an outlier father

Watch this a short & really amazing video of a  legendary father

After you watch this, consider that he’s most likely the ONLY single dad that our malnutrition workers have ever met in Angola in more than 15 years of work there.  Moses is totally amazing!!!!

 

 

Learning different ways

I’m sitting at one of our malnutrition clinics for Saving Moses in Angola & it’s the noon feeding time, so I am having the pleasure of watching 30+ moms feeding their babies w the therapeutic milk that saving Moses provides everyday for approximately 4-6 feedings per baby. In the attached picture, you see a mom using a spoon to feed her baby & I’ve had lots of people ask me why they don’t use bottles at our clinics & the answer for this question has 3 simple parts:
*i can use our money to buy therapeutic milk or bottles. The more money I use for bottles, the less I have for milk
*bottles aren’t commonly used here & would be considered to be more of a luxury than a necessity
*bottles require more maintainence: cleaning, hygiene, replacing parts etc, whereas spoons are a very simple feeding tool in contrast to bottles 🙂

As I finish this blog today, let me just say that I wish you could sit with me, watch & hear all of these babies eating their lunches. They’re really noisy & it’s nothing less than music to my ears bc often times, a quiet baby is too weak to make noises. The louder the better 😀

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Babies, babies & babies

I think that it’s really important from time to time to get some fresh perspective on life & the world in which we live. Today has been a day of fresh perspective for me. I’ve met heroic & legendary moms & dads who are doing everything in their power to keep their babies alive. But I also met a mom today who was extremely discouraged & I’m deeply concerned that she may have given up hope. Her baby, Josephine, is only 10 months old but is extremely sick & close to dying. Her mom, Miciah, brought her to our malnutrition clinic to receive milk & medical help but was herself not feeling well. We took a short break for lunch & upon returning to the clinic, I started looking for Miciah & Josephine but couldn’t find them. As I asked around, the nurse said that Miciah had left the clinic w Josephine & the nurse strongly encouraged mom to stay. Miciah left, regardless of the nurse’s appeals & we don’t have a way to track them down – no address or phone number. I have tremendous concern for Josephine because she was not doing well at all. Please remember to pray for her – I’ve attached her picture so you can please remember her. The lesson for all of us is to never surrender hope.

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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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Welcome to Angola!

Today we are going back to the malnutrition clinic where we spent alot of time last year. This is the same clinic where we got to know Belito & they told me that we can visit him again this year so I’m looking forward to checking in w him & seeing how’s he’s doing! I’m also a little introspective because I have a little bit of a sense of some of the infants we will get to meet today along w their moms hopefully.
With this trip, I want to be fully present & I want to lavishly love no matter what shape the person is in.
But presently I’m a bit challenged to be loving bc my sleep last night was almost non-existent due to the night long street disco party & our early departure, coupled w the last 3 days of travel. So truthfully, I’m finding myself in the “just keep swimming” mode, as Dori would say in “Finding Nemo”. Just keep swimming, Sarah 🙂

traveling to Angola for Saving Moses

Greetings friends!  Just to keep you posted, I’m flying to Angola with savingmoses because we want to put the tangible love of Jesus into action by helping to keep “the least of these” (infants & toddlers) from starving to death.  You see, Angola has the world’s highest infant mortality rate & the majority of the reason it is so high is because of a lack of food.  When I went to Angola last year, I looked infant mortality in the eyes & it broke my heart, knowing that the simple supply of formula & food could prevent the majority of these deaths.  So over the course of a year, we’ve been steadily providing money to buy formula & now I’m going back to check out what’s been happening over the last year.

So, please be sure to keep your eyes peeled because I’ll be doing all the blogging, fb-ing, tweeting, etc that I possibly can to keep you up to speed on our progress in Angola over the last year 🙂

Processing Angola

I’ve been home for about 36 hours & I’m trying to work through some thoughts & feelings, which are rather jumbled around.  Its complete bliss to get to be with my family – they are nothing less than spectacular & I’m thoroughly grateful for them!!!!  At the same time, I’m also trying to process this last week.  When I see a baby now, I have this instinctual reaction to ask how old & how much do they weigh.  When the mom tells me the answers, it feels like I shatter into a million little pieces in my heart & thoughts as I think about the babies I’ve just seen, held, touched & am trying to help.

One such family is a single mom with 2 kids – Marcella.  Her youngest son, Belito, is about 14months old & struggling with malnutrition.  Marcella has had 6 kids & only 2 are surviving today – the 4 who died never made it to 6 months old.  I met Belito & Marcella at a malnutrition clinic we visited & I was able to visit her everyday when we were in Angola.  We got to visit her home, meet her oldest son who is 8yrs old, meet her mom & exchange greetings with her neighbors.  Belito weighs about 13lbs & is 14months old.  He is very weak & frail.  His mom is trying super hard to help him to get better.  As a single mom, she doesn’t really have a job & there’s no gov’t support or subsidies to help her, so her way of getting money to buy food is to slowly sell off whatever she has that’s valuable.  She used to have a job selling bananas, but since Belito has been sick, she hasn’t been able to stay with the banana selling.  She lives w her mom, who has a job washing clothes and this helps Marcella a little bit.  When we asked how we could help her, she said that some rice, beans & oil would be super helpful.

I talked quite extensively with Marcella, seeking to understand how she arrived in the current situation.  When I asked about her husband, she explained that he left her because he felt that she couldn’t take care of his kids because they kept dying.  He doesn’t give her any support & she’s never learned to read or write.  In our conversations, I asked her what would be some things that she’d like to achieve & she said that she would like to get back into the studying she had been doing before Belito got sick, so she could learn to read & write.  We talked about various job possibilities & what she’d like to be doing in the future to earn a living.  This was all a very powerful conversation for me that occurred over the course of 5 days.

I very much want to help Marcella – she’s a kind and intelligent woman who deeply loves her son.  Before we left, we bought her the rice, beans & oil, but we also bought her some formula & porridge for when Belito gets discharged from the malnutrition clinic.  I explained how to mix the formula – quantities of water (boiled please) along with scoops of formula & then how to mix these w the porridge.  All in all, at this point, I’m not sure who has benefitted more from this friendship – Marcella or me.

Angola, while being being an extremely poor country, is very rich with the quality of her citizens.  The picture attached isn’t of Marcella & Belito (they are the picture in my last blog), but is a VERY common scene.