Saturday, March 22, 2014

Compassion Experience

The kids woke before daybreak. The sounds of train tracks being re-arranged, lego towers being made, and book pages being flipped made this house a home this morning. Excited voices and stomping feet turned a restful house into a lively one. It was a morning that mirrored so many mornings just like it.

After filling our tummies with a nutritious breakfast, we all got ready in a flurry of flying fabrics and managing of mangled manes. It was finally time to embark on our adventure for the day.

Little voices chattered with curiosity for what the day might bring, and Momma prayed in the front seat for hearts to be softened and minds to be changed.

I pray for my children often. And most often, my prayers are filled with desires of my kids' hearts to be captivated by and with Jesus. That they would LOVE Him and desire to follow His commands. I want them to LOVE His word.. but not just be lovers of the Word.. but DOERS of His word, too. (James 1:22)

I want my kids to know that life isn't about them.. but about Him. And today, I wanted them to see one small, but big, way we could serve Him and be DOERS.

We already sponsor a child (through another great organization) in Ethiopia (the country we originally felt called to adopt from, and that still holds a special place in our hearts.) But, we wanted the kids to get a more tangible feel for how kids their age(s) live around the world.

"We think sometimes that poverty is only meaning hunger, naked and homeless. The Poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty," Mother Theresa

As we waited for our instructions, my eyes swept over many quotes hanging on the walls.

And then it was time for us to journey with Julian through her life.

 We saw her replicated house that consisted of two chairs… one to use as a lock on the door. It helped keep the drunken men from a (very) nearby brewery from stumbling into their home. She and her brothers and sisters would take turns sleeping in the other chair at night. We learned that her mother wed at 14, and her grandparents were paid a handsome dowery as part of the marriage agreement.

 As she grew, Julian feared she too may be married at a very young age. But she was courageous, and knew that her dowery would help provide a better life for her younger siblings.

Julian did not attend school, but stayed home to help with her siblings. She also helped her mother sell items in the market to earn money. On a good day, they might make $1 for their fresh produce.

But her mother always hoped for a better life for her, and put faith in Jesus for that to happen. One day, her mother came to her, tearfully joyful. Julian received a sponsorship to take part in the Compassion program.

 Julian was able to attend school, where she not only received an education because of her sponsorship..
 but she also received a hearty meal,

 and received the Good News of Jesus.

 She memorized scripture, and the Lord would use one scripture in particular to keep speaking His Truth and Goodness in her life.

Her home (neighborhood) became increasingly dangerous. So, Julian's mother sent her to a boarding school for her own safety. Unfortunately, not all the schooling could be paid for. Julian was sent back home. But she put her Faith in God, and rested in the Truth that Scripture provides.

She was able to return to school through His provision through believers in the States. She went on to finish High School, and even graduated from College.

 Julian and her older brother eventually bought their Mom and younger siblings a nicer home in a safer neighborhood.

 Julian dreams of coming to the United States and attending Baylor University. She wants to earn a degree in Social Services to minister to the children of Uganda.

I don't even want to let my mind wander into the darkness of what Julian's (and countless other children in the world) life would have turned out had the family not sponsored her. But if you want to take a stab in the dark how it could have turned out, just turn on any international news station… or pinpoint almost any article and it might give you a vague idea of some of the possibilities.

 We wanted to make a difference. We didn't want to just be hearers of this precious lady's story.. we wanted to be DOERS of making a child's dreams come true in another county. So, we are.

We are so excited to add Rhoda, a beautiful girl in Ghana, to our family! We are so excited to provide Rhoda with the opportunity of an education, hearty meals, the Gospel of Jesus and basic medical care!


Here are just a few AMAZING organizations that provide you with the chance to change a kid's life through sponsorship:



Thursday, March 20, 2014

In case you were wondering...

It's been a while since my fingers have typed on ye old blog. But alas, here I am again. In my comfy little corner of the inter webs, settling in as if I were catching up with an old friend over a delicious cup of hot joe. I love this little space of mine, and it makes me sad that I haven't had a moment to properly articulate everything that has been happening in my world and in my heart over the last few months.

As you may recall, the wonderful Mr. and I were taking foster care training classes through a local orphan-care ministry. Our hopes and dreams were to take the classes (and the 500 other necessary) steps needed to adopt a waiting child. The one small, but huge, hiccup is that there are virtually no waiting children (in the foster care system) for the age group we had hoped to adopt. Nor would the state be likely to place an older child in our home for straight adoption based on the amount and ages of our biological children.

As with any fork in the road, we prayed. We sought God in our decision making. Were we just being stubborn about foster care? Was foster care to be a part of our adoption story and providing a family for a child in need?

And after time in prayer, we still did not feel at peace about foster care at this point in time in our lives. Do we believe in foster care and the need for it? Definitely! And maybe one day down the road we might be able to open our home for that.. but at this point in time, no.

So, we are back to actively waiting for a precious boy to come home to his forever family. We joyfully support our friends, and encourage those in the adoption process- no matter what stage of that process they may be in. We are praying for discernment on timing, type and location.

Thank you to everyone for all your sweet emails, texts and comments. We appreciate all the encouragement you have offered to us on (what seems to be a never-ending) this journey!

We will excitedly share with you any fun little twists and turns our adoption journey may lead us on.. whether that might be an international adoption, or whether we might open our home to foster care with the hopes of adopting a child very locally.