Gabriel

Gabriel participating in the Evanjáfrica children’s ministry in 2001 before the orphanage opened.

Gabriel was born in 1989 in Zambezia, Mozambique.  He had no father in the picture, and a few days after he was born his mother died of severe dehydration. His siblings tried to throw the newborn infant into a latrine, but they could not fit him through the small hole in the outhouse’s concrete floor. They then planned to throw the baby into a thick part of the jungle, but as they were on their way they heard people coming. They dumped him on the path and ran away. The people walking by picked the infant up and took him home with them. Gabriel had another brother who had not been around during this time, and when he heard what happened he came to get the baby and raised Gabriel in his house. But Gabriel was never accepted by his brother’s wife and ended up homeless and alone. Gabriel slept in abandoned houses at night and wandered through the market during the day. He longed for a family and a safe place to live.

After the orphanage opened, a pastor who knew about Gabriel’s situation brought him to us, and he was part of the first group of kids to move in. Gabriel had to start school far behind his peers, but he worked hard to learn to read and write and in 2010 he finished secondary school. We then sent him to the Young Africa trade school, where he studied mechanics. He returned to Nampula and interned at a mechanic’s shop. After that he got a job driving taxis and public transportation vans. Gabriel lives near the orphanage, and we call him whenever we need work done on the orphanage truck.

Gabriel is a really nice guy who takes every responsibility seriously and who we all love to have around. While Gabriel was at the orphanage he was one of the best soccer players and often organized matches between the boys in the orphanage and church youth group and other competitive teams in the city. The games would take place in the orphanage or at the field in our bairro and the whole neighborhood would come to watch. It was intense and exciting and our boys always did well under Gabriel’s leadership. Today the kids love it when Gabriel comes back to ref their games, coach the girls’ team, or just play for fun.

Gabriel (red shirt) with friends in the orphanage in 2010.

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Gabriel (blue shirt) fixing a car in 2013.

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