Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Not to much has been going on here. There is a team of "very important people" coming in tomorrow so the house is mad chaos. I'm really trying to stay out of the way, and what else is there to do but think. I think I am going to share just a few things I have learned while I have been here. I probably won't even know most of the stuff I have learned until I get back into the states, and into my routine. But none the less, there are still some things.

First, hunger. I don't really think people understand what it means to be hungry. I mentioned it before in another blog. Every time that a meal is prepared for me it makes me think. I have always prayed for my food. All my life. It's routine for me to pray before a meal. The thing is, most of the time that's all it was. A routine. Now that I have seen. Now that I have been. I can sit before a plate and thank the Lord for blessing me with the food. It's no longer just a prayer. It's being grateful for what I have. It's heartfelt.

Second, Thirst. I saw first hand little children that had means of water. They were thirsty and had nothing to drink. It makes me think of the summer time. When it's so hot and I am really sweaty. One on my favorite things in the world is going in an getting a big glass of ice water. I can feel it cooling off all the way down my throat and filling up my belly. I just wonder if these people have ever felt that. After I saw those babies longing for something to drink it makes me pray for them every time I touch water to my lips. I am so blessed to be able to have water when I'm thirsty, and something to eat when I feel empty.

I also pray before I go to sleep. Again, it's routine. Since I have been here I have had to be serious about prayer. Evil is very real here. These people are doing wonderful things and how easy it is for satan to butt in. I pray at night that God would just poor out His love and Grace upon the house. That He would spread his wings and cover all that walls and protect us from darkness. That He would send His VERY best angels to watch over the babies. And give them good rest and sweet dreams. It's not about saying a prayer just to feel better about it. It's about being thankful for the warm weather and the sunshine. It's about pouring everything I know and feel into it. He already knows how I feel. He already knows whats going on in this country and this city. Why beat around the bush and not have a real conversation with Him about it?

Well, my time here is running out. I am soaking in everything I can. I am sad to leave, but really excited to come home and continue to learn. It's fun to think about where my next trip will be. I am really excited to sleep in my own bed. :)


Friday, May 1, 2009

Well it has been a really good day! I did a lot of reflecting on my journey here. It has been such a ride! I can’t wait to get back and teach what I have learned about this country.

Yesterday I got to go out on the Milk and Medicine distribution. It was incredible. The first stop Jenni and I had to interview several of the women getting support. They don’t have sponsors for the program, so we got their stories to help them through the process. Jeffery was our translator and it was really tough stuff. Although most of their stories were similar, they all touched my heart in different ways. Many of them had to walk for hours just to get to the site. Even though it’s a central location these ladies were walking 2 or 3 hours with babies on their backs. HIV has been a part of a lot of their lives for a long time. And it doesn’t stop with just them. Their babies are also coming up positive. I heard the same thing over and over. There was not enough food. They couldn’t find jobs. They couldn’t pay for medicine. I can’t even imagine having to choose between eating that day, or having a place to sleep. The day before we went out we cleaned out this big container full of donated clothes and things. So we got to distribute those things as well. They were so grateful to get such small amounts of stuff. Some of it was not worth getting excited over, yet they took it with gratitude. The cold season is coming and babies die because they have no means of heat. They take what they can get, especially this time of year.

We ended up stopping at 4 locations around Lusaka. We went from one end of the city to the other, and then back again. There were several moments that I found myself just speechless. While we were interviewing at the first site I noticed the looks on the childrens faces. I couldn’t get over the sadness in their eyes. It hurt me to see the way they looked up at me. I felt like they were begging me to help them without even saying a word. I looked over at the building we were parked by. It was a school. On the side of the wall was a water spicket. I noticed it earlier because there was a boy sitting near it wearing close to nothing. These toddlers caught my attention and I began to watch their every move. It didn’t take long for them to see the spicket and they went to check it out. They did everything they could to turn on the water but it was dry. They tried for several minutes looking up to see if just a drop would come out. I silently cried for them. I prayed that God would give them what they needed. That he would provide for these babies. I had to turn away to keep from losing it. A few minutes later they were gone. I think it got to me that I could nothing for them. I couldn’t give them what they needed. I had to trust that God would end his best angels to watch over them wherever they went. Since then, every time I take a sip of water I remember the babies from the compounds. I remember how parched they must have been on the sun and had nothing to drink. The water was dry.

At the last stop of the day we were parked outside what looked like an old Catholic church. The children are on holiday from school so they were everywhere. I saw in the distance a jumping castle someone had set up for the kids. It seemed to be a huge hit! We had been there for a little while and I saw Jenni talking to this boy. He must have 12 or 13 years old. I saw this man come over and start yelling at the boy. My first thought was that it was the kids father. The boy ran into the crowd of women we were giving formula and groundnuts to. The situation heated as the man caught up with the boy. They were yelling, and of course I couldn’t understand what they were saying. Then the man, very aggressively, grabbed the kid by the throat. There was screaming and the boy started to cry. I remember the look on his face. He looked just horrified as tears streamed down his face. He started to fight back when the man pulled out a stick. It looked like the end to a broom handle or something. The man started just beating this kid with the stick. A few minutes had passed and the man took off, and the kid ran after him. We left the site and Jenni asked what they were fighting over. Maureen told us that he was the owner of the jumping castle and that the boy didn’t pay to jump.

We went through the compounds of Lusaka and my heart just breaks for these people. They work so hard and yet it seems like it’s never good enough. I had the pleasure to talk to one of the staff today. She was telling us about how much it costs to go to college here. She desperately wants to go to school for Social Work, but can’t afford the fees. I asked her how much it would cost to go to school for a term. She said it would be about 1 million Kwacha. That is around 200 American dollars. I couldn’t even believe what she was saying. I was thinking about the money I have in my bag. I was thinking about how I could easily pay far her to go to school all four years. I wonder if that could be a new project. I wonder how different it would be in this country if the people could just be educated. I wonder what I could do about this. Ideas are just rushing through my mind right now...I need to pray about this. I would love it if you could all pray about this! And the babies too. They could always use a little extra prayer :)


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Another day in Africa

It's been a few days since my last post. Lisa and Kylee left yesterday. I am feeling a little discouraged...It's funny how Satan has a way of getting involved in things of God. I think in every trip I have been on there seems to be conflict before the end. All the good that was done in such a short time could just easily be taken just like that. Relationships damaged. Why do we listen to evil? I walk around this place and I see these people filled with joy and happiness all the time! I don't know why it's so easy for me to fall away from what I know to be truth. I am sad that things were left the way they were. But I pray that someday the broken and damaged will be mended. We need to be focused people. There is no time to mess with darkness! There is no time to ignore the call of the Lord! We need to stop listening to the devil before it's to late.

Now that I got that out of my system...My friends Vallorie and Vernessa left today. They went back to school to finish their teaching degrees. They are such great people! I had so much fun getting to know them. It was bitter sweet to see them leave. Like I said Lisa and Kylee left yesterday. Right before they left Jenni came! She is an old student of Deb's (one of the researchers that was here researching the milk and medicine program). I'm excited to get to know her. She'll be here for a week. Tomorrow we are going to the House of Martha. I am going to take my video camera and see if I can't get them to tell me their stories. The distribution of the Milk and medicine might be tomorrow too. we aren't really sure when that is. But I'm so excited to see that. They also got jackets for all the children they support. It's going to be an amazing experience!

At church on Sunday They read from 2 Peter....or so thought. I'm not really sure where it was but I was looking for it and stumbled across 2 Peter Ch 1 verses 5-7. It says: "For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love." It kind of made me think and reflect about my life and the way I treat people. That all people and things belong to Jesus. And Jesus gave his very life because He loved us so much. I don't really know what to do at this point. Focus. I am trying so hard to stay focused on what I came here for. Am soaking it all in, and learning so that I can use the information for the good. I will share with whoever will listen what I have learned. I want to spread this news. I want to be the hands and feet of Jesus. It's not an idea. It's not a thought. This is real life and I want to do all things for the glory of the Lord!

I miss you all and can't wait to share!


Saturday, April 25, 2009


Today we went to the market. It was INSANE! We went to get Chatenge and ended spending the whole day there. There were young children carrying things that were twice their size and I’m sure just as heavy. Lisa asked our driver if they’re backs hurt. Jeffery told us that it didn’t matter if their backs hurt, that at the end of the day they still had to eat. It made me think of home, when we complain about being hungry. The thing is, we know nothing about being hungry! We sit on out rumps day in and day out and do nothing, then have the balls to complain about cooking something for dinner, or walking to the refrigerator that just happens to be packed full. Makes me think twice about how much food I put on my plate. It makes me think about all the babies that have nothing to eat, and will go to sleep tonight hungry.
All the woman had babies tied on their backs ,working so hard. Some of them were so young!! I was thinking that these young girls were either caring for siblings because they don’t have parents. OR they were mothers. I got so angry several times at the thought of the men walking through the streets. I couldn’t help but ask myself how many of them had raped young girls. How many of them had HIV/AIDS and had infected others. I got to hear a story of one girl from the House of Martha, Annie. She lived with her parents but would spend the night with her cousins. They lived just across the street. One night her cousin came into her room and raped her. When Annie told the wife, she simply told her to stop bringing trouble into the home. Annie’s parents took the matter to court and the man one the case! Her cousin who had defiled her was released. After that her parents disappeared and she was sent to the House of Martha. Sometimes it is really hard to understand and follow the stories, but in any case it broke my. So as she was telling her story and there was a beep at the gate. When she saw that she didn’t recognize the person she just kept talking. Then after a moment she realized that it was her father! She whispered as she ran to greet him, “My father, my Father!”They embraced and then made their way hand-in-hand back to the office. She was so happy to be back with her family!
We came back to the House of Moses and every time we pull in the driveway my stomach turns. All I can focus on is the satellite dish mounted on the wall of the house. I don’t understand why that is necessary and it makes me sick! Especially when there are needs in the house that could be met with the money spent to have a television. It makes me want to go home and sell the TV I have in my room. And everything that I don’t need to survive. It just goes to show, yet again, how selfish I am.
I feel so helpless here. I want so badly to make a difference and at the end of the day feel satisfied with what I have done. There is so much to be done around this world and I feel so guilty for not doing something about it. I pray that God uses my heart to help fill His broken and hurting land with Joy and Love! I won’t get all A’s…or B’s probably. I can’t usually help 5th graders with their math. All I know is that if I let my talents go to waste, and not use God has graced me with then I am nothing. If we stop dwelling on what we don’t have and start focusing on what we do, God will reward us with the most amazing gift! I challenge you all to read Matthew Ch 25 the parable of the talents…and please try not to be lazy and think you know it. Just read it!!
I miss home, but I feel like I am at better use here. To hold these babies when they are crying, or when they scrap their knee is the most rewarding feeling I have ever felt! And to think that it’s all part of God’s good and perfect plan. It’s overwhelming!

Friday, April 24, 2009


So I got to thinking yesterday... I got really frustrated with the House of Moses. Not the babies or the staff, but more the way it's being run. This house is a little piece of Heaven. The babies are like little angels! I think that it was a mistake for an American to come in here and do what has been done. There is a sitting room about the size of the rest of the house. It is used for the adults to sit and eat. The staff has to ask permission to come in this room. The director is here only 3 months out of the year. Yet she has her own sepperate wing. In my mind these need the resources to do this. Not to be treated like slaves to an American. It seems like the needs of these babies are being over looked. We kill roaches everyday in the nurseries. It didn't seem to matter to the director. There were more important things to be done then to have the room sprayed, or to even think twice about what was just said. I give these woman a lot of credit. They work hard as care givers to these children. The oldest of the todler aged kids is almost 3. She is not even close to being potty trained, and she can't talk. It seems like if there were more people here with them, talking to them, getting them out of there cribs to play. They are in them ALL the time. It breaks my heart! I can totally see where it would be difficult for these women. not many of them can walk. They should be walking by now! One baby in particular can't stretch out his legs. He came to the house very malnurished and sick. But a little work and attention on his legs would improve that mobility!

I just get so frustrated. Some changes seem to be so need and so easy to do! They are being done. Like getting a litte table for them to sit at instead of eating on the floor with the bugs. There little clothes are so torn and so used. I can't dwell on this to much...I get so sad for them.

Brian is my baby. He is the shy one. He stays out if trouble and is so quiet. Sometimes he gets overlooked because he isn't causing trouble to get attention. He is a beautiful boy! I learned today that his mother was only 11 when she had him...I can't even imagine.

I had this idea to make name tags. The babies are just thrown in clothes so it gets really hard sometimes to tell the difference between boy and girl. I don't know all their names yet, so I thought it would be a good and easy way to learn them. I think I'll do that tomorrow.

Chaminuka was incredible! It was beautiful! The animals were great. The food was good! We went horse back riding and on a boat ride. It was the real Africa. The air here is so fresh and wonderful. I can't get enough of it.

My heart still breaks for theses people. Pray for them and there situations, and especially for the little ones that are in the hospital.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

to really understand

I went to the House of Martha yesterday. They are ages 4 to 15. There are two 4 year olds there now. Both have been raped. There is a 12 year old who was raised by apes. Many others were found in the market place, abandoned by their family members.

We went there and they greated us with a smile. They got together and sang us wonderful songs for the longest time swaying back and forth to the sound of their own voices. It brought tears to my eyes to see what little they had. And yet they kept smiling. There are 51 Children living in the house now. The house is ment to hold only 30. At lunch 3 shared 1 plate. There is no possible way to make 51 plates for every child. At lunch the plates consisted of 3 glops of neshima (like grits), 3 pieces of chicken, and some dipping sauce. Still they sat, thankful they had food, and ate with joy.

The other day when we were at the market, I over heard some white woman talking about how glorious these houses are. But the needs are so tremendous. It may be the best orphanages in Zambia, but it breaks my heart to visit these places and see how much we could do with so little effort.

Later in the day I got a chance to talk to Momma Nellie. I was asking her about the needs of the children and what I could help with. She explained to me that they always need food. IT wasn't hard to see the need for clothing. Some of the older girls didn't have shirts that were ok for their growing bodies. There are 15 kids that go to school. I think you can do the math and figure out how many are left. There aren't enough supporters to send all the children to school. They long to learn! I saw it with my own eyes!!!

I really don't think people understand. They have love in their hearts! Thay have Grace! They know Jesus! THEY HAVE NOTHING, and we complain about our houses, or not having AC, or TV. I'm talking about them making a joyful noise unto the Lord! And for what? They have not in anyway had there lives handed to them on a silver plater. They work, and work hard for what they have. And they do it with a smile on their faces!

I think I'm getting a little crazy..I get fired up about this. Especially after seeing it.

I ask you all to search your hearts. Find a place for Zambia in your prayers. If the Lord speaks to you, please let me know! There are kids just dieing to go to school! Or rather then giving your old clothes to Good Will...anything would be better then the clothes they have now.

I miss you all!


Sunday, April 19, 2009


I just read over my blog from last night...We must remember that I was running on zero, so my apologies for all the mistakes. :)

This morning Kylee was up bright and early! She woke me up talking about how she was Mrs. Claus and how she just could not wait to give the babies all their new toys. It cracked me up! We got cleaned up and then it was time to take the babies outside for some fresh air. They loved it! They had lunch, then we went to town with Sandra. We had lunch and then went to the market. When we got back I realised how completely pooped I was...So I may have taken a nap. :) When I got up the babies were wound for sound!!! It got difficult sometimes because there wasn't enough attention for everyone at one time. It made me sad, so I was doing my best love on them all.

Susanna, the bully, is 2. She is absolutely beautiful! Joshua, or Stevie, Shakes his head and moves back and forth like Stevie wonder when he gets upset. Olivia and Natasha are the criers of the group. Doomi loves all the attention. He called me momma today and about ripped my heart right out of my chest.

There is a team of researchers here right now. They are trying to implement a milk and medicine program for the families that foster these babies in the village. It was really neat to listen to them and hear about what they have done. One of them is a professor at Hope College.

Tomorrow we go to the House of Martha. It's the orphanage with the older kids. Kylee is excited to play with the children her own age.

Well I'm off to bed! I think I'll try to write earlier tomorrow...I can't even think straight!!!