Saturday, February 19, 2011

Where my Heart is...

My last post focused on "home", this one is just going to give you a glimpse of "why" our hearts are firmly planted in Mozambique! Nearly two years ago we were honored to have Professional Photographer Ron Nickel visit us at the farm as part of the Prairie College of Arts And Technology team. He came to document their trip, but while there he took some amazing images for us as well, and taught me oh so much in that week. He allowed me to be his assistant, and im forever indebted to his kindness- I learnt more in that one week than I had in an entire college photography course! I (we) have been waiting a  LONG time to see these pics, but finally this week Rick and I were able to enjoy a few minutes catching up with him in Three Hills, and recieved our copy of the images.  (the one of above is taken at dusk on top of a small "mountain" on our farm. its not that big... but to me it was huge, i was practically paralyzed with fear but was very certain i wanted to have my picture taken with Rick!)
These pics just stir my heart- these are the everyday faces and scenes that I miss seeing!
sunset near Inchope, Mozambique (we get to see this when we pick up visitors from the airport.. usually)
mother and child waiting in front of our clinic
tomatoes for sale in the "market" in Mucombedze, at the end of our driveway. (i actually REALLY like these tomatoes!)
local tailor in Mucombedze

one of our school kids with the lunch the mission provides

a local home... this is actually probably a storage or cooking hut.. its a bit small for a sleeping hut

kids just love to have their picture taken

panoramic view from the top of our "rock" on the farm...absolutly stunning! if only i didnt feel like a frozen noodle every time i got up there!

me and filipe.. hes no longer in our program.. but i miss him running out to greet me, arms open wide! he  always had a big grin, hug and a slobbery kiss for me!

one of the widows in our Amigo Program, Mae Liria- shes quite funny and always has a story to tell.

Tito- if there was an award for mr. personality, he would win it!

Gina... :) (showing us muzungu girls how its done) (pounding maize that is)

Things im not really missing that much at all.....

although i have enjoyed eating them (once they dont look like aliens and are just chunks of meat)... these crazy huge freshwater shrimp kinda freak me out, they stink and they give me the heeby jeebies every time one of the vendors runs in front of our truck shaking these things wildly in front or beside my window... aparently if they look more alive I will want to buy them more. (obviously this is not the case for me)

crazy huge spiders..... ick.

matemba( i think thats the right word)- tiny little minnow type fish that we sometimes give out with the orphans monthly food alotments. They are a great source of protein apparently. But they drive me nuts. Its a longstanding joke between me and the local guys who help deliver orphan food. They know senhora (thats me) doesnt want anything to do with the stinky matemba or the bigger "peixe seco" (dried whole fishes), that make the whole back end of my truck smell like a fish market for a week. They love this stuff, but have given up on trying to get me to eat it!

Anyhew.. dont you just think those photos are FANTASTIC?? We are so blessed as a mission to have been given so many gorgeous pictures to document our work and the people around us! 

We are now on the home stretch of our furlough. We have just over a month and a half left before we head back home to Mozambique, and we cant wait to get back! (dont get me wrong.. we have loved it here, but its hard to be seperated from your "heart") We leave Alberta tomorow and start our long drive home! I in particular (heather) am anxious to get home as my sister had a Baby boy on friday, and I need to get all the cuddle time in that I possibly can before we leave! Im a very proud aunty to Colin Layton Bage, and I promise to post of picture of the cousings together as soon as we get some!

Thanks in advance for all your prayers- prayer requests include:
- safe travels and continued health
-for our monthly support level to rise
-that funds will come in for our "special project" for this year- Our House!
- that we will have a good time of ministry and fellowship here in Canada even as we prepare to go back to Mozambique in the next few months.

God Bless, Rick, Heather & Tendai!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Home... where is that again??

I have no idea where Home actually is... these days it seems to be wherever I currently am physically located on earth. ( so i guess Alberta for right now!) But even though I (we) use the term home to refer to  just about any province in Canada,  Mozambique, and at times even South Africa during supply trips, there is absolutly NO CONFUSION on our part about where our HEART is! "Home" may just be where our bodies are at any given time, but Mozambique is where our Hearts are... ALL THE TIME!

As our furlough goes on we are beginning to feel the yearning to rejoin our heart back in Africa. Its not that we dont enjoy the time here in Canada- we do! We value each day with friends and family, and we love sharing about our work- but all that sharing reminds us of what we are missing... and it gets harder as time goes on! Please continue to pray with us as share and minister in churches here in Canada, that we will have energy to continue with this crazy schedule of travelling, and for Rick as he speaks! 

I wanted to share with you a few of the wonderful places we have been recently.

Dawson Settlement Baptist Church
I may be a bit biased since i have quite a bit of family attending this tiny country church, but they are so mission minded and they dont let their small size stop them even one iota!
My aunt leads the sunday school hour for the kids, and does a fantastic job of presenting a mission focus to them- and she isnt even using a curriculum! When we arrived she had one side of the basement decked out in Mozambique vs Canada themed info, facts, activity sheets and photos!

she even had a "hut" with jungle foliage in the corner where they have their lessons!

We really enjoyed speaking there, and it is so neat to see kids being introduced to missions at such young ages. On our way out of the door after the service I saw this...
cant read it??? heres a closeup..

very very cool. 

a weekly reminder that the mysterious and scarey sounding far off place we know as "the mission field" isnt so very far off or scary afterall... its all around us. Every day, every where we go, no matter where we call home or where our hearts are.

Morinville Christian School (and Church)
This was our first time visiting the church and school even though they have been praying for us and supporting us for quite some time! We really enjoyed speaking with the church, and had a great time sharing at the Christian School. (brought back a lot of memories for me as I used to homeschool using much of the same curriculum they use!)
Here is Rick speaking with the kids  at the school, teachers and some visitors. Notice the snazzy projector on the table- the church in Morinville decided to cover one budget item for us and chose our projector as that item! What a blessing it will be to us and to the mission in general as we can use it in a LOT of different circumstances! Thanks goes out to our Morinville Friends for their generosity!
Rick using a filled water cooler bottle to illustrate with the children how heavy the water jugs Mozambiquan children have to carry are. Wish we had thought of this illustration earlier- its very effective! These Grade one kids couldn't beleive how heavy they were!
The Grade One Class donated that Folgers Tub full of the pennies, nickels, dimes etc that they had been collecting since the beginning of the year, to our work in Mozambique. More children being given a heart of missions and reaching out to others at a young age! It is so awesome to see Teachers making this part of their class! BTW.. i believe the grand total was 69.00- WAY TO GO GUYS!!!

Wetaskawin Full Gospel Fellowship
Wetaskawin is our "home" when we come to Alberta. Im not sure they entirely realise how BIG of an encouragement they are to this road weary missionary family! The small apartment they have set aside for visiting missionaries is such a huge blessing, and for folks who are very "home confused" it is a place of peace and refuge and belonging! We are so very grateful they have this place for us to come "home" to while we are on furlough in AB. 

some of you may remember this picture from October. Marcia, a very talented artist from the church here, used one of my photos as inspiration for this painting that hangs at the front of the sanctuary. I am honored to have my little photo turned into something so beautiful!

Not only do they make us feel welcome, but they had so much snow here this year, that we have a GIANT snow pile outside our front door- which means lots of fun for us in the snow!
Tendai and Mommy playing in the snowfort we built.

Using daddy as a sled is helpful since he can "brake" before you hit the trees at the bottom!

The warm weather one day made the parking lot PERFECT for "snowmobiling" on!

Ok, there you have it, a few of the many wonderful churches who have hosted us recently, there have been so many, and we appreciate them all. We have been busy every sunday speaking and sharing, and most weekdays visiting with folks or attending meetings.  The last sunday we were in New Brunswick Rick spoke at THREE different churches for a total of Two Sermons and Two Presentations in ONE day! (we also did two separate visits to different homes that day as well!)
Thank you so much for your continued support and prayer  for safety as we continue with our winter travels, for our health, for our financial needs and for us as a Family. We appreciate you all so much!
God Bless, Rick, Heather & Tendai!