November 30, 2010

Show the love of Christ to a child in need this Christmas!

What are you doing this year for Christmas?

Decorating the house?  Making Christmas cookies?  Celebrating with family and loved ones?  Exchanging gifts?

What if this year you gave gifts that not only celebrated your loved ones but brought the love of Christ to a child in need?  An orphan in Africa, India, Ukraine, or Honduras?

This year Lifesong for Orphans has gifts that will do just that.  Give the new Lifesong cookbook...
  
 
or give a child in Africa food, a child in Honduras job skills training, a child in India a home... in honor of those you love... and really, what could be better at Christmas than to know your gift was given to a child who needed it more.

Check it out here.

May God bless your holiday season!  


10-11 Gifts of Purpose from Lifesong for Orphans on Vimeo.

November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving and Final Net Count & a winner !

The big kids decide to decorate outside….I am watching to see if a fight will ensue. IMG_2284
I got out to help…thankfully there are no pictures of me standing and precariously reaching out to throw the lights over the tree….
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They decide to to do the bushes instead… (I was still voting for throwing them over the tree from the ladder. I think they were worried for my safety.)
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Went inside and made the best Triple Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake.  Yea..it was good. 
Tell me..does your kitchen look like this when you are done?
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I am ashamed to say I have no pictures of Thanksgiving Day.  Horrible, I know. I was busy.
Friday, we went to pick out our tree. This year the two big kids got the final say.  And…as we left and I told Ab to get his big coat , we discovered he had no big coat. So he is wearing big brothers…just a tad too big! :)  Don’t worry..he has one now.
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After looking through the field…they pick one already cut.
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Tree is now decorated and the boys were lounging watching the Va Tech / UVA game. I looked in and saw this…
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love it.
And now…
Update on the Nets!!
Our final count is 45!!! 
Thank you friends so much for caring about people you have never met!!
I am blessed, Vince & Samantha are blessed and the people of Grippes Farm will be blessed.
And the random (computer picked not me!) winner of the bracelet and t-shirt is my high school friend Christina!! 
Christina, I will contact you to get your address! Thank you!!
The money will be sent over on Monday and the nets purchased and delivered this week. Now I am praying they are cheaper than expected so even more can be bought with your gifts!!
I will be post pictures as soon as possible!!
(PS…if you missed this and still want to give you still can!!  Click here for the post.   Vince’s goal was a 100 nets)

November 22, 2010

More Firsts

Update on mosquito nets!!  28 !!!  have now been purchased! Would you like to join in and be a part?  $10 to purchase a net for one of the families for the village we support in Zambia.  Click here for details!!  You could win a t-shirt and a bracelet made in Zambia for your help!
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1) Ab had his first time skating last night at a friends party.  We started out really slow….
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 IMG_2250 IMG_2251 IMG_2252 IMG_2263 IMG_2264
but was going good by the end of the night.  I didn’t even put skates on because I knew I would be helping him. Lots of pulling up off of the floor. And though I LOVE my TOMS shoes, they don’t protect much from roller skates rolling over your feet! Ouch!
2) When I am gone, my husband lets the kids climb up on the roof.  I need to rethink my babysitter selection.
   IMG_0050 
3) This is my eldest does when bored. She needs help.
many bekahs
4) I am so very glad of opportunities to share about adoption, orphan care, humanitarian projects with others. I am so thankful when someone else’s heart is moved and they take initiative to join in as well.  It blesses me and I know it blesses God.  
Thank you to everyone who has donated to Save a Life with a Net!  The drive will end Friday so jump in to make a real difference!
I was telling my friend Lisa today how hard it would be as a mom to wonder with each mosquito bite if it was the one that could possibly make your child very sick or even die. I can’t even imagine that.  We can make a difference with our $10 today!  I will get pictures from Samantha and Vince to show what your money purchased!
Click on this post to donate!  All of this money will go straight to Samantha and Vince to purchase nets.  Their goal is 100.
Thank you!  Feel free to email me with questions!

November 20, 2010

Citizenship and Nets!!

Friday we finally got to go to Fairfax to get Ab’s certificate of citizenship (commonly referred to in adoption world as COC.)  Because of an age change and turn over in the personnel department at Fairfax, it took a lot longer than usual ( a year and a half to be exact.)
We got there at 9:30 and waited for Ab’s name to be called. We went to the window and Ab had to sign his name on 3 different spots.  He was also given a flag at this time. 
We then were taken upstairs to wait. and wait. and wait. Their ceremony was scheduled for 11.  It was an interesting wait for ‘people watching’. I usually try to guess where everyone was from.  I would have really enjoyed hearing people’s stories.  This was a children’s citizenship ceremony so there were lots of kids!
11-19-2010 DC Trip 098
The kids had to sit in there assigned seats while we waited in the back.
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Message from our President via television :)
11-19-2010 DC Trip 100
Everyone was called to stand up when she read their native country.  We then to recited the pledge to the American flag. Some of the countries I remember being called---China, Haiti, Peru, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, Canada, India.  There were more but I can’t remember them all.
11-19-2010 DC Trip 102  
Then your name is called and you are given your official Certificate of Citizenship!  Ab was very proud!  It’s Saturday morning as I write this and Greg just came in to tell me that Ab was outside and in his most official voice said “Today is the first time I throw a frisbee as an American!”

Update on Save a Life with a Net!
We are up to 6 mosquito nets!  Would you like to Save a Life with a mosquito net?  $10 will purchase one for one our families at Grippes Farm in Zambia.  $10. 
Click here for the statistics on malaria and what you may be given for donating and how to donate!
For children such as this:
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or this:
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Just $10 per net….what did you spend $10 on yesterday? 

November 18, 2010

Save a Life with a Net!

A mosquito net.

 Reports from Vince and Samantha (our friends in Zambia --see Grassroots Heroes link above to learn about them) are that the malaria cases are increasing in Grippes Farm and simple mosquito nets will help to prevent this.  As soon as I can get the funds, the money will get to Vince the next day, the nets purchased and handout out!  A FAST return on your money!

Take a look at these shocking statistics.  (from Nothing but Nets website)
  • Malaria kills more than a million people per year; 90 percent of those who die are African children.
  • Every 30 seconds in Africa a child dies of malaria.
  • Malaria incapacitates people, keeping countries poor. In addition to the health burden, malaria illness and death cost Africa about $12 billion per year.


From something that is preventable.
Can you help?
$10 will provide a net to give relief from the mosquitoes. to prevent malaria. to prevent another child from dying.
$10. 

I will enter each person who buys a net in a drawing for this bracelet. 


I picked this up while in Zambia and it was made by the hands of women at Chikumbuso.  Women whose lives have been touched by AIDS.  It was one of the best experiences I had while there. Dancing with those women (well, trying too anyways) and singing with them and being hugged and greeted by every single one of them. I was humbled by their hard lives and greetings of love.

and one of these grassroots heroes t-shirts.

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I will choose the winners next Friday...November 27. 

Please help us to make a difference in the lives of this community. $10= about 2 coffees at a shop or a movie.

  Lasting impact versus a moment of pleasure.

Update!! 10 nets have now been purchased! Please help us get the Grippes Farm covered and protected!! 




Thoughts from Greg

I spent this past weekend in Washington DC with a group of about forty individuals from across the United States who came together not for recreation or relaxation but to advocate for the cause of International Justice Mission.

 IJM’s mission is to secure justice for victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression.

The amazing thing for me was that in a climate in which the political left and right are divided on almost everything a diverse group of people from many walks of life and all political stripes came together for a common cause. We spent a weekend together to train to advocate for the poorest of the poor who are oppressed and have no voice or power to change their circumstances. There was no mention of the whether the Republicans or Democrats had the right or wrong ideas for the country. We simply met and tried to develop skills that would enable us to effectively speak to influence others to act on behalf of other people who are the victims of gross injustice across the globe.

After spending the weekend together we went to Capitol Hill on Monday and met with our respective Senators and Congressmen aides to solicit our representatives’ support for the Child Protection Compact Act. The CPCA, if enacted, would release funding to the State Department for NGOs to fight child slavery and bring about structural transformation in local governments that would free children and provide the aftercare that they need.

A few times the facilitators of the weekend referred to us as 'activists’. I felt a little strange being referred to as an activist but after reading the definition of activist on one online dictionary source - an especially active, vigorous advocate of a cause – I would be happy to wear that name for this cause which cries out for the 27 million slaves in the world today which includes nearly 2 million children that are abused in the commercial sex trade.

I was inspired and encouraged by the passion and sacrifice of the IJM associates and volunteers and hope that I have many more opportunities to work along side them until slavery and the exploitation of children is brought to an end.

Note from the wife:

This is a cause that we are passionate about and choose to invest our time and energy into.

It is not right that children, women, and men are forced into slavery in the times that we live in.

And…we CAN do something about it.

We would LOVE an opportunity to talk with you more about IJM and how you, your church, your friends, your school, your youth group….or anyone can be involved in seeking justice in our day. 

Just email us (link at the top)

Isaiah 58:6-11 sums it up well

“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?

7Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe him,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?

8Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness
will go before you,
and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.

9Then you will call, and the LORD will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
“If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk,

10and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.

11The LORD will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.

November 17, 2010

Freedom

Greg got back from his training with IJM on Monday evening.  He spent Monday on Capitol Hill advocating for bills that would help to protect those who have been  or are vulnerable to being trafficked.
He met some great people and enjoyed his good but intense weekend.
And….I have asked him to guest post on here so he can tell you about the weekend in his own words. Look for that tomorrow.
And can I say…that if he tells me one more time how much I would have loved the weekend if I could have gone that I may just hit him?  Seriously. :)  Just kidding. Maybe.
I am going to the Benefit Dinner on Dec 9 in DC (want to go? email me!) and am already looking forward to the Prayer Gathering early next year.
I do want to share a GREAT cd with you.  People always ask me…”what can I do?”  Well, here is a simple one. Buy a CD which will support IJM and you will get some great music (40 songs) plus At the End of Slavery dvd.  I have one and love it. A wide variety of music is on it.
Click on the cd below to see a listing of songs and artists.

To buy one, click here or go to Family Christian Bookstore. They are only $5!!!
From FCB’s website:
Every CD you buy helps to rescue another victim. In fact, 27 million men, women and children are held as slaves. That is why artists Natalie Grant, Sara Groves, Third Day and many others are uniting for the Freedom project, a music initiative to help the victims of slavery and violent oppression. International Justice Mission® is an agency dedicated to defending individual human rights. In response to Isaiah 1:17, IJM’s professional work tirelessly to rescue, protect and secure justice for victims across three continents.
“…Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows.” Isaiah 1:17 NLT.

November 15, 2010

Making A Difference Class

Rachel has really enjoyed the Making A Difference Class at our local homeschool co-op.

Two weeks ago the project was for the kids to make dinner for their families.  Spaghetti and Salad. It was very good.

This past week we had a missionary from India come in and share with the kids. They sat engrossed with his story. I was engrossed in his story.  Amazed at how God can redeem a life and how that life can make a HUGE difference for God’s Kingdom.

I am sure that the kids were a little bit more thankful for shoes, homes, and their families once the class was done. I know I was.

Rachel preparing her meal. IMG_1816 IMG_1809 

The kids have so far collected39 cans of food to be taken to a food bank. 

I can’t wait to see what they accomplish throughout the school year!

November 11, 2010

The Next Journey

God has blessed us this week.
The last couple of weeks months have been a bit stressful due to a couple of different circumstances. One being that Greg’s position was cut and he needed to look for a new job. I was stressed to say the least. Especially in the midst of our adoption. However God has placed him now in a place that matches his heart and his giftings.  He will now be working with an affiliate of Feeding America—using the skills he has acquired and learned with his job in the corporate world to help those in need.
To say that I struggled in this time would probably be a bit of understatement. (that’s why my blog has been a bit quiet—figured you didn’t want my whiny ole’ self spouting off to you) So many what if’s and unknowns and why’s.  But our God is a faithful God.  He has blessed us immensely this week.
1) Greg has a job that will match his heart and passions.
2) We learned that Ab’s citizenship has finally been granted! We go next week for the ceremony. He will officially now be an American.
3) We found out that we are now #13 on the ‘boy’ list. Moving on up and can’t wait to eventually see a picture of the child God will place with us to love and nurture.
4) I am blessed by a WONDERFUL group of friends. Near and Far. You know who you are.  People who know and love me in spite of myself!
Okay..so after all this and I listen to this song (watch all the way to the end to be REALLY blessed) which just had me all weepy to think on how much my God really loves me. Again..in spite of myself.
Then…I am sitting outside and I see a shooting star! There is a history here. Several years ago  I was at a Beth Moore conference and she spoke on creation and the stars and how they were created by God and how they show the depth of His love for us.
From Psalm 103:11
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him;
(Do a study on the universe to know how high those heavens are!)
That just remained in my heart from that time. An assurance of His love. I have taught on it and many times have stood outside, looked at the stars and whispered to myself “This is how much my God loves me”  I said so many times as we walked in the door to the kids “guys, look at the stars” and they would reply “yes, mom, that’s how much God loves us”
So after that day, to sit outside and see a shooting star---just magnified it all.
Yes, my God loves me.

November 1, 2010

Lifesong for Orphans asks for your ideas!

GIVEAWAY!
This week, you have TWO chances to be entered in a giveaway for a FREE Lifesong for Orphans t-shirt! Lifesong will be debuting 2 new colors (chocolate brown for men and red for women) and are offering to give away 2 shirts before they are available for sale!

Here’s how to enter:
#1: Go to the Lifesong blog posting from Monday and guess how many children are no longer orphans that Lifesong helped to bring home through financial assistance.

#2: Leave a comment on Friday’s posting about how we can creatively work together as the body of Christ to care for orphans around the world! Here's what you do... share with us your ideas.  Leave a comment... maybe about a ministry your church is involved in... or a family you helped support financially to adopt.

 Maybe you have this AMAZING idea that has been just waiting to get out and be put in action.  Here's your chance!  Let's inspire each other to rise up on behalf of orphans!

“With this in mind, take some time to walk through your house and ask God what he would have you do with your part of the 200 million orphans worldwide, most of whom may never hear the gospel, much less have it lived out in a loving family of their own.” – Greg Lucas

miscellany monday

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

1)  Last week we had a VERY multi-cultural meal.  Siga Wat with injera, nachos, and potato salad. It was left over night. Can you tell?

2) Last night our church had Fallapalooza. We were a  hillbilly family and my hubby was a good sport and dressed up as the dog.  We even brought some chickens along—that all the kids loved.

Rach was an Cleopatra and Ab was Mace Windu (and he got a hair cut for the event but he wouldn’t go bald!)

 fallapalooza

3) our new number for boy!

4) I am in a major clean out stage at home.  restlessness = get rid of junk.  The kids better lock their rooms!

Happy Monday everyone!

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