Monday, February 13, 2012


Hey all- been busy around here these past few weeks! But busyness usually means things are getting accomplished, and that is always good. Some signs of progress seem to take longer to show up than others, but we are oh so glad when they do!

After a what feels like a very long time of planning and waiting, the Hangar for the airstrip was constructed! Even though Rick and I didnt have much to do with it, we know the amount of planning, sweat and labor that went into making it a reality! A team came from Michigan to help Mercy Air Mozambique (who partner with us here on the mission) get the Hangar put together in record time! Here it is, just waiting for the doors to go on, and the floor to be poured! (and for an airplane to come land once the airstrip is complete!!)

Tendai and I have started doing some Preschool-ish type activities each day, though her attention span is VERY short so right now its about 30 minutes of crafts or games and then she is off to play in the sandbox, mother a baby doll or take a break with one of the dogs!

 Right now we are working on counting to five- and trying to avoid watching Dora, who just confuses the situation with her spanish counting. As if its not bad enough Tendai is already exposed to English and Portuguese numbers! Today we made valentines for her friends at playgroup- she colored a "picture" and stuck a sticker on each one, while I did the writing. It is neat for me to see her progress and blossom as she discovers new things each day. 
 she is pretty pumped to give these to her friends tomorow!

an example of the "picture" she colored. :) (the sticks are those glow stick thingys)
We recently handed out some fabulous denim bags to our Amigo Orphan kids to use as school bags.  They were made and donated by some lovely ladies from South Africa, and the finishing touches were added by women in our Simukai Ladies Literacy program. The kids love the bags, and they work perfectly for school supplies. And, they are a much better option than the cheap backpacks from town with strange and not so nice sayings on them!

 ( here is some of the kids pictured with their bags, along with Alta who recieved the bags from South Africa and heads up the Simukai ladies who finished the bags off!)

The Amigo Orphan program continues to grow and we are excited to report that we are almost 100% sponsored for the kids currently in the program- which is fabulous news!  We are adding about six more children this week as there is never a shortage of families needing help, and will need to find sponsors for them now as well. Here are a few pictures from our first visit to the new homes.
 Seeds at one of the grannie's home. Some will be used in soups, etc, some will be used for planting.

 One of the grannies shows me her home and kitchen. Thats okra in the dish on the floor.

 Mathew and Tapiwa, one of the new children entering the Amigo orphan program.

 Pastor Mariano bows his head to pray for a family.

 LOVE this picture! Mae Joanna shows me her house.. after she swept the floor of course.

 Mae Joanna and Wengane. Wengane is her nephew, but he lives with her as both his parents passed away.
 Another one of the new homes has a beautiful view of Mount Chitundo.

 These ladies have so little to be happy about, by our standards, but they radiate joy!

 Matthew came along to help me today, since there were going to be lots of questions and sometimes its hard for me to get my point across or understand when its just me and Pastor Mariano.
  This granny is nearly blind and almost completly deaf. She was so excited that we came to visit her and help her granddaughters.
 She had pages from old schoolbooks plastering the walls of her small home.
Graca, Celina and their granny.

Work on our house has also continued. When we arrived home from South Africa they had certainly done ALOT of work on the house! Most of it was just how we wanted, a few minor hiccups (like they accidently made our doors well over two metres tall) but it was nothing we couldnt fix so we were very happy with the progress! The exterior walls are almost done, and the interior ones are well on their way. The center wall is going to have to be very high, so that will take quite a while to finish, especially since they will need to construct some scaffolding of sorts, and lift the heavy bricks all the way up there.
 looking from the porch into our bedroom and bathroom
 front verandah into the main room ( living area, kitchen, dining area, schoolroom, etc) The wall on the left that runs all the way to back of the house is the one that needs to go up to double the height it is now! Since we are using Eucalyptus poles instead of trusses, the wall has to be as high as the peak of our roof!
Back corner of the house. The left corner is the guest bath and bedroom, to the right is Rick's office, and in the right corner is Tendai's bedroom (or so she tells us).

The biggest news however is that the guys were able to dig the trench and lay the big thick wire down that goes from the Generator shed to our garage and house. This means that soon we can install a breaker box and have electricity down there! The guys will be very excited to have access to power for the tools, and happy they wont have to lug our little generator back and forth several times a day as well!
 The trench from one side of our driveway looking towards the garage.
 Other side of our driveway looking up towards the generator and machinery sheds.
 It took a lot of guys to unroll the heavy electrical wire!

Trying to get it organized again so it was easier to "roll". Normally this type of thing would be on a lovely spool so you could just literally unroll it, but the spool was not going to fit in our truck to get it back home to the farm so they used a special machine to coil it like this and we just stuck a stick thru. To get it into our truck they had to use a forklift, so that gives you an idea of how heavy it was!

It is so exciting to see things taking shape! We cant wait till we are able to move in, but we know it will be quite a while before we can even think about doing that!

We want to say thank you again for your prayers, since my last post we have all been pretty much healthy! We have also had safety travelling on not so good roads,  and even though it was a long wait at the border to get home, we didnt have any problems at all! We are also grateful for continued safety here on our farm, recently we know many who have been either injured, or in one case, lost a child in  an accident. Medical care is hard to come by here, and we live far from help. We are so thankful to those who pray for protection not only for us, but over the farm and our work here as well.
We also want to say thank you for your prayers for our finances! God has continued to work in peoples hearts, to meet our needs financially, and we are confident he will continue to do so! Please carry on praying for these items (health, safety and finances), as they are constant needs as we live and work here.

God Bless,
Rick, Heather & Tendai

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