Thursday, November 29, 2012
Thursday, November 8, 2012
Satan is a thief, a liar, a murderer, and a deceiver. He doesn't want us to do God's mission. He has many schemes for attack. We should expect him to be opposed to what I've mentioned in this chapter. That means that adoption and orphan care requires serious prayer, a reliance on God's power, and a steadfast faith in the promises of God.
You can expect opposition from the inside and the outside. From the outside, you will discover that many people are against you. Just remember there is something deeper going on other than what you see on the surface. Have you ever wondered why it is that there are so many fatherless children in the world? This is a spiritual matter. The world is not as it should be because of the fall. And why is it so hard to adopt? Could it be that there are spiritual forces involved? -from the book "Orphanology" by Tony Merida & Rick Morton
Wow. I haven't blogged since July! I must confess the adoption road hasn't been easy this time around. We've face opposition. We've faced the unknown in regards to fundraising. We've faced some health issues. Satan has figured out where he hadn't hit us, and chipped away at the armor. I've let him. I wallowed in self-pity. I've let anxiety and fear rule. How in the world can we do all this? How can we organize a large fundraiser ourselves with just a small (albeit faithful) group of volunteers? I've looked into the future and wondered if I could keep going, how in the world we would manage all this with TWO toddlers.
And then I thought of Job, and I also thought of Satan. Was he having a similar conversation with God about how he (Satan) knew I would fold like a cheap lawn chair in the face of opposition? Somehow the thought of that conversation actually taking place has fueled me to keep going.
I started reading "Orphanology" today and when I'm not wiping a snotty toddler nose or attending to a sick teenage boy, I am captivated by everything the authors have to say. It's the church's blue print for orphan care. It's the call to Christians to adopt, it is an "awakening to a gospel-centered adoption and orphan care". I am humbled I have been called upon to undertake this task. To be a part of a glorious kingdom.
Matthew 28:20 tells us Jesus will always be with us, no matter what. Even if life isn't always unicorns and rainbows.
Saturday, July 21, 2012
|Awesome signs courtesy of Kelly Ratcliff of Collinsville, Illinois|
I am over joyed to report two awesome affirmations from God...1) During horrible, record setting high heat, for most of the month of July...Friday, the first day of the sale, there was continual cloud cover and a high of barely 90 degrees by end of day. Most of the day was a gentle breeze and pleasant, cool weather. Saturday was a bit warmer but still very pleasant. 2) And this is the best part.... we made TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS! Enough to begin to start again. It's a long road but it will be worth it! We can't save them all but we can save at least one more.
Monday, July 9, 2012
We know there is one more who needs us.
Today the one who lives in darkness tried to discourage. He doesn't like when Christians are obedient and he lights fires wherever he can. Today we heard the words spoken, "you're too old", "China is a scary place to take your oldest child", "you'll die soon." Really, we're going to die....soon? Who knew?
We know this will be a hard road, we have no funds saved for a second adoption, we know we have to pretty much start all over with paperwork. We're willing to sacrifice everything of value to get her home. "Stuff" has no meaning anymore.
Pastor David Platt has written about Christians living radically. Many love to attend secret church simulcasts and then go back home, back to their same living. Unchanged. I can't really express it more than the following words, which I stumbled across today (accident? I don't think so) and the writer so graciously has allowed me to use whatever words bring glory to God. So here goes...my thoughts only written so thoughtfully by someone else I've never met. The beauty of it being I didn't have to expend brain cells thinking!
in love with Jesus.
sinners saved by grace.
completely dependent upon the Father.
disappointed in ourselves daily.
Yes, we are.
We've pondered this little announcement.
Honestly, if we could do this privately, we would probably opt for that.
But maybe the journey has much to do with the destination.
Because we know we are not equipped.
We know we are not capable.
We know we are not strong enough.
But we know the One who is all the above and so much more!
We realize we need to look to Him for assurance now more than ever.
And we trust Him for direction every step of the way.
As someone has so beautifully said, 'kids are dying.'
And yet we go on with our comfy life.
Can we 'save' them all?
Can we make a difference for one?
Probably the biggest difference is made in our own hearts.
We are being refined.
We are NOT, I repeat NOT 'working our way to heaven.'
That deal is done. Sealed. When Jesus died on the cross and we (in our much-adult years) surrendered our lives to Him.
This is what we know:
There are over 147 million orphans
We are one family
There is this one little girl
We are her family
Someday maybe she will follow hard after the Lord
For now, we are committed to work wholeheartedly to bring her home
And we can't make this journey a private one because we are fundraising our way to her
Oh, the 'F' word
But the sooner we start fundraising, the sooner she comes home
We can't wait to share her with you
We cherish your prayers
In 50 years this won't make any difference to the nay-sayers, but it will surely have made a difference for us and for one little girl.
Sunday, July 8, 2012
Saturday, June 23, 2012
Sunday, April 8, 2012
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
here are videos of us coming home and photos from the airport.
Ellie has changed so much in this time, going from almost a baby to an active toddler.
Saturday, March 3, 2012
|With our guide, Ann in Xi'an right before we left for the airport for GZ.|
|Medical exam day!|
|Being silly with Baba (Daddy)|
|First McDonalds. Placing order was an adventure! Children are NOT allowed to get soda with their meal. Not that we would order her soda but still.|
Thursday, March 1, 2012
|With the farmer who originally found the warrior site. He's now a celebrity. When you walk in, they pressure you to buy the book and get his autograph and photo. It's raining, I have no flat iron, or will to care anymore :)|
|Wow, I am so glad we got to do this, even though the day was LONG! I was surprised too at how good the photos turned out.|
|Daddy's girl. She likes Mamma too but Dad doesn't look like quite the mess!|
|Ten Dollar each person for "take your own" photo with replica warriors|
|Love the angle our guide Ann took. It looks like we are down in the pit.|
|There are very few who actually get to stand in the pits. This one's for you dad!|
|End of a long day. The bow I made has held up well. We are eating most of our dinners in the hotel. This one gets rock star treatment from the staff!|
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Just like Ellie's appetite, her personality continues to grow with each passing day! She has a smile and a laugh which lights up a room, I can't even describe how it makes me feel! I do know if I could put the feeling in a bottle and sell it, I'd be a very rich man! Ellie thinks its hilarious to sneeze, belch, or cough in my face! For some unknown reason, I think it's pretty darn funny myself! It seems like every time Ellie wakes up in the morning, or, from a nap, and sees we're still here with her, she lights up even more!
The hotel staff, especially the waitresses, continue to fawn over Ellie! There's not a lot of adoption families here and I guess Ellie is reaping the benefits. It doesn't hurt she's the cutest thing this side of Beijing! Tonight we're venturing out to a restaurant famous for it's dumplings. We're going to go with the other family who is here and will be traveling to Guangzhou with us.
Today, a hotel manager told Julie and I we were "charitable." Of all the emotions I have been feeling, charitable is certainly not one of them. Blessed, elated, indescribable joy, yes!! Charitable, I hardly think so! This gift from God is something I cannot figure out in my mind. This morning, while we were both watching Ellie sleep, I asked Julie; "what did we do to deserve her?" Neither of us could think of anything. Like all gifts from God, we're not worthy of his generosity. Its what we do with these gifts for which God will hold us accountable. Love your children, hold them, teach them, be those "good parents."