Friday, May 30, 2008

When I am Weak ~ HE is Strong!

I've been here in New Jersey three and a half weeks now and I'm looking at at least another two, possibly more. Although I am so thankful to be able to help my mom when she needs it, I've also felt very far from my darling boys in Mozambique. It's been on my heart to do whatever I can during this time to still be a blessing to them.

It's always true, but especially while so far away, the very best thing I can do for them is pray! So I've been spending more concentrated time bringing them (and my work) before the Lord.

I've also been praying for my Mozambican staff, which we call Tias or Educators, you'll hear me refer to them both ways. I have seven ladies that are working with my boys. One is the Head Educator and works M-F. The other six work in two shifts, three at a time, four days on and four days off.

These ladies have such a huge impact on my boys and their growth and development! If their hearts are truly captured and full of passion for serving the boys, there's no telling where they'll go! But they're not all there because of passion - they need a job! So they each bring varying degrees of heart to their job.

So I have been praying that each of them will be filled with the passion and compassion of the Holy Spirit and that they will be filled with vision of how God can use them in these boys' lives! I am praying they will love their jobs and work with their whole hearts, as unto the Lord! I am praying that we can work together to transform the boys!

But I have a confession to make too - I feel very weak in leading them or working together with them as a team. In fact, if I had to rank all the areas of my work from top to bottom, I would put "leadership of my Tias" at the bottom. I find it very challenging for a variety of reasons, including language and cultural differences to name just two. In fact, I think I have often given up.

However, I am greatly comforted by the fact that in my weakness, Christ has promised that HE IS STRONG! And I want this to be an opportunity for Him to be glorified through my weakness. So I decided to confess to everyone how weak I am in this area so that when God does amazing things in and through my Tias, He will get all the glory!

If you think of it, please pray with me that God will be free to work in my Tia's lives exactly as He wishes. Pray that they grasp how much God loves them, that He has a purpose for their lives and how that purpose includes working with OUR boys! I want to partner with them to be instruments God can use to

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

My mom's current setback

I was supposed to be on a plane right now, three hours into my flight home to Mozambique.  But on Monday, Memorial Day, my mom was making the bed, pulling the blanket up and she heard a snap, crackle pop and turns out she broke her arm!  Just pulling up the blanket!  Poor thing! 

Although that is bad enough, my mom has Cerebral Palsy and is paralyzed on her left side.  The break is her right arm.  This leaves her completely incapacitated.  She cannot do the most basic things, like scratch an itch on her face, nor can she provide for her own personal hygiene.  Just one example, I cut up a banana for her, thinking she could probably grasp it (with her left hand) and eat it herself, even if it was awkward but although she could indeed grasp it, she couldn’t turn it toward her mouth to get the banana in the right place,  She can’t turn her left wrist like most of us can.  So she needs constant care and I didn’t feel I could leave Larry, her boyfriend, with that sole responsibility, while I am still here and can delay my departure. 

She had a biopsy over a week ago on masses in her stomach and we still haven’t received the results.  We think we will tomorrow, as today would have been the day except the holiday.  I have no idea how the treatment needs for these two issues may conflict or not. 

So I didn’t feel I could now leave.  I feel horrible about missing Children’s Day, a big celebration on June 1st, and I was really looking forward to going home so this requires an emotional and mental shift for me.  But I am so glad this happened before I left so I can be here to be a blessing to my mom and Larry. 

You know, I can remember for at least 20 years now, my mom saying that if anything ever happened to her right hand she’d have to go into a home to be cared for.  She’s been afraid of that nearly her whole adult life I think.  Not afraid of the home exactly, just afraid of being incapacitated.  Even today she said, you can put me in a home if you need to.  Of course we won’t and hey, no one there would be coming to scratch her itches anyway!  So it’s interesting that this has happened. 

She has surgery on Friday and will have  metal rod inserted in her arm. As long as her GP says she's in good enough health.  She meets with him tomorrow after all her pre-op tests at the hospital today (EKG, blood work, chest x-ray).  Her spirits are up which I think must be a result of people praying for her.  Please keep her in your prayers!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Making my first pie and crust from scratch!

May 2008 076



Here's the classic 1950's cookbook I chose to learn how to make a pie crust from scratch.  I think there were 11 pages of directions, including lots of cool photos.

May 2008 077May 2008 078Love this old sifter!May 2008 079 May 2008 081






Not so pretty, at this stage I was worried!

May 2008 080






Mom helping cut the strawberries while I cut the rhubarb.May 2008 082 May 2008 083 May 2008 084Ain't she a beauty?!May 2008 088 

  May 2008 089Delicious!  I was SO proud of this pie, the crust was super, flaky and yummy!  I loved it!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Update on my Mom

I have been so happy with how my mom's been doing these two weeks I've been here.  Beginning the day I arrived, she's been eating more and more each day (bringing her weight up to about 102 now) and we've been getting out of the house each day so she's been getting some exercise as well.  Overall, she's gaining strength and feeling better.

Although most of her lymph system responded well to the chemo she finished at the end of April, today, she had a biopsy of a mass in her stomach that her doctor said is a different type of non-Hodgkins lymphoma.  The results will tell them more what they're dealing with and what type of chemo she will need to treat it. 

Her doctor did say that he didn't think she had the luxury of waiting one or two months to begin chemo.  I think that's what is bothering my mom the most - she really had wanted to wait to get her weight/strength back before beginning chemo again. 

I know many people are praying for her and for me and I appreciate it so greatly!

Here she is enjoying half of her Mother's Day pressie of a mani/pedi!


May 2008 075

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Heading Home for Another Visit

Just a quick note to let everyone know I'll be heading to the US tomorrow, Friday, to spend three weeks with my mom.  She's been battling cancer for three years and is having a tough time right now.  The doctors don't think this is due to the cancer, per se, but the chemo.  So we're hoping this is a rough spell that she'll pass through.  Even though I just left her a month ago, I really feel she needs me during this time and I have total peace to go.  Please pray for my mom and for me.  And for my boys who are sad I'm leaving after such a short time.  My staff are sad as well but totally understand my need to go.