Thursday, February 17, 2011

More Nathan

Nathan is still in the teaching hospital in Lusaka. He is not on a ventilator, but was intubated. His arms are contracting and his breathing is very shallow. These are both signs of more brain damage. No doctor seems to want to take care of him, because becoming a doctor in Zambia, is normally a power and money move, not because they actually want to help people. So, since he presented a head trauma, no one wanted that responsibility, and they continue to pass him off through departments. He needs a miracle now. His little body cannot handle much more. Please pray for wisdom for Dorothy-the founder of the school, peace for his family, and for the other little boy who was there when the accident took place. It is a tough, tough situation right now.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Today's Update on Nathan

Nathan still remains in critical condition. He has been intubated to assist his breathing but cannot be put on a respirator since there are no pediatric ventilators at UTH, the "main" hospital in Zambia. We have also learned that Zambian neurosurgeons do not operate on head traumas so the pain and swelling in his little head will not be surgically relieved. We do believe in miracles and ask that you continue to pray for his complete healing

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


I just spoke with Morgan on the phone, and she asked that I update you on the situation with the little boy who was hit by a car in the Lusaka area today....
  •  Surgery (stitching up the back of his head) is completed; unfortunately he began convulsing during surgery and is running a high fever now.  He is bleeding in his brain.  Twelve hours after the accident, he has not yet been seen by a neurologist. 
  • Pray that a neurologist will see him soon and prescribe treatment needed to turn around this difficult situation.  
From Joan Adams for Morgan

    Please Pray

    Today started off with Janet receiving a call that a young boy from the school we've been working at was hit by a car this morning. He's just 6 years old and has some major head trauma. He was first taken to the clinic in Chainda (the community the school is in) and then had to be taken to the hospital in Lusaka. His name is Nathan Banda and he was a new student at the school. Sweet boy even had on his new uniform blue shirt. There's so much more to catch you guys up on, but this is the most important please remember him today and the rest of the week as he undergoes surgery and whatever other care will be needed.

    The rest of the past couple of days have been a blurrrr. Yesterday was Valentine's Day here in Zambia too!! Flowers and huge heart balloons are everywhere and they even have cards for "your sexy wife." It was another great day, but for sure an emotionally taxing one. We got up and went to pick up Janet's old landlord, Mrs. Sibalwa, and then headed to the school that Mercy Ministries runs for the community of Chainda. This community is extremely impoverished. The majority of people living there make a living by breaking rocks...its pretty crazy. From little bitty kids to very old women spend all day just...breaking rocks. Its heartbreaking. We spent the morning taking out some more food to some of the people who are sick that Mercy Ministries works with. My car went to 5 different families: one man was blind, one woman was very sick with TB, one man was crippled, one woman had a stroke and was still very sick, and the last had several health issues including diabetes. The AIDS rate in Chainda especially is extremely high and that is what causes a lot of infections to become far more severe. Each of these people were so sweet, and their words encouraged me more than I think anything I did really helped them. Just being with these people up close and personal opened up my eyes to things that I've seen in Haiti, and I had seen on every infomercial asking for money for Africa, but really sitting down and talking with them about their situation was so very very different. It just a completely opposite world. I don't even know how to accurately describe it. Pictures will do it more justice, but it takes far too long to upload them here so you'll have to wait for me to be back in the states for those.

    We went back to the school after delivering the food and I got to help pass out the new uniforms that Christ United Methodist Church had sent over on a container. The kids were so excited to get clothes and shoes! Definitely an 11 on the 1-10 cute factor. They were so fun!! Pictures of those to come too :) After that we headed back to the house.

    Then there's today. Today started with sweet Nathan's accident. He's in the youngest class and I can't imagine how he must feel right now. When it happened, his friend was with him and was taken to the clinic also. When the friend came back to the school he just looked so traumatized and oh his face just broke my heart into a thousand pieces. He traveled back home with his family, and Nathan's family headed to the hospital, along with Janet and Dorothy who runs the school. After that was handled, Jessica and I headed to the grade 1 class to watch their science lesson. They were learning the names of insects in funny! They're all just so sweet!! Ok anyway, we just hung out with the kids around break time and helped a couple of the teachers. Lots of other little details, but I have limited time!! The rest, and the pictures of the kids who swarmed me when they saw my camera, will for sure go up when I get back!! Miss you all! Thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers!

    Sunday, February 13, 2011

    Recap so far!

    Well, I've been in Zambia for a day and a half now! I landed at 6:50 yesterday, and spent a long time waiting to get through customs, but once that was done, the fun started! Janet and Jessica picked me up and we headed to the guest house were staying in right now to drop off my bags. Then breakfast, and I caught a not so quick nap in hopes my body would adjust to the time change...I'm closer now but not completely there yet. (Its an 8 hour difference from Memphis.) After I woke up we headed out to see some friends of Janet who live in a community called South Jack. The crazy thing about Lusaka is that downtown, it looks very very western--there's even a new mall WITH AN ESCALATOR! haha, but once you get just out of downtown..its a completely different world. There's just really no middle class here. The upper-business class lives and works downtown, and the rest are in deep poverty. Its heartbreaking. Anyyyway, South Jack is one of these small communities outside of the city. We visited with them for a few hours and I had a great time meeting their family. After that, Janet decided I needed time to rest again so we fixed dinner at the house, and I was in bed by 8:30. I slept awesome until 2:30..then I was wide awake. I meant that's dinner time in Memphis!! I finally fell asleep a couple of hours later, and woke up in time to get ready for church this morning.

    The church service was incredible!! We went out to another community called Kanyama to attend service and deliver food. When I get back to the states, I'll add some pictures and videos of the service and that community. It was so awesome!! Now we're at lunch just hanging out. Any post I get up while I'm here won't be too detailed, but I'll for sure give some more stories when I get back! So for now..just day to day happenings in Lusaka. Can't wait to see what's next!

    Friday, February 11, 2011

    London to Lusaka

    Well, I've been in the London airport for a while now, and I've slept a ton! Not enough to feel rested, which is good because I need to sleep on my next flight to get my body better adjusted to time change. This airport is crazy! I wouldn't say its made for people on long trips who are sleepy, more for the shoppers who are traveling. My last flight was a little crazy. We hit some pretty strong winds over the atlantic and it got a little scary for a while, but I made it back down to the ground in one piece! Once we got to the airport guess what I got to do again...Go through security! Good grief these airports are too secure! Anyway, now I'm waiting to find out what gate I need to be at in a few hours. Its only 9:18 in Memphis, but here its 3:18. My body has some catching up to do. I can't figure out my travel adapter so this post has to be short, sweet, and to the point. I'm not sure if I'll be able to post anything else until I get back to London, but if that's the case, my mom will put up little blurbs I send her while I'm gone. Please pray for a smoother flight to Lusaka, and that I'll be so exhausted I'll just pass out the whole way!

    Thursday, February 10, 2011

    Flyin' Solo

    My very first flight and I'm already a security threat. As I was going through the security check in Memphis, the dude stopped me and made me go through the body scan…while wearing my sunglasses—total Arnold Schwarzenegger move. Then I stood in front of a different lady for a solid ten minutes while she waited for a report. Then I had to hold my left arm out while she felt it up. Wanna know why this craziness happened? Of course you do…my super scary digital watch!! I little blond white girl the new red flag? I for sure got stopped for security checks like this at least 3 times on the way to Haiti too!! I should stop looking so suspicious I guess. Here’s hoping that’s my one stop this trip.

    Once I got through that madness, I went and hung out waiting to get on the plan to Chicago. So you would think that a plane from Memphis to Chicago would be pretty big because those are two big cities and lots of people must want to go from one to the other a lot for business and such…at least I thought that. SOOO wrong! 

    That plane was SUPER TINY! I took that pic from basically the back of the plane. Seriously, the guy in front of me almost didn’t fit in the door!! Don’t they know America is the fattest country in the world and with the Chicago deep dish, they gotta know they need room to spare! They totally should have consulted me on that one. Haha. I actually did fit on this toy-sized plane and got ready for my first flight. Right at take off I got a little nervous. For a second I thought, “I MUST be crazy! I’m for real flyin’ solo! Too crazy.” I do not travel well alone. I don’t like driving alone, I don’t like flying alone, and I definitely don’t like going to foreign countries alone! So obviously I decided to make a break for it while I still could. Hah ok not really. I am in Chicago now, so I stayed on the plane. I’m actually just getting more and more excited to be going on such a cool adventure on my own! Just more proof that this trip is only happening through God’s strength!! 

    When I landed in Chicago things got a little crazy again because I had to high tail it from the end of the airport to the reject part of the airport that they send the international flights through. I even had to take transit to it…total flashback of Haiti..this time I held onto the rail like they told me to! Haha Then I had to go through security again….guess who got flagged…I DID! Again. This time for my crazy weapon sunglasses! I really should learn to not bring dangerous things like watches and sunglasses on trips. Now I’m just chillin at my gate, M 11, eating a ham sandwich that cost wayyy too much, and waiting for my lovely next flight to get underway. It leaves from Chicago O’Hare Airport and flies to LONDON, ENGLAND! Ya know, just headed across the pond. No big deal, right? OH PLEASE….My first flight went over the Mississippi River, but this one is about to head across a stinking OCEAN!! I cannot begin to explain to you how excited I am! Woo!! 

    After I hit London, I’m going to have a pretty intense layover so you should all get on facebook chat around 5 in the A.M. (Memphis time) and keep me entertained  :)  There's the run down of my travel so far! I can't wait to read all the notes friends and family sent me!! I am sooo beyond blessed by you guys. Thank you so much for encouraging me from the other side of the world! Side note, I receive texts free the whole time I’m gone!! Also..I’ve already taken 100 pictures…oh goodness. Well..I guess that’s all for now folks! I’ll post again when I’m safely in a completely different country! Love you all!!!

    Wednesday, February 9, 2011

    Zecharaiah 4:6

    So if you've been alive this past week you've at least heard that the Black Eyed Peas stunk up the super bowl halftime show pretty royally. I mean that carnage was close to Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction! Its so crazy to me that today a band can use so much technology to create a good sound, but when that's all stripped away, and they're left to perform just stinks! How in the world do they pull that magic trick off?? Apparently they can't do it on their own.

    Well, I'm just like the Black Eyed Peas. I mean tomorrow I will climb on a plane and travel to a place that's so far away it will take me two days just to get there, and then I'll hit the ground running and won't breathe until I get back on a plane. I'll be stripped of all my first-world conveniences, be completely away from my family and almost all of my friends, be completely exhausted, have to lay aside my picky eater tendencies, and be in a world I've only dreamed of seeing. Starting tomorrow, I'll step out onto my super bowl stage, and if I attempt to do this on my own... oh man--it would like having Janet Jackson AND the Black Eyed Peas performing at the same time! There is nooo way I could ever dream of being kind, compassionate, and open on this trip if I tried to do it alone. By the time I hit London, they would have changed the saying from "Hell hath no fury like a woman's scorn" to "Hell hath no fury like a tired Morgan." So...I guess its a good thing I'm not doing this in my own strength! (I'm sure Janet and Jessica are super excited about that one) I know that I'm not relying on my measly human abilities that would really get me nowhere. Nope. I'll be leaning heavy on a BIG God so no worries! All I need to do is continue to lean on Him for everything along the way. I am so humbled that I get to be a part of this trip and I can't wait to see what He teaches me as I continue to rest in how HUGE He is!! For the past few days I've had that simple song I used to sing when I was little in Sunday School stuck in my head:
    My God is so big, so strong, and so mighty! There's nothing my God cannot do. The mountains are His, the valleys are His, the stars are His handiwork too! I've really just begun to realize the weight that song actually carries. I mean He is sooo big and this is all His and yet He's allowing me to be a part of His big, perfect plan. So stinkin cool!! And its definitely made it easier to lean on His strength. Its sooo much greater than my own. So, even though I'll be stripped down to almost nothing, I'll have a BIG, STRONG, MIGHTY God who will be my everything!! Woo!!!

    So close to take off time!! I'll update again when I land from my first flight. Thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers. I'm about to be headed for the adventure of a lifetime!!

    Confession: I still love those Black Eyed Peas. They may not have the deepest most moving lyrics that can speak a soul into existence or the greatest musicians who can rip out a ballin guitar solo, but they're soooo fun! I'm very proud to say that some of my favorite moments are for sure dance parties I've had with one of my best friends Emma Tinius listening to a lil "Rock That Body" :)

    Monday, February 7, 2011

    1/4000 second

    1/4000 of a second. That's how long it takes my camera to capture an image. In 1/4000 second I can create a lasting memory, a piece of art, or an embarrasingly funny snapshot of a friend. People always say that good things take time, but according to the great philosopher Miley Cyrus and the shutter speed of my camera, really great things happen in the blink of an eye. Miley and I are on the same page for this one.

    Part of my internship year at SOS has always included me heading out on a mission trip, but the five dubs(who, what, when, where, and why) were kinda left up to me. I had a few options in mind, but then I ran into some issues that are kinda a big deal:
    1. At SOS, our busiest seasons are spring break and summer...the two main time frames for organized trips
    2. Planes are EXPENSIVE and I hadn't raised enough support to pay for all that
    3. I had nowhere to actually go!

    So...I started praying about it. As I was writing my update letter to send out to people who were already supporting me financially and as prayer partners, I just began to ask God to move because I for sure could not figure all of this out on my own. This past year I've been praying about what God will have me study in college(when I finally get there) and He has been massively growing my heart for the orphan crisis especially in Africa and China. Because of that, I really had these continents on my heart for my trip, but it just seemed so impossible. I wasn't all too confident I would actually get to go anywhere at all, and worry and discouragement were starting to set it. Little did I know, God just wanted to blow my mind! Before I even sent out my letter, Philip(the executive director of SOS) told me the month of February was up for grabs for my trip, I had a 3,000 check in hand, and my mom mentioned that one of her closest friends was open to me helping her in Zambia. Oh hey, no mo problems.

    My mom's friend, Janet Brown, lived in Zambia, and recently moved back to the states for a few months to get married and settle in with her husband before trying to move back to Africa. She worked in Lusaka, Zambia and is traveling over again to help unload a container there and help set up a new missionary. I will be leaving this Thursday alone "on a jet plane" headed to Chicago, then London, then finally Lusaka!! Janet has already told me that as soon as I land she will pick me up and I'll be headed with her to the southern province to hang out with about 300 kids for a while!! I cannot begin to explain how excited I am to just see these precious lil ones! Man, I can't even think about it without wanting to just take off right now! I'm not sure what else my trip will hold, but I do know God will open my eyes up to all kinds of things. Maybe I just won't come back :)....just kidding for now Mom and Dad. My flight is scheduled to be back in the states Wednesday February 23rd. I would looove for prayers for safe travel and that my body would adjust quickly to the time change. I will keep this blog updated somewhat while I'm gone, and I'll post all kinds of pictures and stories detailing my trip when I get back to the states. Haha I love to say "back to the states!" Thursday can't come soon enough!!

    I may have been able to pull off a trip that was "good" in my timing if I had spent all year putting it together, but God does great things in His timing. This incredible trip that is going to change my life just landed in my lap in about the time it takes my camera shutter to close...the blink of an eye.

    Two thumbs up for Africa, London, and a GREAT BIG GOD!