This morning we received some very good news from Dondo: All of the children are safe and survived the direct hit of Cyclone Adai.
However, there is some bad news as well: the roofs on all of the buildings were either completely blown off, or partially. We are still seeking more details and information.
The children are together and working through their collective trauma - I cannot imagine the fear they experienced as their roof was torn off in the middle of the night by the storm.
Many thanks for your prayers and ongoing support. I will be at Jesse Lee on April 28 and look forward to being with you then.
…. building an orphanage in Mozambique one brick at a time for 48 children
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress. James 1:27
They say patience is a virtue. I don't think of myself as a patient person, but working in Mozambique requires patience. Those of you who have been supporting, praying, funding and working towards the completion of the Dondo Orphanage have also had your patience tried over and over again. If the delays in construction for this project have increased our patience, we are far more virtuous people today than when this project started just over 2 years ago!
The primary factor in the delay in completion of the orphanage was the death of the engineer on this project 18 months ago. Prior to that, work was moving ahead on schedule. Following his death, the project stalled and the church leaders did not find a new contractor to complete the work until Rob Mayette and I visited last October. We believe our presence and pressure helped secure the workers to complete enough work for the first group of 23 children to move in. More work is in the future for the second dorm and permanent dining hall.
The Dondo Orphanage will eventually host 48 children in two dorms (a boys and girls dorm) that is located just a short walk from primary and secondary schools. A health clinic is a short walk in the other direction. A United Methodist Church is about two miles away via the roads or 1.5 miles via a winding path skirting private properties and fields. The orphanage is located on a large piece of land where crops will soon be sown and thereafter reaped.
I thank each of you for your support for this and future projects . Together we can help parent these orphaned and vulnerable children by providing them housing, access to schools, health care, food and a loving environment.
On tap next is an orphanage in Lichinga, Mozambique. The United Methodist Church there has two contractors who are members of the church and want to lead this project. For this reason, we believe construction at Lichinga will be much quicker than at Dondo. This is an other location that Rob and I visited last October.
After that, our intention is to build an orphanage in Nampa, Mozambique, and another in Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Looking even further down the road, Bishop Joaquina Nhanala has identified 7 other locations within her Episcopal territory in need or orphanages. The need is great - but so is our grace, peace, mercy and love. With determination (and patience), we can get this accomplished!
In peace-Wayne Lavender
Thank you for your generosity.
Rev. Dr. Wayne Lavender, who grew up in Jesse Lee Church, is CEO of F4O, Foundation for Orphans. His organization is overseeing this project.
If you are interested in helping, donations may be left in the offering plate any Sunday.(*Make checks payable to Jesse Lee Church, “Dondo project” written on the memo line.)
We can’t save them all, but we start by helping 48 at a time!