Monday, October 26, 2009


Sorry that I didn't do my hero monday post. It has been a CRAAAAAAAAAAZY weekend. Happy Monday!

Friday, October 23, 2009


I love babysitting. Serisouly, its the best job ever. Today, I'm keeping the twins and Lela Grace at home while my parents are out and Joseph is at school, and later I'm getting to hang out with a sweet little three year old girl from church.

Trying to be a good, fun, big sister, I got the kids dressed to go outside even though its kind of dreary here today. Unfortunately, I dressed them up for dry cold weather but it was actually hot and wet. We only stayed out for about five minutes.

Oh well. I tried.

I'm learning.

And, they're cute in their hats. :)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I need Africa

Have you ever heard of African Leadership?

They are an incredible organization working in 22 different countries with many different projects, but focusing on pastor training. When my mom and I first went to Africa in 2004, we went on one of their short-term, vision trips and our family has been involved with them ever since.

Anyway, the reason I bring that up is that they have started to spread this idea that totally makes my heart sing: "I need Africa more than Africa needs me." How incredible is that? If you've got Africa (or any people group/country) on your heart you know exactly what I mean. They are selling these incredible t-shirts (there are more on the website) for just twenty dollars as a fundraiser, and I'm hoping to give a lot of them as Christmas gifts this year.

In case you're interested. :)

ok, so when I just tried those links none of them worked, so here they are in order:
African Leadership:
"this idea...":

try that.... :) sorry for my lack of computer skills!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Hero Monday- Daddy

I haven't ever really thought much about being a Dad. Probably because it is something I'm sure I'll never be. But have you ever really thought about what it takes to be a father?

I am blessed with the most wonderful dad in the world who loves his wife, his children and the Lord so much. He leads our family and provides for and protects us every single day. What an incredible calling, to be a father- the one who represents God to his family and to the whole world. A father demonstrates the way that Christ loves the church to his wife and the way the Lord shepherds His flock to his children. He models what it looks like to be to be a Provider and caregiver in establishing a Godly home in front of the watching world. He treasures his family the way that the Lord treasures His children.

One of the most wonderful things about my dad is that he is a teacher. He often teaches other people, at church or Sunday school or other places like that, but more than anyone else he teaches his children--- by example and instruction. Yesterday I was struggling with some things and worrying about the future and we had the opportunity for a little father daughter time. Nothing could have been better than for me to hear first, what he had done in a similar situation, second, how much he and mom love me, and third that I don't need to fear because my worth is not in what I do. I am free to fail in Christ. And he was promising me that I was free to fail in him to, because he would still love me, just like Christ would.

If you have a father who loves you and cherishes you- don't forget to thank them and appreciate them every day.

But even if you don't have a good relationship with your earthly father, maybe you don't even have an earthly father, there is one thing that I know you have. A heavenly Father. His love is even more perfect than the very best of earthly dads. And you are His adopted child.

I love you Daddy.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Family Pictures!

Our family had photos done by an AMAZING photographer, Claire Wise. She was so nice and did such a fabulous job. We won a sitting from her at a silent auction fundraiser for some of our friends who are adopting two little boys from Ethiopia. Anyway, here are a few of them!

The five kids standing on our church front steps

Lela Grace, Julia and I

The Family :)


Sometimes, I feel so helpless, so alone, thinking about those children around the world who truly are utterly broken and abandoned. I feel this weight, thinking that it all depends on me, wanting to scream for the church to stand up, to look around, to open their eyes. How can we keep sitting here comfortably? How is the plight of the one lonely, scared, hungry child not our focus all the time? How can we be so ready to get all worked up about the economic decline in our country, when most of us have never missed a meal in our lives? And how can one person make a difference for so many? How can I keep having hope?

Today, my hope is drained.

Today my heart is broken, my hands and feet are screaming to move, to work, to go.

I so rarely fall back to this place of desperation now, that I don't even know what to do about it.

It is so much easier to keep your head in the right place when you're actually on a mission trip or in a third world country, because your calling is right in front of your face all the time - and you are FORCED to be completely dependent on God's mercy.

But that is the problem, isn't it? I've lost hope, because I've ceased to depend upon Him. I feel like a failure because I've got it into my head that it is mine, my duty, my strength. But it isn't. It's not my way or my will or my strength or my hope or my love or my courage--- its His.

And He never fails.

And His plans are never thwarted.

"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."
~2 Corinthians 14:9~
His strength is made perfect in my weakness! How beautiful and relieving! Really, Lord? Your grace is sufficient for me? And not just for me, but for the whole world, every single last child? Blessed be your name!
"...for when I am weak, then I am strong."

Monday, October 5, 2009

Hero Monday - Corrie and Betsie ten Boom

The ten Boom family
Most of you probably already know the story of Corrie ten Boom as she tells it in her eye witness account of the holocaust, The Hiding Place. Corrie and her sister Betsie were seperated from their family, dragged from their little home in Holland, watched as their elderly fatherwas brutally murdered, and endured the horrors of one of the Nazi concentration camps. Betsie, who was already in weak health, struggled even more than Corrie did physically. She eventually died in the camp after months and months of unimaginable suffering.

Do you know why?

Corrie, Betsie and their father were a modest, Christian, happy family in Haarlem when the effects of the German invasions drove them to make a serious decision. They were not Jewish, so they weren't in the most danger yet, but the ten Boom family made a choice. They chose to sacrifice.

Through several years before being taken prisoner, the ten Boom's opened up their home to the most desperate people. They DAILY put everything they had, even their own lives at risk to serve the Lord. Without hesitation, this FAMILY of God gave up their present comfort and future (earthly) security and learned what it means to RELY upon God.

Even while in the concentration camp, Betsie's forgiving heart would actually weep and pray not just for the prisoners, but for their Nazi oppressors. Before her death, Betsie had a two visions. Her vision was of hope, and forgiveness and redemption. Betsie had a vision of a concentration camp that was transformed into a home and place of restoration for the Nazi soldiers to recover. She also had a vision of a beautiful house to be a renewing and healing place for the holocaust victims. Betsie died in the concentration camp. The last words that she spoke that Corrie heard were " much work to do...."

It was Corrie, in the pain and struggle and grief that followed the war, who was entrusted and empowered by the Lord to make these visions become a reality. Not on her own strength but on His. The Lord blessed Betsie with Hope and the foresight to see where the need was, and He blessed Corrie with the strength and the tools of see it fulfilled.

Sometimes, it is so hard to balance both of those things. We are either inspired with a burst of imagination and ideas from the Spirit of ways to help or things to do, but we lack the courage or diligence to trust the Lord to use us to carry them out. Or we are filled with a passion and a zeal to act for the Lord, but doubt where we should begin.

God gave Corrie and Betsie the strength, courage, hope, and ability to do what He had called them to do day by day, and we are still experiencing the blessing of their ministry and hearing the Hope of the Gospel that they helped to spread to the people who it was hardest to love. If the Lord can enable people like Corrie and Betsie ten Boom to forgive the ones who cruelly oppressed and in Betsie's case even killed them, can He not enable the church to rise up to plead the cause of the orphans and widows? We don't have to rely on our own strength or our own vision. Because like He did to Corrie and Betsie, the Lord will give us both. Wait on Him. His plan never fails and His love never ends.

The ten Boom house/watch shop in Haarlem

Corrie ten Boom

Thursday, October 1, 2009

October Challenge

My new blog-world friend Molly started a new blog called This Next Generation for and about the young people that God is raising up in the church who are called specifically to loving the orphans. Anyway, her "October Challenge" to get it started off is for us to be purposefully and daily in prayer for widows and orphans around the world. I thought I would expound on that idea by giving a specific example of how we can be praying for them.

I suppose I'll start with a story, what else? I mean, that is really how it all started.

While in Ethiopia, my team and I for just a few short hours visit AHOPE (and HIV/AIDS orphanage) in Addis Ababa. Most of the older children were having school while we were there, so it was mostly all children under the 5 or 6. Some of us took a brief little tour of one of the house where the little kids slept, but it was mostly empty because the kids were outside playing with the rest of our team. Mostly empty.


In one room there was a little child curled up on the bottom bunk of one of the beds, I thought it was a boy, and I thought he was asleep. This wasn't really that surprising, because the further advanced that the HIV is, the more tired and lethargic the kids get. The other thing is, many of them are sick and/or have warts all over them. I absolutely wanted to get out of that depressing room and play with the happy kids outside, and I started to. I'm telling you, I wanted to leave. Right then. But in the Lord's mercy, He held me there and I had the most amazing privilege of getting to stay, to pick up little "S" (she looked about 4 years old), and carry her outside. She was weak and shaky and didn't move her legs quite normally. She didn't smile or talk, just sat in my lap and watched the other kids play while I spoke the little (very very little) Amharic that I knew to her, and some English too. She began warming up, and then I had to set her down to help with a little puppet show that we had prepared for them. It was so much fun, but the very very best part was seeing "S" absolutely shine. She smiled and giggled and even outright laughed while we played with the puppets, colored paper bags, and painted fingernails.

I can't really explain the bond between "S" and me, because I don't understand it. Other than this: the Lord chose for us to spend those few short hours together on that day, on that time, in that way, for His glory, since the beginning of time. He has a purpose for our relationship, even though I'll probably never see "S" again.

The orphanage director's English was very good and he told me that "S" is being adopted!!! He offered to let me write a letter to her family with my information on it so that they could contact me, and he would give it to them when they came to get her. I did, but I haven't heard from her family.

The thing is, since I've been home, I've had a hard time trusting the Lord that He really loves "S" even more than I do. That He really does know what is best for her and will do it. I've been afraid for her health, I've been afraid for her relationship with God. I've been afraid that maybe her family won't care for her, or that they won't raise her up in the church, or that they'll be abusive or neglecting. Or, that the orphanage director was confused, and that they aren't coming at all.

The focus of the October Challenge is to give these precious children, "S" included, who are already the Lord's, over to His care. To pray for them, and to trust Him that He hears and has an even better plan than we do.

I think that there are three ways that we can pray for the orphan crisis: for the children's physical needs, their spiritual needs, and for the church to take action and to follow the Lord where He leads.

Ways to pray for the Orphans
Physical: As you probably all know AIDS is prevalent in almost every country on the world but especially in 3rd world countries where it is taking a staggering tole on the population and leaving so many millions of orphans behind. But God is still faithful and He is still bigger than this horrific pandemic. We can pray that God will have mercy on the children orphaned by AIDS and those infected by HIV. He is faithful through sickness and He is the God who does more than we can ask or imagine. He is a Healing God.

Spiritual: That the Lord will reveal Himself to the HIV positive children of the world and not only draw them to Himself, but use them as mighty tools for His kingdom.

For the Church: Aids is a bad, horrible, terrifying thing. The people who have Aids are not. They are not just a problem to be dealt with, or to be pushed out of our minds and hearts as I tried to do that day at AHOPE. They are children of the Living God. We can pray that God will place the Aids crisis in our faces so that we might be driven to action. My biology teacher is one of the leading DNA specialists working on finding the cure for Aids. He is right in the inner circle of all the newest discoveries and they are so so close! The church can take heart and have hope in that! We can pray for the few Godly scientists in that field that they will remain firm in their faith and determined toward their goal.

"Death is swallowed up in victory
Oh death, where is your victory?
Oh death where is your sting?"
~1 Corinthians 15:55~

"S" and I