Friday, February 26, 2010

Disposable Paper Bowls...

Who would think that the Lord would use disposable paper bowls to speak to me. You know, the kind bowls that you use when you have a whole bunch of people over and you don't want to do dishes?? The kind that you use and then throw away?

This is Pastor Experito.

Pastor Experito is from Northern Uganda and he is visiting in the US for a short while. We had the privilege of hearing his testimony tonight. He is an amazing man of God.

This is our Radical Small Group .

We meet together weekly to encourage one another and to allow God to challenge our way of thinking and our way of life. We have been meeting together for several months to watch the David Platt Radical Series and the Faith Works Series. The Lord has given us many opportunities to live according to His word by caring for the poor, orphaned, widowed, oppressed and lost. As a group we decided to have RICE night every time we meet. The idea is to skip a meal and eat rice, and what we would have spent on a pot luck dinner, we put into our rice night money jar and donate to Remember The Poor , which in turn goes to our Kenya ministry to orphans. We have devoted ourselves to hearing the word and then practicing doing the word.

Now, I am not bragging by any means. I am proud of the people that attend our RSG, and how they have been committed to fasting a meal and giving to help support Pastor Cyrus in Kenya. In the past several months we have been able to provide Cyrus and his family along with 22 orphans, food, clothes, medicine, school fees and uniforms, a computer, camera and bicycle. Just one night of skipping a full mean (we still eat) has provided all of this and more for our new family in Kenya. However, just when I thought I have learned a lot (and proud of it)...the Lord not so gently reminds me that I have far more to learn.

I know to some this sounds like a great accomplishment. Cyrus is being blessed and the kids have warm new clothes, but just yesterday I received a call from Cyrus to let me know that as of right now, they are out of food. They have no money to buy any food and they are hungry. Strange food. I mean surely they have something to eat...NO, they have nothing. I was sick all brother and his wife, and all those precious orphans have no food, "Lord, what am I going to do about it? I have limited money as well...nine children, one salary, how are we going to help feed all these mouths? There must be more I can do."

Then tonight Pastor Experito came for a welcomed visit. I was so happy that the Lord saw fit to interrupt our normal group night so we could hear from our new friend from Uganda. Little did I know what was coming next...CONVICTION!

Experito, came right in and we prayed for our rice as we always do and began to serve it in disposable paper bowls. All was well, until Experito realized that once we were done eating, we took our bowls and threw them in the trash. He immediately turned to one of the ladies in our group and asked what we were doing with the bowls. She said, "Oh...they are disposable." It was then that truth pierced our ears. Experito said, "You want to do something big? You must start with something small. This money you spend on bowls that you throw away, could be used to feed starving children. Why don't you take the money you throw in the trash, and put it in the jar on the table. You can use regular bowls and wash them."

Now, I don't know how that is resonating in your soul...but just typing those words are hurting my heart. How do I come off thinking that I am better than any of the starving people in Africa, or China or South America? How do I think that I am so doing my part by having rice once a week? Silly me! Am I so comfortable that I have NOT a clue of the poverty around the world? YES! I mean, I just returned from Africa. The smell of poverty is still in my nose. Have you ever smelt it? It is real. It is a stench I will never forget AND I have the resources to end it! We have the resources to end it!

James 5:1 is a warning to the rich. It says:

Look here, you rich people: Weep and groan with anguish because of all the terrible troubles ahead of you. Your wealth is rotting away, and your fine clothes are moth eaten rags. Your gold and silver have become worthless. The very wealth you were counting on will eat away your flesh like fire. This treasure you have accumulated will stand as evidence against you on the day of judgment. For listen! Hear the cries of the field workers who you have cheated of their pay. The wages you held back cry out against you. The cries of those who harvest your fields have reached the ears of the Lord of Heaven's Armies. You have spent your years on earth in luxury, satisfying your every desire. You have fattened yourselves for the day of slaughter. You have condemned and killed innocent people who do not resist you.

Again, I don't know what how the word of the Lord hits you here, but it penetrates me to my very core.

I have heard people use the "guilt" clause, for a way of justifying their same old life, "status quo" so to speak. Anytime the Lord presses us with cutting words, we flee and claim "guilt" and "legalism". I am guilty of the same thing. We don't want to be challenged to the point of feeling uncomfortable. We want our luxuries and want to justify our way out of it by saying, "guilt is not from the Lord."


I want to beg a different look at guilt. Could it be that the "guilt" we feel is "conviction" instead?

Lets say I went to Best Buy. I am looking at the little digital cameras and want one really bad. I mean they are so cute, and it would fit in my purse...I would hardly notice it was there because they are so small. But they are a lot of money, and I don't have that kind of money. Well...I could just sneak it into my one would really notice. Okay, I'll do it....swipe it and run.

Once I got home, stealing that little camera began to eat away at me. I began to feel guilty and just can't stand myself, so I call a sister in Christ and tell her what I have done. She says to me...Drea, you feel "guilty"? Sister..."guilt", is not from the Lord, that is "legalism".

Would my guilt be legalism, or conviction? I think we all know the answer. It is so easy to justify these things away, when it is not blatant stealing. However, would it not be stealing from the Lord if we did not use our resources to benefit HIS kingdom. I mean they are His to begin with right? So instead of giving them back to God (I am not talking here about our 10% tithe) we steal food out of the mouths of orphans and clean water from tribes, and buy a new car, or clothes we don't need, maybe some little trinket at the store to decorate our home, instead. "Well the Lord did bless us as Americans, we justify. I don't need to feel guilty that I buy stuff. I do give."

The Scripture says that our things will testify against us. That when we stand in front of our judge, the moth eaten clothes and the rust eaten gold and silver we possess will speak about what we have done with Gods resources. Even the disposable paper bowls. Friends I am guilty of this very thing. I am not pointing a finger at you...all ten of mine are pointing right at me. I'm just saying that we...brothers and sister have ALL the God given resource we need. We don't need anything the bible says but food, clothing and shelter. Let us stop the stench of poverty and starvation. Let us give everything that God has given us.
Let us stand together before a Holy God...with nothing!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

If Only We Would...

This is a post from a God fearing and obedient woman of the Lord. I adore Katie. She is an amazing example of how we should obey God and follow Him whole heartedly. I want to share her post with you. It says it all.

2010 years ago, Jesus changed the world.

I bet, if we would let Him, He would do it again today. And EVERY SINGLE DAY.

I would like to invite you to go with me on a journey. Almost exactly 2 and a half years ago I stepped out of my life of comfort to go on a journey with my Savior. I thought I had a pretty good idea of what this journey was going to look like. I HAD NO IDEA. And I am so thankful, because it has indeed been more than all I could have ever asked or imagined. It is a journey in which I learn a little more every day about God's awesome nature and his extravagant compassion. It is a journey on which I strive each day to give a little more of myself to Him and a little less of myself to, well, myself. I have been opened to ways I never could have imagined to see Jesus's heart for the poor, and His grief over those who neglect them. I have been shown that the way I was choosing to live my life before this journey was not only intolerable, but impossible for someone who claimed to believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And, for the record, I do. This journey has not only changed my perspective, it has changed my priorities. And the best part is this: it is FAR from over.

Recently I have been blessed to listen to the preachings of a man named David Platt. More accurately, I have been blessed to listen to the preachings of a man named Jesus, read to me in all their truth and might, through my computer screen by a man named David Platt. This man articulates beautifully all the God has opened my heart to in the past 2 and a half years and says everything my heart desires to say. The Truth is bold, in your face, and even frightening. IT IS THE WORD OF GOD.

So here is my request. I am begging and pleading with all of you to take 8 hours out of your life to watch David Platt's Radical series. (I am pretty sure it is supposed to span over a period of 8 weeks, but if you are like me you are going to want to watch them all back to back in a day!) Then, after you have been completely blown away, I am asking to really pray about and consider leading a small group in the study of these sermonsas well as the Faith works series that goes hand in hand with it. I believe that if we truly listen to and believe and grasp this word, it will change our nation and the world.

There are tools and all the info you need at and all questions may be directed to

I am excited to watch this spread, these Truths are compelling and life altering ... It's time to put our faith into action!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

My Boy...

While all of our children are amazing, I want to share with you in particularly about my son Eyob. God's hand is upon this child, and most definitely is a part of his heart and life. I just want to share with you some things that he has shared with us in these past few weeks since we have been home. Just a reminder he is only 12 (well 13 in America, but 12 yet in Ethiopia).

Mom: "How many kids do you want when you grow up Eyob?"
Eyob: "As many as the Lord wills."

Mom: "Eyob, are you afraid to leave your brothers in Ethiopia?"
Eyob: "No Mom, God will protect them."

Dad: "Eyob, I think one day you will be a are so smart!"
Eyob: "No, I want the Lord to send me where ever He wants." (He explained he wants to travel and teach others about Jesus).
Today at church...The teacher was talking about something that we should do as believers...
Eyob: "Amy, if we don't have Jesus in our heart first, then none of this matters."

"Mom, a man can give gifts with his body...but unless he welcomes another with his heart, then he is not welcomed."

We sometimes have no idea what the Lord has in store for us or why. When we obey God, He uses us to fulfill His plan. He will accomplish it with or without us, willingly or unwillingly (like Jonah and the whale), but He would rather use us willingly. I have no idea why the Lord has called us to adoption of many children, but I do know this. He wants them to know Jesus. He wants to use them for His glory..and already has. God is good, all the time.

James 1:27, is not just for the widows and orphans, it is for us as well. Yes, the verse speaks about caring for the widow and orphan in their distress...but it also talks about keep ourselves from being polluted by the world. When we do what the Lord has commanded we are blessed. Although nine children seems like a lot, (and it is) God has provided everything we have needed. I do not presume to say that our children are blessed as much as we are. They have already changed our lives, and God has taught us more then we could have ever imagined. I have heard over and over, how blessed these children are and how they have been given the opportunity to new life...while this is true, I would argue, that we are more blessed than they AND we have also been given an opportunity to new life.

Oh friends! I urge us to consider our ways. What are we living for? Are we really living for Christ? If we were to be honest with ourselves, could we say that we are ready to give ALL to Jesus, even if it went against all of our logic and rational? Would we follow Him into the desert? Would we follow Him beyond our reason? Would we love the "least of these"? God wants more than a willing heart...he wants an obedient heart. He wants doers of His word, not just hearers. I am not saying that everyone should adopt...but I am saying that everyone should care...


Isaiah 1:17-20 - Learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow. "Come now, let us reason together," says the Lord. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land; but if you resist and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword." For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

Friends, lets wake from our slumber! Lets learn to do right, lets defend the cause of the fatherless and plead the case of the widow, together. If only 7% of professing Christians obeyed these commandments...there would be NO MORE orphans in the WORLD!

" If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best fromt he land; but if you resist and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword." For he mouth of the Lord has spoken.

Monday, February 15, 2010

I'm just a girl...

Over the past few months I have received all sorts of comments like, "How do you do this", or "Wow, I could never do this, you are wonder-woman. You are an amazing woman of God."

This is a very real post with very real emotions. Maybe not something you may not want to hear from a woman you have been following for so long. A woman that you think is doing this amazing work of God. YES, the work is amazing, but the woman is not, she is just a girl obeying her father.

As you noticed these past few days have been silent..well almost a week now. In fact, my last post I could only muster up a few words and then point you in the direction of a woman, I 100% agree with...I hope you had time to read her post. I have been Amening it ever since. This road has been a major challenge already and doesn't look very hopeful for a quick end.

Adoption is a blessing...but it does not come without a cost. It is not something to be considered lightly, however it is something to be taken seriously. I believe that what the Lord says about adoption is true...I believe He is serious about what He says about widows and orphans. I believe that if we believe that God's word is Spirit breathed, then we must take it all as seriously as He does. However, I also believe that just because the Lord calls us to do something does it mean it won't be hard. The road is sometimes easy and sometimes difficult, but it is best to obey.

The past 4 weeks have held serious emotions and serious challenges. Even when we arrived in Kenya, Satan had set out to destroy, kill and annihilate us and discourage us at the very least. He has thrown us off by a horrible accident in Africa involving our van and a 7 year boy...God healed him. He has tried to discourage and scare us with demonic encounters...God has the victory. He has tried to make us second guess what we were doing and why.
He almost succeeded, until I picked up on his schemes. He has worked hard to take our focus off of Jesus and turn them to our stresses and distractions. Only through God's strength are we able to withstand.

Yesterday alone, I woke early, tried to get quite time to prepare myself for what was ahead, I failed. My almost 5 year old from China, who has only ever one time in her little life with us pooped in her pull up did, with a BIG mess everywhere and a bath at 6:30am. Served 9 children breakfast, including our EXTREMELY picky Ethiopian children who only want bread and bannanas, dispite all of our efforts to make Ethiopian food. I was a short order cook for all 3 meals including snacks ( I can't blame them). Then proceeded to my boys room where all 4 boys reside. Picking up trash off the floor (that is where the trash goes in Africa), wiping pee off of the toilet seats and floors, separating drawers because Eyob and Christopher can't share, then back to the bath room to find poop toilet paper in the trash can, doing yet another lesson in shint-a-bit (for those of you who think that I am cursing, I am not, that is the word for going to the bathroom...fitting I know) anyway, a lesson that provided full re-enactment of going to the toilet, wiping and NOT throwing the poop toilet paper in the trash BUT in the toilet and then flushing it!!!!! (I know that this may be TMI..but it is a reality that I must share). Then off to the girls room, which was pretty decent, only to find out that the girls bathroom smelt like a guessed it more shint-a-bit lessons with re-enactment, then scrubbing the poop off of the ornately decorated trash can where the poop, was you guessed it, was in the ornate flowers with toilet paper stuck to it. Now I know what you are thinking...DREA THROW IT AWAY, but I scrubbed it instead. Then down stairs for lunch, where I battled my little African children, they can't eat dabo (bread) for breakfast lunch and dinner AND they must stop telling me NO. Had a MAJOR power struggle with Meskerem, who doesn't take no for an answer...however I won. Then the kids were off to play outside, while I cut my dads hair and took care of his prescriptions by phone. Once the kids were in, I broke up a brawl...YES that is exactly what I mean brawl, not the likely participants...Meskerem and Eyob (brother and sister), complete with blood and broken lip...dealt with 14 year old attitude (no it does not differ just because you came from a different country). Found the phone number of an Ethiopian restaurant owner so that he could translate EXACTLY what I wanted to say to her about nailing her brother in the lip with a flashlight and scratching his skin off with her nails AND not responding to me when I call, SO THAT there was NO misunderstanding....and let me tell you this was only around 2:30 we still had half the day to go. an understatement to say the very least.

All of this to tell you, when I signed up for this, I did not get any wonder twin power activate ring, or cool red, white and blue leotards. When I spin in circles, it means that I am about to lose my mind, not become a super hero. In fact, sometimes I dream of taking the form of an ice burg, or ball of fire, or maybe an eagle so I can fly away...but it does not work...ever. The last few days I have questioned God...reasoned with him, dreamt of what tomorrow will bring, I have been scared to death, convinced myself it will get better, praised God for three little African beauties, thought of how I could reverse all that we have done, and then come to grips that the Lord did tell me to do this and then resolved to the fact that I am just a girl...obeying her Father. It is a strange reality, but it is true...NONE of this has been possible because of me or anything that I have ever done. It is only possible because God said, I obeyed, and HE alone equips us with what we need to follow it all through. He equips us with Himself.

That is why Paul could with stand and continue to pursue Christ vigorously...He was equipped with Christ and His Holy Spirit, he was obedient and wanted to bring the Lord glory no matter what the Lord allowed...alone he would have failed and retreated from God's mission.

2 Corinthians 11:24-31 "Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches. Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn?
If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, who is to be praised forever, knows that I am not lying."

2 Corinthians 1:8-11 "We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many."

So one may ask..."Drea, how do you do this. I wish I could do ________ but I just can't, I don't have the time, or the resources, or the patience or the _________. You must be wonder mom. You are an amazing woman of God."

I don't feel amazing, however I do have an AMAZING GOD!!! This road is not easy, but we are all called. We don't have to wait for the heavenly phone to is in scripture, we must obey and then know that the One who called all of us is faithful and He will do it!

I must remember that I am just a girl...obeying her Father, and my Father is God!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

This Sums It Up...

I haven't been able to post in a few days, don't worry I will, BUT I must say...this blog sums it up!
Click here...The Journey

Sunday, February 7, 2010

A Warm Welcome...

Our van heading to the airport

Grandpa Dennis and Grandma Sue surprised us all from Cali

Cailee and Grandma Sue...Surprise

Chloe, looking and waiting for us

Cyilea watching and waiting

Our Friends

The first sighting of the new kids

Tears of joy

Trevor and his "boy" Cadenn

Three best buds

Me and my Papa...Mom was there in Spirit

Sami meeting Papa for the first time

Gramie and Sami

Cindy, Coral and Meskerem (a true miracle...Praise the Lord)

Seggy and the kids...He feels right at home

Bryan on the phone with Ron, who organized the whole van idea...he is looking for the surprise that Ron told him is in the parking garage.

Not a cute cry, but not an ugly one either...choking back tears...God is so good.

Me and my girl Mimi...

My little guys...boy are in trouble

The gang in front of our new 15 passenger van...Praising God

Me and my cousin...

Me, Zona and Lisa...Zona's aka..BFL she did well hiding the van from everyone including my kids..she even lied a bit to keep the secret, so out of her character...but she done good!

Thank you sweet friends for loving God the way you do. Thank you for you love for us and the way you live your lives to honor God. You all mean the world to us, wish you were all there. We are praying for you all, you have been the biggest blessing in our lives.

Friday, February 5, 2010

We Are Home...

Our first meeting

Never before in this orphanage, have kids met at a worship service..or with flowers, truely a blessing.

Our first sighting of them, the kids were chanting Welcome, Welcome, Welcome!

Bryan introducing his new family

Other kids, some from the orphange, some from the neighborhood

Pastor Abdisa

Pastor Bryan

Abdisa and his wife praying over the kids and us

David, Erica, Nicole and the gang, what a blessing and honor to have them all their for this wonderful day...we love you guys

Our new friends we stayed with, at a dinner celebration

Me and Samuel...or Sami

Coral and Meskerem

First ice cream...and it is cold

Building Legos back at the house...getting to know eachother

My friends, God is good and this trip is a testimony to His greatness and faithfulness. Not just because we are home with our children...but this whole trip has had God's hand in it. As we were recounting His goodness we truly realized just how deep, how wide, how high His love is for each and every one of us.

Our kids did great on the flight home...there were some unruly children...our kids were not one of them. They had a TON of firsts on the plane home and did great. We didn't even get to sit next to each other and had to split up into pairs or threes and they just adapted.

Once we landed in Minnesota, the children were so happy to be in America. There was snow on the ground and Eyob was really wanting to go outside to touch it. Much to his disappointment, we didn't of course, but we looked out the window a lot at it. I called home while we waited to board and everyone was able to talk on our cell phone.

We slept most of the way to Arizona, so the ride went quick!! When we got to that familiar ramp..we could see our friends and loved ones with signs and could hear them cheering from a mile away, seriously. We were all excited...glad we prepared the kids for it a head of time, they might have thought there was a fire or something.

We were so excited to see all of you who came to airport. What a total blessing, more than you will ever know on our side. Or kids were so excited to see all of this for them..or they prob. thought, their new parents were really something. There were so many people that I just didn't friends, old friends, newly healed friends, out of state family out of country see your shiny faces was the best thing for us!! I am so glad that we could rejoice together over the goodness of God in bringing these children home, this was priceless something I will not forget.

We collected our bags and decided we would take a group picture at the car!! WELL , God showed up yet again. For those of you who don't really know us but follow our blog, I will explain. We have nine us makes eleven. If any kid has a friend, then add that on. Just with the number eleven, we have a serious car problem. Our car only seats eight. So...three of us don't fit. My solution, was to pray. Mind you, it sounds like a serious woman of faith..but I really did not have any other alternative, so prayer was it. I thought, God can do anything right. Since being in Kenya, I really learned that God can and will do what pleases Him, so I prayed and trusted that he knows. What was the worst thing really? Bryan and I would drive two separate biggie. While we were in Africa, we needed a bigger van to tote all of us around in and every time we would get into one, we would joke how we needed to take it home with us.

When we walked to the parking garage, I could hear all of the co motion going on and didn't know why. Suddenly I saw it...WE HAD A 15 PASSENGER VAN WAITING FOR US!!! Our friends are amazing!!! Ron and Zona had the idea to get this van...I still don't know all of the details...but some how they got my "adoption update" email list and emailed our friends and family and explained what they were doing and asked if anyone would like to chip in....I don't know who did yet, but I know several of you did! The car or bus rather is seats us all with room for three more, STOP...I know what you are thinking, but give us time to settle in a bit, before you go and add on to our family!

We CAN'T BELIEVE THE GOODNESS OF GOD! We can't thank you enough for your prayers and donations. I still am sitting in awe of my friends and their obedience to Christs call to care for the orphans of this world. THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts. Thank you friends for loving us so much...and for loving our kids so much...It leads me to my key phrase for the past two weeks...ONLY GOD!!! Who could do this better?...ONLY GOD.

I know all of you played a part, but ONLY because of GODS goodness and HIS desire to care for the least of these could this be accomplished...ONLY GOD would be able to pull this off. This is the blessing to us and to you...God desires to bless when we are obedient to His word. Because the Lord put His desire in our hearts and in the hearts of our friends...He was given glory, and made all things things fall into place...ONLY GOD. He loves Meskerem, Eyob and is evident in His handy work. We are grateful and humbled at the hearts of his servants...thank you dear ones...we are truly blessed.

I am posting some pictures that probably showed up at the top...I will post our comming home pictures tomorrow, this is just a little something to keep you looking. Until tomorrow..USA time.

Project Playlist