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Africaorphanage

Pineapples and Soda Cans

Reencontro hopes to one day develop this land into a school for poor children, but for now they’re renting it to a farmer who’s growing pineapples.
Reencontro hopes to one day develop this land into a school for poor children, but for now they’re renting it to a farmer who’s growing pineapples.
These boys weren’t out collecting cans for fun—they were doing it because they needed to make a little money, probably to help feed their families and themselves.
These boys weren’t out collecting cans for fun—they were doing it because they needed to make a little money, probably to help feed their families and themselves.

Having grown up on a ranch, I always keep an eye out for agriculture-related things while traveling. I think it’s amazing how God has given us the know-how to feed ourselves and that he’s tasked us with taking care of his beautiful creation and its creatures. I’ve seen a lot of fields with many different crops before, but I’ll never forget the first time I saw a field of pineapples.

It was in Mozambique, on a long drive from the town of Xai-Xai to the capital city of Maputo. I’d finished a full day of interviews and it was evening. The people I was traveling with, the women of a Catholic lay ministry for orphans called Reencontro, pulled over to show me a piece of land that had been bequeathed to them by a generous Catholic woman.

Reencontro hopes to one day develop the land into a school for poor children, but for now they’re renting it to a farmer who’s growing pineapples and other crops on it. Yes, the pineapples were cool, but it was something else I saw at that stop that made this moment a memory.

Not far away, four young boys were sitting in the sandy dirt. They were dressed in rags and their hands and feet were covered in silt. Each boy had a collection of empty soda cans in front of him that he’d gathered from the road ditch. As you can see in the photo, they had built little “carts” out of wire that they used to transport the cans.

I know those boys weren’t out collecting cans for fun—they were doing it because they needed to make a little money, probably to help feed their families and themselves. That’s what children are often forced to do in Mozambique. Many of them have to work odd jobs, like selling cans, so they have enough money to buy food.

Thankfully, I knew those boys were exactly the kind of at-risk children Cross Catholic and our partner ministries are seeking out and helping in Mozambique. Reencontro serves orphaned and vulnerable children, providing them with food, education, health care, and houses. We’re trying to make the sight of working children a thing of the past, and instead enjoy the sight of young disciples for Christ living successful lives.

Whenever I see a pineapple, I pause for a moment and remember the gritty dirt of the field, recall the fruit’s sweet smell, and think of those children I met. I’d like to stop by a Mozambique pineapple field again someday, but I hope that when I do, I won’t see any more working children like those young boys.

-Stephanie J.

One comment
  1. Faisal Saleem

    Hello dear in Christ ,

    I Greet you in the name of our lord Jesus christ .i am Director of an Orphanage ministry .My name is Faisal Saleem i am from Pakistan . i would like to tell you all about our ministry here . we working here with 18 Orphans children we helping Orphans for food , shelter , clothes , education and everything here . i want to tell you that we not have our own Orphanage building here . we got an building here on the rent for the children where the children are living ! . i would like to tell you that we need our own Orphanage building for the children because it is very difficult to pay the rent for the building every month for us. because i hope you know that Pakistan is a Muslim country and it is very hard to be christian here . it is very hard to provide everything to the children sometime but we trying hard to provide them everything . i request you kindly keep pray that God provide us our own building soon for the children we need a lot of prayer . please keep in touch and keep us in your prayer .

    i would like to tell you that i found your website by God and i would like to say that we really like your ministy work very much .you are doing wonderful work for God . we will keep you and your all ministry member and your all work in our prayer . God bless you more and more . i want to say that we want to Partnership with you here in Pakistan . i want to work with you . because we need some support and it will be great if you will work here with us in Pakistan . we are keep praying about it please you also pray ok . i am waiting for your back e-mail i hope to hear from you soon . God bless you and God be with you always .

    Evangelist : Faisal Saleem
    Pakistan .

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