It is no secret how my heart breaks for children. Those in need of hope...food....a home...healing...love! The more I seek to know the heart of my heavenly father, the more my heart aches to make a difference...to stand in the gap and advocate for those that can't speak for themselves.
Throughout this adoption journey I have been selfish. Yep, I will call it out for the ugly heart condition it is! I have spent so much time and effort focused on what I want....to grow our family through adoption...that I did not always have a view of the bigger picture. Although I know this journey is on God's time, I have often cried out to HIM asking why is it taking so long. I have reassured HIM that we are ready and willing. There are millions of children in need of a loving family...so why the long wait.
But, as this blog is titled, we are growing. As we allow Christ to grow us, we are transformed. If we had been given the first set of twins that we put our profile out for, I fear that we would have become content and comfortable. Our vision and focus would have remained on our clan of warriors alone. Please do not get me wrong...our first priorities are to Christ, our marriage, our children, and then ministry...activities...etc... But, without this time of growth, we would not have allowed the transformation of our selfish hearts and been open to take action on a bigger level. No, we have not arrived. Selfishness is an ugly condition that we must daily make choices to remain distant from. But oh the growth!!!
We are still not exactly sure what God wants us to do long term to advocate for children hurting around the world. What I do know is that our hearts and focus have been taken off ourselves and is looking to impact others. Right now...until it becomes clear what our long term goal is...there are MANY things we can do. Sometimes we think we can't do anything because we do not have money...we are young...or we just don't know where to start. I PROMISE YOU...there are needs all around you that God will reveal as you heart turns outward. We may not be able to do much on our own...but as we band together...the possibilities are ENDLESS!!!
We are becoming more involved in Ship of Zion Community days. This inner city ministry gives love, support, prayer, food, clothes, and services to those living in some of the most desperate and dangerous areas of our local city. Our girls see poverty and hopelessness in the eyes of those impacted, and once our eyes are opened to the truth, we cannot pretend it doesn't exist! As parents, we can't raise world changers if we do not train them to give and serve as they grow up.
Through our homeschool group we are gathering school supplies for a missionary that is teaching school in a modest mud brick room in Sudan. She is teaching 20 little children with VERY FEW RESOURCES. We are so very blessed to have heard about this opportunity and are anxious to share what we can. Again, we can do little, but our little combined with your little, makes a tremendous impact!!!
A bloggy friend over at My Cup Overfloweth is running 26.2 miles on March 18th to raise $10,000 for this beautiful baby boy that needs a life saving surgery. In China children cannot have surgery unless the money is paid up front. Orphanages simply do not have the funds for these surgeries!
She wants him to know someday that he is loved and someone half a world away cared enough to take action. PLEASE CHECK OUT HER BLOG AND PRAYERFULLY CONSIDER SUPPORTING HER EFFORTS!! There is also a link on her blog to purchase a necklace and all proceeds go to baby Herschel.
Bri, the gal that is living with us right now as she prepares to be a new mommy, and her family are strong supporters of Agape Pregnancy Support Services. This location used to be an abortion clinic! Miss Helen stepped out in faith to purchase the property and counsels young girls toward life for their unborn babies. They provide love, support, and counseling for these mommies. They are also the ONLY center in the area that provides free baby items to help the mommies be successful. They are having a Walk for Life on April 22nd from 3-5pm. We will be there...we will raise money...we will walk to help raise awareness and advocate for unborn children. If you would like to participate or support us as we walk, please leave a comment and we will get you information. We have also donated many baby items that I have been hoarding over the past few years. I have come to realize that we do not need all of it and there are those with much greater need for it.
We will also be participating once again in the Compelled By Love 5K walk/run to support girls that are caught in human trafficking. I spoke in an earlier post about Mélika's close friend that is organizing the 5k for her birthday. That will be taking place in September and I will post as the details become available.
On the side bar, I have added various badges. Yea!!! I have finally found out how to do it!!
The first is for a prayer team. Friends...prayer is POWERFUL!! If you are not someone that spends time on your knees...it is time to start!!
The second is for the International Voice of the Orphan. Miss Linny and her husband at A Place Called Simplicity have recently started this non profit organization to feed, defend, comfort, and advocate for orphans around the world. Folks can make a donation directly to their site, or donate hand made items, unused gift cards, or vintage/collector items to be sold. Is there something you can make to raise money for orphans? If not...consider all your gift shopping online through their site. (shopping options are not yet up on the site as donations are coming in...check back soon)
Our family spent many months over the past year making and selling our adoption bracelets. We have pretty much exhausted our ability to sell them in our circle of influence so we stopped production. We still have a box of beads and cord left over and it has been sitting in my room taking up space. When we learned of IVO the girls and I immediately started praying about how we can help and what we can do/make. We are still trying to raise funds for our adoption and have added a new face to our family recently so a monetary donation would be difficult right now. BUT we have materials and knowledge to restart bracelet production!!
May the callused fingers begin!!
The third badge added to my blog is for Amazima. If you have not yet heard Katie's testimony...you are missing out!!! I HIGHLY ENCOURAGE YOU TO CLICK ON THE BADGE AND READ KATIE'S STORY!! She recently wrote a book that will rock your world if you get your hands on it!! Kisses from Katie is a MUST READ!!
My fourth badge is for 147 million orphans. I love love this organization and would like to have a shirt in every design and color!!!! (hint, hint...hee, hee!) This organization was started by two adoptive mommies that have a heart for orphans. Below is a photo of their families together:)
The last badge is from Wild Olive Trees. This was also started by three adoptive mommies. They make beautiful t-shirts that tastefully share the gospel on each shirt. They also have a program for adoptive families to fundraise, they give proceeds to three very worthwhile organizations (Orphan's Wish, 60 Feet, and Eyes Wide Open International.) It would be worth your time to look at their site and each of these organizations as well. When you click on the particular badge I have posted it will take you to a special shirt that was designed to sponsor children in need of life saving heart surgery in China. 100% of the proceeds go to this cause!! Yep...I would like one of each of these as well:)
Ok...I realize I stayed on my soap box for quite some time and may have lost a few of you along the way. My point is...it is time to take our focus off of ourselves and find out what EACH OF US can do to share the love of Christ with others!!! I have listed a few ways...but quite honestly...I haven't even touched the surface of possibilities that are available!!! Please prayerfully consider what you can do to impact lives in your local community and the world as a whole.