We have been learning and growing here in Mozambique.
God is continuing to answer our joined prayers in opening our minds to Portuguese and Mozambican culture here.
Through His gracious hand, we are thriving well here.
Matt has begun a Wednesday afternoon Bible study with local area pastors. It’s a great time to be an encouragement and be encouraged through those God has called to lead here amongst the local bodies of believers. Matt is also leading a Thursday morning Bible study in a village, allowing for our use of storying to encourage a budding body of Christ about an hour away. There is an understanding and grace extended from many here, as most in Mozambique have had to learn Portuguese as a second or third language as well. Matt has also joining a preaching rotation at the local body of believers we have joined here in Q.
I, and the younger girls also have the opportunity to attend and participate in the Thursday study with Matt. It has been a wonderful opportunity to be out in the community, build continued endurance of the little ones in self-entertainment and appropriate boundaries, and, of course, use our Portuguese to share the Good News. I have also begun teaching the adolescent’s Sunday school class at the church we attend. I am thankful for the opportunity to struggle through Portuguese for the sake of the Gospel. This opportunity has also allowed me to use some of the storying techniques that we learned in our FPO training to help the 10-14yr olds hang onto the big, underlining story in the Bible. I am also enjoying coming alongside of a friend in her education process. We have begun studying daily for a half hour to an hour each morning in her various school subjects. It has proven to be fruitful for us both in learning Portuguese as a second language. =)
Rachael and Abi are excelling in school and have passed from the transition stage to the “school is old hat” norms.
Rachael took her beginning of the year testing and scored a 13/20 possible points in Portuguese (it’s taught like “English” is taught in our school systems as a school subject, but the entire day is taught in Portuguese as well.), 15/20 points in Social/Natural Sciences and 16/20 in Mathematics. Let me remind you that this child did not know how to read or write in Portuguese 3 week prior to these tests. Let me also paint the picture of her uphill climb: She had to learn first how to understand what was being asked of her, secondly she had to learn how to spell it, and thirdly she need to learn how to write it in the modified cursive from Portugal. So Math looked like knowing the answer to a geometric shape in English, but having to guess at the Portuguese word for that shape, then guessing at how spell it and working through how to write it. Yep, this kid had a STEEP uphill climb, but she is ROCKING IT and we couldn’t be more proud! Rachael has taken a healthy pride in overcoming Portuguese and is very determined to do her best on her school work. Rachael has also made a sweet little friend at school with whom she has enjoyed playing tag and sharing snack time together. Rachael has even used her learned cultural games that she plays with her friend at school to play with village children outside of a local church we visited a few weeks back.
Abi is doing well in her class, learning the basic building blocks of cursive writing (since it’s taught first in the school systems here). Abi has thus far scored a 19.5/20 in Mathematics and a 19.25/20 in Portuguese. I know, she needs to raise the bar, right?! 😉 She enjoys catching lizards and frogs at school during her break and enjoys school. She’s a pretty straight-forward kid who tells you what’s on her mind and is quick to adjust. =) She is randomly vocal about not wanting to do the workload, reminiscing on the easier days of less-demanding workloads, but she’s happy and well-adjusted. Abi has met a friend at school who is quite the spirited little thing so they have a typical flighty kid friendship, playing some days and wandering around in their own worlds other days during recess. Abi is still enjoying drawing and often uses that as a bridge with other kids when we go to a village church. Abi is my happy little introvert that is more than content to live in her joyful world, getting her social fixes at times and happily playing solo, inventing some elaborate game or rescuing “lost” frogs. 😉
Hannah is frolicking in the autumn mist of childhood. She LOVES the sheer freedom of running amuck in the house and shadowing Emilia. Hannah will be quick to tell you she doesn’t know what someone is saying in Portuguese and then respond perfectly to their question. She doesn’t know how much she has absorbed. Hannah is a social butterfly who desperately wants to know what everyone is saying and will often ask us to translate. Hannah has really taken to our morning language teacher, Suzana, and confides in her like they are old friends. Suzana eats it up (having 5 girls of her own) and they have a special little sit-together time-sharing Portuguese stories (thank you, Ellen for those that you have given to our family, they have gone a LONG way in bridging the two cultures through Emilia and Suzana reading the girls the books), picture books and often involving Hannah asking Suzana to braid her hair. Hannah absolutely adores it here and is often lost in utter and hysterical laughter.
(Oh the “eye business”. Hehe.)
Eden is flowering here too. Eden has learned the respectful Mozambican greeting and it’s absolutely adorable when her little two-year old voice offers it up with such ease. Eden is still her Mommy’s girl, but she has grown into a spirited little toddler, singing ALL THE TIME and offering snuggle-love to those that are normal in her life. Eden is quieter in public, but quick to come out of her shell around her sisters. Eden LOVES the worship songs at church and she comes up with her own 2-year-old rendition of the local dialect songs, singing them much to the delight of Emilia throughout the week. Eden and Emilia have a special bond, and Eden loves to ride Emilia’s hip and “help” Emilia in washing the dishes and laundry care. Emilia welcomes her little helper with open arms. Many in the community are attracted to Eden because she’s “the baby” and as long as Eden is close to me, she is tolerant of such attention. Eden knows a few Portuguese responses, but has a great understanding of the Portuguese language as is seen through her immediate action when asked to do something in Portuguese or her English response to the Portuguese question (hehe). Eden is flourishing in her English, grasping more and more vocabulary each day and experimenting with some bigger vocab words. She has started adding “just” to her sentences, “I’m just playing with this,” and “I’m just looking at something.” Hehe. She likes to put the emphasis on the “just” in a cute little high-pitched way.
Titan has grown like a fat, rambunctious and teething weed. He adds daily spunk to our worlds and sometimes that spunk has to be reined in a bit. Ha! We’re definitely still in the puppy training phase, but he has proven himself to be much more than a GREAT guard dog who has put some fear into a few local night-time robbers (one trying to steal our car tire and one jiggling our gate). Don’t anyone panic, crime here is petty crime of opportunity and Titan and our night guards are determined to disuade all opportunity. 😉 Titan may only be a beastly mid-sized dog, but his bark sounds ike a polar bear and by all means people, “don’t mess with Texas!”. 😉
[For my friends and family who are still panicking inside at my last statement about robbers, we have steel bars caged on all our widows, doors and reenforcement steel pipes behind out doors. The IMB doesn’t play around with safety. We have 4 barrier layers that anyone would have to get through before they could even enter the house. In both cases, our car was on the street and the robber passed by on the sidewalk outside of our gate. Beyond the physical safety, we have put all our hopes in the One True safety our Lord, God Almighty Who protects FAR GREATER than anything we can ever construct. We are WELL cared for indeed!]
Bun-buns, as she has been affectionately called by Eden, (also know as Penney), got a happy cage upgrade and is a wonderful addition to our home. She is so gentle, licks fingers, tolerates toddler hugs and stands on her back legs to be held by us. Bun-buns is everyone’s love and despite those prickly claws (which we’ll be happy to cut when we can get some cutters in town), she is rarely ever in her cage since there is SO MUCH love to go around between four awesome little girls. Bun-buns is often a playmate at tea parties, a princess castle pet, and a friend to read books to. Oh how these little girls adore their beloved bunny.
So as you can see, God is at work among us and is answering your faithful prayer in teaching us and growing us here in Mozambique.
We are indeed thriving here, through His Gracious hand.
Thank you again, for your continued prayers.