Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Cute New Video of Why We Need A Nursery

Check out this video of our babies at our Counseling Center in Gulu, Uganda. If you donate to us through Global Giving we can build a shelter for them and provide them with toys and teaching materials. Right now they only have a mat under a tree, but you can change that! Give as little as $10 today and we can stay on the Global Giving website for good and reach more donors!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Help Zion Project raise $4,000 by 50 donors in 30 days!

We have an amazing opportunity to be on Global Giving where anyone can search for us and donate online. This will greatly expand

our reach and help us save more women and children from sexual exploitation. Give as little as $10 or up to $100 and tell your friends!

It only takes one click!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Avoid the madness. Shop online and buy beautiful handmade jewelry from Uganda that saves a woman's life.

Now you can spend Black Friday in the comfort of your own home buying beautiful gifts that mean something for your family and friends online. And what makes this even more special, is you are saving a woman from a life of forced prostitution and giving her a job with each piece of jewelry you buy!

Right now shipping is FREE! So BUY today and change her life! Be sure to "like" and share with your friends!

WEAR A NECKLACE. SHARE HER STORY.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Rest

You must enter into the rest of God and that, My children, would mean that you have presented to Me those things which trouble you to such an extent of love and faith that you are able, indeed, to enter in. For, it is in this rest that you shall be perfected, encouraged and renewed before My throne and in My presence.” -Bill and Marsha Burns prophetic word--

I've been thinking about what Bill Johnson likes to call the “rhythm of rest.” The seasons of work and rest and how important they are. And not just rest, as in watching our favorite tv show, but resting in God and gaining refreshment.

I find that even when I am alone with God, that thoughts and “to do” lists and worries and concerns can crowd out my time with Him. Sometimes I literally have to write out all the things that are bothering me before I can get quiet before God.

How often am I really “resting” in His presence?

How often am I really thankful?

How often am I present? Not thinking about the past or the future, but just soaking in the here and now.

Sadly, I fail a lot. Rest is not something that comes easy to our Western perfectionist culture. Our insecurities and our need to be needed, and our unswerving belief that if we miss a day of work things simply cannot go on without us often leave us tightly wound to the point that we can actually feel our shoulders tensing with stress.

People don't do what you want them to. Budgets need to be reconciled. Children fed. Bills paid. It can get overwhelming.

I think maybe that's why I think prayer is so brave. Because it is a surrender. Holding up a tiny white flag. The act of not doing, in order to accomplish something miraculous.

Because its telling God we are tired of fighting and we want Him to fight for us.

I never realized before how closely related are the orphan spirit and a spirit of poverty.

But each has to do and to plan because there is a lack of trust in God.
The orphan spirit says I have to be busy, because it shows people I'm important. If I don't do it, it won't get done.

The spirit of poverty says that I am never satisfied. I need to get all I can today, even at the risk of hurting others, because who knows if tomorrow I will go hungry.

I've realized lately that many of our women and girls who have been so brave to leave a life of prostitution and start over, are still operating under a poverty of spirit. Like children who are scared they won't be fed again, they grab at loaves of bread, eat them without swallowing and then beg for more. It can be frustrating, until you understand...its not their fault. It's what life has done to them. Taught them. It's what experience has proven over and over in their life before God and its not so easy to lose control and let go.

At first, it can be easy to judge them and wonder why they aren't always grateful for the ways we pour out our lives for them, or teach them, or give them employment. And most times they are grateful..its just that there is this insatiable need for more.

But then I think about us and how we run around as orphans thinking we will make Daddy proud if only we do more, accomplish more, or make other people notice us. We struggle with the same lack of trust just under a different label.

I for one, am tired of that. It's great to do good things. I'm not saying we should all sit in our lazy-boy chairs and do nothing forever, but I do think that sounds really nice right now.

The poor, no matter their issues, are blessed, because they will see God. Because they are desperate for Him. And He always shows up for the desperate. And I want to be right there with them.

Do I trust God enough that if I stop trying to do everything, He will still show up for me?

I think that's the deepest question I have to ask myself.

Someday, I'd like to move to Italy for a little while and learn from how they live. Less concerned with time. More concerned with food.

And somewhere deep inside maybe I will undoubtedly believe that He loves me just as I am.

Even if all I do is eat pizza.

Thanksgiving is coming up and even though we don't have many turkeys here to kill, we are still going to celebrate it. I forget sometimes that Thanksgiving is an American tradition and other people around the world aren't thinking about mashed potatos like I am. Or sitting around a table with their family and friends laughing and sharing what we're each grateful for. (Before you get too depressed for me, don't worry we're planning on doing that here too and starting our own Ugandan Thanksgiving tradition, complete with goat leg....not really, I don't eat goat except for on special occasions)

We're teaching our women this week on the importance of thanksgiving. I was thinking about it and I think that being thankful is really just being happy with what you have, and content regardless of your circumstances. To be grateful that even though you just had malaria, at least you are not that little baby you heard about dying from it because her parents couldn't afford the medication. A medication that literally costs a few bucks.

We give God our sacrifice of thanksgiving when we praise Him no matter what life looks like right now.

We are thankful. Because He loves us. Because our greatest worry is not where the next meal is going to come from. Because we are blessed. Because finally we can rest.

And all around the world, hands are clasped, and heads are bowed, in offering.



*I am slowly getting better from my bout with malaria thanks to my husband, you're the man, babe.

*For more on healing from an orphan spirit read Jack Frost, “Experiencing the Father's Embrace,” and “Running on Empty by Fil Anderson.”

Article I was quoted in on the rise of prostitution among girls in Uganda and Sudan

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


HOST A JEWELRY PARTY!!!

Our women have been busy making beautiful jewelry just in time for the gift-giving season. This Christmas, give a gift that makes a difference.

Invite your girlfriends over for a fun night of Christmas-cookie making or wine and cheese, and SHOPPING for a good cause. Every necklace that is sold saves a woman from being sexually exploited and gives her a job to help her rise out of poverty.

Do it today! Email beads@zionproject.org to get your beads in the mail!

Thursday, October 28, 2010


The most adorable Video Ever!

Our kids in daycare at our Women's Counseling Center singing "If You're Happy and You Know It," Ugandan style. My favorite part is, "shake your body," We take care of the kids and teach them while their moms are receiving healing counseling and employment through our Jewelry Program.

You can help us build a Nursery for them! We're trying to raise $2,000 so they have a safe place to learn and play.

with love,
Sarita

Monday, October 18, 2010

STAY CONNECTED!
Check out some of our newsletters from this year:

April 2010--Promises Fulfilled
August 2010 --Summer Love

And our video from this year:

To join our prayer list email sarita@zionproject.org

To volunteer go here.

To sponsor one of our girls rescued from child prostitution click here.

Join our Cause Page on Facebook under "Zion Project."




































The Kingdom

Salome is a beautiful girl I met two years ago in the slum. When I met her, she had such a sweet, sad smile. A smile full of regret. But there was a tenderness in her I was drawn to. She was pregnant with yet another man's baby. A man who paid and left. I remember how brave she looked, and how amazed I was that she had not aborted this baby, unlike so many others I'd met. Just another mouth they can't afford to feed. Just another one they can't bear to see starving.

Salome's face haunted me. Always when I visited the slums, I would seek her out to hug her. I felt like Jesus with his lost sheep, just dying for her to come back home.

This year, Salome knew love. Real love. The love of Jesus and she gave her life to him. She finally came home. She attended our counseling course in the spring, and she is now employed by our Jewelry Project. Sometime during that time, we discovered she was pregnant again, but we just kept loving on her.

Last week, we dedicated to a time of worship, prayer, fasting, and visioning with all our staff, and of course, the community, because they always seem to come when there is prayer. It was incredible. We dreamt about what it would look like to see revival come to Gulu. To see what God's Kingdom would look like. We watched Heidi Baker videos and asked God for his strategy here in Uganda, to see heaven come down. We laughed, we cried, but mostly we got closer.

God really showed up and women were delivered, and healed and empowered to reach their own communities of women and sex workers who still have not had the heart to leave the industry.

For the first time, I really saw them get excited about giving to others. That they are the pastors, teachers, and ones who lay hands on the sick to see them get healed. We commissioned them and anointed them with oil and the holy spirit came upon us all and we got excited about what He is going to do.

Salome came every day even though she was very pregnant and tired. She walked. And she came. And on Friday she gave birth to a healthy baby boy. Without hesitation, our community of women was like, “Let's go visit Salome in the hospital,” so after a long day, a group of 14 women and volunteers got into the back of the pickup truck and drove down the dusty road to Lachor hospital. Salome was so excited to see us and receive our gifts. But mostly, I think she felt the love. That she has a community around her.

And she'll never be alone again.

This is what the Kingdom looks like. Outstretched hands. And ones who are healed, healing others.

We strike a match and everywhere, there are flames shooting up across the horizon.








Sunday, October 10, 2010
































God is Faithful Even When We're Crazy

I often think I can do more than I'm capable of. I'm pretty sure I get this from my extremely loyal, overactive, Hispanic mother who tries to be all things to all people, whether or not her foot is broken, she's down with a cold, or has to drive her van up and down the road 20 times that day. She's also the kind of person who refuses to go to the doctor. Go figure.

So it comes as no surprise to me, that on my recent trip back to the States I took on a little more than I could handle. Pretty standard overcompensate mode which I'm sure is rooted somewhere deep in my parent's early growing up years in Catholicism and all that goes along with the idea that you should feel guilty 99.9 percent of the time.

So my month consisted of this: trying to help my very brave, but very pregnant older sister give birth on time through a variety of methods. 1. Walking. 2. Spicy food. 3. Episodes of “How I met your mother” (note this is not a proven method) 4. Pineapple 5. Eggplant parmesan 6. Breast pump. Notice that the methods become increasingly more desperate as baby's due date passes. And yes, we did contemplate castor oil. We had visions of a wonderful, natural birth with family around and lots of breathing.

However, this was not the case due to an infection and at 1am I was jolted upright in sleep by my father saying we needed to rush to the hospital. I had never really feared birth until I saw one of my pregnant Ugandan girls give birth in a hospital with nothing more than a flat table as equipment.

So when we arrive and we are told the baby is in distress and she is being rushed into an emergency c-section, to say I was terrified is an understatement. I think this is where the rubber meets the road when it comes to faith.

My moment to be brave and prophetically speak life comes out choked and shaky. But there's hope: I see the glimmer of a stained-glass window pane. A chapel. Cool. Dark. And a reprieve from endless pacing.

Jesus, are you here? In this makeshift hospital chapel?

I need another miracle.

This one's a little more personal.

I need you to show up here.

I need her to be ok and for the baby to be ok.

Can you do that for me?

I throw in a desperate, Please.

For good measure.

And I feel peace. She's going to be ok. I just keep repeating it.

And then my mom is calling me to come see the baby. And he is perfect. And enormous. And doesn't have 12 toes. And Christina is ok.

And I think of all the women in Africa with no technology giving birth on hard tables or in bushes, and the reality that some women still do die in childbirth, and I am overwhelmed with waves of gratefulness.

For God.

And for machines. And for doctors. And fetal heart monitors. And America. (Insert National Anthem here)

Two days later, as I'm about to fly off to California, my grandfather passes away. I had been able to see him while home. Had showed him pictures of Africa as my father took care of him. And realized this simple fact which my father knew well: That sometimes love is to sit with someone as they waste away.

Love stays. Even when it hurts. Even when its easier to look away, or not visit the hospital, or go to the funeral, or grieve with those who grieve. In America we are oftentimes afraid of suffering. We don't know what to say to the person who has lost someone. We shy away from that which is uncomfortable. But to see my dad just be there, through the ugly grip of cancer and let a blind-slit of light shine through, made me see that is who I hope to be here in Uganda.

And God cares about the small things. Things like how I was desperate for a drink from Him and I needed to go to California to the conference where Heidi Baker is going to speak. So he worked a tiny miracle and made sure the funeral was on Monday just so I could get what I needed.

And here's where it gets crazy (er?)

I show up at LAX to meet my dear heart friend Cassandra (who is another crazy missionary in Congo) where we proceed to look around for our ghetto car rental company entitled Executive Van Rental.

Now I love Cass. But she is the cheapest person I know. She will sleep in a brothel if it saves money.

Not surprisingly our company does not have a pickup point and we still have 4 ½ hours of driving, after a 5 hour plane ride, on 1 hour of sleep the night before, to go. I'm what you might call...grouchy.

After phone calls where I describe myself (its harder than you think) a shady van pulls up with no markings. Now, Cass and I both work with sex-trafficked girls so the first thing I say to the Mexican man driving the van is, “Do you have any identification?” I'm not about to be trafficked on the streets of Los Angeles right now. (which does happen: Watch this trailer) I've got an Iris Reunion to get to people.

It is a wonderful adventure road trip adventure full of music and mexican food. And we make sweet new friends (shout out to Claire & Kylene and late night Denny's food) and see old ones and God shows up and worship is amazing, and its so good to be home in His arms.

And then Shawn Bolz challenges us to hear what God is saying for the next three months and I hear:

  1. Write

  2. Congo (where 80% of women are raped)

  3. Buy land


And I'm like whoa all of those are unsettling and outsize my comfort zone and yet thrilling in a way that makes my heart skip a beat. (Still figuring out what all this means) But there is a chance I'll be visitng Cass in Congo in November.

Also in answer to that we are spending this next week with my staff and ladies praying into God's strategy for us for this next season. Please be praying with us.

But we haven't gotten to the best part:

Cass and I pull an all-nighter so I can make my 6am flight to be just in time to go out with my best friends, and then be ready to speak at Oakbrook church the next morning. Yeah, I'm crazy.

And God is good. Because even on little sleep, even knowing the fact that I had to rush off for family night, even being totally unprepared with what I was going to say---God showed up.

He had prophetic words for people, he had heart issues to heal, and my sermon turned into more of a ministry session, which was awesome. And in the midst of it all I realized how very little it has to do with me. That morning I just prayed, “Lord I want to be a fool for you.” And every day I want to be.
So I can see Him move.

We also sold a ton of jewelry and bags. And I got to eat cheese.

So all in all, it was good.

The craziness never stops. A new volunteer. Uganda. Women who make way too many beads way too fast so they don't have to sell their bodies. Children who leap on me and make me think I might throw my back out.

A husband I missed who is starting a pineapple farm and has it in his head he wants to buy a sheep. Even though they're loud and dirty.

And a God who keeps asking me to go further than I ever thought I could.

Here we are, striking sparks together.

ps—thanks mom for somehow still managing to help me pack my bags in the middle of chaos. You're the best.

pps—no, I did not have a baby: the above pic is my little obsession with my new nephew Ethan

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Joy Mixed In

"All journeys that really matter start deep inside us."
-Michele Perry, Love Has A Face-

I'm learning to live as one who is loved by God. It isn't easy sometimes to stop and receive when the needs of so many press down on you. But it's the only way to live, its the only way to keep loving and giving out. Yesterday I prayed a new prayer inspired by my friend Michele who lives in Sudan: "Lord, where are you going today? I want to go there." Instead of my usual prayer, "Lord what do you want me to do today?"

And as usual my day was full of little interruptions. "Please pray for my daughter, she is sick." And I stopped the things I was doing. Sometimes they get healed, sometimes they don't, but ultimately its about love--so I gave her the boda fare to get to the hospital. I am learning it is not a disappointment not to see a miracle. Because what Jesus is asking is for me to love the person in front of me, no matter if they get healed or not. Healing is His job. Loving is mine. I am on a journey of learning these things.

People ask me how I can handle all the suffering. Suffering with these women is about loving like Jesus which is about "embracing his cup of suffering as well as His joy. It's about paying the price to have eyes to see even when its easier to turn away."(Perry, you have to read this book!)
I think the answer is that it is always mixed with joy. When we were worshiping with the mother of Abetty, God's love and presence moved some very hardened hearts. One woman who I first met 2 years ago, Salome, who has been on my heart and who has been involved in prostitution and is pregnant with another child, she gave her life to Jesus. One soul, I've been contending for.

Another, Elizabeth, who has been attending my counseling classes which have really turned into discipleship classes :) When I first met her I was kind of afraid of her. She was harsh and barked at the other women. I could not get a smile out of her. Now, she is the first person to run up to me and hug me with a big toothy grin. And she gave her life to Jesus as well. God is so good. That He wants the ones who push Him away, that He wants the ones you think will never change. His love is so rich that is melts the hardest of hearts. I am often utterly amazed.

So the joy is mixed with suffering there in the dirt, in the middle of women singing, in the middle of a community exchanging death for life.
  • Please pray for our counseling class today and tomorrow--we are leading women through deliverance into freedom. It's the last part of our seminar. Pray many women would be released
  • Pray that strongholds in the Congolese community would be torn down and these women would become strong ambassadors and leaders for the Kingdom
  • Pray protection over me and the women--the enemy has been sending some darts my way, because he is threatened, but greater is He who is in us

Thank you for the words of encouragement. I definitely needed them. God has been gracious in healing me up. Love you guys!
Sarita

Thursday, July 15, 2010

To believe, even though shredded, even though crazy and impossible...this is where faith goes to live or to die.

To put it all on the line. To bear hope. To look into a mother's eyes and tell her you believe her dead little girl can live....It is one of the hardest things I've had to do.
It is still hard.

A baby died last night. Something I will never get used to. Even though this is the fourth human being in my community of women to die this month. Aids. Starvation. All just another word for stealing.

But this is not just any baby. This is a baby I held in my arms. A baby whose life I thought would be saved.

On Friday, I noticed one of our mothers who was making necklaces had the thinnest armed baby I had ever seen strapped to her back. Thin like the Ethiopian hunger commercials I used to watch as a child. Thin, as in death sentence. It was the first time she had brought her.

We called her into my office and found out that she has Aids. There was no money for formula. So her mother made a choice. Breastfeed her today and she lives. Hardly a choice at all. But the baby is starving now, refusing to eat. At first I think we should rush her to the hospital, but the mother says she's already been that day and the baby just needs to eat. So we buy her formula and a dropper. And we pray. The whole time this little one is pushing my hand away from her head. And I think, “This one is strong. She will live.” Come back Monday, we say, if she isn't better and we'll go to the hospial again.

On Sunday night, just a few hours too short, that little girl died.

I fall to my knees and cry. I open my bible to John and the first thing I read is from the story of Lazarus: “Didn't I tell you that you would see God's glory, if you believe?”

And then I remember a story. In Mozambique, a baby dead for 3 days, comes back to life. I feel the buyoncy of faith begin to rise again.

I hold onto that testimony because it bolsters me. It makes me believe for the impossible, when my unbelief creeps in. I don't have enough faith for this. And I need the faith of others around the world to ignite in sparks across the dark landscape.

Today, we sang. We sang worship songs through mud-tracked tears. We prayed. We asked and we commanded. We were desperate. We were joyful. We were angry. We were at peace. We hugged. We held onto a mother with a broken heart. And four women got saved because of all the love there between us.

And a baby did not get up and live.

But I am not giving up. I'm fasting and praying for this baby's life and if another dies tomorrow I will carry this tattered heart to the edge of insanity and I will ask again.

I don't know how to do this. It doesn't seem there is a book called Resurrection 101: The Tricks of the Trade. All I have is a story. And a Jesus I believe in.

  • Please pray for little baby Abetty. That she will live. We need a mirace.
  • And if that's too much for some of you, then pray the military barracks will let us at least lay hands on her body.
  • Pray for her mother Blandine, that the Comforter would come to her.
  • Pray that the Congolese community would be blown apart by God's love












Here are some ways you or someone you know can help us:

  • Volunteering in the USA--great for students! In areas of:
  • US based Program Coordinator
  • Accounting/Administrative/Data Entry
  • Video/Graphic Design
  • Website development
  • Sponsorship program coordinator
  • Volunteer coordinator
  • Speaking for Fundraising
  • Connecting to Churches
  • Marketing
  • Grant research & writing
  • Introduce us to your church, bible study or missions committee
Volunteering in Uganda:
• Administrative Assistant to Sarita (most needed)
• Finance
Children's ministry
• Children's teacher/tutor/mentor/English teacher
• Counselor
• Art therapy
• Bead Program Coordinator
Medical
Vocational/Skills training
Business Skills/Entrepreneur
• IT/Techy Person
• Program development—sponsorship program on ground
• Video/photography
• House of Prayer person—building up prayer & worship with staff

List of Items to Donate:
• New computer (Mac) $1,800
• Any older laptop donations for our new office
• Projector (around 800-$1,000) (for showing Jesus films on outreach)
• Sound system ($500)
• Generator for showing films ($1,000)
• Bibles in Ki-Swahili, Lingala (can bring or donate about $10 each)
• Play therapy toys (for kids)
• New pair of school shoes for our girls (about $10 each)
• 14 little girls nightgowns and panties
• 14 dresses for ages 4-14
• Children's games; puzzles
• Art Supplies
• ESOL teaching supplies
• Discipleship/KingdomTraining Materials for children & adults
• Teaching or fun dvd's for children
• Worship music cd's
• Cd's of great Kingdom teachings—anything Bill Johnson (For Sarita & Tyson)
• Van for transporting kids ($15-20,000)
• New tires for Truck ($800)
• New Staff person for Counseling Center --$225 a month
• Building Playground for kids $500
• Sponsor a girl for $35 a month
• Cd or music player with small speakers
• Donation of digital camera

For more details please email sarita@zionproject.org.
Donations can be made online at www.zionproject.org/donate
or mailed to:
P.O. Box 321
Quinque, VA 22965

Wednesday, July 14, 2010













Home is Where The Heart Is

You know you are back in Gulu when you can hear the sounds of little children singing to themselves outside your office window. Certainly not the sound of the Ionian sea lapping against the shore of the beaches in Greece, but nonetheless sweet.

We arrived back in Gulu last night and already back to work and picking up the pieces. I'm trying desperately not to be stressed out by the mountain of papers on my desk or the group of 30 women who were here when I arrived, looking at me with a question in their eyes, "Ok so what do we do next?"
Half the time I want to ask them, "Who put me in charge anyway?"

Because being the one the buck stops with isn't easy. And I never felt prepared to make these kinds of decisions about children's lives, or who gets to be chosen to make beaded necklaces for us while they all look expectantly at me. When all I really want to do is crawl in my bed and tell God to take over.

But the women clap and get excited when I tell them we'll start counseling classes next week and I get excited because it feels like the only thing I'm made to do anymore. So you can pray for me, because the work is never ending and the hats of administrator, and updater, and mama, and fundraiser, and wife and "boss" (not necessarily in that order :) get a little much for me sometimes.

But I feel kind of happy because I didn't lose my cool, and everything I don't feel I can quite deal with today I just put at Jesus' feet and say,
"Ok, you can deal with this one."

Also because I'M COMING HOME IN SEPTEMBER! (to my 2nd home! :) Or rather one of my "homes" which is to say that Gulu is the only place I actually have a house and my heart is here, but my heart is still renting property to a green patch of land called Virginia.

I'l be there Aug 30th thru Sept 27th to be exact and my joy over this is only muted by the fact that Tyson can't come with me.

However, while my main priority is to be the best daughter, and sister and aunt I can be to my newborn nephew (hopefully by sept 11th!)

I really do want to see you guys and chat over coffee, or speak to your church, or pray with you and I would love to update you, share vision, share amazing stories, and raise some more funds so we can keep this movement growing! :) I will be limited to the VA area---mainly Charlottesville, Richmond and DC area (no whirlwind tour for me this time! :)

So please send me an email to sarita@zionproject.org with a possible meeting idea (with a group or church or bible study, or just you) and a date that is open. I am NOT available from Sept 10th thru 13th..and well some babies don't like to be on time, so you'll have to be flexible with me. But other than that, I can try to make it happen.

Best Friends, book me early :) I can't stand being in your area and not seeing you!

Can't wait!
Love,
Sarita

Monday, May 31, 2010

We are heartbroken here.

It seems that the wicked prosper and I don't know what to do. We've prayed and we've cried. We've fasted and we've forgiven and yet I am in the valley waiting for a victory that hasn't come.

We lost 3 children today.

Three lives. And I fear that it won't stop until I am completely destroyed. There is no justice here. There is no child protection. There are no rights for the ones who are abused or raped or innocent. I feel like David....how long Lord? How long?

How long?

Will you fight for us?

Because we gave up our lives and refuse to pay bribes to people whose job it is to protect. To protect.
But there is no protection.
For them.

I keep thinking that I could have done more. That I could have done more to save them.

This is where it starts. In this room. A choice.

Do we believe in change?



Friday, May 28, 2010



Light










I think breakthrough is often less about what changes externally, and more about what changes internally. Often, when we are spiritually attacked we look at the enemy or we look at the circumstances. But isn't God saying that if we look at Him and we rest in Him, He will fight for us?

On Wednesday, the ZP prayer team and myself were fasting and praying for breakthrough and what was funny, is that without me saying, my team of women at the Counseling Center decided they wanted to pray and fast for 3 days--completely of their own accord. So on Wednesday, instead of eating lunch that was provided, these women, who often go hungry because they don't have enough money to buy food, who often go hungry for the sake of their love for Jesus, put food aside and prayed instead. I was completely humbled by it.

And God in His mercy, began to do something in my heart as I prepared my teachings on forgiveness. That until we move from a seat of judgment against someone else, to a seat of mercy, God's hands are tied to move on our behalf. And I realized, that while I had forgiven Miriam, I was still judging her, and still wanting justice, when really, regardless of all the things she has done, God is asking me to have mercy. And it makes no sense to the logical mind. So I wrote Miriam a letter asking HER forgiveness for any ways I hurt her in this whole process. And even though the police were supposed to go to her house to question her for harassment of the children at school....I asked them to call it off.

And I felt a shift inside myself---I felt rest and peace instead of discouragement. And even though the storms still rage around, and there are those who would try to use witchcraft to scare us, I feel peace that now that we've moved from a place of judgment, God will fight on our behalf and we need only to REST in Him and worship Him.

Through all of this, I've seen the Congolese women surround us with love and care and concern. And those that I have served, now serve me, by helping out with the children, and praying and fasting for me.

And teaching and counseling, has brought me joy that I had forgotten. Being with 18 women in a room, and seeing God touch them and heal places that from childhood had known pain---it is truly the best thing about my week.

One girl yesterday named Dorcas, wept openly in front of us as she shared how as a child she was accused of stealing a necklace from her aunty and was kicked out of that home, even though one of her cousins had put the necklace in her bag, to frame her. From that day on she had been called a thief and it wounded her. And God brought back that memory to ask her to forgive her cousin and to heal her. And as she did, I felt God remind me of a necklace my friends Cindy and Steve brought from America--and as a prophetic act to show her that God gives back everything that the enemy has tried to steal--I gave her the necklace as a gift. It was such a beautiful moment seeing God heal her and for her to understand how deeply God loves her and cares about all the small things we have tried to bury. He redeems all things.

So we carry on. And light touches the darkness. And it is dispelled.

Thank you for praying and fasting and believing with us.
All around the world we are joined through it.

love,
Sarita
I wrote this poem several weeks ago in a dark time, when everything seemed to be going wrong. Two babies had died and our prayers and faith had failed to bring them back to life. I had been through betrayal. But I post this now because of the post following this one. Because after darkness, there is light. But I think its important to grieve the things we don't always understand.

Dark

there is a hole in my heart
that wants to be stone

love that was given
and spurned
taken and turned

the lies and the calm
the lies and the calm
the ashy white film on our heads

all day the limp body
and sunburn
the babies cold in their beds
and prayers strung out over a sky
too bright and blaring
to care
that they’re dead

the dirt spinning down the drain
in slow convulsions
of tears never cried
but
the children are crying
because mama is gone

and I am standing there
knowing I’m wrong

wanting the rain to come
to soak up the sand

jesus you are a word now
jesus you are a verse
but you are not here
you are not here
right now

Note: One of the mothers, Bibisha, is now at our Counseling Center working for Remnant. There is a joy on her face that says Jesus has shown up for her.

Thursday, April 08, 2010



I'm the kind of person who cries a lot. I cry during sad movies. I even cry at happy ones. Like Sea-biscuit. I think that God probably has an X-Large bottle in heaven for my tears. Something more akin to a water tank here in Uganda than a perfume bottle.

So when I say that lately I've been so overwhelmed by God's goodness that I just cried (for a really long time) and it means that I'm happy....maybe you can understand. My husband on the other hand, who always wants to comfort me, is perpetually confused. It seems impossible to him that my tear ducts don't run dry :)

And when I say that God has been so good to me, even in the middle of getting typhoid and dysentery, and officially pooping myself for the first time in my life....I really mean it.

Most people would not consider those "acts of kindness" by God. And neither do I...but what I believe I am finding, what I believe I am experiencing is something I've longed to have---a belief in God's goodness above the war zones, and sick children, above the starving babies, and the woman with a black eye. It's something that I have envied in others....and yes, even probably coveted (even though that's something you're not supposed to admit.) It's something my friend Cass has that I've always admired. To look death in the face, and to somehow still radiate God's goodness. To know it deep down, in your bones. It's something satan doesn't want us to know...because with it--we are unstoppable.

With it, we can go into any place in the world and not be afraid of what we will see.

This last month, God ministered to me in a way that was so unique to me, so beautiful that tears can't match it. He loved me in one of my favorite love languages--with words. He spoke deep promises into my spirit. He could have done it on His own, but He used people to do it.

He took the years of what I thought were wasted tears, and He showed me what they meant to Him. He showed me not a single one was in vain. He showed me that in a moment, He can release His spirit so strong that it breaks through. It shatters walls. It heals the sick. It changes everything.

He took the love poured out on the ground, for these women, for these girls, and He poured even more out on me.

This last month I got to see what I've contended for. I got to see women worshiping in a way that is more awe-inspiring than the dome of the Sistine Chapel. I saw women healed from diseases they have carried for a long time. I saw years of unforgiveness dissolve with their smiles. I saw dancing on limbs that were once useless. I saw children who will know a mother's love because she now knows that she is loved. I saw a woman who lost 3 children in a fire because of hatred, become a worship leader. Because God is good. And here they sing of that, even though sometimes there is no food. Here, their love for God is extravagant. And costly.
Here, a woman will go days without food her God because she doesn't want to sleep with a man. That is worship.

And what we witnessed was a piece of heaven on earth. God touched down.

They have tasted. And they have seen. And their hearts are His. More so even than mine sometimes. And for that, these women are my heroes.

Goodness. That is the nature of His heart. So when I doubt it, when I cry out for breakthrough, for healing of the heart, for miracles yet unseen...I will read this to remember. To know--that God sees. He sees. Every tear. Every prayer into the mattress. Every sacrifice. And He honors them all.

In His time.








Monday, February 08, 2010

Watch our new video with Testimonies from girls who have benefited from Zion Project:

Saturday, February 06, 2010



























I was so excited I couldn't wait to share. Our 14 girls rescued from sexual exploitation, child prostitution, and being an orphan--just had their 1st day of school in Gulu, Uganda. I cried when I read the following testimony from our 13 year old Jolly who was taken from a life of commercial sex work into a life where she dreams because she has the chance to go to school. It's so amazing to know that because of her living in our home and receiving education, she will have the self-esteem and opportunity to live a different life. Thank you for supporting our girls!

"I could not sleep that night waiting to go to school, Putting on a school uniform for the first time in in my life I looked at the shoes and the bag with ten exercise books in it feeling so happy I have been waiting for that special day to come and here I am. On the way to school the villager came out of their houses looking at us as if we are a film show, other children ran to the road side just to have a closure look at us, when we reached the school, I saw very many children at the school assembly the teacher stopped talking as we arrived all eyes turned to us I was shy but Mama Miriam was near me she told me not to fear, there I gained courage and we joined other children to the classroom. I thanked God I am now in school."


You can sponsor one of our girls receive an education at www.zionproject.org/donate