Just before Christmas, I was on my way to a regular house
visit. We were taking one of our Masana boys to visit his family for the first time in years. Little did we know that visit was going to change Cesars life forever. We sat down and were greeted by a grandmother.She had come down from the North of Mozambique to help with funeral arrangements. 3 days before we arrived, Cesars mother had died.
A 16 year old child is not supposed to hear that he has lost
his mother. Cesar sat quietly and still as he took in the news. Not only had he lost his mother but he was not the oldest boy in Mozambique, he is now the man of the house. With 3 younger siblings to look after, he had some huge decisions to make.
Cesar only cried when we got back into the car. I sat with him for a few minutes, only able to comfort him through my own tears as I wept with him.
He stayed with us at Masana for a night or two while he mourned the loss of his mother and dealt with the pain and disappointment of
not going home sooner. Cesar chose to return home and stay in his mother’s house. His younger siblings will be going to live in a center. For children in these types of situations I am so grateful that centers exist.
Cesar has no intention of leaving his mothers house. He is terrified that if he leaves his aunt will sell the house. No matter how much we spoke to him about the things we can do to make sure that didn’t
happen, he didn’t trust the system. He doesn’t trust people and their word enough. He needs to stay there on his own to make sure that house stays in his family, even if that means struggling for food and living on his own.
This past week we spoke with him about his plans, he is still very excited to go back to school. Praise the Lord for that. We met some
incredible neighbours who are helping out and looking after him as much as they possibly can. Although I don’t think it’s a wise option for a 16 year old to be living alone, looking after a house, I also admire his determination to do whatever it takes to make sure this house is there for him and his siblings.
Cesars story has rocked my world. Visiting these children’s families are not always happy reunions. This little kid is fighting for a life
at home again. Without a family. I am so thankful for neighbours who have chosen to be his family.