|FROM “BUSH BUNNY BRENDA”
DATE: MARCH 28. 2015
Baby Edna and her foster mother are a sweet reminder of ore motto, HAND IN HAND WITH THE LEAST OF THESE.
Thank you to all who support these precious little ones.
|REALITY ON THE MISSION FIELD, A FAITH BUILDING WEEK.
To have an effective ministry on any mission field, means a missionary is always open to multiple attacks from many avenues.
This week, we had more than our share.
1. Sadly, over last weekend, Stephen Miller, decided that Balama was not for him and requested to go home. While I was in Maputo last week, he struggled to handle the stress of the loneliness and isolation of a city man in a totally isolated country setting. Stephen was a great help while he was here as he truly loves the Lord. My prayer for him is that he finds a place in the USA where he can faithfully serve the Lord.
Balama’s lack of social life and entertainment is hard on everyone who comes here. Some just cannot live in such a quiet, isolated area, where we have to make our own entertainment.
I have had missionaries from cities within Mozambique who have questioned how I handle the isolation.
My answer after 25 years of “living it”:
First, you have to be truly called of God, coupled with a “spirit deep commitment/never say QUIT attitude”, towards both GOD and the people He sent you to serve, or you will never make it.
Second, You have to be a “self-starter”, well-motivated, full of persistence, perseverance, and the desire to serve the Lord no matter what is thrown at you.
I had no idea as I waved goodbye to Stephen on Monday morning, that the busy weekend was just a warm-up for what was about to hit.
2. MONDAY: First accident at our playground. A neighborhood boy, age 7, fell and broke both bones in his left forearm while getting out of the sand pit at the foot of the pre-school slide. I was at the goat pen, 3 miles away in Rovuma village when it happened. We had 3 men supervising the children, as it happened at afternoon activity time.
Youth Pastor, Carlitos Jorge, had his motorbike nearby. He and guard, Diamantino, cradled the boy on the motorbike and took him to the hospital. (With all the pot holes in the road, this gave him a smoother ride than I could have done in my King Cab.)
His forearm was at a 90 degree angle, so a serious break. They called me from the hospital, so I dropped all and headed to the emergency room in Balama. All ended well, as the hospital staff did a great job of putting the arm straight, and then casting it. Smarted a bit, as no anesthetic is available at our hospital, but this young man was super brave and only shed a few yells and tears.
I then took him home, which was “fun”, since this little one only knew the route “he walked” to get to our playground. We literally had to take him to our compound and then retrace his route to get him home. Sort of like winding through a rat’s maze, as we snaked our way between mud huts on narrow roads.
His mother is one of the local school teachers, and was shocked but most grateful for the care we had given her son. I saw him yesterday running down the road, so it is obvious no broken bones will keep that little man from having a good time!
3. TUESDAY: Our corn grinding mill broke down after milling only 4 sacks of corn (still had 14 to go). The axle in the mill finally wore out after 4 years of use and was making a horrible racket. Fast action was needed, since we still had about 840kg (1,848 lbs) of corn to mill that was to be distributed at Thursday’s food give out.
Capena, our office manager, was out on an errand, and Manuel, our mechanic and driver, had just left for our Meluco orphanage, 6 hours away. I called Capena, who raced back to fetch the corn, taking it to a local mill he hoped would help us out. Not all mills will take that much corn at one time, since it means they cannot attend their regular customers. It takes about 5 hours to mill this much, but God gave us FAVOR, and it was done by late that afternoon. PRAISE THE LORD!
4. WEDNESDAY: All was going well until Manuel didn’t return from Meluco by Noon. Multiple tries to reach him by phone didn’t work. I was ready to go looking for him when he called in. The TRANSMISSION had gone out on the Land Cruiser he was driving in a zone where no cell service existed. This is the same pick-up he just drove on the 12 day journey to Maputo and back. He managed to find someone to tow him to Montepuez, the town 30 miles (60 kms) from Balama. Our mechanic there told him to tow the truck back to Balama, for it would take several months to find a new transmission, and he refused to guard the truck that long.
THANKFULLY, Capena was at the Montpuez bank depositing funds to pay for the water well parts that we bought last week.
Capena was driving my Land Cruiser, and after buying a strong tow rope, was able to tow him to Balama. Not as easy as you think since a HUGE RAIN STORM complete with heavy lightening, flooded Balama’s streets as Capena and Manuel entered the last 12 miles (20km) of their drive. They finally made it home just before dark.
Eric Dry is trying to help us organize a rebuilt transmission for the truck. Not an easy task due to the distance to find parts which are only found in Maputo, 4 days drive away, or South Africa, 5 days drive. Other challenges are the cost, and the difficulty of import/export, and transport to get such a heavy piece of equipment up here.
So the truck will be sitting for a while, as we work out a solution.
NOTE: When my old King Cab’s transmission went out 5 years ago, it sat for 8 months, as we tried to get the parts up here for the repairs.
NOTHING IS EASY IN THIS PART OF AFRICA. That is why “persistence and perseverance” are necessary traits if you plan to survive the daily challenges of being in missions here.
5. THURSDAY: Repairing the old corn grinding mill was not possible as it was totally worn out, so Manuel found us a new one. He plans to have it running by Monday afternoon.
We were blessed to get 4 years from that mill, as we mill about 1.5 TONS of corn/week to feed the 318 orphans and widows whom we serve at each Thursday’s food give out. This group includes the 25 homes of orphans living in our special homes near our mission station, plus 211 orphans living with elderly grandmothers who can no longer farm, and are totally dependent on our help to provide for their orphaned grandchildren.
FACT: It is usually only the grandmothers who will take in orphaned family members. I take my hat off to these women who have tons of love and a big heart for children.
6. FRIDAY: I was supposed to go to Pemba to get supplies, but I was rudely awakened at Midnight with all the symptoms of malaria. Seems I brought back more from my Maputo trip than I planned on, since the incubation period for malaria was just right.
Not the way I planned it, but there was no way I was going anywhere.
I’m totally fine 48 hours later as I continue the 3 day pack of medications that kills it out, as I never delay starting treatment. Delaying is what causes this horrible mosquito carried disease that presents with “flu type symptoms topped off with a migraine headache” to prolong it’s course and cause permanent organ damage.
These challenges, hitting one after the other, seemed overwhelming to me earlier this week, so I hit my knees.
JESUS sent HIS PEACE and ASSURANCE that He will provided all the solutions for our challenges. In years past, I’ve witnessed HIS SOLUTIONS come forth to overcome greater challenges than this.
That is why I call this a FAITH BUILDING WEEK.
Blessings and much THANKS to all of you, who faithfully pray for us through our daily challenges.
Bush Bunny Brenda in Balama