Monday, January 26, 2009


It is hard to put in words to express just how faithful and amazing our God is. I would like to share a few stories of the Spirit moving in the hearts of his people.

In the last blog I sent, we challenged you by giving of yourselves, "more". (Please read it below if you haven't already). My heart overflows with the response from you. Obedience is a lovely thing, it protects, us and blesses us. Here are some examples:

Andrea, I have prayed and I know what I am selling, I am selling a dream that I have had to put a pond in my back yard, I bought the kit but it is still not installed, so it is worth $350

Andrea, I have prayed and God has told me to sell my ATV & television. I would rather bring these kids home then hang on to this stuff.

Bryan & Drea, my mom forwarded me this email, I have already listed the stuff on Craig's list, $100 of the proceeds are yours.

Bryan and Drea, I forwarded this to my son, he and his wife just sold some things on Craig's list, he handed me an envelope today and asked me to give it to you, he was touched and wanted you to have this. The envelope is sealed, but I know that it is cash. My heart just swells as a mother to watch her kids give to this cause.

Andrea, I have things to sell, I just need an address to send the money to.

Bryan and Andrea, I have prayed and I know what it is that the Lord wants me to sell, it is my a part of my inheritance. A gold coin, I have checked and it is worth $1000. I am privileged to be a part of what God is doing, thank you for including me.

Andrea, I have showed my husband the email, after praying about it he thinks that we should sell one of his riffles. He thinks we can get $300 for it. We are so excited to be a part!

Andrea, after I talked to my husband, he wants to give two - 1 ounce fine silver coins passed down from his grandfather.

Andrea, before reading your post, my husband and I thought that we should donate our weight set to you and your garage sale. Then we thought, maybe we should just sell it on Craig's list and donate the money to you. It was such a confirmation when we saw your email and challenge, we are so blessed.

My friends, there are more....this is just a few. As you can imagine, I have been in tears. I LOVE our God, he is so amazing!! I LOVE your servants hearts, you are so amazing. Thank you for your faithfulness, I almost can't stand it.


Some of you may know that we have friends right now in Addis Ababa and they have blessed us by visiting our children. This is what she said to me, in a letter:

Hey there!Girlfriend!!! Your babies are PRECIOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh My GOODNESS! I'm going to have video for you soon. Like REALLY soon.

I guess Samuel is in another orphanage outside the city. From what I could gather he wasn't happy with the accommodations at his first orphanage and complained and cried a lot. (this is from the director) He said he suspected his home was much nicer then the orphanage and he was upset about the beds, etc. Honestly between you and me. I don't blame him. :( They are doing the best that they can with what they have. They were low on formula so we gave them a whole bunch of formula and vitamins and rubber pants.

We did crafts with the other kids at the orphanage but your kids weren't there. I was perplexed that Getachew never told me they wouldn't be there so he saw I was disappointed. He arranged for the kids to come to our guest house. That's where we loaded them up with formula and spent some time loving on them.Their big brother came with them. I feel so honored that you allowed us to meet them. So here's the scoopity.

They are little. Really little. The shirt you sent for Eyob fits perfect with a little room. The sweater is big on Meskeram. Actually her and Eyob aren't too much different in size. She's a tad bigger but very very thin. She said she is 12, Eyob told me he was 10, and Samuel they said is 5. This was all what the brother said as well. He is so grateful and we have video of him talking to you as well as the kids.

Eyob is VERY smiley. VERY happy, and excited to be your son. He is so happy. His spirit is so sweet, he's a people please for sure. You couldn't hardly wipe the smile off his face. He and Meskeram told me things to write to you. I've got it all written down and will bring it home with me. I gave them all your names, all their sibling names, and where they fit in age wise in the family. Meskeram clung to this and kept the paper I wrote all of it on. That was the key to getting her to open up. She was very shy and I asked her if she was nervous. She told me yes, I hugged her and told her it was alright to be scared. She let me hug her and rub her back. Her brother was pushing her to talk and eventually she did. Such a sweet sweet spirit.

Because Samuel is not with them we didn't see him. I honestly can't figure that out except from what the director said. The older brother - who I thinks name is Makay or something like that took the things you sent him and said he'd take them to Samuel. He also gave me his personal number. He said he will meet you when you come and he will show up for court to make sure everything goes through. He asked me about you guys, about the family. We talked about church and he said the kids go to church. He wants you to know how thankful he is for taking in his siblings.

Drea it was so hard to watch him talk on the video. Everyone watching was bawling. He's so sincere and he loves those kids so so much. I took lots of pictures, video, and then the guy that is here as an orphan advocate videoed as well. I just watched it - Eyob says he's 10 and in 8th grade!!! That kid is SMART!

We gave the kids the twinkies in the van when we first picked them up - they gobbled them up in no time flat!

More when I get home.

Love you friend. Erica

Well, fiends, if that doesn't say it all, then I don't know what does. WE are BLESSED!!! Thank you Lord for all you have done.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Asking for more....

The other day I was able to hear what was going to be one of the most touching stories I have heard in awhile. I heard the story of a pastor friend of ours that really hit home. I have heard his story before, but not from him so this time it resounded with my soul.

The first time I heard the story it went something like this: our friend, was planting a church and found a piece of property that he thought would be a good location for his church and wanted to learn more about. He contacted a real estate person to do the investigating. They asked the owner if he would be interested in selling the land. After some negotiating, the owner offered the property at 50% less than what it was going for. Our friend, was touched by the idea that the owner would offer less, but it still was not enough for him to afford it. He told the owner that after careful thought, he would not be able to buy the property for this price. After the owner thought about it for a couple of days, could have been a week, he came back and said, I won't be able to sell it to you for that price any more, the IRS would tax me to death, the only way I could be safe, is to give it to you for free!!

Great story huh?? Well, I heard it first hand the second time, and if you thought that it couldn't get any better...

The story begins with the same intro. Pastor friend, nice piece of property, great Church location, real estate guy, contact owner, owner offers at 50% off going price. Here is the difference and it is an important one; On the way to sign the papers for this awesome deal, my friend is praying in the car, when he hears God speak to his heart and say,"Ask for more"! My friend appalled at the thought says "How rude", aloud. Then God says, "I want you to ask for more". My friend debated with the Lord for a little while, when he finally felt like he needed to be obedient and do just that, even though, he said, it is hard to take up your cause.

He meets the real estate guy at his office and they proceed to have a conference call with the owner. After some time passes, he asks the real estate guy to leave the room, so that he can talk with the owner in private. My friend then begins to apologize for what he is going to say (apologizing for Gods boldness), " I know this is going to sound bold", he says, "but on the way over hear I was praying and I felt like the Lord told me to ask you for more. Now I understand if you can't offer that to me, I just feel like I need to be obedient at this point and time and just ask". I think he said there was some silence on the other line for a second or two. "Uh..I appreciate your boldness, but I don't know if I could actually give you more than 50% off", the owner says,"but how about if I pray about this and get back to you later". When he did get back, he had told my friend, that he couldn't give it to him for any less than free.

Moral of the story, obedience then blessing. I loved this story the first time I heard it, but I really loved it the second time much more. The whole story changed with the offer of obedience to God. What if my friend refused to ask for more, he was too embarrassed or shy, or really didn't want to look stupid in front of the owner.Two people would have missed out on the blessing, well actually three, my friend, the owner, and the church body!! Obedience is everything!!!

Which brings me to the second part of my story! A couple of days after hearing that story, another friend of mine sent me a brilliant idea for a fund raiser. It begins with Luke 12:33, it says we are to sell our possessions and give to the poor. She argues that the orphans in Ethiopia that we are going to adopt are most definitely poor. And they have the opportunity to meet Jesus in a wonderful loving way in their new home here in the US.

As you already know adoption is expensive and it requires a lot of work. James 1:27 says, that we should care for widows and orphans in their time of need. The call is to everyone not just us. We may not all be called to adopt, but we are all called to care for them in their time of need.

So we would like to ask "more" or challenge you today. Would you consider finding one item that you could sell for at least $100 on Craig's List? Sell it and donate the money toward this adoption. This is a good way for us to exercise obedience to the Lord's command in Luke 12. And we will find that our obedience is followed by an incredible blessing.

May we also encourage you to not only think of things you no longer use or want, but also to look at items of personal value to you. Jesus always asks for our "first-fruits". When purposefully watching what people were putting in the treasury, he commended the widow who put in all she had to live on. He did not commend the others who gave out of what the did not need. In 2 Chronicles King David says, " I will not sacrifice to the Lord that which will cost me nothing".

Remember Christ never said being his disciple would cost nothing. Following him comes at a personal cost in this short life, but great gain in the next. Christ doesn't tell us to sell our items at top dollar, give to the poor and follow him. Sometimes it is hard to part with our "stuff" because we know who much we paid for it. But lets focus on what Jesus did say, Sell your possessions, give to the poor, then come follow me.

Today is a day of worship, when you look around your home as an individual, couple or family, take time to pray and ask God what it is He would like you to sell. It may be an item worth far more than $100. Ask God, and then listen. When you have listened, heard, and come to an agreement, then obey!!

Just as my friend felt, it is hard for me to take up my own cause, but is it my own? This is Gods cause, these are His children, "we" (we all) are just the vehicle He has chosen to accomplish His will.

I have also decided to be obedient to this call of selling our possessions and giving to the poor. I have several valuable inherited things from my grand mothers, that will do me no good here on this earth, but will do good investing into Gods kingdom.

May God bless you as you seek Him for "more" and we all bring Glory to His name!!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Defending the Cause..

“He (King Josiah) defended the cause of the poor and needy,and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?”declares the LORD. Jeremiah 22:16

What does it mean to defend the cause of the poor and needy I ask myself? I think that is one good question.

Over the past few weeks I have tried to put myself in the shoes of the poor and needy people of this world. I have grieved in my soul empathizing with their pain that I will probably never know. Webster's definition of Empathy is: the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner.

The next question becomes, is "empathy" enough? The sad little tear stained faces on TV, children with no shoes, or parents living in cardboard houses, eating out of trash cans, most definitely a tear jerker. The sad thing is this is real!! It is not made up, the pictures, stories are true. The answer: empathy, will never be enough! Faith with out deeds is dead. We must step up as the body of Christ, and put action to our faith.

Even sadder, I think, is that the United States of America, alone, has the income to feed and cure the hunger problem world wide, by 3 times.

Why hasn't this happened yet? Where is the problem? I believe the problem begins and ends with us, the body of Christ.

"To the Angel of the church of Ephesus write, 'These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands: " I know your works, you labor,your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name's sake and have not become weary. Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place - unless you repent." Rev. 2:1-5

Our "First Love" is Jesus Christ! What we do toward others is what the bible says we do unto Him. We must remember our first love and repent. Repent is: to turn from sin and dedicate oneself to the amendment of one's life.

How do we then dedicate oneself to the amendment of our life? I believe we look toward what scripture says to do and how we ought to live. Matt 6:19 "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in an steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is there your heart will be also."

Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. Then there will be equality. 2 Corinthians 8:13-14

Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time,…and in the age to come… Mark 10:28-30

(In Christ), the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. Ephesians 4:16

The Lord has given us what we need to make an impact on the world for Jesus!! We have been blessed to be a blessing.

I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, on faith, on baptism, one God and Father of all who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
Ephesians 4: 1-6

God's Creation...

While on "Holiday" so to speak, we took time to smell the roses, we went on a hike!! It is so beautiful this time of year even in the desert.

We decided to grab a few friends and our Irish Setter, Jake and spend the afternoon in the White Tank foothills. We all had a wonderful time wondering around God's creation. It is truly amazing to gaze upon enormous rock creations and desert life. There is even a waterfall at the end of the hike. The children all held their own, oh and so did Jake. He had a few lessons to learn about manners, but over all we were well pleased.

Almost all the kids
I-ee and C~6

Great Pic Amy

A man and his dog, and C~3 too - King's of the hill

Lisa's photo skills, love this pic.

Still here...Christmas update

So, I have fallen a little bit behind, so here is an attempt to catch you up to speed while keeping it simple. Christmas was great! A wonderful time worshiping our Lord and Savior. And as Pastor Todd put it we were ready!! As Christians we should be ready, "ready or not". I was ready but like all of us can definitely be more ready by spending more time with Jesus, reading His word, getting to know him better by praying more and just remembering Him.

The children had a blessed time with mom and dad, Papa and Grandma Maggie, and MeMe. We had a nice quiet Christmas, other then Chloe's ear infection.

I couldn't help my thoughts to wader to my sweet mom, in heaven with Jesus, really enjoying Christmas and with all of the others that have gone before her. Our daughter, Grandma, Grandpa, Aunts and Uncles. Boy!! Do they know the real meaning of Christmas!!

Also, thoughts of our Ethiopian children and Isaac here in the states. I spent a lot of time thinking about the next Christmas with all of our children, that will be exciting!! I also pondered the blessings we have as Americans. All the Christmas food, presents, and festivities all "wants" not "needs". The Lord has blessed us abundantly, I don't want to forget those who don't have what they "need".

This a look of excitement, not of fright

The Thiele six, snug in their new PJ's (don't be mad C~1)

PaPa and Bryan

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