|4 VILLAGE AWANA CONTEST A BIG SUCCESS!
FAMOUS AWANA 4 TEAM TUG O WAR! AWANA leader Carlitos Jorge (orange shirt) and Dave VanderGriend (blue shirt) in background.
Over 100 children, teens, and adults attended, hearing the story of Jesus’ Ascension after the games were over.
Every team managed to win a few rounds, but the Balama team were the champions by far.
AWANA RELAY (balancing a bean bag on your head while running with a baton).
We hope it served as a encourager to practice more for the July contest that is coming up.
Dave and Larry showing their true colors as they make AWANA Tug O War ropes.
INTERNATIONAL AWANA LEADER, LARRY FRIEND was extremely pleased, as none of us have ever attempted an “area contest”.
Larry encouraged all the children to come back each Saturday, by giving those on the side lines a taste of the games.
Setting up 4 teams of young teens and 4 teams of little children, they played bean bag toss, to see who was the best.
Loads of fun for all!
TEAM PHOTO: LARRY FRIEND, DAWN HORGER, JILL MITCHELL AND DAVE VANDERGRIEND.
MORE AFRICAN ADVENTURES/CHALLENGES COMING UP!
MONDAY will find 24 Pastors from 3 Districts (counties) coming together for a huge AWANA conference/training session with AWANA LEADER LARRY FRIEND.
The new President of Mozambique will be passing through at some point Monday for Tuesday, so our sessions will be very flexible since everyone is expected to attend the Presidential welcoming parade.
MONDAY AND TUESDAY, Friend and sponsor, Dave VanderGriend together with our truck team will dig a hole for the 7 ton truck to sit in, making it lower to the ground.
They will then pray, push and pull with a team of men, and possibly other trucks, in order to load the Land Cruiser up on top of that truck for the ride to Pemba on Thursday. Easy enough if the Land Cruiser could be driven up the ramp, but that is not the case here. Our carpenters have already built a very sturdy wooden ramp that will be carried to Pemba for unloading the truck at the repair shop. (Yeap, we will get photos, for next week’s blog.) Can’t wait to see how many men it takes to push the truck up there!
THURSDAY, we will all head to Pemba for the great unloading of the truck. Nothing boring about this week!
Blessings from Bush Bunny Brenda Lange
And our 1 week visitors,
HAPPY RESURRECTION DAY TO ALL!
Praying safe travels and a BLESSED EASTER WEEKEND for all of you, for you are all family in my heart!
Having the 3rd BLOOD MOON on the eve of this Easter morning makes one truly “look up” for the Lord’s return is very near.
Our family in the bush will have a wonderful Sunday of Praise and Worship, followed by our Youth Team putting on a drama depicting the sacrifice Jesus’ made for all of us over 2,000 years ago. Hoping for good photos, that I can share next week.
A WEEK FULL OF SOLUTIONS, PTL!
The New Corn Mill was finally up and running on Thursday, after many adjustments. I take my hat off to Manuel, for it is the first time he has ever mounted a mill. Quite an undertaking, but it milled beautiful corn flour today, so all is back on track.
Manuel ( in the blue shirt) and his crew who helped him set up the new corn mill
The Land Cruiser’s transmission solution is still a “work in progress”. We’ve found a mechanic in Pemba who will unmount it and send it to RSA for repairs, BUT, he will only accept the job if we bring the truck to him. This mechanic is the same one who worked on my car, so he knows the ropes. Hopefully, it will go faster and smoother, since transportation is much better now than it was 6 years ago.
Foster mother, Fatima, was hospitalized this week with resistant malaria. She cares for Toddler Jorgina, who is now walking around like she owns the world). Fatima received treatment last Friday, but was carried on a bicycle to my home on Monday, unable stand.
She was admitted for IV treatments over 4 days, and was released yesterday. I fetched her on the road, as she was trying her best to walk home. She is very weak. Needless to say, Fatima’s children and Jorgina were all thrilled to see her.
BBB DANCING TO “AIRPORT SHUFFLE” THIS WEEK
PTL, help is on the way!
DAWN HORGER, experienced missionary who’s worked in Beira (middle area of Mozambique), is applying for permanent missionary staff and has committed for at least a year, maybe longer. She arrives on Wed., April 8th.
DAVE VANDER GRIEND and adult daughter, JILL, arrive along with LARRY FRIEND on Friday.
Dave and Jill are here to play with the children, check out the new playground, and review our program. Dave was here 2 years ago during food buying time, and seriously believes in our program.
LARRY FRIEND, is the International Director of the AWANA GAMES and is BRINGING THE FIRST PORTUGUESE TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE LESSONS TO US IN PERSON!!!!!
Having these 66 Bible lessons in their own language will greatly enhance our program, and certainly make it more effective.
Bush Bunny Brenda Lange in Mozambique
|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
|FROM “BUSH BUNNY BRENDA“DATE: MARCH 21. 2015|
|MAPUTO TRIP RAN SMOOTH AS GLASS, THANKS TO YOUR PRAYER COVERAGEThere was no doubt that the Lord’s hand was in this 4 day adventure.
My Monday flight on LAM to Maputo went smoothly, with only a minor delay at landing.
LAM (Moz. airlines) has the nick name of “Late And Maybe”, meaning it usually runs late and it “might” get you there.
We got to within 30 minutes of landing at Maputo when suddenly the engines did a great deceleration, feeling like we “stopped” in midair.
Captain announces that the Maputo tower had asked us to slow down because 2 other planes were already in the landing pattern and they could not handle us at this time! We all got a hoot out of that one! (Seems 2 is a crowd, and 3 impossible).
Then we get to the airstrip 20 minutes later, and were told to “circle over the ocean” because there were still 2 planes in the holding pattern.
So we circle and are finally able to land safely, a bit late, but we were there! All landings are great landings if you can walk away from them.
FYI: LAM has great pilots who do a very good job with the limited runways available to them. The new airport at Maputo is all glass front and very beautiful and clean. Far cry from the last time I was there.
Grabbing my luggage, Manuel and Carlitos were there to fetch me with our Land Cruiser pulling Eric’ Dry’s trailer. So off we “crawled” to the border, only 40 miles (80 km) away. Traffic in Maputo is thick all day long for there are more cars than there is road space, and only 1 road to get you where you need to go.
First 5.4 miles (9km) took us 40 minutes. Once we cleared the city traffic, we were able to move on, getting to the border at 7pm (this border closes at 10pm).
We breezed through, meeting Eric on the other side, where he led us to the B&B where we would sleep, reorganize supplies, and repack at 5a.m. the next morning. Because I had pre-organized most of the luggage when I was in RSA in Feb., the re-packing was completed by 10a.m. A quick sandwich for lunch and off we headed to the border with Manuel driving the Land Cruiser, and Eric and I following in Eric’s SUV pulling the trailer.
THAT is where we knew the fun would begin, as customs can be challenging.
I apologize to my RSA friends, as there was no time for phone calls. We were only in RSA for 16 HOURS!
When I arrived on Monday night, I had driven 4 hours by car, leaving 4 a.m. from Balama to Pemba, did some minor ministry work, then traveled 3 hours by plane, followed by the grueling 3 hour truck ride with 2 border crossings (lots of paperwork!). Eric took us to a restaurant for supper, making it 9:30 p.m. by the time we got back to the B&B. Bunny was sleep walking by that time as I am totally a MORNING BUNNY! (Can’t remember the last time I saw 10pm!)
God threw open the doors, and we breezed through without a problem!!!!
As Eric said, “That was the easiest I’ve ever crossed that border!”
We were on the Moz. side, driving to Maputo by 11:15a.m.! A SUPER MIRACLE THE LORD CAN REPEAT ANY DAY!
Once in Maputo that Tuesday afternoon, we got to our hotel, again unpacked, and organized some of the luggage to travel by air with me (heat sensitive items), and the rest was insulated in suitcases for the 4 day drive back to Balama. These supplies are VITAL to our massive food distribution programs, as well as the health of the children.
No supplies would have literally shut down our extensive food assistance program to over 2,500 orphans and widows.
Manuel and Carlitos arrived TODAY, March 21st, after 10 days on the road!
They picked up a load of water well supplies on their way back from South Africa, and brought them in along with the VITAL supplies needed to keep our program running smoothly.
Wonderful to have our whole team back at the base!
The truck arrived at NOON today, with all of us super happy to have made the trip without any hassles!
GOD IS GREAT! ALL THE TIME!
Is the job tough? YOU BET.
Is it worth it?
One look at our huge family of children, and there is NO DOUBT in my mind! YES, I would do it all again anytime.
BALAMA MISSION RAN SMOOTHLY, THANKS TO CAPENA AND STEPHEN
Capena, my office manager, and Stephen Miller, missionary trainee, handled the basic mission programs this week without problems.
Our newest family member, Baby Edna, is now healthy (she came to us with a mild respiratory infection).
The 80+ orphans living in our foster homes are all doing well in school, and enjoying the wonderful playground furnished by ICM, Inc. of Wichita, Kansas.
I opened the slide yesterday, and it was like bees flowing into their hive, as the children swarmed up the 2 story ladder.
More next week, as we prepare for our first MAJOR AWANA COMPETITION on April 11th!
We have invited the AWANA village teams from 4 areas to participate.
The International AWANA leader, Larry Friend, as well as orphan sponsors Dave and his Daughter Jill will be visiting us from April 10th to 17th.
Bush Bunny Brenda
|FROM “BUSH BUNNY BRENDA“DATE: MARCH 14. 2015|
|BABIES BOOMING IN BALAMA!We received 4 in one day on Thursday, the 12th, so to say things were “hopping” around here is an understatement.
Three of the babies have family to care for them, but one of those babies was critical, so I had to rush her to the emergency room to be admitted.
Baby Edna and her grandmother needed more than just milk and a baby bottle.
BABY EDNA, THE NEWEST MEMBER OF OUR BALAMA FAMILY
Granny Rosalina, Foster Mother Balbina with Baby Edna in her arms, and Children’s Supervisor, Annatersia (Anna-Ter-see-ah)
Meet Baby EDNA Salihina (Sal-eh-hee-nah), born Nov. 25, 2014, who now lives permanently in our foster home for girls.
PTL she is healthy, weighing in at 3.5Kg (7.7 lbs) as a 4 month old.
Her mother died about a month ago, reason undetermined. Granny Rosalina (very up in age) brought Baby Edna to us immediately to ask for milk, knowing the little one would not survive without it.
We watched Granny Rosa really struggle these last 30 days, trying to care for Edna. Living 8.5 miles (14 km) away, she suffered much to carry Edna to our milk distribution point each week, as no other family member exists to help carry the baby that long distance. Granny, very thin and unhealthy herself, knows she will not live to see the little one grow up, and asked us to take her into our care.
With a few phone calls, Capena, our office manager, convinced Social services to allow us to adopt her since no other family exists.
Granny will receive food every 2 weeks at our widow’s and orphan give out, since she was only eating the starvation root called Casava. She is very happy to get to visit Baby Edna when she fetches her food.
BABY EDNA needs a sponsor for $30/month, as she is already on Baby Food and formula, and eating well.
MAPUTO HERE WE COME
Left to Right: Mario, (now in driving school, so he stayed behind), with Carlitos and driver Manuel about to depart for Maputo with truck and trailer.
MANUEL and CARLITOS drove out at dawn on Thursday morning to begin the 5 day drive to Maputo (National Capital of Moz.) for our once a year supply run.
On Monday, 16th, Capena and Stephen will “hold down the fort” in Balama, while I will fly to Maputo. Our truck team will fetch me at the airport for the 1 hour drive into South Africa.
Once across the border, we will rendezvous with Eric Dry (who has the supplies,)
This saves us 2 days driving, not having to go all the way to Pretoria. PTL FOR ERIC! (He is still a very vital part of our team, as he now acts as our liaison for whatever we need.)
Once loaded, we will return to Moz. and sleep overnight. I will fly back with the heat sensitive supplies on the plane, and the truck will drive for 4 days to bring the rest.
I will not have e-mail service from 16th to 19th, so any messages will not be answered until I return to Balama next Friday.
ISRAEL NEEDS YOUR PRAYERS!
Friends of mine, Julie and Alf Saunders are caring for orphans and doing a fantastic work among the poor in the Golan Heights area of northern Israel.
This area is just south of Syria, and is a big “hot spot” with many challenges at this time. Please keep them and all those living in that area in your prayers.
It is reported that there is a heavy accumulation of troops just 6 miles across the border from there.
SOLAR ECLIPSE HAPPENS THIS WEEK ON MARCH 20TH
WITH THE 3RD BLOOD MOON FOLLOWING CLOSE BEHIND ON APRIL 4TH!
GOD IS SHAKING THE HEAVENLIES, SO KEEP YOUR SPIRITUAL EYES SENSITIVE TO WHAT THE LORD IS ABOUT TO DO.
TOGETHER WE ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE WORLDWIDE!
PRAYER AND PRAISE ARE THE MOST POWERFUL TOOLS THAT GOD GAVE US. SO BOMB THE HEAVENLIES. FORCE DEMONS TO FLEE YOUR LIFE AND THE LIVES OF THOSE YOU PRAY FOR!
JESUS WINS! YEAH!!!!
Blessings from Balama,
Bush Bunny Brenda
|FROM “BUSH BUNNY BRENDA“DATE: MARCH 8, 2015|
|SAYING GOODBYE TO FAITHFUL SERVANTS IS NEVER EASY
Katie and Ashlynn busy sorting clothes for our kids.
Saturday, the Balama Blazers, Katie and Ashlynn, and I will leave Balama for the 4 hour drive to Pemba. They can catch a plane and begin their 40+ hour journey to the USA.
When Jesus sends you to one of the “ends of the earth” spots He talks about in the Bible, it takes a while to get out of there.
Katie Polcyn and Ashlynn Grabill went the “extra mile” by giving a year of their lives to help keep our orphans provided with love, as well meeting their physical and emotional needs that are essential to raising up great children.
Many tears have been shed by staff and children over their leaving, as they are dearly loved, and will be greatly missed.
But the Lord has other assignments for them, so they must say good bye.
From all of us in Balama, our Orphans Unlimited Board and USA Staff, we say THANK YOU MY FRIENDS for blessing us with your presence and helpful hearts.
You were both a joy to have here, and a blessing in all you did to help make my load a bit lighter.
You endured the hardships and many crowns will await you in heaven for all you gave to save lives in Mozambique.
THANK YOU FOR GIVING TO THE LORD!
See you again in heaven, if not before.
TREE SNAKE DECIDES TO RAID OUR CHILDREN’S SEWING CENTER
Atoomany, the master pedal power sewing expert who makes all our children’s clothing, was joined by a 3 foot tree snake in his place of work.
He told me he was sewing along on his pedal powered Singer sewing machine, when he heard a loud PLOP, right outside the window next to him.
He went out to investigate, and that move kept him from being cornered by this nasty critter. For this 3 foot tree snake, in a very bad mood from falling out of our kitchen’s mango tree, zipped at high speed through a small hole in his shop’s window screen. (The screen had been chewed open by a rat).
Plenty of workers were nearby, so his call for help was answered by 6 men. The snake never stood a chance.
One of the men grabbed our 12 foot (4 meter) snake killing bamboo, shoved it through the Y joint of a small tree, and snapped it off in the middle. The 2 pieces were then taken by 2 men into the sewing room, ready for action. The snake was hiding, so some quick moves by 2 men had to be made to get the snake out of hiding. Once the snake was forced into the open area, the WHACK WHACK, told me that the danger was over and the snake was history.
Ashlynn helped Atoomany sew a piece of screen over the hole, so prevent further visitors. All’s well that ends well!
OFF TO PEMBA IN A FEW HOURS, so I need to close.
Blessings and Much thanks to all of you for your prayers and faithful support.
Bush Bunny Brenda Lange
|FROM “BUSH BUNNY BRENDA“DATE: FEBRUARY 28, 2015|
|YOUTH EARNING FUNDS FOR CHURCH KEYBOARDThe church youth group decided they wanted to buy a simple keyboard for the church. Bertino, our Youth Leader, knows how to play simple music learned from the Assembly of God music group (who have a keyboard).
I’m very proud of our youth group, because they did not come running to “Mama Brenda” asking for money. They began by working for others in their farm fields. When that work ran out they had 1/3 of the funds. Only then did they came to me asking if I’d give them the contract to clean my Moringa fields, instead of giving it to workers. I readily agreed.
Last Saturday they completed that contract but still lacked $40, to reached their goal of 8,000 Mts ($250). They begged for more work, but I only had one small area that needed clearing behind my garden.
Kids cleaning fields to earn funds for church keyboard.
About 15 youth showed up and attacked it with glee, knowing that when they finished, funds for the piano would be complete.
BUT THE MET A FEW SURPRISES! Two ADDERS (poor cousin to the Rattlesnake for they have the same venom but no warning rattler), let them know real quick that this was THEIR AREA and the kids were to get out!
There were 3 adult men with the children, so these 2 slow moving, but deadly snakes lost the battle, as the men beat them to death with long bamboo rods.
Needless to say, I sent the kids home without finishing the field, as it was just too dangerous.
I told them I’d give them what I promised as “danger pay” for almost completing the field.
Several men will complete the field with much caution later this week.
I appreciate the snakes for controlling the rats in my field, as these 2 super fat snakes had eaten well, but they must learn how to be good neighbors if they want to live near my garden.
Bertino will take a taxi this week to Nampula, 7 hours south of Balama, to make the purchase. Excitement is in the air, as the kids wait for their long desired keyboard. It’s great to see them growing up, and being willing to work for what they want. Our “life skills” lessons are working, and this is the fruit.
BALAMA SLIDES INTO MARCH WITH PASTORAL TRAINING
Pastor Alberto set up a 5 week training course for our pastors and lay leaders, which started Feb. 27th.
Pastor Alberto teaching our devotions class with SANDWRITING.
In the photo, he is teaching our entire staff and workers about God in 3 persons with a diagram drawn in the sand.
In the classroom we have a real white board, but when in Africa, do it the African way!
WHITE BOARD OF AFRICA (SAND)
The sand is regularly used daily for business negotiations for adding up a sale, counting items being loaded onto a truck, as well as kids drawings and games. Costs nothing, and easily erasable by dragging a foot across it.
When in Africa, we do it the African way.
DAWN HORGER, MICHIGAN, WILL JOIN OUR MISSIONARY STAFF IN APRIL!
Dawn has a long history of missions, and has been working in Beira, Mozambique as a Program Director. Those missionaries had to leave for health reasons, so Dawn has applied to join our staff. She will arrive from the USA on April 8th.
Needless to say, I’m very pleased that we will continue with a 3 missionary staff here in Balama.
BALAMA BLAZERS, KATIE AND ASHLYNN’S LAST WEEK IN BALAMA
We will really miss you, Katie and Ashlynn!
Really hard to see them go, as they have been my right and left hands for the last 10 months.
The kids are heartbroken, and the staff likewise, but it’s time for these 2 wonderful young ladies to return and begin their next assignment for the Lord.
We pray for all of you, and appreciate your prayers for our harvest. God is moving, for the corn near our church in ROVUMA VILLAGE, has suddenly SHOT TO THE HEAVENS in growth! Reports tell me the same is happening in other areas where we have churches.
I’ll get you a photo for next week’s blog, as some fields have grown from 5 .5 ft. to 8 feet in the last 10 days!
WE ARE CALLING IT HEAVENLY CORN, for it surpasses anything I’ve ever seen!
BUSH BUNNY BRENDA LANGE
|FROM “BUSH BUNNY BRENDA“DATE: FEBRUARY 21, 2015|
|HOWDY FOLKS! BUNNY BACK FROM SOUTH AFRICASorry I missed making a blog last Saturday, but Eric and I didn’t finish organizing my new laptop until after church on Sunday. I flew back on Monday and all went well. Eric, my friend/hostess Elzabe, and I organized all the supplies, did the shopping, and even had some time for frozen yoghurt and ice cream on several of the days. Eric and I had supper with my friend Mike Lander from Pray 4 Zion, as I partner with missionaries Alf and Julie Saunders by sending part of my tithes and offerings to support orphans in the north Israel.
BACK IN BALAMA…
Capena, office manager, Katie, Ashlynn and Steve were busy milling the corn on Monday and distributing food to the orphans on Thursday. Our carpenters managed to get the required bunk bed ladders and safety bars built. Nelson, our first orphan to enter into 11th grade, is now busy painting these ladders for us and going to night school.
Ever see 39, ten pound grasshoppers?
That is what we now have with the 39 baby goats that were all born within 2 weeks of each other.
Kids at play — the four legged kind
I went out to give them their 30 day de-wormer treatments this a.m. When we turned them out with their mothers to graze, all I saw were goats hopping in every direction. They don’t like the damp, foot tall grass (30cm), so try to hop over it, only to find themselves in deeper grass. There is no keeping them with their mothers, who graze nearby, as these little ones much prefer to stay and play on the 3 logs we have in the shade of our cashew nut trees. Baby goats only drink milk until they are at least 30 days old. That is when their stomachs are ready for green leaves. So these little stinkers are only interested in playing around, and have no use for their Mommas until their stomachs start growling.
PRESCHOOL IN FULL SWING WITH 55 LITTLE ONES
Since all children in this area (orphans or not), only speak their tribal language, Makua, our pre-school helps prepare them for first grade.
If you do not know Portuguese, then you will fail, as the teachers are required to teach only in that language.
All 4 and 5 year olds in our 25 orphan houses, as well as the young ones who attend our Sunday school or just live In the area, are eligible to enroll.
Main objective is to teach them the Bible and Portuguese, through song, pictures, and games.
Kids at play — our boys and girls
They also learn the alphabet, colors, and their numbers, so are well ahead of most 1st graders when they enter school.
The new playground is a big hit, but these little ones are forbidden to climb into the treehouse slide, for they are too young to handle it.
Please pray for the corn and bean harvest in our area, as late rains are causing the harvest to be late, and possibly smaller than usual.
This means real problems for our food distribution to the 2,500 orphans who depend on our program.
With God’s help there is still time for the corn and beans to multiply.
They just need some sun shine and a boost from heaven.
FULL TIME FEMALE MISSIONARY HELPER NEEDED WHO CAN COMMIT TO 10 MONTHS STARTING IN MAY OR JUNE.
SPONSORSHIP TO COVER TRAVEL COSTS, MEDICAL, RESIDENCY, AND LIVING EXPENSES PROVIDED. ONLY NEED PERSONAL SUPPORT OF $150/MONTH.
THANKS MUCH FOR YOUR PRAYERS AND LOVE GIFTS THAT HELP US MOVE MOUNTAINS FOR JESUS!
Bush Bunny Brenda
|FROM “BUSH BUNNY BRENDA“DATE: FEBRUARY 14, 2015|
|Message from Bush Bunny in Johannesburg
Today is day seven of Brenda’s trip to RSA. She has compressed her “to do” list into these few days, and is in the home stretch.
Her plan is to be back in Moz on Monday. Lots of packing and preparing for the flight to Pemba, and then the drive to Balama.
Please pray with us for favor with Customs as she enters Mozambique.
We understand Pemba as electricity now and the only road that connects Pemba to Maputo, (north — south ) is supposed to be open by the end of February.
Linda Stanley comforts one of our precious little ones.….“comfort ye…”
Message from Linda in the O U office in Texas
Thank you so much, all of you dear friends who have sent messages of comfort and support as my family and I have begun the process of grieving the loss of our son,Fil2. Your prayers and heartfelt words have been a real comfort.
As you shared your own experiences, I was amazed at the truth that Jesus tells us, “In this world you will have trouble, but be of good cheer, for I have
overcome the world.”John 16:33.
Blessings to you all,
Linda in the Texas office
|FROM “BUSH BUNNY BRENDA“DATE: FEBRUARY 8, 2015|
|IN MEMORY OF OUR WEBMASTER, PHILLIP FERGUSON II
PHILLIP FERGUSON II, 1970 — 2015
Phillip was a genius when it came to anything related to computers or the internet. When our old webmaster became terminally ill, it was Fil2 (as he was fondly known), who came to our rescue. He designed our new website as you see it today, and taught Linda Ferguson, my secretary and his mother, how to do blog updates. He was always ready to assist Linda with any technical difficulty, and was a key figure in our ministry for the last 3 years.
We dearly miss Fil2, but his memory lives on through the website he built for us, so that others can know what Jesus has called us to do in Mozambique.
NO BLOG LAST 2 WEEKENDS was in respect for Fil2, as well as Phillip Sr., Linda Ferguson and family, as she and her family laid Fil2 to rest with a great memorial service last Friday in Eagle Lake, TX.
Anytime there is an interruption of the blog for any reason, I will always post it on my Facebook page.
If you would like to keep up with me on FACEBOOK, then please send me a friend request AFTER Feb. 13th.
I will have limited internet this next week and will not be able to respond while in South Africa. (see story below)
Thanks for understanding and please continue to pray for Linda and family.
Linda and I will continue to put out a weekly blog to keep you updated on all that transpires as we bring 1000’s to Christ in 2015.
BUSH BUNNY AND STAFF SURVIVED THE INSPECTION!
PTL it is over!
Two days of show and tell, and the final recommendations on the 3rd day followed by me driving them back to Pemba. We did VERY well, as these 2 men were very favourable towards our program. They told us in the exit interview, to keep up the great work! They said our program is unique from all others in this State (Province), in that it truly meets the needs of the people “where they live”.
They saw the “fruits” of our labors via the children, and were especially impressed with our orphans who have graduated, trained in a technical skill at our base, and have become productive citizens in the community. Three of our orphans still work with us (2 in our carpentry shop, and Nelson who continues to study in 11th grade at night school and teach AWANA to children in the daytime).
God has been so gracious to us!
THANK YOU ALL FOR PRAYING FOR US TO HAVE FAVOR.
God gave it for sure! Now we wait.
These men will file their report that will go to the top level officials for a decision on our permanent licensing.
SCHOOL STARTS FEB. 9th!
UNIFORMS, school books, back packs, math sets, and all the little things that it takes to outfit a student were given out on this afternoon.
The kids get so excited when we distribute school materials. Easier said than done, as each child was sized and their school uniform custom made for them. All grades wear a white shirt, with grades 1–7 wearing MAROON pants/skirts, and the high school (8–10) wearing black pants/skirts.
NOTE: Thanks to your generosity, our children are usually the only ones who have a complete set of textbooks in school.
Sad, but some of these books are very hard to find, as they are not even sold in Pemba. The great hearted office manager, Capena, managed to buy the hard to find school books while on holiday over Christmas in Nampula City, 7 hours drive south of us.
BBB FLYING TO SOUTH AFRICA FOR 5 DAYS
Bunny’s laptop is slowly dying of old age. Time for an upgrade before it crashes. Eric Dry located a new computer for me with the new Windows 8.2 (had to be ordered to get it, but it came in today).
I will be back in Balama on Friday night, Feb. 13th. Plan to eat all the ice cream I can find!
STEPHEN MILLER OF CALIFORNIA JOINS OUR STAFF!
Stephen arrived last Wed. right in the middle of the inspection. But thanks to Katie and Ashlynn, he is now receiving Bible School, Cooking lessons, and a basic orientation of our programs, as he waits for my in-depth orientation once I return from South Africa on Feb. 13th.
FACING THE CHALLENGES
1. Electricity is still out, but word is it “might” be restored in the next week. Repairmen had to resort to lifting those HUGE metal towers with a helicopter, (very dangerous), since no crane could get into the area due to muddy conditions and continued rains. Feb. is our most rainy month of the season. Repairs of anything are super difficult.
2. BRIDGES STILL DOWN and river flooding making repairs almost impossible. Route to Maputo (only north to south road in whole country) is still cut off near Beira, so supplies are very limited in Pemba, since supply trucks cannot get through. (only Air or Ship cargos at the moment.)
3. SECOND BRIDGE at Lurio River, which divides us from Nampula City, our biggest northern supply post, is at full flood levels! Flood waters ARE AT THE SAME LEVEL OR FLOWING OVER THIS 300 YARD (METER) WIDE BRIDGE (that is a 50+ foot wall of water).
4. Heavy trucks are not being allowed to pass over the bridge at this time, as it is damaged. No repairs can be done at this time, but small vehicles are allowed to pass one at a time.
TOGETHER WE ARE WORLD CHANGERS!
Thank you so much for your continued support in prayer and love gifts.
Bush Bunny Brenda