Children’s Day

Many of you know about our beloved Mozambican holiday “Children’s Day.” It is a day looked forward to by our kids for months. Chicken, cokes, games, presents—its like Christmas in July…or in this case, June 1.

Jean and I were quickly recruited to head up Children’s Day (CD) for the village children- this means we would prayerfully plan for the feeding, games, and gifts for the 2000 or so kids which would attend our church on CD. I (Teisa) was the one who said “Yes” without really thinking about it…. But the more I did think about it, the more impossible it seemed. Memories from 2006 Christmas feeding filled my mind: tiny children being trampled by the mob of kids fighting to get in the door, chaos in the kitchen where we had to hold the plates high in the air to keep kids from grabbing the chicken, and the riots between the adults for who would eat first….I confess thinking many times, “Dear Jesus, what did we just get ourselves into?”

With the help of another missionary, we prayed (“Help, God!”) and planned. From the beginning, things miraculously came together. For example, we were able to buy 80% of the gift items (assorted candy and cookies) in one hour and a half- something that normally would have taken all day! We also had tons of help due to our incoming mission school students and visiting team from Global Awakening (same team Jean led 2 years ago!) We had meetings with our Makua youth who would lead in various areas -especially in the games. We have never attempted to play games with 2000 kids before. But more and more ideas flowed and soon we had almost 10 different game stations. Our awesome mission school students helped us for hours as we assembled our gift bags —2000 of them! Each bag having a full packet of cookies, 2 bubble gums, 1 small lollypop, 1 large lollypop with gum, 2 toffees, 2 sour candies….a true dream gift for any kid…at least in our neck of the woods!

WOW! God blew our minds with His goodness on CD! We enjoyed an amazing time of worship and Heidi preached her heart out with many people being healed and saved. After church, we kept all the kids in the church and started to dismiss them in groups of twenty to form a line outside of the kitchen….and guess whatthey formed a beautiful precious line!!!! Friends, this was a miracle!!! Everything from the feeding to the games
went reasonably smooth! But the best part was when the village kids were leaving, we had all our visitors and students form a prayer tunnel for them and when we came out the end, they received their gift! Many of the kids started jumping up and down in glee as they discovered the contents. After all the village kids had received their gifts, it was time for our Iris kids to receive theirs. Heidi went house by house giving the gifts. This year we started with the girls, so our warriors were anxiously waiting by the gate of the girls’ center. Soon enough, it was their turn. Each of our boys – we have 11 now- sang their special CD song before getting their gifts and gave us hugs with a hearty “Obrigado” after.

Once again, we were in awe of how God took the impossible and showed His possibilities! People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them. Mark 10:13-15