Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Video from the Zion Project Rescue Home

All of these 16 little girls have endured unimaginable things and have been rescued into an after-care home.

All have been in danger and have experienced child prostitution, rape, child labor, and many other unspeakable things. 

All now live in safety and love.

You can help us rescue more. Sponsor A Girl for only $35 a month! That provides her with everything she needs and lots of love! Read more. 

This month our grant for this home is finished. It costs $2,000 a month to run our beautiful refuge. If only 20 people give $100 each we can reach our goal for September! Please consider giving today!

You_are_my_redeemer.MP4 Watch on Posterous

Monday, August 22, 2011

When you need to say thank you

Many of you know the struggles we've faced the last few months and so many of you have stood with us in prayer.
Today I felt like the hand of God reached down from Heaven and answered many tear-soaked prayers.

So I just want to say thank you. To God. And to you: 

I breathe a prayer of thanks.

Thank you for the new home,

and a yard spacious enough for little legs to run around in. 

For the miracle of new beginnings. 

Thank you for their sweet voices singing.

And for Anna, who just returned from Congo
after months away--back into our arms.

Thank you for the faith of children, innocent and strong. 

Thank you for the hands who hold us when we need holding.  

And for the students who will serve with us

and for the people who we know are coming. Though we don't know their faces
we know our Father will send them soon.

Thank you for the fact that You hear us, God.

You always hear us. 

And answer prayer.  

You are just waiting for the opportunity to show Your love.

"You can ask for anything in My name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father." John 14:13

So whatever you are hoping for, waiting for, believing God for...don't give up. 

Your answer is coming too. 

Friday, August 19, 2011



There is the old saying, “Be careful what you wish for,” but I think it's more fitting to say, “Be careful what you pray for.”

I'm sitting in my little prayer room which is sparse except for a yoga mat, a map of Uganda, a camping chair, a concrete floor strewn with tissues. But this is my space. My space to meet with God.

A few weeks ago I prayed a prayer, “Lord I want to be humble. I want to be closer to you.”

What has followed has been, so far, one of my more difficult experiences here in Africa. Crisis after crisis which I feel I am still in the midst of.

And brokenness.

Yesterday, I came home weary-boned and heart hurting. Devoid of strength. Of the strength to carry it all. All the eyes. All the faces. All those who lean on me for the love that they need. 

And all the problems which seem like they have no solutions. And these shoulders, the only ones to bear it.

So I had a good cry. And asked Him the questions.

Because things are hard.

We need a new home for our children within two weeks. We need staff to fill the many holes. But we need people who want to do ministry, not just want a job. And I need help which feels long in coming.

I need to not feel so alone.

And I need a miracle for my girl, Pauline, who is one of my child mom's from our first home, who has become such a beautiful, mature daughter of the Father.

I hold onto her story like a life-line. Because she is the reason I am here.
Because relationship really works.

Because love really transforms a life.

She has found an amazing man to marry, but her father won't allow it. And a church who won't marry without his permission.

All the broken systems of this world.

When all we want is for love to break forth.


And then there is my health. Which has been difficult for me, because I'm not a kind of person who can easily “rest.” But basically my immune system is shot. Too many antibiotics and not enough of the right foods or good bacteria and I've developed Candida in my digestive system which makes you exhausted among other things.

So I laid face down in front of God and said, “I can't. I'm just a broken vessel.

I need you to do it. Because I can't carry all these things anymore.”

And maybe that's all the Father wants from us sometimes.


A tiny white flag.

A chance to wash our feet.

And child-like trust.

I think of my kids and their faith and how it is growing. How they prayed that Charlotte's dad would be released from prison, and he was.

And they got so excited to know how God answers the prayers of children.

Am I not His child too? Am I not His girl? His daughter?

Won't He answer mine?

Won't He take care of His kids?


But oh how much harder, when it is something which matters so much to us.

How much harder to stop forcing, and trying, and finally give Him the room to move.
To give up control.
How humbling.

I see so much of Peter in me.

No, Lord, you won't wash my feet.

I am finally seeing how much He wants to. How much I need for Him too.

The brokenness does not break the one who trusts.

It becomes an opportunity to release.

“Unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels—a plentiful harvest of new lives.” John 12:24

The sunflower bends under the rain and hangs her head. And the seeds scatter.

Sometimes we don't understand these things.

We look at the blind man and we say, “What sin is in his life or in his parents that this happened to him?”

But Jesus sees an opportunity.

A healing. A miracle.

This happened so the power of God could be seen in him.” John 9:3

So where I am. My weakness, is a chance to touch glory.

In my own dying, a sliver for God to be revealed.

And somewhere in all this, a prayer is getting answered.

Because I can't. Not really.
But here He is, in this room, breathing close, telling me He can.

His arms wide enough for me to rest in. His shoulders strong enough

for the weight of these heavy dreams.

These miracles, on the cusp of being seen.

But there, nonetheless.












Monday, August 15, 2011

Happy Birthday Bethany!

Happy_birthday_bethany.MP4 Watch on Posterous

All our beautiful 16 girls in our Rescue Home singing "Happy Birthday" to one of our former volunteers, Bethany. 

We love you Bethany and we miss you! Look how your girls are singing in English!

Aren't they so precious?!!!! It's amazing to see how far they have come over the past two years.

with love from all of us,

Zion Family 

Wednesday, August 03, 2011



I see you.

God says, as my heart breaks.

I know.

He says, as I turn into the covers to cry.

If you ask Him for compassion, if you ask Him, to help you love. He will blow your heart wide open.

Love, such a beautiful thing. But it hurts too.

Last week, my children told me their Auntie's called them stupid.

Told me many things which tore me in two.

All I want is to protect them. To have them grow up in a home full of love. To have them bring the Kingdom of heaven to earth.

But all around me, the brokenness of many hearts.

Many hearts who have not known love, and don't know how to give it away.

Last week, I had to let go of two people. And that is always hard.

Harder still, is the feeling that I want to hide. Hide from the world, and from seeing eyes, that we are not perfect.

That we have flaws too. And inadequacies. And sin.

Hide, because it breaks me that these things could be going on in my home. My home, that is supposed to be a refuge for these little girls who have already known too much pain, and too much of man's sin in their lives already.

I cringe at being vulnerable. At being honest. But God is there, always wanting my heart. Always wanting the truth. And to live my life before others, even in our messiness. To be real.

And to be real, I was hurt and angry. Angry at the injustice of it all. Angry that this culture has not yet learned to value children the way Heaven does.

Not yet learned to see that they can be Kingdom carriers too and how the whips of words can crush that.

I can't bear to see my girls shrivel away, when we've worked so hard to see them blossom.

And then I was sad. Sad, because I see how much this land needs healing. The Father's touch. To experience love, so they can give it away.

Sad because it is so hard to find those who will love these little ones as I do.

Lord, grace. I pray.

Grace on their little hearts.

I lean hard into Him.

So we have family discussions around the table. Everyone gets her chance to share and we hug and say sorry. We get haircuts and have our first taste of pizza. We stay late and watch movies, and we talk, and we pray. We give kisses as we tuck tiny hands under mosquito nets.

I fight the temptation towards discontentment. And choose to rejoice. It isn't easy.

But somewhere in the midst of it, I stop to breathe a

thank you.

A thank you for toothless grins, and resilience. A thank you for peaceful goodbyes.

A thank you for the fresh joy I can already see in our kids as they climb out from under a shadow.

A thank you for bad behaviors melting away under the banner of love.

A thank you for redemption.

There is always a reason. And He makes even the ugly things beautiful.

“Put my heart, into their heart,” God says.

So we do. Every day we try to do. And to teach. And to give it all away.

On Monday, our new counselor shares testimonies of growth.

Yesterday, we read Here Comes Heaven, together and talk about kids being carriers of the Kingdom. We dream of things we will do, and people we will help, and how we can give love we've received away.

Some of our new girls get saved.
Some of our girls pray.

And I can hear that they are now intercessors.

And I smile to see them becoming.

Things are still messy. We're short staff, and there never seems enough time, and our kids always seem to lose their underwear, or their shoes, or their brand new pencils.

But I have an image of them laughing. And dancing. And twirling. Before heaven.


And nothing, can take that away.