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Neighbor Helping Neighbor - 2022

Updated: Feb 16, 2022

Note from Michelle - This Update has been revised and edited in collaboration with my son Christafur Morrell.

Today is a glorious day for it is the day the Lord has created!


In America we have access to most everything our heart could desire. America is a land of opportunity and great abundance. America is the land of the free and brave. Our great country has never been occupied or enslaved by an outside military force. Each of us grew up in a house of some kind with food to eat, electricity, running water and a bathroom for cleaning away the worries of the day. This is our reality and we are truly blessed.


But in Mozambique the realities are very different. In the land of hot sun and hopeless there is a spirit of depravity that is definitely overwhelming at times. The reality for the day is to simply survive. What am I going to eat? Where am I going to sleep? Is it safe for me to poop? Many in Mozambique if not most, do not have access to even these most basic of things. Having a house of comfort and security is not even a dream. Food, electricity, running water, even a bathroom in which to wash the pains of the day away do not exist. Surviving the day is the most important thing but, sadly the reality is that many do not survive.

Something needs to be done, things have to change.


A bit of Mozambique History:

I was born in 1964, the same year the Mozambican “War of Independence” began against Portugal. The ongoing depravity of nightly village burnings and raids prompted the US sponsored revolution. The killing and murdering of millions has created a land of desolate despair.


After 21 long years of fighting and war, Mozambique was finally emancipated in 1975. This brought an end to 400 years of Portuguese occupation and rule. I find it interesting that it is the same amount of time the Israelite's were enslaved by Egypt. But wars hunger for violence had not yet finished. In the midst of the newly formed nation of orphans, death and destruction began again.


Two years after the "War of Independence," due to lack of leadership and divide, the newly emancipated Mozambique plummeted into a great civil war. Lasting another 15 years, the civil war was officially declared to have ended in June of 1992. But in fact, there are still many active rebel groups and ISIS terrorist groups bringing violence and inciting conflicts today. What decades of violence, death and war have left in their wake; I will never be able to realize or comprehend.


Mozambique became a nation of orphans knowing only desperation and fear. The children that have managed to live are now older, but the struggles for life remain. Even today in 2022 each of these children are continually faced with our most basic of instincts; the instinct for human life; to stay alive. This survival instinct was created, man made. For each of the children that were left alone and isolated; no parents, no family, no village, no one to help or care each day is a life and death struggle. Where is the hope for something new? If there is no hope for today, then how can there be a future?


War, violence and death has birthed a spirit unrelenting hopelessness. It is this hopelessness God has called us to change. In this place of darkness Family of God Ministries strives to be that change by revealing the light of God. I ask, are you willing to step in beside those that cannot help themselves?


In 1975, I was only 11 years old. In Mozambique a child of my age was long ago enveloped by the ravages of hopelessness, starvation, depravity and war. In 1975, I was a young child in need of care myself. Today, I am grown. Today, I am unable and unwilling to pretend and ignore all that I see and know. Loving our neighbor as ourselves is a foundational stone on which Family of God Ministries stands. Family of God Ministries stands beside and with these teenagers and young adults being the light of Jesus.


It is within this desperate place of ruin God has placed Family of God Ministries. Jesus uses Family of God Ministries in Word, Action and Deed. As Family of God steps into each need we are abundantly aware there are many more needs than we can possibly meet.

 

THE TALE OF THE STARFISH A young girl was walking along a beach upon which thousands of starfish had been washed up during a terrible storm. When she came to each starfish, she would pick it up, and throw it back into the ocean. She had been doing this for some time when a man approached her and said, “Little girl, why are you doing this? Look at this beach! You can’t save all these starfish. You can’t begin to make a difference!” The girl seemed crushed, suddenly deflated. But after a few moments, she bent down, picked up another starfish, and hurled it as far as she could into the ocean. Then she looked up at the man and replied,

“Well, I made a difference for that one!”

The old man looked at the girl inquisitively and thought about what she had done and said. Inspired, he joined the little girl in throwing starfish back into the sea. Soon others joined in, and the starfish were saved.

 

Family of God is Helping Neighbors - The building of a mothers simple Latrine.


This week Family of God began stepping out for another one of our neighbors. This time Lord has put it before us to build a place of safety for one of our most vulnerable life functions. Build a latrine. A safe protected place to bathe, and yes too poop.

Meet one of our precious neighbors, Mama Lurdis. She is a young woman and single mother of 4 within our bush community of MItilani. Lurdis is a true survivor! Her struggles have been far beyond what most of us can imagine. She is a hard working young woman with a heart that sings praises Jesus for every new day of life!


Mama Lurdis has managed to build for herself and her young family a very simple house. Walls are made from cane and straw, the floor is sand, but it is a shelter in the wilderness. The roof is stronger than most, being made of metal roof pieces, held down by Family of God bricks. Inside this little house is what makes a house truly a home - Love and Spirit of God.

Family of God has been walking beside Mama Lurdis for the last year. We are continually investing much time, prayer, and encouragement as we have grown a personal relationship with her and her family. This is the door which God uses to reveal His great love. As Lurdis has grown in relationship with Christ we are beginning to understand how best to help support and meet some of the need. Today the need is a latrine. A place to safely bathe, and yes to poop. To know and embrace Lurdis and her hopeless struggles is to see the heart of love Christ Jesus. Mama Lurdis is meeting her Jesus in action. His heart is not simply words, but action to change each life and bring a harvest of love into Gods Kingdom.


After obtaining and the bringing in of the cement, stones, and rebar, each of us carries in many liters of water. This can only be known as a passionate trek of love. We do this so the brick making can begin under the hot Mozy sun. The work is painstakingly hard and the labor intense. But true change must be birthed through great sacrifice. Each of Family of God's Rough Riding Disciples has lived this desperate struggle for life.


Day after long hot day this labor of love continues until the tasks at hand can become complete. As the newly formed bricks become hard in the hot sun we begin the digging out of foundation and the hole that will become the drain.



Fabito and Antoninio line bricks to form the foundation. Zito begins to level and cement each one into place. It is the foundation on which we will build the cement floor for the shower area and place the latrine lid. If the foundation is not solid it will not stand against the storms and rain that time and seasons are sure to bring.


This is much different than what we would know of in America. Can you imagine not to have the choice - If it don't want to use the public restroom then I will just wait until I get home. What a different world it is in the bush of Mozambique.


Right now Valentino has traveled into the city searching for a small porcelain toilet. Many of our neighbors have never seen a toilet and definitely not in the bush. Mama Lurdis is our neighbor and friend. It is our Joy to step in and reveal Gods love in physical ways. The hole in which one may squat as the body deposits it's waste is now to be replaced. Inside there will be dividing wall to create room for a place to bathe. Even this is not what you would imagine. The daily washing is not from warm running water showered down over the head. It is water that has been carried in for mile after mile. Then a bucket carried into the latrine and a scoop to pour out the water for the washing and rinsing.


The Goal - To represent Christ well, in all we say and do. This latrine is a huge statement of Gods Love in action and deed. As the construction has continued many have come to see and to inquire. There is an excitement growing in the air. This is a really BIG deal. This labor of love is growing a life, a family and an entire community! This is change for Life and for Hope!


Everyone around our bush community near and far is aware of what is happening. The secretary of land use and community leaders have asked that there be an unveiling. The request, that Family of God Ministries present this little latrine to mamma Lurdis with a ribbon cutting and a community celebration. Many of those around us have called out in the wilderness asking repeatedly for the government to help with the things of daily survival. Our Heavenly Father sent His Son Jesus to be that help in the earth and through this labor of love He is revealed and glorified.


Meeting the a fundamental need that each of us has a human being, is helping overcome the depravity of yesterday. Neighbor caring for and loving neighbor, is opening doors and healing the past... and Yes, No more risk that comes from pooping in the bush! God is using the humble act of building a latrine to reveal His goodness and love. This is a true labor of God's great love.

To be continued...
 

Family of God is pressed on all sides by desperate need. In order to succeed we must keep our focus first on Jesus. Like the little girl and the starfish, the tasks at hand can at times feel daunting and futile.


This is where your help and engagement is essential and vital. Jesus reveals each step we are to take. Family of God Ministries is sent out into action becoming the hands and feet of GOD. Is He calling to you?


As Family of God Ministries continues forward revealing the tangible love of Christ Jesus,

I ask for your heart of compassion and support. Each of us is called, but few respond. I am asking that you do not cower back, but allow Gods Spirit to move and embolden you to stand and be the difference. I am asking you to prayerfully and powerfully give of yourself more than you thought possible. I ask that you pray more fervently and deeper, than you have before. I ask that you stand with us and fight the good fight being bolder and stronger than ever before. The Time of the Lord is at Hand and I believe He has brought you along side Thank you for answering His Call!!






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