Friday, November 20, 2009

Meet Clara...

This is Clara, my house helper. She works monday thru friday and does my dishes, laundry, floors, bathrooms, and anything else I need. She is a very hard worker and I am so thankful for her. I am able to do school with Traeger in the mornings while she cleans for me. I am going to be taking over the guest house operation, now that we are back from Muembe and we are also creating a small library for the missionaries in the area that I am setting up and running, so I will now have some added responsibilities and I am able to do this largely because of Clara.

Clara is married and has two daughters. Her husband has two wives (Clara and a first wife). He is also an alcoholic and does not like her working for us. He wants her home at all times (for whatever reason), but he refuses to give her any money to feed and clothe her children, because he spends it all on alcohol or gives it to his first wife. He verbally abuses her and has physically abused the friend that recommended Clara to us and got her the job. When she gets paid each month, whatever she doesn't spend before she gets home, he forces her to give to him. She has recently asked if we would lend her money to build a house for her and her daughters because she needs to get out of this situation and protect her daughters. She fears he will begin to physically abuse her if she doesn't quit the job and she cannot feed her family if she isn't working. Tim and I spent time praying about this and we have talked in depth with Clara about this and have decided to help her.

Here no one is married "legally". It is all done through family agreements and for a women to divorce, her family has to agree that it is necessary to leave and basically "takes" her back. A man can divorce whenever he wants and just gets up and leaves. Clara's father is dead, but she has met with her uncle, who has agreed that she should leave him and has given his blessing on her building a new house. Clara's family is Anglican and she attends an Anglican church here, but we are unsure of her status with Christ. We are praying for her and pray that we are an example to her of a godly marriage and family. Please pray for her as she makes this move and that her husband will not get physical with her when he finds out her plans.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

New Buisness in Caia.

Our newest idea for Caia is an oil press(and yes we donated one of my mountain dew bottles to the effort). This is Geoffery, who will be running the oil press in Caia. He has agreed to move out to Caia to pastor the new church there. This oil press will allow him to earn money to live in Caia while pastoring the new church as well as bring a resource to Caia that currently isn't available. The press is hand operated and you use sunflower seeds and heat to create oil. We figure in 3 to 4 hours a day of cranking you can get about 5 liters of oil and sell it for about 30 meticais or $1 a liter. At $5 a day, Geoffery could afford to pay someone else to help, pay for the cost of seed and supplies, and still make a good living.

Tim and Geoffery are still working out some kinks in the press, but hopefully in the next month, we will have everything set and Geoffery can move out and begin pastoring the church and running the oil press. Please pray with us in this regard.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

10 years...don't they go by in a flash....

Ok. so we debated putting this in our blog. We don't want everyone at home thinking we're spending your money friviously and we don't want you to think all we do here is vacation. BUT, we were given an amazing opportunity to celebrate our 10th anniversary at Nkwichi Lodge and it was so incredible, we had to share it with everyone. Nkwichi is a 4 1/2 hour drive north a long Lake Nyassa and then an 1 1/2 boat ride to the middle of nowhere right on the lake. Months ago, some of the guys who work at Nkwichi came into town for supplies. One of them ended up with Malaria and was very sick. They had to leave him at our SIM guesthouse and I(Michele) took care of him for a few days until they could get back to pick him up. I just brought him medicine and food and kept an eye on him, but the guys there were so grateful, they offered us a great deal to spend a few days at their lodge. They actually run a conservation program as well as the lodge. They do community projects to help the local people learn to farm properly in the sand and also employ many locals to work on their farm and as staff at the lodge. If you want to know more about them, you can check out their website at We had a wonderful time our 3 days there. It is the longest we have been away from our kids in 2 1/2 years, so it was so needed. Janice, our field director, sacraficially took our kids for the 3 nights...and she lived to tell about it! We are so thankful for her. Here are some pictures of our trip.

We spent a few hours in a small village called Cobue waiting for the boat to pick us up. We have a doctor friend who lives in Cobue and does training and education as well as medical services for the people along the lake. They have absolutely no access to any medical care whatsoever, so she is it for them. We were able to observe a training on epilepsy that she was doing. She really has done amazing things for the people there. She has people walking for miles and miles along the lake to come and see her.

These are the ruins of an old catholic church left by the Portuguese in Cobue. It is the only structure in the village other than the grass huts surrounding it.

This was a picture I took on our 1 1/2 hour boat ride. These 4 boys are taking a boat out to fish. The lake is life for the people that live here, it is their source of water for cooking, cleaning, and drinking as well as food, mainly fish.

Here is one of our first views of Nkwichi. Crystal clear water and white sand beach. It looks like the Ocean or the Carribean, but is a fresh water lake.

The Beach.

This is our chalet, Nkwazi, which means fish eagle.

Here is the bathroom in the open air, overlooking the water.

The sink and shower.

We were the only people there and we had 75 staff members at our disposal, so we were treated like royalty. We were given the option of eating anywhere we wanted. For breakfast we ate on the deck.
Lunch on the beach.

Dinner at our own private dining area, right off our chalet.

Or right on the beach.

In the afternoons, we would have drinks on the beach in front of the fire while we watched the sunset.

During the days, we relaxed on the beach and snorkled.
The fish are actually very bright and colorful, which is unique for a fresh water lake.

One day it was windy and there were huge waves, so we did a little body boarding, which was super fun. The best part of all, this is a fresh water lake, so no salt up your nose and in your mouth and making you sticky and itchy.

We also took a walk down a foot path that is traced back thousands of years to when the Arabs came and captured Africans to use as slaves. They used this path to bring the slaves back up north. It is one of the longest footpaths in Africa, reaching from all the way down to Johannesburg and up through Tanzania and into Kenya. Along the way, there is this 2,000 year old Boabab tree. It is 29 meters in circumference. During the war, Mozambiquians would use this tree as a hiding place. The inside is all hollow. It was incredible to see.

We also had monkeys and baboons playing along the beach in front of our chalet. They kept us entertained.