Thursday, September 24, 2015

like a river

mighty force flowing, unhindered
tearing apart dams, planks, stuck in hidden places
carving hope-filled canyons, 
quenching dry ground, craving more
filling holes left behind with cascading and healing balm
gently trickling, 
tickling memories long forgotten
powerfully falling, 
cutting through ancient stone heart
uncovering the rawest and most natural of created things
dislodging arrows that pierce deeply
stripped off dragon-skin, fleshy wounds exposed,
vulnerable soul caressed, made whole, 
smoothed into the image of Peace Himself that exists in Life-giving liquid

stand underneath the force of Truth
surrender to it
drown in it
breath in Life
lungs fill to overflowing
heart… bursting

be brave small one,

-debbie dezutter 

Friday, August 14, 2015

Ma Mary's House

****Update-- We did it! Raised all the money needed to start Ma Mary's foundation. Thanks to all who gave and prayed.****

If you know me, if you have talked to me at any time over the last 7 years, then it is likely you have heard me rave about Ma Mary. (In fact, I recently wrote another blog about Mary, you can read that here.) Mary is my Liberian Ma-- but she is SO MUCH MORE-- she is a prayer warrior, Liberian chef extraordinaire, and a cultural advocate. She has been the glue that holds Orphan Relief and Rescue (ORR) together in all circumstances. Over the years ORR has hosted countless guests, Ma Mary is always behind the scenes. Yes, she cooks, but she also finds the best deals at the market, cleans, organizes, facilitates, accommodates and prays non-stop. If you have ever visited the ORR team house in Liberia, I guarantee that Mary has not only filled your belly, she has filled your heart as well as covered you in prayers. She has gracefully welcomed so many into our home, now is the time for us to help her to have a home of her own. 

Currently Mary lives in a house that is not hers. She saved for years and was able to buy some land. Land-business is tricky in Liberia. Even though she holds the deed, until something is built on the land she is at risk of loosing it. It will cost about $5000 to build the foundation of her house. This stage of building needs to be done all at once so the foundation is strong and even. After the foundation is set Mary can continue to build on it as she is able. It would take her a VERY LONG TIME to save the amount needed for the foundation. We can help her with this. She deserves it.

My plea is to everyone who has ever met Mary, everyone who has eaten her food, everyone who has been blessed by her prayers, (or by hearing her story here)-- Please help! If we all give a little I know we can do this. Follow this link to the donation page. (It is tax deductible!) Thanks!

Mary in the kitchen.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Ebola-fighters.

Today TIME magazine announced their "person of the year." The honor this year goes to a group of people who continue to work, continue to risk their lives, continue to sacrifice their time-- the Ebola-fighters. Ebola is still here. Even though we don't hear much about it in America anymore, the fight for life continues in West Africa. Thank you TIME for your timely reminder that Ebola is still in town.

The Ebola-fighters. This video brought tears to my eyes. Thank you to all who have and continue to serve the poorest of the poor, the neediest of the needy. It is not a pretty job, but your life choices are making a difference.

Friday, October 31, 2014

"God is answering our prayers!"

I just got off the phone with my Liberian Ma, Mary. I do not have the words to describe how much this woman means to me. Throughout my years in Liberia she was my confidant, teacher, chef, shoulder-to-cry-on, cultural interpreter, prayer warrior, movie-watching-buddy and friend. I miss her more that anyone else I know in Liberia, sometimes so much it hurts. So, when I heard her giggling, happy voice this morning over the scratchy phone line, my heart was happy. I was talking to her from the cozy comfort of my American bed-- she is in the middle of a war-zone-- yet I could hear the light in her voice and it lit me up all these thousands of miles away. 

Mary and I together in the streets of Monrovia in 2012.

Mary and I talked for just a few minutes-- she assured me that even though she had to move to a different community because of so many people dying of Ebola in her own, she was safe and healthy. She even had a friend from church die of Ebola and now her entire family is in quarantine. She said that the Liberian president made an announcement this week that "Ebola is reducing in Liberia" and that "God is answering our prayers." Yet she went on to discuss how Liberians need to continue to be vigilant in keeping up health and sanitary standards so that this outbreak does not see a resurgence. She said that even though rainy season is coming to an end and the hot Liberian sun is burning down, everyone in Liberia is wearing long sleeves and pants to keep safe.

This is the story of so many in West Africa right now. I love that Mary can see the hope in the middle of the storm. In faith, she is praising God for answered prayers even as people she knows, her own life, continues to be affected by this disease. She can see the big picture, the thing I have to keep telling myself-- God is bigger than Ebola. 

The WHO did announce this week that the number of Ebola infections in Liberia seems to be slowing. But this does not mean we stop our vigilant prayers, miracles are still needed and this fight is not over. But today, I choose to rejoice with Ma Mary-- God is answering our prayers!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

something scarier than ebola

I have been quietly sitting back these last few weeks-- watching the world react to the latest Ebola news-- at times frustrated, at times entertained, at times humiliated. It is mind-blowing to me, how uninformed, dis-compassionate, and judgmental people can be. We are talking about our human family here. West Africa... South Africa... Canada... Europe... America...Texas... all are human beings, members of a global family. We bleed the same and hurt the same and care the same and are all equally vulnerable to a microscopic organism that has the world on alert. But there is something scarier than the Ebola virus. Something that is taking the world by storm and unfortunately up to this point, I would say it is winning.


Four little letters that when joined together bring panic, judgement, and rash behaviors.

Fear is scarier than Ebola. We can not let an epidemic of fear paralyze us. Jeremy Writebol, the son of Ebola survivor, Nancy Writebol, said, "Compassion must proceed fear." Yes! Ebola is scary, but we have the tools to combat it. Reacting in fear and panic makes things worse, not better. In fact, I would strongly argue that, reacting in fear and panic is when the most awful mistakes are made. As a nurse I am trained in critical thinking, in standing back and assessing a situation, in gathering the needed data and acting on it in a practical way. Sometimes (most times) you don't have the answer or know how things are going to turn out, but you cautiously walk forward. When we are truly knowledgeable about a situation-- not flying off the hype of the most recent panic-inducing news report-- that is when we can react in confidence. We know there is a risk. We know there is a big scary world out there. But we don't have to react in fear. Fear is not going to fix anything.

I've said it here before and I still believe it-- God is bigger than Ebola. The Bible says that, "perfect love drives out fear." If you find yourself drowning in fear today, I urge you to ask God for help. If you are not comfortable with that, ask me, or a friend you trust to pray with/for you. Worry and fear do not add a single minute to your life. Walk forward in the knowledge that God is in control. Even if it feels that way, the world is not spinning uncontrollably.

Get the facts, make a plan, be cautious and take precautions, but do not let fear be the controlling factor in your life.

Below are some related links--

Don't let this guy's quirky style distract you, he's got some good things to say--
Ebola: What IS Terrifying (video)

Don't Worry, Be Rational: Why Extreme Fear of Ebola is Bad For Your Health

Threats to Americans, ranked (by actual threat instead of media hype)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

the latest radio and TV links to Ebola info

Listen here to hear the latest from Orphan Relief and Rescue in Liberia. (My Liberian Ma, Mary, is even interviewed!)

 Here is a first hand look at a day in the life of an ebola ambulance worker in Monrovia, Liberia.

My friend, Kent Bubbs Jr, was interviewed on Canadian TV about his role and thoughts on Liberia.

And I absolutely loved this news anchor's response to the ebola panic in America!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Stop the Traffic!

I just want to take a moment to address another great need in West Africa. It is not one that we are hearing much about these days. Getting buried under all the ebola news is an ongoing problem-- In Benin children are being sold into slavery... by their parents. Desperate mothers and fathers, at the end of their rope with no money or way to provide for their children, are doing the unthinkable. Convinced that they are doing the only thing they can to save their family, they are selling their children to into slavery for mere pennies.

Orphan Relief and Rescue has an anti-trafficking team that is out in these villages, educating and advocating for these vulnerable children. Officially they are not orphans, but they need to be rescued. Our team there has identified 160 children who are at risk for being trafficked right now. We have been able to raise enough money to save some, but 114 of these children are still at risk today. If we can not find the money to help them, next week they may be gone forever.

Only $360 can save a child from slavery for a year. This will keep them with their family, well fed and in school. For only about a dollar a day you can literally save a life.

Please consider helping.