March 2015 Evan & Nastasha Richmond Update
Evan and Natasha live and serve at the Zimpeto Children's Centre in Maputo, Mozambique, which provides a loving home and shelter for orphaned and abused children in desperate need of crisis intervention and emergency care. They are dorm parents over the "Quintal" (girls dorm).
The other day one of our teenagers asked me what I wanted to be when I grow up. Before going any further, I must admit that this was a big compliment. I was so happy to know that despite the early signs of gray hair and aging lines on my face that have increased under the intense sun—she didn't consider me grown up yet. Perhaps it's because most days I can be found playing with barbies and make-believe. After all, long ago I made a Peter-Pan promise to myself to "never grow up." Although she was waiting for me to give an answer such as teacher, singer, actress—without pausing to think, I answered genuinely in my somewhat broken Portuguese—I am what I want to be.
For years and years, I dreamed about living in a developing nations, bringing hope, joy and love to the orphaned and abused, uniting and empowering children around the world in social change through education, and passionately pursuing faith and social justice. Countless times in university, I would catch myself daydreaming about being here and forgetting the lecture at hand. And now that we're here, I couldn't be happier.
The other day I took a group of our girls to a nearby pool. In the midst of chasing them around in the water, playing shark attack, and swimming races, I paused and gazed around me. As I looked out at the girls, it dawned on me: this is what I've been dreaming about for years and years. This is the very life I have longed to live. And then I was overcome with gratitude, after all, how many people in this world ever truly get to live their dream.
On a practical level, between endless hugs, kisses and bandaids for our precious girls, the last six months this dream has looked like launching a literacy program, stepping into leadership over the girls dorm of seventy-two beautiful little ones, graduating from Iris Global's Harvest School, overseeing the library program and leading the sound and technology team.
Have our dreams been fulfilled? No, far from it. We continue to pursue greater effectiveness as we stumble through trial and error on some of the simplest of things. But day by day and step by step guided by His grace, we're moving in the right direction."
For regular updates on our lives and children in Mozambique, check out our blog: evanandnatasha.blogspot.ca.