March 30, 2010

Good Days Ahead!

I am so excited for the next several days. We have our friends who traveled with us to Ethiopia coming to stay on Thursday night. They adopted 6 yr old twins and Ab really liked them both. When we first came home they talked on the phone in Amharic to each other.

Ab asked me today if they knew english now! :)

It’s also a good excuse to cook some Ethiopian food!

I also realized that it is next weekend that we will be at the Global Prayer Gathering for IJM!!

I was reading today the Good News About Injustice by Gary Haugen. This caught my eye and really made me think:

I tried to imagine , for just a minute, what it must have been like for God to be present at each of the massacres sites as thousands of Tutsi women and children were murdered. Frankly, the idea was impossible to bear. But the thought led me to imagine what it must be like for God to be present, this year, at the rape of all the world’s child prostitutes, at the beatings of all the world’s prisoners of conscience, at the moment the last breath of hope expires from the breast of each of the millions of small children languishing in slavery.

As I would approach my God in prayer, I could hear His gentle voice saying to me, “Son, do you have any idea where your Father has been lately?”

He is the “man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering,” who weeps with those who weep. (Isaiah 53:3; John 11:33-35)

Good News about Injustice Haugen, Gary pg. 95-96

This really made me think. As we have learned so much recently about all the injustices across the world-some just horrific, it can bring despair. I had never considered how God felt watching those same atrocities. A God whose love for us is overflowing and unimaginable. A God whom the world rejected which brings such evil and horror to our life here on earth.

While the injustices of our world can seem so overwhelming at times, it makes the love and hope of God all more bright and more desirable. He is a God who desires justice and allows us to be part of His work. You bring your loaves and fish—He will supply the empowerment.

Here is a video from last year’s Global Prayer Gathering

2010 IJM Global Prayer Gathering from International Justice Mission on Vimeo.

March 29, 2010

Dossier is off!

Dossier is in the mail!  I mailed our dossier off today via UPS and I must say I am glad that it is out of the house! I made my copies (lots of standing in front of the copier) put them in order, double checked, triple checked and sent it off with a big check!  I am always worried that it would get ruined somehow (like me spilling my coffee!) so it’s a relief to get it on its way!

As soon as the home study is written and approved, we will send that on as well and we will be on the wait list!  (ready to be there!)

Funny story on our home visit.  Our social worker was talking to the kids about how they felt about getting a baby. She also asked Ab how he liked being in America. He responded with “I am always getting hurt in America..”  (imagine my reaction!)  The social worker replied “really?”  Ab responded “yea, I wreck on my bike and I get splinters (showing the splinter)”   Thanks for clarifying Ab!

 

Bible Reading Catch Up!

 

Mar 28 JOSHUA 18:1-19:48
Mar 29 JOSHUA 19:49-21:45
1 CHRONICLES 6:54-81

God keeps His promises to Israel!

vs 21:45 “Not one of all the Lord’s good promises to the the house of Israel failed; every one was fulfilled.”

We shared our adoption story with another couple Sunday night and I am always amazed how similar the stories are even though it is different agencies, different countries, and different ages.

It always involves faith, obedience & blessings.

I am a visual person and like to see things that the Word is talking about. Here is a map of Israel during Joshua’s time.

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New Bag Made

Here is a bag Bekah made for her Spanish tutor.

Can anyone guess what country this is?

 043 It’s Bolivia!

March 28, 2010

Bekah and Savannah are headed to QVC!

Rebekah and her friend , Savannah (who is going to Guatemala with us) made an ‘ad’ for my t-shirts.

After much laughter…here is their ad for our Isaiah 1:17 t-shirts





And yes, the next 3 orders will receive a Seek Justice bracelet to go with it!

To order: Just click on paypal buttons on the side of the page and in the message put the size and color you desire. If you want more than one, just add $1 per extra shirt for shipping. If you’d like to pay by check—email me and I will send you my address.

Click here for color choices

Also—I have had questions about children’s shirts. If I receive 12 orders, I can have a batch made. Email me at gcknight@verizon.net if you’d like a children’s shirt (small medium or large) and which color (natural, charcoal, or prairie dust) They will still be $15 since it’s a small order.

Adult small charcoal is sold out—but email me if you want one and we can start a re-order.

Thank you for your help of giving a child a home!

Soccer Season Begins!

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March 26, 2010

The girl who stole my husband’s heart

On Greg’s first trip to Zambia, I received an email with the picture below attached with only this message:

“This girl has captured my heart”

And so began our first adoption journey.

Celita The needs of the orphan became real. She was standing right in front of him with bright eyes & a beautiful smile. It was impossible to turn away or switch a channel or avoid. She was real.

Gripps Farm Day Two 020 Greg came home and we began to talk, pray, discuss, debate (and all the other stuff that comes with a spirited discussion) We both cried.

I was blessed to go the following spring and meet the girl who stole his heart. She stole mine too. (and yes I missed that beautiful hair!) We now sponsor her education through Grassroots Heroes -- A ministry we are involved with in Zambia. Check us out on here.

selita and II can’t wait to go back in October and see her again and how much she has grown!

Soccer

The boys had their first soccer practices this week and first game tomorrow. It was cold! Brrr! Ab loves soccer. He got in the car and Greg told him he did a good job at practice. His response? “yes, I did, Yes I did” Okay—we are working on the whole humility thing :)

Josh (pics later) volunteered for goalie which stresses this momma at the games!

IMG_3258 Not a great pic but I love his face!!

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Chronological Reading:

Mar 25 JOSHUA 10:1-12:6
Mar 26 JOSHUA 12:7-15:19

Kings are defeated and land is gained and divided among the Israelites. This was their inheritance. I am struck by the fact this morning that God had the inheritance for them—but still He required obedience and action. They had to do what He commanded and follow through. So many times we want things but are willing to do the work or have the risk that goes with it.

vs 10: 42 says that Joshua conquered because the LORD, the God of Israel, fought for Israel.

That’s the key for ‘winning’---letting God pick your battles and letting Him do the fighting. It’s really all about Him.

March 25, 2010

Meager Thoughts

Chronological Bible Reading for today and yesterday:

Mar 24 Joshua 7:1 & 1 Chronicles 2:7 Joshua 7:2-9:27

My meager thoughts:

8:34—Joshua read all the words of the Law to the whole assembly of Israel. That’s a lot of reading! Sometimes I can barely make it through a long story !

9:14—Just because something SEEMS right doesn’t mean we don’t need to inquire of the Lord. The key to making the right decisions is to inquire of God. He knows so much more than we do. The past, the present (of everyone!) and the future! He’s got that Omniscient thing going on…and let’s face it—no matter how smart we think we are—we don’t even compare. Ask Him what He thinks about your choices or your dilemma—because He cares! I sometimes can rush forward into things and not think to ask if this is what I am supposed to do—and that has gotten me in trouble! They aren’t necessarily bad things—but just things that I wasn’t supposed to be part of or to be doing. I would have saved myself some heartache if I had prayed and sought discernment beforehand!

Isn’t hindsight always great??

Today’s reading tomorrow –I’m a bit delayed :) It’s probably what I will need tomorrow!

Tax Credit Increased for Adoption!

From the Christian Alliance for Orphans Blog:

Amidst the intense controversy of the health care bill signed into law by President Obama yesterday, there’s at least one provision every orphan advocate can cheer. The adoption tax credit was preserved for another year...and increased in value!

To encourage and support adoption, the adoption tax credit was expanded by President Bush and Congress in 2001. This increased the value of the credit from $5,000 to $10,000, and indexed it for inflation (meaning the credit would increase each year to keep up with inflation.) For 2010, its value had risen to $12,170. However, the 2001 increase was scheduled to “sunset” at the end of 2010. This would mean that any adoptions finalized after December 31, 2010 would be eligible for—at most—a credit of only $5,000.

This sunset has now been extended one year. That means that it will need to be extended again before the end of 2011. For the present, however, this extension comes as very welcome news for families considering adoption or in the adoption process.

Specifically, the provisions contained in the health care bill include:

  • The current adoption tax credit has been extended until the end of 2011;
  • The value of the adoption tax credit has been increased from $12,170 to $13,170.
  • The increase is “retroactive,” meaning that any adoption occurring after January 1, 2010 is eligible for this higher credit.
  • The credit is now refundable. This means that even families that owe zero taxes can receive the full tax credit in the form of a tax refund to help with their adoption-related expenses.

To read the legalese in the bill itself, see page 903 of 906 here.

March 22, 2010

Summit VI Contest!

Win Private Reception, VIP Seats at Steven Curtis Chapman Performance!


Here’s your chance to champion the cause of orphans…and win an unforgettable evening with Steven Curtis Chapman.


It’s simple! Just spread the word about how Summit VI will inspire and equip for adoption, foster and overseas orphan ministry.
Each activity below gives you “Alliance Points.” The top three point earners—and also one random entry drawn from all who submit an entry—will receive prizes you can’t get anywhere else!


Prizes for Highest Point Totals Include:
1st Prize: 2 VIP Seats at Steven Curtis Chapman performance on Thursday, April 29 at Summit VI and invitation to private desert reception and personal photo with Steven.
2nd Prize: 2 VIP Seats at Steven Curtis Chapman performance on Thursday, April 29 at Summit VI and invitation to private desert reception with Steven.
3rd Prize: Steven Curtis Chapman’s latest CD, Beauty Will Rise.
Random Drawing for all individuals who submit a point total: 2 VIP Seats at Steven Curtis Chapman performance on Thursday, April 29 at Summit VI.

Link to the contest site here.

banner_250x250 Point Values:
1 Point: For each individual you invite to Summit via email and/or Facebook, and each Twitter mention. (For example, if you send an email to 30 people, invite 25 friends on Facebook, and tweet 5 #SummitVI mentions, that equals 60 points).


10 Points: For each blog entry highlighting Summit you post or successfully ask other bloggers to post. (Limit: one post per week per blog. Must include link to Summit VI registration page.)


50 Points: For each individual that registers for Summit because of you. (Individual must be registered and, if contacted, confirm that your efforts were part of their decision to attend.)


To submit your “Alliance Points” total, cut & paste the following information into an email and send to info@christianalliancefororphans.org on or before 10 PM EST on April 12, 2010.
Name: ___________________________________________
Email Address: ______________________________________
Phone: ____________________________________________
Email/Facebook Invitations to Summit 1 Points X __________ = __________ Points
Blog Posts on Summit 10 Points X __________ = __________ Points
Individuals Registered 50 Points X __________ = __________ Points
Total Points __________ Points

That’s Just Wrong

Random pictures from the weekend. Below is our dog Bonnie (whom Greg does NOT love) She was my “I want a baby” dog. Below is what Rachel does to her…Just wrong on so many levels.

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IMG_9134 Bekah and her friends this weekend. We were doing the wax hand thing. It was neat and gross at the same time. I love these girls. They make me laugh.

IMG_9126 What it seems like I spend my life doing…paperwork!

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March 21, 2010

One Step Closer!

FBI Clearances are back ! The estimated 13 weeks given by the FBI only took about 3 weeks! My prints read (a miracle in itself!) and we are good to go!

We are 2 home study visits away from the wait list!

Wild Turkey Day

Greg, the boys and some friends went to the Wild Turkey Day that my dad is involved in. This was Ab’s first time and he enjoyed it. Couldn’t understand why he couldn’t go out and ‘shoot’ last night on his own.

It was wonderful weather and a beautiful view

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018 Josh’s turn:

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060 074 Dad showing Ab how to use a wild turkey call. I think the turkeys may soon encircle our house from all our calling! :)

wild turkey shoot 046 wild turkey shoot 033

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Reading Catch Up :)

Deut. 21 through 32:52 and Psalm 90

Alot of rules and regulations to guide the Israelites in their living. It speaks to their lives personally and as a community. vs 30:19,20 speaks to me…

Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to His voice and hold fast to Him.

Chapter 31—lots in this chapter…I wonder how long it took them to learn the song? It’s a long song! How did the feel as they heard it and their rebellion predicted?

Chapter 32—The song..and God tells Moses to travel to Mount Nebo to view Canaan. He will not enter the land, but will be able to see the land God has promised and given to His people.

Psalm 90--

As I sit early in the morning (I started at 4am because I couldn’t sleep), these verses make me smile –

vs. 14 Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.

May I sing for Him today and be glad!

March 20, 2010

I was a stranger……

Matthew 25:35 “for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in.”

I am amazed at how God works. I read this verse the other week and discovered how stranger can actually mean foreigner. I shared with my husband about this. I contemplated what that would mean for me and for us as a family. My prayer for God lately has just been “Lord I am willing and open—just tell me what you want me to do.”

While getting my shots at the health department the other day I met a BEAUTIFUL woman whom I could just tell was looking for a friend and someone to talk to you. She had her little girl with her and was confused as to what shots she was getting and why. I talked to her for a minute and found out the she was from Jordan and only been in the US for 2 months. Her husband was on his way in April. The Lord nudged “give her your phone number”. Okay Lord—gave her my number, she shared where she lived. Now, to see what God does with it. I am excited about a new friendship, a new culture to get to know and to hear the rest of her story.

Thank you Lord that Your Word is alive and active!

Our yard sale stash is growing! Soon to come—our favorite find so far!

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March 18, 2010

IJM’s Global Prayer Gathering

Technorati Tags:

Greg and I are attending this year and I am very excited about it. Please watch the below video and hear the heart of IJM.

Greg and I serve as Justice Advocates with them and would love to help you learn more about them! Email us with any questions you may have!

2010 IJM Global Prayer Gathering from International Justice Mission on Vimeo.

March 17, 2010

Bekah Working Hard

Bekah has been working hard making her bags to fundraise for. Check them out here. (Note—she picked these pictures herself. I had some really nice NORMAL looking ones)

She’s working hard and momma is working hard getting her to pick up all scraps off the floor and turn the iron off!

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This is what she wrote for me to post:

My daughter is amazing. Wow. I aspire to be like her.

She is the only thing that keeps me going.

She never ceases to amaze me.

Oh yeah. She is selling bags too.

Um…yep, Bekah, that’s just what I was thinking! :)

March 16, 2010

Happy Pre-Saint Patrick’s Day!

Happy Pre-Saint Patrick’s Day!

selfdrive_st_patrick1Want to read more on St. Patrick? Click here

Our family made corn beef and cabbage tonight (thanks to a recipe given by a teacher at our co-op!) It was VERY good. (the kids were hesitant!) and the house was SMELLY!

IMG_3203Recipe courtesy of the Food Network: Note: This is not a health food! But it sure does taste good!

  • 4 slices of bacon
  • 4 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 green head of cabbage
  • salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1 can corn beef (2 if using to feed 6 people)

Cook bacon in large pot over med heat until almost crisp. Remove and set aside. Melt the butter in the pot with bacon grease. Add cabbage, stirring well to coast the cabbage in fat. Add about 1/3 cup of water and salt and pepper to taste. Cover pot with a lid and cook over med heat for about 10-15 minutes. Then add crumbled bacon and chunks of corned beef. Cover and cook until desired tenderness of cabbage.

1/3 cup of water does not seem like a lot, but cabbage has a lot of water in it and will cook down. Add more if needed but not in the beginning!

Reading catch up: Deut 6 through 16:17 (download the chronological Bible reading schedule to the right!)

What speaks to me? A lot! But I will choose a couple :)

Deut. 10:12 What does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all HIs ways, to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with your heart and with all your soul, and to observe the LORD’S commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?

Deut. 10:20 Fear the LORD your God and serve Him. Hold fast to Him and take your oaths His name. He is your praise; He is your God!

I am thankful that we have a God who doesn’t just want our obedience—but He wants our LOVE! That makes a huge difference in a relationship, doesn’t it?

I will hold fast to my God today—during times of unknown, especially as we walk a path today in our family with a quite a bit of unknowns. I will hold on to His promises and to His love for me. I will hold fast in faith and trust. He IS my praise!

What’s the difference?

What’s the difference between home study for adoption #1 and adoption #2?

Well, imagine me cleaning like a mad woman for #1. Every bit of the house---even scrubbing the dog bowls. I was nervous and anxious that we wouldn’t pass ‘inspection’. I drove the whole house nuts.

Now, adoption #2—I vacuumed the living room and kicked the ‘who knows from what’ animal bone on the front mat out of her way as she came in. :)

I am thankful it is the same person from Ab’s adoption and it is very comfortable.

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What a difference! A good one! We had our first of 3 on Saturday. We were hoping to just have one (that’s all Va law requires for an update) but Colorado requires 3 so we have 2 more to do. But, at least it’s not affecting our progress since we are still waiting on those FBI clearances.

I went to get fingerprinted again yesterday so if the first set don’t pass, my next set will be on the way. We did 4 different sets. While the very nice deputy was doing them, I asked if I could could commit crimes and no one would know since they can’t read my prints. No response—maybe not the best thing to joke about at the sheriff’s department?

Funny thing is Ab was giving instructions on how to do them since he has seen me do them so many times now!

I will catch up on Bible reading later today and post. Excited to see what God has in store for today!

March 14, 2010

March 13, 2010

There is no other like Him!

Saturday’s Reading: Deuteronomy 3:21 through 5:33

What spoke to me today:

3:24 O Lord God , You have begun to show Your servant your greatness and Your strong hand; for what god is there in heaven and earth who can do such works and mighty acts as Yours?

4:9 Only give heed to yourself and keep your soul diligently, so that you do not forget the things which your eyes have seen and they do not depart from your heart all the days of your life; but make them known to your sons and grandsons.

4:35 To you it was shown that you might know that the LORD, He is God; there is no other like Him.

There was SO much that I could have written about today….Just go read it! LOTS of things to speak to your heart. It shows how it so important to share with our kids (and others!) what God has done. God (through Moses) listed in these verses alot of the things that He had done to remind the Israelites who He was. It also teaches how important God’s Word is to our lives. I am learning that as I have committed to this chronological reading…I am amazed at how many days it applies right straight to my circumstance!

These verses speak to my heart as I watch God move through friends to help support us adopt again. Sometimes from the least expected places. I was so stressed about the added trip and cost—but God is showing me that He will provide. As a friends told me Friday, we ask God to help us and then we are surprised when He actually does!

I hope these verses encourage you in your walk today—wherever it may be! He is God—there is no other like Him!

Trust

What I saw in my yard today that made me VERY happy!

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Today’s Reading: Deuteronomy 1:1 through 3:20 (yesterday’s by the time I post it!)

Well, it was kinda hard to stop at 3:20 (I looked ahead but will wait and post tomorrow!)

I love how these chapters focus on what God was saying and doing in the midst of all the Israelites were facing. God was active in their lives—even in the midst of hard times.

vs. 1:29 Do not be shocked, nor fear them. The LORD your God who goes before will Himself fight on your behalf, just as He did for you in Egypt before your eyes, and in the wilderness where you saw how the LORD your God carried you, just as a man carries his son, in all the way which you have walked until you came to this place.”

But for all this, you did not trust the LORD your God, who goes before you on your way, to seek out a place for you to encamp

The Lord spoke to me today and told me that I need to be an example for my children in this adoption…especially during all these unknowns and changes and bumps in the road.

They need to see me trusting God and relying on Him. My actions today need to line up with what I have taught them about God. I need to be real—but also full of faith and trust in Him. May I NOT be one who sees God work and move and NOT trust Him.

March 12, 2010

Answer to Questions?

Well, maybe I am just a little too open and you guys know everything about me already? LOL.

My hubby picked a number to match each commenter and the book goes to Jenny!

Who also won the bracelet! God trying to tell you something Jenny? LOL. Send me your address again at gcknight@verizon.net and I’ll send it to you!

Now to answer Frank’s question of:

If much of the Asian sex slave market is serving Americans and Europeans, what is being done state-side to prosecute these disgusting people? In other words, is IJM also working with American and European authorities to catch these guys who go over for this?

The Answer:

While the Asian sex market does serve Americans and Europeans, it actually serves much of the Asian population as well. The low down is that IJM works with the American government as well to make sure that these perpetrators are prosecuted.

Here are articles on such cases. Click on the link on each heading and it will take you to the actual article.

Coverage featuring IJM: Twisted Traveler Cases Coverage

Washington Post: 3 AMERICANS FACE CHILD-SEX CHARGES

“Authorities in both countries relied on information provided by Action Pour Les Enfants, a nonprofit group, and the International Justice Mission, human rights agency. Their involvement, Rodley said, marked a breakthrough for Cambodia, which historically has had an uneasy relationship with such organizations because of their criticism of the government.”

CNN: SEX-TOURISM OPERATION NETS THREE, JUSTICE DEPARTMENT SAYS

“Operation Twisted Traveler is crackdown on U.S. sex tourism in Cambodia. Three men being returned to United States, charged under Protect Act. Suspects convicted of previous sexual offenses in U.S., agency says. They face sentences of 30 years for each alleged victim.

Fox News: U.S. PEDOPHILES NABBED IN CAMBODIA SEX-TOURIST STING

“’Cambodia in particular has been known for some time as a pedophile haven because there’s been a broken justice, no rule of law, and actually no laws on the books that would have been enforceable against these types of activities until recently,’ said Jeff Blom, an investigator with International Justice Mission.

“ICE hopes the arrests, done in conjunction with federal prosecutors in Los Angeles, Cambodian police and two anti-child trafficking organizations, International Justice Mission and the human rights organization Action Pour Les Enfants, will send a message that police are watching.”

FOX Video coverage featuring IJM footage

Associated Press: 3 MEN RETURNED TO U.S. TO FACE SEX TOURISM CHARGES

“Authorities wanted to bring the men back to the U.S. because they could face sentences of up to 30 years for each alleged victim, if convicted, said U.S. Attorney Thomas O'Brien. ‘We believe that the sentences that they're going to be facing, should they be convicted in U.S. custody, are going to be severely stronger sentences,’ he said. Jeffrey Blom, vice president of investigations for the rights group International Justice Mission, said he would rather see accused sex offenders face charges in this country, where the justice system is tougher.”

Xinhua: THREE AMERICANS CHARGED IN U.S. FOR HAVING SEX WITH CHILDREN IN CAMBODIA

“The Twisted Traveler cases are the result of information provided to the ICE by investigators for Action Pour Les Enfants (APLE), a non-governmental organization (NGO) established to combat child sexual exploitation, and International Justice Mission (IJM),a human rights agency that secures justice for victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression.”

The New American: AMERICAN SEX TOURISTS CAUGHT IN CAMBODIA

“Fox News noted that ICE conducted the arrests ‘in conjunction with federal prosecutors in Los Angeles, Cambodian Police and two anti-child trafficking organizations, International Justice Mission and the human rights organization Action Por Les Enfants.’ Since the Child Protect Act was passed in 2003, ‘ICE has arrested 70 international sex offenders.’ ICE wants these latest arrests to serve as a warning to other pedophiles.”

March 11, 2010

Alicha Siga Wat

This is a recipe for a mild beef stew. This is great for kids or people who don’t like the spicy flavor of Berbere! I started with recipe from EthiopiaSpices.com and made it my own. :)

This will serve 10.

3 pounds of beef cubed

3 large onions chopped

5 tsps minced garlic

vegetable oil to simmer onion & garlic

2 tsps minced or powdered ginger ( I prefer minced!)

1-2 tsps of turmeric

2 tsps of Alicha Kimem (I purchase mine from EthiopianSpices)

2 tsp salt

Enough water (depending on how much meat you use) to make it a thick stew.

In a large pot, simmer onion and garlic with oil till lightly browned. Add turmeric and continue to simmer for about 15 minutes at low heat. Stir occasionally. Add beef and water and let simmer until beef is done. When done , add Alicha Kimem and salt. Serve hot with injera!

Next time I make it, I’ll add a picture!

March 9, 2010

Questions?

Questions?

I receive a lot of questions when I talk about adoption, International Justice Mission, Grassroots Heroes and other areas of our life. So here’s your chance.

Feel free to leave any question in the comments section of this post (you can even push the anonymous button so no one knows what question you asked!) I will answer them in the next couple of days. You can also email me at gcknight@verizon.net

I will pick a random winner to send the book, Terrify No More by Gary Haugen.

Psalm 10:17-18 You hear, O LORD, the desire of the afflicted;
you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, defending the fatherless and the oppressed, in order that man, who is of the earth, may terrify no more.

This is the book that gripped my heart to work with International Justice Mission. It’s a hard read but an inspiring. After reading it, I felt I HAD to do something. I didn’t care if it was just scrubbing toilets. This ministry is the real deal. You can literally feel God’s presence when you walk into their office. They are being God’s hands and feet in some of our world’s darkest places.

Terrify No More This gripping book documents the events leading up to, and surrounding, IJM's groundbreaking work in the notorious Cambodian village of Svay Pak. In this operation alone, IJM’s work resulted in the rescue of 37 underage victims of sex-trafficking, many of them under the age of 10.

Today’s Reading : Numbers 30:1 through 31:54

War…it’s been here along time. Some parts of it I understand and some parts I don’t. I can explain a lot intellectually but it still makes my heart hurt. The whole kill everyone really makes me want to show “no! why?” It’s hard stuff…but I know beyond a doubt that God is God and He is good. Even when I don’t get it.

Little Ones and Fingerprints

What I can’t wait to do on a full time basis: Hold a little one! This precious little one is a daughter of good friends…and it felt really good to hold a baby!

027 Adoption Update: Still waiting on FBI clearances. The site says that it take 13 weeks. I am praying that it doesn’t. This is the only thing we need to for our home study to be finished and our dossier be sent off. I emailed them last week and was told to check frequently to tell if they were readable or not. I emailed yesterday and they wouldn’t give me any information…weird. It all depends on who you get on the other end. As you read this—say a little prayer that I would receive them in less than 13 weeks—and that my prints are readable!

Yesterday’s Reading: Numbers 27:1 through 29:40

In this passage, Moses is told of his upcoming death. It is poignant that he asks God to appoint a man over the congregation that will lead them. He doesn’t whine or plead with God. He accepts His will and makes provisions for the people he has led. The people he had been frustrated with and been disappointed in at times…but people he loved.

Joshua is now commissioned as the new leader and is given authority over the Israelites.

March 8, 2010

SUMMIT VI -- Adoption. Foster. Global Orphans.

I have been asked by Christian Alliance for Orphans to join their Bloggers for Orphans team and am very excited to do so! Look for continued updates on how you can be part of ministry to orphans!

SUMMITbanner-animated

With Haiti’s earthquake drawing global focus to the plight of orphans, Christians from across America and beyond will gather in Minneapolis, MN, for the Christian Alliance for Orphans’ Summit VI on April 29-30, 2010.

The objective: to inspire and equip Christians to “care for orphans in their distress” through adoption, foster care and global orphan care ministry rooted in the local church.

What you can look forward to:

· Featured speakers will include national champions of orphan care and adoption, including John Piper, Mary Beth Chapman, Tom Davis, Doug Sauder, Stephanie Fast, Jedd Medefind, and Al Mohler. Compelling voices from the global church will join as well, from Africa to Central America.

· Music will be led by Steven Curtis Chapman, Peder Eide, Desperation Band and other artists.

· More than 50 workshops delivering nuts-and-bolts for adoption, foster care and global orphan programs – designed for both laypersons and leadership

  • Orphan care resources for church ministries, as well as personal orphan care and adoption journeys
  • Breakouts will also include 5 “Hague Hour” Credits for Adoptive Families.
  • Q&A sessions and networking opportunities with respected adoption, global orphan and foster care organizations and veteran ministry leaders.
  • For Christians stirred by the plight of orphans, Summit offers the biggest and best opportunity of the year to learn how to act upon conviction. To learn more and register now, visit the Summit website here.

A taste of breakout topics:

· Haiti and the Local Church: What’s Next?

· Bridging the Great Divide: Building Positive Relationships Between Church Ministries and Government

· Understanding Childhood Development of Overseas Orphans

· A Lifelong Love: Keeping the Gospel at the Center of Orphan Ministry

· Church-Based Orphan Ministry 101

· Fundraising for Orphan Ministry

· Starting in the Right Direction: Helping Pre-Adoptive Couples Make Sound Decisions

· Now What? Helping Children Age Out of Foster Care

· The Financial Challenge of Adoption and How the Local Church Can Respond

· Engaging Church Leadership

· A Child’s Journey Through the Foster Care System

· How Does It Work? Models of Global Orphan Ministry Based in US Churches

· Practical Ideas of Orphan-Focused Events

· Understanding HIV/AIDS and the Orphan

· And many more…

And there’s more! Five sessions will provide pre-adoptive families with needed Hague credits.

· Adoption and Orphans: Becoming a Multicultural/Multiracial Family

· Adoption and Orphans: Attachment and Trauma (Part I and II)

· Adoption and Orphans: Grief and Loss

· Adoption and Orphans: Acclimating to a New Family Member

“American Christians are stirring to the needs of orphans both at home and abroad as never before. What’s thrilling is that even small ministries in local churches can make such significant impact. There are millions of parentless children worldwide, but a single statistic matters more than any other: it only takes one caring adult to make a lifelong difference in the life of an orphan.”

- Jedd Medefind, President, Christian Alliance for Orphans

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March 7, 2010

Expecting from Ethiopia

Ever have the pastor’s sermon cut right to your heart?

The sermon I heard and received today was. Philippians 2:14:18 and it was titled “The Gospel Changes What Comes Out of Our Mouth”

After a week of being frustrated so many different areas of our adoption and other things of our lives…and feeling the ‘right’ to vent to anyone who happened to be in my presence----well, let’s just say my toes are pretty sore from being stepped on this morning! But that’s a good thing!

Do I feel frustrated ? Absolutely! But what comes out of my mouth should still be honoring and glorifying to Him. Do I REALLY believe that He is in control? Do I REALLY believe that He has my best interests at heart? If so, then my actions/words need to match that. As Beth Moore says “my theology needs to meet my reality”

I wanted to share with you a purchase that I just made that I LOVE!

IMG_3102 This is a necklace that I bought to wear while ‘paper pregnant’ :)

It is beautiful. Check this one and more at Nicole’s Sweet Tea shop. The address is http://www.sweetteashoppe.etsy.com/

Today’s Reading: Numbers 25:1 through 26:65

After reading this today I can’t help to focus on the hard battle of being in the world and not compromising. This was one of the major problems Israel faced. They began to worship other gods (Baal at this point whose worship involved prostitution) and began to indulge in the practices that the Lord detested. God had set them apart to be His people and to be a holy nation. This was not His way for them. He does the same for us…sets us apart and guides us in our living. We are to be different. Perfect—absolutely not, but our aim should be to live pleasing to the Lord. This is where true joy and contentment comes from. Not in our power…but in His.

Coffee and Music

I love coffee and I love music. Here is a picture that captures both:

IMG_3100 I received this cup for pre-ordering her cd (with some wonderful Rwandan coffee). Sara has a heart for missions. She is an advocate for IJM and does ministry in Rwanda. Check out her blog here.

This is my favorite song so far off her new cd. Ever ended up in a fight/argument with your husband and not sure how you even got there? What you are even mad about?

Check out this video:


Yesterday’s Reading: Numbers 22:1 through 24:25

Okay, first question here…why was Balaam not shocked when his talked asked him why he was beating her? He just answers her back! And I can’t help to hear the donkey’s voice from Shrek when I read that!

As I read that, I am also asking the Lord to put an angel in my path when I am about go go down a reckless path myself. Block my way!

Balak was relentless on cursing the Israelites wasn’t he? He kept taking Balaam to a new place to see if it would work there.

But God’s will prevailed. That’s something that I have to keep reminding myself in this adoption (and life for that matter!) when we hit roadblocks, extra steps, and other bumps in the road. That God has a child for us and that it is in His timing. Hard to swallow some days as a person who likes to be in control!

March 6, 2010

Teen Justice Day

I was blessed today to be with a group of teens that wanted to know more about justice (okay, I admit, I think some came to just be nice—but 3 told me afterwards that they were afraid it was going to be boring but that it was very inspiring :) want to know what a teen thinks? just ask—they will tell! lol)

We spent the day learning about the oppressed and God’s heart for justice and what we can do about it here and now. Eye-opening stuff.

We were supposed to go and volunteer at the local shelter for victims of abuse but the staff had came down with major illness and asked us to postpone. So we’ll do that another time. The group decided that we would like to really clean the living quarters and make bags to give out and possibly decorate to make it warm and cozy if needed. 3 of the gals just left to hit up Target for donations. My kind of girls!

IMG_3073 IMG_3070 IMG_3072

One of our activities was to draw a picture of what injustice looks like. (This was done after pizza when everyone was in the ‘just ate’ slump)

Here are their pictures:

IMG_3081 IMG_3074 IMG_3075 IMG_3076 IMG_3077 IMG_3078 Micah 6:8 He has showed you, O Man, What is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

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