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Category: Things we’re dealing with

He is Faithful

A Layne Post

My fourth-born daughter’s name is Selah Janelle. We named her that because it was a reminder to pause and reflect that God has been gracious. Sometimes when we are in a season of repeated loss, when bad news hits in steady sequence as waves crashing on top of sand bars, we need to put our emotions on pause, take a moment to breathe between sobs, and remember that God truly has been gracious. A couple years ago when I was doing a Beth Moore Bible study, she taught how God’s faithfulness fuels our faith. When we take time to remember His faithfulness in the past it gives us the ability to have faith for the situation at hand.

My family in the States has been going through a really difficult season, an excruciatingly slow tearing. And while the process of tearing is over, we are all left in shreds and in need of repair. We are desperately digging for treasure, attempting to find Christ in this pile of ashes. I hope in what I cannot even fathom to see right now, a future of redemption and beauty for all involved. I have to remember that God was the gracious Giver and Sustainer of life, and He will not abandon His children. He is faithful.

Also, the new year brought with it delays with the house, multiple mistakes to be remedied, relationships to mend, and a soul trying time of finding the balance between generosity and stewardship. Recently the project has felt like a burden on top of ministry with patients, and instead of a straight path to the top, a slow pace of tedious switch backs. And yet, when we find those moments to sit and remember where we have come from, the generosity and abundance of provision the Lord has poured out upon us is beyond evident. He  faithful.

Regarding our patients, we started 2017 with some painful blows, cancer growth for one, a second mastectomy for another, and a decision that the hospital cannot do more for another. The graciousness of the Lord has been found in doctor appointments that would have never been scheduled without the favor of the God, Chemotherapy arranged on a day anyone else would have been turned away, smiles emerging after the wiping of tears, and one patient going home cancer free. He is faithful.

Judite, patient still living with us

Helena, patient still living with us

Pulena, patient at home, cancer free

Falgeira, patient living at home

Please pray for my family stateside, the new Casa Ahavá, our patients, and our immediate family. We appreciate your love and support and are so grateful we do not do this on our own.



Heart Change

A Layne Post

I am sorry for our lack of writing. This morning I actually feel like I have time. One of my children gave an early wake up call by wetting the bed, so it is 5:55am and let’s just say, I’ve flat ironed my hair, done the dishes, had my coffee… I’ve been up awhile. And I sit here on my couch with only the hum of my air conditioner (Because it is hot y’all. At 5:55am.), and I am reflecting on the goodness of God  in the midst of suffering, and His desire for me to love those around me out of brokenness and humility. I am thinking about the changing of heart He’s been working in me, the warming of a heart that had become a little cold.

Last week one of our patient’s 5 year old daughter died, about one month after her mother died. Then our dog of 5+ years died. Then some stomach pains that have been an issue for me decided to give me problems. Then one of our patients had to start taking an opioid for pain after being pain free for months, this was one day after Jon and I were talking together and praising the Lord for the miracle He’d been doing in him. Then we got news that our patient, who was home to bury her daughter, had come down with vomiting and diarrhea and was in the hospital herself and would miss her next round of Chemo. One of our challenging patients, who had gone home for a period, came back to perform some tests and will stay with us awhile. This week we had some surprising complications with paperwork.

Last week I cried a lot. I felt beat down. Tired. Empty.

But I was not crushed.

2 Corinthians 4: 7-12

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned;struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body.  So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

There is a beautiful mystery of this walk with God, that when you stop fighting death and pain, then life sneaks in. The life of Jesus.

My devotional book “Humility and Absolute Surrender” by Andrew Murray has been saying things like, “Where the spirit of love is shed abroad in the heart, where divine nature comes to a full birth, where Christ, the meek and lowly Lamb of God, is truly formed within, there is given the power of a perfect love that forget itself and finds its blessedness in blessing others, in bearing with them and honoring them, however feeble they may be. Where love enters, there God enters.”

And so in my emptiness, Jesus came in and love began to stir up, a desire to bless again. Bless with my heart and not just my actions.

Please pray for us, as our hearts and emotions are easily wearied. Pray for us to know the love of God ourselves, so we can most effectively minister it to others. We so appreciate your support.

Broken to be Given

A Jon Post

Where did we go? We used to post far more often here. We used to update anyone who happened across this little blog on an almost weekly basis about our lives and the ministry Christ placed us in, here in Maputo.

So what happened? Why the extended times between posts? Why so little substance in the recent posts?

It turns out we are still broken. We are struggling to learn how to do this. We still find ourselves approaching the end of most of our days clawing towards a fitful rest, wondering if we have the strength to do this again tomorrow. We are not trained doctors, nurses, psychologists, or counselors. We’re just a family trying to offer a home to those without one. We’re just a family trying to offer love and comfort to many who lack both.

It’s tough some times.

About 2 months ago, one of our patients died in my arms.


Her metastatic throat cancer sent its dark tendrils into her lungs and pulled her breath from her body. Dear Momma Berta held me close, told me goodbye, and slipped home.


About 2 months ago Papa Gary and Ms. Janet in Texas, gave deeply from the bit the Lord trusted them with, and funded the purchasing of more than a half acre of land and the construction of a new home for Casa Ahavá.


We’ve begun the process to design and build Casa Ahavá from the ground up as a temple to Christ and a home for the sick and dying.


About 2 months ago, one of our patients writhed in pain as his tumor pressed sharply on sensitive nerves in his head and eye.


He spent a week barely conscious, calling out for his mother and grandmother, terrified of a painful death.


Layne and I spent that week trading shifts with him making sure that one of us was with him 24 hours per day.


We slept in the room with him, administered morphine, sang worship songs over him, read scripture to him, and prayed deeply to a Merciful God that there would be peace. In His overwhelming mercy, the Lord brought him back from his pain and today, he is talking of visiting his family over Christmas/New Year then returning to continue his treatment.


About 5 months ago, we welcomed a patient to Casa Ahavá whose brokenness in her family begat bitterness in her heart and who lives now with a physical cancer to match the emotional one that cripples her spirit.


Despite our frail attempts to love her and offer her a home and a family, she often spurns love and chooses loneliness and heartache.


Now she approaches the end of her treatment and time at Casa Ahavá and our hope to see Christ’s redemption transform her heart is sinfully weak. In our own brokenness we find it’s easier to choose anger rather than forgiveness, to choose indifference rather than love, to choose clean detachment rather than messy engagement.


We are still struggling to learn how to do all of this.




I wish I could say that we are wonderful missionaries representing Christ perfectly to all those with whom we meet, offering only love and bright eyes to the broken and downtrodden.
But I can’t.
In our own brokenness we forget our Great King and choose selfishness over others.
But a great teacher and pastor once wrote that here, in the life of the Beloved, we are broken in order to be given. Our lives and our deaths are the greatest gifts we have to offer, even though both come through a great deal of brokenness.

Just as our Savior took bread…
Broke it.
And Gave it.

So we can choose to be a gift even as we are broken.
That’s what we’re trying to do. That’s what we’re trying to learn as we wipe fevered brows, hold writhing hands, soothe wounded hearts, and smile tired smiles.

My Hat in My Hand

A Jon Post

There are a few things running around my mind. I’ve decided to make a blog out of it.

Layne is traveling this week, I’m at home with my three girls, Casa Ahavá is empty, two of the most recent four have transitioned out.
Inês finished her treatment and is with her family, hopefully, with cancer in remission.
Pedro… well… if you’ve read the last few posts you know a bit about his story. He’s home, still alive, still paralyzed on his right side, still smiling. His newborn son has a name; Marcos Pedro Mavango. Pedro is in a good place.
Campande and Sara are both visiting their families between treatments and will be back tomorrow.

There was some work that needed to be done on the Casa Ahavá rooms that was easier done with no one in there (re-laying broken concrete and tile, re-painting the kitchen floor, etc). We spent some money on some nicer counters and cabinets for Casa Ahavá’s kitchen and are very pleased with how it came out.

And so here I sit, home with my kids, mind spinning, thinking about washing diapers, washing kids, washing dishes, washing my sins, washing my wife in the water through the word (whatever that means), washing Casa Ahavá’s floors, washing my kitchen floors (I knocked the toaster over a couple days ago, you know how all those toast crumbs get in the bottom of those things? Yeah… ALL over my kitchen).

I’ve also found myself thinking a lot about money this week. Money I spent on Casa Ahavá (paint, tile, grout, cabinets, toilet cleaner), money I spent on my family’s groceries, money I spent on a plane ticket to send Layne to America. We’ve written on here about how we’re in need of support, how our expenses are higher than our income. How does it then follow that I flew to America last month for a wedding, and that Layne flew to America this week for a birthday trip?  How do I look supporters or potential supporters in the eye and say we need more help? I know that you all have entrusted me with these resources and I feel that it’s important to be honest and open about how I use them.

I went to the USA last month to be Javan and Holly Mesnard’s best man at their wedding. The plane tickets from here to Phoenix were paid for by a generous person who wanted to make sure Javan was blessed. No donated money was spent on that travel.

Layne is in the USA right now. Last year in January I decided I wanted her to go on a “girls trip” with her sisters, mom and niece for her 30th birthday which is this year the same year has her mom’s 60th. We’ve been saving a little bit of money every month since then to pay for this trip.

We do take vacations from time to time. We do try to rest from time to time. We feel like it’s important to find time and memories outside of our full time ministry at the hospital and Casa Ahavá.

This week, while the other two girls were sleeping, Anaya was playing with her stuffed animals. She held her stuffed bird in her arms and said in a pleading and mournful voice, “Don’t die birdie. Don’t die in my arms. Just don’t die yet. I love you birdie.”
Anaya is 3.
This not an uncommon way for her to play. She often plays at dressing bandages, helping her sisters and toys while (pretend) sick and vomiting.
Jovie often pretends that Chauncey, her stuffed elephant, is sick and needs to be rushed to the hospital.
Jovie is 2.
These are the things that keep my mind spinning and my heart questioning about how we’re doing as a family. I don’t think it’s bad that my 3 and 2-year-old are so familiar with death and sickness. But I don’t know if it’s healthy for my 3-year-old to be pretending to have a seizure (like Uncle Pedro) while she’s lying in her bed.
And so I pray.
I was in church recently and there was a guest speaker talking about the dreams God gives us and what He purposes for us to do. He started walking around the room, asking people what they wanted to be. He didn’t come to me but when I started thinking about how I would respond to that question the answer was immediately obvious. I want to be a loving husband and a righteous father. That’s all I really want. Those two things are much more important to me than Casa Ahavá.
So, we take Sabbaths. We take times to rest away from sickness, pain, and death. We try to give our daughters a world full of life and joy mixed with the pain and sorrow they see every day.
That may be hard for some people to support. Some people may prefer that I spend more time and effort on Casa Ahavá than I do on my wife and kids. That’s really, really, really fine. There are lots of missionaries and ministries around the world who are doing INCREDIBLE things for Jesus. They need your help too and I’m sure there are plenty that share your values.
For those of you who are on board with me, please don’t be offended if I splurge now and then for my family. I can’t work a few overtime hours to make some extra spending money so I can take my family somewhere nice for the weekend. I can’t work towards a promotion and the extra money that comes with middle management.

I live with my hat in my hand, hoping that my priorities are straight, that my wife feels loved, that my kids are fathered well, and my patients are served with all that’s left over.

My Kids

My Kids

This is All We’ve Got Right Now


A Jon Post

I’ve been trying to write this for a while now. I hate it. I’ve started a few times and keep ending up feeling like I’m forcing something out and trying to do a nice mix of emotion, encouragement, spirituality, faith, and all the other nouns or adjective-nouns that are used to describe what we do/write.

I can’t do that right now.

So here you go:

Eliza died last month. Her tumor grew so big it shut her throat and she couldn’t eat or speak. She died in pan. We couldn’t be there.

Filomena is suffering immense pain, her weight has dropped dangerously low, and her phone number, our only way to communicate with her stopped working. A neighbor in her town far to the northern part of this country tells us she’s been admitted to the hospital there and is dying.

Zakarias came to live with us along with his wife and two year old child. I’ve had many conversations with him since he arrived last Tuesday about his health. He’s dying. He only came back because the pain was too intense and there was no way to get any medicine to control it so he came here. We are trying to help him.

We’re finding moderate success.

He’s dying.

Dosma at the Beach

Dosma at the Beach

Two weeks ago a young man named Dosma, an 18 year old boy who had come back to the hospital from his village of Calimane, died. I had known him almost two years. About a year and a half ago I took him to the beach and the little shopping mall that’s near the beach. We spent the afternoon talking and thinking about home, the farm, school, his first girlfriend, his mother, my money, his desire to be rich, his need for Christ.

He died two weeks ago.

This has been a tough start to 2014.

Pray for us.