the night, getting stuck, repairing the truck as they went, and at one point having a local "helper" try to steal items out of the truck bed! Praise the Lord they got home safe, and were able to be a part of bringing Hope and encouragement to the pastors!
Even after driving thru the night and having NO sleep- Chris and Corissa were all smiles and ready to help serve lunch at the school. Here they sample some of the yummy suzda and beans!
They even had enough energy to play a game of frisbee with the orphans that afternoon. These kids LOVED frisbee. Had we known frisbee would be such a hit before we would have brought them out LONG ago!
Then on their last day here at the farm they finished the second coat of paint on the orphan home in Chitundo. Hopefully another group of volunteers will be able to paint the bottom half a shade of brown to help hide some of the dirt!
Mibia helped to watch Tendai while I took pics.
We didnt make them work the ENTIRE time they were here- after they finished painting we headed down to Selva a restaurant about 45 minutes from here that has a pool and caters mainly to folks traveling to and from Zimbabwe, and expats living here. We love their pool, and normally Tendai does as well- although this day she was rather grumpy so she didnt last very long. Here she is sporting her new swimsuit- a gift from Corissa's grandma, Lois, from our "other" home church in Killarney. Thanks Lois!
Corissa and Chris had "splash competitions" which were rather fun to watch. I have to say they had some nice technique going!
I got my rear in gear and finally decided I had to try and "do" tendai's hair at some point. Here is my second attempt at puffball ponytails! I quite like the result!
Corissa also helped us out by baking a whack of cookies to put in our freezer- (i keep sharing em with others so im almost out already... anybody else want to come bake me some cookies?)
Rick plans to be back on Monday- and then we have several weeks of "normal" while we prepare for our next visitors and finish making up the orphan care packs. So far we have bought blankets, maize sacs, and mozzie nets. Thanks to donations from our church and others we have enough toys and stuffed animals, toothbrushes, pencils, hair things, and toy cars and various other items so we wont need to buy all the "fun" stuff, and can instead we can include more food aid for children suffering from the current food shortage! Praise The Lord.
The other major focus of the next few weeks will probably involve repeated trips to town and a lot of waiting, as we attempt to get Tendai's adoption paperwork dealt with. Please pray for the judge, and us. It is incredibly frustrating to feel like you are getting nowhere after days, weeks, months of waiting. We need strength and a good dose of encouragement!
Please pray for safe travel for Rick, for Chris and Corissa as they fly home, and for health for all of us as well. Thank you again for your support and prayers. We appreciate each and every letter, package, comment on the blog, email and every prayer.
Rick, Heather and Tendai

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Hard working folks... and a stinky rat.

Chris and Corissa were able to complete the first coat of paint on our Chitundo Orphan house, hopefully they will be able to do a second coat yet. It was a hot day to do the painting, but they accomplished a lot and we are really grateful.
When we showed up the next day to take pictures of the first coat, we discovered all four of the orphans who live in the home hard at work loading bricks and stacking them so they can eventually rebuild their kitchen. I was impressed... four kids without any real supervision hard at work during their freetime hauling heavy bricks! Way to go Gabriel, Mibia, Francisco and Farai!
Thankfully the brick "factory" is only located about 30 metres from the entrance to our property in Chitundo.
Francisco hauls a heavy load of bricks on handmade "sleds"- can you imagine what they would do if exposed to a big hill, a ton of snow and a "crazy carpet"!!!???
This morning we had our first care meeting with the school kids in Pina. These are students from our bush school who have graduated out of our school (grade 5) and want to continue with their schooling. We rent houses for them to stay in and provide a food allotment, but in the past we have found they tend to get into trouble when suddenly introduced to "town" (ie... not the BUSH). So this year we are trying to meet with all the kids at least bi-weekly, to encourage them, keep track of how they are doing, and have some devotional teaching times as well. Of course, we play games, do crafts and just hang out as well. In the picture above only the 8 girls seated in front of Corissa are actually the ones we came to see... the rest are just community people who were curious about what we were doing!
One of the local ladies let us try our hand at maize pounding. Even Chris... which all the ladies found HIGHLY amusing. Its really hard work... that is for sure. Those sticks are HEAVY. Later on, one of the ladies started doing this with a BABY on her back yet too! I tried for about a minute.. but man is it hard!
This little one just would not smile for me... but man... she is so beautiful.
Corissa and Chris also accomplished some hard spiritual work again, by praying for students and neighborhood kids who are suffering from a variety of ailments, including malaria, toothaches and stomach issues.
I just really like this picture. Thought you (whoever all YOU are) might too.
Sooooo. Starting last night we had been smelling something... a not so pleasant something... and even after Lovemore had really closely looked (or so he said) nothing was found. Finally Rick went on a hunt... and discovered... this rat. a big one. a dead one. a very very very smelly one. he was behind the chest freezer and by the smell of things had been there a few days.. soooo gross. I almost puked. (but i didnt) thank goodness.
Rick and the offending varmint- eeeeeewwwwwwwwwwww.
Just had to include those last two since everybody loves my gross pics. Im sure of it. Course... since i hardly ever get any comments I wouldnt know for sure.. (yes that was a shameless guilt trip to beg for comments.) I am sure people read my blog, but i sure would like to get a few comments from folks who actually read (instead of spam ones) just so I know its getting read!
ok.. end of shameless guilt trip and whining!
As for our paperwork for Tendai.. we still have no news- please keep praying as our furlough depends on us getting these documents. We hope to meet with the new judge next week, please continue to pray for him and us. Also please continue to pray for the hunger situation, Rick and Dwight will be flying up north with the Mercy Air helicopter to deliver some much needed aid this weekend. We are praying for safety and good weather for their trip.
Thank you so much for your support and prayers...
Blessings, Rick , Heather & Tendai

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Busy Busy Busy

Its been really busy here at the farm over the last little while.. since september we have had.. 21 different short termers (including current ones- i think thats the right number!)... which means there are allways lots of people ready to get projects accomplished! Recently we have been blessed to have a volunteer who is a mechanic who revived Izzy (now renamed Lazurus - ill still call her Izzy though!), worked on the mission truck, the van, Keren's bike, and numerous other machines as well.
The computers have been blessed to have several different computer geniuses working on them, creating databases, entering data, and in general saving us all a ton of headaches and hours of work.
Even our stash of donated clothing has been washed, sorted, and is ready to be given out!
Short-term visitors have also put the roof on the Mercy Air garage, the Chitundo Clinic, painted orphan homes, helped to build a wood storage shelter... the list goes on and on!
We are so thankful for the many volunteers who come and give of their time to help us here. So many jobs get accomplished that otherwise would not, or would be pushed aside for months!
Even with all the extra hands around here we have still been very busy ourselves! Between hosting the "extra hands," trips to town with sick kids, trips to town to meet with lawyers and judges, orphan food delivery, keeping our house in some semblance of order, and finance paperwork we have kept ourselves busy (just to name a few). It is only going to get busier with Dwight and Lynn preparing to return home to Canada for a very short three month furlough to see their Kids graduate from University, and more short term volunteers on their way! Heres some pics from the last few days of "busy."
Corissa takes on the orphan boys, with Esther- i cant remember who won but Im sure it was the girls.
Rick gives a devotional to the orphan kids.
Chris and Corissa on Sunday morning, outside Pastor Adriano's church at the base of Mount Chitundo
I love how the drum is almost as big as she is!
Corissa prays for a sick child at the end of the service.
The church presented us with a bunch of bananas as a love offering, again, it is incredibly humbling to be given so much from those who have very little!
Corissa gets to work painting the orphan home in Chitundo- with plenty of quality control specialists watching!
More painting.
And finally... little miss Tendai discovered TP this weekend... it was to cute to NOT take pictures of... and really- its jut a roll of TP right???!!! :)
Thanks again for your continued prayers, we are still waiting to get an appointment to meet with the judge - please pray that we can get an appointment, that the judges heart will be open to our request, and that we will be examples of Jesus to him as well.
Blessings! Rick, Heather & Tendai

Thursday, March 4, 2010

NEW Visitors from the Great White North

Our new volunteers hard at work on the roof of the new wood shelter.
We are absolutely thrilled to have Chris and Corissa Mohan with us here in Mozambique for a month! They were actually going to be our FIRST visitors since leaving home but then Rick's parents suprised us so they ended up being our second visitors- still VERY COOL though! :)
Corissa was actually in our youth group way back when we were youth pastoring and it is awesome to now be able to work side by side with her!
Watching the orphan food be portioned out.
Tendai has taken to them both very quickly- even fell asleep in Chris's lap! (she hasnt even done that with ME yet!!!!)
Corissa and the two week old baby of a young former widow who had been in our program- she is now remarried.
Mae Zinia with Corissa and Felizado! (Felizado means Happiness)
Tendai... oh how cute she is! Sportin her new headband and hairproducts we ordered online for her. (if you'd like to know from where give me a shout)
and finally.. much to corissa's disgust- a snake. I think they had been here for two days when they found this guy outside HER washroom. Poor Corissa- I think God is trying to get her over her fear of snakes! LOL
We met with the head judge this week and were told he doesnt have any issue with our request for travel documents, but he is not the judge we need to speak with...... sigh. It seems like every time we get passed to someone else! The good news is that he didnt deny our request and he did point us in the right direction (we hope). Our lawyer is making an appointment with the other judge for next week and we pray we will be able to get the documents. Please pray as things here are very wishy washy and we are struggling to make sure we do the right things at the right times! Your prayers make a huge difference, and right now we need em! Without travel documents for Tendai and her adoption going thru we will not be able to go on furlough as planned.
Thanks for all the prayers and support! Blessings,
Rick, Heather & Tendai