Angie and Harold Visit Anselmo

Recently, Angie and Harold traveled to Mozambique and were able to check in to see how Anselmo is doing.

If you’re just now learning about Anselmo, a sweet boy from Mozambique who was born with club feet, and how he is connected to the Cannon & Cannon family, you can click here to read our original article about Anselmo and click here to read a previous update.

Anselmo 2015The day that Angie arrived in Pemba, MZ, was a very hot and dry day (Mozambique is in the Southern hemisphere, so they are just finishing their summer). Harold had arrived the previous day and was out playing with some of the boys on the base when Angie arrived.

Recent road construction on the Iris Ministry base meant large piles of dirt along the sides of the road. As she drew closer, Angie could see Harold with a group of boys who were watching two boys on bicycles trying to jump from one pile of dirt to another. As she walked over to greet Harold, one of the two boys riding a bike stopped and came toward her.

The next thing she knew, a sweat-and-dirt-covered Anselmo was giving her a huge hug.

Being able to ride bikes and play with friends all day outside on a day off school is a pretty normal occurrence for teenage boys in Mozambique. Now, thanks to surgery to correct his club feet, days like these are becoming more and more normal for Anselmo. His doctors are pleased with the success of his surgery and the scarring on his feet is minimal. Running and playing with his friends serves as his physical therapy.

Angie and Harold had an opportunity to have lunch with Anselmo’s caretaker, Ruth, and learn a little bit more about Anselmo’s surgery and his time in Malawi. Ruth flew with him to Malawi (Anselmo LOVED the plane ride) and stayed with him through the first surgery and recovery. At night, she slept on the floor beside him.

Ruth said:

“He was very scared the night before the first surgery. He did not know what to expect and he was in a strange place. The day of the surgery, the surgeon came in to talk to him. Dr. John was a mountain of a man with a great big personality. With a grin on his face, he said to Anselmo, ‘I love Jesus, you love Jesus … Let’s do this.’ Anselmo loved him immediately.”

Ruth also shared that Anselmo was in a great deal of pain after the surgery, but if anyone asked him if he was hurting he would say he felt fine. The second surgery on his other foot a month later also went well and soon afterwards he was able to fly back to the Iris base in Mozambique.
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There was a long process of trying to get approval from the Mozambique government to allow Anselmo to leave the country to have his surgery. During this process, Ruth discovered that Anselmo had a grandfather who is alive! Previously, it was known that both of his parents had passed away, but not much was known about any other relatives Anselmo might have. His grandfather lives in a village far away from Pemba, but when Ruth discovered that Anselmo had a living relative, she had to obtain permission to allow Anselmo to leave the country. When his grandfather found out that Anselmo was alive, he was overjoyed and has traveled to Pemba several times to visit.

Both Angie and Harold were able to spend quite a bit of time with Anselmo during their stay in Mozambique. Harold has been working on another project on the base, so he spent much of his time with Anselmo in the evenings playing games like Jenga. They brought a few gifts with them this trip, like an orange soccer ball signed by Cannon & Cannon staff and a Ducks Unlimited flag.

After speaking with the Iris Ministry staff, Harold and Angie plan on sending Anselmo some Chaco sandals soon. This type of shoe woudl be beneficial for him because they are able to fit more snugly on the feet than flip-flops. “When he gets tired while he is running around, his feet will sometimes turn a bit,” Angie says, “Shoes that would strap better to his feet would help prevent that in the future.”

Something that resonated with Angie and Harold during their trip, which took place March 28 – April 3, was Anselmo’s “good heart.” They heard multiple stories about how Anselmo treats others with respect and has a huge heart for other children who live with physical handicaps. Anselmo often attends evangelism services and prays for children who need help or special surgeries and are waiting for good news.

It might be a while before she is able to visit Mozambique again, but until then she can remember a happy young man, covered in sweat and dirt who has one less thing to worry about.