shhhhhh!!

I just read in the Bible this morning about Elijah in a cave hearing a MASSIVE windstorm, feeling an earthquake & seeing an unexplainable fire – all things that would TOTALLY GRAB OUR ATTENTION!!!!!  But Elijah didn’t respond to any of these huge & loud cataclysms.  But when he heard a small whisper or a faint breeze, that’s when he put on his coat to go outside of his cave & chat with God.

I’d like to be more like Elijah – less reactionary with various cataclysms, attention grabbers and the loudness that can be so prevalent in life.  I’d like to be trained to listen, watch and wait for God’s presence and voice, even when its small and quiet.  I find that when God’s voice is small and quiet, I tend to get more focused and quiet so that I can hear what He’s saying with greater attention and alertness.  Don’t fight the quiet 🙂

you can!!!

When my kids were in preschool, I went to the parent intro day & I learned a great lesson watching one of the teachers who was working with a 4 year old.  The 4 year old was having a difficult time trying to do some work with her scissors & when the teacher circled around the room to check on everyone, the little girl said to the teacher, “I can’t do this!!”  The teacher was super patient and stooped to help the little girl, but said very firmly, “Honey, never say, ‘I can’t.’  Instead say, ‘I’ll try’ or ‘I need help’ but never say, ‘I can’t.'”

This lesson has helped me in more situations than I can count.  We often say in our minds or actions, “I can’t” when something is really difficult, or when we’re tired, or when we can’t figure out a problem, etc.  We truly may have reached our limit, but with Christ nothing is impossible and we can do whatever He tells us to do.  We can do all things through Christ Who strengthens us – Philip 4:13!!

Happy Memorial Day!

When I think of Memorial Day, some thoughts swirl through my mind:  grilling, Summer, Normandy, sacrifice, freedom, flags, generosity, hotdogs, reflection and more.  Virtually every country has it’s unique version of our Memorial Day – when we remember heroes, sacrifice, many essential values with our nationhood, etc.

And here’s a unique twist on the idea of remembering:  God never forgets you.  Indeed may these verses encourage you that you are never forgotten (they can also help you to remember savingmoses )

Is 49:15-16 “Can awoman forget her nursing child And have no compassion on the son of her womb ? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you. 16 “Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; Your walls are continually before Me.”

when I’m wrong

 I don’t like to be wrong & this is often based out of pride.  I don’t like to be wrong because it makes me look bad.  I don’t like to be wrong because it makes me feel inferior.  I don’t like to be wrong because it hurts my ego.  Nevertheless, because I’m human, I’m not always right.  So here are some ways to constructively handle being wrong:

  • learn and grow from being wrong – it seems to me that I often learn more from being wrong than being right
  • get busy fixing whatever has been damaged from being wrong – this can include apologizing, taking responsibility (rather than shifting blame), forgiving and making amends
  • take on a humble mindset on a daily basis & this can help take out the sting from being wrong

My sense is that being wrong isn’t an if  issue, but rather a when issue.  With this thinking, it’s helpful to have some constructive strategies in place 🙂

very, very small but oh so important

 I just returned from Angola having seen such amazing things happening with Saving Moses!  This was my 3rd trip & I am now working through the heart stuff that comes up from my visits to this amazing country.  On this trip, I saw beauty in faces, actions, love, compassion, care and touch.  The babies that we get to feed with Saving Moses are nothing less than captivating, not only for their eyes, faces and irresistible cuteness, but even moreso for who they are.  Jesus said in Matt 25:40, when you are you kind, gracious & generous for the least of these, you do these things as unto Me.  If we as humans cannot be generous, gracious & deeply moved by the smallest among us, then we probably need to put ourselves into environments & opportunities to connect with genuine love lest we become heartless, cold and even barbaric.  Saving Moses is about genuinely loving the smallest expressions of Jesus, who could possibly die without an ongoing tangible love that we get to express.

Need a Makeover?

Do you need a makeover?
I’m currently in Johannesburg South Africa doing something with Saving Moses that is beyond cool: daycare makeovers! We are doing 3 makeovers in a shanty town on the outskirts of J’burg. In this shanty town, the houses are made of corrugated metal sheets or former shopping containers. What is totally amazing is watching the daycare owners take nothing & make it into a functional daycare. They use old tires, shipping containers, metal scrape sheets, etc to create warm, inviting & safe environments for their kids to learn. They take the American concept of “modular education” into 3rd world living to provide education & care.
Today, our team is painting, “de-rusting”, cleaning, organizing & supplying these 3 daycares with upgrades that are essential for the future for these small people, 5 and younger. Saving Moses is about giving little people 5 & younger love, resources & survival essentials so they can have a bright future!

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Some great news in Angola!

Well today has been quite amazing. We made a 2 hour drive to a malnutrition clinic in Cubal Angola & I have to say that Cubal is has a very unique place in my heart for lots of different reasons. I love getting to see the babies who are here, but I hate seeing them suffer or go through hardship. I love getting to meet the moms & grandmoms of these babies, but I hate hearing their heartbreaking stories of babies that they’ve lost. I love getting to catch up w key staff members here but I hate watching them struggle to be effective w limited or non-existent resources. Cubal can be beautiful & tender or ugly & abrasive. Cubal is where we thought we rescued Angelina w a life-saving blood donation, only to hear that she died a few short hours after the blood donation. Cubal is where we ran out to buy formula last year when we discovered that they had run out of this essential food for a malnutrition clinic. So coming to Cubal has been a love / hate experience for me.
Today, it is only love & here’s why:
*I met babies who have been consistently receiving malnutrition formula over their 2 week stay & they’ve added more than 2kilos to their weight – super excellent weight gain for a malnourished baby!!!!
*i checked on our therapeutic milk supply & it looks good that we can continue to feed these babies for a few more months
*I interviewed a grandmom today who was nothing less than riveting because of her love – more to follow on her
*I got to say hello to my nun friends & talk about Jesus, prayer & John 15, abiding in the Vine & bearing fruit.
So I have to say that even though Mothers Day was last Sunday, I feel like a fulfilled mom today for Saving Moses. It does my heart well to see, hold, hear & experience success in Cubal 🙂
With God, all things are possible!!

I LOVE PROGRESS!!!!

Today has been quite incredible & Angola never ceases to amaze me. It is a country of immense potential not only in natural resources, but moreso with the incredible citizens of this beautiful nation. Today, we visited a malnutrition clinic & met more moms whose courage is nothing less than breathtaking. We were able to follow up with Belito, my little buddy who I met on my 1st visit to Angola. Two years ago, Belito was in a really bad state. His mom, Marcella, had brought him to the clinic with severe malnutrition. We helped her bring Belito home with some formula, food & feeding instructions. Last year, we were able to touch base with Belito again & saw that he was healthy & doing well. Today, I popped in again to say hello & check in with Marcella. We had a really nice visit & I even got to hold Belito who snuggled into me 🙂
After our chat with Marcella, we began to explore the idea of giving literacy lessons at the malnutrition clinic (the higher the level the education for the mom, the more that the infant mortality rate declines). So this is an EXTREMELY exciting possibility that we’re exploring & I’ll of course I’ll happily keep you posted on our progress.
If you haven’t already done this, please consider going to http://www.savingmoses.org to make a donation to help us buy malnutrition formula for these babies. Without this kind of special therapeutic milk, the chances for these babies to survive rapidly deteriorate. Let’s help to give them a fighting chance to survive & possibly be the next “Moses” for Angola!! Thanks HEAPS for your consideration 🙂

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Hello from Angola!

YAHOOO!!! We visited our first malnutrition clinic today & I saw LOTS of encouraging things!! I saw about 40 babies & toddlers drinking our therapeutic milk. I saw moms getting help for their babies. I saw some of the milk supply for this malnutrition clinic & I saw hope!!
To add onto all of this excitement, we were able to follow up with 2 families that we met last year: Manushe & Celestina (Augustino died last year) and we saw Angelina & Desorae! Both of these moms & their babies are doing GREAT & it was totally heartwarming to get to see them again this year 🙂
Thanks LOADS for all of your prayers & support – we are making a difference & changing the future today!! The attached picture is of Angelina & Desorae, who we were able to see today!! 😀

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Thoughts while traveling

Angola ’12

Well, I’m back on my way to Angola for my 3rd visit with Saving Moses. I have mixed thoughts & feelings about this visit. My first trip to Angola was extremely impacting because I didn’t have any clue what it would be like to look face to face with infant mortality. My 1st trip to Angola gave me this introduction. Last year, our visit to Angola didn’t have the same 2×4 shock of the 1st trip, but it was every bit as impacting. Maybe last year was more powerful than my 1st visit because we were able to make more friendships like Manushe & her daughter Celestina, Angelina with Desorae & a follow up visit to Belito from our 1st trip. It was nothing less than pure delight to get to be with my nun friends as well, so I’m very eager to catch up with them again, hopefully, on this trip.
I never want to get mechanical on these trips, which means that I always want to keep my heart soft, tending & feeling. I can trust that God will guide & direct not only our physical steps, but also the experiences for my heart as well. Be sure that any journey on which your heart travels always keeps God as your closest traveling companion. Stay tuned for more updates 🙂