Thursday, April 28, 2016

tough days

Today was a tough one. 

Today was one of those days where it feels more surreal than real.

I have been trying to find the words to express the emotions I have been experiencing all day and I find myself wavering between complete shock, anger,  mournful sadness and numb resignation.   

If you have followed me on Facebook you will have seen that a young 16 year old girl named Emma Musonda came up on our radar at Streetwise.  We decided to step in and help her because she was 7 months pregnant.  


I won’t go into all the details about the situation cause that would take forever, but I will say this……this morning I left the house hopeful to find her and get her and her baby some much needed help and ended up home sad, numb, confused and a bit angry.  

Apparently Emma was beaten last night and due to that gave birth to a still born little boy.   

I was trying to find the words to describe the conditions of the hospital where she was taken and……well…….I will tell you this,  as I was speaking to the head nurse to get the details on Emma’s case a woman waiting for an empty bed (there were at least 30 women in a room meant for 10 giving birth) dropped to her hands and knees next to me and started rocking and moaning in the throws of labor.   Women were wailing in pain in the back and yelling for their mothers…..occasionally I would hear a tiny bum being slapped and the cry of a new baby.  (that part was cool)  WHAT!?  All I wanted to do at that point was turn around and pretend none of that happened and go home.  I wanted to pretend I didn’t know Emma, I wanted to pretend that I never heard about the horrible tragedy that happened to her and the baby.  I wanted to drop my head in the sand and wait life out.  GOD THIS IS TO BIG FOR ME!!!!!!!!!  REALLY GOD!? WHAT WERE YOU THINKING DROPPING ME IN THE MIDDLE OF THIS!?   
I was able to take one covert shot of the entry to the labor room.  

Then I saw Emma.  She came out looking like nothing I had ever seen before.  A weariness and a hurt that go beyond words covered her whole being.   My heart was flooded with a gentle peace that only comes from Jesus and a determination to see this precious girl through until the end.  So, I put her under my arm, thanked the kind and extremely over worked staff and off we went.    

Emma is now safely tucked away at the YWCA (Young Women Christian Alliance).  The original plan was to take her there today after her doctors appointment, so the only thing I could think of was that we needed to get there anyway.  We were greeted by a warm, loving staff who treated Emma with such care and respect.  While there for the next two weeks she will receive counseling, medical care and a clean safe place to sleep.  We will be working with them to help find her family and prayerfully take her home.  

Emma never even looked at her baby.  I think the pain was to much, so I have unofficially decided to call Emma’s baby Simeon.  Simeon is a character in the Bible….his story is found in Luke chapter 2.  Simeon was a man of integrity, courage, strength and hope in God.  He knew intimately the promises of God and waiting in hope for the coming of Jesus.  He was allowed the beautiful privilege of seeing it happen and holding Jesus in his arms before he died.  Maybe one day when Emma's heart has healed a bit and she is ready to talk about it I can share that with her.  Maybe it will bring her some comfort.  

Folks, I can’t explain why this horrible thing happened.  I can’t explain away Emma’s pain, or reason why a helpless little life had to die tragically with out ever being given the chance to figure out who he was in the world.  All I know is this and I leave you with this beautiful promise…….

Psalm 23
A psalm of David.

1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
2     He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3     he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
    for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,[a]
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
    forever.



When pain hits your life in ways that make no sense…..when it all falls apart and there seems to be no hope…..remember Psalm 23.  There is hope in Jesus!  


If you would like to learn more about Streetwise and about how you can get involved you can contact  me or my husband Luis at streetwisezambia@gmail.com 

If you would like to give financially you can go to tscnyc.org  Click on GIVE and follow the prompts to Morales Family / Zambia 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

life through my lens

Hi everyone!  Life has been so unbelievably busy lately that I haven't had the head space to sit down and put words to paper of all I have seen and experienced over the past few months.  .  SOOO, I thought, let me tell the story through my photos.  
ENJOY!  Would love your feed back! 

My husband luis walking down the steps toward Victoria Falls.  I love to watch how he loves our girls.  

Our daughter Brooklyn. This was taken the morning she went on a camping trip with her school.  And yes, this photo does do justice to the nutty kid that she is.  She is a constant riot
Our daughter Hannah.  We took a trip to Livingstone to see Victoria Falls and this is here enjoying the spray from the falls.  

Our daughter Amira.  We got soaked from the falls!  It was majestic! 

On one of our morning outreaches to the streets of Lusaka.  Ashleigh is sitting with a 12 year old girl who has to spend her time helping her blind grandpa beg for money at the cars.  There is no social aid here in Zambia for the blind. 
The grandpa of the girl in the photo above

This is Rose.  Rose is a street girl.  She has two kids and begs at the cars every day so she can make enough money to feed her babies.  
Under the tree is a blind woman taking a nap.  She spends her days begging for money at the cars.  




Elliot and his mom and dad go to the church we attend here in Lusaka.  south city church is a international church community with a healthy mix of people from all walks of life. 

This is Angeni.  Angeni's parents are part of the leadership structure of South City church
David is a part of the congregation of South City Church.  He is a radio DJ for a local Christian station 

This is Gladwell.  I think he lives up to his name

Meet Kunda.  Kunda lives on the streets and has become a part of the program at Streetwise Outreach and Craft Co.  

Samuel is a part of the program on Streetwise Outreach and Craft Co as well.  We are proud of him because he will be going to Teen Challenge this weekend to go through a year long program.  



The rest of the photos are just random things I have seen and thought lovely about the place we live and work.   Zambia is full of color and people of dignity and rare beauty