Thursday, January 20, 2011

What we do....

Hi there, I realise its been a while since we have been able to show you any new pics from Mozambique, and I also know there are probably some new readers out there who would like to know what it is exactly we do when we we are not on furlough here in Canada. Here is a brief rundown of our responsibilities and ministries.

1. We have developed a Children's Ministry Training Seminar that we run in communities, mostly near the Zambezi river in northern mozambique. Our Seminar is designed to help Children's Ministry Leaders and Local Pastors learn the very basics of working with children, studying the Bible, and teaching like Jesus taught (using illustrations from the world around Him & culturally appropriate examples). The seminars, and the new "pre-seminar" that will review basic Bible stories and how to use them to teach basic values, are done over 2-3 days. We usually do two at a time, with several days in between, meaning we spend about 12 days up north, living in tents, cooking over an open fire, and building relationships with the many people who our mission works with.

Each Seminar has 25 participants and is for leaders from several churches. We provide food for several meals, and a very basic manual to help them remember what they have learned. Our goal is to see church leaders empowered to reach out to children in Mozambique, especially those in rural areas, where resources and activities are almost none existant.

2. Rick helps to teach at the Intensive Seminars for the mission's Faith Bible Seminary twice a year. He usually teaches between one and three course books over a week of classes. He also goes north during the year to run several mini seminars alongside Dwight and Francois (our coworkers). I sometimes help with the Intensive Seminars as well, helping to teach memorization skills, etc.

3. I (we) run the Amigo Orphan Program, where we find sponsors for orphaned children being cared for by their widowed mothers or grandmothers in our area. Families are usually recommended to us by community leaders or local pastors who see that they are struggling. We, alongside and with an enormous amount of help from our local staff, deliver food each month, help with school fees, basic medical care and some new clothes each year. I make sure sponsors receive updates several times a year, and we try to send out a drawing or craft to the sponsors yearly as well.

We also have bi-weekly meetings with the kids where we learn a bible lesson, play games as a group, sing songs , do a craft and catch up with the kids about whats going on with school, at home etc.
I also assist Lynn on home visits, etc (or rather I watch in awe as she does her thing and I hand her stuff). :)

4. We have been organizing and delivering the orphan care packs from the Unique Christmas Gift campaigns for the last several years. This is one BIG job, but we love doing it each year!

5. We help organize and run a weeklong vacation Bible school at Mucombedze Interior Primary School (the mission's school) each November. One of our favorite times each year- we love to work alongside and train the teachers in children's ministry, and see the kids having five days of FUN... juice, cookies, games, crafts and FUN! (and of course learning Bible Lessons, verses, and life lessons!)

6. Rick helps to oversee numerous construction projects on the farm. Once we get back to Mozambique, we will hopefully be starting to build our family home (we are currently renting a one bedroom cottage, which is needed by short term visitors and is too small for us!). We are trusting God that the needed funds will come in, so we can get started on it, and get Tendai a room to sleep in, instead of the curtained off "hallway" corner!  :)

7. We look after one very active 2 year old, and hope to add to our family thru another adoption! Between the two of us we also try to keep on top of paperwork, emails, videos for the churches back home, finance records, random farm necessities and the seemingly unending pile of paperwork that allows us to stay in Mozambique!

Each day is a "adventure" in Mozambique- not that we have something terribly exciting happen everyday, or run thru the bush on a regular basis, but we do wake up every morning wondering what the day will bring- will we follow our "plan" for the day? or be asked to use our truck as an ambulance? a hearse? a school bus?, will we have to make an emergency run to town to hand in a random paper that officials have decided is urgently needed?, will we help haul a heavy water tank to the top of a tall tower? or get the chance to take a picture of a dead snake? or maybe we will just do paperwork and make sure brick foundation walls are straight and level....whatever it is we do, we know God has called us to Mozambique, to train national pastors and leaders, and to Love God.... by Loving His People!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and a sheepish "Im Sorry"

Hey All,
Just wanted to say I am so sorry for not having posted for nearly a month. Rick and I both came down with colds/flu's right at Christmas, and then by the time we got over them, we were on a plane to New Brunswick! Weve been busy visiting friends and family, and spent two days of rest at a small inn in St. John thanks to some generous friends. (And Grandma and Grandpa who babysat Tendai for us!) Weve been speaking at churches, and helping out with various jobs around the house. Its so good for us to have this time with family, and it is such an amazing blessing to see Tendai with her grandparents! 
It is hard to believe that we only have three more months here in Canada before we head back to Mozambique! We are so excited to get back to our home and work, and yet leaving family and friends behind will be very hard too! Please pray for us as we start to prepare for our return. Licenses, paperwork, doctor and dental appointments, the list goes on and on! 
Here are a few pictures from our time with Grandma and Grandpa-
we went to Jungle Jim's for lunch, where Tendai got this very scary mask!
Tendai noticed that Grandpa dropped some porridge off his spoon. So she very helpfully went and got her bib for him and put it on him. He said she even got a wet wipe and wiped it off for him first! What a considerate kid we have!! :)

Thanks for you prayers, I hope to be doing an update soon on some of our current needs and prayer requests, as well as some awesome praises!
God Bless, Rick, Heather & Tendai