Posts Tagged ‘famine’

Maforga News, April

Dear Friends,

It’s now a third of the way through 2009! The time has flown.  It’s scary as
we are told in Ephesians to “redeem the time, for the days are evil.” These
have been difficult but wonderful days.

The famine we had experienced had been the worst since the crisis of the
1992 drought, during which the war came to an end in Mocambique, which
starved the war to an end. Three lots of crops had to be planted, the first two
dried or were washed away by torrential rains, the third almost dried up, or
was blasted flat by galeforce winds. After much prayer the crops lifted up
off the ground of their own accord and produced a good harvest – for those
who had been able to afford the seed to plant a third time.

What came out of it all was revealing. We discovered many child-headed
families who have been struggling to survive, the older girls selling
themselves to pay for younger siblings, the younger ones aften being beaten
by jealous neighbours if they received help. The new contacts with the
villages of Socel and Msunza have opened our eyes to the plight of people
living all round us, in a new way. One family of five lost their parents,
and
they had an aunt (young) who already had three children with whom they moved
in. The desperate mother makes sure her own children receive food before the
others, who are deeply resented for the unbelievable strain on the family’s
resources. The father is a pastor but is not supported by his new church in
any way, so the family is without an income. The smallest of the adopted
family often – three times out of
four – go without any food at all. On such days they come up to our house
and sit on our veranda, gazing reproachfully at us through the window, too
cowed to speak. They are often beaten.

Their threadbare rags were almost transparent with wear and tear and it is
becoming colder now in the evenings so we took them to buy a new set of
clothes each and a precious blanket. The other siblings set upon them in a
rage….we didn’t have the resources to buy the whole family clothes at one
time, but  are trying to help the whole family so that these things don’t
happen. The little ones are determined to be taken in by us but the
orphanage is full.*

We have however taken in a young teenage girl, Candida and her little
brother Vascinho. She is very streetwise and knows the goings on in the
village and what each person is hiding or pretending. She is eleven years
old and tall for her age, with a beautiful, strong face. She is very lazy,
not having had adult supervision for more than two years, and also
light-fingered and the team find her very difficult. However she and her
little brother are having to fit in and come under authority, not easy for
them or us or the other girls who resent her pushiness. The two were in a
house which had no door, and the father of a neighbouring family was a
frequent night visitor to the house. As the children went to school, he also
entered the house and took whatever they had been given: blankets, food and
any other items he desired. The children were very vulnerable.

Another family consists of two teenage girls busily engaged in prostitution
to feed their younger sisters. We feel compelled to take the younger girls
in somehow as the example they are being given is bound to destroy them in the
end.

A teenage boy, tall, gangly and shy, has been abandoned with two
younger siblings. The father died and the mother simply fled leaving the
creditors to strip the house of all she owed, leaving the children
devastated and without resources. The older boy has developed asthma and a
stutter from the shock of losing his parents – especially the abandonment by
his mother. We have used some of the funds we had
received from the famine money, to help such families – to keep the young
leader of the family in school, and feed and clothe the younger ones of whom
one is  really naughty little boy full of schemes…A domestic worker, Vovo
Vittoria has a house nearby all these families, and keeps us updated on all
the goings-on. They need so much input and help.

Whilst dealing with the hunger situation, we became aware of the plight of a
small girl named Chamiso (Miracle.) She
lived in what can only be described as a tiny shack the size of a coal
scuttle, with a roof open to the elements, watched over by her uncle, whom
we have been told is a wicked man. Little Chamiso came to us as a ragged
child among a crowd of others during the famine, and stayed behind with
pleading eyes, terrified of returning to her horrific situation. We took her
in after asking the administrator to look into her set-up. It was confirmed
she was an orphan, living in fear of this uncle, being used – we know not
what for. She came to us but the fear persisted and one day she disappeared,
having been abducted by the uncle from school and spirited away to some
far-off village in the mountains of Penhalonga. Tragically we have not been
able to locate her.

The Msunza village is a village very open to the gospel. We’ve been meeting
with them every weekend and they are really keen – desperate in fact – to
get out of the devastating poverty they are trapped in. The young men really
need work and development seems so terribly difficult here. Crochet lessons
are helping some of the women whilst we are planning to start the Farming
God’s Way course with the men, as they are desperate for hope and something
positive to do.

Food production seems the most important thing here. It looks so easy – very
fertile soil, availability of water….but the termites are savage
destroyers of food crops. We have to learn how to work with them, rather
than against them. Earthworms are destroyed very quickly by termites, and
any compost, mulch or other dead plant matter is penetrated by them in a
day – or less. They are voracious attackers of trees, living or otherwise.
Please pray that a way is found, that systems are found that work. It seems
so difficult to find things that work.

However, the village has suffered a terrible blow – someone has simply come
to take away their land. we don’t know if this is the government or the
neighbours, of whom one has had some nasty interactions with us in
the past.

There have been so many visitors. The Bible School at the Inhassoro property
was inaugurated this week, and all went well. We were hoping to take some of
the orphaned children down with us to the coast for a beach holiday, but the
rain seemed to stick around for too long ; the opportunity will come again
soon.

We are very grateful to the Lord for the wonderful rains we have had. The
bean crop is dripping with pods, the plants have to be propped up and the
girls are helping with this at the moment.

As we continue to sow seed in uncertain times let’s not be frightened off
being generous …it might be that generosity will release a supernatural
harvest for the donors as well as the recipients, and imagine how it would
be if suddenly the curtain was rolled back and we saw all the children we
could have helped, all the work of God we could have facilitated, and
suddenly the option was no more! -and the remorse we might feel knowing we
could have helped Jesus Himself – for He did say that whatsoever we did to
one of His brethren, we did it to Him.

Thank you for all your generosity, it has been amazing. Please, if you are
receiving and reading our emails, let us know – we also may have forgotten
who you are and would really like to be updated. as there are hundreds of
people who come and go through Maforga (we haven’t by any means got the
email addresses of them all) it’s quite easy for us not to remember a name
or a person by looking at their email address. Please help us, too, by
writing to inform us if you no longer wish to receive the emails. Also as
many use our computer, some of their addresses are often somehow added to
our address list without us knowing. We apologize for any offence this may
have caused and please help us to rectify it.

With Love, Roy and Trish and all at Maforga

*P.S.We have decided, after a neighbour had told us of the sufferings of
those two little children, Nelito, (9) and Faraminha (11, although she looks
about nine), to take the two in with our younger children at the mission.
They are settling in very well.