Monday, January 8, 2018

love and cholera

Love in a time of cholera…..isn’t that a movie title? 

Oh man….well, what is going on with the Morales? 

We are now living in the middle of a cholera outbreak.  It seems to be contained to certain areas of the city where we live, but since there have been few cases found in areas outside of those areas the government has decided, wisely, to implement certain bans and restrictions in hopes of curbing the spread.  Cholera is nasty business that preys on the weak, young and old.  

What does that mean for us?  School openings have been postponed until further notice. The Health Minister stated that they will review the situation January 30th.  We have been told to be very careful with our food.  We aren’t eating out and we are basically limiting our movements.  In addition to delaying the start of schools, the government has banned all meetings of anyone over 5 people.  Meaning weddings, church meetings, funerals ect.... 

As far as our work is concerned, we aren’t able to conduct outreaches  (the ban on meetings of more than 5 people applies).  In addition to the closing of schools, this is very frustrating to me because we aren’t able to check on the kids living in the streets.  A colleague who works with another street outreach program saw kids at her center right before the ban was enforced and she said that none of the kids we all work with are sick.  THAT IS GOD’S GRACE!!!!!  

How can you help?  PLEASE PRAY!!!  Please pray for a swift and quick end to this.  Please pray that no more loss of life occurs.  So far, based on the reports I have read, 61 people have died.  PLEASE pray for the kids living on the streets.  Please pray that God will keep them safe and that they will see Jesus’ love in this time of uncertainty for so many people.  Pray that the church of Jesus in Zambia will rise up and be found working and acting in compassion toward those who can’t do anything to help themselves.  

And….(and I don’t mean this to be silly) please pray that they open the schools QUICKLY!  Not only for my family (I HAVE THREE TEENAGERS)  but they have shut down the ENTIRE education system for THE ENTIRE COUNTRY!  NO ONE CAN GO TO SCHOOL!   This boggles my brain.  How many millions of children aren’t able to attend school!?  I understand the reasoning behind NOT allowing schools to open, but having an entire city full of bored kids sounds like a powder keg to me.  (not to mention the 3 in my house)


You guys are awesome and we adore you all IMMENSELY!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

hope for 2018



I am looking with hope and expectancy on 2018.  Will it have its challenges?  Sure!  Will it have its joys?  OF COURSE!  Will I grow from it?  I sure hope so!

Streetwise will continue to move forward and grow as God sees fit.  Of this we are confident.....it has NOTHING to do with us, but EVERYTHING to do with the leading hand of Jesus.  Our hearts are more set on seeing the kids living homeless in Lusaka set free to love Jesus and discover their God given potential.  We want them to go back to their homes and be an influence for change in their situations.

We have taken a different approach to the outreaches for now.  We no longer go out at night.  It became chaotic, and from experience, we have learned that when that happens it is time to take a minute and re evaluate.  So now we go out on Friday mornings to a place called LOW LINES and we feed the kids sandwiches and fruit (easy stuff) and we hold church.  God brought us back to the realization that it isn't our job to bring change to the kids.  It is our job to bring them Jesus and then we MUST step back and watch Jesus do the work.  So, we now have what we affectionately call "Street Church"  Its amazing!  We WORSHIP!  When those kids sing to Jesus they sing with all their hearts.    From this we are beginning to see those who are leaders, those whose hearts are tender and pliable and willing to be changed.   We will also begin a regular outreach that is specific to the girls.  We are hoping to quarterly bring them to a location away from the boys and their surroundings and give them the opportunity to simply be teenage girls with no pressure and no pain.  If only for a moment.

We have had the privilege in 2017 to put about 10 kids on a bus to go home.  We have take numerous kids to the hospital to get the medical care they so desperately need.  We strongly believe that by seeing a kid through their needs we are planting seeds of trust and hope in their hearts.  To see that someone cares enough about them to make sure their broken fingers are set and their bad teeth are taken care of speaks volumes of God's loving care for their lives.  Samuel Mwelwa has graduated from Teen Challenge after living almost 10 years on the streets as an alcoholic.  Through the course of his rehabilitation he has been re connected with his mom and sisters and is working at the Teen Challenge as a counselor!  It is amazing!!!

It is our hope to establish outreaches every day in the city of Lusaka.  We believe that in order to reach the kids with the love of Jesus they need to see us consistently and regularly.  Why would they believe that jesus loves them if we don't show us when we promise?  In order to do that we need folks to get involved.

We need a bus.   That bus will become the outreach point.  In this bus we will be able to feed kids, provide basic medical help, clothe those who need it and pray with all.  It will also serve at transportation to get kids to the hospital who need specialized care (the need for this is pretty regular as you can imagine).  We will also be able to use this bus to help with transportation needs when visiting teams come to work with us.

Would you pray for us?  Would you pray for the provision to get this bus, for the provision to continue to help meet the needs of the kids?  Would you pray for people to get involved?  Scripture is pretty clear that true religion is to look after those who can't look after themselves.    We can't call ourselves the church of Jesus Christ if we aren't willing to be broken for the needy and those who so desperately need to know they are loved.

If you would like to give to Streetwise you can go to tscnyc.org    You click on GIVE and follow the prompts to MORALES FAMILY / ZAMBIA

Lets make 2018 a ROCKING YEAR!  WHOSE WITH ME!?


Wednesday, December 27, 2017

my christmas miracle

I entered into the Christmas season bruised, worn and weary.  To be perfectly honest with you guys I just wasn't feeling it this year.   (anyone else able to relate?)  

I just simply didn't have the energy for it.  In years past we make a family day out of decorating the tree....this year I put the stuff out and let the kids go to town.  (I was dealing with a bad back, could hardly stand up with out crying and just was not in the mood)

November and December are crazy busy for us typically......two of my kids and my husbands have their birthdays in December.....ministry is busy .....plus all we have been dealing with internally and physically.......well, Im sure you get the picture.....Where was the energy to make eggnog from scratch in 95 degree weather while trying to muster up that "christmas smell" wearing a tank top and shorts listening to Michael Buble' sing about White Christmas going to come from? 

Christmas eve dawned rainy and muggy.  We had plans to go to a friends house and I made my traditional pot of chili.  (I grew up eating chili on Christmas eve).  So I made a nice meal and we got dressed and went over to our friends house.  It was a nice time of fellowship and we all enjoyed the company.  (My chili was a hit!)  After we ate we all gathered in the living room to sing some Christmas carols.  And thats when my Christmas miracle hit!  

As we sat in the living room we were able to watch the most glorious lighting storm roll in....it was majestic!  It was like it was scripted....as the storm rolled in we were singing the following lyrics.......

Yea, Lord, we greet Thee, born this happy morning;
Jesus, to Thee be all glory giv'n!
Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing! 


It was as if the angels were dancing in remembering the glory and majesty of the most beautifully significant moment in history.  Jesus Christ, Lord of heaven and earth was born as a small and helpless baby to be able to identify with all things that make us weak and frail.....he set an example of HOW to live in victory and THEN PURCHASED our freedom from sin and death on the cross of calvary!  Everything he did, everything he said, everything that motivated him was FOR US to have the opportunity to walk with Him and be free from our sin.  

In that moment of awestruck wonder at the beauty of Jesus and his amazing sacrifice he made FOR ME AND YOU I felt his gentle voice tug at my bruised and exhausted heart.....Myranda, I have been with you every step of the way....when you have felt lonely and desperate, when you have felt desperate and hopeless, exhausted and weary, I have held your hand and covered you through it all! And I am here now! It is going to be ok!  

I sat there with silent tears of gratitude as I felt the loving and gracious hand of Jesus sooth me and gently hold me.  (I am crying as I write this)  

That the God of heaven and earth would CHOOSE to humble himself and make himself NOTHING, to be born in the lowiliest and basest of ways.....to DIE A HORRIBLE AND TERRIBLE DEATH SO THAT I CAN LIVE......and for no other reason other than the fact that he loves me......WOW!  He expects NOTHING but my love and my faith in return!  

In the end it turned out to be one of the more beautiful Christmases I have celebrated because I was reminded of WHY.....truly WHY!   

Jesus Christ LOVES YOU and LONGS for you!  Why are you running?  Aren't you tired of running?  

Jesus said this.....

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”  Matthew 11:28-30

Let Him be your burden bearer!  Let me take your sins from you so that you can walk light and free in Jesus!!  TRUST ME, YOU WON'T REGRET IT!!  I PROMISE!  

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

My Musonda Experience


I was talking to a friend the other day and we were talking about how 2017 started with a bang and seems to be ending with a boom.   Some of us have dealt with health issues, some have dealt with marriage problems, some financial, some its been a bit of all of the above and then some.  I think it is safe to assume that across the board it has been rough!   Why!?

Well.......allow me to share my experiences with Musonda to illustrate.

A couple of weeks ago ......to top it all off ......I threw out my back.....second time this year.  And it was bad.  I was crying every time I stood up.  This came on the heels of my daughter needing an emergency appendectomy and other personal stuff that was taking my breath away.   GOD NO!  Like SERIOUSLY GOD!?  I can't work, I can't walk, I can't move!  NO!

So, I went to visit Musonda.  Musonda is a brilliant physical therapist here in Lusaka who has done wonders for friends of mine, so I decided to go check her out.  I limped into her office on a Monday morning in serious pain barely able to stand up straight.  Musonda MAYBE comes to my shoulder .  She is a little spunky ball of energy and strength.   She had me lay down on her table and she immediately pinpointed the problem.  She put her finger right in the center of the pain and asked if it hurt......after I peeled myself off the ceiling and affirmed her diagnoses, she began working.  AND IT FRIGGIN HURT!

She had me twisted like a pretzel, kneaded my muscles like she was preparing bread dough.  I squealed and squirmed and had to force myself to not cry because I knew ultimately it was for my good.  I walked out of her office feeling like crumpled grocery bag and wondering if there was any purpose to the torture.

She gave me instructions to return five more times every other day.  I ended up with bruises on my back that freaked out my husband, and some days I walked out feeling worse than when I went in.  Wondering what the point was I began to see parallels to what I was going through physically to what I was experiencing spiritually.  Because at the same time my heart felt so dry, barren and exhausted. I was feeling stunned and unable to put up any sort of fight.  Just wanting to sit back and let life roll over me.  I was crying a lot and just feeling completely spent and wasted.  

After the fourth visit I came home in SO MUCH pain.  I felt discouraged and frustrated that it felt just as bad and when I began......THEN!!!  THEN!!!!!!  OH WOW....THEN!!!!!!!  I called a friend who is also a physical therapist to find out what was going on and she said this.......when the effected muscles are loosened and realigned there is pain to be expected because they basically have to retrain themselves to do their jobs properly.  THAT WAS WHEN IT STARTED TO SINK IN!!!!!  God was dealing with the knotted up muscles of my heart that needed to be dealt with.  Walls that I have put up or areas that I didn't even know existed were being pulled down and exposed and IT HURT!  It was feeling worse than ever and I hated it.  BUT!!!!!!!!!!!!  After I got off the phone with my friend I felt the gentle tug of Jesus on my heart comforting me and assuring me that it is going to be ok!  To trust him in the process and to believe that he truly and seriously does work all things out for my good and to His glory!  PRAISE GOD!  He has taken what I thought was hopeless pain and failure and has worked a beauty in my heart that causes me to give Him and Him alone Glory!  Jesus saves!  Jesus loves!!  Jesus lives!  HALLELUJAH!  I can say that as I write this my heart feels freer than ever before.  AND I am pain free in my back.   HALLELUJAH

Are you tired and weary?  Its ok!  Go to Jesus and let Him refresh your heart!  One thing I have learned from these experience is its ok that I am tired.  Its ok that I need to take a step back from the front lines for a minute or two.  Just be careful that when you need to rest that you do it in the presence of Jesus and allow him to fill you.  Don't fill you jars with bad oil!

Are you worn out with sin?  Its ok!  Go to Jesus and let Him give you freedom!  He came and died for your freedom!  You don't have to carry the burden of sin on your back any longer!  There is nothing you have done that Jesus hasn't already won the victory over!


"I Am Yours"

I see Your fingerprints
The work of Your hands
It's all in Your hands
I see the evidence
Leaving nothing to chance
The world's in Your hands

So I rest in Your promises
Now I am sure of this
I'm Yours

Let the waters rise
I will stand as the oceans roar
Let the earth shake beneath me
Let the mountains fall
You are God over the storm
And I am Yours

I hear the voice of love
Calling me home
To where I belong
It cripples every fear
And the ones who will kneel
Will walk away healed

So I rest in Your promises
Now I am sure of this
I'm Yours
No power is strong enough
To separate me from Your love
I'm Yours...

So let the waters rise
I will stand as the oceans roar
Let the earth shake beneath me
Let the mountains fall
You are God over the storm
And I am Yours

Even the thunder and the wind obey
At the command of my Father, Father
I set my feet upon Your mighty name
So let the rain fall harder, harder

So take my everything, my flesh and blood
I'll lay me down on the altar, altar
I am forever covered in Your love
So let the rain fall

So let the waters rise
I will stand as the oceans roar
Let the earth shake beneath me
Let the mountains fall
You are God over the storm
And I am Yours

[x2:]
Let the waters rise
I will stand as the oceans roar
Let the earth shake beneath me
Let the mountains fall
You are God over the storm
And I am Yours

You are God over the storm
And I am Yours




Tuesday, November 14, 2017

christmas is coming and YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

With Christmas coming up QUICKLY we have some exciting opportunities for everyone to get involved in!!!!

Jesus Loves you in Nyanja 
  We have decided to host parties for the kids that we reach out to.  


We do two outreaches a week on a regular basis.  One is in a neighborhood called Kalingalinga.  (isn’t that fun to say!?)  Weekly two of our volunteers Grace and Febby go and they minister the love of God to the kids who live there.  These are kids who are living in poverty, sometimes abuse and mostly no school.  They have felt God’s call to minister to these kids and they do it faithfully.  

Grace and Febby have done the research and have decided that in order to accomplish a party for 50 kids we need 8 to 10 dollars a head.   What will that purchase?   WELL!!  FOR ONLY 8 DOLLARS we can give them a nice box of gifts.  That will include

1. TWO DOLLS
2. I CAR
3. 2 TOOTHBRUSH
4. 2 PENCILS
5. 1 ERASER
6. 2 BALLS
7. 1 BAR OF SOAP
8. 1 FACE CLOTH
9. 1 TOOTHPASTE
10. 1 VASELINE

For ten dollars a head we can also provide a nice meal.  
THATS ONLY TWO DOLLARS MORE!  

 The other outreach we hold is a weekly one to the street kids.  These kids are living homeless, abused, drug addicted and purposeless.  Their lives are marked by violence and destitution the likes of which most of us have never experienced.  We want to bus the kids out to a soccer field and give them a fun day.  We want to remove them from their environments and expose them to something different.  Show them a taste of what is out there for them.  In order to accomplish this we will also need 8$ to 10$ a head.  That will cover the cost of renting a bus, renting a field for them to play in and food.  








NOW!  how many of you go to starbucks on a regular basis?  I love me some starbucks………Would you be willing to give up your starbucks for one day!?  JUST ONE DAY to help make a difference in the life of a kid who needs to know they are loved and that their lives matter? 


If the answer is YES then the solution is a simple one!  All you have to do is GIVE!  You can give to our PayPal account using streetwisezambia@gmail.com.  I guarantee EVERY PENNY you donate will go towards making this Christmas something these kids won't forget!  After all, what is ten bucks in light of eternity and in making a kid feel special, loved and adored.  Thats worth AT LEAST ten bucks in my book!

Thank you so much for reading this!!!! 

If you would like to give regularly to Streetwise you can go to tscnyc.org and give!  Simply click on GIVE and follow the prompts to Morales Fam/ Zambia 

Monday, September 18, 2017

intensity is my middle name


Just ten days after we arrived from spending a short summer in America we hosted a team from our church in the States….Times Square Church.  

It was such a beautiful time, and such an intense time!  WOW!  We experienced things with this team that we have never experienced before with teams in the past.  We even ended up going to a funeral for a street kid the day before they left.   They got to experience life here from all its angles.  They really got to get into what we do on a daily basis.  One team member even helped take a kid to the hospital who was in desperate need of stitches in his mouth.  Some kid had beat him up for the equivalent of 5 dollars.    

We held community outreaches at Mrs. Nyrenda’s house.   Mrs. Nyrenda allows us to use her yard to hold community outreaches for the neighborhood children.   We launched that effort while the team from TSC was here.   

We held an outreach directed at the girls on the streets.  The ladies from the team set up a wonderful manicure table and brought fun crafts for the girls to come and enjoy.  It was a pleasure to sit with these precious girls and allow them a few moments of peace to simply be teenage girls.  
We had loud fun dinners every night in our house.  Every night there were at least 18 people at our table enjoying company and food and laughter.  

All in all we laughed, we cried, we sang, we poured our hearts out to God with each other and we enjoyed being with family.  They left a beautiful piece of themselves here and we miss them so much.   I will let the photos speak for themselves.  


If you are interested in supporting the work of Streetwise you can go to tscnyc.org and make a donation.  Click on GIVE and follow the prompts to MORALES FAMILY / ZAMBIA.  




Sunday, September 10, 2017

mommy guilt and god's will

Ok, FINALLY, I have a few minutes to sit and write my thoughts about the last month of our life in Zambia.  So much has gone on in such a short period of time, so I am going to write a series of blogs.  This one is on a personal level.  Mommy guilt and the difficulty of God’s will and all that sorta fun stuff.  

We arrived home to Lusaka in the beginning of August and hit a big fat wall with the words WELCOME TO ZAMBIA THE REAL AFRICA written in bold letters across the face.  

This time around it was hard coming back to Zambia.  For the first time our girls are really beginning to understand what is there in America and what is here in Zambia.  Leaving family and friends is always hard, but this time it was particularly painful.   As a mother I wrestled a great deal with questions.

“Are we screwing our kids up irreversibly?”
“Will they ever forgive us for doing this to them!?”
“Are we being selfish by asking this sacrifice of them again?”
“OH GOD! I CAN’T DO THIS AGAIN!”

I remember on our last Sunday morning in church in NYC I was wrestling hard with God.  “LORD PLEASE MAKE IT CLEAR!   JESUS YOU HAVE TO SPEAK CLEARLY ABOUT MY GIRLS!  I CAN GO BACK TO ZAMBIA BUT ONLY IF I KNOW THAT MY GIRLS WILL BE OK!  LORD PLEASE!!!!!!!!!”  I felt like Jacob wrestling with the Angel.  Then God, in his amazing love, broke through the anxiety and the tears and brought such a calm and quiet to my heart.  

“Amira Hannah and Brooklyn are safe in the palm of my hands and you don’t have anything to worry about.  Keep moving forward and keep trusting me!"

It was like a clear soft voice that calmed the waves of storm in my momma heart.  It was what I needed to have the courage to get my girls on the plane two days later and fly back to Africa.  


God’s will chafes sometimes.  God’s will isn’t fluffy pink marshmallow clouds of spiritual bliss and happiness.  BUT GOD’S WILL IS THE SAFEST AND MOST SECURE PLACE YOU CAN BE!  God’s will is lonely sometimes, and God’s will stretches us is ways that we never thought.  (as in I am on the wrack of my own life and I can feel my bones cracking and my joints popping stretching, not a nice soft gently post work out stretch)  

The day we arrived in Zambia **THE DAY!** our dog was killed by the neighbors dog.  We had only been boots on the ground 6 hours!  I found myself holding our dog wrapped in a towel (he wasn’t dead at that point) screaming at God.  LORD DON’T LET THIS BE THE START!  GOD PLEASE!  WWWWWHHHHYYYYY!!!!!  MY GIRLS!  LORD MY GIRLS!!!!  (they loved that dog so much.  He was in our family for 4 years)  My husband took him to the vet and I went in the house, prayed with my tear filled babies and put them to bed.  

Louie died in the night.  When I woke the kids up in the morning to break the news to them I was FLOORED at the grace of God on them in that moment.  I was fully and completely expecting ranting and raving and angry tears and begging and pleading to go back to America.  But all three of them spoke of how God already told them that Louie was gone and that everything was going to be ok.  They were understandably sad, but WOW!  We talked about finding comfort in God when our hearts hurt and that God deserve the praise even when things go bad.  Nothing changes who God is.  

I see God at work in my kids right now in such beautiful ways.  I see them growing in the knowledge of Him and in the understanding of who God has made them to be.  Through the experience of Louie’s death they are beginning to understand the gentle merciful hand of God for themselves and learning to find comfort in God’s Word.  

I never wanna give the impression that because we are missionaries we have our stuff together.  BBBHHHWWWWWAAAAHHHAHHAAA!!    I wanted to share my recent experience as a missionary mamma mom who wrestles with God’s will and the fact that it ain+t pretty.  But I also wanna encourage you!  God hears your cries and he sees your heart!  Don’t be afraid!  Worship and let God take care of the rest!  I promise, he will see you through! 



love and cholera

Love in a time of cholera…..isn’t that a movie title?  Oh man….well, what is going on with the Morales?  We are now living in the ...