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Portuguse 'E Cachorrinho' Front Cover
CoCo 19 Warning
The Big Bad C
The Great Adventure
Life in the Home
Giving my life to
I'm a new creature
I'm in the Lords
Free at last
Peace like a river
He watches over
CHAPTER 1 - CoCo 19 Warning
"Gabriel, No school tomorrow, the
radio says the ‘CoCo 19’ virus is in our neighboring
village," my Mother announced the news. "Hurray!
No school!" I thought to myself. Being nine years
old and in grade four at the Government School, I much preferred
playing in the river with my dog or swimming in the sea to
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"The President says no work either it is serious"
my Mother continued. She said everyone was told to stay home, keep
away from crowds and prepare for a ‘Lockdown’.
My eyes opened wide wondering if we were all going to prison and
what would happen to ‘Puppy’.
The radio was on and all the family were talking noisily about
a ‘CoCo 19 virus’ Everyone seemed on edge because of
this CoCo 19, whatever that was! It seemed our daily lives were
all muddled, we aren’t sure what tomorrow may bring, and the
entire family huddled around the TV with nonstop news, the phones
kept ‘pinging’ as messages kept coming in. ‘Another
case diagnose’ Fear started to grip our hearts, I was scared.
Mum said it could be weeks, even months she said we had to make
sure that we structured our days when we are all cooped up at home.
She sat me down and told me she would alternate chores and schoolwork
with more fun activities and periods of free time. I was glad to
hear that because it didn’t seem like much fun to me, when
would I be able to go outdoors and run with ‘Puppy’
and hang with my friends?
She helped me set up a WhatsApp chat with all my friends via video
chats and social media thankfully most of them were online.
Mum said she had to teach me things I could do to protect myself,
and she taught me a really funny song I was to sing as I washed
my hand. I didn’t like the smell of the new soap Aunty Amandahad
come back from the market with, it smelt like a hospital. But I
was told that CoCo 19 didn’t like it either!
I overheard mum talking to granny in her bedroom. Granny had been
sick now for weeks, she was always coughing and I was told she had
a ‘fever’ and sore throat. She seemed lifeless sometimes,
I would creep in and peep at her.
I heard mum telling her, ‘Mommy don’t share your
worries with Gabriel, after this crisis is over, I want him to walk
away from this having learned important lessons,” she
told Granny. “I want Gabriel to look back and say ‘Wow,
I’m really impressed with how mom and the family held it together,
I don’t want him walking away and thinking the world is a
I wondered where my Dad was. He did not live with us or even in
our village. He worked for the Ministry of Agriculture and he was
often in the field but I did see him when he would bring groceries
for my Mum. He would sometimes talk to me on her phone. Even thought
dad is not always home I know I am important to my mum and dad.
Mum is always telling me “Gabriel you are special and
Later that day before the Curfew started Uncle Pedro arrived home
armed with bags of groceries ‘Its madness out there, people
pushing and shoving and swearing at each other just trying to get
a tin of Sardines, I had to go to six shops before I found one with
only 30 people outside and at least they were 6 food apart’
he said, something I am told is called ‘Social Distancing’
‘You got dog food’ I asked him, he just smiled,
I wondered what that meant!
Mum tried to pull us all together as a family and remind us that
at least ‘we are all together for the first time in years
and we’re playing games together, like the old times’.
We all laughed , ‘See’ she said ‘There
are always silver linings, you just have to look for them.’
I liked that idea of being together so I sneaked outside and brought
‘Puppy’ indoors to play, some people said this CoCo
19 came from bats, I was glad it was not dogs!
Mum saw Puppy and I huddled in the corner and she sat me down and
said ‘OK Gabriel tell me how anxious are you are about this?”
I was feeling really anxious but I wasn’t able to really
tell her how I was feeling, so she gave me a great idea. She said
‘Think of a traffic light— a red light means you
feel overwhelmed, like you can’t cope, an orange light is
medium stress and a green light means you are okay.’
I wanted to pretend I was a big, brave boy and had it all together
so I told her ‘I’m orange but ‘Puppy’
She reached out and held my had and I knew that all would be well
so long as I had my family around me.
CHAPTER 2 - The Big Bad ‘C’
We will never forget that night, it was about
7pm and Granny's fever was sky high, she was shaking and gasping,
it was horrible. I will never forget the sound of her trying
to breath. Mum looked at Uncle Camilo and said ' It's
too late, it's the BIG BAD C "
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Oh no this is the CoCo 19 they have been talking about on the radio
and TV. Right here in our home, stealing Granny from us right in
front of our eyes.
I was kept out of the room, but I could peep through the cracks
in the wooden partition that separated Granny’s bedroom from
the sitting room. I clutched ‘Puppy’ and hid her in
my jacket, she was my only comfort.
I can’t believe this is happening, not Granny, she has always
been here for me, not Granny, NO
Then I started to get worried that maybe I had done something to
cause Granny’s death. Had I gone outside and trespassed within
someone ‘Social Distancing’ zone? Had someone sneezed
on me and I brought it home and didn’t wash my hands long
enough with that smelly soap. I knew the song now and I tried to
always sing it as I washed my hands, mum had told me she sang a
similar song at Sunday School.
This was my first encounter with human loss of life mum tried to
explain that most people do not die until they are very old, but
I wasn’t convinced this CoCo 19 could take mum next or even
me. I started to cry, Puppy wimpered and together we curled up on
‘Dear God I’ll do anything to keep this from happening.
I will be a good boy, I won’t throw stones, I will go and
confess to our neighbour that it was me that broke the kitchen window.
I’ll do anything God but please don’t take Granny away’
But it didn’t work, and Granny slowly slipped away, Uncle
Pedro called the Police and the Medical team, it seemed like ages
but they eventually arrived. I was terrified when he opened the
door and in walked these men from the Moon. I had seen them on TV,
walking on the moon, dressed in these white outfits and helmets
and masks and gloves. Both Puppy and I went and hid under the table.
They took mums temperature and said she also had a ‘fever’
everyone would have to be taken to the Quarantine Centre. I had
heard about those places, ‘when you went in you never came
out’ Aunty Amanda had said.
‘Not me or Puppy’ we both slipped out of
the back door, I had raided the fridge and grabbed a blanket as
I passed the shed I grabbed a bag of ‘Puppy’s’
favourite dog food. We had escaped but were would we go, it was
dark and cold and it was the beginning of a great adventure.
CHAPTER 3 - The Great Adventure
We had escaped but to where, the shops were
shut, the streets were empty and there was a deathly silence.
A siren screamed out of the dark and we darted into an alley
to hide from the Police, the last thing I wanted was to end
up in one of those Quarantine Centres.
Portuguese 'E Cachorrinho' Chapter #3
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We walked and walked and eventually Puppy and I found a door way
and I put the blanket down. Now was a good time to crack open the
tin of Tuna and crackers, Puppy enjoyed her ‘Chow’.
Eventually we huddled together to keep each other warm and finally
we fell asleep.
I woke up as the sun rose, shining in my eyes, but where was my
puppy? I called her and looked and looked, I couldn’t lose
her as well. I thought I saw her down by the sea and I went to look,
but it was a bigger dog.
Whilst I was there on the stony beach, a policeman in army uniform
called to me. I asked him if he had seen my puppy. The Policeman
took me to the Shelter and I expected to see my mother, Aunty Amanda,
and Uncle Pedro there. He gave me to the nurse instead. She touched
my head and said I had to go to the Hospital in Town. I thought
maybe my mother was hurt and so I was going to see her. People were
just sitting and staring, most of them were wearing masks, some
were had funny tubes up their nose.
On the way back to the bay we went past a parked car and I heard
a whimper. I saw a tail. I told the Policeman "wait, please
stop " and looked under the car and there was Puppy wet
and muddy but there......
I picked her up and hugged her tight she was shivering. The Policeman
said Puppy could come too, at last something good had happened.
The Policeman told me I was a champion and not to focus on what
I had been through I was to focus on where I was going in life –
where ever that was – the Hospital right now!
CHAPTER 4 - The Hospital
The Policeman took me to Police Headquarters.
Someone gave me a Rissóis de Camarão and I
shared it with Puppy . She liked it a lot. A young police
woman gave me a string to tie round Puppy 's neck so
I did not have to carry her all the time. Then the policeman
took me to the Hospital. They gave me a mask to put on and
I noticed everyone seem to have on blue gloves.
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When we got to the hospital there was a grumpy nurse who was vexed
and said that Puppy could not come inside Casualty!
I was tired and sad. I wanted to see my Mummy
and my Aunty and Joey! I said I did not want to stay
there. The Policeman said it was OK and that he would hold
puppy for me whilst I went in with the Nurse. I thought I
was going to see my family, I looked in the room but there was just
a little girl crying, an old man who was very still and
a very pregnant lady moaning. There were a lot of people with
masks on their faces and lots of people crying. The nurse took my
temperature, and put a tight thing round my arm
and then put a clothes pin thing on my finger. She said
I had to see a doctor.
The doctor looked very tired. She said she had been there for 24
hours, and no one had come to relieve her. She said that I didn't
have a 'fever' but because my family were in quarantine that I would
need to go into a Child Care Home.
She called the policeman in and Puppy peed on
the floor. You can imagine the nurse was not happy!
Whilst the nurse was shouting and getting a lady to
come with a mop the police whispered in the Doctors ear. Then
the Doctor told me to go and sit outside on the chairs
with Puppy .
After a long time when the Policeman came back with Paõzinho
and some Chamussas. He told me that I was going on a big adventure.
He also told me that they were looking for my Mum and Uncle
Pedro and Aunty Amanda and that very sadly they had
found my Granny and she was not alive any more.
He told me that I had to go to a nice Big House and wait
to see what would happen. I was worried in case the people
at the Big House would not like dogs. I began to cry I thought I
might lose Puppy and I would be so lonely. I did not really understand
what he said about Granny, how could she not be alive any more.
The Policeman told me that he would tell them at the Big House
that Puppy had to come as well. I felt lost and lonely,
totally abandoned, all I really had to call my own was Puppy.
See seemed so sad and rejected that I told her a story I had seen
on the news that eight Labrador retrievers, with their powerful
noses, have been enlisted to help. The dogs are the first trainees
in a University of Pennsylvania research project to see whether
dogs can detect an odor connected to the Coronavirus, the dreaded
Co Co 19.
If so, they might eventually become "canine police" to screen people
in airports, businesses or hospitals. It didn't surprise me because
dogs can sniff out drug, explosives and even Malaria! 'Puppy' can
sniff out 'Galinha asada' a mile away!
CHAPTER 5 – Life in the Big House
I was waiting at the hospital, we were all
sitting 6 foot apart and there was a Police there to make
sure none of us got any closer! Suddenly, things happened
in a rush. Some strange soldiers came and the
Policeman told me to go with them. I was pleased when I heard
him tell them "the Puppy goes
with Him - it's all he has left".
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We went to the savannah in front of the hospital and there was
a helicopter already there. The blades of the rotor were spinning
and it was very loud. The dust and leaves were blowing at me like
the hurricane wind we had last year. The policeman did me high five
and gave me to a big soldier who made me do up my coat and put a
helmet on me. He put ear plugs in my ears and a sort of life jacket
on me, I held Puppy very tightly.
Two soldiers pushed me up some big steps into the helicopter. I
looked back and waved to the Policeman. Then they strapped me into
a seat and they told me to hold Puppy tight. A lady soldier told
me this was a Wild Cat Helicopter. She was funny and blocked Puppy's
ears when she said “Wild cat” as she said dogs like
to chase cats! She had a red cross on her shoulder and she said
she was a nurse as well as a soldier. She said they were just giving
me a ride to the Children's Home. I asked if my Mum would be there
but it was too noisy I could not understand her answer.
When the helicopter landed, they undid all the straps and took
off the lifejacket and I got out still clutching Puppy. It was further
than I thought and I fell down. I felt stupid as there were loads
of children watching from the steps of the big house. They seemed
disappointed that it was just me and Puppy, until behind me the
soldiers brought out bottles of water and boxes of biscuits. "Come
on Boy" said a Lady in an orange T shirt, “come
away from that helicopter.” She took me into the kitchen
with Puppy and I heard the helicopter flying away. I never got to
say goodbye to the nice Nurse Soldier Lady.
The Home was huge. There were lots of bedrooms for boys downstairs
and upstairs there were lots more for girls. Lots of the beds had
been moved out so there were big spaces between beds. There was
a very big dining room and kitchen. I was in a room with three other
boys and I had my own bed.
The Lady in the orange T Shirt was called Miss. Mariana, she said
Puppy had to live in the dog house under the building but that I
could see her when I wanted. She gave me to a man called Mr. Lucus
also in an orange T Shirt and he showed me where Puppy would stay.
He even had dog food for her. No one had any news about my Mum and
Aunty and Joey. I told them the Police said Granny had died but
they were looking for the others.
I was beginning to feel frustrated, trapped and hurt. Pain started
to dominate my feelings, I had to find someone to blame. I started
getting angry it seemed a way of releasing energy, it was my little
protest to the loss of my family, it just didn’t make sense,
it simple wasn’t fair and I wanted to lash out and hurt someone.
Nurse came to talk to me she wanted to know how I was feeling physically
, I told her I felt drained and empty. I seem to be having difficulty
making decisions or staying focused. I was becoming easily frustrated
and ended up arguing more with people, I was feeling tired, sad,
numb, lonely and worried. This was hard, I needed help.
CHAPTER 6 – Good and bad secrets
Another problem was Mr. Lucus, he always looked
at me as if I was in the way and said I should not hug Puppy
as I would get ‘Leap To Spring Osis’!
And he told Beatriz, my only friend, to stay away from me.
I began to avoid him. Then one Monday he just did not come
to work any longer! I was glad he was gone.
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One day Beatriz told me she had a secret to tell me. We sat under
the house with Puppy and she told me........she told me Mr. Lucus
had left because of her. He had been trying to get her to do bad
things. He told her that he would get her ready to have a boyfriend.
He had been trying to touch her under her panties. He told her if
she did not do what he said he would kill Puppy. She said she ran
straight away and told Miss. Mariana what he tried to do and the
police came and took him away. She said Mr. Lucus was in the prison
waiting for the court to decide on his punishment. I was so mad!
How could he say he would hurt Puppy. I was pleased he had left
as I felt like doing him something really bad, like punching him
on the nose.
Beatriz said she knew what to do about Mr. Lucus’ bad intentions
towards her as it was not the first time. She said her mother's
boyfriend had done something wrong to her before and she had told
her Sunday School Teacher. She said that is why she was in the Home.
As her mother did not believe her but the Sunday School teacher
did. She said the Sunday school teacher told her to "tell the
truth and truth would set her free" and that she had prayed
with her, then she got brave and when the Police came with the Welfare
officer she told them all about it and they were sorting it all
Beatriz said she knew that you should always run from people with
bad intentions and tell someone. She said she knew now that some
bad secrets should not be kept. She explained that “Good
secrets” were like not telling about a surprise party
or what was in a present. But “Bad secrets”
were those where the person threatens you if you tell what they
did and where they touch you. No one except your mum or the nurse
should touch you where your underwear goes and then tell you not
to tell anyone that is a bad secret to keep.
Beatriz said that after that experience with her mother's boyfriend
she had been different. She said her Sunday School Teacher had told
her that God loved her and that it was not her fault. She said she
had decided to serve Christ. I did not know what she meant but I
did know I was pleased Mr. Lucus was gone.
CHAPTER 7 – Home schooling
After about two weeks in the Big House, which
turned out to be a Children’s Home, with more new children
coming each day, as their parents died of CoCo19 or they came
out of Quarantine.
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The Staff held a meeting, with the chairs spread out in the customary
‘Social Distancing’ boundaries that we had all grown
accustomed to. They informed us we were going to start ‘Home
Schooling.’ Special teachers would be coming to assist this
new form of school.
Soon afterwards one afternoon foreign workers came in blue T shirts
they said they were our friends and they set up something called
a Child Friendly Space where we played games, they were designed
to keep our distance, but sometimes we would sneak behind the shed
and huddle together in a circle and pitch marbles. Their names were
funny and if you did learn them then they left for good! So in the
end we just called them "Miss" and "Sir" They
created a schedule for learning including activities and relaxing
and fun activities.
I did not have any friends in the Home except for Beatriz. She
was 12 and was already at Secondary School so she was in another
part of the ‘Home School.’ She had lived in that Home
for months before CoCo19. She would sit with me under the house
and pet Puppy and talk to me. I told her that I did not believe
that my Mum, Aunty Amanda and Uncle Pedro could all be dead. Granny
was old so I could believe that she had not made it but not the
others. I told her my secret that I had fears and worries about
my own health suppose, I caught CoCo19. And I wasn’t sleeping
very well and I couldn’t concentrate, at night I would cry
and I was very irritable especially with the younger children. I
had a sadness, and an anger I couldn’t seem to control, I
am so frustration and I was having dreams that Mummy was chasing
me around the room with a thermometer to check my temperature.
The other children all seemed to know each other and the three
in my room were all from the same village. They called me Helicopter
Boy and would make helicopter noises every time I came in. One big
boy said that he hated people from my village and that he would
poison my dog as he wasn't a fierce race like a Pit Bull. He loved
Pit Bulls and so, after a while, that is what we called him, even
the staff. "Pit" became his name. Everyone would have
a job in the Home. Pit’s was to take out the garbage to the
bins. He always made me do it so that he would not hurt Puppy. He
said he would tie a block round his neck and throw him in the sea.
Sometimes I was very sad and lonely I would hide and cry quietly
hugging Puppy my only comfort.
I didn’t do too well in the Home School, my mind was easily
distracted and I got muddled up at times and couldn’t concentrate.
Some nights I would dream about my old home, Puppy and I were playing
by the river and dad was home for the week end, it was such a good
dream. I wondered when my Dad would come and rescue me.
CHAPTER 8 – Giving my life to Jesus
"Come and meet my Sunday School teacher
Gabbie!" So the lady who had helped Beatriz ‘tell
the truth’ had come to visit. She was pretty and
she smelled nice. She had a guitar and played songs with the
children. She gave us Bible story books and crayons to colour.
She said that Jesus could sleep in the storm when he was on
a boat. I thought that was incredible!
Portuguese 'E Cachorrinho' Chapter
#8 (Front and back page)
I could not sleep properly in a nice bed as the memory of CoCo
19 kept troubling me in my dreams and I kept crying for my mother.
She told us that Jesus had a special power not to be afraid and
not to hate people who hurt him. She told us that because Jesus
loved us he died on the cross and wanted to help us to be friends
with God and have power not to be afraid and not to hate people.
She said we had to decide whether to follow Jesus or go our own
way. She said the way to become a Christian was to Repent and Believe.
I thought this sounded interesting I have always wanted special
powers!!! Also I was very troubled about how much I hated Pit and
Mr. Lucus too!
I knew God had saved my life and I really needed to be able to
sleep in the storm. I decided to give my life to Christ and to be
a Christian. I am not a great reader but the Bible Books had loads
of pictures and the Sunday School Teacher said that God loved everyone
whether they were top or bottom of the class, good or bad, pretty
or ugly, that Jesus still died for them so they could "tell
the truth and the truth would set them free"
Pit somehow heard that I had put my hand up when the Sunday School
Teacher prayed. He straight away said I was a Bible bashing Christian.
He said Christians were selfish, only helped their own church people
and taking people's money. He said he would kill Puppy then I could
pray for him to be raised from the dead. I felt myself getting red
I just wanted to punch Pit on the nose! That night I remember the
boys in my room were especially tormenting with their helicopter
noises and saying that nobody wanted to be friends with Helicopter
I pulled the sheet over my head and asked God to switch on those
magic powers as right now all I could think about was all the bad
things I wanted to do to those guys.
All of a sudden I felt so lost and lonely all I really had to call
my own was Puppy, she made me smile, but then I remembered I could
call on my new friend Jesus.
CHAPTER 9 - I'm a new creature
Next week Beatriz and I were the first in
Sunday School, I could hardly wait to learn more. She had
told us this week we would learn about a butterfly that really
started out as a fuzzy little caterpillar. I didn't like caterpillars,
my dad had always warned me that they ate lots of his vegetables
in the kitchen garden, I knew I didn't like them they were
ugly, no one would say that caterpillars are beautiful.
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A caterpillar is a worm -- and worms are not beautiful! In fact
the only good thing about worms was that you could put them on a
hook and go fishing. Beatriz squirmed when I told her my fishing
stories, with wriggling worms.
But then I learnt in Sunday School that one day the caterpillar
spun a cocoon about himself and stays there for several weeks. Just
hanging upside down, occasionally twitching, who would imagine that
anything good was happening. But it was like the caterpillar was
being born again and when it comes out, it is no longer a caterpillar,
it has been miraculously changed into a beautiful butterfly, it
was a new creation.
But it took time, it was like the caterpillar died in the chrysalis
or cocoon and eventually the butterfly emerged but it was a struggle.
One day, when the curfew was over and they allowed us to go outdoor,
Puppy and I were in the field next to the Children's Home and we
saw a chrysalis hanging from a twig, it started twitching and cracking
open. We watched as the butterfly struggled to get out. It made
me think of all the struggling I had to do over the last few months
since CoCo 19 came into our lives. I later learnt that a butterfly
must struggle out of its chrysalis to start the blood to flow into
its wings to make it strong and able to fly. It must do this to
complete its life cycle into a butterfly. I felt I wanted to help
the struggling butterfly but by assisting the butterfly and helping
it to free itself, I would never let it fully develop and fulfill
its destiny. I would actually be hindering it and prevented it from
becoming who it was meant to be. What God showed me was that what
He does, sometimes in our lives, is to allow the struggle, the hurt,
the process because we must fight to become fully who we are meant
If He stepped in to help during the most crucial part in our lives,
we would never become who we were made to be. As I pondered this
thought out came the butterfly, flying away … with Puppy in
the chase, she chased that butterfly all around the field until
she eventually fell into the ditch which was filled with muddy water,
you should have seen her she changed from a white puppy to a brown
dog! "That's it Puppy you are going to have a bath even you
will become a new creation!"
The Bible says, "Assim que, se alguém está em
Cristo, nova criatura é: as coisas velhas
já passaram; eis que tudo se fez novo!" When we
invite Jesus to come into our heart, we become a new creation. God
doesn't just clean us up, He makes us into a new person.
So now when I find myself in a huge struggle or fight I can have
hope. I now understand that this could be in the most important
part of my life that will make me into who I am destined to be.
I know that Jesus is with me and what I am to become is so great
that all I have been through and am going though will pave the way
for what I am to become. Strong, free, and soaring high with beautiful,
colorful butterfly wings to carry me onto the next adventure of
life with Puppy.
CHAPTER 10- I'm in the Lord's army
I was so excited because today the Missionaries
from America were coming to visit us in the Children's Home.
We were told they were brining lots of toys from America,
I could hardly wait, even Pit was excited and seemed in better
mood than usual.
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When they arrived I was given a brand new skateboard and not only
that but all the protective gear needed to keep me safe.
They told me the first thing was to make sure I had the right kind
of shoes. I know you wouldn't go skating in a pair of cowboy boots,
would you? Your shoes should have a flat bottom to help you get
a better grip on the board. Next, I was told every skateboarder
should wear a helmet. You might think that wearing a helmet makes
you look like a dork, but, believe me, it is the smart thing to
do. Another thing you will need is pads. It is important to have
pads to protect your elbows and knees. Now that I had all the right
gear, it is time to go skateboarding. Even professional skateboarders
make sure they have the right protective equipment.
Just as we need protective gear in skateboarding, the Bible teaches
us that we need protection in life. The Bible calls it the armor
of God and it tells us that we need the armor of God to protect
us from Satan's evil schemes. We were taught this in Sunday School
and marched around singing ‘I'm in the Lords army' I loved
it, Beatriz thought it was for boys only but we got to learn about
the armor of God.
The belt of truth - The Bible tells us that Satan is the "father
of lies," but he can never win if we will hold on to the truth
that Jesus Christ is Lord
The breastplate of righteousness - Satan can never harm us when
we choose to do what God says is right
Feet fitted with the gospel of peace - Satan tries to create worry
and confusion in our lives, but knowing Jesus brings peace
The shield of faith - Satan will try to plant seeds of doubt in
our hearts and minds, but those seeds of doubt can never take root
if we have faith in Jesus
The helmet of salvation - Jesus came from heaven to earth to save
us from the evil one, if we accept salvation in Jesus' name, we
will win the battle against Satan
The sword of the Spirit - the Bible, God's Holy Word, it is a powerful
weapon against Satan.
I know no skateboarder should ever get on his board without the
proper equipment, and I should never try to go through life without
the armor of God.
CHAPTER 11- Free at last
That Sunday School Teacher came back again
the next week and asked if any of us had any questions.
I said "How do you turn on the magic powers?"
She told us that God loved us and wanted us to be free
from fear and free from hate. She told us we had to take
our fears and tell them to God.
Portuguese 'E Cachorrinho' Chapter #11
(Page 1 and 2)
That Sunday School Teacher came back again the next week and asked
if any of us had any questions. I said "How do you turn
on the magic powers?" She told us that God loved us and
wanted us to be free from fear and free from hate. She told us we
had to take our fears and tell them to God. She told us that God
always listens to us and that one of the special powers is prayer
and that this is like a private phone to God. She said this private
phone is only connected to God. He must have millions of ears to
hear everyone at the same time. She said that fears and nightmares
are like ropes that tie us and that God can cut them if we ask him
in Jesus name. (We all made cell phones out of cereal packets and
started talking to God!
Then she said that hating people was the opposite of what God wanted
us to do. She told us it was hard to have love for God in your heart
if your heart was filled with hate. She told us we could open the
tap of our heart and say we are sorry and let the hate run out.
She said this is called repentance.
She told us a neat story about a woman who did some bad things
in her life. She didn't say what they were but we know that she
was very, very sorry. She felt so bad in fact, that she went to
see Jesus in someone's house–when she wasn't even invited!!
She didn't know anyone, the people in the house didn't want her
there but she was meeting Jesus! I imagine she must have felt very
scared and very little. I don't mean little like she was tiny, I
mean little like she was with people who were very important. She
probably felt UNimportant. Not only did she go, but she knelt down
behind Jesus and washed his feet WITH HER TEARS! Then she washed
them with perfume. You can imagine how the other people in the house
felt. One of them got upset with her and with Jesus! Simon the Pharisee
didn't think Jesus should be letting her do that. But Jesus not
only let her do it, he told her that her sins—all the bad
things we do in our life—were forgiven. She was able to leave
with a happy and peaceful heart. There were so many lessons to be
learned from this story, firstly the woman did something wrong and
wanted to make it right. I could think of lots of things I had said
and done that I wish I could now make right. Beatriz told me this
is what Jesus wants me to do. If we do something wrong, what could
we do to make it right? What are some things we could do to make
The other thing we need to get from this story is how Jesus reacted.
Did Jesus throw the woman out? Did he say—"you did
something wrong, leave me alone?" What did Jesus do? He
let her stay, he let her ask for forgiveness, and then he forgave
her. It's important for us to do the same. I decided to give it
a try. After all, what had I got to lose except horrible dreams,
bad feelings and loneliness? I gave God my fears, my memories of
that CoCo 19 crisis, the sadness and the loneliness. Then I gave
God the anger and the hate. It wasn't easy but I chose to stop hating
and to forgive those mean kids and even Pit.
Then I remembered Mr. Lucus and his threats to hurt Puppy and I
thought of him in the State Prison and I even decided not to be
angry with him any more too. I was free at last, free to forgive.
CHAPTER 12– I'm sorry
I just have to learn how to say ‘I'm
sorry' it just doesn't seem to come naturally, Pit has
made my life a misery and I have been mean to him as well.
How do I say I'm sorry? These were the questions I was asking
myself, Beatriz and our Sunday School Teacher. She told me
that sincere apologies can lead to forgiveness, which takes
the sting out of hurts.
Portuguese 'E Cachorrinho' Chapter #12
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I knew this was necessary in a happy, healthy life. But I had
to learn how to say I'm sorry, how to apologies and really mean
it even to someone like Pit, because up until now I was glad I had
punched him on the nose. Then I learnt three things needed to successfully
1) Remorse: Feeling sorry for the action.
2) Repentance: Expressing what's in your heart.
3) Recompense: This is when you try to make amends, which is not
always possible, but always worth a try.
I knew "I'm sorry" means nothing unless it comes from
a repentant heart. So I first had to ask God to forgive me for being
so nasty to Pit.
I had read in Efésios 4:32 Em vez disso,
sejam bondosos e tenham compaixão uns dos outros, perdo.
So I had no choice but to go and find Pit and tell him how sorry
I was for punching him in the nose. “I'm sorry Pit. I blew
it. I was wrong, please forgive me Pit." Guess what Pit stuck
out his elbow and we bounced elbows, because we still could not
shake hands in the Pandemic, it was the beginning of the healing
that was so needed.
I felt better after unpacking all those super powers but I was
still lonely...... That night I dreamed of my Dad. He was looking
for me, and all the nightmares and fears of that terrible night
when CoCo 19 stole Granny, came flooding back, but then, in my dream
Jesus came walking into my room and turned on the light and I wasn't
afraid any more and Jesus took my hand and led me outside. There
was dad and he and I and Puppy started playing on a lovely green
lawn outside of a beautiful new house, it was a good dream and I
woke up feeling good inside.
CHAPTER 13– Daddy
Miss. Mariana and the other adults in orange
T shirts were always asking me what I remembered about where
I came from. I told them my name and my village I could not
remember Granny's real name or Aunty Amanda’s and Uncle
Pedro’s surname. My Mum's name was Gabriela but that
is why I am Gabriel.
Portuguese 'E Cachorrinho' Chapter #13
(Front and back page)
They told me that the Police said that mum, Auntie and Uncle Pedro
had died of the virus. I kept hoping it wasn't true. They said they
would try to find my Dad.
Then one day Miss. Mariana came into school and said I had to come
now, now, now! I was worried that maybe something had happened to
Puppy or that he had escaped and chewed up someone's shoes. It would
not be the first time. She said no, I had a visitor. I went into
the office and there was......my Dad.....He held his arms out and
we just hugged and hugged. He said he was sorry, that he had only
just found out where I was as he had been told I was lost with my
Mum and Lisa and Joey. He had walked for days to get from the other
side of the island to get to our village. He said that people said
that the whole family was lost. Then he met that Policeman from
the first day and he told him I was alive and in the Home. As I
listened, I realised that it was true my Mum was actually gone,
CoCo 19 stole her as well as Aunty Amanda and Uncle Pedro, I cried
and cried and cried.
Dad suggested that we should memorialize the people that died in
the CoCo Crisis. I didn’t understand, he explained we needed
to remember them, he said it was a part of grieving and part of
healing. He said it was good to share memories about mum and he
dug into his pocket and pulled out a beautiful picture of mum.
Miss. Mariana suggested I take my Dad to meet Puppy. When we sat
under the house dad and I shared all the good times we had had with
mum and Aunty Amanda, my Dad gave me a special present, all wrapped
up, a Teddy Bear toy, soft and squidgy, little did I know how precious
‘Teddy’ would become to me.
Dad told me that he had been so sad when he thought that I was
dead and that seeing me today was the best thing that had ever happened
to him. He told me that he was so sorry that he had not come before.
He asked me to forgive him for not being there. Dad said our lives
may have taken some strange twists and turns but the One who holds
our tomorrows is still in control. It kind of reminded me of the
story of Joseph in the Bible. Dad said that he had asked God to
help him find me and now that he had, we would serve God together
for the rest of our lives. "And Puppy”
CHAPTER 14– Peace like a river
Dad and I along with Puppy moved back into
the country side, it was where we were from, it's where 'we
belong' Dad told me. The rolling hills and wide open
spaces were better than the cramped housing we had been in
while in quarantine, it was healthier for us as well dad said.
Portuguese 'E Cachorrinho' Chapter #14
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Dad started planting vegetables and keeping fish, goats and even
rabbits to eat and distribute among the community. He taught me
about Moringa and we planted it all around our property and all
the animals ate it and were very healthy. We even drank the tea
and began to feel stronger and healthier, dad showed me how you
can purify water using Moringa.
Sometimes we would all go down to the river to play. Those times
I felt most at peace, Puppy would splash around at the edge and
try to pick up rocks from the river bed, when she did bubbles would
come out of her nose! It looked so funny I would laugh at her.
Dad taught me how to swim in the river, I loved those times with
Dad, he made me feel special and it almost made up for not having
I continued to go to Sunday School and I learnt more about peace.
This was a whole new experience for me. I learnt that Jesus said
“Deixo-vos a paz, a minha paz vos dou; não vo-la
dou como o mundo a dá. Não se turbe o vosso coração,
nem se atemorize."
But sometimes at the end of the day, when it was time to turn out
the light and go to bed, I wanted to know that I was not alone in
the darkness. That is where my Teddy Bear came to the rescue.
Dad gave me Teddy the day we were united at the Big House and at
night Teddy was never very far away. Somehow, the darkness was not
so frightening with "Teddy" in the bed with me, and Puppy
sleeping at the foot of the bed in his special bed that Dad had
built for her.
I began to realize that if I wanted to know peace, I can only know
that peace when I know Jesus, the Prince of Peace. If we don't know
Jesus, we can have no peace.
That is how I was at the Big House before Jesus became my best
friend and gave me that super power to forgive Pit and even that
nasty man that threatened to kill Puppy and did nasty things to
my friend Beatriz. I had no peace only fear and anger and loneliness
but those days are now way behind me. In another life it seems.
I have moved on, now I have my Daddy and my Heavenly Daddy and
Puppy, what more could a boy ask for!
CHAPTER 15– He watches over us
As time went by there was a new sense of hope.
Dad said that I was growing up, I was very pleased, I pushed
out my chest out and stuck my chin up and went on tip toe
to put on a few inches. I was now his big boy, he had my back,
he was watching over me.
Portuguese 'E Cachorrinho' Chapter
#15 (Front and back page)
One day I noticed that Puppy was growing up as well in fact she
was getting very fat!
I didn’t understand why until she started to pull leaves together
and she found some rags in the shed and it seemed she was making
a bed for herself under the house. Then she lay down and I sat down
and watched as she gave birth to two beautiful little puppies. They
were perfect except their eyes were shut, but Dad explained they
were born that way and very soon he was right they opened their
eyes and saw me for the first time.
What Fun Fab days we had Puppy and I playing with her new puppies,
I just knew I could never be happier than I was those days. Puppy
always watched over her puppies, she would pick them up and bring
back into the shelter if they wondered off and that is when I began
to think that my Heavenly Daddy knows everything that I go through.
There is nothing that happens to me that He doesn't know about.
Just like Puppy He is watching over me. When I felt lonely and totally
abandoned at the Big House, when everything seems hopeless, I began
to realize that even then God knows and God cares.
And if I wonder off track a bit, He comes after me just like Puppy
rounds up her puppies so my Heavenly Daddy comes after me, gives
me a big hug and brings me back into the pack.
I was happy the sun was shining and the birds were singing and
a little sparrow came hopping up to look at Puppy’s puppies.
Then it all came flooding back, the smell of ‘Pao' baking
as Granny pottered around the kitchen in our old house before CoCo
19 stole her so suddenly that dreadful night, and I can hear her
now, singing at the top of her old crackly voice a song the Missionaries
had taught her...
“Why should I feel discouraged? Why should
the shadows come?
Why should my heart feel lonely, and long for
heaven and home?
When Jesus is my portion, a constant friend is He.
His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches
His eye is on the sparrow; and I know He watches
And I wept with joy, I knew my hurting heart was healed and for
the first time since that dreadful night I sang that ol’ ol’
“I sing because I’m happy. I sing
because I’m free!
His eye is on the sparrow; and I know He watches me.
His eye is on the sparrow; and I know He watches me.”
Not just sparrows, He watches
over Dad and I
'And Puppy and her puppies'!
Portuguese 'E Cachorrinho' Chapter
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