Goodness me, I can't believe its been so long since I have written an entry! WHERE HAS THE TIME GONE!? Well, much has happened and I’d like you to meet Samuel.
We are SO PROUD and excited for Samuel. Why you ask?
WELL, Samuel is about to graduate the program at the Teen Challenge Center here in Zambia. WHOOHOOOOOOOOOO!!!! Way to go Samuel!
Let me back up a bit. We met Samuel late 2015 on the outreaches. He approached me excited and happy. He told me that he had gone two weeks with out drinking or smoking. He and I spoke at length about how great that is and about how he needed to get into a program to help him and that Jesus is the only way he can truly stay away from the booze. We watched Samuel for a few more weeks to see how sincere he was. ( sometimes the guys give us a story to make ends meet, so we have to proceed with wisdom when we decide who we are to intensely help) What we saw was a young man who just wanted to be loved, accepted and normal. He was willing to do anything for anyone and has a very gentle nature. We saw that he was careful with the younger boys, he helped clean up and was very considerate to everyone. So we brought him up to the Streetwise shop once a week so that we could monitor him closer and judge more clearly if he was truly ready to get off the streets. (one thing we have learned is that you can’t just pull kids off the streets and with out a breath put them into a home situation……its to much culture shock for them) Samuel was faithful, eager and willing. He always showed up when he promised, he worked hard and has a keen teachable mind.
So after about 3 months we began to talk to him about Teen Challenge. Luis took him for a visit and the rest is, as they say…… history.
Samuel’s story amazes me, at least the little bit that I know. (we don’t ask to many details while we get to know the boys, we have learned that as they trust us and as God begins to change their hearts they open up little by little and share what actually happened to them) The day Samuel went to the center he was skinny, tired and ready for change. He was tired of life and hungry for purpose and reason.
While at Teen Challenge Samuel has met Jesus! He has had a living encounter with the living Savior and is forever changed! I SAW IT! He came for a visit 4 months later and I COULDN’T BELIEVE IT! The young man that we packed up and sent away WAS NOT the same person that sat in our living room four months later. It is my greatest regret in my life that I don’t HAVE A STINKING PHOTO OF THAT DAY!!!!!! So, use your imaginations………picture a street kid……skinny, dirty, malnourished, exhausted, world weary……baggy clothes and no purpose in his heart. NOW! Take that image and add 25 pounds, put some nice slacks and a button down shirt on him, and spray on some cologne for good measure. He walked into my house full of confidence, life and meaning in his life. I ugly cried you guys! I FRIGGIN UGLY CRIED!
I will be honest, some days the work that God has called us to with the street kids of Lusaka seems so very daunting. It feels as if we take three steps forward and are knocked back 5. We have to trust God for provision all the time in every way and some days I think “I could go to the states, get a good job and write a check, this is crazy!” BUT, oh man, BUT!!!!!!!!!!! We would miss the extreme privilege of getting to be a part of Samuels transformation and salvation. We would miss the joy of watching kids who are forgotten about, who think they are worthless, whose mothers tried to abort them,(the list goes on and on)…..we would miss getting to watch Jesus coming in with His life changing power and light and give these babies meaning and purpose. We get the extreme privilege or watching someones salvation experience!
YOU GUYS, IF I HADN’T SEEN IT WITH MY OWN EYES I WOULDN’T HAVE BELIEVED IT!
So, Samuel graduates in the end of February. Would you pray for him? His journey is far from over. He now has the daunting task of learning to live a life off the streets as a productive member of society. PRAY FOR HIM! He wants to go to his family and rebuild his relationships with them. PRAY! Pray that Samuel doesn’t grow weary is well doing, PRAY that Samuel allows God to do all that needs to be done in his life. PRAY that the lies of the culture and the pulls of society here don’t pull Samuel off the track that God has for his life. PRAY!!!!!!!!
We are looking and praying for the next candidate to go to the center. Would you pray?
How can you get involved?
You can give at tscnyc.org Click GIVING and follow the prompts to MORALES FAMILY / ZAMBIA or you can give to our paypal account using the email firstname.lastname@example.org
You can help us spread the word about Streetwise. We need folks to get on board to pray and help raise awareness of the need here.
So, I ask again, how can you help? Because everyone has a part to play.