Sunday, April 22, 2012

Hard Knocks Seminary


Being a missionary comes with so many challenges.  You read these fabulous biographies on the lives of some pretty amazing people and think....

WOW I WANNA DO THAT AND BE THERE!  If God called them to live in a head hunting
 cannibalistic tribe with absolutely no modern conveniences available AT ALL, surely I can live in a 
modern African city and be successful.  How hard could it be!?  

WHAT EVER!  
When you arrive with your grand expectations and your ideals,  your 25 duffle bags full of Target sales, American food and hope something becomes shockingly clear.    In a 250 page biography on the life of the missionary is Papau New Guinie, they are only able to really tell you the highlights.  It is not all glory dances and victory laps around the sanctuary.  It is impossible to put into words what happens in the battles of the mind and the extreme struggles with your own flesh.  The loneliness that is tangible at times can almost suffocate you.  They don’t tell you of the moments when culture shock sets in and they just want to pack it all in and go home.  I personally, wasn’t prepared for that one.  Culture shock almost sent me packing a few times.  
We have taken many lumps over the past few years, some could have been avoided and some you just have to take them as they come.  However I am thankful for the lumps because they have prepared us for what we are doing now on the streets of Lusaka.   I don’t know if we would have been ready any other way...
We became missionaries through the Seminary of Hard Knocks.  
It is becoming clear to us that we need to begin to take things to the next level with the street kids.  They need and deserve and church meeting place.  Wednesday mornings have become church in the bus terminal.  They know we are coming, they gather and they wait for us.  PLEASE PRAY!!!!!  We know that God has placed us out there and we don’t take that responsibility lightly.  
  • Please pray that God will direct us to the right place at the right time for the right price.
  • Please pray for the finances to do this work.  We are going to need rent money, food, clothes, and all the things you need to make a store front church work. 
  • Please pray that we can make the proper connections with people who want to work with street kids.  We need to be able to build good relationships with the police and social welfare.  

We feel as if we are just along for the ride.  Simple steps of obedience bring the power and glory of Jesus!  We are not unique or special at all, we are just a simple couple from New Jersey who want to be in the center of God’s will. 

We also know that we are just as effective as those who are praying for us!!!  PRAY PRAY PRAY!!!!  
If you are lead to give please go to tscnyc.org and follow the steps under to donations tab.  There you will find our name.  

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

MORE PHOTOS!!!

 Ok, so we decided to take our huge, could-knock-someone-out-if-need-be camera on our outreach yesterday.  I took some shots in the car on the way to give you an idea of what daily life is like and was able to get a few shots of the boys before my camera battery died.  GRR!!!

This was taken in a field on the way to the market.  I just thought it was a cool photo
This is taken on Freedom Way.  It is the main shopping street for the locals.  You will find women all over the city who find a spot and set up their baskets to sell.  The man is a store security guard, not a police man. 


This was a shot taken from the car.  Thought it gave a good idea of what store fronts look like.  

An apartment complex we pass on the way to town.  


These two photos were taken in the bus terminal where we have our outreaches.  These boys have been on the streets for years.




Luis is talking with Weppy and Joe.  Joe is the the one in the stripped shirt. 

Right behind where we were talking with the kids someone had set up a makeshift shoe store.  People find an empty spot and go for it.  There is no rhyme or reason.

This is Mulenga.  He is smoking stika.  It is a combo of Benzine alcohol and glue.  The kids sniff it to get rid of hunger pangs and cold.  He has soaked a rag with it.  



This is Reagan...he is SO SWEET and has been on the streets for WAY to long.  

This is Andy.  He is about 13 years old.

Monday, April 16, 2012

FINALLY SOME PICTURES!

FINALLY SOME PICTURES!!!

These are some shots of boys that come to our home periodically.  Every time a kid comes to our home they get fed, no questions asked.  They get loved and they get a healthy dose of Jesus.  These kids came from across town...the equivalent of walking from lower Manhattan to upper Manhattan.
                 
                             The boys are sitting on the trampoline waiting for their eggs.  Homer, our dog is attempting to get up with them.  Zambians are notoriously afraid of dogs.





Brooklyn being the adorable little creature that she is!

Charisto....when this kid gives his heart completely over to the Lord there is no stopping him! He is president of a country material



The boys eating their lunch of scrambled eggs, crackers and an apple


OOPS!!  Homer made it on top of the trampoline!  Sinatra is doing his best to not freak out like a little girl! 


This little boys eyes told me that he has seen more life than most adults I know

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Cultural Whiplash


One of the things that I love about outreach and and find incredibly exhausting is the cultural whiplash.  We drop our children off at the International School of Lusaka.  In that world our entire family gets to interact with people from all walks of life.  It is a rich experience and one that Luis and I are truly grateful that our kids get to have.  
So, we kiss their little cheeks, leave them in the hands of very capable people and go get breakfast at our favorite cafe, La Mimosa.  It is opened early, we can get eggs, toast and coffee for a total of 10 USD for the both of us.  When we have had our fill of breakfast, we trundle off in the car to the downtown area.  We are whipped from an orderly neat world of International School drop off zones and cute little outdoor cafes to a world full of insanity.  The heart of Lusaka is loud, smelly and confusing.  Every time we walk into the bus terminal I am amazed that I have never seen anyone get squished by a bus.  There are SO many people and SO many buses and peppered through out all the insanity there are women who have set up makeshift stands to sell their wares...fruit, second hand clothes, shoes,   Today I actually saw someone had lashed about 5 lives goats into a wheelbarrow.  I assume he was taking them to be slaughtered cause they had all that forlorn look in their eyes “Why me dear God!?  Why me!?”  
We make our way through this cacophony of craziness, sidestepping piles of I don’t even want to know and find the kids waiting for us in the back.   We sit with them, hear their hearts, share God’s heart with them, pray with them and love on them.  It is always a wonderful time.  Today, in fact, I was asking the kids about the story of Peter and John and the lame man they met on the way.  I told it to them 3 weeks ago.  There was a boy there who pretty much told me verbatim what I had shared with them.  It was awesome!  SOMEONE WAS LISTENING!!!  
THEN after that, we climb back into our sling shot and get flung back across the city.  Usually we are filthy, very smelly, tired and hungry, but feel satisfied that a job has been done well.  We go to a place called Manda Hill where it is a nice little Western bubble of order and relative quiet.  Would you believe that now you can see a movie in 3D at Manda Hill!?  THEN we are back to the school to pick up our kids.  WHAM!  Usually there is some function that we have to participate in.  One week it was a swimming gala, one it was a school play all three were involved in.   I had to help do make up for excited little lady bugs and butterflies.  
The whiplash is good because we are forced to live in two completely different worlds and it actual helps to keep us balanced and grounded.  

PLEASE PRAY FOR US AS WE MOVE FORWARD!!!!!
We NEED to find a place where we can meet with the children.  We need a place where we can control the environment a bit better, where we can help meet their physical needs and where we can get a better handle on their situations.  
Also pray that we don’t move ahead of God’s timing and perfect plan.  It would be SO easy to do that, but...well you know what I am getting at! 
Please pray for a small camera that we can take to document our times with the kids.  I would LOVE for you to see their faces and see where we are.  We just feel that a small pocket sized camera would be better suited for the market at we don’t want to draw more attention that necessary. 
Please pray about how you can get involved.....Is it your time?  Is it your finances? 
We love so much to hear from you!!!  Keep in touch and let us know how your doing and what is going on in your lives! 
If you are interested in giving please go to tscnyc.org and follow the steps to donate.  There you will find a drop down menu with our name. 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Refuge!


Ok, here is me being transparent and open with you guys...ready?  
I told you in my last post that I have been having a very difficult time personally.  Depression, anxiety, struggles with bitterness and anger, general crankiness and just an all around unpleasant person to be with.  Why? Well, that isn’t important, it is just the bi-product of my rotten heart that I wanted you to know about.  My poor family!  I sat my kids down the other night an apologized from the deepest parts of my heart for being gross.  I love my kids so much!  They are so forgiving and fabulous!  How could they be any thing different with faces like this.....
Amira, Hannah and Brooklyn showing off their new Easter dresses. 
I want to encourage you with what God has been encouraging me with....Psalm 31.  I won’t re-quote it.  But know this, if you are having a hard time, what ever it means for you, Psalm 31 will boost your heart and strengthen your spirits.  It is so comforting to me to read in the Bible EXACTLY what my present emotions are all about.  
I have been listening to the lies and believing them! YUCK!  I am reminded again that the lies of the devil are always laced with a bit of truth....HOWEVER....
THE LORD IS MY ROCK, MY FORTRESS AND MY DELIVER, MY GOD IS MY ROCK IN WHOM I TAKE REFURE, HE IS MY SHIELD AND THE HORN OF MY SALVATION, MY STRONGHOLD!  PSALM 18:2
We can take refuge in the name of the Lord and be saved!  We can run to him and find shelter from what ever storm it is that is raging against us!  We can walk through the valley of the shadow and death and not fear evil because we know that he is with us and His rod and staff comfort us!  AMEN!!