When I was in Angola last week with Saving Moses, I was trying to say goodbye to some of my new friends, the moms of the malnourished babies that we help to feed. In Angola, the official language is Portugese & it can sometimes be similar to Spanish (a language in which I’m kind of comfortable). As I was leaving, I was explaining in my mixed Portugese and Spanish efforts that we are leaving in the morning to go back home. The moms seemed to get REALLY excited & I thought they were just being very polite & friendly. After I kept telling lots of different moms about us going home the next day (in the Portugese / Spanish mix), our translator overhead me talking & quickly jumped in with lots of Portugese & explained something. Later he told me that I was telling everyone that we all, including each mom with whom I was speaking, were going to fly home – implying that I was going to bring all of them with me back to America. That was a BIG WHOOOPS!!! Thankfully, the moms understood that my language skills in Portugese are still in the developmental phase :/
I say all of this to ask you to think about letting the Holy Spirit be the translator for your life, rather than trying to understand life without His Help. Bad translation can lead to some very dangerous misunderstandings
Published April 15, 2013
Angola , enemies to intimacy , family , Holy Spirit , India , saving moses , spiritual , travel
Tags: boring, love, mundane, saving moses
I finished my trip to Angola with Saving Moses & one of the things that continues to hit home with me from this trip is the power of mundane. Having watched the moms of the babies who receive malnutrition formula from us, I’m extremely impressed with the daily commitment to be present & fully engaged in their families. In some ways, these moms exude genuine love. But in some ways, their daily routines could be considered boring & dull. But may we never believe the deception that genuine love is dull or even unimportant just because it can be expressed in daily routines. Genuine love is magnificent!!! And the picture is the “kitchen” our moms use in Angola at our malnutrition clinics w Saving Moses
Published April 13, 2013
Angola , Genuine love , Holy Spirit , living , prayer , saving moses , travel
Tags: Angola, hope, potential, pray, saving moses
In Angola with Saving Moses, I met a 3yr old little boy who was severely malnourished. His mom, Lucia, is a beautiful, engaged and very concerned mom who has a beautiful little baby girl, Josephine, who is about 2months old – bright, cheery & zesty! Segunda is very emaciated but I have really high hopes that he’s going to make some rapid improvement & be released within the next few weeks. Please be praying for Segunda & his mom, Lucia!
Published April 11, 2013
Angola , Genuine love , Holy Spirit , living , prayer , relationships , saving moses , travel
Tags: Angola, babies, genuine love, saving moses
I’m with Saving Moses here in Angola where we are providing malnutrition formula every day, 4-6 times a day for
I would love to bring you with me to meet these heroic moms & their lovely babies because you would be deeply touched to hear their stories, to sense their strength & watch their genuine love. Every time I come here I meet new moms & get to catch up with some moms & babies from previous years. Today, we were able to visit with Angelina & her little girl Desorae, as well as Marcella & her son Belito, both families who we have met with for a few years now. Both moms & their kids are pregnant & doing extremely well
To be really honest with you, these trips are always really hard on my heart (it’s extremely difficult to see babies who are emaciated or bloated because of malnutrition & are frequently inches from death). But I must also say that this trip has been really rewarding because I am also able to see the MASSIVE difference we are able to make every day by providing malnutrition formula. It brings me indescribable fulfillment to know that we are feeding not just today’s babies but also investing in each baby’s potential & future. How could we do anything less?
Today’s pictures: peekaboo, mom Angelina & her daughter Desorae
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
Published April 9, 2013
Angola , Genuine love , living , prayer , saving moses , travel
Tags: hope, Josephine, life, malnutrition, saving moses
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.
Heat, humidity, crowds, chaos & haze. We’ve been traveling now for over 40hours & we’re closing in on “almost there.” I’m presently sitting in a waiting hall for domestic flights & trying to get a little oriented. I had a nice but BRIEF chat with some Chinese guys from Shandong province, where Mao was born and in a few hours, we get to visit one of our biggest malnutrition clinics.
Whenever I visit Angola, I’m always reminded that its only been in the last 10years that there has been any stability whatsoever here. They had more than 30 years of a MASSIVELY brutal & inhumane civil war & before that, Angola was a Portuguese colony for over 300 years. This is important because wherever there is political instability, babies often experience the most significant impact because the infant mortality increases proportionate to the quantity of instability: long instability = masses of dying babies / high infant mortality. So for the next few days, we will be visiting our malnutrition clinics, meeting some wonderful moms & seeing how the benefits of consistent therapeutic milk plays out for malnourished babies who would likely die without our help.
Stick around w me thru this blog, Facebook & twitter so we can make this journey together
Published April 6, 2013
Angola , Genuine love , Holy Spirit , living , prayer , saving moses , seeing Jesus , spiritual , travel
Tags: Angola, return, saving moses, travel, visit
I’m writing this on my way with www.savingmoses.org to Angola for my 4th visit in 4 years. I have some friends with me & we’ll be visiting our 6 malnutrition clinics where we provide therapeutic milk for babies who would likely die without our clinics. I have mixed thoughts & feelings about this trip but I LOVE that we get to be part of God’s immense & tangible expression of genuine love to babies.
Babies are totally wonderful & in some ways, they represent the best of humanity. I love their innocence, trust, curiosity, joy & zest for life. And while this may sound initially kind of twisted, I love to hear babies cry in our malnutrition clinic because their silence can indicate something awful especially with malnourished babies.
So come along with me, stay tuned to his blog, Facebook & twitter & we can share this adventure together
Published April 3, 2013
Angola , Genuine love , Holy Spirit , living , prayer , relationships , saving moses , seeing Jesus , travel
Tags: emotions, hardship, saving moses, thoughts
In less than a week, I’m going back to Angola w www.savingmoses.org & I have some mixed thoughts about this visit. Of course, I love the people with whom we work & I have nothing but massive respect for the daily work they do. I’m also eager to see some old friends since this will be my 4th visit & I’m getting to make some nice friendships. These are nice things but there are some not very nice things that I experience on these trips. It’s not pleasant to hold a baby who is malnourished & is struggling to survive. It’s difficult to see frenzied moms who are doing everything in their power to keep their baby alive. It’s hard for me sometimes to try & explain the needs I see to an audience that can occasionally be apathetic & cold. But when everything is said & done, despite the tremendous privation I see & the gut wrenching feelings that I experience, on these trips I sense Jesus is very real ways that I’m often unable to explain & because of Jesus’ presence, the disconcerting thoughts are not as severe. Traveling with Jesus helps me to have peace in my mind & heart
Everyone likes good news & I’m thinking that maybe some tv news programs should consider devoting a portion of the time to something encouraging – but that’s a different topic
Here’s the good news: we have renovated our Saving Moses website & it’s TOTALLY cool! Not only is the website cool but we are introducing a mobile website with Saving Moses as well now - www.savingmoses.org ! I love it when good things happen & it’s even more cool to share good news to encourage others!
Last, here’s a really encouraging verse: “God is always at work in you to make you willing and able to obey his own purpose. Phil 2:13 (GNT)