FROM “BUSH BUNNY BRENDA” DATE: JANUARY 11, 2015
FATHER AND SON EVANGELISTIC TEAM
Most stories start with the Father being the lead employee and his son following in his footsteps.
In this case, Manuel is the long term employee, with the Father joining us many years later.
Manuel was my first ever employee back in August, 1999 when I arrived in Balama. I bought a mud hut and needed someone to fetch water daily, as no wells existed in the area. The only hand pump water well in all of Balama at that time was 2km (1.2 miles) down an old dirt path. I could get there with my pick up, but it was much easier by bicycle (motor bikes didn’t exist in our area at that time).
I bought Manuel a bicycle (equivalent to having a CAR at that time), and he spent 6 mornings a week hauling in 80 to 120 liters of water, using 2, 20 liter water jugs.
Manuel has now been with me 15 years and is far from being a water boy!
Working his way up the ladder through hard work, faithfulness, and showing great responsibility, he I taught him to drive our tractor in 2002. When God gave us our 6 ton truck, I sent Manuel to commercial truck driving school in Pemba. In those early years of our orphan feeding program, it was Manuel who hauled in over 300 tons of corn and beans each year so that orphans would not starve. When we received the 7 ton truck, Manuel became the sole Mozambican driver, with Eric and I being the only other people allowed to drive this massive truck. Over the last 10 years, Eric Dry, my Associate Director and Master Diesel mechanic, taught mechanically minded Manuel how to maintain all our vehicles, so he now serves as our Mission Mechanic.
While working for us, Manuel finished his High School diploma by going to night school. He completed 4 years of Bible Training through his Assembly of God church in Balama, and now Pastors 4 remote churches in our area. He is also the head Youth Pastor for the Assembly of God. God rewards the faithful, and Manuel has certainly shown himself worthy!
Alberto joined our staff 5 years ago, as our Head Evangelist, and Bible School Teacher. He taught Bible Classes IN THE BUSH his first 3 years, training up over 20 Pastors and 150 church members in the Word of God. Instead of requiring the Pastors and church members to come to us, Alberto took God’s Word to them.
These last 2 years, Alberto has planted 10 churches in 3 Counties, and trained up the men who now lead them. Church planting and Evangelism are his anointing from the Lord.
He is on fire for Jesus, and has lead at least 6 Witch Doctors to the Lord, which is more than any Pastor in our area. Courage, Boldness, and Faithful Service well describes Pastor Alberto.
GETTING READY FOR SCHOOL DAYS!
Atumane, our clothing master, is busy making school uniforms for our ever growing bunch of orphans.
Maroon pants/skirts with white shirts for 1st through 7th graders, and black pants with white shirts for 8th to 10th. All 75 orphan children in our care advanced to the next grade, except for the 2 little ones with Portuguese language challenges.
This is a great record for any orphan group, and I praise our staff for making sure they have their homework done, and get special tutoring when needed. School starts again the end of January.
THANKS TO YOUR GENEROUSITY our store room is full of notebooks, pens/pencils, math sets, art materials, back packs, and all the small items it takes to outfit a large group of children for school. TEXT BOOKS for the 8th, to 12thgraders are a rarity in Balama. Difficult to find and expensive, we are very pleased that our children will have these books. It is one of the major reasons our high school students do so well in school.
Still to be found are SHOES for these kids. We are promised a bale of school shoes later this week, so am praying it shows up on time.
More next week, as our saga continues with .….… GOAT WARS of BALAMA!
Blessings in this AWESOME YEAR OF OUR LORD,
Bush Bunny Brenda Lange Balama Blazers: Katie Polcyn Ashlynn Grabill