Monday, September 19, 2011

Important Arrivals..

Remember over two years ago when we were thrilled to have this picture ??? Thats the President of Mozambique holding our then 8 month old bundle of joy, Tendai. That picture, which we got only by a small miracle, really helped our adoption process to go incredibly smoothly!
This week the First Lady of Mozambique (that is the presidents wife), came to our area for a visit and once again we were asked to be there to represent the mission. This time however, we were also asked to set up a few tables, with items to display on them representing what the mission does and in particular, our women's literacy program. Since everyone else on the mission had other pressing matters to attend to, I volunteered to help ferry items and people back and forth to set up. I thought it would take an hour or so. 
As often happens here, things didnt go exactly as planned. At morning devotions I was asked to also sit at the table to represent the mission alongside some of the local staff. Sure, no problem- ill just take the items over in the AM, then go back in the PM when she is supposed to arrive. 

Then it was determined that we needed to go back and get the "offering" for the First Lady... one of the mission's nicest sheep. Who was not to happy about going. The extra trips meant I spent most of my morning ferrying, vegetables, trees, a grumpy sheep, tables, chairs, staff members, study books, white boards, photos, computers and myself back and forth. 

On our last trip Donna Angela (the area goverment leader), asked me where Tendai was. I was then asked/told to make sure Tendai was here to greet the First Lady, as it was important for the First Lady to see how we were taking care of orphans in many different ways. 
Of course, the First Lady had a jam packed schedule, and in typical African/Mozambican fashion that schedule was running significantly behind. Her 1:30 Arrival time came and went, so we did some wandering around to see everything set up for her arrival. The normally sleepy town of Pina had been TRANSFORMED! They had street lights set up (they have no electricity) and water taps (they have no running water or pump), large grass hut "hotels" to house the visiting dignitaries and many stalls displaying our areas agricultural produce. The lights were run by a generator and the tap's tanks were filled by hand with buckets. A fire truck from Chimoio was even brought out "just in case" since this is the middle of Fire season.
 seriously the first time ive ever seen a fire truck here. i was shocked. it looks so nice!

Finally, after hours of waiting and very close to Tendai's patience limit, the First Lady arrived to cheering crowds of onlookers and supporters. She is a very well liked woman in this country, and not only because she is married to the president. She is very vocal and active in the area of women's and children's rights, education and opportunities. As she approached our table my nerves got worse and worse, since I knew I would be expected to greet her and answer her questions- in understandable Portuguese!
Praise the Lord, I managed to make some sense when talking to her, and was able to present one of our new ASAM hats, as well as two photos of Tendai with the President- which she absolutely loved and declared she would make sure to show him! And, in another wonderful turn of events, she also held Tendai, talked with her and allowed us to take a photo- these pictures are such a blessing to us!
Myself, Tendai and The First Lady of Mozambique, Maria de Luz Guebuza.

The same day as the First Lady's arrival, we also had the arrival of FIRE on the farm. Thankfully they were able to contain it to one side of the dry riverbed and to mostly on corner of that side. I just hate driving thru and seeing so much burnt area though. So sad.

In other news, this past week we had the completely unexpected and strange arrival of the first rain. Normally we don't get any rain until October at least, and its not a heavy rain of any sort until November. This past Friday we had a MASSIVE rainstorm/hailstorm/ incredible wind storm.  I was at a ladies retreat near Chimoio and we ended up having no power at all for the entire weekend, but thankfully the buildings were ok. In Chimoio however many people's roofs blew off, large road signs were bent over and completely destroyed, and there was tons of hail damage. The mission's van happened to be in town at the wrong time and recieved both Hail damage to the body work, and a window was completely smashed out. The rains flooded many areas since the ground was hard and not yet softened to recieve that much water all in one storm. Out here at the farm we only received a sprinkling of rain, however in Chimoio buckets of water fell!
the storm clouds roll in over the retreat center buildings. we were up on a high plateau so it felt like the clouds were just close enough to reach out and touch. The wind was whipping in circles and once the rain started it was crazy!
these are louvre type windows that were in our rooms. Even completely shut the rain was still driving into the rooms.. horizontally!! It was NUTS. Those blurry spots outside were palm trees and papaya trees that I couldnt even seen thru the rain!

Tendai has been pretty busy these past few weeks as well. We have been invited to a playgroup in town and hope to be attending weekly. Tendai loves playing with the other kids, and I certainly enjoy the fellowship with other moms.

A local restaurant about 45 minutes from our house just installed a new trampoline- great way to burn off  Tendai's two year old energy!

Lately Tendai has been really "into" carrying her babies on her back like the local ladies do, it is just SOOO cute!
Just to remind you of how HUGE our dog is. And how small our other dog is!  Magnum and MacGyver are like the odd couple of dogs, but they get along so well!

I often ask for prayer for safety as we travel on the road, and several weeks ago we had the an accident that could have been much much worse than it was. This past week I drove around a corner and saw this:

A semi truck, carrying fuel tanks had rolled and somehow ended up in THIS position. Dont ask me how.  I have no idea if anyone was killed, but it seems to me it would have been a miracle if any had survived. Please continue to pray for safety as we drive, especially as Tendai and I drive into to town more regularly to attend play group and grocery shopping so Rick is free to keep things moving on our house.

The house is moving along fabulously- the main room (the biggest one) is nearly full, and then there is one bedroom, our screen room and the verandah left to complete. The end (of filling the foundation) is near!! PTL! Rick is busy hauling dirt and we have hired a few extra guys to make sure we can get all the  river sand we need before the rains come! Again, please pray for the funds we need to come in, as well as speedy work by our workers! 
We also lost one of our farm generators recently (well we didnt LOSE it literally, but it has stopped working completely), and replacing it will cost all of us missionaries quite a bit. Our generators keep the farm running, from our house electricty, to the water pumps, carpentry shop, administration office and so much more! If you are interested in helping us meet our portion of the replacement cost please drop us a line and let us know. Each missionary couple's ministry budget will need to contribute nearly $3,000.00.

And, a few final pics of Tendai- feeding her babies at the play group, and helping daddy on the tractor. Strapped in with a seat belt of course.
bumbo seats... did you know they were invented in South Africa?

God Bless, Rick, Heather & Tendai

1 comment:

laura.h said...

I laughed out loud at the picture of Tendai, Magnum and MacGyver "the odd couple of dogs", too cute.
I will continue to pray for safety for you as you are driving.
Your little girl is sure cute!
Laura Harder