Saturday, June 2, 2018

we are the music makers we are the dreamers of dreams


Meet Michael.....street name Tata.   He is roughly 18 years old (many of these guys don't know how old they are).  This past Saturday Michael was maimed by a train.  He was high on drugs and exhausted from being up all night running from place to place to avoid being arrested and fell asleep on the train tracks where many kids spend their days.   It is in fact the spot where we conduct outreaches to the street kids.  Michael was so deeply asleep that he didn't hear the train coming.  In the end he has lost his arm and three toes.   In my opinion, it is miraculous that he didn't loose his life!  

Our team has been to visit him in the hospital and we are seeing to what needs he has and we will walk with him as far as need be to make sure that Michael knows that he is loved and cared for and that God's hand is on his life.   Would you pray for him?  Would you pray that God uses this horrific incident and make something beautiful in his life?  Would you pray that we can learn what his situation is exactly and that we can help him effectively?  We want our helping to point Michael towards a life with Jesus.  We want to see him walk with Jesus and be restored to his family.  

It is interesting to me the timing of all this.  We have worked out tail feathers off to put an art show featuring Streetwise Craft Co products.  The aim of this show has been to tell the story of the street kids and to put them in a beautiful colorful light.  We want them to be seen as beautiful and vibrant.  We want people to see the art work and be inspired to want to help the kids on the streets.  We have been planning this show for months and now this came up two days ago.  

It has been a stark reminder to me that the hard work we put into our work has eternal significance.  That the work we do represents lives and the value of those precious lives.  
 This is a small sample of the pieces we have prepared.  

I understand that some of you may not be able to buy a piece of art but you want to get to involved somehow.  How can you do that?  SIMPLE!  Two ways....
                                                          your time 
                                                          your resources.  

Your time can be given by coming to the Streetwise center in Kalingalinga and going on outreach with us.   If you are unable to come on outreach you can give toward the outreach.  We buy food and provide medical care for the kids every week.  If you are interested in learning more about that you can inbox me at streetwise@gmail.com for details.   And most importantly we need you to PRAY!!!!!  Precious kids like Michael are facing obstacles that most of us will never be able to comprehend.  Please pray for them!  Please pray for us as we go week to week!  

Thank you for taking the time to read this!!!!!!  Please pass it along if it has touched your heart!!

We love you guys!!!!


If you are interested in giving financially you can to to tsc.nyc  Click on GIVE and follow the prompts to MORALES FAMILY / ZAMBIA  or you can give through our paypal using streetwisezambia@gmail.com 

Sunday, March 25, 2018

what is one life worth?

Remember Bruto?   I introduced him to you a few weeks prior in my post entitled "WHAT HAPPENS WITH YOU BUY STREETWISE"

It that particular post I told you that Bruto has been living on the streets since he was 8 years old.   He came across our radar a few months ago and we have been talking with him, working with him and making sure he knows how loved he is.  

Our outreach coordinator Tim Phiri spent a lot of time with Bruto gaining his trust, taking him for medical care and loving on him.  Through this we learned that Bruto really wanted to get back to his family so we stepped in to help.

Tim and a friend took Bruto back to his family earlier this week on one HUGE epic journey.   Hitch hiking, arrests, getting stuck with a drunk driver in the african bush and an emotional street kid just scratch the surface.    Tim tells the story way better that I could.

At one point Bruto and Tim were stuck in the middle of no where and Bruto started crying.  Tim (who is about 20 pounds SMALLER than Bruto) turned to him and said "WHY ARE YOU CRYING!?  YOU HAVE BEEN LIVING ON THE STREETS OF LUSAKA FOR A LONG TIME!  I SHOULD BE THE ONE CRYING RIGHT NOW!"  

Needless to say they found the family and a beautiful reunion took place right before their eyes.  Tim said that the uncle had been looking for Bruto to no avail.  He wanted Bruto back and loves him very much.   Many tears of joy were shed by everyone around.

After years of living rougher than anything I have ever seen and beyond my personal comprehension....living with crushing loneliness, rejection and pain.......Bruto has found a place in his family again.  WOW!  

Luis and I have been humbled and amazed at the lengths Jesus will ask us to go through for one persons life.  Bruto, no doubt, is worth the time, energy and resources it took to get him home.  Tim had no clue what they would find on the end of their bus ride.  Would his family want him back? Would they even be alive?

All he had was a burden that God had placed on our hearts as a team that we needed to step in and help this lost lamb find his way home.   And despite all the obstacles that were thrown in their way to get them to stop they FOUND HIS FAMILY IN THE MIDDLE OF NO WHERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (tim wasn't able to take pictures for various reasons)

You wanna know something........this epic journey for Bruto was made possible because you guys purchases Streetwise Craft Co products.  Bruto is one of the many thousands of reasons we work like we do to create a piece that you will cherish and love.

When you purchase Streetwise Craft Co originals you are DEFINITELY making a difference in the life of a precious soul who desperately needs to know how loved they are!

Thank you for all you do!

If you would like to donate to what we are doing here in Zambia please go to TIMES SQUARE CHURCH tsc.nyc ......click on GIVING and follow the links to MORALES FAMILY / ZAMBIA






 


Monday, March 12, 2018

i am until god says i am not

I AM UNTIL GOD SAYS I AM NOT.....Pastor Carter Conlon. 

I finally understood that statement in its entirety this weekend.

Luis and I were out with our family on Saturday afternoon.  They had youth group so Luis and I stayed out goofing off and killing time until they were done.    We picked them up, said bye to friends and headed home ready to relax for the evening and catch up on THIS IS US.  (we love that show and enjoy watching it as a family)

Our plan was to stop at the grocery store before going home but Luis forgot and pulled onto our road before remembering the plan.  Not a biggie, he would drop me and the girls off and head over to the store (we live very close).  When he pulled in he decided to go into the house to change his shorts and grab a hat.  I decided to go look at our neglected vegetable garden.  I haven't payed attention to our sad little plot for months.  Upon going to the garden I found two guys in the back yard.  They were hiding behind the shed.

 It took a second to compute what was happening.  It wasn't until I saw that one of the guys was wearing my daughters back pack on his shoulders that I realized what was happening.  I yelled WHO ARE YOU!?  Then I started yelling for Luis.   Everything happened pretty fast after that.

Before I knew it we had both guys sitting on our porch and our neighbor was hauling bootie back to the house with a police officer.  (there is no 911 in Zambia...if you need the police you have to go get them yourself)

I won't go into gory details, but my husband is a big Puerto Rican and his family was being threatened.....You fill in the blanks.   Then he unleashed me on them and WOW!    I actually think the guys were relieved when the police showed up.   DONT MESS WITH MY BABIES!!!

We were able to recover everything they took PRAISE GOD  and , more importantly, no one in our house was hurt!  

What would have happened if Luis had remembered the store before going home?
What would have happened if he didn't go into the house before heading back out?
What would have happened if I hadn't gone to look in the garden before going into the house?  There is no way we would have seen them if I hadn't gone looking.

I AM UNTIL GOD SAYS I AM NOT!  

God looks after us in ways we may not even see at times!!!!  Our day on Saturday was orchestrated in ways that just blows my mind!  The details that were set in motion and the hand of God in all of it is amazing!  Some call it coincidence, some call it blind luck.  NOT ME!  I call it GOD LOOKING OUT FOR MY FAMILY!!!!

OH I FORGOT TO MENTION SOMETHING!  Our neighbors kids were home alone with their teenage daughter.  The husband had to run and errand and the wife was coming home is 30 minutes after.  Thats when the thieves broke in.  They didn't know anyone was there.  I SHUDDER TO THINK OF WHAT COULD HAVE HAPPENED IF WE DIDN'T GET HOME WHEN WE DID AND THEY FOUND THE KIDS NEXT DOOR!



For I know that my Redeemer lives,
and at the last he will stand upon the earth. Job 19:25



No matter what I know that my Redeemer Lives!  I won't live in Fear!  I won't live in Anxiety our Worry!  I AM UNTIL GOD SAYS I AM NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Do you have that assurance in your heart?  Jesus loves you more than anything!  He died so that you can live!  He rose again from the dead to get the victory over the sin that we are all born in.   All you have to do is choose Jesus!  Believe that he is the Christ the Son of God and that the only way to Heaven is by believing in Him!  He took care of the rest!!!!!!!!!  Let go of all the arguments and the debates and let Jesus carry you and give you the peace you long for.  Because He is the only way the only truth and the only life!  


Wednesday, February 28, 2018

what happens when you buy Streetwise?

I am writing today's blog for two reasons.  I want you to meet Bruto.  And I want you to know what a valuable role you are playing in his life and in many more likes him!

Bruto, as you can see from this picture, has had a rough time of life.  He is only 20 and has been living on the streets since he was 8.......EIGHT YEARS OLD!!!!!!!!  What were you doing when you were EIGHT YEARS OLD!?  I was not fighting for survival in unspeakable odds....thats for sure!

He came across our radar at Streetwise because we found out that he works during the day doing odds and ends wherever he can (carrying grocery bags for people, digging up gardens for others.....) and then uses his wages to buy food for the kids living on the streets with him.  We have begun to ask how can we come along side him, love on him, point him toward Jesus and support what he is wanting to do among his peers?

Long story short, he only came to the shop once a couple of weeks ago, then fell off the radar.  We couldn't find him!  Our team felt VERY STRONGLY that we needed to go find him on Monday and find out what was going on with him.  So, Tim, our outreach guy, went out and found Bruto!  He found him in a suicidal, emotionally tormented mess!

YES THATS RIGHT!!!!!  Bruto was about to go fling himself into traffic when Tim found him!!!!!!!!!  You guys, Im not trying to be dramatic when I share this.....but I want you to know that the situations these guys are living in is desperate.  Bruto had reached the end of his tolerance and he was so desperately alone and afraid and wanting to end it all!  And here comes Tim!  Ready to love him and show Bruto that his life is valuable and purposeful!   Tim got him into a cab and took him to the hospital because he learned that Bruto had a terrible fever.  Tim sat with him ALL DAY, talking with him, praying for him and treating him with love and dignity.    Through out the day Bruto was remember different scriptures our team had shared with him and the impact they have made on his life.    Scriptures that he and Tim had spoken about in times past were coming back to Bruto's memory and he spoke of the hope that it gave him and how much he has appreciated Tim taking the time with him.

What would have happened if Tim hadn't found Bruto when he did!?  This would be a very different posting!

This brings me to the second point I wanted to talk about.....YOU!!!  What happened on Monday in Bruto's life was made possible because YOU purchase our Streetwise Craft Co product!!!  Because you spent you money with us we had the resources necessary to send Tim into town, we had the resources to arm Tim with to meet what ever he found.  Because you bought Streetwise we were able to get Bruto the medical care and the food he desperately needed!  Because you purchased Streetwise you helped save someone's life!!!!!!!!!  THINK ABOUT THAT WHEN YOU LOOK AT YOUR PIECE OF ART HANGING ON THE WALL OF YOUR HOUSE!!!!!  That piece of art holds value beyond the monetary!


THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ALL YOU DO ON BEHALF OF THE KIDS LIVING HOMELESS IN LUSAKA!!!!!!!!!  Thank you!!!!!  You may not think that your 20 dollars will make a difference, but BELIEVE ME IT DOES!!!!!!!!!!!  Tim was armed with the equivalent of 70 dollars on Monday, and that was enough to buy food, transportation and look after Bruto's medical expenses.



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

If you are interested in seeing more of our pieces for sale you can go to our instagram @streetwisecraftco or visit our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/STREETWISECRAFTCO/

You can also visit the following link if you want to buy a t-shirt!  Represent with your streetwise swag!!!  WOOP WOOP! 
https://www.bonfire.com/streetwise-craft-co-t-shirts/
https://www.bonfire.com/streetwise-craft-co-t-shirts-2/

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

one purpose one child at a time!


Why do we do the crazy things that we do?  Our missions statement says it all......ONE PURPOSE ONE CHILD AT A TIME

What is the one purpose?   To bring the love and light of Jesus to a group of people who are lost, forgotten and literally cast aside.    These are some statistics found online that I find pretty eye opening to the situation at hand in Zambia.   

  • over 30% of all children under the age of 15 are orphans, mainly AIDS orphans
  • 80% of the people in rural areas live below the poverty line
  • half a million young children are living on the streets, with no one to look after them 
      • http://www.street-children.org.uk/african-street-children/zambia

Those numbers are staggering and I immediately feel overwhelmed upon reading them.  I have faces and names that can be assigned to these statistics.  Kids that we have brought into our hearts, kids that we have hugged, kids that we have bandages wounds for, kids that we have cried over.  SO, that is why our missions statement means so much.  

We have to constantly remind ourselves of what the ONE PURPOSE is.  Years ago when we started God told us the purpose was to simply bring Christ to them and allow the kids to make the choice.  All their ability to make choices in their lives was destroyed the day they moved onto the streets.  

Understanding that in that, on a need by need basis, bringing Christ means spending days in the hospital with a kid who has a severly broken finger for two months,  or wading through the muck of a poverty ridden neighborhood to find a street girl and her severly malnourished baby, or simply giving a tired weary boy a safe place to sleep for a few hours and some healthy food.  ONE PURPOSE is an outside of the box statement for Streetwise.  It doesn't look the same every time.  But the PURPOSE remains the same!  

ONE CHILD AT A TIME is simply that.   We can't solve the problem for the 500,000 kids living homeless in Zambia, but we can pour our resources into that one kid who needs love.  We believe whole heartedly that one life SO valuable and worth all the resources heaven has placed at our disposal.  So, that is what we do.  One kid at a time!  

ONE PURPOSE ONE CHILD AT A TIME!!!! 

In order to do this we need your help!  

1. We are actively searching for a place to rent so that we can conduct street outreaches.  Currently we go to the kids, but we see that we need a place where we can control the environment.  The place needed should be near the center of town so the kids will be able to walk there.  

2. We are also actively raising funds to purchase a ministry vehicle.  Hence the logo you see at the top!  In the next week we will be launching a bonfire.com campaign to raise funds.  Its really exciting!!  You will be able to purchase a t-shirt, tank top or hoodie with the above logo on it.  The funds raised from selling shirts will help us buy a bus!!!  We need 10,000 usd in order to accomplish this!  So, you buy a cool t-shirt, and you help a street kid at the same time!!!  GROOVY!!!!  What colors would you like to see? 

3. AND AS ALWAYS!  We need prayer!  PRAYER IS KEY!   We are only as effective on the streets as the prayers we pray!  It is in prayer that we find God's heart, His mind and his strength to accomplish the seemingly impossible task!  

Thanks so much for your consideration in reading this!!!  PLEASE pass it on to your friends and help us spread the word about the street kids!!!!  

If you want to donate for our bus fund you can go to paypal.com using streetwisezambia@gmail.com or you can buy a t-shirt within the week!  ROCK ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If you would like to give toward our living expenses you can go to tscnyc.org and click on GIVE follow the prompts to MORALES FAMILY /ZAMBIA





Wednesday, January 24, 2018

good things come to those who hustle



Many of you have asked how this cholera scare has effected the outreaches we conduct at Streetwise. Well......last week members of our team went to meet with the head of Community Development to find out about how and when we can move forward.  (This guy answers directly to the president so it was pretty sweet that we were able to get a meeting with him!)  He told us that WE ARE THE ONLY ORGANIZATION WHO CAME TO GET COUNSEL AND ADVICE!!!!!!  Many other groups have been shut down because they weren't willing to follow protocol.

Anywho.......what we were told is that we are able to go see the kids but we can't go in big groups like we normally do and we can't pass out food yet.    Starting Friday we are going to begin to look for the kids again.  Since this whole mess started in December the kids we work with have been scattered all over the city.  Bless their hearts, they can't stay in one place for to long or they will be caught by the police and arrested.   Please pray that we can find them!
THEN Saturday we are holding the first market for 2018.  As many of you know we make art pieces to sell and that supports the work we do with the kids on the streets.  They are also afforded the opportunity to come to the shop and learn some skills from us.  We are able to evaluate their needs better and make a wiser decision on how to help them.

This Saturday we are holding a sale in our shop where the entire stock will be 25% to 50% off.  If you are in Lusaka you should come by and say HI!  It is a great opportunity to see what we do, buy a piece of art and help feed some hungry street kids!  I have scattered some photos through this blog of what we will be selling.  These and SO MUCH MORE!

In addition to the outreaches in town we also hold a community outreach near our shop.  About 9 months ago we began visiting this sweet lady because her daughter lives on the streets.  Through our visits an outreach to the neighborhood kids started.  Just like in the streets, we have also had to put this outreach on hold.  Hopefully next week we will be able to gather the kids again.  







How can you help?

1.  You can give your time!!!!  We take volunteers on Thursdays and Fridays.  We conduct the outreaches on these days.  We can't reach the kids of Lusaka unless you get involved.  We need you to come and love on some kids who are desperate to know they aren't forgotten about.  Then if you choose you can hang in the shop with us and paint and get messy.  It promises to be a fun day!

2.  You can give financially.   Specifically we are needing to purchase a bus so that we can conduct outreaches more effectively.  This will become the vehicle that the kids can associate with Streetwise and it will give our team more mobility to get to other parts of the city where the kids are.  I will be rolling out a go fund me page soon with more details on how you can help in this regard


3.  YOU CAN PRAY!!!!!!!!!  We are only as effective as Streetwise as those who are praying!  Specifically you can pray for more volunteers to get involved to help spread the love of Jesus to the kids.  Pray for wisdom and direction as a team.  Pray for provision, not only for a van, but for the daily needs the ministry has....financial needs, spiritual needs.  Somedays the work is extremely exhausting.  Pray for grace, for strength and for the rest that is needed.

YOU GUYS ARE AWESOME!!!  This is a body ministry.  We LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!!!!!!!

If you feel led to give you give to our personal needs as a family you can go to tscnyc.org click on GIVE and follow the prompts to MORALES FAMILY / ZAMBIA




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!

we are the music makers we are the dreamers of dreams

Meet Michael.....street name Tata.   He is roughly 18 years old (many of these guys don't know how old they are).  This past Saturday...