April 29, 2010

Our Seek Justice t-shirt in Haiti

I am blessed to read My Crazy Adoption Blog.

I love the gal’s heart for adoption and people all over the world! She recently went on a mission trip to take formula to Haiti. She took a bunch of ‘fundraiser’ shirts to wear and hand out.

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Here is our shirt in Haiti and worn by their ‘bodyguard’ in Haiti. Pretty cool!

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If you’d like one yourself, click on the Isaiah 1:17 link above. All proceeds go to benefit orphans in Africa.

And check out the My Crazy Adoption Blog!

Also…Here are our latest t-shirt made:

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April 27, 2010

I love it when God blesses me in the little things!

Okay..I was dying to figure out what this song was. Even commented on a blogger friend’s page trying to figure out what it was. She couldn’t remember either!  We could both only remember one phrase!

Show me how to love like You have loved me. 

Searched all over yesterday and just said a simple prayer of “Lord—have this song come across my path”   Now this may seem such a small thing. But I am a music lover and it feeds my soul.  Seriously…so I was really wanting to worship with this song on my own.  I

It just came on the radio!   I seriously almost fell out of my chair!

Here it is…I LOVED this song!

April 26, 2010

Rescue and Restoration

The music video by IJM Artist Partner Sara Groves that beautifully depicts the hope in this work of rescue and restoration through photography and video footage.

As you watch the video pray for the victims-that they would have healing and restoration, for the IJM staff-that they would have courage and perseverance, and for the oppressors-that they would come under conviction that what they are doing is wrong.

 

Also..check out the new Africa shirt posted in the link above or at our Etsy shop.

April 23, 2010

Great Song

We worshipped with this song at IJM’s Global Prayer Gathering. I love it!

Also—if you’d like to see some of the talks from the gathering—go to http://www.ijm.org/GPGOnline  and click on the On Demand Videos.  They are well worth watching and you can get a feel for the weekend and the ministry.

 

April 22, 2010

The home study has landed!

Finally :) The home study is in our adoption agency’s hands. They will now look it over and make sure everything is worded ok. If it needs changes, the home study agency will make those and then it will printed, notarized, and sent to them and then to me! Not sure how long all that will take…hopefully quickly. I know that my hs agency is ready to get me out of their hair! They will probably breathe a BIG sigh of relief!!

I decided last night that when I am finally ‘waitlisted’ that we are celebrating by going to the Blue Nile restaurant! I am going to enjoy some good Ethiopian food!

One exciting bit of news is that I am blessed to be able to volunteer with IAN to coordinate some donations! I do this for AGCI and it is such a blessing to see pre-adoptive families and post adoptive families all helping each other to benefit the children and workers of Ethiopia! We are working up the specifics with IAN but plan to see a post about needed donations soon!

I LOVE doing this. It really keeps things in perspective in our family.

Another good news is that our yard sale pile keeps growing bigger and bigger! It has left our garage and now is overtaking our bedroom! This is a good thing! I love getting more stuff! I have a load in the pilot to take out as I type this. I love my friends!!

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April 21, 2010

Update

Grrrrrr…How is that for an update?  It has been one thing after another with this home study. As soon as I think we are done, something else pops up.  We received the draft on Sunday but it had a bunch of mistakes on it.  So we had to send it back with corrections (like it had that I had no employment history—now I know I didn’t have any jobs to brag about but I did have some!). 

I checked email Monday and Tuesday a million times to see if it showed up in our agency’s email.  Nope.  Darn it. 

I emailed our home study agency nicely asking “WHERE IS MY HOMESTUDY???”

I received an email today that she is trying to send the draft to our caseworker but the email server is acting up and she keeps getting a delay response!

So….I am back checking the computer a  million times a day! :)

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But…I did get some stuff done at least….including more shirts finished!  Newest ones available.  These are small shirts but aren’t teeny tiny small.  Normal small ! :)

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April 19, 2010

Bluegrass, Fun, & Funnel Cakes!

Saturday night was the benefit concert for my dad and the family of Tom Larner.  Dad is fighting cancer and Tom’s battle recently ended. It was a good night. Both families received a sizable cash donation, but more important were the hugs and love that were given.  Forgive me for not remembering all the names of the bands.

  Below are some pics--

Some goofing off during the music

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The group Flat Broke

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End of concert jam session with all the bands

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Hanging out and watching the bands

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This group was made up of a younger generation and were quite good. I expect to see a bit more of them.

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The gifts being given (and just so you know my dad HATES being the center of attention)

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The Lions Club came and fixed food for the evening. The kids and I got our favorite…funnel cakes!   Below is a recipe to make them at home (be forewarned…these are not anywhere near being called healthy & are addicting!)

 

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Ingredients
  • 2 quarts oil for frying
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 1/4 cups milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract  (can leave out if desired or use vanilla)
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Directions
  1. In a heavy frying pan, heat the oil to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  2. Whisk together the eggs, milk and lemon extract. Fold in the flour mixture, stirring until well blended. In a separate bowl, sift together the confectioner's sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.
  3. Blocking the spout with your finger, fill the funnel with 3/4 cup of the batter. Place your hand over the hot oil and carefully remove your finger. Scribble and criss-cross the batter into the oil, then fry until golden on both sides. Using a slotted spatula, lift the funnel cake out of the oil and drain on paper towels. Repeat this procedure with the remaining batter, and sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar mixture while still warm

April 15, 2010

Our First Baby Card

This is a post that I am at a loss at words of even how to write. Mainly because we are so blessed and so humbled by a gift that it is just hard to write it down. But I must—to share how God moves and works in hearts—even in the midst of tragedy and unimaginable pain.
So, with the family’s permission, I want to share about a gift we received this week. First, I’d like to tell you about them.. We met the Hodge family at our homeschooling co-op several years ago. They have a heart for Haiti and a heart for missions. They are a family that causes you to smile when you think of them.
Six weeks ago, they received a knock at the door that none of us would ever want to receive. Their 17 year old son, Seth, had wrecked his car and was gone. I cannot even imagine receiving that news. The heartache and pain and questions that would go along with it.
The Hodge family has been a HUGE testimony to their church, their friends, and the entire community. Their son is with the Lord—dancing in Heaven, sitting at Jesus feet—and they recognize, believe and celebrate that news. Do they mourn, have pain, and cry? They do—they miss their son, their brother, and their friend. But they also know that they will see Him again one day---and that is good news! News that brings hope into the grief. It has been amazing to watch them encourage others during their time of tragedy. It has blown my mind on several occasions and I know that it is only God through them.
I received from them my first baby card this week:
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We wanted to give you the money that we would have spent on Seth’s birthday. We were blessed by God for 18 wonderful years with a beautiful child. I can’t think of a better way to use his birthday money. You are opening your arms to receive another child that God will provide for you, what a beautiful picture of love and adoption of us as His children.
Love,
The Hodge Family
As you can imagine, we are humbled and honored. I ask that as you read this that you take a moment and pray for the Hodge family. Please lift them up to our God of all comfort and He who gives hope. Pray for their continued healing and blessing as they lift up God’s name during this time.
Seth Hodge
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April 14, 2010

Family Pics

Just some fun photos from the past couple days
  This is the Jib Monster Ab has always talked about since he came home.  Apparently it’s the boogie man of Ethiopia. He is big, scary, and has hair all over him.  He drew a pic of him last night.
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This is our spoiled dog, Clyde, who is not allowed on the couch.  But as you can see, he’s not really….he’s on the blanket!
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This is really disgusting..It’s a chicken egg.  Josh came up from the hen house and said “I’ve seen alot of things, but nothing like this!” Poor chicken!
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Below are pics of Rachel making her dog biscuits to sell for the adoption.  
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Finished Product!
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April 13, 2010

Frustration

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I am frustrated.  I am trying really hard not to be…but well, I am.  We are STILL waiting for the home study to be written up.  It was suppose to take 1 week and today marked 3. 

I know that things happen and I know there may be other things going on and I know God’s perfect timing and I know that He has a child for us and on and on and on.

I just want to be done with paperwork and be on the wait list and this is the only thing holding us up. Dossier is waiting in the IAN office for it.

I WANT MY HOME STUDY!!!

Thanks…I just needed to let that out! 

April 12, 2010

New T-Shirt Made!

This one is a large black t-shirt with a bright pink africa! $15 plus $2.50 shipping. Click on the donate button to buy. Want another size? Just email me at gcknight@verizon.net

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Saturday & Sunday at IJM’s Global Prayer Gathering

We started off Saturday with worship led by Sara Groves and sharing by 3 field directors (Chennai, Kenya, and Bangalore.) It is inspiring to hear their stories of courage and God’s answered prayer. It also spurs you on to continue the prayers for the people and staff of each country.

We then began to go to the country specific prayer rooms. You spent 40 minutes in each room listening to the country director share and then in prayer. Each prayer room also had a gift from the country to remind you to pray for the people and staff.

We first went to Zambia and heard about illegal property grabbing of widows and orphans and sexual abuse of children. We prayed specifically for 2 cases. For this room we prayed in groups of about 7. I was able to meet the director and she asked for us to visit while there in November—she said it really encourages the staff.

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We then missed a meeting because I thought Rwanda was next but I got my scheduled mixed up and all the rooms were full…a good thing…full rooms of prayer…We hit lunch really quick and came back for our regional church mobilization gathering.

Next up was Rwanda. I have read alot of Rwanda and was very interested to hear from someone first hand. Again it’s illegal property seizure and sexual violence to children. We prayed for reconciliation and forgiveness for the people of Rwanda and for counselors for the aftercare programs. This time we prayed in groups of about 10-15.IMG_3725

Greg and I split up for the next group. He went to government relations and I went to Guatemala. In Guatemala, the cases are sexual violence. Less than 1 % are ever prosecuted. In the last 3 years the IJM staff is responsible for over 1/2 of the arrests (and they only work in Guatemala City). For prayer time, 3 tables were set up. I first went to the table of the children & women they represent. You held a picture, read the specific request and prayed. In a bit the director read a scripture and I switched to the next table which was IJM staff pics with requests…prayer, scripture and then to the Guatemala government table and prayed for wisdom for each of them.

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We then went to Cambodia where sex trafficking is fought. We prayed for the girls, investigators, and Cambodian police and wrote letters of encouragement to the staff.

The below gift has special meaning. In Cambodia there is a saying that men are like gold…if they get dirty they can be cleaned and wiped off but they are still gold. But women are like a white cloth..if they get dirty, they are stained forever.

The scripture on the white fabric is 1 Peter 1:18-19 The TRUTH about being cleansed...those women can be cleansed and redeemed!

For you know that is was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.

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We then went to Honduras and heard from one of IJM’s casework alliance partner ministries..In this room we heard about cases and requests (translated from spanish) and then 3 or 4 people would volunteer to pray.

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We ran and got dinner and then came back for our evening worship and prayer. We heard from the IJM VP of Investigations and 2 field investigators in person and by many others by video .They shared their heart and how hard it is in the field for them and how to pray for them. They put themselves in danger—physically, emotionally, and spiritually. They see the victims, the brutality, and remember the faces of the ones that they couldn’t save at that time. Their heartache was tangible. I am so thankful for courageous men and women who step to do the hard work of helping to free men, women, and children that most of society has deemed worthless.

I am so thankful for their (and their family’s) sacrifice. We also heard stories from them of God’s miraculous intervention. At some points God intervened in such ways that the entire audience broke out in laughter because it was so way out there. Just like God –to do things that we never would have thought of!

During this time, the investigator would share how we could pray and the audience was to gather in groups of 2 or 3 and just pray right then and there. Greg and I prayed with a precious Chinese brother from up north. God knit our hearts together without even knowing anything other than each other’s name! After praying with someone for an evening, it’s bound to happen! We stayed afterwards and shared our stories and prayed more. We left exchanging information to keep in touch. God is good.

Sunday morning concluded with more worship and praise to God for what He has done over the last year in Kolkata. (this was the focus prayer of last GPG) God has been doing amazing work there! Prayer DOES make a difference! As one of the directors said…”It is the means by what God’s power is brought into the situation”

Also...While waiting for one of the prayer rooms to start...one of the field directors said to another that he couldn't believe all these people here to pray and how encouraging it was to them. I pray that the encouragment stays with them for quite a while.

They asked at the end of the weekend that this time together to not be the pinnacle of our prayer for them but the beginning. Amen.

I am going to share soon some of the worship songs we sang this weekend. Songs that focused on rescue and redemption by our Lord.

Want to see more on IJM? go to http://www.ijm.org/ or contact me at gcknight@verizon.net.

April 11, 2010

Friday Evening at IJM’s Global Prayer Gathering

We are here in DC at the Global Prayer Gathering. We got to the hotel and registered (along with over 900 other people.) We then went to the reception before dinner. You know, those things where everyone stands around and mingles? Well, I must confess, and this may surprise some of you…but I am lousy at mingling. Yes, me who talks non stop, freezes at mingling. But—I was going to give it my best shot. So I kept looking for people who looked like they felt just as awkward as I did, and would walk up..but then they’d move or someone else would talk or they’d turn away..etc. Greg starting to using fishing vocabulary “Oh, I thought you had that one…you were so close….reeling that one in” :) I was determined though. We finally met a very nice gentleman from Chicago whose heart matched ours for IJM. Yea for mingling!


We then went into the banquet room and found our seats --because I was busy talking to our newly made Chicago friend, we ended up in the side room. A little disappointed because I like to be up front and close (I drive my kids nuts at church sitting in the 2nd or 3rd row.) Gary Haugen shared, Sharon Cohn Wu shared her beautiful insightful thoughts on Psalm 23 and Lamont Hiebert led in worship.

We saw pictures of girls that were tortured and abused…seeing the face of a beautiful girl that you have read about and prayed about just brings tears and rips your heart. But to know that their perpetrator has been brought to justice and that they are on the road to restoration and healing---you see the redemptive work of Jesus and the power of prayer. There were just so many things that I can’t even begin to share them all.

I was blessed, I was challenged, I was heartbroken, I was in awe of God and His people.


It was just amazing to be surrounded by people whose heart and passion matches yours! And to top it all off—remember my table? The person to my left was a previous IJM intern who served in Guatemala City (where Bekah and I are going) and to our right sat a lady who helps to lead an adoption ministry (a dream of mine) at her very large church. She was inspiring and left us with all her info to talk to her more about it. Two of things that are on our heart—God placed people who shared the same right beside us. Yea God! :)


We started off the evening with this quote reminding us of the power we invoke through prayer.

Does anyone have the foggiest idea what sort of power we so blithely invoke? Or, as I suspect, does no one believe a word of it?…….. we should all be wearing crash helmets. Ushers should issue life preservers and signal flares; they should lash us to our pews. -Annie Dillard in Teaching a Stone to Talk

We then reflected on Psalm 23 and God preparing a table before us in presence of our enemies.


We heard the story of some young girls who had to testify against their perpetrators of sexual crimes. They were fearful. Their aftercare workers told them the story of David and Goliath and how it only took one small stone to defeat Goliath and that their one small stone was the truth. They gave the girls a stone with the word TRUTH on it. They carried these stones with them into the trial. At our tables were bowls of stone that we were to reflect and write what God was to us right now in our lives.

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I chose Provider because God is providing in so many areas of my life. He has provided friends who are there with us thick and thin, He has provided people who share the same dreams and passions we do, He has provided medical intervention for my dad’s cancer, He has provided funds for our adoption, and on and on and on. He is Provider!

Worship—one of my favorite things to do….but what blessed me the most was watching a dad who left with his baby to the foyer. Alone, this dad danced before the Lord with abandon with his little girl –a beautiful sight that brought me to tears. Worship in abandon before His God.

One thing that was neat was that one of the songs Lamont picked out was Come thou fount which has the phrase ….here I raise my ebenezer… He shared he had no idea of the stones. It was wonderful to see people raising their stones high in the air.


Okay..that’s a teensy weensy bit of Friday. It’s so hard to share all of the emotions and blessings from it. I will say if you have a heart for the enslaved, love to pray and worship—make every effort to go next year!


I will share about Saturday tomorrow!

April 8, 2010

How To Give

You gals crack me up!  I am so glad that I am not the only one!  I should probably add that Greg also cooked dinner and I only took pictures in 3 rooms!  You should see the rest!  I too have more laundry—it’s in the washroom! I also have dog hair everywhere and my husband likes to say that I need to sweep when a new dog is growing in the corner! :)
Also…keep up with me on facebook or here this weekend. I plan on posting about IJM’s Global Prayer Gathering each morning and evening!
 

Chronological Bible Reading

Apr 07 RUTH 1:1-4:12
Apr 08 RUTH 4:13-22
1 CHRONICLES 2:9-55
1 CHRONICLES 4:1-23
1 SAMUEL 1:1-8
I love Boaz! Does he just seem like the nicest guy or what?  I particularly like vs 2:15 where he tells his workers to not embarrass Ruth but to leave stalks for her to glean.
I think that something that we need to take mind of.  When we help others who need our help, we need to make sure that we leave people with their dignity.  We don’t need to make sure everyone knows that we gave or how much we gave.  We don’t need to make a big deal about it.  Because you know, honestly, we are only able to give because God has blessed us.  It’s all about Him anyways.  From my experience, giving in secret is the most rewarding thing to do!  And it keeps you doing it for the right reason—no thank you, no accolades—only because God put it on your heart and you obeyed.  Try it sometime!
From 1 Chron 4---  Girls, how would you like the name Hazzelelponi?
1 Samuel—I am excited to do this book because I love it!  We gave Abenezer the middle name Samuel! :)

Ok, I admit it…..I have blog life envy

It’s true…I look at other’s blogs and I think …How do they do all that?  How are they so darn crafty?  How can they buy all that stuff? Their yard is so well kept.  Their ministry is so neat.  Their lives are so much more together than mine!  They have got it going on!! and then it turns to I am ……. (fill in the blank with whatever insecure thought you can think of)
My husband then reminded me pictures don’t always tell the whole story.  So true.  So…in the interest of fairness…and to help anyone who may think differently about me or that I got it “going on”  …….Here is my REAL life.

Dishes in the sink BEFORE dinner.  And to top if off…Greg washed them.  He took a picture for me to post (ornery thing) but I can’t find the pic.
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This is the top of piano…Nice….I don’t like to dust..can you tell?
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This is what drives my hubby nuts..my makeshift office on the dining room table. 
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This is the kitchen counter clutter…on a good day.
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Clean laundry needing to be folded…or they were clean at one time. The dog keeps stealing socks out of it.
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Dirty laundry on the floor of my bathroom needing to be washed.
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Socks needing to be matched on the couch.
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My unmade bed
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I’ll be back in a bit with the Bible reading…yes, I am going to keep on ignoring all the above :)
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