January 31, 2011

Meet Marlon from Guatemala

Continuing with the theme from Friday---
Meet 3 yr old Marlon:
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We met Marlon while in Guatemala  this past summer with Forever Changed International .
They have a wonderful sponsorship program and I know first hand they great care and love these children receive.
Bekah fell in love with Marlon and even asked if we could adopt him (we were in process already.)  I told her that we would in a heartbeat---if Guatemala was open—but it’s not.  sigh.  I am praying someone from his country will be led to adopt him and give him the love and care he needs and wants.  In the meantime—Bekah has counted up how old he will we when she is of age and able to adopt herself (hoping Guatemala will be open by then.)  Hoping that he doesn't have to wait that long.

In the meantime we sponsor him through Forever Changed International.  We get updates on him through their website and can even send care packages  

They have many children that need sponsorship so please check out their website.

video

I just love his little voice singing "Bekah" after he says her name. :)

January 28, 2011

Snow, Sponsorship & # update!

Good Friday morning!!

We had over 10 inches of snow from Wednesday to Thursday and the kids have all really enjoyed it!  Well, except for poor Josh who was sick on the couch. Hoping it sticks around a bit so he can get his sledding time in when he is better.

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In my next couple of posts I wanted to share the organizations that we sponsor kids through.  This is not to get shouts or accolades ---just to let you know about some wonderful organizations that need people like you and me to help make a difference in the life of children.

So many times I have had people tell me that they would love to adopt but can’t because of   (fill in the blank). 

Programs like these are wonderful because it will allow you to help a specific child that you can pray for, write to, send care packages to, and love---for a small amount of money—especially in comparison to what we easily spend on temporary pleasures.

So  with that said:

Introducing one of my faves:

Drawn from Water

Quoted from their website:

Mission Statement

The mission of DRAWN FROM WATER is to rescue and provide the best possible future for children who have been deemed “mingi” and sentenced to death by their tribes.

Need

In rural Africa there are three tribes that practice what is called “mingi”, which loosely translates to mean dirty or unclean. There are many ways in which a child may become “mingi”, but once the label has been placed all children suffer the same fate, they must be killed.  But now there is another way, in January of 2009 Lale Labuko an educated man from one of the tribes who practices “mingi” and Yabibal Abebaw worked together with a group of visiting missionaries to start Drawn From Water, an orphanage who’s mission is to take in the children who have been deemed “mingi” and to educate the tribes that these children are a blessing and not a curse. In the three tribes, which practice “mingi”, there are a total of roughly 130,000 people living in hundreds of villages spanning an area totaling hundreds of square miles. It is estimated that more than 1000 children are killed each year because they were “mingi”. Drawn From Water is working to save as many of these children as possible. In the first 12 months 21 children were saved. Our hope is that with God’s help we will be able to reach the tribes with the gospel and ultimately help them see that these children are a blessing and not a curse.

And introducing the little one we began sponsoring from Drawn From Water:

Kulo Dina Age 4

A little about Kulo  (from Drawn from Water’s site)

Kulo Dina is a wonderful little boy who is full of energy, he is always smiling and has in infectious laugh, Kulo enjoys leading the other kids in games. He has been in the orphanage since January 2009 when he was rescued from a village in the Hammer tribe.  Kulo was deemed mingi because his top teeth came in before his bottom teeth but we believe that Kulo like all the other children who were deemed mingi by their tribes are a blessing and not a curse and since coming to live with us he has been nothing but a blessing. This little boy brings great joy to all those who know him. Kulo attends the local elementary school and especially loves getting his uniform on to go to school each day.

Kulo needs more sponsors as does many other children.  Will you please check them out and see if your heart is stirred to help?

http://www.drawnfromwater.org/get-involved/sponsor-a-child

And a number update!!

Now we are

January 23, 2011

Update on Life

Ack, I was missing in action in blog world again! 
Bekah, my ever vigilant blog stalker fussed at me that I was slacking again!
I have been here—just so busy with other things while on the computer that they had to come first (gasp!).
So---to catch you up on the last couple weeks--
We are now ‘offically’

Single Digits!!
Making A Difference class has busy as well! 
We learned about our local Eritrean refugees and have been busy counting all those Pennies for Peace. There was a lot of change to count it up! 
It warms my heart to think about how much of a difference that change will make!
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Ab took his first official field trip before Christmas to check out some Tiffany windows in a local church. Beautiful!

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Our Awana group at church has been collecting change to repair a well for Blood: Water Mission. They have challenged the church to do the same. Just from 2 weeks from our Awana group (and this is just the Awana group—haven’t counted the other collections yet)—We are over $400!!
The kids have really understood the need for clean water…and it has been a huge blessing to see their pure desire to help.
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Pad Parties--  My sweet friend from co-op was so touched by the needs of women in other countries from when I hosted my Pad Party.  She grabbed hold of it and has just ran with it!  She has been hosting days at her church and hours at our homeschool co-op for women to come in and work.  It has been such a blessing to walk in that room and see different women bent over a sewing machine or a table cutting and pinning fabric.
The women that will be blessed from her desire to help!

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Some young girls got in the action and cut a bunch of pads themselves!
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My cat, Sally.  She looked so comfy sleeping upside down on my couch.  Oh, to be able to sleep like that.
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Can you imagine what that would do to our neck??
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January 16, 2011

Lifesong Zambia -- William's Story


William from Lifesong for Orphans on Vimeo.

Six year-old William once asked his mother, “Why do other children walk on the bottoms of their feet? Why am I like this? What did you do to me?” When she told him that it was God who did it, not her, William said, “Then please tell God to fix me.”
William was born with clubfoot, affecting both of his feet.  If William had been born in America this common deformity would have been easily fixed when he was still a baby.  But in Zambia it’s a different story.  In Zambia, where the resources are few and the funds are even fewer, healing is only a distant dream.

Last February Lifesong Zambia coordinator, Dru Smith wrote about William in her newsletter.  When Wendy in Illinois heard his story she was prompted to act.  After a thorough investigation she discovered CURE Clubfoot International, which had a clinic in Lusaka, the capital of Zambia!  In April William was fitted for casts (first in a series of 3) and then had corrective surgery on his right foot in June and his left foot in September (the video was taken in September just before his second surgery).
God used His people to “fix” William.  Today William can walk!  Soon he will be strong enough to return to school, play with the other children, and be able to do many of the simple tasks we take for granted!

Through this journey the Lifesong staff has been able to help not only William, but his family as well.  William’s brother, Bright, and cousin, Gift, have both been enrolled at Lifesong school.  In addition his father, Victor, who was unemployeed now works in the Lifesong gardens!  We’re so thankful our God is the master at doing “abundantly and immeasurably more” than we even think to ask!

*Find out more about Blogging for Orphans here.

January 12, 2011

Plans, Goals, and Dreams

There has been a desire in my heart for months now. I put it on hold while we were in the big job search and were possibly moving. I was even frustrated because I wanted to begin the work but couldn’t not knowing where we were going to be and what we were going to be doing.
Now—they are in full steam ahead! 

What you ask? (well, I am pretending you asked)

Starting a group along the same lines of one of my faves,  Ordinary Hero, but focusing on our area and other world-wide projects that God leads us to.

This group will consist of men and women who desire to take action in the needs of our communities and across the globe. This has been on my heart for so long and Greg confirmed the ‘call'.  I am excited and a wee bit nervous at the same time.

Since moving forward with this, I have been made aware of so many things in our community that I had no idea about.  A God-thing I believe. He is educating me.

I ask for your prayers as we begin to make this dream a reality.  That we will have discernment and wisdom.  That our paths will be made straight.  We have a meeting coming up in several weeks to pray, discuss, and seek direction. 

(if you are in my area and would like to be involved in our projects, send me an email and I will keep you informed!)

In our church’s Engage service, last week, Pastor Rob shared this verse while we were studying the commandment “Thou shall not steal”-
Ephesians 4: 28  He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.
And he asked something to the effect of “What if we all worked to that end?  to have something to share with those need?” 

Good question.  What if that was one of the goals of our working? or for those of us that are stay at home moms—what if that was one of the reasons why coupon-clipped, Goodwill shopped, and worked hard at keeping all those costs down?  To share with those in need. 

Pretty simple concept.  Can we live it out?

On another note:

Our Awana group is starting our missions month.

We are focusing on clean water and are collecting all the change we can to help a community receive clean water by raising the funds to repair a well.   We are using Blood: Water Mission.

I was blessed by the response from the kids as I shared last week. They were moved and shocked of the reality of others.  One little one told me “ I am going to bring my piggy bank and it only has a little bit of change, most of it is dollars.”  What a sweetie. Hoping she checks with momma first. :)

Here’s a video to check them out.
(again sometimes only the play button shows up..just push play and it will pop up)

Blood:Water Mission promo video from Blood:Water Mission on Vimeo.

January 10, 2011

IJM's Global Prayer Gathering

We just signed up for this and can't wait for the weekend!

We went last year and was blessed by the amount of people there to come together for one purpose---- to pray for the oppressed and those fighting for justice.

Go to www.ijm.org/gpg for more information!

(sometimes the whole video for vimeo videos doesn't show up. Just push play and it will pop up)


2011 IJM Global Prayer Gathering from International Justice Mission on Vimeo.

January 7, 2011

Bekah’s Bags are back!

From Bekah!
Okay, so the bags are back!
Right now I have two ready to be sent out…
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Black with red stitching for the Africa…Lined with a red fabric that matches the Africa stitching…Handles are black and red.
And here’s the other one…

Bekah\
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Pink and brown..lining matches the Africa..Handles are pink. The Africa has stuff on it to keep it from fraying…
They are both $20 plus $2.50 for shipping.
To buy one just click on the little “buy now” button on the left side under “Bekah’s bags are back” and let me know which one you want!
-Bekah

January 6, 2011

Where is the Urgency?

This post has been floating around in my head for awhile. I have tried to write it several times and come up with a blank computer screen.  But—here I go with all my jumbled feelings and words.
Disclaimer: As I share please know that I am speaking to myself here as well as to anyone else.
Those of you who have read my blog for a while know that I struggle with being caught ‘between two worlds.’ Here’s that post if you missed it.
There are times when I feel it even more so and the last couple of weeks have been such a time.
And I have began to ask myself, “where is our urgency?” 
The little clip Depraved Indifference reinforced the question as it asks the question, “what if it was your son?”
And what if it was? 
What if it was your son without shoes?
What if it was your child in need of simple medical care (or major care like our friend Baby Juddah)?
What if it was your child’s life was threatened because they were declared ‘mingi’ ?
What if it was your daughter that needed clean water so they wouldn’t die from something as simple as diarrhea?
What if it was your child that needed someone to care for them in your place?
What if it was your child kidnapped and enslaved in a brick factory or a brothel?
How would we feel then?  What if it was your friend’s child? What if it was your Sunday school teacher’s child?
How would you feel?  Would we need to meet for weeks to decide if we want to do something? Would we need to call for a vote? Would we need to develop a strategic plan for all cases like this in the future before we could do something?
Please don’t misunderstand me—I know that at times we need to do all those things….and I know that we aren’t all called to meet the need of everything single thing. (But I sure would like to try for a while if someone would like to give me a big pot of funds!)
However—sometimes we ARE called to meet a need. Sometimes it may be a small need or a large one. It may be for the boy next door or the widow across an ocean.
At those times we should go with the Spirit’s nudging and
Act. With Urgency.

Now…after all that I want to share with you one of my favorite gifts from Christmas:

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My kids pulled their money together and bought this necklace for me. It took them being quite stealthy as they couldn’t use my computer or paypal account or etsy account for fear of me finding out.
I love it! It’s very light and well done.
You want one?
Go to my pal Jody’s etsy shop
(who by the way—gets the urgency! love you Jody!)

January 2, 2011

What a Year!

Our year review in pictures…(summary in words to come later…way too long of a post!)
lots of snow in Feb/January
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Bekah was in a couple of plays
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We had our gigantic yard sale with the help of many friends!
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We made butterflies to send to the Holocaust Museum in Texas.
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Bekah and some friends made books for children for the local women’s shelter
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Joshua, Greg, and PawPaw took a trip the the Nascar Museum Hall of Fame.
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Bekah and I had a beautiful trip to Guatemala.
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We were privileged to meet a bunch of other AGCI adoptive families in Nashville.
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While there we were blessed to meet up once again with my internet bff’s :)

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We joined in on It’s a Girl Thing Pad Parties and made a bunch of kits (and learned quite a bit about sewing in the process)  They are now in Ethiopia!
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We acquired a new pet—Steve the bearded dragon!
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Bekah went to her first dance …with her date Tyson Bear.
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Rach was in her first musical as Fauna the fairy in Sleeping Beauty. 
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Joined up with Dana and went to DC to walk for the Voiceless..
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BIG DAY--  Ab became a U.S. citizen!
11-19-2010 DC Trip 103  
Ab also roller skated for the first time! (providing much humor for mom!)
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Josh got 1st place in the state shooting match for the junior division!
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Thanks for the Making a Difference Class—the kids made Christmas cards for the troops.
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130 mosquito nets made their way to Grippes Farm in Zambia! (Thanks to you!)
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We rang the bell at Wal-Mart and were blessed by the generosity and kindness of people.
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Looking forward to the pictures of 2011!!
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