Butterfly Sparks Designs

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Africa: Thursday

Thursday was a little "hazy" for me because I got a touch of "Mozambiquan Revenge" if you know what I mean. I didn't have to sit out from any of the activities, but let's just say I wasn't feeling my best!

On Thursday morning, we spent time with the boys at Masana, and then after breakfast we took them to the city beach. It was HILARIOUS seeing the boys packed in to the cars. We got to the city beach and the boys ran to the water and had such a great time playing on the beach and in the water. They laughed and played for a few hours. Their lives are hard -- and Sarah and the Masana staff is very intentional about making sure the boys have time to just be kids. They were kids at the beach, splashing and playing in the water. It was beautiful.

We got back in time for them to have their school lessons, and then just before lunch Joanna spoke to them about loving one another, and they seemed to respond very well. A few of them told stories of times they demonstrated love to one another. The streets are a rough place for them, and there is often stealing and physically beating up one another. It was a good lesson to remind them that God loves us so much, and if we will receive that love from Him, then we can pour it out to others.

After the boys left, the staff members' families began to arrive, and by about 2:30 p.m., we were on our way (in three very full vehicles) to Nascera do Sol, which is about a 4 hour drive from Masana. Parts of the drive were very bumpy. Bumpy roads + a stomach dealing with "Mozambiquan Revenge" = lots of prayer. I'm just saying...

Part of our mission for this trip was not only to minister to the boys, but to the staff as well. There is not enough time or space here, but I could fill pages with stories of how the Masana staff members have poured into these kids, and many at great sacrifice. So the idea of blessing those who bless others had been burning in our hearts during the prep for this trip, and we knew it was something God had clearly called us to do.

So each of the Masana staff and their spouses and children (Pastor Paolo, Anacletu, Ezilpa, Mama Julia, Hilario, David, Luis) were given a weekend with their families -- for some of them, this was the first time they had ever taken a vacation with their families. The beach at Nascera do Sol was not merely beautiful -- it literally took our breath away. But even more beautiful was seeing those precious families have time together for the first time in many years, if ever.

The other goal of the retreat was to create connection between the staff members and their families. Most of the families had never met before. We believe that after this retreat, Masana will be that much more effective because of the unity between the staff members and families of staff members.

We had a great spaghetti dinner together, and then I shared with them the message of the white stones (Rev 2:17), but in a different way than I had shared with the boys earlier in the week. They were reminded that as they share with the street boys their new name in Christ, that they, too are given new names. The stones were handed out with their names, and they were encouraged to turn them over and reflect on the new name God had given them, and to draw up that for strength and promise as they continued to serve these boys.

It was a long day but a great one!

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