I can’t say nobody warned me. On the contrary, everybody warned me. Every short term and long term missionary involved with Masana told me again and again that these boys would steal my heart. I intentionally guarded myself from becoming too attached, leading up to and all throughout my time in Maputo. But these little boys are master thieves, and all the mental prepping in the world could not have saved me from leaving my heart in Mozambique last weekend.
Its been a week now since I left, and it has taken me the full time to recover. Much like Frodo with the ring of power, [I’ve watched a lot of LOTR this week] I’ve begun to realize the full weight of this quest of mine. I joke, but in all seriousness, I am beginning to discover just how much of a challenge this year is going to be. Leaving was hard emotionally and physically. My body can’t seem to keep up with me, and that has been frustrating. Thankfully, yesterday I seemed to turn a corner [fingers crossed] and for the first time in the past week I have had the energy to pack and prepare for the next leg of my trip.
My time in Masana was more than I could have hoped for. I am so impressed by this ministry and grateful that I got to be a part of it for a short time. To say that it is set apart would be a serious understatement. The longer I lived at Masana the more I realized how truly special and unique it is. Masana is a subtle haven. At first glance, it does not appear to be producing much. In fact from the time I arrived to the time I left, I saw very little change in the lives of the boys at Masana. But genuine ministry is not about quick fixes, revolution, and radical change. It is about building relationships and meeting needs, and many times, just simply being there.
The proof of Masana’s effectiveness can be seen in the lives of the many boys who have decided to leave the streets and return home to their families. It is also evident in the lives and lifestyles of the incredible older boys who I lived and worked with these past three weeks. Its hard to believe that these hardworking, encouraging, loving young men of God were once streetboys. If they had not told me their testimonies themselves, I probably would not have guessed their backgrounds. That’s just how fully God restores though. He takes us in all of our brokenness, whether it is by our own doing or someone else’s, and lovingly rebuilds us into new creations.
He is a God of restorations, big and small. Just as He is restoring the lives of Mozambique’s youth, He will continue to restore my strength, health, hope and joy. No task, no aspect of His creation is too grand, or too insignificant for the great healing He wishes to give. In our weakness and our brokenness He is able to pour out His grace over us and reveal more of His glory to and through us. The light of God shines brightly through the cracks in His beloved clay jars.
I am forever changed by Masana, and grateful for it. If any of you would like to give to this life-giving ministry, the link to their website is below. I can assure you, your gift will be used wisely and to immeasurable ends.
For God who said, “Let there be light in the darkness”, has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ. We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure.This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed.We are perplexed, but not driven to despair.We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God.We get knocked down, but we are never destroyed. [2 Corinthians 4:6-9]