"May the God of Hope fill you with all Joy & Peace as you trust in Him so that you may overflow with
HOPE by the power of the Holy Spirit" Romans 15:13

Saturday, July 27, 2013

A Mother's Heart part 2

A Mother's Heart Part 2

All of my life I have wanted nothing more than to have my own family and to be a mother. I can remember just like yesterday a time when I was about 5 or 6 years old. I was at my grandmother's house and she and my mom were getting things ready for dinner and it was my job to set the table. I looked at my mom and grandmother with a napkin in hand and said, "when I grow up, I am going to have 100 kids." I remember my mom laughing and saying, "I think you will change your mind when you get older." I continued to insist that I would have 100 children. I have always loved kids and my love for children has increased more and more the older I have grown.
I have the priveledge of sponsoring a precious young lady named Paulina who lives at the Tree of Life. She has never known her parents since they passed away when she was only a baby and before coming to live at the Tree of Life, she lived with her grandmother and aunt. I have loved every minute that I have been able to spend with her during my trips to Zambia. This time, it came with an even bigger blessing. I have had the opportunity to attend church with Paulina every Sunday as well as see her every Friday night. There have been some other opportunities to spend time with her, but no better blessing than a letter she gave me. As I opened it, my eyes were not ready for what I was about to read.... "Dear Mom,". The thought that she considers me a mother to her is a huge priveledge. I love her just as if she were my own and my heart yearns for every opportunity I have to spend with her.
The Lord knows my desire to have children of my own, but until then, he has given me the biggest priviledge to love on precious children here in Zambia who are either double orphans or single orphans. I don't know why God has chosen me, but I am so thankful and humbled that He chose me and has blessed my heart so much with these children!!!
Even though I am not officially a mother, I feel like God has given me a small peek into the heart of a mother's love for her children. I know how much my heart completely LOVES these children that live on the other side of the world from me, and that the depth of the heart of a mother is greater than one can imagine!!! Only second to the love that comes from our Heavenly Father, my prayer is that everyone can feel the love that comes from a child!!
Lord, thank you for Your unconditional love you give us and thank you for the love that comes from these precious children and the precious children at home too!!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

A Mothers Heart

A Mother's Heart

I had the blessing of being able to take a couple of ladies on a Father's Heart trip (this is where the American's get to go to the home of their sponsored child) this past Saturday. I am so glad that The Lord allowed me to be a part of this special time.
When we arrived at the little girls house, she was so quiet but very excited to see her new sponsor. As we were visiting Natasha, her mother began telling her story.
Natasha lived with her mother, father, and brother. Everything was going well for Zambia, but things were about to change when Natasha was only seven years old. A man began coming around that would bring the family gifts and was very friendly. Natasha would go with him sometimes (which in Zambia, is very common to see children running around with no adult supervision.) One day a man came to the family's house with Natasha asking the mother if this was her child. The mother asked what she had done and the man told the mom how he had found this man raping Natasha. They took her to the hospital where they confirmed that this was in fact what had happened and then they went to the police. The police looked for the man but were unable to locate him. The mother found out that this was not the first time that the man had raped Natasha and she was afraid to tell anyone because he had threatened to kill her. Soon after this all happened, her father left their family to "find work" and after 5 months passed the mother soon realized that he was not coming back. Without a way to provide for her children, the family moved in with Natasha's grandfather and he does peace work (which is finding any job they can each day) to try to provide for his family.
After a couple of years, Natasha began getting very sick and she began having difficulty breathing as well as having developed a very bad cough. They took her to the hospital where they tested her as well as the mother and brother for Aids. After the test results came back, the nurses came in to talk to the mother and said there was no way that Natasha was her daughter. Her mother repeatedly told them that she was her daughter and that is when they told the mom that Natasha was HIV positive but the mom and son were negative. The mom then told them about what had happened to Natasha a few years prior.
We were asking the mom about the free ARV's they have available for people with HIV and she went across the room where she picked up a pink card and a zippered bag full of medicine. Seeing the bag of medicine, card filled with dates of clinic visits, and tears streaming down a mother's face was almost more than my heart could bear.
This was the first time I have been in Zambia and seen a mother's heart completely broken. Always before I have seen broken children's hearts, but as I prayed coming and am still praying that God would give me His heart for his people. I hurt so bad for this mother as she sees her child that is struggling to live with this wretched disease. I sat by this mother as she was continually wiping tears from her face and could hardly contain my pain for her. I know in a heartbeat her mother would take this disease herself if it meant that her daughter could be healthy.
Not having any children, I can only imagine the heartbreak that this mother carries with her daily. I know how broken my heart was and how much I have thought about this precious family, but I cannot fathom the depth of pain this mother feels.
Lord, I thank you for giving me a window into this mother's heart. I pray that you would strengthen her as well as bring comfort and peace to the mother's heart. Lord, what the devil intended for evil, you will turn to good and it will all be for your glory.
PS: I know this post was long, but I will have a part two of a mother's heart coming soon.
Thank you for your continued prayers! Love, Allison

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Lord Heal Your Children's Broken Hearts

Lord, Heal Your Children's Broken Hearts

Every year that I have come to Zambia God shows me a little more of His love and brokeness for His children. In coming to Zambia this year I prayed that God would break my heart for what breaks His and help me to love more like He loves. Little did I know over these past two weeks the way that God would break my heart for His broken children. Precious little Isaac who had such a hard time the week before last had another tough week. This past Wednesday, little Isaac was very upset again when he had consequences of his behavior by having to clean. After throwing about 6 items out of the window, and moving stuff around the room, he decided once again that he would clean. (This was around an hour that this was all happening)
While he was staring at me (I think wondering if I was going to give in) I just asked The Lord to show me how to love Isaac. I have a hard time getting him to truly look at me as he usually just hangs his head while he is trying to avoid me. The room was cleaned and I walked him out to the end of the school so he could go home and I asked him if he would like me to walk him home or if he wanted to go by himself. He wanted to go on his own, but then he wouldn't leave. He began tearing up some of the outside work that was being done and after several warnings, I finally told him that I would have to walk him home. (On a side note, he lives in one of the farthest houses from the school). He then refused to walk home with me and began throwing a fit. One of the house moms came over from the house right across from the school and talked to him and it didn't help. She eventually got one of the fourth grade boys to pick him up and he was to carry him home. As soon as he picked him up I could visually see Isaac go into survival mode and he began hitting the older boy in the face and so as I was pulling his hands down he decided to bite my hand. I know that his intent was not to hurt me, but to survive. The older child and I finally got him home after about 15 minutes and I was trying to get out of the house as quick as I could before I completely burst out into tears.
God was breaking my heart for his broken children. Walking back across the field, tears started streaming down my face over the heartbreak I had for this child. As soon as I got to the nurses office to get my finger cleaned up I completely lost it and was in tears. (The sweet nurse didn't know what to do with this white lady crying and for those of you who know me well know that I have an ugly cry). I could hardly get out the words "I'm not crying over my finger, but because my heart is broken for this 7 year old boy who is so angry. What has his life been like?" The discipleship leaders that work with the kids at the Tree of Life brought Isaac back to apologize (and as frustrated as I was with him,) I looked at him and said, "Isaac, there is nothing you can ever do to me to make me not love you. And, there is nothing you can do to make God not love you and take care of you." I prayed that day that he truly heard me even as mad as he was at me.
Later I found out that this little boy had only been fed beer from the time that he was two and when he came to live at the Tree of Life he was addicted. I don't understand why some children have to go through the things they do as a child (things that I have never had to face) but what a mighty God we have that he pulls his children up out of the muck and rescues them. I know that God restores His children, and as hard as it was, I thank Him for giving me a minute glimpse of what breaks His heart.
 Lord, I ask that you would continue to show me how to love those that are considered unlovable, those considered unwanted, and those considered worthless. Thank you Lord for giving ALL of your children worth and value.
Lord, please continue to heal your children's broken hearts!!
Right before I left on Friday, he walked up to me and so quietly without looking at me said, "I love you Teacher Allison" If you think about sweet Isaac, please pray for him and for the restoration of his heart.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Kids are Kids & I Love Them!

Kids are Kids No Matter Where You Are!!

I am half way through my teaching of the first teaching trip. It has been quite the humbling experience. I am teaching in grade 1 and my teacher that I have been partnered with has been really sick. She went home sick last Wednesday and was out on Thursday and Friday. I have always felt like one of my strengths was classroom management and that has become a very humbling experience for me over the last week. I haven't ever prayed so hard while trying to figure out how to handle certain situations.
On the first day my teacher was out, I had a student get very angry while he had been asked to clean. I think he is used to refusing while in the classroom and then when it is time to go home they just send him home because they don't want to mess with him anymore. I didn't let him leave with the rest of the class because he hadn't swept like he was asked too. Well, that didn't go over well at all. I was having flashbacks to some past experiences I have had teaching in my own classroom. As I am standing in the doorway and the child is trying to push me out of his way, I am praying Lord please give me some ideas quickly. Over about a 45 minute time period, he flipped over a table, threw the broom out the window, and started throwing chairs. While all of this was going on, I kept saying in my sweetest teacher voice "you may go home as soon as you sweep." I think I probably said it at least 50 times. Once the chairs started getting thrown, I said, "Lord, please help me because I am out of ideas." I started singing Jesus Loves the Little Children out loud and he started knocking the chairs over slower and more gently. After about 10 verses of the song, I looked at him and saw him trying to pick the table back up. I said, "I will help you if you need help and we turned the table back over and he started picking up the chairs." He then picked up the broom and swept the classroom. 
I kept thinking kids are kids no matter where you are. Lord thank you for helping me through that day....I couldn't have made it through the day without the Lord's help. Thank you Lord for your strength, wisdom, and love!!