I hope this email finds you well!
I am so thankful for Jesus. He is good and faithful. So often I must fight pressures in life and ask Jesus to give me eyes of faith.
Wow. When I reflect over the last 12 months, it takes my breath away. So many trials and attacks from the enemy on the work Jesus is doing to bring His Kingdom in Mozambique, Africa. Yet, He has seen us through because He is always faithful. The peace of the Lord has overcome the confusion the enemy sought to establish in our center for vulnerable children. Our stolen vehicle has been recovered. Wayward youth have returned to their first love. Dishonest staff we’d invested in for years have been dismissed.
When there was no solution with human eyes, Jesus did it. He raised up 1 of our honest staff to be a loving and wonderful house mom to our boys we have raised as they transition to adulthood. She is leading our youth in daily prayer and with Godly counsel, she is communicating regularly with me, and is caring for the boys with integrity and a heart of love. God saw her potential for He looks at the heart. Heidi Baker once told me, “To find a good house mom is like finding gold.”
Pictures are of here in home in our center having daily morning prayer with children from the community and of children playing at our center.
When threats arose of me being summoned to Mozambique immediately at the time of my fathers’ passing or being barred from ever entering Mozambique again, God provided an honest administrator. He represented me and took on challenges few in Mozambique could. God gave us victory.
Jacinto doing job of administrator, doing necessary legal documentation with families in The Dream Project programs.
We again stand and look Heavenward with eyes of faith. In 2017, the missionary and ministry revenue decreased by over 50%: a decrease of $90,000. Everything we receive is from people as they respond to Jesus’ leading to give. We had no way of knowing our income would decrease so drastically. This has happened in the past and God provided for the lack through savings He had given me. Year after year he has provided for these boys and this community to receive the love of Jesus, tangibly proving He is a Father to the Fatherless.
We have cut back . Our family has tightened our belts. However, we currently need to raise $25,000 to reimburse monies advanced for essential needs. We also need to raise additional monthly support for the ministry and for our family. Finally, we have half of the airfare needed to spend 7 weeks weeks with our team and boys in Mozambique in May. We need an additional $4,500.
God has called our family to bring His kingdom to Mozambique. To be transparent, our family has given all we have to give. This past year our family has gotten into some debt for the first time in 18 years, since university loans. How can I say “No” to my sons who are now young adults and need help getting onto their feet?
I know Jesus is our provider. I choose to walk in faith. The orphanage doors would have closed years ago if this were not the case.
I so greatly appreciate your prayers and financial investment through the years. I am humbly writing to you to ask for your support for these deserving children. The Dream Project mission has not yet reached completion: Rescue vulnerable children, train them up so they would be Godly leaders, equipped to bring others out of physical and spiritual poverty as adults.
The children we have raised still need support to get onto their own two feet so they can be equipped to bring others out of physical and spiritual poverty. Many children and families that we minister to are in great need. I wasn’t aware of the drastic reduction of income until 2017 year-end close. Throughout 2017, our family sent our personal support to Africa, anticipating the ministry support would come in and cover what we had advanced, as our we were extending ourselves over our budget. We let staff go and kept the Mozambique budget lean. We did close the restaurant business and put items purchased for this into storage. However, there were some essential needs I advanced money for.
Ministry financials over the last 3 years gives the picture of the finance situation:
- 2017 Total income: 81,283.10:
- 2016 Total income: 171,932.03
- 2015 Total Income: 117,000
Sample of monthly finance needs for Mozambique attached (from month of January 2018)
U.S. side ministry current fixed monthly costs: (less than $500 monthly)
- Accountant $150/month
- Phone: $120/month
- Website hosting, miscellaneous admin: $150
- Annual Tax return: $400 ($33/month)
- Office space – donated Chippewa Lake Community Church
- Office manager – volunteer Pam Peterson
- Website Designer – volunteer Marc Burmich
- Videographer – volunteer Greg Zonca
- Graphic Design for communication materials – volunteer Marc Burmich
- Board Members - volunteers
We are in need of 25,000 to cover the costs of the below:
- Repair of kitchen roof during rainy season, repair of bathrooms, locks, regular maintenance of center.
- Monthly food and education support for Juma’s orphaned siblings
- Transportation for ill widow to live with family in capital city
- Assistance with funeral expenses for death of two of our boys’ moms with HIV
- Food, business, and education for children in families with moms as widows
- Driving school (vocational training) for 2 of our boys
- Electrician school for Carlos
- Discipleship Training School for 2 of our boys
- Transportation, house rental, school supplies for women learning to read/write in Murwebwe
- Farming equipment, seeds, trainer for model farm in Murwebwe to empower community to feed their own hungry children
- Costs for recovery of stolen ministry vehicle and other items, their legal fees, repairs
- Mozambique ministry and land Legal Fees
- Printing and mailing costs (marketing and design donated) for Bricks Build Homes materials to churches
- Additional for Mozambique businesses:
- Construction of barber shop for Juma to support himself
- Dried fish business to support soccer Program
- Additional funds needs for restaurant throughout year
- Christmas Party – Gospel shared with over 200 people, food, presents (Backpacks with school supplies are pictured below.)
Pictures of kitchen in center with damage due to rainy season
Pictures below are of our Christmas Party at our center for vulnerable children. Prior “Holiday Party” Newsletter contained pictures of separate Christmas Party in Murwebwe.
UPDATE ON OUR MOZAMBICAN SONS AND THEIR NEEDS AND DREAMS
Hopefully you received the letter and/or email where I explained what many of our boys we have raised and invested in are doing. I’ve listed below with updates. I truly believe we can rejoice in the fruit God has borne through us. Jesus said he has appointed us to bear fruit that would remain (John 15)! Amen! These boys and so many others are this fruit.
I know it must be hard to picture what The Dream Project is currently doing so far away in Mozambique, so I will try to explain as best I can without you seeing it with your own eyes.
Izack and Nathaniel are brothers we met just after their father died of HIV and mother was extremely ill with HIV. They came to us malnourished, illiterate, and dressed in rags. Izack began medical school last month, while Nathaniel has just completed an intensive 6-month discipleship program with Youth With A Mission. Next month he will return to Nampula, where he did his DTS as a YWAM missionary. Nathaniel is a talented worship leader but has no musical instruments to lead others in worship. My mom has sponsored his monthly YWAM missionary fees for his first year. After this, we hope he will get another sponsor or will be able to begin a business (or participate in a Dream Project business) to supoort himself as a missionary. Nathaniel will get married in May and is in need of wedding clothes, wedding documents, dowry.
Izack has begun medical school. He is in need of a computer which I plan to bring to him in May when I hope to return to Mozambique. Thank you Smarella and DeLaCruz families for sponsoring these computers! His housing and education has been sponsored by a friend of the clinic where he has interned the last several years. I haven’t gotten to speak with him since he rented his new apartment and began medical school. However, he wrote me and told me he has no furniture!
Below: Nathaniel (on left) and Izack (on right) | Nathaniel and Fiancé Madalena
Marcelino’s parents also died of HIV. His brother is now infected with HIV as well. Amido would spend his days scavenging through the garbage dump for food. He is from an unreached people group that know very little about Jesus. Amido has also completed the intensive 6-month YWAM discipleship program. He is currently studying accounting.
Amido is currently receiving a monthly stipend from The Dream Project for doing its’ accounting and cleaning of the grounds. He pays for his school supplies, transportation, food, and personal needs with this. He is the only one of the youth we have raised who is currently struggling as teenagers often do. Keep him in your prayers.
Below: Marcelino on his first day of school at the industrial school where he continues his high school studies with accounting vocational training component.
Pedro was living on the streets when we met. Pedro has always taken full advantage of all opportunities given to him and is very street-smart. Today he helps to lead our center for vulnerable children in the same town that he grew up in.
For many years he has had the desire to study languages. The high school with an emphasis on languages where he would like to study costs $50/month, which would be half of the stipend he uses for all his needs so he can’t afford it without additional help. Pedro would also like to receive the vocational training of going to driving school.
Pedro receives a monthly stipend from The Dream Project for being caretaker of The Dream Project property, protecting it from theft. With this stipend he pays for transportation to school, food, school supplies, uniform, etc.
With Antonio, Pedro facilitates soccer program for approximately 60 kids/youth in community.
Latino came to us hungry and having grown up too fast. He begged us to bring him into our children’s home to live. Now, he is studying accounting at university and working for a ministry mentoring children. He plans to open his own children’s home someday. He just bought a small piece of land and has his eye on more land he wants to buy for the children’s center he wants to open when he finishes university in a year and a half.
It is beautiful for me to see this pure desire in Latino’s heart to bless and take care of other children as he has been cared for. He is not doing it for money, as he will have a univeristy degree in accounting soon. He is pursuing his dream to love as he was loved. He has already shown his sincerity by his initiative to mentor children in His community, on his own time and own initiative. Now, he is working for a ministry (Ministry began by former TDP missionary Amanda and former TDP interm Nunu whose schooling we sponsored) doing this same thing. He is already writing up a proposal for the childrens’ center. I spoke with Latino about receiving 2 years of training before opening a childrens’ center. I believe this would best equip Latino for Kingdom success long-term. I would like for him to stay with us in Hawaii during these 2 years and be trained in aquaponics, effective farming, community development, Bible, and counseling. This training will require funds for airfare, visa, school fees, food. The childrens’ center I have spoken to Latino about will aim to be self-sufficient. He will need start-up funds for the buildings, farm land, equipment, tools, and sewing he has planned.
Below: Pictures are of land he dreams of buying for $1200 to add onto land he has already bought for future childrens’ center.
Joao was found on the street begging for food. Today he is ministering with a Christian ministry and studying accounting at university in a nearby city. I will bring Joao a computer for univeristy in May. He also needs help paying his university fees. I have spoken with him about becoming self-sufficient and he would like to be a motorcycle taxi to work his way through university. He needs funds for a driver license and motorcycle.
Carlos’ hair was white and frame was small due to chronic malnutrition. Today, he is in vocational training to become an electrician. He wants to support his siblings as an electrician.
Carlos wanted to be an electrician so we sent him to a vocational boarding school when he was 18 in another city. TDP desires to support his room/board/tuition until he graduates.
Juma’s parents both died of HIV. Juma was selling straw mats on the sidewalk. Today he supports himself by cutting hair in his own barber shop. He is studying and wants to be a doctor. TDP built Juma a barber shop and provided him with barber tools. TDP gives him a stipend of $20/month as he is not yet able to meet his food and schooling needs with what he makes as a barber. Juma is smart and a hard worker. He wants to go to medical school but will need a sponsor for this in order for this dream to become a reality.
Antonio’s father has passed and his mom is mentally ill. I met Antonio as a youth living with family but not having enough income to study. As Antonio was already a teenager and we needed space in our residential center for the most vulnerable, small children, I asked Antonio to contnue to sleep in his home but come to our center daily and he would receive all of the benefits of the children who live in our residential center. Through the years Antonio has been very respectful. For a time he cooked in our center and was very responsible. Antonio has become a very talented dancer and musician. I still think he needs to be discovered by some dance talent agency! He is currently near finishing high school. He needs support to enroll in driving support as a way to support himself as he determines what work/education he will pursue after high school.
Below: Antonio at The Dream Project Christmas Party at Center for Vulnerable Children
Nelson – We met Nelson when he wandered the streets begging. He lost both his parents. His older sister has a disabled child and was not able to care for Nelson as well. Nelson is very talented with his hands. He is currently receiving a stipend for doing maintenance and repair for our center for vulnerable children. He is currently repairing the kitchen roof. He is also attending driving school. His dream is to be a mechanic and truck driver.
Helder has HIV. He came to live with us when he was orphaned and had no one to care for him. He is 14 years old and the only youth who is currently living in our center who is under 18. Helder is very responsible and kind. He is often found helping others with whatever he had to give. I am excited to see how Jesus leads him with his tender heart in his future. TDP needs support to continue to care for all of his needs as well as to invest in his education and transition to independence in the future.
2017 MOZAMBIQUE ACTIVITIES:
- Working toward self-sustenance:
- Opened bus business, currently self-funding
- Barber shop assisting in Juma becoming self-sufficient
- Opening of restaurant business
- Restaurant business currently closed and items put in storage until permanent location can be purchased instead of rented.
- Desire to purchase a building with start up materials for driving school where restaurant and auto school can be housed.
- Business opened to support widows with children: Widows sew decorative beads onto sandals and sandals are sold. Additional funding is needed to reopen this business. Sandals have not sold well door to door in Mozambique. We desire to rent a small space to sell sandals and also to import the sandals to U.S. to be sold.
Below: Pictures are of Lois with family and picture of their latrine.
- Support of education of 40 vulnerable youth with matriculation fees and school supplies.
- Sponsorship of soccer program with 3 teams of 60 players in impoverished community: boys’ child, female youth, and male youth teams.
- · Ministry in Murwebwe: Bringing light to Muslim community with no Christian church; Empowering impoverished community to meet own needs through education and training. Lois is teaching women to read and write/Izack has given preventive health teaching/Team has planted model farm/Gospel shared/Education of orphans sponsored.
- Support of orphaned children in our community with food and education.
Below: Picture of neighborhood kids at Lois’ door in center
- · Equipping and transitioning of youth who have lived in residential home into independence.
In order to accomplish the above underlined items (not including Latino’s or Juma’s future aspirations) to further equip the youth we have invested in for so many years, we need an additional $1000 in monthly support for Mozambique. In order to cover monies advanced for essential needs, we need $25,000.
We continue to aim to make the boys’ more self-sufficient in 2018. It is working out well to have these 2 years to transition the majority of boys to independent living. They are learning to independently manage money to meet their needs; they are understanding the value and responsibility of work; and they still have an on-site mother for counsel and guidance.
To clarify, I haven’t taken in additional younger children yet into our center in Mozambique for 2 reasons:
- We need to care well for the children and youth already in our care, before taking in more children and more financial responsibility.
- We needed to regroup to gain a new strategy for helping vulnerable children in Mozambique without so much dependence on foreign funds. Now, Latino and Lois both want to open homes for vulnerable children and have strategies to make self-sustaining. Part of the reason a new strategy is needed is because praying in money year after year and seeing God’s provision has been amazing but also difficult. I need to be free to focus more on ministering than on fundraising.
Our bricks build homes initiative has thus far raised $5000. $1000 applied to Bricks Build Homes admin expense and $4000 which is currently being used to purchase land for the boys to build transition homes. We are still working on raising $12,,000 to build a simple home for each of the boys. I would love to have these funds to get these homes started when I go to Mozambique.
Below: Pedro when looking for land
No money has been raised toward downpayment for a home for the Ulianos. We have looked at homes and spoken with a lender.
Until we get this $25,000 debt paid, it would be very difficult to even get a mortgage. This is the first time in 18 years I have carried any debt at all! The ministry has never carried debt (apart from monies given without interested by missionaries, to be repaid if able.) We know Jesus gave us a word to be here and so we persevere.
You may wonder about our family’s commitment. I can tell you, whether right or wrong, financially, the ministry has always come first. As I mentioned, one year, the savings I did have I gave to the ministry when it did not have money to continuing care for the children. Whatever happened in my personal life – whether the illness of my father or husband, I never stopped supporting the boys and staff, whether at a distance or in person – financially, through advocacy, and through emotional and coaching support.
I began full-time on the mission field in 2004 and I haven’t looked back. These children have been my calling and I have given my all to follow Jesus and to be His hands and feet to these children. I have laid many things at Jesus feet to be a missionary - living near friends and family, a lucrative job as a physician assistant, a comfortable life, and many familiar things. A small personal example, I have carried my sentimental Christmas ornaments and baby books in a back pack from country to country. This has led to my ornaments currently being lost and my boys’ baby books being in Africa, instead of written in, for the last 2 years! Yet, together with you, I have had the privilege of being the answer to prayers of children in Africa.
I am on the phone and texting all through the week with these boys and staff. Izack sent me his first medical school exam. Juma explained to me that his haircutting business isn’t doing well enough for him to provide food for his orphaned siblings. Lois told me about a family with many suffering children. I share in their successes and their challenges. I spoke with many boys today and I encouraged each of them to commit to Jesus and look to Him for their needs. This is the most important counsel I can give them for their lives, especially now when I have nothing left to tangibly give.
I am excited to make greater Kingdom impact and to impart to aspiring missionaries in Kona a Mother’s heart to shift and to change cultures.
Below: Izack and Nathaniel on the day they came to live with us in 2006
Below: Izack’s first exam in medical school that he texted me a picture of:
YWAM AND GOING TO MOZAMBIQUE:
YWAM Kona sends out thousands of short-term teams and long term teams.
In our isolation in Mozambique, our connection with YWAM enables specific skill sets needed on the ground to be resourced through people in Kona, HI. We are talking with the school of community development to come to teach our kids and community leaders in Murwebwe about aquaponics, water filtration, and effective farming. They would come for several weeks and possibly long-term.
Also, former national soccer champion in Cambodia is praying about meeting us in Mozambique this summer to expand and infuse life into our soccer program for impoverished youth. Noone working with YWAM University of the Nations gets a paycheck. We all must raise personal support as missionaries as the mission is to train and send out missionaries – to know God and make Him known!
We are excited to be a part of the national YWAM conference in Mozambique to seek the Lord with other missionaries for Mozambique as well as pray with YWAM missionaries who have a heart to be on the ground in Pemba so we can see how we can work together to advance the Kingdom.
In prayer with you,
Examples of requests for help that I received:
Pictures of me and my little brother
Em 30/01/2018 22:15, escreveu:
Hello, my lady Julie, I've never met anyone with a lot of faith and a heart of gold like you, I'm a lonely boy needing a work of holiness from you, I am 20 years old, I am an orphan father and mother, Mrs. Julie, I just want a little help, I was a spoiled boy, very dear until now I am, but it all ended when I lost my parents, I depended a lot but a lot because my mother was a peasant, she did not earn any money, but I loved her, but my father was a trained teacher and a doctorate in geography, he was my great support, helped me a lot, made me study and until today I and my brother, we have finished 12th grade, but we can not go ahead with our studies because of lack of funds and opportunities for help, I live with my grandfather and my brother, 18 years old, my brother and I are 2 orphans who depend on our grandmother who is pensioner (old combat) that does not receive much money for agent to study or to compete in vacancies, but for the sustenance yes it helps us enough, she is already very old, those forces that had before were already, then I person for much but much even if we can help, please help us, so we only have a small house that my late father has thrown at us, if not Foce this house I do not even know where we were going to live, I met the lady from a friend of mine who knew the lady in the dream project. here in Pemba, Mozambique. Grateful for the attention, lady Julie, and spend the day in the peace of the Lord ..