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.
Last year 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 $32,000 to reimburse monies advanced for essential needs. We also need to raise additional monthly support for our family to be able to focus on ministry as staff with Youth With A Mission.
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. 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 $32,000 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
- Youth With A Mission Discipleship Training School for 2 of our boys
- Transportation and school supplies for women learning to read/write in Murwebwe
- Start-up business for widows
- 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
- Legal fees for Mozambique ministry and land
- 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 start-up to support soccer program
- Additional fund 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 and backpacks with school supplies and presents given at Christmas
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 this year, while Nathaniel recently completed an intensive 6-month discipleship program with Youth With A Mission. After his DTS, Nathaniel joined YWAM staff as a 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 to support himself as a missionary. Nathaniel married Madelaine in May. He quickly became a husband and father. Madelaine had been widowed before age 29 and has 2 children.
Izack has begun medical school. He received a computer when I went to Mozambique in May. 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. He has no furniture and wears a borrowed medical school jacket, but is so happy he is studying to become a doctor.
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. Amido would like to become a Pastor and a businessman. A friend will be taking Amido under his wing as an apprentice and disciple. Amido will be participating in ministry as well as learning the business of importing and selling clothes. He is the only one of the youth we have raised who is currently struggling as teenagers often do. Please keep him in your prayers.
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. For many years he has had the desire to study languages. He loves the nations and wants to become a missionary, maybe a missionary pilot! He is currently away from his home city for the first time, doing a Discipleship Training School with Youth With A Mission in another city in Mozambique. He is enjoying his Discipleship Training School and all he is learning about his relationship with God. After the discipleship training school Pedro would like to become a missionary at the school where he is doing his training. Please pray with us as Pedro will need a way to support himself as a missionary unless he has an individual sponsor. He will need at least $100/month. If Pedro does not have a sponsor we will consider vocational training options. One option Pedro has favored in the past is to get his driving license with which he could be hired as a bus driver. Another option could be to help him buy a quantity of an item such as clothing for him to sell.
Juma’s parents both died of HIV. Juma was selling straw mats on the sidewalk. After graduating from The Dream Project Center he supported himself by cutting hair in his own barber shop. He is studying and wants to become a doctor. TDP built Juma a barber shop and provided him with barber tools. Juma is smart and a hard worker. In May, Juma joined Pedro in doing a Discipleship Training School with Youth With A Mission. Next year Juma would like to do a 5-month medical mission primary health school with YWAM in Mozambique. After this he would like to go to medical school but will need a sponsor for this in order for this dream to become a reality. In Mozambique, there are only three doctors per 100,000 people—a proportion that is among the lowest in the world. (USAID) Sponsoring Juma to become a doctor would ease suffering of thousands of Mozambicans. Partial or full sponsorship of needed medical school costs of $250/month would be greatly appreciated.
Below: Pedro and Juma getting on bus to go to YWAM Discipleship Training School
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. Latino is currently working with Lois to oversee administration at our center for vulnerable children and our business initiatives.
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 Joao is in leadership at his church and works full-time for a social service organization. Joao was very excited when he too received a computer for his studies at university when we went to Mozambique this summer. Joao's dream is to study medicine. The cost for studying medicine is higher than the cost of studying accounting, so Joao is currently studying accounting. He is struggling to be able to continue to study. There are no university loans in Mozambique we are aware of. We are seeking partners to sponsor his dream to enroll in medical school, We need full or partial scholarships of $250/month.
Above: Carlos worshipping Jesus
Carlos’ hair was white and frame was small due to chronic malnutrition. Carlos is honest, dependable and loves Jesus! He graduated from our boys' home and we have invested in his vocational training to become an electrician. He wants to support his mom and siblings. He is the only family member with an education. We also hope to enroll Carlos in driving school so he can obtain his driving license and have another option for employability.
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. He currently coaches The Dream Project soccer teams. 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 is currently in driving school as a way to help 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 has just finished driving school and is looking for work as a driver. His dream is to be a mechanic and truck driver.
Helder has HIV. He came to live with us several years ago when he was orphaned and had no one to care for him. 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. He is 14 years old and we recently reintegrated him to live with his sister's family. TDP continues to provide food for Helder and support of his education.
Orphaned Helder continues to receive our support as he begins to live with his sister's family
2017 MOZAMBIQUE ACTIVITIES:
Working toward self-sustenance:
- Opened bus business, currently self-funding
- Barber shop assisting Juma in becoming self-sufficient
- Opened and closed restaurant business due to not profitable due to high rent
- Business opened to support widows with children: Widows sew decorative beads onto sandals and sandals are sold. Additional funding is needed to keep this business going. 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 led by widow and pictures of their latrine.
- School matriculation and supplies for 40 vulnerable youth with matriculation.
- Vital support of educational, housing and nutrition needs of 50 malnourished at-risk children of widows and families led by older siblings.
- Food and education support for orphans in our community.
- Detailed descriptions above of the equipping and transitioning of youth who have lived in residential home into independence.
- Sponsorship of soccer program with 3 teams of 60 players in impoverished community: boys’ child, female youth, and male youth teams.
Pictures: Planting seeds for a garden in our yard for families of 2 of our neighbors who both recently lost their fathers. Lois blessing food before giving to families led by widows who have sewn beads onto sandals we are selling. One of our soccer teams, ministering to the children in our community
- ·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.
In order to cover monies advanced for essential needs, we need $32,000. 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 where we are and trust him for provision and so we persevere.
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, The Dream Project has not 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. Part of the reason a new strategy was needed was because praying in money year after year and seeing God’s provision has been amazing but also difficult. I need to focus more on ministering than on fundraising. The national Mozambicans will benefit from seeing how they can get out of the cycle of poverty through our investing in their business initiatives and their hard work. Latino and Lois both want to open homes for vulnerable children and have strategies to make homes largely self-sustaining.
Our bricks build homes initiative has thus far raised $6000. $2000 applied to Bricks Build Homes legal/permit expense and $4000 which was currently being used to purchase land for the boys to build transition homes.
We have learned from our experience over the last year what business The Dream Project can successfully do on the ground in Mozambique to make the ministry largely self-sustaining. The primary business we would like to invest in is in the purchase and management of 3 vans as city buses. The need for the purchase of 3 vans is $16,000.
Below: Pedro when looking for land
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 since accidentally were left in Africa, weren't written in them for 2 years until I recovered them! 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 wasn'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.
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 THE DREAM PROJECT:
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. However, first, we are praying for peace for Mozambique.
I am also excited for this opportunity to make greater Kingdom impact and to impart to aspiring missionaries in Kona a Mother’s heart to shift and to change cultures.
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 were excited to be a part of the national YWAM conference in Mozambique and to seek the Lord with other missionaries for Mozambique. We prayed with the national YWAM leader of Mozambique as he has a heart to move to Pemba to do ministry. We are looking forward to his joining our team in 202o 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 ..