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147 Million Orphans


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Thursday, January 21, 2010
A couple of weeks ago Katie came home to be with her family and rest. One of her first stops was to come see little miss Josie Love. You should have seen her face when she laid eyes on Katie. She started screaming and laughing and could not get into her arms quick enough!
She wrapped her little arms and legs around Katie and did not let go for at least thirty was the sweetest thing on earth!

I haven't blogged lately because I really haven't had any words. Watching the people in Haiti on TV and going from the infectious disease doctors office to the health department for all of Josie's care has left me "weepy." While traveling to the health department, tears just steadily rolled down my cheeks. The feeling of defeat fills my heart and mind a lot these days. ( The grey skies and rain just add to my "weepiness".) My cell dings and it is a text from Katie "what's up?" I thought "you really wanna know? you REALLY WANT TO KNOW?" I called her and just fell apart over the phone. She listened and sincerely said "I AM SO is hard it just plain ole' stinks" We talked about the warfare that accompanies orphans......and satan...HE IS SUCH A DECEIVER...he makes it a point to try and steal my joy DAILY. Now, the normal person would say "look at your have SEVEN children, you are running 147 Million Orphans, and helping Katie with Amazima.....what do you expect?"

Well, since you asked.....I EXPECT My sweet Saviour to pull me up from my darkness and fill my cup with HIS presence. He promises me this. HE WILL NEVER LEAVE ME NOR FORSAKE ME. perhaps it is in His timing and not mine, perhaps He is letting me "sit in it" until I compare my circumstances to those in Haiti......hhhmmmm.... I am driving through WILLIAMSON COUNTY (horse farms to the left and right), IN A CAR, not by foot, with air blowing in my face, drinking my diet coke and it REALLY that bad? Hard? YES Bad? no

We are not called to an easy life, as a matter of fact my Bible says this:
31"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory.32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

34"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

37"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'

40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

41"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.'

44"They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?'

45"He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'

46"Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."

These verses are a little bit unnerving to me.... He is literally talking about casting people into hell. I do not have a "works based" relationship with Christ so these verses do not taunt me to try and "do" more and more. But if we are BELIEVERS, shouldn't our hearts yearn to do more? Shouldn't we ask ourselves "am I dying to self daily all for the sake to bring joy to my Saviours heart?" if not, what ARE we doing with our lives?

this first pic I was weary from cleaning up messes, so I put all three of them to mopping up the commode water that they had been playing in


Andrea said...

I am so sorry you are in such a tough place. After we brought home our E, I was there too. I would leave the PID and just cry. We spent many days in the hospital and weekly appts with specialists. It sucked...sorry but it's the truth. I did alot of the same...cried and prayed.
I can tell you now that we have been home for a little over a year that things are 200% better. I didn't feel like running the other way when we had to visit our PID on Monday. I was hopeful and E is full of life.
Hang in there. You are in my prayers. I would also be available to talk any time you wanted/needed...I know you don't know me... but I am completely serious. Carolyn T has my info.
Just know that you aren't alone, and you are in my prayers.

Karen said...

Thank you for posting. I really needed to hear your message today. We are awaiting some final details to find out if we can leave on Saturday to adopt our Russian son. It is Thursday, Still not all is clear. We are spending so much time, energy and money ... sometimes I feel as if we are just dumping our money down the drain. We are frustrated with the constant walls that go up to try to block us from this little boy. With 5 other kids at home, it is hard to be leaving all this up in the air still. And I know you understand what I am saying. So thank you thank you for your words. I tried to call my husband to share. But alas, his voice mail is full--he has been working on adoption stuff most of the morning. We have both gotten down on our knees and asked for help and pereverance. Can't wait to have our little guy home!!!!!!

Karen Snyder (Brian's sister)

RaVae Erickson said...

Your pictures bring joy to my heart and make me want to drive all the way there (from Colorado) just to give you a few hours to be by yourself and recharge with our precious Savior. My prayers are with you dear sister and I hope beyond all hope that He lifts you up when His timing is just right.

Many blessings,

Shonni said...

thank you for so beautifully wrote what has been on my heart the last few weeks. We just brought home a newest from Ethiopia and it seems that endless things keep coming at us and I feel weary...and then I look around and know that this is where I want to be, that I want to die to me and live for Him and that it isn't easy...but then, I didn't sign up for the easy, onward...and thank you for the encouragement.

steal magnolias said...

i love you suzanne i just flat out love you! know that you are being prayed for through out the day. chip had his shirt on this morning... i smiled first and then i prayed for the mayernicks. i miss you.

Naomi said...

I can also relate! We adopted our little girl form China last year and now sense the call to Africa! My husband starts a new job on the 1st Feb, (we have been planting a church in England and he is the Pastor) but now we know we are called to move back to the States where my husband will be working for The Joshua Fund for a man named Joel Rosenberg. It seems as if the darkness has suddenly enveloped us yet again and it always seems to happen when we take a stand for the orphans!! Sometimes I can become so deceived by the enemy that I begin to wonder if the darkness and oppression is actually not from Satan but from the Lord and His way of showing us to be content with what we have and not move forward with another adoption! Then I remind myself of God's heart and see clearly that it is Satan's voice whispering these things to me, not God and that if God desires us to adopt again, He will do it!! Of course I am to be content in every circumstance I find myself! However, I know that when the darkness comes, there is a lack of peace and an abundance of confusion! I hope that I am beginning to recognise who it is that brings the darkness...... it is NOT my Lord! Though He does allow it in my life for my good!! It is in the darkness when I see most, His beautiful light and it is in the darkness when things in my heart are revealed.

Thank you for sharing your heart and helping us to feel that we are not alone!


Unknown said...

More of Him and less of us. Love you sister!
Julie J

florence said...

Suzanne, thank you for sharing your beautiful heart. We join creation in groaning for our redemption.. life will continue to be hard until Christ returns and makes everything new. Hold on the hope that is yours. Remind yourself of God's precious promises to you. I know God is beaming over you and your life which is a testimony to His goodness, faithfulness, mercy and love. May God continue to keep you in faith and sustain you in the tough times so that you may say, "It is well".

Mrs. McGoo said...

I cannot get over how beautiful your children are! That last photo you posted put a smile on me like crazy midday during work. Thank you.

Stay strong, my sister in Christ. Isaiah 40:26-31... especially be reminded of this today. vs 28 "do you not know? have you not heard? the LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. vs. 29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak....

May you rest in the Lord's strength today!

Tabitha Harder said...

Sweet post Suzanne :) Thank you for sharing your life with so many people - you have no idea how encouraging your story is! Josie Love is TOO stinkin cute ! I love her little smile!!!

Mama 2 Four said...

Stay srong and courageous!!!
You are such an inspiration!
I just found your blog recently, and your family is just beautiful!

Josette said...

Beautiful babies. You always make me think. They always make me smile :)

Miss Janet said...

Oh, sweet blessings!

Please send Katie love from your blog readers!


"Are These Kids All Yours?" said...

PRAYING! Hard to watch the devastation, hard to be a mommy some days, but know that your brothers and sisters in Christ are praying!!! :)

sunny-d said...

oh the darkness, indeed. i'm there. for sure. absolutely there. thank you for this post. I really love what Naomi said about "the lack of peace and abundant confusion." Lord come!! We groan to be in your everlasting presence, but until then we praise you for transparency and promises!

Unknown said...

Love the first shot of her with Katie and the last shot is priceless.

Through the fire we are most refined and the brighter we can shine of HIM!

Praying over you and sending hugs!


Meyerdrk said...

Thank you! I've been chewing on Heb 11:1-12:3 lately...let us run with endurance (kind of gives the impression every step won't be easy), looking unto Jesus (He REALLY is with us).

I wrote a post this week about learning from the crowd of witnesses you might be encouraged by( Hall of Faith sort of people have a way of cheering us on to really run this race of faith, dying daily to live for the glory of God by His Spirit.

You are so right...some stretches are plain hard, but we have God's Spirit at work in us to strengthen us for all He calls us to. Press on Sister, looking unto Jesus and receiving His sufficient grace moment by moment.

The joy ahead is such that no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him (1 Cor 2:9). The road is narrow and often hard, but once you have tasted and seen the goodness of the Lord you cannot be content being a comfort-loving pew sitter...we do not treasure comfort and ease and safety anymore, we treasure Christ and Him crucified.

Your post reveals a heart that loves Jesus...thank you again for taking the time to write it and encouraging others as we take on a new day by faith in the One who will never leave us nor forsake us.

Rick Lannoye said...

It's so good to see someone doing the kinds of things Jesus taught us all to do, not with a motive to dodge Hell, but just because it's the right thing to do.

If I may, I'd like to help a bit with the comment here about the unnerving passage mentioned from Matthew 25, making it seem as if Jesus, after a very long story in which he tried so hard to explain how much he empathizes with human suffering, so much so that he says we ought to think of even the "least" as if s/he were him...only to turn right around and all in the same breath say, "Oh, but one day I'm going to be the direct cause of the worst suffering ever!"

Now, that makes no sense, does it? No wonder this passage is unnerving to anyone who has the real spirit of God in their hearts!

Well, the explanation for this contradictory statement is simple--Jesus never said it!!! It's an interpolation that was, in all likelihood, inserted by a Greek Christian scribe while making a copy of the text, totally distorting the message of the originally inspired autograph!

Sadly, though, because these few verses that place Hell on Jesus' lips serve the interests of people who feel threatened by the real message of Jesus, that we ought to care for those in need, those suffering, even those who made big mistakes that landed them in jail, even the "least," they would have us believe that God is ultimately going to give up on most of humanity and let them have it big time! From there, it makes it easy for them to deceive believers into thinking it's not all that bad to get a head start on hurting people, or at least, not helping the hurting.

I've actually written an entire book on this topic--"Hell? No! Why You Can Be Certain There's No Such Place As Hell," (for anyone interested, you can get a free ecopy of my book at my website: Please read it. I'm sure it will help you to see that Jesus was, indeed, consistent in his message that God cares for all, loves all, wants to heal all, and is never going to give up on anyone until the very last, lost sheep is saved.

jill funkhouser said...

right on sister, we will keep the prayers headed your way to lift you up!

lisa kindred said...

OK that last picture of the two smiling that cheesy smile and hugging each other made me laugh out loud. That picture of the 2 once orphaned kliddos now in your forever family is shy we do what we do. You have been called to this journey. He never said it would be easy but His obedience you followed. I just want to encourage you in what you are doing today!! Our precious Jesus cares about your every need and Josie's every test,medicine, and every part of your lives. Step outside of it for a minute and let Him fill you with all you need.
God is on your side sister and I am blessed to pray. Your life is glorifying our Father. That is what life is about.

Love ya, LIsa k.

Jim and April said...

first let me just say how darn adorable those pictures are of them cleaning up the floor with mops and then the pic of the two hugging and smiling...precious! LOVE the pics of josie love with katie too!

I just want to tell you how much you encourage me by watching and reading your journey! You amaze me with the strength that you have, which we know has come from our heavenly Father! Thanks for this was amazing and something I needed to hear!

Anonymous said...

hang in there auntie!!! I love you soo much and LOVE seeing God do his work through you, Gwen. Katie, 147 Million Orphans, and Amazima! I absolutely take pure joy from it! I know it's hard...but you can do it! He gives you his strength!



lauradodson said...

thanks for posting your struggle... one of the ways satan trys to steal my joy is making me think i'm the only one trudging through the trenches of daily life. and daily life does stink at times... and i am not alone. most espeically, i have One seated on His heavenly throne over me, ready to show me mercy. my eyes are not always focused up. they are focused on my circumstances, they are focused down. i must cast my eyes to the One who is entrhoned above me...

sandy said...

I love the pictures! She is SOOO happy!!!

Tracy said...

Thank you sweet sister for sharing the WHOLE passage in Mt. 25! Praising God for your beautiful transparent heart! Sad to have missed Katie when she was home---Your path led through the sea,
your way through the mighty waters,
though your footprints were not seen. Psalm 77:19


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I am a lover of Jesus. I have the most fabulous husband that anyone woman could ask for. The Lord has blessed us with 7 beautiful children. I started this blog so that friends and family could follow our trip to Uganda to visit Katie Davis. I have decided to keep blogging to help bring orphan awareness to the world around me.
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