Filed Under (Blogs) by Susan on 24-08-2017

Monday marked an amazing battle in the heavens with the sun and moon.  For a time, the sun disappeared and the earth became cool :)


According to ancient literature, people formed various reasons for why the sun disappeared from the sky.  From that, various superstitions and myths were birthed. Food that is prepared during an eclipse is unpure and poisoned, therefore, people are advised to remain fasting during an eclipse.  To some, an eclipse means disaster and destruction is imminent.  In Mexico, pregnant women are advised to wear red underwear to protect their baby from a cleft palate.


Devika and her mother at their home in rural Karnataka.

Devika and her mother at their home in rural Karnataka.

Beautiful girls like our patient Devika were born with bilateral cleft lip and palate.  The mother of Devika was shunned from the village after her birth.  She had told Santhosh and myself that villagers called her demon possessed, saying that she had walked out during an eclipse.


What a horrible burden to put on mothers.  As if we don’t carry enough guilt or pain, add on that if your baby is born with a facial birth defect, it’s because YOU stepped out during an eclipse.


There’s no proof, no medical science, nothing to prove any of the above.  You must protect your eyes, and that’s the medical advice to remember.  For fun, wear the red underwear, no one will check :)


The other thing to keep in mind is what is written in Psalms 19 “The heavens declare the glory of God, the firmament shows his handiwork.”   His glory is shown every day, with every sunrise and sunset.  But on Monday, in the USA, His glory was revealed magnificently and beautifully in the heavens.    And EVERYONE saw it!!


God bless you!



Nail Polish

Filed Under (Blogs) by Susan on 24-07-2017

Monsoon season has hit Mumbai.  As we braved the deluge of rain with the drive to the red-light district, Philip, Santhosh and I began to prepare ourselves for the long day!  Unfortunately, the rain did not stop once we arrived in the red-light area.  It only poured in intensity!   We climbed the stairways, hopped over sewer lines and struggled to hold the feeble umbrellas upright as we climbed to the Lighthouse, the LWR center in the heart of the city.

Susan speaking

Susan speaking at the center. An official translator was there to help with the language.


The ladies and several children were there to greet us.  We were so happy to see their smiles.  I won’t ever forget the blank expressions on their faces the first time I met them in February 2015.  There was hopelessness in their eyes.   But to see their joy today, there’s only one explanation for it, and that is Jesus.   Yet, there is still a battle going on for the souls of these women and their children.  We must not forget to fight for them.


Towards the end of the day, the rain had finally ceased.  I stepped outside of the Lighthouse to walk around the slum area.  I saw a few women huddled together and I wondered what was in the center of their circle.  There I saw a box with a rainbow of colors in tiny jars.   It took me a few minutes to realize that the box was filled with an assortment of nail polish.  A man came with another box of nail polish and displayed it in front of the ladies.  There was a lot of negotiation as he relayed the prices and showed the various colors.


I don’t know who the man was, or who sent him.  But it saddened me that instead of finding ways to help the ladies be set free, people found ways to keep them captive.   It happens over and over again, everyday.  A safe hostel (safe home) has been arranged for many children of the women of Project Butterfly.  But many of the mothers are saying, we want to leave this place too.   We need to build homes for these in captivity, and not find ways to keep them oppressed.  This project will take all of us working together.  This has to be done, because we all are called to set the captives free.  I hope that you will join me in this vision to bring hope, bring change, and bring new life to the people of Mumbai’s red light districts.


Together let’s transform Beauty from the Ashes!



Welcome to Zimbabwe

Filed Under (Blogs) by Susan on 13-07-2017

We were definitely a sight to behold at JFK international airport.   A team of 10 people all wearing identical “Love Without Reason” yellow shirts, trolleying 30 pieces of luggage which were all tagged with the same beautiful Volunteer Orange ribbons.  We were an excited bunch, taking selfies, praying in tongues and passing out snacks.

The flight was uneventful, other than people asking us “What is Love Without Reason?”   One pastor from Kenya invited us to bring Love Without Reason to Kenya!  God willing that day will come very soon.


We were greeted by an amazing team at the Harare Airport.  Each LWR family was hosted by a church family from Revival Ministries International, which was LWR’s hosting church for our very first medical camp in Zimbabwe!  Sunday morning three separate churches received the Word from different groups of LWR’s team.  Each service was powerful.  The atmosphere of expectancy is the breeding ground for miracles!


Beginning Sunday up until Saturday each day was designated with tasks and preparation for the Sunday (Father’s Day) medical camp at Parirenyatwa Hospital in Harare.  Everything from visiting the hospital and laying the map for camp day, to sorting out medical supplies to creating patient files!!  Whether you had a medical background or not, your skill was used here!  During the evenings, various meetings were held:  awareness meetings on Human Trafficking, a seminar on Women in Ministry, and a Message of Hope from Philip Mathews.  Every person on the ten member team from America shared or spoke during these meetings.  Our first two team members from India came as the Trustees of LWR Foundation, the remaining “Big Five” which included the surgeons and anesthesiologists would arrive on Saturday.


The day of camp finally arrived!  The Admin team arrived at 6a.m. and there was already a line of twenty patients waiting for the doors to open.  We learned that many traveled from 300-500 kilometers away, and their transport had arrived late in the night or early that morning to deposit them at the hospital.  We all assembled at each of the 11 stations, which included a photo session, pediatrician, surgeon, and anesthetist evaluation, blood work,  and counseling.  The amazing volunteers (close to 100) checked in at their stations ready to help at their first medical camp.   The medical students from the University of Zimbabwe came with their white coats to assist in history taking and in registration and to learn from the health care providers.  Nursing staff from the hospital assisted the patients with weights, blood pressure and blood draws.  Runners transported vials of blood to and from the lab in order to streamline the movement of patients.  Approximately 149 patients came through the camp, with 46 being screened out for non-facial health issues.  Of the remainder, lists were made to accommodate patients for the June mission, and for the next camp mission.


Beginning Monday morning, children and adults were brought to the operating theatre for surgery.  Santhosh and I visited them in the hospital ward that evening.  Many parents that night itself thanked us with tears of gratitude in their eyes, as they gazed in wonder at their children’s new faces.


The days started at 5a.m. and ended at 11pm with the workload in the hospital.  Our lead operating room nurse, Sister Botoro, told us “I will not be tired, until Sunday.”  Their hearts were moved because of the love shown to the people of Zimbabwe.  One surgical nurse cried as she shared with us during the focus group meeting on Friday night, “No one cares about the poor.  No one.  But you have come to change their lives.”


Friends, the work is not over in Zimbabwe, it is only beginning.  If you have given to Love Without Reason, please know that this is your victory too!  If you have never supported the cause, I urge you to partner with us.  There was only 1 craniofacial surgeon in the entire country, as a result there is a five year back log of patients with such birth defects.  With the help of LWR surgical team passing on their skills, many more surgeons will rise up in this country.  The five year back log will disappear.


Thank you for joining with us!   God bless you for answering the call!!

Until the World is Cleft Free!