Sunday, April 13, 2014

Hear, Follow, Trust, Obey

Oh how I never get to that level of comfort which I always believe is coming. When we brought Ellie home I thought I would coast back in life with this sweet, adorable baby girl. Wrong! With in three months we were called again to adopt. To begin a complicated and stressful paperwork process. We faced adversity and judgement by folks who did not understand our call to obey God. There were actual attempts to stop our second adoption and yet we believed God was in control. He provided everything we needed and deafened our ears to those who did not understand our motives. He provided big. I never doubted for a second we wouldn't be successful in the journey. He blessed us with a son who's Chinese name was translated literally into "Gift from God."
So when Chris returned from China and we began the challenging task of raising four kids, two special needs toddlers and two teenagers again I believed life would be simpler. We completed some much needed small home projects and began focusing on our Orphan ministry we felt we were called to pursue. I was looking forward to a stress free summer finally enjoying friends and our home again, free from paperwork or fundraising. Life was gonna be EASY!

Since Isaac has been home I still advocate for waiting children. I still see our agency's  list of kiddos needing homes and on several occasions begged God not to "send me back to China to adopt again." Apparently I was too specific in my prayer! This week I have been given a unique opportunity to be the hands and feet of Christ, joining a mission team to an orphanage in China for eleven days in October. The orphanage is located in Ellie's province which would connect me once again to her homeland and the province/culture she was from. When I read about the opportunity I immediately went "all in" for God. I wasn't scared of long flights, being in China again (I was a tad bit overwhelmed on our adoption trip) and the idea of seeing an orphanage first hand and serving was intense. I had a life changing experience all in the time it took my husband to go get a pizza! Let's just say I overwhelmed him a little when he returned and I dropped this bombshell. After several days of praying I don't feel any less called to do this. I KNOW God is calling me.

Photo credit: Ben Leaman

Photo credit: Ben Leaman

Photo credit: Ben Leaman

Photo credit: Ben Leaman

After two years I am ready to brave that long plane ride again. I am ready to see China for it's beauty and culture. I am ready to connect and come along side with people I have never met who have also been called to serve. I am so blessed my husband is retired and we would not have to work out logistics of childcare. I am ready to see first hand nannies and staff who care for the children with the resources they have. I am told the director of the particular orphanage I would be serving at is an actual orphan himself. I am excited to see God's light where there is a lot of darkness. I am ready to be refined and stretched beyond who I believed myself to be.

First and foremost I need your prayers. I need your encouragement. I also will need to fund this trip.
When we adopted Isaac we had zero. We had exhausted all resources when we adopted Ellie. I never doubted we wouldn't get Isaac home and God provided all. We were fully funded and came home without debt after Isaac's adoption. Friday night when this was placed on my heart I had zero fear to take the plunge. I knew God had provided before when He called and I knew He was calling me, alone with out Chris to go and serve. I need to raise approximately four thousand dollars.

Help in funding.I would love any assistance in fundraising you can offer. I know in these current times many are stretched helping other ministries. I also do not want to detract from our Orphan ministry which has just begun. I am planning on a fundraiser yard sale sometime in July. Any gently used, sale-able items would be appreciated. Please begin thinking about Spring cleaning now!
I am also booking photography sessions for outdoor individual/family sessions. I took many classes over the winter and am pleased with some news skills I have acquired. Sessions will be approximately one hour and you may choose to donate what you are able to give. All images will be on CD with a release for you to print at lab of your choice.

For those of you who know me personally, you know this is a big leap for me. I solidly believe God is calling me to this. I would love for my Christian brothers and sisters to join me in my journey.

Acts 20:35
In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.' 

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