Thursday, December 15, 2011

Oh how I love Christmas Smiles!

Monday Dec 12th, we had our Annual Amigo Orphan Christmas Party- it was sooooo much fun! Although the mission indirectly assists with Amor Orphan Programs in many northern communities (where pastors in our training program reach out to those in need in their areas, well over 1000 children!), we have a much more in depth involvement with the Amigo Orphan children here in our local area. 

This year we were again blessed to have the party hosted by Lamimos Lodge, and our friends William and Monica who own it. These folks open their restaurant each year on their only day off each week, and bring in their staff extra just to host our large group! We are so thankful for them! Each of our guests (children and their caregivers) ate a YUMMY lunch of 1/2 chicken and rice with salad and of course, the staple party drink in these areas-  coca-cola!

After lunch we heard the Christmas Story, played games, painted faces, made ornaments from seed pods and then handed out the gifts. It was an amazing day and everyone had such a good time. The kids were so happy, the grannys were so thankful for everything and the food was very yummy!

Since I cant possibly describe it any better, ill just let the pictures show you how much fun was had!!
 Joao and the caregivers celebrate the gifts!
 Mariamo looks pretty excited too (she was singing).
 This kid just melts my heart, Francisco you are such a sweetie!!
 Me and the Girls work on some glittery sparkly ornaments.
 Tendai somehow was given the job of decorating poor Francisco's face! He was such a good sport about it though!

 Tendai and Mae Vaida discuss the meal.
 Leila Frank (our colleague) joined right in with the singing and dancing!
 Serving the meal to the grannies.
 The older boys (Gabriel, Farai, Paulo and Francisco) enjoying their cokes.
 Pastor Mariano reads the Christmas story to a very attentive audience.

 When we first met Nailene three years ago he wouldnt even smile at me, or even look at me.. now just a glance in my direction brings big shy smiles and if I tickle him he just giggles! He is growing up soooo fast!
 The grannies worked really hard on their ornaments, Im fairly certain they had never had the chance to do something like that before and they loved every minute of it!
 Getting ready to give out the gifts.
 Barb Wayner (of Mercy Air Mozambique) helps to hand out the gifts.
 The older boys and grannies show their appreciation for Pastor Mariano,  who pretty much runs the orphan program under our supervision. We are so thankful for him and all the work he does!
Group Shot at the end of the party- lots of very happy faces!!!

We are so thankful for everyone who sponsors these kids. Your sponsorship helps us provide food, school supplies,  clothing and valuable life skills to the children.  If you are interested in knowing how you can help with our  Amigo orphan program please let us know. We do have several needs including staff sponsorship (sponsoring the salaries of the local staff who work directly with the children), additional sponsorship for students in higher levels of education, and individual children who are waiting for sponsorship as well.

This Christmas is going to be a really busy one for us! We leave this Sunday to go down to South Africa  to pick up some short term visitors. These visitors are VERY special to us as they are all FAMILY! Nothing excites us more than having family around for the holidays!! We pick up my sister and her husband and their baby boy on Christmas morning, and Rick's brother Kevin two days later! My sister and her family are coming as volunteers for three and a half weeks to help us with our house (he is a plumber!!) and with various other projects around the farm. We will also be visiting orphan programs and local churches to show them what our mission does, and what our mission trains others to do!

We plan to be back here on the farm before New Years and to jump right into work as soon as possible!
Please pray for us as we have an awful lot of travelling and errands to get accomplished in a short period of time. Pray that our visitors will not have horrible jet lag, or to many problems adjusting to the weather etc.

Ill try to post an update on our house from down in SA- but the good news is.. THEY HAVE STARTED LAYING BRICKS!!! It is sooooo exciting to see where the walls will go and how everything is laid out. Please pray with us that the funds we need will come in, as we have lots of supplies and materials that need purchased, and our house fund at this point is very very low!

Thank you so much for your prayers, we hope you all are enjoying this Christmas season and taking time to celebrate Christ's Birth as the central reason for it!

God Bless, Rick, Heather & Tendai

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