Wednesday, July 27, 2011

the harder side of things....

This week I've had a few tough moments. Sometimes life here is hard. Its dangerous. It is hard to see people suffer. And you wonder if what you are doing really makes a difference....

When we arrived home from south africa... in fact, before we even arrived home we heard news that a friend in nearby chimoio had lost her husband in a horrible traffic accident. They have two young children and as you can imagine, she is just devestated trying to figure out how to pack up here and return to their home country and raise two children on her own.  We also heard of another accident that claimed the lives of two folks from SA doing volunteer missionary work up north. Its hard for us to hear about others losing their lives in accidents that could so easily be prevented.

Even though the roads are getting much better in our area, the drivers and vehicles are not. We have seen Semi-Trucks driving at night with hand held flashlights instead of actual lights. Weve seen fully loaded logging trucks missing three out of four wheels on one axle. (see above pic) Weve seen public transport "chapas" vans driving without windsheilds, or doors even. We see vehicles passing on blind corners or at the crest of steep hills, stopping to talk or pick up veggies on the side of the road.. without even pulling out of traffic, putting on fourways or anything (though most dont even have working taillights so fourways probably would not help). Drivers sleeping UNDERNEATH broken down trucks,  with no warning triangles or anything to warn you that the vehicle ahead is stationary. Its just bizzare how there seems to be little to NO common sense when it comes to driving here.

All of that to say... please keep us in your prayers... we drive on these roads daily and really do need a prayer covering. Constantly. And not only for us, but our colleagues as well.

Another hard thing is to see the suffering of children. I especially struggle when I see little ones fighting for every breath and to simply live.  Today we met a baby girl, three months old who was born one month prematurely (at least). She is tiny. Almost Miniature.

My eyes teared up just looking at how incredibly tiny this precious little one was. Her legs were no thicker around than my thumb. Her mama loves her so much, and so does her granny (one of the grannies in our orphan program)- we are praying for a miracle, that she will start to gain weight and thrive.

I also spent some time visiting a severely burned young boy who is mentally handicapped and epileptic. Breaks my heart to see him in such pain, and without strong medication to help him. The strongest pain medication our local hospital gives is the equivalent of extra strength Tylenol... for pain after debriding third degree burns.  sigh.  Today I stopped by our clinic to check on something and found our Soccarista (health worker) Simon cleaning severe burns on the arm of small child. Again, my heart just broke when I heard his cries. Burns are so common here, as everyone cooks around fires with lots of boiling water and hot hot pots. I pray for safety for our the children in our program often.

Another hard thing, (though not nearly as heartwrenching) Is dealing with local authorities who show up without warning and expect us to spend several hours from our already busy days answering questions  and drinking juice and eating cookies with them. While I appreciate the need for them to come, and actually think its great that Social Action is interested in seeing the work we do here, I really really really wish they would call ahead and let us know they are on their way! Today we had the Secretario de Posto de Vanduzi (kinda like the area government head guy), The Director of Social Action for our District, and the Director (a) for Social Action for our whole Province and her assistant show up for a visit. Although its a bit stressful for us, its also a good learning experience for us to speak in Portuguese for a whole meeting with officials!

It was also encouraging to hear some of the folks we work with explain to the officials how much the mission has helped them, the difference it has made in their lives, and how involved we are in their lives. I had to laugh when the Directora gave a speech to one of our orphan girls about studying hard, and staying in school and the girl said to her, "Donna Heather tells me that ALL the time!" :) Yep... that made me smile!

All three of us have felt under the weather for a few days, though thankfully it seems to be passing now. Sometimes when you are sick you just wish you could find a babysitter and go sleep for a few hours, but unfortunately, we dont really have that option here. One thing I really miss about Canada is the availability of babysitters, daycare, preschools, coffee dates, the Grunthal Teahouse...  but yet, I dont think I could trade what I have here for those things- the sunsets, the sound of the drums, the singing, the smiles on the kids faces, and the knowledge that Im where I am supposed to be!

This is not a hard thing ... at least not for me. But im sure it took a lot of effort and hard days of studying for Pastor Toca (pictured here with Dwight) to learn to Read and Write. When He joined our Bible School 7 years ago he could do neither, but now he can do both! He is one of our pastor monitors, and a graduate of our program.

This week we have nearly fifty pastors with us studying at our Intensives Seminars so they can go home and teach the students in their extension schools. It is always exciting to see the pastors as they come to learn and fellowship with each other. I Love listening to them sing, its like a choir!

Of course, life here isnt all hard... in fact some of it is pretty great! This past week we celebrated the two year anniversary of Tendai joining our family! We are so blessed to have this crazy kid as our daughter. She is so beautiful, crazy, stubborn, loving, caring, mischevious, friendly, adventurous and we Love her so much!!!

Of course, work had been continueing on our house. We are finally to the stage where the guys are backfilling the foundation walls- hopefully with Rick helping out every once and awhile with the Backhoe, we will be able to get the job done "chop chop."
 Rick gives me a quick wave as he drives by on the Backhoe!

This is what our foundation walls looked like on Tuesday.. nearly done, and complete enough for the guys to start packing in the backfill dirt. WOOHOO :)

Thank you to all who have been praying for us as we live and minister here. We have our  names in with Social Services right now and are on the waiting list to adopt another child. We ask that you will pray with us that we will be ready when the child becomes available, even if our house isnt quite ready yet! :) We are praying that the funds we need will come in and we will be able to continue building.

If you haven't yet, please check out the videos weve posted in our last two blog posts. We would love for the kids involved in the Golf Fundraiser to see their efforts bring about great results!

Again, thanks for the prayers, thanks for the emails, thanks for the encouragement!
God Bless,
Rick, Heather & Tendai!

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