Butterfly Sparks Designs

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Africa: Tuesday

It's bedtime in Maputo. What an amazing day. We woke up to the sound of laughs and giggles from the boys outside of the windows. I'm not sure that there is any better way to be woken up!

We spent time with the boys this morning while they washed their clothes and prepared for breakfast. After breakfast (Mama Julia is amazing), Sarah took Shawn, Joanna, Jason and I to the village where Juma and his family live while the boys had their school lessons. It was our first trip through Maputo in the daytime, and we were able to see the condition of the city. After a long and bumpy ride, we found our way to Juma's house, where he, his great grandmother, grandmother, and little brother and sister live. Sitting under a shade tree in the front of their house (which I'm guessing is about 12 x 10 feet and just tall enough to stand in) was Juma's great grandmother.
Juma's House
Juma's great grandmother, Luis, and silly Sarah

Juma's grandmother and great grandmother spoke a great deal about Juma's progress since returning from Masana several months ago. He returned to school, under the impression that he was at a third grade level. However, after only a couple of weeks, it was clear that he is at a fourth grade level, so he was promoted. Juma's grandmother and great grandmother said that Juma came back from Masana a different boy. That he is respectful, goes to church, and is disciplined at school. We saw a picture today of why Masana exists...of what God can do through us as we serve and invest in others.

There are so many things I am longing to share about our trip to Juma's house today. I am still trying to get my head around our experience there and will write more about it later. Our time there this morning is somehting that none of us will ever forget. You'll hear more about it later, I promise!

After returning to Masana, the boys had finished their lessons and were ready for church. Luis led worship. How amazing it was to hear those street boys sing praises to God in their native language. Wow.

I taught the boys that they have new name in Christ, with the verse in Rev 2:17. Each boy wrote his name on one side of a white river stone that we brought from the US. We talked about how people know us by our names, and I shared that sometimes when I make mistakes, I wish I could clear my name. But we read the verse and they learned that no matter what they have done, they are clean in God's eyes. So much so that God promises them a new name in Heaven. They turned their rocks over to the blank side as we read the verse, and my prayer is that they lay their heads down tonight knowing that God's love is theirs with no cost or requirement. I must say that teaching through a translator is different! But Luis did such a great job with that, and after I was done he again shared the message to be sure they understood.

Then, lunch was served. We had rice with a vegetable topping similar to spinach), peanuts, coconuts, and other spices.

After lunch, we said goodbye to the boys. Lauren took Shawn, me, and Joanna to the grocery store and we were completely giddy while looking at all of the interesting local foods. We had our first taste of Fanta Ananais (Pineapple) soda, a local favorite. Joanna and I are officially addicted. It's a really good thing that we don't have it in the US!

After our grocery store excursion, we took some of the to the city beach. Jason drove. And that's all I have to say about that. haha! Seriously, he did a great job! We only almost wrecked once!

The beach is very polluted so we didn't swim, but the boys did and had a great time. Sarah, Lauren, Joanna, me, Shawn, and Jason hung out on the beach and enjoyed being entertained, especially by Chico and Pai! Felix came along (Felix lives at Masana) and was, as always, a delight to be around.

After the beach, we said goodbye to Chico and Pai. Then we had a cookout and enjoyed some "smoky" conversation on the rooftop of the Masana house while drinking some seriously delicious hot tea. Our hosts treated us to a lovely Amerian dinner of hamburgers, potato salad, and baked beans. It was a great dinner with our hosts and the three boys who live at Masana -- Felix, Paito, and Tilfu.

The boys love touch, love to play, and love to laugh with us, even though sometimes we have no idea what they are saying!

The first day was amazing. We can't wait for tomorrow!

Thank you for your prayers, and please also pray for Shawn tomorrow as he prepares to teach the boys from the book of Daniel.


Sue said...

Thank you Melissa for these blogs. They mean so much to us here at home. Helps us to walk a little in your shoes so to speak as you share your day with us. God bless and much love!
Mom & Dad

Joe said...

The first to teach. Way to go Melissa! And that was such an appropriate subject. You can teach me any time. Y'all are in my continued prayers.

Linda said...

Your blogs are wonderful and help us stay connected with you in prayer. And the pictures are precious! I pray you have an amazing evening!