Saturday, May 10, 2008

Goat (instead of soap) on a Rope

Maybe you've heard the saying, “You can make an elephant go anywhere he wants to go." Well, goats are about the same: they're not nearly so big, of course, but they can be downright impossible to lead! Just ask Francisco (one of the mission-sponsored orphan boys). He had his work cut out as he tried to lead his 2 Christmas goats home this week!

This past Christmas we decided to promote donations towards Unique Christmas gifts for needy families in Mozambique. One of the options on the donor “wish list” was a goat, and to our delight, donations came in for close to 52 goats. It has taken us a few months to source, purchase and transport that many goats, but we finally did and they arrived just last week. There aren’t many animals for sale here since during the war this area was a hot spot for warfare, and animals populations were largely wiped out. In some of the more isolated areas north of here, where fighting was less intense, herds were somewhat preserved. So when we need to buy animals, it always involves quite a bit of leg work to find them and arrange their transport.

(Goats on the truck.)

Once the requested number of goats had finally been bought and collected—no small task—they were ready for their 4+ hour truck ride to the mission for distribution. It was a long haul and by the time the goats arrived here, they were pretty anxious to be off that truck and turned lose to graze. We dropped what we were doing as soon as the truck arrived, piled in our vehicle and hauled off to accompany the truck for the “goat deliveries”. On our way out of the mission we stopped to take some blue rope to help ease the process of making the goats go where we wanted them to go. :)

This was our first stop, at the home of a widowed granny who cares for orphans. It was a bit of a walk in from the highway. As you can see, goats on a rope are good...but goats on Elias’ shoulder is even better! (Elias is one of the mission's shepherds...one of many great staff we have here. Carrying the goats was his idea.)

Grandma Vaida is new to our program and was very surprised when we popped in with goats for them! Dwight took some time to tell them the goats were gifts, who gave them, why the gifts were given at Christmas...basically a story of God’s love.

Then it was over to Elias to give basic but VERY exact instructions on how to care for the goats. This is a precise art, you know, and he is an expert.


Next stop was at Francisco and Mibia’s. They are also orphans who live with their widowed granny. 4 goats on 2 ropes + 1 girl = oops!

Next, we dropped some off at Salete’s home. She looks after her orphaned grandson (in her arms). Here she is posing in front of her new home (last year her hut burned to the ground and she lost everything. The mission has helped her rebuild a better home).

After a long day, the last stop was at George’s place. He’s one of the mission staff who also cares for orphans. This little girl in her dirty dress was priceless!

Dwight and the driver reasoning with the Flora and Fauna official. Ten minutes later we were free to carry on with our deliveries.
Delivering goats to our community chief (front right--hand on head) who also has orphaned grandchildren at his home. I wish all who gave to this effort could have been with us to witness the expressions of joy!

Here, his grandson, "little Eduardo", shakes hands with "big Eduardo"--his name's sake--(aka Dwight since "Dwight" is difficult for them to pronounce here).

Goats were delivered to a few other places including a church-run orphan care program. But we weren't able to finish deliveries that day as it simply got too late. The rest came home with us to be distributed to their respective homes over the next few days.

Many other things happened this week, but since this blog is so long, I'll leave those news items til next week. Dad got stuck into work fairly soon after our arrival (a week ago yesterday) and has already fixed many things and helped us work out the trusses for our house. Did I tell you my dad can fix/make anything? :) But all the work aside, it's been fun just hanging out with him. I wonder if we can convince him to stay longer?

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great blog my love...you are so consistent to track work that is touching people and making a difference...You are AWESOME.
Dwight

The Nelson's Dog Patch said...

I must agree with Dwight, great blog & YOU ARE AWESOME. I'm so happy you're getting some extended 'dad time' & we're all so lucky he's such a smart & handy guy to have around!! Very few men like him for sure!

Russoft said...

Flora and Fauna official?