Friday, July 25, 2014

outreaches be CRAY CRAY!!!

We just hosted our first Streetwise guests!  That was fun!  Hannah Ellis and Kasey Givens were a treat to have in our home and we were blessed to have them!  I wonder if they will ever know what a breath of fresh air they brought to our little corner of insanity?  God brought them at the right moment!  We needed them and I love that God knew that!  

So, they went on the outreach this past Wednesday night with myself and Clive.   Needless to say it was CRAZY with a capitol CRAY CRAY!!  Started out with poor Gift getting tapped with a car.  (I say tapped because he didn’t move out of the parking spot in time and the guy was trying to nudge him out of the way and it knocked him down...because of the drugs he takes his response time is pretty slow).  So, that set off the boys.  Daniel kept shouting “ON FRIDAY I AM GOING TO TAKE A KNIFE AND KILL YOU ALL!”  Remember that this happened on Wednesday, so I don’t know why Friday was so important.......So, the four of us got things relatively calm and I decided to serve the tea and bread so that the boys could get distracted from wanting to knife people on Friday.  That didn’t go well.  Usually they are pretty good about standing in line and waiting patiently.  I have been known to kick boys out of the line in the past if they are disrespectful.  None of that worked and it went from crazy to CRAY CRAY in a matter of minutes.  At one point Daniel started picking up rocks and throwing them at the guys who hit Gift with the car.  (The lot where we do outreach just happens to be a popular hang out spot for people who want to drink and pick up prostitutes...yeah like I said CRAY CRAY!)   It ended with Clive, my co-leader, making an executive decision to stop the outreach midway and leave.  He felt it was beginning to get dangerous and I didn’t want to argue with him.  Nothing we were doing was calming them down.  Usually singing or handing out bread gets them focused, but NADA!  His primary concern was the safety of me and the girls.  He got us in the car and away we went.  

I wont go into detail about all that was going through my mind at that point, I will leave that up to your imagination.  But as I was sitting there in stunned silence Kasey told a story of an outreach they were involved with that went horribly wrong.  They are involved with a ministry in Austin called Young Life.  It reaches out to teens from all walks of life.  They were hosting a pancake dinner for the kids. 

I don’t know what God did on Wednesday night if anything.....Maybe we stopped a riot when Gift was hit?   Not a clue, but we showed up!  And maybe that is all it takes?  

Sunday, July 20, 2014

weary travelers need rest!

I have been sitting here for about 30 minutes trying to find the right words to open up this entry.  

Then I found this picture and its true what they does say 1,000 words. It is called WEARY TRAVELLER.  See what I mean!?

May I take a moment of transparent honesty?  This has been a challenging year for me personally, yet incredibly rewarding.  

Luis and I are working on a dream God has given us a long time ago to reach the street children of Lusaka.  We get to work together on a vision that we both feel incredibly passionate about and know it is directly from the heart of God.   I have discovered in myself a level of creative ability I never knew I had. We sell these to raise money for our ministry and living expenses.  

It is something that we enjoy doing and for the first time since coming to Zambia the reasons why are clear and understandable.   God has given us a mandate, clear as a bell.   

YET, there are days when I feel like this.....

More than this....

I think the challenging part for me has been to learn that when I am out of emotion and passion, and when all I have left is obedience, God is there!  God WILL see the work through....not only the one in my heart, but the one he has put before us to do.  It isn't our work!  It is God's and we are just the vessels that He has chosen.  Not because we are special and unique....NO WAY!  But because God decided that Streetwise not only benefit the children of Lusaka, but also it benefits our hearts!  Through the process of working in this direction I have learned more of the faithfulness of God than at any other time in my life! 

Just the other day Luis and I were feeling overwhelmed with the task at hand and our inability to do it.  We prayed and then went about the day.  Not feeling any better mind you, but knowing that God heard and that is that.  

The next day I had a wonderful conversations with some young ladies who are here visiting.  They came on the outreach with us and were SO encouraging about what we are doing.  They said "KEEP MOVING FORWARD!  THERE WILL BE FRUIT!"  

God sends along what we need when it is needed!!!!  Be it physical, emotional or spiritual needs that need filling, GOD WILL MEET THEM!!!!!  That is a fact!  Take it to the bank and cash it in!  GOD WILL MEET YOUR NEEDS!!!  This week my need was "GOD, I am a weary traveller and I need to be strengthened!  HELP!"  


If you think of us please pray for us?    The kids that we encounter on a weekly basis are so wounded and bruised!  Pray that God provides the money for us to get a store front to work out of.  We need to move out of our living room.  Also, but having a store front we will have the ability to hold outreaches, the training school AND have team meeting and a store to sell STREETWISE CRAFT CO products.  

I pray that this entry encouraged you heart the way it encouraged mine!  Don't give up on what God has placed on your heart!  Stay the course and keep hidden behind the cross of Jesus!  

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Prayer Changes Things!!!

If anyone asked me seven years ago where I would see my life today.....I definitely wouldn’t say “teaching street kids how to make antique wooden signs in my dining room”.  Did we see ourselves STARTING A NEW MINISTRY!?  That is a definite NO WAY JOSE’! 

God’s ways are NOT OUR OWN!  That is FO-SHIZZLE!!!  Take it to the bank and cash it in baby!  

There isn’t a week that goes by when Luis and I don’t stand in our dining room strewn about with spray cans and stencils and saw dust and think “What on earth happened to our lives!?”  

Don’t get me wrong...........

We LOVE the direction that Streetwise is taking. 

 Luis and I are working together on a project that we both have tons of passion for and that we do well together.  I never thought of myself as creative, but God has orchestrated our lives in a way that a hidden talent in my heart has been brought to the surface in a pretty cool way.   

We love that Streetwise is out of the box.  We have quickly learned that there is no one size fits all approach to the needs of the kids we work with.  It is a one on one slow and steady wins the race type of approach.  What works with Joe will not work with Nicholas.  It keeps us humble....It keeps us on our knees.  
The Streetwise name is starting to take off.  People in Lusaka are beginning to recognize the name and purpose.  AWESOME!  In September there will be the second annual STREETWISE FUN RUN fundraiser.  AWESOME!  There are two amazing ladies in our church here who felt called to help us out by planning fundraisers.  They can’t go on outreaches, but they sure can get a crowd together!  They are planning on 500 participants!  Last year there were 150.  

We need prayer you guys!!!!  We need LOTS OF PRAYER!!!!!  In the near future I will be setting up a facebook page dedicated to the prayer needs of Streetwise.   Let me know if you want participate!  Prayer changes things!  GOD HEARS OUR CRIES!!!!  As I always say.....A missionary is only as effective as those who are praying for them!  Do you wanna join the Streetwise team?  You may not be able to get on a plane and fly over but you can pray!  And that makes you part of the team!  

Pray for the safety of my family.........Just this past Sunday my girls were feet away from being ran over by a drunk driver.  The devil isn’t happy with what we are doing! 

Pray for the unity of our marriage.....If Luis and I are fighting then we loose our testimony. 

Pray for provision......We NEED a work space!  

Pray for workers.......Working with these guys, especially on a day to day basis in the Streetwise craft co is going to take MANY HANDS!  Each kid has his own unique issues. 

Basically.....PLEASE PRAY!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Thank you everyone for all your love and support over the years!  It means SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I don’t think we could do what we do if we didn’t have such a solid support structure from home.    


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...