Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Operation World

Today and tomorrow Uganda is the featured nation on Operation World's prayer calendar.  If you haven't used Operation World's calendar and resources before it is a great way to pray for the nations and learn about the needs in each country!

 If you would please include in your prayer these specific ministries working in Uganda.


Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Jesse Tree

A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
   from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
Isaiah 11:1

Last Christmas I was introduced to The Jesse Tree.   Every evening for about four weeks leading up to Christmas we read scripture, talk about it and  hang an ornament on the Jesse Tree that represents what we just read. The readings take you through the Bible chronologically leading up to the birth of Christ. It is a great way to keep our focus on Jesus during this time of the year.  We are all excited to do it again this year.  While I love the one that I have linked to...I just went ahead and made one for us from burlap and felt...easy!

The ornaments I printed off from here.  Jake and Elyse colored the patterns, I glued them to felt and made our own ornaments.  The devotions I found here and just printed them off and put them in our own book to use year after year.

This is what the tree will look like on Christmas!

There are other great advent options like Amanda's advent activity book over at Impressyourkids.org. 
Or Tara's version of the Jesse Tree You which you can get here !


Thursday, November 17, 2011


My friend, Shellie, gave J a book this month to add to his collection.  The Little Engine That Could is one of the best children's books!  He is one loved little boy and we can't wait for him to know that!

I know I have shared about Compassion's Bite Back program before.  The Bite Back program helps children and families prevent and treat malaria.  I wrote a whole post about malaria because J had it recently.  This past week I have once again been reminded of how we are so blessed in this country by our access to healthcare and treatment...it is a gift that I take for granted.  I have spent time in the hospital this week with my Mom.  She is about to have heart surgery.  We were totally taken by surprise by her condition.  However, I am so thankful that we can walk into a clean hospital with doctors and nurses who will do whatever they can to help treat us and improve and correct our condition.  This week we have never had to worry about whether medicine would be available for her.  We haven't had to worry about anything in regards to her care.  I am so thankful for that.  But it has made me want to advocate even more for those who don't have the gift of healthcare or medicine.  For just $10 you can save the life of a child and help a Mom or Dad have medicine to give their child. Malaria kills 2,000  children each day.  So would you please join us this month and give to Compassion to help fight malaria?  You can go here and donate.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011


We got an email that told us meeting J in 2011 is not going to happen.  So, short of a miracle (which God can do anything) we will be meeting him sometime in 2012.  We are praying it is sooner rather than later in 2012!! To say that we are sad is an understatement. Thankfully we have a good support system of friends and family who are such an encouragement and blessing to us!  When we got the email I had just finished re-reading chapter 1 of  One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp in preparation for a Bible study I will be participating in this fall. Thankfully what came back to me from chapter 1 as I read the email was this:

There's a reason I am not writing the story and God is. He knows how it all works out, where it all leads, what it all means.  I don't. (page 21)

We know God is in control of this whole process but it is a daily choice for us to trust because we don't understand and honestly we would write it differently if we could! The times that grow our faith are not the easy times in life and we know that and we are thankful that we serve a God who loves J more than we do and is working all things for our good!  My friend, Rachel, sent me this scripture.

But as for me, my prayer is to you, O Lord.  At an acceptable time, O God, in the abundance of your steadfast love answer me in your saving faithfulness.
Psalm 69:13 ESV

We know that at the right time J will be coming home. Please pray for J and the affidavit that is needed.  Please pray for us!


Monday, November 7, 2011

Do good!

Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order that they may provide for daily necessities and not live unproductive lives.
Titus 3:14

I sat in church yesterday and listened to a message about doing good.  It was the perfect message to hear on Orphan Sunday. How do we help orphans here in the U.S. or abroad? We do good! Whether that good is fostering, adopting, sponsoring, advocating, giving money or mentoring....just do it! We love others the way we love ourselves.  We follow the great commandment:

And he said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.
Matthew 22:37-40

We can help by mentoring.  We can help by advocating. We can change the life of a foster child by starting a ministry like this one.  We can sponsor kids here, here or here. You can learn about adoption here or here.

The gospel I believe in offers a cup of cold water in Jesus' name.  The only gospel worth living is the one that incarnates love.  The only gospel worth giving our lives for is the one that elevates the needs of others above our own.  That's what the "good news" is all about.
-Tom Davis  Red Letters
Living A Faith That Bleeds


Saturday, November 5, 2011

Great quote!

God is graciously involved in adoptions.
He has done it Himself.
He knows what it costs.
And He stands ready to support us all the way to the end.
~John Piper

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Unfortunately, one of the major causes behind the huge number of orphans in this world is the lack of food and the lack of basic resources to allow mothers and fathers to provide for the family.  It seems that often, faced with the choice of either watching a child die of hunger and hunger related illnesses, or placing them in an orphanage where they can receive some care (granted, not always great care because of the overcrowding and lack of resources in many orphanages) and have the opportunity to get adopted, most parents will choose the orphanage.  Can you imagine being faced with that decision?  Give my child up because I realize I can't provide for them?  What is so hard to swallow about the hunger that faces so many people in other places of the world is how much we have right here in America...we have so much more than we need.  But, what do we do about it?  Obviously we can't pack up what is in our pantry and send it over seas. 

A child dies every six seconds from
malnutrition-related causes.

It’s preventable. And it’s curable.

There are about a billion hungry people in the world. Hunger gives way to chronic malnutrition, and in its most severe form, severe acute malnutrition kills 1- 2 million kids a year.

  • A child becomes acutely malnourished and the mother must leave what little livelihood she has – typically farming – to take the child to the nearest hospital.
  • Long walks give way to crowded waits in makeshift centers. If admitted, she remains as the caregiver in a crowded malnutrition ward, which is often a room with rows of straw mats, as the child is treated.
  • Disease is transmitted easily between the weakened children in the ward.
  • And, if the child survives, he or she often returns home to find that his or her family have sunken into a deeper level of crisis.           (source: mananutrition.org)

Let me introduce you to MANA

The folks at MANA are doing something about malnutrition in other parts of the world.  MANA stands for Mother Administered Nutritive Aid.  A pack of MANA is fortified peanut butter and tastes a little bit like a Reese's peanut butter cup.  What this pack can do is save the life of a child.  As little as three packs a day for six weeks can bring a child back from the brink of death.  Isn't that incredible?!!  Look at these pictures showing the before and after of the difference MANA can make:

Here's a video of what MANA is doing in Rwanda.....

How can we help MANA?  There are a couple of ways.  One is by going to their website and donating.  Another way is by  hosting a Give Your Lunch to Jesus day at your church.  Our small group this summer ate pb&j sandwiches together after church and gave what we would have spent on lunch to MANA.  Another way is by setting up your own fundraising campaign to benefit the efforts to build the factory in Kigali, Rwanda.  Please consider joining with MANA to help change the life of a child.


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Kilgoris Project

If you are on Facebook, or read adoption blogs very much, you are probably aware that this Sunday is Orphan Sunday.  I am so excited about Orphan Sunday.  Being able to get the word out about ways to serve the orphan and the widow is awesome!  Today, it is estimated that there are about 143 million orphans in the world...give or take a couple thousand.  However, due to all kinds of various issues, many of those orphans are not able to be adopted.  I wish they all could be adopted but, that isn't reality.  I love adoption...I am adopted, and if you read this blog regularly you know that we are currently in the process of adopting.  I wish everyone would do it!  But since that isn't going to happen I think we, as the church, need to look for ways to "curb/slow down" the orphan crisis.  We have been on the defensive as the church for a long time.  Instead of looking for ways to solve the orphan problem we are playing catch up.  We are not on the offensive.  Obviously, we are not going to solve the orphan crisis only through adoption.  So what do we do?  We can begin by developing programs that keep families together and supporting ones that already exist.  Programs that help mothers and fathers get AIDS meds so that they don't die, programs that help create sustainable jobs for a single mom so she can support her family, programs that help communities grow food so parents aren't faced with the choice of watching their child die or giving them up for adoption. I wanted to take a few days and focus on different ministries that are making a difference in the orphan crisis either through job creation, medications, or hunger relief.

I want to introduce The Kilgoris Project


I first learned about this ministry a year ago from friends here in Charlotte.  The story of Kilgoris started in 1999 when a couple from California was on safari in Kenya.  This couple  ( the McCormacks) struck up a friendship with one of the waiters (Willie) at the game reserve and they bonded over their mutual Christian faith. Over the next couple of years the McCormacks and Willie corresponded.  They learned of the desire of Willie's church to build a church building and start a preschool and The Kilgoris Project was born.

Fast forward 12 years later and there are now four schools, a church, a tea farm, women's co-op and basic care (nutrition, clean water, and medical care) that is making a huge difference in the lives of those living in the Kilgoris village and the surrounding villages.   The schools are educating the children, providing them with an opportunity to find employment when they grow up. The tea farm is producing a sustainable way to pay the teachers at the school.  The basics such as food, clean water and medical attention are there to keep the children healthy so they are able to learn. The women's co-op is a way for the moms to learn to make crafts, which are then sold in the U.S., enabling them to provide for their families. 

So how can you support The Kilgoris Project?  Well, if you live in California or North Carolina you could come to one of the Marketplaces and buy things made by the moms in Kilgoris or things made by other artisans and everyday craftsmen and women.  All proceeds benefit the children and families in Kilgoris! I have included pics of the postcards advertising the locations! The postcards are the same but there are three different locations.  If you don't live near a marketplace event, would you consider donating to The Kilgoris Project?