Sunday, September 23, 2012

Flat Stanley... meet Flat Tendai

Tendai and her sidekick "Flat Tendai" (Thanks to John (from the Do Crew team) who fixed her up all nice so she stands on her own and is safe to handle!)

Have you ever heard of Flat Stanley? If not.. click here for a quick over view of what he is. We decided to kinda tweak the idea a little and create Flat Tendai- A life size cutout of Tendai who will go home with each of the families in our church for a week over the following year. Each family will be responsible to pray for flat tendai's "real" family ( aka: us!) over in Mozambique during their week of hosting, as well as taking Flat Tendai with them during the week, using the included camera to take pictures recording her "adventures" with them.  There is a journal for keeping track of who she stayed with and when and each family is encouraged to either write us an email or a letter to tell us a bit about themselves and such. 
Our Children's church kids and leaders gather around me and Tendai to pray for us.

 Flat Tendai is our way of keeping the kids in our church connected to us and our work in Mozambique. These kids pray for us weekly, they send us cards, care packages and when we are home on furlough they gather round, lay hands and pray like only children can, for our safety and well being. We are praying that this little project will keep them even more involved in our work- who knows, some of these kids might be the missionaries of tomorrow!
Introducing the Flat Tendai adventure to the kids.

Today was the kickoff of the project. Tendai and I went to children's church to explain the project and get a photo with the very first family who was taking her home. This evening they invited us for a hot dog roast so we got to get a few pictures of Flat Tendai in her "host family."
George and Joanne Friesen and their kids, the first host family for Flat Tendai!

 I hope to be able to blog about Flat Tendai and her adventures once a month. The kids are really excited and are already planning where they can take her and how they can tell other kids about WHY they are lugging a life size cutout of this kid around with them. Some of the older kids were discussing how they could explain prayer and what we do in Mozambique to others! (I think some of these kids ALREADY ARE missionaries and they dont even know it yet!)

 Flat Tendai's first adventure- a hot dog roast with her host family and friends!

I also was able to share a bit with the congregation at the Grunthal Bergthaler Church this morning, giving a brief update on our work as well as a Thank You for all of their prayers and support. I really do miss Rick a lot at times like this since he is a much better speaker than I!

In other news, our house is coming along nicely- Rick was able to get some temporary lights connected in the house so now one whole side of the house has LIGHTS connected to the breaker box that FUNCTION!!! Its a small step, but for us a pretty significant one!
 Tendai's bedroom with plaster on the walls and a working light! So Exciting!
Main room, nearly finished with plastering.

Rick installing outlets in the bedrooms.
 Our area of Mozambique has had a very very dry, "dry season" more so than normal. So when the first rains hit our termite eaten "garage" for mission vehicles it just fell right over. oops. :) They are fixing it.. dont worry.
 Rick and Lynn discussing what can be done to fix the garage.
 On Friday, the Orphan kids that we work with, along with the external students (students who are continuing their education past our schools grade levels) came to the farm for a "seminar" of sorts, led by some members of the Rotary Club in Chimoio. Many of the Rotary Club members are friends of ours and have expressed a real interest in mentoring and encouraging the kids to stay in school, stay out of unhealthy relationships, etc.
 While they waited for the Rotary Club members to arrive, Bero (you may remember him- hes the student who had the surgery to help him extend his arms more after having them burned badly as a young child and being unable to use them until just recently- but look at him now.. he can wear a regular shirt!!! yey!) showed them one of his favorite things to do, besides study and ride his bike, is to show off his flexibility. :)
One of my FAVORITE pictures of our Mission Leader, Dwight ever. Here is carrying a young girl from our school, who recently had her right leg amputated after suffering for over two weeks from a snake bite! (puff adder- fairly common in our area) Unfortunately the traditional healer's methods did not work, and by the time they sought help from Lynn and the clinic staff, it was too late. Despite the trauma of the last month, she still has a gorgeous smile and a positive attitude. Please pray for this young lady as she will have a lot of adjusting in the near future. 

Well, that is it for this week we of course still appreciate all your prayers and support and are thankful for all those who take time to pray for us each day. I met someone this week who told me her phone, home computer, work computer and laptop all had alarm reminders on them that went off during the day reminding her to pray for Rick, Tendai and Myself each day- Wow! what an incredible blessing to know we have folks like that standing behind us, lifting us up to the Father!

Prayer and Praise:
- for health and safety 
-for the orphan and school children as they begin preparing for the end of the school year (end of October) along with exams etc.
-for Rick as he leads several seminars on Children's ministry in the next month
-that our house will continue to move forward, and that funds for the project will continue to come in so we dont have to stop work.
-that the Flat Tendai project will be a success and the kids will enjoy getting to know more about us, praying for us and learning about Mozambique.
-Praise for a good time of fellowship today and the ability to visit supporting churches.
-Praise for the progress on our house!
-Praise that the young girls leg is healing and her life was spared.
-Praise for Local Mozambican people who are excited about reaching out and mentoring the youth in our area!
-Praise for Rain- as I wrote this blog I heard from a friend in Chimoio that a thunderstorm had rolled in, bringing with it a good dose of much needed rain to the area. Sure hope some of it got to our farm!

God Bless, Rick, Heather & Tendai Neufeld

1 comment:

laura.h said...

Flat Tendai.....what a GREAT idea Heather! A wonderful way to keep your church family connected!