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A.N.G.E.L.S. Outreach: One Mother’s Prayerful Promise

By Kevin Milliken, La Prensa Correspondent


Feb. 18, 2014: Lisa Canales was living what many would consider a near-perfect life in 1995. Lisa and her former husband had just bought a new home; they had two happy, healthy young sons; and the little girl she always wanted would soon be on the way.


Lisa felt as if someone was watching over her and her family.


“I became obsessed with Angels: Angel stories, Angel movies, what the Bible had to say about Angels and even pictures of Angels,” she recalled. “That, of course, followed me through the pregnancy. I had a wonderful pregnancy.”

2005 photo of Lisa Canales with Angel Mia


Lisa’s near-perfect life was about to change with an abrupt close call.


I went into labor—and soon afterward, our lives changed for the worse very fast. One minute everything was perfect and the next minute, they’re telling us that my daughter’s life was on the line,” she said, her eyes welling with tears.


Lisa had suffered an umbilical prolapse—in short, her umbilical cord had detached and her infant daughter could not breathe. Lisa was rushed into emergency surgery, knowing that she may never hold or meet the little girl that she had prayed so hard to conceive.


“The last thing I heard the doctor say:  ‘She is dying! Cut her!!’” Lisa recalled. “That meant my daughter only had minutes to live and they needed to cut me open, to pull her out.  I could never forget the look on the doctor’s face of complete terror. He had delivered my two sons, so he was someone I trusted with everything.”


To add even more drama, Lisa had her own difficulties during surgery. The doctors told her family they were trying to save both mother and child. Lisa started to cry…


“With tears coming down my face, I closed my eyes—and prayed!!” she recalled.


“Dear Lord, please don't take my daughter, please send your Angels down to protect her, breathe life into that tiny little body. Stand next to the doctors to save her life. Heavenly Father, I PROMISE you if you save her life, I will spend the rest of my life giving back to this community. I will forever keep my promise to serve others in need...”


Somehow, some way, that prayer was answered. Angel Mia—Spanish for “My Angel”—was born “healthy and beautiful,” in the words of her mother, on September 26, 1995.


“Not only did God save her life, the doctors told us, there is no medical reason for her to still be here—nothing less than a Miracle,” said Lisa. “It's one of my greatest memories to know that God saved my daughter with an answer to a Mother’s Prayer!”  

Just six weeks later, Lisa kept that prayerful promise by starting A.N.G.E.L.S. Outreach

For nearly two decades now, A.N.G.E.L.S. Outreach has provided food baskets on Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter to children and families in need—assisting thousands of single parents and even the elderly along the way.


“We are 100 percent donation funded and 100 percent of all donations go directly back into this community. There is no paid staff, and everything we do is completed by volunteers,” Lisa said. “I am happy to say we have never had to turn anyone away.”


All of Lisa’s children have been heavily involved in A.N.G.E.L.S. Outreach from the start—whether helping to collect canned goods, fill baskets, or delivering the food baskets to local families. Other family members, friends, neighbors—all have joined forces since to lift up A.N.G.E.L.S. Outreach on the wings of their generosity.


Angel Mia, now 18, continues to bless her mother’s life. So Lisa has vowed to always keep that prayerful promise made so many years ago.


“So when someone says: ‘Can you keep a Promise?’ I always laugh, because my   PROMISE to God has only just begun!!” said Lisa.


There are two ways to assist A.N.G.E.L.S. Outreach. First, the organization is seeking monetary donations to help with its Easter basket efforts in April. Second, the non-profit group is hosting a dance/benefit at the Toledo Yacht Club on Friday, May 2.


Copyright © 1989 to 2014 by [LaPrensa Publications Inc.]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 02/18/14 20:28:01 -0800.




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