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147 Million Orphans

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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Kisses from Katie..her book!!! #6 thing that makes me smile!!!

Is anybody else as excited as I am about Katie's book?!?!? I cannot wait for you guys to read it....I LOVE this girl with my whole heart!!






Friday, July 29, 2011

Joshua's first football practice...#5 things that make me smile!






Wednesday, July 27, 2011

the fourth thing that makes me smile...Josie can swim!!






Friday, July 22, 2011

the third thing that makes me smile...

How a child can go from this:
to this:



He is the I AM....

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Things that make me smile


#2

Awhile ago, we had some guys come and help us with some work around the house. Josie Love was DRAWN to one of the guys (more specifically, the glasses on his face) I kept making her come inside because I would look outside and she would be wearing the poor guys glasses. The sun was HOT that day, and he needed them for the work that he was doing.

They came the next week and it was the same thing....she followed him around, just talking his ears off.

A few days ago, I went to my mailbox and there was a pair of glasses and a note that read "these are for the little girl that stole my heart and loved my glasses" NOW, that made me smile...


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Josie feeding her baby

The summer is growing long, so until school starts (and to keep from crying from feeling defeated), I am going to start posting things that make me smile: here is #1...








Wednesday, July 13, 2011

maggie bustin' a move


  1. An angel from above....

  2. The past few years have been full of heartache, frustration, questioning, joy, love, redemption, and crying out to our Savior.I have watch my best friend Gwen, be the hands and feet of Jesus OVER and OVER to her little Maggie. Three and a half years ago, Gwen flew to China to bring home a little girl that was missing some hair. We thought a surgery to add some hair, and she'll be good to go. At first glance, Gwen knew there was more. Her eyes were hollow, she wouldn't look anyone in the eyes, and she was covered in bruises. It was obvious that the burn on her head was not an accident but out of abuse. She was BROKEN. She had learned not to look anyone in the eyes for self preservation. When people saw her they would gasp because of her outward appearance. She was like an animal. She scratched, bit, pinched...the tantrums were like NONE I had ever seen. Her eyes would roll back in her head and she would act as though she was pulling binding from her wrists and ankles. WITHOUT DOUBT, ONE OF THE MOST HEARTBREAKING THINGS i have ever seen in real life. She did not know how to receive love, and she didn't know how to give it. The first year, Gwen camped out at my house because she couldnt take her out much because she was so unpredictable but Gwen had to get out to keep from losing her mind. We had multiple conversations about when and if her tantrums would ever end...it was a dark, dark season in Gwen's life. Gwen continued to love her and show her what unconditional love looked like. We had to remind ourselves over and over that God gave Maggie to the Oatsvalls, and if she was suppose to be their little girl, that meant everything that came with her. While I was in Uganda, bringing home Josie Love, I was so thankful that I had Gwen's experience to remind me that while I was completely "out of my comfort zone" God had me in the palm of HIS hand. That if Josie was my child, when I got on a plane to pick her up, that whatever baggage she had when I got there, was mine also.Maggie is on her 6th surgery now. Hopefully it is her last. The surgeons went in yesterday and added bone from her ribs to her skull to cover the part of her brain that was unprotected. She is in ICU, hopefully to be moved to a normal room today. Today, Maggie is one of the most loving, happy children that I have ever known. She looks you in the eye, tells story with a joy that only Christ (and a loving mother) can give. LOVE HEALS...I have seen it first hand. Seeing Maggie go from a broken (IN EVERY WAY) little girl, to being WHOLE from the inside OUT because of a home, siblings, and parents that were steadfast in living out the gospel each and every day to heal her little heart!I am so thankful that God has given me a friend like Gwen. We have walked through the valleys and the hilltops together. I have seen her on her knees full of despair, and standing tall in KNOWING that only HE can give her child exactly what she needs to thrive. She is full of strength and relies on HIM daily to give her what she needs. I am so thankful that I have her to as an example to follow. Pray with me for rest and perseverance for Gwen as she helps Maggie heal from her surgery. AND that the Lord will heal Maggie's "booboo" so she'll be ready to go to kindergarten in August.





Tuesday, July 5, 2011

time away...





all of the siblings....

I sat on the couch yesterday and counted the places that we have stayed the past two weeks and we have been in 5 hotel/condos in two weeks. NO WONDER my body is sore and I am tired! Entirely too much moving around for a family of 9.

While the last week was exhausting, it was full of purpose. Our boys made it to the national tournament for the second year in a row. While they didn't win, we came in second, which is a HUGE success. When Gwen and I started 147 million orphans, Michael and Jeremiah decided that they wanted to do their part. They named their team Team 147, Gwen's husband (Scott) is their coach, and while traveling and playing ball, they brought orphan awareness NATIONWIDE. How about that for two 12 year olds? Scott has done a fabulous job of pointing them to Christ, teaching them how to play the game, and serve others. The past few years have truly been a blessing.

As the week passed, we gave MANY of our business cards out. People asked the question "what is Team 147?" "what does 147 mean?" we had discussion after discussion about the orphan crisis. During half time Josie would dance for everyone. All of the families with our team would just cheer and cheer. I had several people ask me what her story was. They could tell that it was more that just a typical child dancing...because of the smiles that spread across the faces of her friends. As I shared, tears were shed. One of our opposing teams is going home to fundraise for 147...how fun is that?

In 1 Corinthians the bible says: So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God....who says you cant use basketball?:)

We packed everything up and headed to Orange Beach to celebrate the fourth with my husbands family. I brought Jeremiah with us (Gwen's oldest) and Anna Bliss ( my angel this summer...helped while I was in Uganda and now the beach..the patience of an angel...SERIOUSLY) We spent the day on the beach yesterday, littles are up, eating breakfast at my in-laws with Mike...and I headed down to take a run. It's gonna be a good week!




here is a lil song from my early riser....




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suzanne
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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