Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Forever Family

God is moving a family to adopt Vladimirs!  We are thrilled and blown away with God's love and provision and wisdom.  And the kicker... the cherry on top... the bonus prize.... they are also being moved to adopt one of his brothers to keep them together.  I know... can you stand it!!!!!!?????

My soul leaps with delight at how God's plan is ALWAYS better than one we could do on our own!

We will be flying to visit this family in their home state this weekend.  I am about to burst to meet them and see the boys there together. 

I can not praise the LORD enough... nor get enough of Him.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

"Nurturing your spirit with everlasting truth"... one of my newest daily "Must Do's"!
Last night, my spirit was deeply nurtured by the Holy Spirit.
Thank you Father.

I am so very, very thankful for the women who are inspiring me right now.
And I am deeply thankful for the everlasting truth.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness

"Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise His holy name.  Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits- who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's. The LORD works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed."  Psalm 103: 1-6~

The Lord so sweetly gave me this scripture for my trip.  I shared it with the people there, I embraced it while I loved and served them and I cling to it now.  How mighty is the LORD who is our Savior!

This post is deep.  I pray as you read it... and get a glimpse of what happens daily... over and over... and over... the Holy Spirit will blow upon you and whisper to your soul.  That is my prayer... that is my main prayer.

Preparation starts early and wood is gathered.  There is a meal to be made... THE meal of the day.

Powder is mixed with water and posho is created.  I may be spelling that wrong (M, let me know), but it is a substance close to our grits... after they have sat in your bowl for an hour... but hot! And the cook does this day after day after day after day... for hundreds of orphans. 

It is stirred with sticks... heavy, thick and strong sticks that can take the weight of the posho as you dig and flip... dig and flip. 

And it cooks all morning... in the kitchen... until early afternoon.

The children are released from school and they come across the road and gather... beneath trees.  Everything happens beneath the greatness and shelter of the tree.

This is when the separation occurs.  There are two great trees.  Beneath one, children form into organized and very orderly lines.  This is the tree of the sponsored... the children who have been profiled and are in the sponsorship program.  There are about 250 beneath this tree.  And they wait.  They are about to be fed.

Then there is the other tree.  The tree of the "have nots" as if there is a tree of the ones who "have".
They are the children in the background of this picture.  And in reality, they are far more than a blur.  They are hungry.  They are not sponsored.  They are not a part of the program.  And they gather beneath the shelter of the tree... and they wait.  But they also watch... for almost two hours... and this is what they watch... every day... over... and over... and over....

Children line up and patiently wait for the blessing of a hot meal...

they wash their hands...

and one by one... they are handed a bowl...

there is never a complaint about the child in front of them getting more...

just smile after smile mingled with "thank you"... over and over and over.

There is a humility that floods your soul when you hand food to a hungry child... a child who is really hungry... that is like nothing else.  It stings as it collides with your heart and yet it immediately floods you with the Father's love and delight.  And it... like so many other things there... lingers.  It does not leave or let go.  It moves every time I stand in front of my overflowing pantry.  It moves every time I realize in the early morning hours that my kids are being fed around the world.  I could stand and feed them all day... over... and over... and over.

The last child in line has gotten her bowl.  Stomachs have been filled.  Hearts have been replenished with hope.  And God has provided... again... through this amazing program of Children's Hope Chest and the willing and generous people who lovingly give $34 a month to sponsor a child... this child... these children.

And this is where the angels in heaven stop for just a moment... this is where everything changes for several intense moments.  This is where many on our team have to turn their backs as they release sobs from deep within... this is where the 200+ children who are beneath the tree of the "have nots" come rushing towards us for anything left.  After two hours of sitting... waiting... and watching... raw survival instincts overcome these precious ones and the heavens cry.

Eyes are looking, pleading, begging.  Feet are rushing.  Arms are pushing and voices are raised.  Hunger become personified and becomes flesh.

And in what seems so unlikely, it takes only the presence of a stick to direct them back to their tree.
(I must emphasize GREATLY that this stick, this small stick, was never used on a child.  It was only picked up off the ground and shown.  I mean look at it.  I was amazed and humbled to the core that just the image was enough to restore order.  The one holding the stick LOVES these children with compassion and dedication we can not even begin to comprehend.  He lives there and loves them every day.  But when chaos erupts, the children are in danger, and the image of the stick worked. :0)

As they walked back to their tree, I was so overcome.  We had left overs... no posho... just some extra beans... enough to feed about 12 children.  Twelve. 12.  Out of hundreds.  My tears came from the deepest places and I knew THIS would be one of my most important stories to share.  I found comfort in knowing that God would bring beauty from these ashes.  This moment would be used for His glory!

Precious Agnes, our female discipler there, would take the responsibility of going over to the tree and making the choices.  She would choose who would get some food today... some left over beans.  And one by one... she chooses the smallest ones... the ones who had been most shoved and trampled.  As her very body was battling Malaria for the third time, she walked over with a tiny reed in her hand and made choices that none of us could imagine making.

And here they stand... looking in the almost empty pot to see if there really is anything left.

And in God's grace... there was... something left.

 And then there was the last bowl of the day.

And there remained hundreds of hungry children...
who could be given a meal every day...

for just $34 a month.

And here is where God's provision multiplies.
Children who are not yet sponsored but have been profiled got a meal.
God takes the $34 of the sponsor families and uses that to feed all 250 children in the program.
And then He provides some left over to feed a few that have not been profiled.

Just think what God could do in this community if we were able to not only get all 250 children who have been profiled sponsored... but all the children under both trees!

Children who are too young for the program could be fed.
More disciplers, who teach them of God's love and the word, could be hired.
Teachers could be given more support.
School books could be purchased.
Desks could be made/purchased.
Grandmothers, widows, raising many orphans, could be helped.
The first aid box could be stocked and small wounds would not turn into massive infections.
Children could be taught skills and crafts.
Teens could go to high school.
Community gardens could flourish.

Hope could explode and life could flourish instead of try to survive.

Thirty four dollars... a month... for all of that.

Three large one topping pizzas- $34
One dinner for four at Moe's- $34
One pair of pants on sale at Ann Taylor- $34
One week worths of Starbucks for many people- $34
Three bottles of cheap wine- $34
Two music cd's- $34
One pair of tennis shoes- $34


changing a child's life, changing a communities future, impacting the kingdom of God...

This happened there today and it will happen again tomorrow.

"As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.  As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it."  Isaiah 55:9-11~

"A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy dwelling. He sets the lonely in families..." Psalm 68:5,6~

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after widows and orphans in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."  James 1:27~

Please let me know if you are interested in becoming a part of God's light reaching out to this community.

(note: the first day we were there, as a treat, the children were given rice instead of posho.  They also receive meat once a week on Saturday.  Sunday... there is no meal.)


Monday, July 25, 2011


My next post about Uganda flooded me this morning when I awoke but I need to post about Vladimirs today, the 9 year old child we are hosting from Latvia.  We are so privileged to be a part of the Project 143 summer hosting program.  It gives amazing opportunities to older children who need homes... who need love... who need forever families.

Vlad arrived while I was in Uganda and then it took several days to sleep and get back into some sort of routine so this hosting has been different for me than the previous two we have done.  It took me a little longer to get my brain back "home" and into the hosting that was already going on!

But Vlad is a PRECIOUS young man.  He blooms more and more each day and it is really a sweet thing to watch unfold.  I can not even try to imagine what it is like for these kids to board a plane, full of wounds and pain and fear and rejection with sparks of hope flooded with wonder and the unknown.

He has gone from making very little eye contact to making great eye contact.  He has gone from not making any attempt to learn, repeat, or try any english words to trying and even saying some on his own.  He gets along great with our three children and our little poof ball dog!

He loves to do things with his hands and is pretty active.  I guess that is very much little boy!  He had so much fun playing with floam the other day and made a flower, a house, a car, and a basket with eggs in it!  I was very impressed! :0)  He also likes to play Wii and bowling and boxing are his favorite games!

He also loves to swim!  He is a good swimmer and loves to race and jump!  Very much typical little boy things!! :0) 

And one of the most precious things about him is his desire to help.  When I am in the kitchen, he comes in and wants to help cut vegetables, set the table, grate the cheese, or clean up.  He also follows Don around in the yard or garage and help him do just about anything.  It is precious.  It really touches my heart.

So that brings me to the main reason of this post.  Vladimirs is available for adoption.  And he needs a family.
This is an alert for some serious honesty:  Don and I are prayerful.  We know we can not host or adopt all the children that need us.  We also know that God will lead us in His will as we seek Him and listen for Him and obey Him.  At this time, neither of us feel led or moved to adopt him.  Ouch.  That is kinda hard to say but it is the truth.  The only reason is that we don't hear God calling us to do so.  And THAT is what drives us... moves us.

But we are a part of the puzzle.  We are a piece of the plan.  And God has made it clear... we are a voice for these children.  We are a voice for Vladimirs.  And he needs a home.

If you are interested, please email me or call me. is my email address.
If you know of someone who may be interested, please share this post with them.
And please pray.  I know God has a family for Vladimirs.  I know there are major blessings getting ready to unfold.  And I know that pray moves the heavens.  Please pray for God's will to move in a manner that brings Him amazing glory and changes this precious little one's life!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

There is a land...

There is a land.  There is a land where hundreds of feet of precious children run to gather beneath a large mango tree when the bus comes into view.  In this land, the beautiful sound of song from voices so sweet fill the air before you even step foot upon her.  And in this land, faces shine with deep emotion that knows no boundary... hope, caution, wonder, pain, joy, anger, excitement, humility, spunk, sadness, hunger, contentment, survival... love.  There is a land... her name is Uganda... and I love her with the depths of my heart.

THIS is what we were created to do... to worship the Father of all creation by loving and serving His people.  THIS is where the Holy Spirit soars on the wind and dances in your spirit.  THIS is where God can really show off... just for you and for His glory!  This is where raw need crashes into His provision in such splendor it can leave you on your knees... in wonder, humility, and deep, deep thankfulness... leaving His joy lingering on you like rain drops from heaven.  THIS is where God can stand before you in His glory and it takes everything in you to remain standing.  THIS is where I fell totally in love with being a simple vessel... a clay pot... to allow the overflowing of His living water.

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."  Matthew 11:28-30

"Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine...

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you...

When you pass through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze...

For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior... "  Isaiah 43: 1-3~

There is a land.  There is a land where young girls bring you a new baby and ask you to pray over her.  There is a land where the Holy Spirit whispers special prayers that are meant only for the Father to understand.  Prayers that leave me overflowing in tears to witness.

And in this land, babies smell sweet like fresh powder and suck their fists.  They lie quietly in your arms and soak in their prayer like a personal lullaby. 

In this land... children smile with faces full of joy and love... against all odds... and soak in the Father's touch and love like tiny little sponges.

Oh... this land of Uganda... Adacar, Uganda.  I think I am ready to take you there... one post at a time.  To the God of all creation be every drop of the glory!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Happy Birthday My Sunshine...

Today is your birthday... ten years old.  Happy birthday my ladybug, my sunshine, my love.

Wasn't it just yesterday that you came into the room... into my life... and walked over, turned around, and sat gently in my lap... gripping a cookie in each hand and hesitating to make eye contact?  I can still remember the weight of your tiny little bottom and the smell of your hair.

In our eight years together... we have become entwined as we have walked through many storms and faced many challenges.  You have blown me away with your strength and determination.  You make me laugh, you make me cry, you make me stronger... and you walk me into the throne room before our Father on a daily basis.

Your excitement for your birthday was pure, deep, and long suffering as you have counted the days for months!  I have never seen another child wait for her day with such anticipation.  And oh how you deserve to be celebrated.  Your very life is a living testimony to God's great power and mercy.  To Him be all the glory for everything you are and will become!

I think about our journey to you and am humbled by God's hand guiding us to you... in His time and with His knowledge!  I think about our journey with you and I am filled with thankfulness for the gift you are and for the gift you give us each day.

You are my ladybug and my sunshine...
and I love you with every ounce of my being...
I pray God's hand of protection to cover you...
and for the breath of His spirit to fill you...
and for the love of His Son to transform you.

Happy Birthday my Abby Grace...