Monday, April 25, 2011


It’s been almost two and a half years since the Morales family has been in the United States. Thank you guys for supporting us and making it possible for us to serve in Zambia with the street children...
It has been no small challenge these last couple of years. Most mission agencies and resources estimate a three to five year adjustment period for those serving in foreign fields. Guess what: it’s pretty dang close.We are just now feeling like we are getting a handle on things here. Cross-cultural ministries can be tough like that. But we look back on these last three years and recognize that God has been in control of everything.There is no wasted time, unless we ourselves choose to waste it. God works all things together for good to them that love him and are called according to his purpose (I can say that this is for you guys as well as for us).
There are also resources that talk about how Tactical Field Operatives (my new term for missionary,TFOs) are affected as individuals and as a family. In short, batteries tend to die after prolonged use. Jesus himself, when confronted and literally touched with a chronically ill woman’s needs, says he felt power going out of him.That is the long-term cost of ministr y. As you pour out, you have to depend upon the Holy Spirit to pour back in.
In short, we need a break. Our vessels are running on fumes, our meters are bordering on red. Our family is very much in need of a geographical break as well. I know, I know, “those roughnecks that started the China Inland Mission back in the 1800s didn’t get a break for years, AND they had no email, no online baggage check-in for the flight, no 3G USB internet thingies.”We grew up in the 80’s, whaddya want from us?
We still feel called to the streets of Lusaka and street children.We still see that there is a need.We are praying about how to meet that need. But before we can re-engage, we need to be engaged ourselves.We need to be poured into, our oil needs to be changed, and we need to just chill in a familiar environment and hear what the Lord is speaking.
Plane tickets, for a family of five returning to the States, round trip, are somewhere north of 7,500 USD and somewhere south of 9Gs (ouch).
We need to raise that much to return home and be able to return to Zambia. We recognize that ALOT of you guys have sacrificed much to give to this work, and it is very difficult to send out a plea in these times of economic adversity (the President’s words, not mine).
Well, that’s all for now. If you feel inclined (or led) to give, you can do so online at donate_tsc.php. Click on “Make a One Time Gift,” than click “Missions - Give Toward Someones Trip” on the drop down menu.There should be a field appearing directly underneath that says Missionary First and Last Name.That would be us.
Our target for going home is end of May, beginning of June.Thanks so much for your support. See you soon.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Emotional Peanuts

Last night our 6 year old daughter was telling me about this little girl who is shall I put this?........very un-decided about Hannah’s friendship to her.  One day she is Hannah’s best friend and the next day she has decided that Hannah can’t be her friend anymore.  Why are women so fickle?  Needless to say that this has left Hannah very confused and frustrated.  She is a very upfront child who has always been sure of who she is and what her life is all about.  It is one of the things about Hannah that I respect.  So, to have little girls constantly changing their minds about her has just about pushed my poor middle child over the edge as she has never had to experience this in her short little life before.  She is coming from the point of view that everyone must view life through the same transparent guileless lenses that she does.  
As they were outside at school yesterday having snack, and after having broken my poor transparent daughter’s heart yet again with her fickleness, she goes up to Hannah asking if she would share her peanuts that I had packed in her snack.  Hannah said “No!”  then turned around and went about her day.  “WHY would I want to share my peanuts with someone who doesn’t value my friendship!?”  (6 year olds don’t have the maturity to put that into words, but flow with me here)  
So, quickly I said a prayer in my mind “LORD I NEED WISDOM NOW FOR THIS ONE!”  
I was proud of her for standing up for herself, you see because Hannah would take her wanting peanuts as a sign of friendship and would then place herself in a position of being hurt.  I do the same thing all the time.  This person just wounded me, but I have something they want, so all of a sudden I am their best friend.  So I think “Surely, I must have been mistaken before.”  Then I get myself into a place of pouring out and never getting poured back into.  Then when the person has used up all my “peanuts”  I get sucker punched in the gut and am left a quivering mass of emotion and wondering what it was that I did wrong.  I begin to feel as if I am responsible for the other persons responses and issues.  Follow me?  Does anyone identify with where I am going?  
Basically what I am trying to get at is that I see in Hannah an issue that the Lord is getting at in me.  And it has motivated me all the more to get into God’s word about it and find the solution there.  It also excited me because I can see how God is using the pain of my own experiences in this area to help my daughter along.  
I can hear the questions “YOU MEAN MISSIONARIES DON’T WALK AROUND ON A FLUFFY PINK CLOUD OF LOVE AND MERCY ALL THE TIME!?”  Let me tell you something that might shock the socks off you.....Being a missionary in Africa has been the MOST difficult struggle because I have had to come face to face with so much in my own life that I had carefully hidden, unknowingly, in the States.  
So, we talked about it.  We talked about what Jesus would want her to do.....would she want her to share the peanuts with someone who has hurt her feelings?  YES!  BUT Hannah doesn’t have to get put in a place of, for lack of a better term, emotional abuse.  She is valuable in God’s eyes and so is that other child!  God wants us to have boundaries, but he wants us to walk in love and grace.  
Do you need to “share peanuts” with someone today?  I know it is hard....and I don’t know what that looks like for each one of us..maybe that means every time you are tempted to dwell on the hurt, commit to pray for the person.....maybe it means to go out for coffee with them,  maybe you need to write a letter,  I don’t know!  But listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit and he will guide you and give you what you need! 
Choose love and joy and choose to forgive and God will give you what you need to accomplish what He has commanded of you!  

meet John

Meet John.  We don't know much about John other than he was a child living on the streets of Lusaka.    John represents the face of cou...