Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? -Matthew 6:26

As we walk through this adventure called life, we remind ourselves that we are all precious children of our Father-- those of us who have walked a little further down the road striving to guide those who have been entrusted to our care for a time. Here is our journey down this path.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Happy Gotcha Day!!!!!!!!

One year ago today, a special little girl entered our family. So much has been going on, I have lots of catching up to do and many thoughts about the last year, but for now, just look at what a difference a year makes. One of our sweet friends in our travel group said she has learned a lot this last year, but the biggest lesson is that "love seems to know no boundaries". Oh, how we agree!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Minus 1 Project...Connecting the Dots!

I have recently learned a big lesson. A lesson about prayer, stepping out in faith and trusting in God's sovereignty and provision. I don't think I ever shared that lesson here, so want to do that now.

Back in November for Orphan Sunday, I mentioned several other adoptive moms and I were working on an Orphan ministry at church. We have the vision of encouraging adoption as well as orphan care. We know that not everyone is called to adopt, but as Christians, we are ALL called to care for orphans. We want to help our church community answer the command to care for orphans as it says in James 1:27

Religion that God our father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

As our first project, the Children's Love Gift offering was designated to our ministry, which was a great way to kick it off. It got families and kids involved right away. Each child was given a baby bottle and asked to fill it with change over several weeks. We felt led that we should support 2 orphans--a girl and a boy--from Watoto, an organization in Africa that seeks to rescue orphans and raise them in a loving village type environment to be Godly men and women who will be leaders in their country. To do this, we needed to collect $840. To be honest, that seemed like a lot of change in those baby bottles. Well, after they were all collected, we got together and our kids helped to separate and count. We had $193 paper money already counted by the church. We counted $338 Quarters, $152.40 Dimes, $70 Nickles and had a HUGE bowl of pennies to take to a machine. So, the total so far was $753.40. The kids (and us, honestly) were looking at that bowl and wondering, is it $90????? Got the call a few hours later--$64 in pennies AND $34 dollar bills that were mistakenly not added in to the original total---$853.40!!!! Wow, I was so excited to see how God had answered that prayer so faithfully and specifically. And, I was humbled to realize I do NOT pray enough about things that only God can do. I don't step out in faith when I can't see how it will work out. I don't look for God sized projects, but oh, if we do, how can we explain it, except to say 'God did it!' I felt that way about finding Cynthia, but I want to live more like that every day!

So, now on to the project. After the collection, we met to discuss our next direction and after looking at many options, we kept running in to dead ends. Then, about a week ago, my friend had a conversation that was an 'aha'! Several students from our church/school are going to Tanzania next month on a mission trip and are going to visit an orphanage. We thought, perfect! There is an established relationship with a ministry there, so we know it is trustworthy and we will be establishing a relationship with the orphanage through these teenagers. So, we contacted them to see if they had any specific needs and after several days--and several rolling power outages there(!)--heard back. They have been praying to be able to build a transition home for some of the older boys who are 'aging out' of the orphanage. These 15-16 year olds are suppose to leave, but haven't finished their education, yet, and this orphanage is committed to finishing well with them. They are planning a Swahili type dwelling of single rooms in a row with a community bath/kitchen. This will allow the boys to learn to care for themselves, buy and prepare food and finish their education as well as make room for new children in the orphanage. The thing I love the most is that they will have a mentor for them there to help them during this transition time. The home has been well named THE TIMOTHY HOUSE.
We read this information and were so excited to get involved, but the question was, of course...how much does a project like this cost? The answer came a day or so later.....$15,000!
Wow! That is a lot of money. In a very short time. But God owns the cattle on a thousand hills and we are confident that He will bring the exact dollar amount He wants us to send--whether it be a part, the whole amount, or even enough for this house and the next one planned for the girls!!! The students that are going on the trip have gotten excited and are ready to get people to contribute, but we want to help as well.
So, blog world, I have no idea how many people read this blog, but I am going to put this opportunity in front of you as well. If you feel called to contribute to this worthy cause, we would be so excited for you to join us! You can send a check written to First Presbyterian Church for any amount---no amount is too small!!!! or too large! :) You must put Minus 1 in the memo line, so the church will know where to direct the donation and then send it to 642 Telfair Street, Augusta, GA 30901 or if you are a 'local reader' you can give/mail it to me. You can read about the orphanage here http://theglobalorphanproject.org/village/huruma-village/

The school headmaster who is leading this trip told me today something that I loved. He said that as he sees it, there was a group of people in Africa praying for a way to continue to care for these boys, and, at the same time, on the other side of the world, 2 women were praying for a way to get involved in orphan care and God 'connected the dots'. Might you be a part of this plan as well? Will you join us on this journey of stepping out in faith? Let's pray and see what God will do!!!!!

And to leave you, here is a GREAT video!