Saturday, April 17, 2010

Reading List! :)

Alright y'all!

Get to the library. Your bookshelf. Your friend's bookshelf. A stranger's bookshelf.

I don't care where! :)

But we need to pick a book!

Here's a reading idea list: (Thanks sharon for some ideas, I'd had almost all the same ones!)
1. "Fields of the Fatherless" by Tom Davis
2. "Red Letters" by Tom Davis
3. "Scared" by Tom Davis
4. "The Waiting Child" by Cindy Chapnella
5. "Saving Levi" by Lisa Misraje Bentley
6. "Castaway Kid" by R.B. Mitchell
7. "Dangerous Surrender" Kay Warren
8. "There is No Me Without You" by Melissa Fay Greene

If you have not done much reading on orphans/adoption I highly recommend "Fields of the Fatherless." This is a short, basic, to-the-point book that hits the key points of the orphan crisis and the Christian's call to help. A fabulous book.

Second up is "There Is No Me Without You." This book changed my life. A gripping story about a sweet woman in Ethiopia who ministered to thousands of AIDS orphans.

Which book are you choosing?! Tell me when you finish and what you thought about it! :)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

It's Aprillll!!!!

And you know what that means?!

Time for a facelift (thank you Audrey!) and a new challenge!

Thank you to all who participated in last month! Together we encouraged at least 8 people! :)

This month's challenge is going to be a tough one for me.

For years, I devoured any book regarding orphans and adoption.

Then....I just couldn't do it anymore.

After holding these tiny babies, playing with these needy children, and seeing the pain of poverty I just couldn't do it.

Reading more about it just made me more discouraged. Reading more about the need just made my heart ache more.

But it's time that I get past this stage.

Because I can't hide my face from it forever.

The Lord has been teaching me recently about how important education is. He speaks of knowledge and wisdom SO MUCH in the Bible. Not only knowledge of Him and His Word, but knowledge of our world, wisdom that will help guide us through.

And so if I am to go live in a foreign country after I graduate, I need to be well-informed. Well-prepared to go and serve.

So this month's challenge is to pick a book regarding orphans, adoption, foster care, orphan ministry, etc. and READ it! Ask God to show you something, prick your heart. This month may only be challenging for me. And I'm okay with that. I pray that the rest of you will at least learn and grow from it.

If you know of any great books that the rest of us should read- leave a comment!

My next post (sometime this week I promise!) will be a list of book options! There are some really great ones out there! :)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

And so encourage...

"Therefore encourage one another and build eachother up, just as in fact you are doing."

1 Thessalonians 5:11

There are countless times in the Bible where we are called to encourage one another. I believe one of the main reasons God gave us the Word is to that we might be encouraged by it, and spurred on to live out our faith. We can choose to use OUR words to lift others' hearts too.

I have watched many adoptive families on their journeys to bring their children home. And it is exhausting. I have talked with the couple who run the orphanage in Guatemala. And it is exhausting. I have watched the orphanage workers tirelessly take care of children. Every week. Day and night. And it is exhausting. We all, whether or not we're in the adoption journey, grow weak and weary of this race. Why else would Paul talk so much about persevering? He got tired in his ministry, discouraged by the lack of passion.

And so for the remainder of February, and into March, I'm challenging myself to write 2 letters of encouragement to people who are involved in orphan/adoption ministry.

Here are some ideas:

- A family who is in the adoption process currently

- A foster care family.

- A family who has already adopted (either recently or not). You can tell them about how much you've enjoyed watching their family grow and seeing them live out their faith.

- Anyone who works for DCSF or an adoption agency. This is a tiring job that doesn't always have great outcomes.

- Anyone who has an orphan care ministry.

- The director of the orphan program (if you have one) at your church.

These are just some ideas!!

Leave me a comment and tell me who you decided to write to!
Happy encouraging! :)

Monday, February 22, 2010

It's been awhile....'s been awhile! And I probably wouldn't be back had it not been for college essays and a sweet comment on my personal blog from one of my readers a few weeks ago. (you know who you are!) :)

I really didn't think all of these college essays would change or grow me. But they certainly have. These questions they ask really force you to look at yourself, your life, your faith, and your experiences. I wrote 2 essays this afternoon that really made me think.

The first one was actually just a 2-page essay on any topic you want. I love those essays! :) I always write about Guatemala, orphans, or adoption because those are the things i write passionately about. So as I was editing a paper I'd previously written on this very topic, I noticed I'd talked about this blog in one of the paragraphs. And it made me sad I haven't touched this blog in a long time.

The second one was about servant and leadership development. I wrote about how Christ is/was the perfect leader. He led here on the earth without fault. And the greatest component of His leadership and ministry was not that He distributed tasks, trained people well, was a great public speaker, or anything like that (though He was all of those things). The key part of His ministry was servanthood. He served with love, expecting nothing in return. So I began to often do I do that? And let me tell you, it's not very much. Even my most humble efforts somehow get twisted by my own selfish desires and pride. I'm so darn self-righteous and it gets the best of me everytime. So what has this to do with blogging? the title states, It's been awhile since I've written on here. And while I'd like to tell myself I don't know why, I really do. And it's mainly my own selfishness. Nothing in my heart has changed, I'm still as broken and burdened for the orphans as ever. I'm consuming post after post about different ministries on other blogs, loving every word of people actively serving the fatherless. I still love blogging, just as much as I did before (though time has really affected my ability to just sit down and blog whenever I want). But I think I just got discouraged. I knew I really didnt have that many people reading and I felt like I was running out of ideas (how absurd is that?! there's so many things we can do!). And I didn't feel like I was really making a difference.

But then I wrote about servant leadership. I wrote about how important it is to start small as God develops your heart and mind for serving and leading. I thought about how imperative it is to NOT focus on numbers. It doesn't matter how many followers you are leading. All that matters is that the heart, speech, attitude, and behavior are glorifying God. If others see even a second of it and see Christ, then my task has been completed. Anything above that, any impact I make is merely from God. So all I am called to do is live my life right here. To be a Godly daughter, a kind sister, a supportive friend, a hard-working student, a wise college applicant, and a faithful blogger who will write about God's call to the orphans. And if anyone wants to join me they may- but if not- it is STILL for God's glory.

I applaud anyone who made it through my rambling! And I'm sorry that I probably have some theology wrong or something haha. I was just trying to empty my brain and heart into readable form! :)

I'm going to work on our next challenge tonight and post it, okay?!

Monday, November 2, 2009

If I could....

If I could jump on a plane right now I would...
If I could kiss those cheeks, hold those hands, hear that laugh again I would..
These are the faces of the fatherless.
These children are the orphans spoken of in James. The ones we are called to care for.

Will we turn our faces away??

Or will we let God break us. Break our hearts.
The cry of the oppressed is rising up. Calling for the Church to come and rescue.
What are we going to do?
Let's REACH out. With our hands, with our hearts. Let's STAND up.

That God's glory and majesty be made known. That the Church would be united, every tongue, tribe, and nation. That we may be known as a people that LIVES OUT every day the love of Christ. To him who is given much, much is required. We have been given oh so much.
How are we going to respond??

"In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds."
Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do."
James 2:17-18

Challenge 2- November, 2009

Month 1- DONE!

Are you ready for month 2??

Okay friends, this month we're going to do Operation Christmas Child!

Operation Christmas Child is a fabulous program run by Samaritan's Purse. They collect Christmas boxes from all over the USA and ship them to kids around the world. And they make it SO EASY for us to do it.

Here's what you do:

1. Hop on to this website and take a look at the list of items the kiddos need: the list is at the bottom of the page. You can do a box for a boy or girl, and there are different ages you can choose.

2. Go SHOPPING! :) Girls, this is a great challenge. It's one of the only times that shopping is considered a good use of time and money haha.

3. Dig out an old shoebox and fill it up with the gifts!!

4. Print out the label found at the above website and put it on the box.


That means we only have a few weeks to do this.

But it is so much fun to go and pick things out for these kids. I loved it last year. In a post next week I'll give some ideas on specifically what to buy. Until then just start thinking about it and please join with me! Let's make sure some kids get Christmas gifts this year! :)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

1 Week Left!!

Sweet prayer warriors!! 1 week left of the October challenge!!

24 days of prayer so far. 7 days left.

Has God been growing your heart for the orphans through this?? Convicting you?? Encouraging you?? I hope and pray so!!

If you need some inspiration for the last 7 days, my bloggy friend Sharon shared this link with me: I wish I had known about this at the beginning of the month!! But I'm definitely going to utilize it for the last 7 daysof this prayer challenge and then keep it up until I finish the 40 Days of Prayer that it gives.

I already know what we're going to do next month and I'm EXCITED!!! Get ready for a hands-on opportunity to serve children in another country without leaving your town!! :)