Monday, September 21, 2015

zambian morgues and needles in haystacks

One week ago we found out that Bupe had died.   Days after the fact we got details.   He actually died on Thursday.  He was hit by a car and died on the scene.  He was brought to the morgue at the hospital and was left there.   

Joe was left with the grim task of looking for and identifying his body.   Take everything that you think you know about sterilized morgues in America and flush it.  Needless to say it was a hard day for Joe.   Because of the nature of the accident, the time which it happened and the fact that there was a major bus accident that happened around the same time, Bupes case was lost.   No papers were signed, no documentation was made, no accident reports were filed, no nothing.  So, Joe literally had to look through bodies until he found Bupe.  

Where does that leave us?  We have been given the monumentally impossible task of looking for his family.   Talk about finding a needle in a stack of needles.   As we were not legal guardians of Bupe, we have to rights to take his body and bury him.  Yes, that means he is still in the morgue.  And yes, it is ripping my heart out.  Ten days after he has died he still hasn’t been given a proper burial.  

There hasn’t been much else I have been able to think about this week.  (That and what sweet sweet Joe has had to endure.) 

Today, while in the worship service at church, God gave me a beautiful gift.  We were singing songs of God’s triumphant power, how God is God and we are not and that his love never fails and never gives up.  In tears and complete surrender to the presence of God,  I saw something in my minds eye.  I saw Bupe at the throne of Jesus.  I saw him burden free.  I saw him happy, truly happy.  I saw him dancing and singing.  He was wearing a beautiful white robe, and he was smiling.  The burden that I saw in his eyes while he was here on earth was gone.  He was free!  And then I heard this in my heart….“Don’t worry for him anymore!  He is with Me and he is safe!”

Some would say that my mind has made that vision up to make my self feel better, but I do truly and sincerely believe that God allowed me a brief glimpse into what was going so that I would know truly know that Bupe is with Jesus.   All the questions that have been raging in my mind this week “Did we fail him?  Did we do enough to make sure he know about Jesus?  Did we love him enough?” were answered in that moment.     

Pray that we can find Bupe’s family.  We think they might be located in a village somewhere along the border of Zambia and the Congo.  Please pray that they will see Jesus in how we are treating Bupe’s death.  I am believing God that through this process their family will begin to know the freedom of Jesus.  

Please pray for Joe.  This has been very difficult on him.  Pray that we have the wisdom to know how to guide him through this.  Pray that he will be able to talk through all he experienced and that he won’t be plagued in him mind with what he had to see in the morgue.  

Let me leave you with this……If you are reading this and you don’t know Jesus as your savior, I plead with you…..GIVE UP THE FIGHT!  You don’t have to walk around burdened any longer.  Lay your heavy burden down and let Jesus, who is the author and the finisher of EVERYTHING carry you!  He can and will give your life hope, meaning, purpose and love.  All you have to do is surrender your heart.  Give up the sin that burdens and weighs you down and walk free in Jesus bathed in the peace that passes all understanding.  You will never regret it.  I haven’t.  

Sunday, September 13, 2015

bupe's eulogy

We have just received terrible news!  Bupe, one of the boys that we have known since we have lived in lusaka was killed over the weekend.  He was hit by a car and died in the hospital due to his injuries.  That is all the detail we have for now.  

Let me tell you a little bit about Bupe.  When we met him 8 years ago he was an angry soul!  Angry like I haven’t seen.  He would walk into the middle of an outreach and start causing trouble for no apparent reason, be loud and difficult and start picking on the littler kids.  In the past year we have seen a shift in him.  He was becoming soft and pliable.  He was smiling and showing kindness.  He was even singing!  He would sing praises to Jesus as loud as he could….and boy could Bupe make a joyful noise!  I remember the first time I saw a genuine smile on Bupe.  It was a beautiful sight to behold!  However, when you looked into his eyes there was a deep deep sadness there.  You could see barely masked pain.   

I am not sure of the details of Bupe’s life, where his family is, if he has one and where he came from.  It is always hard to find out about the kids lives as they are pretty guarded on their personal details.  I will find out though! 

What I am sure of is this…..The word of God says that Bupe was created fearfully and wonderfully…..The Bible is also clear on the fact that Bupe’s life had value, meaning and purpose to Jesus.  (Jeremiah 29:11) ….also that God loved him so much that every hair on his head was numbered….also that God had not forgotten him!  

I don’t know why God choose to take Bupe now.  I am flustered and heart sick.  I began to panic that he was alone in the hospital when he died.  But God immediately calmed my heart and let me know that He was with Bupe.  He was speaking to Bupe and that never once was he alone.  

But what I am sure of is that Bupe is in the arms of Jesus now.  He is safe, he is happy, he is comforted.  He is no longer cold, he is no longer hungry and he is no longer scared.   

I believe that if he could tell you anything right now it would be this…..”Jesus loves you!!!  He changed me!  He gave me hope, He gave me love, He gave me peace!  He can change you to!  The blood of Jesus will set you free from sin, pain, heart ache, longing,fear and rejection!  Look to Jesus because he truly is the author and finisher of your faith!  He is the answer!”  

Luis and I are determined that his death won’t be another voiceless nameless death of one more of the numerous homeless kids roaming the streets of Lusaka.  I am praying that his death will spark a burden in folks hearts for these precious babies who are lost and alone and so very very broken!   

How can you get involved with Streetwise?  How can you help us build relationships with these guys?  God’s mandate to us from the start has been “One child at a time”…..meaning this, relationships!  How can you help us put purpose and meaning behind Bupe’s death? 

Monday, September 7, 2015

life as we know it.....nuts

Phew…..where has this month gone!?  WHAT ON EARTH!!??  Have I really just completed September 7, 2015!!??  

What have we been up to??

Well…….In the middle of re-adjusting to life in Zambia…..14 hour a day power cuts and all that entails…….getting our kids prepped for school, adjusted to Zambia and engaged with life here, we hosted our first ever Streetwise Outreach SHORT TERM TEAM!!!  

Colleen was hanging with Mathews and having a good time 

 singing songs with the boys
Autumn and Titus
Zambia is facing some dire days ahead.  To keep a long story short and readers digest…..basically there is not enough electricity to power the country.  Due to this it is having ripple effects on the economy and peoples frayed nerves.  Business is suffering and the already grinding poverty is getting worse.  

You guys, when we landed back in Zambia on August 4th, all I could think about was a hot shower and my bed.  WELL, we came home to a dark house and dry pipes.  We couldn’t shower for two days…..eeeewwww

SO, as you can imagine it was a rough re-adjustment for our family, but God’s grace is very very sufficient!  The TSC Zambia team was the perfect breath of fresh air for us.   

They came bright and ready and excited for the adventure ahead and boy howdy did we have fun!  

I watched Jacob experience for the first time in his life what a loving gentle touch is like through the hands of a nurse who was on the team.  She ministered to his wounded feet in a way that makes me cry from the beauty of it every time I think about it.  

Jacob was sitting with Charlene and Jane singing songs
I watched Fabian, who has been with us since April, come out of his shell and blossom.  Who knew Fabian was funny!?  Who knew that he was good with little kids?  Who knew that Fabian can tell a story that keeps you enthralled?  
Fabian was showing us how to do a cartwheel on our day off

I watched as Joe, who has been with us since 2012, laugh!  He saw that there are other crazy Christians out there besides me and Luis and that it is ok to laugh at yourself and be silly sometimes.  
I call this one "Joe and his Ladies"

I watched my own children; Amira, Hannah and Brooklyn, come out of their funks.  They were having a hard time adjusting to life in Zambia in a way that was worrisome to us.  The team just loved on them and played with them and talked with them.  I could see the shackles of heaviness leave their shoulders.  PHEW!  Thank you Jesus!!!!!  (the internet slowed down, I couldn't load photos of them)

When they left Luis and I were left with a feeling of the miraculous.  It was good for us to have fresh eyes on Streetwise.  It was refreshing to see the teams passion and excitement for the work and the love they showed the kids (all of them, on the streets and my brood).  It renewed in us the passion and desire that God placed in us 8 years ago when we came here.   I could go on and on about that, but its for another blog.  

If you would like to contribute to the Streetwise Outreach go to and click on give and follow the prompts to MORALES FAMILY / ZAMBIA.  

If you would like to purchase a Streetwise Craft Company product email us at or inbox me on Facebook.  We accept payments via PayPal using  

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...