Tuesday, October 27, 2009

It Is Here...

THE LONG AWAITED COURT DATE HAS ARRIVED...NOVEMBER 23!!!!! I can't believe it. It has been a year this month since we had the vision to pursue another adoption. Tonight, I sit in awe at what the Lord has done. Not that He "could" do it that He "did" do it. A year ago, the Lord pointed a way to a path that was rocky, not smooth and asked us to have enough faith to step out (as crazy as it seemed) and trust Him. Never and I mean never, did I imagine we would even get this far. I trusted that God was capable of pulling it all together, but I couldn't envision the final steps and didn't trust that He would pull it all together. I wanted and longed for it, but it was hard to imagine that we would be just a few months from our children.

We had such opposition. Opposition can come in two different forms, opposition from within (friendly fire) and opposition from the enemy. Even as believers we can sometimes oppose God's plan for someone else. Fear, unbelief, pride, selfishness, all of these things can oppose God. Like David, we had opposition from believers and opposition from the enemy. David was opposed by friendly fire, by telling him he was just a kid and couldn't possibly defeat the Giant. Saul tried to give him his way of doing things (Saul's armor). The enemy opposed David, by taunting him with fear. We can easily put God in a box, and try and relate God to our every day living and our rational. What Bryan and I came to understand is that we sometimes don't understand the mind of Christ. His ways are not our ways, so while it does not make sense to us humanly, to adopt more children on our income in this economy, it made sense to God and He made the way!

For those of you who are asking what next, here is the answer. We need prayer to pass court on November 23rd. I am not doubting that the Lord has that covered, but I also know that there is someone who wants to bring opposition to this situation our enemy. Will you join me in prayer covering this court date? After court passes, a week later we are assigned an Embassy date, usually 4 - 6 weeks out. That is when we travel. For those of you who are doing the math, I will save you the time ( I have done it several times), the soonest we will travel is the week after Christmas. Now God can do and will do what He wants, this is just using the info that we have.

I also want to share more praise with you. We have ALL of our funds. The Lord has provided all that we need through various ways. I really must stress to those of you who are reading and have thought that you would love to adopt but can't afford it, Jesus can!! It is not up to us to find the way..it is up to us to obey. This is the second time the Lord has done all of the fundraising. He accomplished His goal in totally different ways, but it is, His way. Today we are completely funded! Thank you to all of our friends, family, strangers, ShowHope and Abba Fund! Praise God and to Him be all of the Glory.

More praise. As we have traveled to a couple of different countries we really have found that we don't like to be locked away "safe" in hotel accommodations. Bryan and I don't like to be sheltered away from real people with real needs. It makes such a difference (in my opinion) to be in a 4 or 5 star hotel, or to just be out with the people. In Azerbaijan, we were blessed to stay in a little country hotel, and not be sheltered from the rest of the world and how they lived. I am singing God praises, because He has met that desire as well. We have met a couple who have an amazing ministry in Ethiopia. They minister to rural tribes in Africa and the "Mingi" or cursed children of those tribes. They have a wonderful heart for orphans and the lost. Over conversation through a couple of emails their family invited us to stay with them while we are in Addis Ababa! We are more than thrilled, and never imagined this a possibility, but God is good! I have been praying about this very thing for awhile. We would love to do ministry while we are there, and this couple is making that possible by opening their home to us. What a blessing when the body of Christ is kingdom minded, not empire minded! Thank you friends, we look forward to meeting you and seeing what the Lord has in store!!

Lastly our prayer requests. Please pray for the older siblings of our children, as this is going to set in as a reality to them. They are sacrificially giving up their loved ones for the possibility of a better life for them. My heart breaks for the two older brothers and older sister. Pray that seeds of hope are planted in their life by us and other believers. Pray for Africa and all the orphans. Pray for our ministry opportunities and that the Lord would orchestrate every step. Pray for court to pass the first time! Pray for a 15 passenger van for us here at home.

We are so excited to be on this journey. We are praising God for all that He has done!

He is your praise; He is your God who preformed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes. Deuteronomy 10:21

Monday, October 19, 2009

Expired Milk...

Expired Milk...gross huh? The question, have you ever gone to pour yourself a nice big glass of cold milk only to find, it pours out in chunks? Or worse you take a big drink and can taste the sour, nasty, stick to your tongue, chunky milk taste? You don't want to drink milk, along with other things, past the expiration date on the box. Almost every thing on this earth will one day be gone, and expired. Things like, my car, jewelry, house, my cell phone, and computers, nice furniture and other things I hold as valuable. Food and milk are not the only things with expiration dates!

"The only thing that does not expire on this earth is us. We don't have expiration dates, we don't have a shelf life, we have eternal life in Christ or eternal life seperated from Christ! We don't expire, ever. Life does not end here! How we spend our lives on this earth can make a difference for eternity. God has a plan for our life here and now. So instead of living like we have an expiration date, don't you think it's time to make an impact and work for things that will last forever?"

"What is going to last? God and people. That's it. Everything else turns into expired milk, rotten and sour."

This weekend I learned from a child. A now fourteen year old boy named Austin Gutwein who is the founder of Hoops of Hope, an organization that Austin, at the age of nine, created to help orphans in Africa! This kid is amazing. But what is funny about it is, as adults we think that kids should not be expected to be amazing. We don't think they can get it. They are only expected to go to school and make good grades and mind their manners. As Austin put it, "That is just staying out of trouble."

Most of what you read above is either paraphrased or a direct quote from Austin's book take your Best Shot. You can find the book on his website by clicking any of the links here on this page. It is a must read. It is for younger audience, but it is a must read for adults!

We seem to complicate things here on this earth as adult believers. We forget what we are living for. Are we really living for retirement? Are we really living to pay that mortgage? Are we really living to pay off that credit card from Christmas past? As strange as this may seem, when my mom passed away, I noticed something....she didn't take anything with her. She lie there so peacefully but Jesus only took her soul, everything else remained. Her clothes, her body, her house, car, jewelry, and credit card bills. She left everything. Only she was eternal...not all of her stuff.

To me it is easy. We should all ask this one question: Am I living for something that will last for eternity?

"Only you know the answer to that question. Everybody lives for something. And everybody is going to die someday. I think it's a tragedy that many people die without ever asking or answering for themselves if what they are living for will last. We only play the game once...the only things that matter when we head into eternity are the things we invested in that do not expire. God wants us to make a difference in our world- a difference that is going to last!"

I leave you with a great quote:
"Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself." Leo Tolstoy

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

137 Million Orphans

Ethiopian Orphans from Simon Scionka on Vimeo

30,000 children per day, die of hunger and preventable diseases.

The population of my town in Arizona is 90,717. About 24% of that number are children. If Americans lived like the rest of the world, that would mean in less than a couple of days, ALL of the children in my home town would be dead. ALL of our children. If we are to love our neighbor like we love ourselves we would not have this problem. If I were hungry, I would feed myself, would you? Why don't we feed our neighbors? Why don't we feed our children. In a time when we are willing to spend $5 on a cup of coffee ... It offers us quite a bargain!

For $5 a month we can:

Feed 1 orphan for a month (100) meals

Educate an orphan for a year

Buy new clothes for 1 orphan.

For $50 a month we can:

Feed 10 orphans for a month (1000 meals)

Educate 10 orphans for a year

Buy new clothes for 10 orphans

what a huge impact we could have for such a little amount of money. Maybe if people just knew how much a little could do...more people would do something!

Together we can make a difference.

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