März 2018

My dear friends,

we are grateful to the Lord for the favor He has given us in the prisons and hospital, to see how God changes lives, heals and delivers people, the many opportunities to share God’s word and his love in practical ways …

Many things have improved on the girl’s property … the houses have all been built … only windows & doors still need to be put … if the carpenter hadn’t disappeared for a quite a while … then the welder hadn’t paid his rent, so the owner of the house didn’t release the material inside … just how things are here … but I still believe things will eventually come to a completion there … .
Ate the moment we’re putting the roof on the Machessas (little huts for people to sit inside, one for fellowship and one for prayer) and if we have money we’ll be building a small wall that will support a hedge with thorns like on the boy’s property … .

On the boy’s property our builder is building a house for chickens and another one for pigs. The little chicken house we had was destroyed in a storm, but it was only a temporary solution anyway, until we’d have the chance to build something more permanent. Then we’ll just have to find pigs and more chickens somewhere … .

Our children are doing well. The holidays are over and everyone is back in school. We have a new child, the father is in prison, the mother abandoned him, so he stayed with his grandfather who was constantly drunk … eventually he preferred to stay on the street then “at home” … he is a really nice boy … .
Every year the beginning of the school year is a big event … until everyone has a place in a class (the school administration is a total chaos here) … new bagpacks, schoolmaterial, uniforms … and besides our children we are supporting 50 other children from the part of town we live in, that would otherwise not be able to study. The thing is that before we can give all these things to the children we must first organize and buy each one of them and that in many different places, but it is worth the effort … ;-).

The health authority came to visit us. We had heard from others, that they aren’t easy, but it really wasn’t difficult. So now we have the paper that confirms that our sanitation is okay. They didn’t want to see much and only complained one little thing that isn’t a big deal to organize … .

We are working on more papers social welfare requires … . The roads are more than bad at the moment, that they haven’t come back … .

Agricultural projects

By now we have 4 big field, 2 in the district of Sussundenga and 2 in the district of Macate. The last one we hadn’t planned, but the offer was too good not to accept. In January and February people don’t have money here ‘cause last year’s harvest is gone, the salary of December spent for Christmas and the salary of January is being needed for school fees and school material … if someone has a paid job he doesn’t only have to finance his own family but help his relatives who don’t have a job. And most people earn less thank $100 a months, even if they have a job. Either way someone was desperate for some money because his son had mad a girl under 18 pregnant (which is not uncommon here, but she is the daughter of a leader). So he sold his field of 3 hectares that is right next to a road (most field are far from roads, so it is hard to transport things) for about $420. Just the bananas that already exist on that field are worth that money. The other part of the field had grass more than 8 feet high, so it took some work before we could plant something there, but by now we are almost finished planting 2500 banana trees. Our children are excited about the bananas. No more lack of calcium for our children … 😉
On the other fields we’ve also planted things … maize, potatoes, sweet potatoes, manioc, cashews … at the moment we are busy planting beans, orange- and litchi trees … . It’s challenging to invest so much time and money into those fields without having much benefit right now, but we still believe it will be worth it in the long run … . In that way we’ll be more or less independent of the economy … .

In January we went to Malawi for 10 days to get some rest and have some time just for us … see the nice picture of Camilo at lake Malawi 😉

We finally have a new substitute guard for our office … 😉
After not having one for months all of sudden we had two that wanted the job … it is not difficult to find someone that wants to be a guard, but someone that actually does the job, that doesn’t just come to sleep at your house, and even more important that doesn’t steal things while you are gone … so we’re hoping, but we have a good feeling …

We are excited to go to Israel!! For a long time I’ve been wanting to go to Israel, but each time I had an opportunity to go to the Holy Land the Lord said, ‘you’ll go, but not now’ and a few years back He began to tell me, that I’d go to Israel for my honeymoon, which was kind of a crazy thought ‘cause there was no husband in sight, nor did I have plans to get married and now all of a sudden I am married and we are going to Israel for our honeymoon ;-). Camilo is also excited, he’s been dreaming to go to Israel, just didn’t know how it could ever happen without any money, barely having enough food to eat. So his eyes lit up when I put out the suggestion. Normal people go on their honeymoon right after their wedding, but we are just not normal ;-). Camino’s visa wasn’t easy to get, but in everything we are more than conquerors! We got a call from the consulate in Maputo that the embassy in Angola is refusing Camilo’s visa. They want to know exactly where we’ll be at, each hotel with addresses and phone numbers. Now at that time my credit card was blocked, so I couldn’t do anything on the internet and here is no travel agency that books hotels for you. Camilo was gone to one of our fields and his phone had no network, so I couldn’t reach him, even just to let him know what was going on so he could at least pray. I didn’t have much time ‘cause it was already in the afternoon when I got the information and they wanted the hotel reservations the same day. Eventually I called my travel agent in Germany where I used to book flights and explained them the situation. Praise God that they were willing to help me out even though I explained to them we wouldn’t need the reservations in the end. Within 1 ½ hours they sent me what I needed and I forwarded it to the embassy. I heard from others that Israel changed their visa policies and visas in general are hard to get now. However, we believe it was just an excuse not to give us the visa. We did what we could, while we prayed for God to move their hearts. Camilo’s passport made it safely back from Angola and is in our hand – glory & praise to God Most High!!

As I mentioned the other challenge was my credit card. The bank blocked my credit card saying that it was no longer secure … and there was no way to convince them to unblock it on my own risk … grr … . Finally they agreed to send me a new one to Mozambique, which was nice, but instead of sending it to my P.O.Box where I usually get things, they sent it to my address. That works well in Europe or America, but here there is no mail delivery whatsoever. To make things worse they sent it with TNT which doesn’t exist here, so I had absolutely no idea where it’d arrive, if … and they sent my card and the pin at the same time, even though we had agreed they’d send the pin to my german address … . To make a long story short, both envelops arrived and I was able to find out where … at a kiosk that sells engine oil, no sign of courier service … unbelievable, but anyways, what matters that I got the new card and the pin … praise God!!

What we didn’t manage yet is changing Camilo’s last name. We didn’t think that it ‘d be that complicated, but we should have known that pretty much everything is complicated here. It’ll take a miracle or lots of time in Maputo, which we don’t have, going on African buses for 1200km multiple times, on a really bad road … . Camilo’s passport came back with 2 last names, the old and the new one. According to our marriage certificate he has only one (mine) though. We wanted to have the same last name and since I have tons of documents I would have needed to change whereas Camilo has only an ID and a passport, so we thought it’d be easier. Now we are stuck between 2 different laws of 2 different countries ‘cause here they only add a name, never take one away. We asked before we got married and they said it wouldn’t be a problem if he takes my last name, but now it is … we’re still hoping for a miracle, God touching some people’s hearts to help us so we can apply for a visa for Germany and the US this summer … .

Greetings from Mozambique!
Every blessing to all of you,
Claudia & Camilo