Provincial Director, Maria Isabel Raimundo, greeted us with a warm smile and cheerful words as she walked into our mission station on Wednesday.
Her heart for the children was clearly visible, as we were told in preparation for her visit, that she had no desire to see paperwork, but wanted to meet all the children and the foster mothers.
Director Maria is presented with a welcoming gift by nine year old Felismina.The gift is a localally made basket wooden spoon, an agenda,and a wildlife calandar.
Far right: handsome young man in the suit is Capena, our Office Manager, and “right-hand man”.
Assistant Director, Guilherme Dos Santos, receives his gift from seven year old Angelica. Guilherme worked hand in hand with us to expedite our licensing last year.
Technician, Emilia Muzila, recives her gift from four year old Ortencia. All three of the girls who presented gifts came to us as babues and are blossoming into beautiful young ladies.
True to her word, she spent all but 15 minutes of her 2 hour visit talking with the mothers and children, visiting 4 of our children’s homes, and asking non-stop questions of everyone she met. Only 15 minutes was spent in our office for her summary, and that was mostly to compliment us on a job well done! She recommended a few minor changes in one of the homes, before stating how thrilled she was to meet all of us and see first-hand how our program functions. She informed us that she looked forward to her next visit, as she plans to return in the dry season. It rained 2 INCHES (50mm) the night before her visit, giving her a real taste of just how muddy Balama can get in the rainy season.
My entire staff “Praise the Lord” for having sent such a wonderfully compassionate lady to oversee all orphan programs in our state.
RAINEXCEEDS 350 mm (14 inches) INLAST 15 DAYS!
The government was not exaggerating when they put out the “orange warning” on Jan. 15th. It is pouring buckets as I write this, as we received 100 mm (4 inches!) of rain in the last 28 hours and it is still pouring down hard. Keep us in prayer, and especially those 5 children in the story above, as they have not agreed to leave their house yet. Our plan was to get them to a safer location on Monday, as they will have no choice but to move if this storm destroys their hut. I plan a personal visit to see them on Sunday, as this may turn into an emergency rescue as this storm is quite fierce and shows no signs of letting up!
(Now you know why Jesus said don’t build your house on the sand, and that goes for mud huts built in low lying areas also!)
CHILDHEADEDHOUSEHOLDOF 5 ORPHANSNEEDSRESCUED
After leaving our program, Director Maria was taken to visit 2 of the families living in other areas who receive food assistance from our program.
One of those families is a “child headed household” of 5 orphans, with the oldest teenage girl acting as “mother” to her sisters and brothers. We tried to get them to come live with us last year, but they refused. Our helping hand then provided repairs on their mud hut in the dry season.
Unknown to us, the excessive rain (12+ inches in last 10 days) and high winds have badly damaged their hut during this last week.
When the Director returned home on Friday, she sent us an e-mail requesting maximum assistance for these 5 orphans. (new mud hut, clothes, school uniforms, school materials, beds and blankets). Most of their items have been damaged or destroyed due to a badly leaking roof.
Thanks to a special Christmas gift from a Wichita, Kansas Company, the money needed to organize this massive type of help for these orphans is already in the mail.
I’ll keep you posted, as this “rescue” is ongoing this entire week as we organize a new place for them to live. (Note: Building with mud brick in the rainy season is impossible, so we are trying to organize a hut near us.)
THANKSAGAIN, to our faithful friends in Wichita for making this new home possible!
Your LOVE, shown through your prayers, giving, and caring makes it possible for these rescues!
SPECIALNOTE: In my 2015 end of the year report, I failed to mention that during my 17 years here in Balama we drilled 15 water wells which are ALL still functioning, and have completely rehabilitated orrepaired over 200!
My thanks goes out to all those who contributed to this massive life-saving program which provides clean drinking water to most of the population of 2 Districts (counties). That’s an estimated total of over 200,000 people whose health is better because of your love gifts.