Tuesday, July 28, 2009

In the Orphans Defense

Tom Davis has challenged his readers to write a positive protest post regarding Warner Bros. new horror movie "Orphan". I have to admit when I first saw the preview for this movie it made me angry and sad. How could and why would they make a movie for entertainment that attacks hopeless, helpless children that cannot defend themselves?? Children don't ask to be orphans. They certainly don't deserve to be negatively and hatefully portrayed for the sake of making a buck. The movie proclaims that it must be hard to love an adopted child as much as your own. That statement can only be made out of ignorance.

Let me tell you how orphans have changed my life...

This past January, my husband and two of our daughters visited Uganda. We had the privilege of visiting Christian Life Ministries' orphan village and the children we sponsor there. This is an amazing ministry. Their mission is to raise a generation, an army, for the Lord! We are blessed to be a part of what they are doing in the lives of these children.

What struck me about these children was the genuine love and appreciation they showed us. They were so happy that we had come to visit them. They were so thankful that by our sponsoring them they had food to eat and that they could go to school. They are thankful because their most basic needs are being met. I was humbled by this realization and thought of all the things we take for granted... good food, clean water, medical care, a safe place to sleep.

We are changed forever because of these orphans. My husband, our girls, and I love these children. We pray for them and we know they pray for us. We desire to be a part of their lives and help them to achieve whatever the Lord has planned for their futures. Our family has a greater desire, fueled by our love for these children, to help the helpless.

During that same visit, we met a boy and a girl that we fell in love with instantly. At that moment we knew that they were our son and daughter... it was as if we had given birth! Now... I have had seven babies... and I KNOW what it feels like to fall in love the moment you see your child. It's a beautiful thing!

Once we returned home we started the process to adopt them. Even though they are not physically with us, they are our children, and we think about them all the time. We love them as much as we love our other children. Our children love them as brother and sister and are anxious to bring them home.

A few weeks ago, I returned to Uganda to visit our children that we are adopting and our children staying in the orphan village as well. I experienced such joy in being with my son and daughter and getting to know them more. The desire to bring them home is stronger than ever! The unconditional love and acceptance these children, my children, showed me... melts my heart. Our sponsored children were amazed that I had returned to visit them again. My love for them, our families love for them, compels us to return to see them and to be a part of their lives.

Meeting the children that we sponsor, affectionately known as "our" children, and meeting the children we will adopt... has changed our lives in the most beautiful and profound way. I have a deeper understanding of God's love for me... His unconditional, amazing, perfect love. Because I was an orphan until... He... adopted... me.

I am forever grateful for having the blessed opportunity to love orphans. I pray that as people rise up in the defense of the orphan the Lord will use this to bring a greater awareness of the blessing it is to know and love these precious children called... orphan.

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Huddle

The message at church yesterday was awesome! A little Francis Chan, a little football analogy, all tied in to the call for action in the church. "Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead." James 2:17.

So the analogy goes something like this... using the favorite sport of many... football. (For some of the ladies I know it was a stretch to get into this particular thought pattern... but I'm sure it's doable!)

Pastor asks... What is your favorite part of the game? Is it the long, perfectly thrown pass that glides into the receiver's hands with perfection as he races down the side lines towards the end zone? Or is it the powerful, jaw dropping hit, that takes the opposing player off his feet and lands him on his back with such force that you can hear it? Or how about the 1st and goal scenario, when the defense stops their opponent on 1st down, 2nd down, 3rd down, and leaves them with the dissatisfaction of a field goal? Or is your favorite part of the game, your favorite highlight... the huddle???

What if the offense ran out onto the field, the quarterback huddled up with his teammates, received the play from the offensive coordinator, called the play in the huddle, clapped with an enthusiastic "break!" and then... ... ran to the sidelines to watch. After a few minutes, the offense ran back out onto the field, the quarterback huddled with the team, received the play, clapped and then... ran back to the sidelines to watch. And again... and again... This wouldn't be a very productive football team. There would be no victories, no record making plays... nothing worth highlighting. Nothing.

Well... attending church is our "huddle". We come together as a "team" to hear the truth of the Word taught, "the play called", and then we "break", and run out onto "the field".

The question is... do you run to the sidelines and watch? Or are you in the game?

Because the truth is... "faith without action, is dead"...

Amen, brother Larry! Amen!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

God IS Faithful

I want to share this story of God's faithfulness with you... to Him alone be the glory.

This story is the story of millions of orphans...

About 6 years ago in a small village, in Uganda, a husband and father died. His wife and their four children were left to survive on their own. A year or so later, she died. Their four children became orphans.

The man's brother took the children in to live with his wife and their own four children. Eight children all together. He worked hard to provide food, shelter and schooling for all of them. He taught them to love the Lord and to trust in Him always.

This past December, this husband, father and uncle died, leaving his wife with eight children to provide for. She worked very hard to meet their needs. Ultimately, the needs for eight children out-weighed what she could provide and the children had to leave school. She and the children then began working in the rock quarry to put food on the table. Several of the children began living in the quarry, sleeping on the ground.

Working in the quarry is very dangerous. Many are injured and even killed while working in the tunnels to bring up large rocks. Once the rocks are hauled out of the quarry, the women and children spend their days hammering them into smaller rocks. It is a very difficult job and pays very little.
They work all day... morning to evening... for one meal. One.

I had heard of the people living in this quarry sometime last fall and it was continually on my heart. I began praying and seeking God's direction on how to help these people. (I will leave that amazing story and the women behind it for another post!)

When Gary and I visited Uganda in January, we met many children living and working in the quarry. The Lord spoke very clearly to our hearts about one boy and one girl that were from the quarry, Kenneth and Sharon. When we returned home we began the process to adopt them.

While I was in Uganda this past week, I met this precious women...

she is Kenneth's Auntie... this story is hers.

While she was telling me her story my heart was filled with awe at God's faithfulness. She told me... "I have been praying that God would send help"... HE IS FAITHFUL!

It's not about me... it's about Him. He spoke to my heart. He showed me the way. He answered her prayers! HE IS FAITHFUL!

She is our family now. She will be able to start a business that will enable her to provide for herself and the children. Kenneth's older and younger brothers will stay with her and her children. They will all go to school. God has a plan for Kenneth's sister... for now, she will be in boarding school.

Auntie is filled with HOPE for her future and the future of her children... because He sent us... He provided help. HE IS FAITHFUL! Praise HIS name!!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Rock Quarry

The rock quarry...


Kenneth and Edison...

Friday, July 3, 2009

Less than 48 hours

and I will be on my way back to Uganda! It is such a blessing to be able to go on this trip!

I need prayer for God's discernment and direction while I'm there. We have recieved information regarding our adoption that we need the Lord's direction on...big time. It's nothing terrible... I'm sorry I can't be more specific yet. Let's just say the details have changed and we need to decide what we are going to do about it.

My heart's desire is to do my Father's will... I do not want to miss what He has for our family!