Thursday, January 21, 2010

Timely Words of Wisdom

I got on the John Piper website to listen to his sermons on adoption, and I discovered this nugget of encouragement that I wanted to share. It spoke to me in many ways and I needed to hear these words of wisdom today. I could probably stand to hear them on a daily basis. Anybody else with me?


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Orphans in Haiti

Our hearts ache for the people of Haiti. Orphans are highlighted now more than ever. Romans 8:28 says "And we know that in ALL THINGS God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Good can come from calamity. But would adopting a child from Haiti be prudent at this time of crisis? Please read these two posts (from Sarah who is an advocate for Children's HopeChest and Gina who works for World Orphans) that describe both the tug to "save a life" and the need to WAIT. Biological families need to be found and reunited. That might take time.

Pray for God's leading in this matter, and in the meantime, find a place to help the people of Haiti. The above posts mention a few places. Samaritan's Purse is another organization that has been working hard in immediate, tangible ways since the day of the earthquake.

Remember...microgiving can make a MACRO difference!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!!

As we are all enjoying our "day off" (or at least some of us are), let's not forget why we are celebrating this day. It has always been an inspirational day and one I am very grateful for--- to remember such a courageous man who advocated for such a huge change in our American culture, but now it has become more personal. Now we are even more aware of the obstacles and the challenges African Americans were (and still are) up against. Now we will need to educate others on a personal level because of the color of our son's skin. I thank God for courageous men like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who aren't afraid to fight for what is right, noble, just, EQUAL---a human right!

Here is a post from a dear friend of mine who has 3 children--1 bio and 2 African/American children. She says it so well!

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." These words begin the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence. Although these words were included, we all know it would be many years before this would actually be true for African Americans and women. Because Dr. King had a dream and was courageous to be the voice for so many, we can now say our government recognizes and upholds these words for ALL people. Unfortunately, the hearts and minds of many individual people has not changed. I encourage you to stand up in the gentle, peaceful and unrelenting way the Dr. King did. We should not deny each of us our God given differences, but we should also not use those difference to divide. I ask you to honor one man and his dream today. I thank you Martin Luther King, Jr. for making it possible for all my children to stand firm in their right of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

Another great post to check out is Emily's who highlights "The Hole in Our Gospel" by Richard Sterns. Check out her whole post.

Hope for Orphans by FamilyLife

If you are interested in starting an orphan ministry in your church in the future but aren't sure where to start, check out this video produced by the people from FamilyLife through the ministry called Hope for Orphans. Join us in praying for how we can spread the word of HOPE to "the least of these" through the Body of Christ---our local churches!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Big Art Give-Away

If you haven't seen it already, go to this website to check out some wonderful watercolor originals & prints made for adoptive families. A percentage of the proceeds are going towards the Kolfe Youth Orphanage in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Very cool!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Survivor's Guilt... something I have just a taste of.

(Disclaimer: I don't usually write about what's swirling around in my head because frankly you wouldn't really want to know or be interested, but I have the need to get this out and "on paper" so to speak. Forgive me if I don't make sense. Another blogger friend Sarah put it so much more eloquently than I ever could, so check out this post, but I thought I would give it a whirl and write down in my own words what I mean).

Let me explain....

Some days are better than others, but MANY days I am slammed with the reality and the question of WHY? Why was I born in America where everything is so readily available, easily accessible, quickly attainable, instantly consumable (you get the point), while millions around the world were born in a place where they can barely survive on scraps. Where having 1 pair of shoes would be miraculous--a Godsend.

Where an occasional piece of meat would be treasured. Where fresh, clean water would be something to rejoice about.
Where a home and a family is only dreamt about in fairy tales. It breaks my heart!! It's NOT FAIR!! What can I do about it? How can I justify all my "stuff-- all my time spent buying stuff, saving for stuff, trying to get rid of stuff, managing stuff, fixing stuff, organizing stuff, giving stuff, etc. etc. when others have NOTHING?!! How can I plan trips to Disneyland (not this year) or trips to the zoo, or piano lessons or dance lessons without feeling extravagant or guilty? My perspective is all skewed. It is so hard to live in America now that I have seen. It is so hard to take my kids to fun places without feeling like that money could go towards saving a life, towards giving the "barest of necessities". How do I live in two juxtaposed worlds? How do I find peace, a balance? Although my husband and I now give more than we ever have to wonderful organizations like Drawn from Water, Compassion International , charity:water(not bragging....really!....), I still don't feel like it's enough! Because it's not. What is God calling me to do, then?

I think God is telling me #1 that I cannot control this situation. I cannot solve world hunger, the orphan crisis, famine, disease, etc. I AM NOT IN CONTROL!! HE is. What He wants from me is a willing heart to do something....anything. To have compassion for those who are poor and needy. To show love. To pray more. To tell others of the need. To not get so bogged down in the world's suffering that I am no good to my husband or kids. To have joy, show joy, create joy for others. To do what I can, but know that He is taking care of it all. He's got it all under control, whether I like it or not. HE HAS A PLAN! His ways are NOT my ways. I can't FIX the world. I can do something, however, no matter how small I feel it is. It is something. Writing this blog is something very small, but it is something. Adopting an orphan seems small, but it is something. Giving to good charities is small, but it is something.

If we all did SOMETHING small, ("micro-giving" as they say at Hope Mongers), the world would change in a HUGE way!

So, I guess I should amend the title from "Survivor's Guilt" to "Survivor's Conviction"---food for thought.

Pray with me:

Father in Heaven,
Thank you for opening my eyes to the needs of the world outside my own little bubble. Thank you for allowing me to be used by You for Your glory. Help me not to try to control things by trying to "figure it all out", by trying to see how I can FIX this world-- thus making me feel so overwhelmed and so weighed down with sadness that I am frozen & ineffective in life. It's not my job to fix it. I know the suffering will not be "fixed" until your Son's return. Thank you for that. Thank you for allowing us a "second chance", a chance to have Eternal Life with You through the suffering of Your Son, Jesus. Help me to spread that Hope of a Second Chance to others. Help me to see the need & act on it, but ask for your guidance and strength every step of the way. Help me to encourage others to do the same. Lord, I ask for healing on this suffering world. I ask for mercy. I ask for peace. I ask for a stirring in fellow believer's hearts to rise up to the injustices, to ACT on behalf of those who have no voice. No choice. No chance at survival without other's help. No one to protect them. No hope without You. Let us be lights for You in the darkness. Help us, Lord. Give us courage & strength to act. Show us where you want us to go. Let us be used by You.

In Jesus' precious name,

Ethiopian Christmas--Jan. 7th

Merry Christmas to the beautiful people of Ethiopia! Check out this wonderful slideshow presented by the BBC with commentary and read about their Christmas traditions here.

Melkam Gena!!!