Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Oh, if you'd like to see where I'll be, go to http://www.gvcm.org/
Monday, December 28, 2009
You guys will NOT believe this. Literally, God dropped a 1/3 priced short term mission trip in my lap. Basically, we've been praying and starting a little savings for a mission trip. We just figured I'd be going back to Nicarauga since I loved it there. But, some friends of ours lead teams to Haiti several times a year. This morning I found out that someone on their team backed out and I got a spot with a free flight!!!!!!! So, in about 3 hours, we made the decision to jump in. I fly out this Friday night. CRAZY I know, but you all know I'm a bit wild anyway.
Get this, I'll be on a medical team that does burn clinics during the day, we are distributing 3000 Christmas shoeboxes AND we are staying in an orphanage and helping with the 100 children there and distributing bags of rice. The team leader told me that the village children who don't live in the orphanage try to get in there because it is the safe place where children actually eat. Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and we will see everything from starving children, burn victims with no medical care to voodoo temples. Could this fit me any better??? I don't think so.
Mike and I ran up to Goodwill and I bought 4 long flowing skirts(a cultural thing there for women to wear skirts) and cheap cotton shirts. I don't think I'll be taking many pics showing much of me in them ;)
So, Please please pray for Mike and the kids while I'm gone. My nerves are shot, but I'm super excited and so is MIke.
This has been quite a year. The Lord has rocked our view of "normal" and shown us His mighty power! We have learned that our timing is just that---ours. He has a perfect timing that we just need to go with. I'm humbled, in awe, and pumped up to see how the God of the universe is involved in all the details of our lives. May I work hard, not complain, be flexible, love the people openly, and basically be Jesus with skin on. I can always work more at my job and accumulate more money and stuff---but this, this trip is the chance of a lifetime and will most certainly affect the way I look at the world from here on out!!!!
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
encourage the oppressed.
Defend the cause of the fatherless,
plead the case of the widow.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
You need to scroll down to my music player and pause the music to hear the video. This is what I'm saying people, this is why I don't like Christmas very much. 450 billion dollars spent on blow up santas riding Harleys as yard decorations and such while children are dying from diarrhea becauase their water is contaminated! What if we all spent less and gave to people that really need a sweet gift??? Let's try it!
Friday, December 18, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Now, I totally realize this could be a temporary placement. But, is there anything more fun at Christmas than a houseful of little ones??? Whenever someone asks my parents how many grandkids they have, they pause and say "Well, currently, we have 7, but one is about to be legally adopted so that makes 8, and then, as of Friday it will be 9"! :))
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Sunday, December 13, 2009
AND, my brother-in-law called and offered Mike and Carter free tickets to see the Cowboys play in the new stadium. Carter was beside himself with excitement.
Have a great day everyone.
Friday, December 11, 2009
Carter is,well, a 13 yr old boy. He's a good, kind, sensitive boy--but, there's just nothing like a 13yr old boy to make momma nuts, enough said!
Then, this morning I was canceled again at work. That is 48hours lost since November 2. Of course, it is Christmas time when you have to buy all kinds of crap, because that is what Americans do at Christmas--hooray, Jesus was born, now let's go spend money on junk our kids don't need or even really want! We are trying to use this lean time to learn to live on less. If we do move overseas someday to work with orphans, we will certainly need to live on a lot less.
I usually start every morning off in my closet with my daily Bible reading passage and my prayer notebook to write down my thoughts to my Lord. Today I didn't get to it until just now. Cool cause my passage for the day was John 16. Awesome gift my Heavenly Father gave me: John 16:33 tells us that in this world we will have trouble, but He has overcome the world! So, thank you Jesus that we are victorious with you. The troubles of this world are fleeting.
I'm also sooooooo thankful that we did the diaper give away yesterday. When I am tempted to feel sorry for myself, I think about that precious teen mom who grinned when I gave her the pack of free diapers and she said "We no have pamper!" See, reaching out keeps our focus off ourselves, and, the diaper give away idea is multiplying. A dear woman in the little town my in-laws are from is heading up one there.
Heck, I can't complain about anything! My kids are healthy, I have a sweet godly husband, a warm home with blankets and food, clean water, health insurance, fun and kind friends, and too much to even list!
Thursday, December 10, 2009
I don't know that we did anything heavenly, but it was a fun act of random niceness!
Next week we have more people, TONS of diapers thanks to Gateway Church, and we are moving to a new location. FUN. So, here is your challenge: dream up a simple, inexpensive way to bless people who aren't expecting it. Talk about Christmas! :)
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Saturday, December 5, 2009
"Yet it certainly cannot be God's will that any child die alone and abandoned. Surely God placed a particular set of interests and abilities in one person, somewhere in this world, and put that person in a time and place where Great Things could happen-should have happened- for that boy. Will you take up the challenge that so many have avoided?"
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Sunday, November 29, 2009
There are numerous stories of people doing small, selfless service for others. For instance, pay for the car behind you in the fast food line and ask the cashier at the window to hand them a little card with your church's info,or maybe it just says "God loves you." There are stories of handing out free things to homeless people. It doesn't take an organization to do this, just do it yourself! So, here is what my Mother and sisters and I dreamed up while eating breakfast Friday. We are going to buy big boxes of diapers at Sam's and separate them into stacks of 30. We will tie them up with Christmas ribbon and place a little card on them that say something about how Jesus loves them. Then, we are going to park in the WIC(Women's Infants and Children govt aide) parking lot and hand them out. That's it, no strings, no gospel presentation with tracts---just people giving them a free gift and saying that Jesus loves them and so do we! I'm so stinkin excited I can barely stand it!!!!! I'll update you guys after it happens. We have big plans for next year's Black Friday madness. We are going to set up a table in Wal-Mart parking lot and give free hot chocolate and donuts to shoppers. We will have our church's connect card to hand out too. Yippeeee! How fun.
Now your turn. I challenge you to serve others in a practical way. Take a load of NEW(don't give away your old junk) hats and gloves to an intersection in the city and hand them out. After you've done so, email me or leave a comment to let me know what you did.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Listen to this lady's testimony. You will be so encouraged. As a momma of a child with special needs, I am super pumped to keep praying for my Dillon. Like her, he has a thick file of testing, diagnosis, evaluations, and educational goals. No matter what those files say, God has a great plan for Dillon and we believe He will use his life to bring great glory to Himself! Watch the video and then re-read Psalm 139 verse 14.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Lukewarm people are continually concerned with playing it safe; they are slaves to the god of control. This focus on safe living keeps them from sacrificing and risking for God.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
All of my kids were obsessed with unrolling the TP. I don't really get the fascination, but apparently it is super fun! This little man is so funny. He is a parrot and copies everything Dillon does. Today Dillon said something about his backpack and a little voice piped up after that saying "Ba pack". He loves to "honk" my nose, give slobbery kisses, open and close the cabinets five billion times, sings constantly, and always wants to go outside. Hudson loves his daddy now and runs to him. This Sunday at church is our parent/child dedication. It will be really precious.
Here is the verse we are using.
Do not be afraid, for I am with you;
I will bring your children from the east
and gather you from the west.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Here is the link to copy and paste in your browser bar.
I look forward to many families receiving a wonderul gift because of you!
Phillipians 4:19 And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
My sister blogged about this a few days ago. My mom, sisters, and buds are all into this series. It is Christian Fiction and it is wonderful!! I know, it sounds ridiculous to say that a fiction series changes you, but this one has changed how I look at my "religious" background, how I view other races and their worship styles, service, and prayer. There are 7 books in this series. I highly recommend them, especially if you are white, middle class, raised in the church! Gonna step on some toes here(ya'll know I love to do that anyway), but growing up white, middle class, in the church kinda gives you permanent blinders to the world beyond, know what I mean?? Anyway, read the series. Please leave me a comment if you've read them and how it changed your perspective!!
Quote from book 4
"Funny thing about miracles though--they're uncomfortable; they upset the natural oder. One hardly knows what to do with them; they don't come with instructions."
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
As for Hudson, he is a funny little booger. I worked Saturday 7a-7p, off Sunday, worked yesterday 7a-7p. This morning when he came toddling into the kitchen, he went straight for daddy. He would not come hug me and even closed his eyes at me when I'd try to talk to him. Seems that he was punishing me for being gone so much! I'm thankful he bonded with Daddy though. I'm off til Friday, I'll re-establish my reign as favorite parent!
We have decided that Hudson is most likely allergic to milk. He had been drinking soymilk since coming home because it is very common for Asian children to be lactose intolerant. I'd just gone ahead and started him on it. Well, we ran out early last week and I thought I'd try regular milk. Immediately the thick congestion came back and he had diarrhea, and a scalded bottom. Guess we will stick with soy a while. Funny thing, yogurt doesn't bother him.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Facts taken from the website cryoftheorphan.org
Over 140 million orphans and waiting children under the age of 18 have lost one or both parents.i
Over 13 million double orphans under the age of 18 have lost both parents.ii
Sub-Saharan Africa, with 48.3 million orphans, has the highest proportion of children who are orphans at 12%
Asia has the largest total number of orphans with 73.7 million orphans, which represents 6% of all children
Latin America and the Caribbean has 10.7 million orphans, also representing 6% of all children.iii
Over 15 million children have lost a parent due to AIDS, and that number is expected to rise to over 20 million by 2010.iv
Without AIDS, the total number of double orphans in sub-Saharan Africa would have declined between 1990 and 2010. AIDS, however, will push the number of double orphans in the region from 9 million to more than 10 million by 2010.v
Orphaned children are much more likely than non-orphans to be working in commercial agriculture, as street vendors, in domestic service and in the sex trade.vi
Orphans are more vulnerable and at risk of becoming victims of violence, exploitation, trafficking, discrimination, or other abuses.vii
More than 500,000 children are in United States foster care.viii
Over 120,000 children in foster care are waiting to be adopted.ix
Only around 50,000 children, or 18% of those waiting in foster care, are adopted every year.x
On average, children in foster care wait over 2 years to be adopted.xi
Over one-third of Americans have ever considered adopting, but no more than 2 percent of Americans have actually adopted.xii
Friday, November 6, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Instead of begging on the streets for food, Carlos now enjoys playing sports with other boys his age in his new home. With newfound hope, Carlos says he wants to be a pastor when he grows up.
Through a new monthly program established by the South Florida-based Christian charity, we can all learn more about Carlos Daniel and other children Food For The Poor helps by participating in “Child of the Month” — a new giving program beginning November 2nd
I cut and pasted the above picture and article piece from Food For The Poor, an organization we support monthy. It is a pitiful 12.00 a month that we have deducted from our checking account. Twelve measely dollars that we dont even miss. Heck, last night was 1.49 kid meal deals at Sonic and we spent 10.50 just in one night on kid burgers.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
As for an update on the little fella, well, he is amazing. He is so darn cute and kissable. His cheeks are probably calloused from me kissing them all the time. He sings and jabbers from the minute his eyes are open in the morning, to the minute they close for sleep. He copies big bro Dillon. He has added the sign for "eat" to his sign language vocab. The only troubling issue is his eating. He will shove every bite on his plate into his mouth until he chokes or vomits. We can only give him a few little bites at a time, check to see that he has swallowed the food and then give him more. All the while he is furiously signing "MORE." I am writing a letter to his foster mother and birthmother today. His foster mother must miss him terribly. She will enjoy the pics I'm going to send her. As for Hudson's birthmother, she may never get the letter or pictures. But, I my heart says that I must send them to the agency in Korea. If she never comes to read his file, at least Hudson will grow up knowing that we respect her and love her and realize the huge sacrifice she has given up.
Saturday, October 31, 2009
My mother sent me a link to a You Tube video that touched her. It was the Contemporary Christian Music artists Leeland and Brandon Heath on a mission trip to Cambodia. The video and pictures are powerful, but the song is what is so strong! The song talks about taking Jesus into broken homes and such. Cambodia, a small country ravaged by decades of war. A country of about 14 million people. I just read a UNICEF report that estimated in 2004 there were 553,000 orphans living in Cambodia. Yep, I did type half a million orphaned children in that one tiny country alone!!!!!!!! Inconceivable! This really breaks my heart and I'll be transparent and tell you why. You see, the end of August 2000, we had been in the adoption process for about 7 months. We were losing it. It was soooo hard to sit and wait and not know when we would get a referral call. I knew there were kids out there waiting for homes, and here we sat on a waiting list. It seemed crazy. So, we began looking at some waiting child sites. We found a darling 3 months old girl waiting for a family---in Cambodia. We were so naive and thought we could just make a few changes on our paperwork and Voila, jump over to Cambodia instead of Korea right? Fortunately, the director of Dillon International was very forthright with me about the challenges of changing countries. Then, the agency who was working with this little girl informed me that Cambodia had just closed to adoptions, but they expected them to open in just a few months and we could go get the baby then. Thankfully the Holy Spirit nudged us to stay with Korea and Dillon Int. That was 9 years ago and Cambodia still hasn't reopened to adoptions. I think about that dark skinned, chubby baby in the picture we had. Her name on the file was "Rath Theary." Many of the Cambodian children were named 2 names. The first one was always Rath. Do you know what the name Rath means in Cambodia?
Can you imagine growing up with the name Unwanted??? That precious angel baby girl is the same age as my beautiful daughter Abigail. Do you know what the name Abigail means? Her father rejoices!
Both little girls began life without families somewhere in Asia. One little girl becomes the beloved only daughter whose name means Her Father Rejoices. One little girl is most likely still an orphan, spending her days in an institution, full of other children whose names mean Unwanted!
Pray for the unwanted. Give to the unwanted. Bring in the unwanted. Go to the unwanted. Spread the word about the unwanted!
Friday, October 30, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Okay, so you don't feel led to adopt. No problem! Did you know that children in foster care can only be cared for by other foster parents, or respite parents? I can't babysit my neice. My sister frequently babysits other children who are in foster care. These parents NEED a break once in a while. Go through the paperwork and become a respite family. What a blessing to the tireless foster families!
Or, here is a great idea. Be a transitional care family. There is a couple at our church who provides transitional care for newborns whose birthfamilies have made an adoption plan, but for several different reasons, the child can't go to the adoptive home yet. So, this couple takes care of the newborns for varying timeframes. They currently have their 55th sweet baby! Can you imagine a more selfless gift? Caring for that newborn until his/her forever home is ready?
So, I know, many of you who are new to this blog are asking, why did we go overseas? Well, easy, God called us to the children of South Korea. Children without families are all over the world AND in our own backyard. Some people need to care for those here, some need to care for those afar. No competition, they all need families.
Monday, October 26, 2009
10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.
11 The LORD will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.
About yesterday, we had a great day!! Abby took a neighbor friend to church. Our church is the most diverse church I've ever seen. It is sooooo cool! There are lots of African-Americans, a lady from India who wears a traditional Sari to church, many inter-racial couples, several Koreans, a few Brazilian families, and several multiracial adoptive families. We are so blessed to have a loving atmostphere. The praise band totally rocked the house yesterday. Our lead electric guitar player could very easily be professional. I'd tell you the name of our church, but there could be kooky stalkers out there and if I say the name the city where we live would be given away! Last night Hudson went to sleep without the usual drama of crying, getting up and roaming, coughing and gagging, basically acting like he is being tortured slowly. He was sweet, peaceful and just went to sleep(with me reading in the room of course). Yippeee! Maybe we've turned a corner. He is sooooo smart guys! He is loving, and funny and the cutest little hunk of toddler ever!!!!
Friday, October 23, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Here is a portion of the article for you to read.
KAMPALA, Uganda -- Stephen Batte works in a quarry under the blazing sun, chipping rocks into gravel with a homemade hammer. It's tiring, boring and dangerous.
Stephen is 9 years old and has been on the rock pile since he was 4.
"Life has always been hard here," he whispers, carefully positioning a sharp rock before striking it with well-practiced accuracy. "But since my mother died, things have been much harder."
His mother, the woman who taught him to smash rocks when he was a toddler, was killed here in a landslide in August.
His T-shirt torn and his feet bare, Stephen is one of hundreds of people who work in the quarry on the outskirts of Uganda's capital, Kampala. Their shabby figures sit hunched over their heaps of gravel. The chink of metal against stone bounces off the rock faces.
Most of the workers are refugees who fled a civil war in northern Uganda. Now they make 100 Uganda shillings, 6 U.S. cents, for every 5-gallon bucket that they fill with chipped rocks. Stephen works 12 hours a day to fill three buckets.
There's no safety code or protective clothing. The children's arms and legs are covered in scabs from flying stones. Stephen says a friend lost an eye.
Rock falls are frequent. Stephen remembers the one that killed his mother.
"She had left the house early to work," he says through a translator. His voice falters. "We did not know that she was underneath the rocks -- not until we saw her sandals.
The article goes on to tell of the horrible conditions of refugees in Uganda. Mike and I knew we'd never be the same after reading about Stephen Batte. We tore the article from the paper and put it on our refigerator, committing to pray for the child and what our response should be. We discussed adopting a child from Africa, or even moving to Africa to work in an orphanage or clinic. My dad has been to the Congo and my mom to Botswana so we had some practical avenues to work with. I saw a 7months old baby girl in Ethiopia listed on a waiting child site who was blind. We sent a copy of our homestudy to the agency saying we were interested in adopting her. I named that baby girl Chloe and prayed for her to have the family God wanted her to have. I couldn't imagine a sadder life than being an orphaned, blind girl in an Ethiopian orphanage. We heard a few weeks later that the agency had a family for her!! Praise the Lord. So, now what? Mike and I didn't know what God was doing in our lives, but we knew something. In the fall of 2008, we decided to save for our next adventure--maybe a mission trip, maybe an adoption. We didn't know, but God did! In February, He revealed what that adventure was---Hudson! I still struggle with "what about children like Stephen?' Adopting Hudson was fairly easy. What about the children of Africa??