There has been so much going on here in Maputo it is hard to know where to begin. We went on an outreach at the city garbage dump which is not far from the Iris base. This is a huge dump about 3/4 of a mile long by 1/2 a mile wide and at least 100 feet tall. You can find everything from car parts to clothes to rotting food. Random piles of trash can be found burning throughout this heaping mountain, leaving toxic fumes behind. People of all ages, families and children actually live here and rummage through the mess to live off of. We went around to a few of the homes around the dump and prayed for people. Another team went on the top of the heap to minister to the people who lived up there. They were not welcomed by the locals there, who threatened them and kicked them off. We then held a church service at the Iris church they have planted in the dump, where we also shared. At the end of it, we passed out bread to all the children.
We’ve been to some really good church services here at the base, including Thursday evening children’s church and Sunday morning. They love to dance here, and the kids have taught us some of the Mozambican dances. We recognize some of the songs they sing here, if only they were sung in English. It’s fun interacting with the children, holding them and dancing with them during the services. They really light up whenever you give them any attention at all. They are precious.
We’ve spent a lot of time in the nursery and baby house. We have a list of about 7 that we wish we could take home with us. Unfortunately, we hear that international adoptions out of Mozambique are near impossible. The children do have it wonderful here at the Iris base, however, compared to life outside the base. They have food, clean drinking water, games, love, Jesus and education for them here. Life for those in the bush or city is much more difficult. Much hunger, sickness, crime and hopelessness.
We took a trip to the city for souvenir shopping and to eat lunch at the mall, in which we officially survived our first car wreck here. No worries, it was pretty minor. We were just rear ended while riding in the back of a truck. It broke the door of our truck and messed up the other car’s front bumper a bit, but no injuries and we saw it coming. No cops, no insurance claims, just 2 drivers getting out to review the damage to their vehicles for about 30 seconds, then back on our way again. We all high-fived for surviving our first collision. Of course, this didn’t stop the other driver from continuing to ride our bumper for the rest of the way into the city. That’s just how they drive here- crazy.
Adam did get his bag, praise the Lord, which we had to go back to the airport to retrieve. We were very happy to see our peanut butter! We also got a chance to shop at a grocery store here and were able to get a few groceries, which has been very nice in order to have some variety around here. Otherwise, it’s rice with a topping for both lunch and dinner, which we do eat most days.
The World Cup has been a big part of the activities around the base. All the kids watch the games each night, which they really get into here. Soccer is taken very seriously here, and the kids go crazy any time a goal is scored. It’s quite the site.
Yesterday, we went to another children’s school/orphanage ministry about 15 miles from the Iris base. This was great to see. There are 700 students who attend here and 37 orphans who live there, all ran by 1 man and his wife. He shared his testimony with us, which included narrowly escaping a civil war in his home country of Congo and being the first in his family lineage to convert from Islam to Christianity. He has since led almost every member of his family to Jesus! It’s amazing what he has been through and what all he does there. We would like to find a way to bring him to the States to gain more support to help run his ministry and school. They used to get financial support from Iris Ministries, but Iris has lost so much of their donors in recent times with the tough economy, that they could no longer support them. So now they are run only from the money they bring in from charging the secondary school students. The primary school is totally free for those who cannot afford any schooling otherwise.
Four more days until we leave for Uganda. Our hearts have been deeply touched here at Iris and we will miss all the wonderful people here.