April 30, 2012

if you were here…you may have heard:

a discussion on whether zombies poop or not.  The ending statement was “they eat brains so of course they do” Yes. Dad was proud of the oldest boy’s critical thinking skills. And people were worried about me homeschooling them. Sheesh.

 

the love of my life telling me that my hair was 1/3 grey and not everyone “can pull that off.” He promises that it was a compliment.

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us laughing at the same man drinking his water out of this:

because his wife stinks at maintaining the home.  Thank God he loves me.

 

you may have also heard 3 precious children yelling for mom to come out and watch their soccer skills so they could freak me out with this:

it worked. Yes, it’s dead. they found it on their walk and drug it home just for the purpose of laughing at me.

 

T calling Rebekah “Bobby”

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you may have also heard the eldest girl blasting Disney songs in Spanish. She promises me she’s studying. and that they sound much better in Spanish.

April 25, 2012

Journey Bags—Are they really needed?

More journey bags ready to go!

How does this help? Are they really needed? YES! Every single foster parent I have talked to have given us a emphatic yes. So many times children come with nothing. Not a thing. If they do have something it’s in a trash bag. Foster parents may not know if this child will be with them for a weekend or a week or a month. Stipends come a month later. This is needed and so appreciated by the parents, children, and DSS staff.

Read these thoughts from foster dad Jeff Jordan

"One thing that has always bothered me is the children who have come to our home with nothing more than the clothes on their back and a single, solitary trash bag containing the sum or their entire existence. It's almost as if that bag is a metaphor of their lives, of their value, of their place in our society-as if their feelings, hopes, and dreams are worthy of little esteem and nearly no consideration. Sometimes I think we might as well have painted a scarlet letter on that crude plastic.
At times I've wanted to burn those bags, severe from the present such tangible reminders of a heinous past and uncertain future-to start again. I've always resisted.
I suppose we could posit some theological argument about the value of things, of possessions, of bags and how little they should matter to us "good Christians." This, finer point of our faith however, is likely lost on a child so deeply ingrained in the current predicament- this fearful and insecure child whose daily struggles are a constant reminder of how little he or she actually has to hold onto.
It's surely not lost on them, this trash bag-especially the older ones. They must notice "normal" children around them consuming the abundance of the wealthiest country in human history, while they themselves suffer the loss of relationships and things-while their life follows them around in something most just throw away. A normal bag, however seemingly trite, must surely be worth the small investment to assuage some anxiety of the least of our brothers and sisters."

You can read more from Jeff over at www.jeffjordanblog.com

Now, let me show how people have been stepping up!

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April 23, 2012

The Forgotten Initiative-Augusta County Newsletter

We had a GREAT first meeting that I will share about soon and I have some thoughts from an foster dad that I will be sharing this week as well.  God is on the move in our area and I love it! 

More to come soon! (give the image a minute to load!)

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April 21, 2012

GPG 2012 Recap video

Watch and be blessed! 

You can even see me at 1:38. with mouth wide open that won’t be surprising to anyone who knows me. (we were actually in the middle of an AWESOME worship session)

Keep a lookout for “Michael” that I posted about too. Seeing his face again in here just makes my heart about to burst.

What a great weekend. Filled with God. Filled with praise. Filled with prayer.

I encourage anyone to go who can. It is well worth the time and finances. Whenever I consider anything to go to I always ask if it’s worth giving up the GPG. Nothing has been yet.

April 18, 2012

IJM’s Global Prayer Gathering Recap

One of my favorite weekends of the year.

Standing together (and kneeling, crying, praising, worshipping, singing :) ) with 1,000 other people and crying out for the oppressed.

Meeting and hearing from the field directors from all over. Hearing their intimate heart cry over the things they see daily in their work.

Praying with people you just met and feeling a kinship with them.

Seeing RESCUE. Seeing it firsthand and hearing someone say “thank you” for making this possible.  Ah. I could still just cry thinking about it.

Being recharged and rejuvenated to continue to educate about slavery/trafficking/oppression—even though most look at you like you’ve flown the coop.

Favorite thing of the weekend? Seeing “Michael” from Kenya! Last year at the GPG Greg and I prayed fervently for his appeal (along with everyone else there!) It looked impossible. He was on death row for a crime he did not commit. He was 78 years old and had been in prison already for over a year. (an appeal is still pending in his case) 6 weeks later he was released. This was unprecedented! To be in a prayer room with him and see him was just almost more than my heart could handle. To pray with him as he prayed in his language, to see him come forward in the big meeting and hear him say “thank you” and that he saw God in that prison, and that “America, God loves you” Wow. oh, wow. Let’s just say I don’t think there was a dry eye in the place and I was doing the big ole’ ugly cry. To read his story and see his beautiful face go here.

This is a video sharing the last 15 years of IJM. It give a good summary of why I am blessed and honored to be a Justice Advocate and Freedom Partner with IJM.

Each year at the GPG you pick 6 different rooms to go to on Saturday. They are field office specific and you go and hear from the directors about their praises and prayer requests. Then you go to the Lord in prayer for those requests in a variety of ways (each director does it different) As you leave, you are given a prayer token to remind you to pray.

This is from the Kenya office—and it was made from prison uniforms. It will be in my bible reminding me to continue to pray. This is where we were honored to pray with “Michael”

Hebrews 13:3  Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.

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This was from the Ecuador office and was made my children and workers.  In this room I heard the most sweet, timid, awkward prayer from a young girl. I think it may have touched Jesus’ heart the most that day. I know it did mine.

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Guatemala prayer room. Love those buses. :) So much need there –prayer time was focused on protection and justice for children.

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Kolkata, India. Prayer focus was on sex trafficking. Coin purse made by survivors. LOVE this one.

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Uganda. Prayer focus was on widows’ lands rights.This is a copy of widow’s land title that IJM helped her to receive. We saw video of this beautiful woman dancing when she received it. LOVE.

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A place near to my heart, Zambia.  The director there is a sweet woman who I would love to have the opportunity to know more. I told her that we were best friends but she didn’t know it yet. :)  A great thing here is that churches in Lusaka are starting to get involved and help the widows and orphans in the their congregations and are standing up to protect them!  Wonderful news.

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Sara Groves led a lot of the worship again for the GPG (and 2 other friends from Willow Creek who rocked the house!) 

She sung this song that she wrote after being at the GPG one year. Very fitting.

I encourage you to go watch the plenary sessions online. You will be blessed by them and learn so much about IJM and injustices around the world. It’s well worth your time. Go to GPG Online.

April 12, 2012

Off to DC for the GPG!

Tomorrow I am off to International Justice Mission’s Global Prayer Gathering!

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And I can’t wait!  I will be meeting a precious friend from Colorado there as well.

You can visit Nichol’s blog over at http://starrchasers.wordpress.com/

This is always a highlight of the year, being able to join together with 1,000 other people and join together in fervent prayer for the oppressed and lifting our hearts in worship to our God who seeks and loves justice. I love to hear from the directors and other IJM workers who are on the frontlines every day, often risking their lives, but being so dedicated to fighting for justice for those who can’t fight for themselves.

For those who’d like join in from home, register here for the GPG online:

http://gpgonline.ijm.org/


And…if the dog and Teshale are too quiet, I just might find them like this:

with a box of KIX.  At least they were sharing.

t and clyde

April 10, 2012

April 13 Grant Deadline for Help Us Adopt!

I found this grant today after researching for someone  for a grant that isn’t Christian based. I had never heard of this one..but it looks like a great resource! Go check it out! And they have a deadline for their June grant of April 13!

http://www.helpusadopt.org/

FAQ’s from their page:

  • How often are grants awarded?

    Grants are awarded twice a year in June and December. Grant recipients will be notified by telephone and via US Mail.

  • What are the deadlines for grant applications?

    Applications for June 2012 grants are due by Friday, April 13, 2012. June grants will be awarded on June 15th.
    Applications for December 2012 grants are due by Friday October 13, 2012. December grants will be awarded on December 15th.

  • All applicants will be notified via email on award dates above.

  • Who can apply?

    Anyone, as long as you are a US Citizen residing in the US. You must be able to demonstrate that you can provide a stable home environment for the child (approved home study) while demonstrating that you are facing significant financial obstacles and need financial assistance with your adoption expenses.
    Helpusadopt.org accepts applications from couples and individuals regardless of race, religion, gender, ethnicity, marital status or sexual orientation.

  • How often can families apply?

    Families can apply once in an annual cycle of the program. You may apply again only if you are still in the adoption process.

  • Does it matter what kind of adoption program we are using?

    HelpUsAdopt.org grants are to be used for your choice of adoption process---private or agency, domestic or international, or foster care - it is your decision. HelpUsAdopt.org grants are not given for embryo adoptions.

  • Can we/I apply if we already have children?

    Yes, but priority will be given to applicants without children.

  • What are the amounts of the grants?

    $500 - $15,000 depending on individual situations.

  • When do you award the grants?

    June grants will be awarded on June 15th. December grants will be awarded on December 15th. All applicants will be notified via email by these dates.

  • How do we/I receive the grant if we are awarded one?

    Grant money is dispensed directly to your service provider.

  • How do you make your grant recipient decisions?

    Qualified and complete applications received by our submission deadline will be presented to our board. The board will review the applications as well as discuss them and make a final decision. All sections of the application will be taken into consideration. Priority will be given to applications who meet the following objective criteria:

    • Must be a US citizen residing in the US
    • Must have a completed home study-no exceptions.
    • Must not be pursuing infertility treatments simultaneously with your adoption plans (if applicable).
    • Must demonstrate that while you can provide a stable environment for a child, you are facing significant financial obstacles and need financial assistance with your adoption expenses.
    • Must distinguish the difference between "not wanting" to write the check(s) for your adoption expenses and "not being able to".
    • Must demonstrate willingness to proceed with your adoption plans with or without our assistance.
    • You may apply if you already have children, but priority will be given to couples/individuals without children.

Easter 2012

Easter this year was a bit different for us as a family. Easter was always Greg’s mom’s holiday. She did big baskets and had dinner at her house. Egg hunt was always at her place.  In fact, I never did much candy in the Easter baskets because she always did a bunch. That realization was hard this year.

But we are thankful that we serve a Risen King that has us celebrate Easter all year long. May we be aware of that miracle throughout the year.  The miracle that allows us eternal fellowship with Him—a fellowship Greg’s mom is enjoying right now.

I found by accident these Ethiopia colored sandals for Ab. He liked those!

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It’s a long stretch to get those eggs!

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And the Easter egg hunt is on!! 205 eggs hidden and all the kids (and my niece’s friends from college went hunting)  They may have found special eggs that contains rubber bands, paperclips, tea bags,  cat food, dog food, chains, s hooks, duck sauce, and soy sauce.  :)

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Another Knight cousin tradition. The gambling of the Easter egg candy. I am so ashamed.

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All the cousins

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favorite picture of the day

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April 7, 2012

Our Spring Days

When you go walking through the woods, make sure to take your light saber. Never know when you will be attacked by storm troopers.

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I like this girl. a lot.

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Prize found along the way

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Be sure to take your trusty dog.

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Cutest toes ever!

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Come here, let me show you how to use this stick.

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Approximately 15 minutes later, I was falling in this creek from an old bridge. It was a moment of great athleticism and grace. (according to Greg)

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Lot of days watching soccer

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This boy loves his soccer. (but goalie is not his favorite..he wants to be moving)

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Lots of snacks to entertain at soccer.

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April 4, 2012

April 3, 2012

This and That

My new favorite shampoo:

I love the smell and the way my hair feels afterwards. Try some (if you like rosemary and mint!)


Just signed Rebekah up for this to earn a bunch of dual credits next year. Can someone please tell me how she got to be this age? It snuck up on me.

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My new favorite artist. Be sure to check out her song Here.  Love it. I can’t find the link to it or I would put it here. It came up in my Pandora feed and it ministered to my weary soul.

http://katy-kinard.com/


I just received my coffee from Baby E’s Just Love Coffee fundraiser. Yum.

That’s my random thoughts for today! Have a great Tuesday! Warm and sunny in VA and it feels good! :)

April 2, 2012

The Forgotten Initiative April Newsletter

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Welcome to The Forgotten Initiative-Augusta County


Thank you to all who have expressed an interest in being involved with The Forgotten Initiative-Augusta County! Our local foster care community has many needs that can easily be met with a group of people with hearts such as yours!

Greg and I have begun to get to know our local foster care workers and are seeing the real needs and workload that they have. We look forward to getting to know more of the families that have willingly stepped up to meet the needs of children. We seek to support the children, the families, and the workers and we hope to do that with you!

EVENT! Sunday, April 22 from 3:30 to 5:30 The Forgotten Initiative will be hosting a get together at Shoney's in Staunton. This is to connect with those that want to be involved and hear from those that have been impacted. We will have testimonies from a very special friend that grew up in foster care and from foster parents.

Local Needs
Journey Bags: DSS has shared a need of 14 bags per month. These are bags that will be given to children as soon as they are removed from their home. Most of the time they arrive with nothing. These are very important as it gives them something to call their own and to put their things in.

To receive a list of items needed for Journey Bags, email tfi.augusta@gmail.com

Sunshine Rooms: DSS has 2 rooms that are used when children are removed from their homes and for parent meetings. This is a time that is very stressful for children and we would like to make these rooms a little brighter for them as they wait. We have been told by a former foster child how she wished she had a Sunshine Room to wait in during her times in office as a 9 yr old child.

Items needed for Sunshine Rooms:toys in good conditions such as small wooden puzzles, durable toddler toys, durable bigger kid toys, area play rug (such as the car mats), wall vinyls, glider, bookcases, and 2 changing tables.

Request a Speaker: Would you like someone to come speak to your church, Bible Study, or community group about the needs of our community? We would be glad to set something up! Email us at tfi.augusta@gmail.com or call 540-294-4849

Would you like to donate to The Forgotten Initiative for specific projects? You can make your tax deductible donations here. http://www.theforgotteninitiative.org/#donation  Just be sure to put in the comments: Augusta County

Like us on facebook!  www.facebook.com/tfi.augusta

The King will reply "Truly I tell you. Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me."

TFI photos for web and brochures (8)

2 New Grants Found!

Hey friends! I found 2 new grant options that you may want to check out!

http://mccweb.org/#/ministries/mcc-adoption-fund

(you don’t have to go to this church to apply)

and Karen Kingsbury’s One Chance Foundation

(I couldn’t find how to apply for this one and sent an email to ask. I will update this when I hear back. Otherwise—I’d just send an email :) )

http://www.karenkingsbury.com/one-chance-foundation

Check them both out!

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