Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Jesus and The Evil One

Yesterday, I feel sure I looked into the eyes of both. I visited a local market with the Director early in the morning. As she bartered for the best price on carrots and potatoes, I took in the sights and sounds. I am quite used to being stared at here. Some just glance my way as they pass; some smile and nod; some make comments about the foreigner to their friends; and some glare. But this stare was different…I felt it before I looked up. As I turned my head to the right our eyes met. He was an older man ,about two booths away, dressed in full Muslim garb and he was certainly glaring at me. I casually looked away and than back….he had not moved. So I did the slight smile and nod and looked away and than back….I don’t think he had even blinked. I knew at that moment that it had nothing to do with him being Muslim or me being white…what was alive in him was staring at what was alive in me….I turned to him once more and locked eyes with evil. Knowing I already had the victory with Jesus, I looked at him briefly and asked God to shine light into his darkness…and than we walked away. He continued to stare…frozen in the moment…my heart breaks for his bondage and the darkness that surrounds him. We returned home to find 3 new faces. There they were…an 11 year old girl and her 7 and 8 year old brothers…they were being dropped off by their elderly grandfather. They lost one parent to AIDS and another in a car accident. The grandfather is extremely poor…which is quite evident when you look at the children…but he wants something better for them…and he has heard the children who come here may get new homes in America. These three were dirty…their little feet were worn well beyond their years…and their ragged clothes couldn’t hide the frail bodies underneath. But what truly caught my attention were their big, beautiful, empty eyes….eyes that had seen too much…eyes that mirrored tired, weary souls. Their fear was evident. I sat in the Director’s office as she typed up paperwork…they sat just outside…remaining close to their grandfather. A short while later, he was gone, and they were alone….I looked over at them…at the beautiful faces of children who had just been left with strangers at an orphanage….left by their only living relative…and than it happened…our eyes met. As a wave of sadness came over me…my heart trying to make sense of what just happened…I realized their eyes weren’t empty. I saw a glimpse of Jesus…for He is with the little ones. He “IS” the abandoned, the alone, the dirty, the hungry, the tired, the imprisoned and the orphan. I know God has a marvelous plan for these three. I prayed last night for their forever family….do they know their children are one step closer to being with them…do they even know yet that God will call them to adopt “three”… they even know they are being called? They will….and I pray it happens quickly. I look forward to watching Jesus restore life into their eyes…

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Imitator ?

The Worst Thing That Happened To Me Today:
A small child spit in his hand and threw it on me

The Best Thing That Happened To Me Today:
A small child spit in his hand and threw it on me

This got me thinking…am I being an imitator of God?….Hardly…How did I react when the spit landed?…I was frustrated, angry and my feelings were hurt…but I didn’t hit the child (believe me it crossed my mind) or spit back…well handled, I thought (can you say “pride issues”). I walked away calmly, said a quick prayer and allowed my anger to subside…than I opened my Bible and looked down to see Ephesians 5...was I being an imitator of God? Loving as Christ loved us?….I don’t think so…He didn’t have bitterness in His heart or judgment on His tongue. I once heard a really cool guy (*) give a great sermon about what happens when we are broken….when the pressures of life cause us to crack, what oozes out?… bitterness? Anger? Rude comments? Evil thoughts?… Being broken or cracked is good (in our weakness He is made strong). The more I am broken the more opportunities I have to let the light of Christ shine… apparently I need a lot more practice… I guess there’s more spit coming my way! I hope today each of us can be more like Christ. When something makes us crack…that peace and joy will come out, and the love of Jesus will be evident to whoever is watching.

*props to Mr. Stum

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I can't even think of a title

Well...I figure the only one reading this now is my Mother....sorry for the long life and the Internet feel a bit like a ketchup commercial...and even then the wait can't truly be captured. To say the least it is a difficult task to blog from here. I hope to configure a quicker way...but until then....who knows. We are here and all is as well as it can be. The home is small but nice and there are 11 children right now. The poverty is heartbreaking and around every corner. The Home has a wall around it and can feel a bit isolating at times....we can not go out alone....and town is a distance away. It is a nice town....but small by American standards. The children are fun and full of energy and always have a lot of love to give....they can sometimes be a little like caged animals....but as I witness the circumstances of their beginnings it is understandable. Luckily they all have families preparing for them....God's perfect plan for their life. I thank all of you who read, send emails, pray and give.....I may not be able to respond right now, but know that I am very grateful. There are so many needs here....please pray that I would be a good steward of the provision God gives. Please pray for our health and continued adjustment...and for the people of Ethiopia. I hoped to include some pictures....but are you kidding....maybe next time. For the sake of anyone reading this I hope to have something inspiring to write about next time. Peace to each of you.

Friday, September 4, 2009

And We're Off

6 bags + 1 carry-on....just missing my carry-on in this picture...In my defense, we are taking quite a bit to the orphanage :)

Leaving on a jet plane....don't know when we'll be back again. It's that go. I am excited, tired and a wee bit stressed. Packing has been my biggest issue....and I'm asking that everyone would be praying for a miracle at the check-in counter tomorrow!!!!!!!! We leave Atlanta at 2:00 and fly out of D.C. at 8:30 in the evening....we arrive in Addis Ababa at 7:00 pm (noon back here in EST) on Sunday. I could panic, cry, scream, over think it.....but I'm really just not thinking about I can avoid a headache...and just rest in the palm of His hand. This is His gig anyway...and He's better at working out the details...big and small. I know there are hard times ahead. But I also know that God is going to teach me wonderful things and open my eyes to things I never knew existed....I know He is going to grow my daughter's heart and show Himself real and mighty to her....I know He is going to love the orphans without ceasing....pound the enemy into the dirt and call us to follow Him as He continues on....I pray for His grace, that I might be able to keep up. Thank you everyone who has prayed, given, written cards, sent gifts, read our blog and fed us.....Thanks for being part of our team go with us. This journey has really just begun....God has wonderful things in store!!!!!

Prayer requests:
His peace
safe travel
divine appointments
new friends
miraculous language learning
New Forever Homes for 147 million children of the King

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

No Seed is Insignificant

I have been asked this question a lot recently, "So what are you gonna be doing in Ethiopia". I've had many answers to this question...some came out smooth and may have even fooled people into thinking I was on top of things....other times I'm sure folks just walked away confused. Truth is....I really don't know what I'll be doing in Ethiopia. I have ideas....playing with and caring for the, laundry and chores at the orphanage, homeschooling my daughter, learning about and helping out with the feeding program in two local villages, teaching some English lessons. Most of the time I get caught up in the "What" and not the "What For"....I want my answers to sound good....or good enough that others might think what I'm doing is a big deal. But really who I'm doing it for is the big deal!!!! Every task is important as long as we're being obedient to God. Satan would want me to feel insignificant....He would lie and say, "Seeds are so small and can be blown away by the wind." But seeds are what God has called us to sow. There is a wonderful post here that really got me thinking. If God has called me to it...than it matters. I have said things like, "Oh, we'll just be helping out" or "We probably won't be doing much at first". But it is significant.....the task may be small (every little thing must be taken care of) but our vision should not be. A quick story from the other post... A man was walking along a road and saw three brick layers hard at work. He asked the first man, "What are you doing?" The man said, "I'm laying bricks." When posed with the same question, the second man replied, "I'm building a wall." The third man answered the same question with a big visioned answer, "I'm building a cathedral." Although I must be diligent in every task my King gives me I've decided to have a bigger vision....the one God has given me. So now my answer , when asked what my purpose is in Ethiopia, is going to be ...."I'm going to help bring ALL 147 million orphans into their forever homes...caring for each one along the way"....... I believe this is what I'm a part God is capable...and He didn't create too many it seems to me that He has a forever home planned for each of seems that we are to blame...we have failed them....God hasn't...So I know I'm part of a HUGE vision....God's....every little thing matters.