Saturday, February 25, 2012

Turn Up the Music, Drown Out the Noise...

I always have adoption on my mind. With 9 children, 5 of which are adopted, I often wonder about the "What ifs'." I recently read a blog that made me think and take an inward look at myself and my heart. The blog explained that there are so many children in Eastern Europe who, if are not adopted by the age of 4 - 5 years, will be transferred to mental institution. These institutions are for unwanted children, children who are deemed "un-adoptable". (Check it out Here)

The word institution reflects exactly what it sounds like, prison for children. Some of which will live and die, with no more then their basic needs being met, and "basic" is an understatement. Most children are bed or crib bound, they are uneducated and worse, unloved and untouched. They have no care givers to walk them outside, in fact most will never leave their rooms. The conditions are horrible, my pets live in a better environment.

The term un-adoptable is grotesque at best. I don't know who coined that phrase, but the term devalues life and mars a child's existence. It suggests that they are worth nothing and deserve, no love, no touch, no freedom, no chance and no hope.

As a follower of Christ, I have had to ask myself two questions. Where is the church? And what is my personal responsibility? Isn't it us who Christ has called to love others? (Matthew 22:33-40) Isn't it the us who are to care for widows and orphans in their distress? (James 1:27) Isn't it the Church that is supposed to preach the Good News to the poor and to bind up the broken hearted? (Isaiah 61:1)

When we read scripture there is just no denying what our calling is. Jesus was specific with what He said to do. Why then do we wonder what His will for our lives are? All we have to do is turn on the TV, or step outside our door to see what is going on in our world and that they NEED Jesus!

Matthew 25:31-40 ~ "When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ' Come, you who are blessed by my father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me'.....'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to the least of these my brother you did it to me.'
Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you didn't not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me'....'Truly I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me."

Words we have heard before, but not very comforting. I love the way Richard Sterns author of A Hole In The Gospel paraphrases the scripture into a modern day understanding.
"For I was hungry, while you had all you needed. I was thirsty, but you drank bottled water. I was a stranger, and you wanted me deported. I needed clothes, but you needed more clothes. I was sick, and you pointed out the behaviors that led to my sickness. I was in prison, and you said I was getting what I deserved."

Is that me? Is that us, Church? Do we care more for our own comforts and gain, then we do the sick, poor, homeless, hungry, un-adoptable, untouchable and dying? Am I willing to let Jesus use ALL of me, or just the parts that won't hurt or cause discomfort? Do we just attend Sunday service to check our spiritual boxes? The Gospel demands action. If the Gospel doesn't change us on Sunday's then we may as well just stay home.

To quote my friends blog, " But CHURCH, are there really so few? Can that be true? If not us, WHO? Aren't we just like the worshipers who turned up the organ music to drown out the sound of the trains full of Jewish captives rattling by on Sunday morning?"

Why don't we act? Why don't I act? Why don't we risk it all and be just like Jesus? We must remember that we love because He loves us. We serve not just to "do", but to seek His face! He uses us to change us! Are we going act? Or are we just going to turn up the music to drown out the noise?

Saturday, February 4, 2012


Ephesians 3:20-21 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

In late January, we emailed Experito to notify him that funds were available to build the teacher's home that houses the teacher for the school in Kochgoma. The temporary structure that had been built previously was destroyed in a storm.

The community wanted to build a permanent structure for the teacher. We discussed the typical local home (mud hut), but those who are educated enough to teach would generally have a different expectation for housing. Therefore the one teacher who had been willing to teach in Kochgoma was living in Gulu and making a horrendously long and difficult daily commute into Kochgoma (think huge mud mogles for 60 to 90 minutes each way on a motorbike).

The Koch Goma community began by donating bricks (which they made) to build the new structure.

When we learned they were hand-carrying all the bricks from their community to the school site, we were able to send money in May of 2011 to assist with transportation. Still money was needed for items such as iron sheets (for roofing), nails, cement and some skilled labor.

Below is Experito's always-spirited response to learning of the good news that the school teacher's home can now be built.

This is incredible. It is unimaginable. I am at loss for words.I can
believe in the kingdom of God there is enough for every need except

I had not been on the internet to see your email, because we had traveled to Kitgum. It is
a district north of Gulu, on the border of Sudan.There has been an outbreak of NODDING DISEASE, (a fatal, mentally and physically disabling disease that only affects young children typically between the ages of 5 and 15).

It made people abandon each other in order to avoid the disease. We risked our lives to take some food to some of the suffering families.There was joy to some of these families which we ministered to. Some of them had gone for days without food neither medical help in near reach for them.We discovered there some kids who had passed well to go secondary school.Some of these kids their hopes for further studies had been shattered because their relatives and parents are now helpless.
We picked Daniel one of those kids who had passed well. Our congregation has bought scholastic materials for him as well as a mattress to go to boarding school. We are yet to raise tuition for him to cerebrate joy in school. Justine had gone to Kochgoma with Carissa to make arrangements for
the start of the new term.The teacher of the school in Koch Goma had expressed pain traveling daily long distances to the school. He had opted to halt the services. God has demonstrated a miracle. When all was immovable, God moved.We cannot say enough thank you for your concerted efforts to make Kochgoma a place of praise for God.Thanks to Drea as director for the new breath of energy which is bearing unexpected precious fruits. Our momentum has taken unimaginable levels. Next week it will be work on the staff house .We salute Pastor Steve for his love for us and courageously became a voice for the voiceless.

Hugs and Love to all,


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