Thursday, March 31, 2011

Bereaved Film Night

Those of you who are local I want to invite you to a special viewing of the SixtyFeet film 
Friday, April 15 · 7:00pm
Gilbert Christian High School
3632 E. Jasper Dr.
Gilbert, AZ
A little more about the story behind SixtyFeet taken from their website:
Not long ago a woman was on her way out of Kampala and drove past a dilapidated old sign that read “M”: Rehabilitation Center for Children. She was drawn to learn more about the place and so she turned down a long, winding dirt road until she came to the end. To her horror, she found rooms of children locked up, young kids chained to windows, and even a 10 day old, malnourished and living in her own urine. She saw hundreds of children with little food and no supervision.

The power of that moment could not be denied. The statistics and figures that Nathalie knew all too well now had a name and a face. The suffering was real and her first hand experience would change the course of her life and the lives of these children. A glorious story of redemption for these little ones began that day when Nathalie followed her inkling and wandered into “M”.

Eight thousand miles away, the ripple effects of Nathalie’s ministry made their way to the shores of America. When we heard about “M” our hearts were completely broken. Living amidst a sea of abundance and well cared for families, we could not begin to fathom the pain and suffering that these children endure on a daily basis. It was clear that God was calling us on a mission too.

In early 2010, some of the men on our team heard about this place and began to pray that God would send someone to help. They soon realized it was them God was sending. They decided that we should go and see how God was at work in the lives of these children, and how we might participate. And so we did.

What we learned was something we already knew but had not personally experienced so vividly. The heart of God is unquestionably devoted to caring for widows and orphans, for the poor and the marginalized, for the hungry and those who suffer injustice. This we knew. But experiencing God at work in this desperate environment made us realize that He was calling us to live out the Gospel and be devoted to His purposes in a way that was tangible, sacrificial and enduring.

It is an awesome and deeply humbling thing to have an encounter with the living God. Deep in the bush outside Kampala, we encountered Him at work and it changed our lives.

Sixty Feet was born out of a desire to participate in God’s work at “M”, to come along side those already involved in the lives of the children, to share the love of Jesus Christ in a meaningful way, and to care for orphans that are otherwise treated as common prisoners. In short, Sixty Feet is a response to the Gospel.

{Bereaved} is a film depicting the children of “M” as seen on the various trips they made to Uganda in 2010. Michael Lines tells a very convicting story through the images he captured in his film, Bereaved.

So heres my plea to those who are reading this and considering whether or not to come.... 
It's my prayer that God would bring many people to this showing but, I know whether there are 1 or 100, He has a plan. He has made it clear to me that this is very dear to His heart and wants it to be the same to me. I prayed that my heart would break for what breaks His and I am broken. God is in Ug*nda, in the prison called "M" and He is calling us to step up and fight and love His children. I exhort those who I know and love to stand with me. 
Maybe just supporting something that is important to me will be enough to get you there.. (however I do pray it doesn't stop there) Make time to come, make it important because these children are important. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

True Religion

5 MILLION children die of hunger or hunger related disease every year

Just STOP and actually think about this.

26,000 children die of EASILY preventable causes everyDAY. 
(Thats 1 child every 3 seconds.)

Over HALF the world lives on less than $2 a day.

We are rich. Oh so rich.

It is estimated that it would cost $13 Billion to provide basic nutrition to every starving person in the world.

Christians in the U.S spend approximately:
$3 Billion on bottle water
$11 Billion on coffee
$13 Billion on our pets
$20 Billion on soft drinks
$21 Billion on cable TV
$105 Billion on eating out


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Why Adoption?

Why adoption? This is a question that has come up a few times, and I wanted to put in my own words, why we as a family feel called to adopt. 

First- As Christians we have experienced the ultimate adoption firsthand because of what God has done for us. We have not just been forgiven, but have been made children of The King. We can now call Him "Abba" or "daddy". I feel privileged to be used by God to display this amazing truth in the life of a child with no family to call their own. 

"But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons."
Galatians 4:4-6
Second- We want to fill Gods call to care for the orphan in their distress and this is one way we are . James 1 :27 doesn't necessarily mean that we are all going to be able to open our homes and adopt a child in need BUT we are ALL called to do something (More on this in a future post). 
"And anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me."
Matthew 18:5
Third- In the words of our 2 1/2 year old daughter when we asked her why we were going to adopt she said "Because those children don't have any families and we adopt them they will be part of our family!"

How simple this childlike statement is and for so many adult Christians it's a foreign concept. To many the idea that anyone would adopt if they didn't have to is even difficult to grasp. There are children out there who need a home and we want to step up and open ours. We want to put our faith into action and love these children and bring them into our family as God did the same for us. 

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Out of the Mouth of Babes

" Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants
      You have perfected praise.” Matt 21:16b

Tonight my husband was putting our oldest daughter to bed and prayed with her. Typically she just likes to listen to daddy pray and when she does ask to pray it sounds a lot like the prayer she learned from her favorite Big Green Bear Boz.  Well tonight was a little different and when Josh was telling me about it we wrote it down so we could remember it.

Evelyn's Prayer at Bedtime:

"Thank you God for Orphans and Jesus. Amen. And thank you God for Avie and Eli and Mr. Josh and Mrs. Heather. And thank you for um, Pearl and Uncle Alex, and keep dem "healty". And thank you for Uncle Caleb and Aunt Sandy and Grandma Vickie and Grandma Gail and Grandpa "Teeb" (Steve). Amen."

Our little girls growing up and we are praying for her heart daily. 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Our Adoption Journey so far:

And anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me.
                                               Matthew 18:5

Heres a little about our adoption story so far:

2003- God placed adoption on our hearts while Josh and I were still dating. It was something we both wanted "someday" but not sure how it would happen. We were married in November 2003 and our little family began.

July 2008 God started expanding our family with the birth of our first daughter Evelyn Mae. 

July 2009- When our daughter was about a year old we started to pursue a local infant adoption. We completed our required infant class and was ready to start our home study process.

February 2010- We were surprised to find out we were pregnant with our second child! We were excited but also a little disappointed in the fact that we would have to step out of the adoption process until our youngest child turned a year old. (per our agencies policies) We put that on the back burner and waited .... September our little ZoĆ« Hosanna was born. 

We continued to have a tugging on our hearts for adoption but continued to wait... 

December 2010 -Desiring to have purpose in our Christmas gift giving I started seeking out ways to purchase gifts that would some how benefit others. God started putting adopting families who were raising funds in front of my eyes. As I read the stories of peoples journeys to their children in other countries I started feeling like maybe, someday God may want us to do that too.... 

February 2011- Our youngest daughter turned 5 months and we wanted to start getting ready for the 1 year mark by completing our paper work and beginning our home study. Contacted our agency and started gathering the paper work again. 

            *Feb 25th 2011- Stumbled upon the SixtyFeet site and God totally turned our world upside down (or maybe right side up!)

March 2011-Started praying that God would show us where He wanted us to adopt from...

Where are we now???? 

Well... we are stepping out in faith and pursuing an Independent adoption from Uganda!!! 

God willing we will start our home study the beginning of April. Still trying to find our footing in all this. We are learning more and more everyday. We will keep you posted!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Breaking the Ice

   This is my first official blog post and I am excited! I am excited about what God will do with this little blog and most importantly I am excited about the amazing story God has for my family. We are starting out on a completely new adventure and I welcome you to come along with us!

    It is my desire to love God with all my heart, all my soul, all my mind and all my strength and thus love others in such a way. This is where the idea of Loving with Reckless Abandonment came from. I want to love God in such a way that it seems foolish and to love others, especially the least of these, in such a way that I am ready to forsake myself and respond!

    I am not perfect, don't claim to be perfect, and this side of Heaven will never be perfect.  BUT I serve a God who IS and lavishes His Amazing Grace on me daily. He is growing me step by step and He is shaping and molding my desires, thoughts, and feelings to His will. I am thankful for it! I point to Him and want to be able to say, "Follow with me as I follow Christ." ( I know the saying is suppose to be  "Follow Me" and not "Follow with me." but I want to do this journey together.

Alright,  Let's Go!