Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Monday, February 27, 2012
Saturday, February 25, 2012
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Our Ethiopian Adoptive Families Group has formed a friendship with the local Ethiopian Women's Society and together with Water Is Life International , they are helping to raise money to drill life changing wells in Ethiopia. We attended a fundraising dinner last weekend and had a ball. The kids just love being around this group of women and their families and I feel especially thankful that we have this connection for our Ethiopian children. You should have seen their delighted faces as they indulged in the yummiest injera they've had in a long time (mine has been flopping lately and while they tell me "it's good mommy," now that I've had the real stuff again, it just doesn't compare). Meron ate so much that she came to me after dinner and said, "mommy, I can't breave (breathe) berry (very) well."
Seeing the pictures of Trees of Glory last week and the hope that clean water brings to a community makes me really appreciate the fact that we never have to worry if our water is safe for our children, or available for that matter. We were without water for a few hours while we replaced our hot water heater last month (a birthday present from my parents--thank you very much--I do so enjoy a hot shower) and just that short time without water was inconvenient. I can't imagine how difficult life is without a clean source of water.
It also makes me really motivated to spread the word and do more to help others.
We have good friends that are doing amazing work in Malawi, Africa to bring water for irrigation and drinking to farmers there-changing whole communities and allowing them to become self-sustainable. Their organization is called Africa Windmill Project. They are using very basic supplies that are readily available in Malawi (sack, sticks and bike tires) to make a very major difference. One of my favorite parts about their story is that after taking a mission trip to Malawi, John (founder of AWP) was so inspired to help that he actually went home and constructed a windmill in his backyard to see if it was a feasible option in Malawi. It was, and now they are training farmers in building and maintaining these windmill wells. Here's an excerpt taken from their blog detailing "what they do":Africa Windmill Project focuses on educating and supporting rural farmers as they work to feed and care for their families. We do this by working directly with the farmers and by supporting other organizations as they work with farmers. Currently Africa Windmill Project is focused in the Central Region of Malawi. Africa Windmill Project's programs directly influence The UN Millennium Development Goals: End Poverty and Hunger, Gender Equality, Child and Maternal Health. AWP indirectly impacts the remaining goals; Combat HIV/AIDS, Environmental Sustainability, and Global Partnership and Universal Education. These areas of focus are critical.
The desperate need for clean water around the world often seems overwhelming, but if we each do just a little bit, it can really add up and together we can make a difference in the lives of many.
Monday, February 13, 2012
(picture from Karen Wistrom)
To read more details, click over to Karen's blog .
Thanks so much to all of you who contributed to this life changing project. I can hardly wait to get back to see it for myself!
Sunday, February 5, 2012
The day after we received the profiles for the kids at Fond Blanc Haiti, I received this letter in the mail from Meseret. We've received several of these letters since we started sponsoring her. This one was extra special because it also came with an Ethiopian Christmas card. Here's what she wrote:
How are you doing whom that I love? I am doing well. I am so thankful for your support. May God bless you. I wish you happy, peaceful and healthy new year.
On the back, there is a place for her to ask a question and ask for prayer. Here's what she wrote:
When would you come to Ethiopia again? Pray for me to fear God and to be a smart student.
When she asked when I would come to Ethiopia again, it just melted my heart. I'm so excited that I will actually be able to go again this year. I feel so lucky-my next trip will make four times that I've been able to travel to this beautiful country in just over 2 years time-can't wait to hug her again and let her know that Jesus loves her and so do we.
Because of our relationship with our sponsor child in Ethiopia, I know just how valuable this relationship is. One of the most powerful things we get to do as sponsors is pray for our children.
These six new faces are currently on our fridge. I gave each of our kids one of these dear children from Fond Blanc to pray for a family to sponsor each of them.
Rahel has Kerline
Each morning, they've asked if their girls have found a sponsor family yet. Each morning, I've told them "not yet, but keep praying."
If you are interested in sponsoring one of these precious girls, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Believe me, IT MATTERS.
Friday, February 3, 2012
This season, we thought we'd kick it up a notch and branch out a little (you know-to add some excitement to our lives). So, the two little girls are doing a ballet class (just one afternoon a week for 30 minutes taught by a great high school homeschooler). They love it!
The two older girls are sticking with soccer and we're rejoining the baseball circuit (which could very well do me in-talk about a time commitment). Both boys are playing this season-it'll be Colton's first time and he can't wait.
When we get into the thick of a season, I inevitably question why we ever committed ourselves (and often over committed ourselves) to something so trivial as sports in the first place (although the kids have a blast, it's great exercise and Nick and I love watching them try something new and work hard at it-lots of lessons learned).
We commit to the practice it takes to get good at a particular skill, rearrange schedules to make it to each event and prioritize our calendar to accommodate all these extracurricular activities.
Yet, so often that same intensity of commitment is lacking in our own Christian walk and in the training of our children.
I mean, when was the last time you cleared your schedule for three plus hours for the next 12 Saturdays just to spend time seeking and knowing and serving the Lord? Yeah- it's never happened for me either.
I'm reading an AWESOME new book called "Not A Fan" by Kyle Idleman. I've only made it to the second chapter and it so good that I'd HIGHLY recommend you pick it up.
The implications of this book are life changing.
The author gives the most basic definition of a fan-"an enthusiastic admire" and declares that a large portion of those who claim to be Christians define their relationships with Jesus (if not directly, then through their actions) as mere fanship.
He continues that many have made a decision to believe in Jesus without making a commitment to follow Him-they admire, but aren't devoted, they know about him, but without intimacy, they assume good intentions make up for apathetic faith, they are secret admirers, but not FOLLOWERS.
The gospel doesn't allow for this distinction between "making a decision" for Jesus and "making a commitment" to Him. As Idleman says, "When we decide to believe in Jesus without making a commitment to follow him, we become nothing more than fans."
I don't know about you, but that's just not good enough for the one who gave it all up for me.
In a society where we so easily commit to countless lessons, book clubs, birthday parties, appointments and play dates, it's easy to lose sight of the fact that God requires ALL of us and that He is not a part-time-penciled-in event that we can squeeze in here or there.
"It is a twenty-four-hour-a-day commitment that will interfere with your life."
So, as our family embarks on a new sports season, I pray that our commitment to ballet, soccer and baseball will pale in comparison to our commitment to FOLLOW Jesus-whatever the cost-and to raise our children up for Him
Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it. Proverbs 22:6
Thursday, February 2, 2012
click here to view video
Makes me want to jump on a plane and hug some kids!
If you want to join this exciting adventure through the sponsorship of one of these precious children, please email me at email@example.com.
Three sweet kiddos still need your support:
Elima-born December 20th
*****Elima is SPONSORED-thank you Taylor Family********
Kerline-born September 19th