No, we are not planning on visiting the States anytime soon, but I did get to witness the first stage of an amazing homecoming this week.
We have several friends here in Mozambique who work with boys from the street at a place called Masana. Usually these kids end up on the street because their parents can’t afford to keep them at home, or for whatever reason the kids just want to run away. So they go to beg and live on the streets. Masana has a great reputation on the streets as a place to get a meal and also get cleaned up (drugs and alcohol are a major problem for street kids). They also lead dozens of boys into the Kingdom of God.
Today, in addition to witnessing the aftermath of a relay race that involved eggs and milk, I got to witness something spectacular. A boy was preparing to go back home.
Every time a boy chooses to go home, the staff at Masana spends time preparing the boy and his family. They don’t just pat him on the back and say good luck.
There is a special ceremony at Masana’s center. All of the boys get together. Someone retells the story of the prodigal son. And then the team at Masana presents the boy with a new soccer jersey (new robe), new Nike flip-flops (new sandals) and a ring. Then they have a feast, just like in the parable (except usually not a fattened calf).
In addition they provide a whole suitcase full of items for the returning kids, and enroll them in school. They pay the school fees, buy the uniforms, and help the family with several months of food. They check in with the boy every week for the first 6 weeks, then every month after that.
On the wall in the main room of the house is a picture of each of the dozens of boys they have helped return to their homes! Today they added one more photo! Praise God! Praise God! Praise God! A son who was lost is now found! It doesn’t get any better than this! I love this job!
(p.s. I am cooking up some REALLY exciting things with Masana if you are interested in partnering with them in the future. Stay tuned!)