Forty six young men, ages 10-21, live in the “Internato” (Boarding School) of Quéssua that was completed in 2007 with support from the Florida Conference. Some of these boys came from the orphanage at the Conference Center in Malange; most come from churches in other districts. They are natural leaders, devoted Christians, hard workers and committed students.
Life is tough for them. With no adult supervision, the “rapazes” (young men in Portuguese), have organized themselves to accomplish enough tasks during the day that our kids would not dream of. They work in the fields for a couple of hours in the early morning orlate afternoon. Most go to the Hope of Africa Middle School in town. Just a few go to the High School in Quéssua. They take turns to cook their meals on charcoal or wood outdoors. They clean the School of Theology, the School of Domestic Science, and the Church. They keep the generator running a few hours a day, cut the grass, and carry water from the hand-pump well to clean their houses and wash their clothes.
They also bear the heavy load of leading the church of Quéssua together with the pastor. They lead worship, teach Sunday School classes, work with the children, visit the sick, and sing in the choir. They also provide spiritual leadership to the four small missions that the church runs in nearby neighborhoods. Three days a week they gather together to pray at dusk. At 6AM on Saturdays they gather for their youth service, and once a month they hold a vigil through the night. You don’t want to miss any of their meetings because you would be missing big. Still, somehow they manage to save time for soccer on Sunday afternoon. Sometimes they compete with other teams from Malange. Most times they win!
Thanks to the generosity of United Methodists in Florida, we will be able to improve the life of these kids. We will build a kitchen/dining room for them to be able to cook and eat together indoors. At present they have to skip meals when it rains. The kitchen will also be fitted with an industrial stove.
Update after one week without internet: We are sorry that it takes so long to post new blogs with this irregular internet service. Now we are thrilled to add that this past week we had the visit of an engineer who studied our project and is going to draw the plans and prepare a budget for the kitchen /dinning room…for free! Also, we just purchased the industrial stove! Praise the Lord!!