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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!




i find it comical that i am awake before my family on Christmas morning.  I just couldn't sleep.....thoughts kept swirling in my head.

 We went to my mom and dad's last night. Once again, I was reminded of how precious family is.  My dad turned 80 in November.  I can't believe it.  You would never know that my parents are as old as they are......their energy is astounding. My brother, his new wife, and family moved to Montana, so they were not there.  It just wasn't the same.  Our family has been so close my entire life, when someone is absent, it leaves a gaping hole.  I left my moms house thankful that my brother has found someone to love and while they were not at my moms, he is still in my heart.

There were multiple times last night when my 3 littles were bouncing off the walls, that I thought "i will not miss these days."  The struggle of wrangling them 24/7 is not for the weak:)   before we opened gifts, Joshua quoted Luke 2 for the family.  As I sat with a smile on my face and love in my heart for this little boy, I couldn't help but think of Mary and the difficulty she felt in her lifetime rearing Jesus.  (all of a sudden, mine seemed VERY small)  They went from door to door just trying to find a place for her to deliver Jesus.  Not to mention, the ridicule she was under her entire pregnancy.  Can you imagine how the women in her community gossiped about her?  And for Joseph, people thought he was just plain ole' stupid for putting up with a cheating girlfriend....not for the weak.

While listening to scripture stream from Joshua's mouth i couldn't help but wonder where he would be. What would his life look like, but because God has a very special plan for him, he was standing before me with scripture streaming from his mouth....telling the story of Jesus, telling of God's special plan for Jesus's birth.  What a celebration.  What an HONOR to know HIM and know that HE has a special plan for each and every one of us.  WOW.  it's almost too much to fathom.  Brings tears to my eyes at just the thought.

I hope you are filled with some of the same thoughts through this wonderful season.  Merry Christmas from the Mayernicks!


Sunday, December 16, 2012

heavy heart at such a JOYful time

As i sit on my couch next to Michael and watch the lights on my Christmas tree twinkle, my heart is full of heaviness.  I have fought it all day. I have been very intolerant and I have had the hardest time pinpointing my mood.  I really think that I am feeling the oppression from Connecticut.   We can place blame every day, all day long on this and that...the truth is...it's just plain ole' DEMONIC oppression. Anybody that can do something SO awful to innocent children/people is being led by other forces than Christ.
Scripture speaks of it multiple times.  Satan is a deceiver.  He deceives in the small things ( i.e. that this world can satisfy our needs) and in the BIG things (the death of a classroom of children).  As believers, if we do not start calling him out on it....and rebuking against demonic oppression, satan is just going to receive more and more power.  This is a must.  the church has tiptoed around the subject of warfare for so many years.  Satan is claiming our children and we are sitting back and watching it happen because we are afraid that people might think we are too "charismatic or cooky christian people" COME ON PEOPLE....we have got to claim these children in Jesus name and rebuke satan from claiming their hearts at an early age!  People are asking "why God?"  "how does something like this happen?"  plain and simple : satan.  That is who he is, how he rolls......as a culture, we are sitting back claiming that "this is a different generation and life is hard" rather than claiming ourselves for Christ. HE can overcome anything we face here on earth.... anxiety, homosexuality, divorce, sickness.
we are failing.  we are failing.  we are failing.  as a nation, as parents, and as believers.  If you don't believe it, just turn on your TV and watch the news.
We need a revival.   people need to lock arms and hearts and turn this thing around.   we can't do it, but HE can.  If our children hear us claiming HIM over their lives with scripture/love/ and anointing, they will believe it also.
HE IS THE I AM.  He can restore the Connecticut families.  He can give HOPE, GRACE, LOVE and FORGIVENESS when WE cannot.  thankfully, in the end, He will have victory.  HE WILL.

More of HIM and Less of US.

He created my 7 children and I am determined that satan will NOT reign over their hearts and minds.  I will rebuke him for the rest of my life...every single day if need be.  Will you join me?

Merry Christmas from the Mayernick's!



Friday, December 7, 2012

Fatherhood

Boys born to teen mothers are more than 2 1/2 times more likely to father a child between ages 14-26.

In 2003, 1 out of 3 children was born to unmarried parents

54% of female high school seniors say they believe that having a child outside of marriage is a worthwhile lifestyle.

63% of black children, 35% of latino children, and 28% of caucasian children are living in homes absent their biological father.

THE FATHERLESS REPRESENT:
90% of homeless and runaway children
85% of children with behavioral disorders
85% of youth in prison
80% of rapists
75% of children with chemical abuse
63% of teen suicides.

And the divorce rate is rising and rising and rising.....

These statistics are astounding to me.  I can't help but think it if breaks my heart, how does Christ feel? WOW! we are REALLY letting him down.

There is not a day that goes by that I do not look into the eyes of my domestically adopted boys and think "where would they be?" These stats give me a pretty good idea...

PLEASE, get involved.  stats also show, boys that have SOMEONE to believe in him, show him support, encourage him....has  more of a chance to thrive.  If you do not feel called to adopt domestically, go to www.familyfoundationfund.org and get involved in some way and MAKE ad DIFFERENCE in a child's life.






Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Who doesn't LOVE a SALE?!

CHECK OUT OUR NEW VIDEO!  14.7% OFF THE ENTIRE 147 MILLION ORPHANS STORE ... Make your Christmas presents mean something this season .... Nov. 19-24th !!!   FAB new tees, HOODIES/SWEATSHIRTS, jewelry from Uganda/Honduras/Haiti, coffee mugs, hats, HANDMADE BAGS, toddler & youth gear ... WE have something for everyone AND MORE IMPORTANTLY your gift will change lives !!!


Saturday, November 17, 2012

perspective

The past few weeks have been FULL for 147 Million Orphans.  We had our VERY FIRST FUNDRAISER!  After visiting Megan in Haiti last spring we realized that she needs a medical facility. The closest one is an hour away.  She has 600 children in her school and feeds 700 a day..imagine all of the coughs, runny noses, HIV/AIDS, and not to mention women having babies!! SOOO, we came home and our wheels started turning!  She had her builder draw up plans and told us it was going to cost $250,000! (eeeeek!!!) There will be a pharmacy on the top floor, and dental and medical on the bottom.  It will be  "hub" for people to come and get tested for HIV/AIDS, and if the are positive, she will send them to get meds!! I AM SO EXCITED!!!  Needless to say, we started working FERVENTLY on how to raise the funds. ( no grass growing under our feet!)
In the middle of our preparations, we received the call that Jan ( my last post) had been taken to the hospital with stroke symptoms.  The next day, Michelle, Gwen, and I went to the hospital to visit her and she shared that she had been diagnosed with a brain tumor.  Now, let me just back up and say that we are the "four amigos."  we do everything together.  We talk all day long, every day, making 147 ROLL.  In my last post I sent you to read Anna Bliss's perspective.  Because honestly, I was SO numb from hearing the news that I didn't know what to say.  The biopsy showed that it is cancerous.  She went back into surgery on Wednesday and there were able to remove 90% of the tumor.  It is in her speech/memory section of her brain, so they didn't want to go too deep for fear of causing damage.  We were told that she probably wouldn't speak for awhile and she might have to learn sign language.  (the words would be in her head, but she wouldn't be able to get them out.)  Miraculously, she woke from surgery talking like normal!!
Over the past few weeks, God has shown himself in a MIGHTY way.  Our fundraiser went off without a hitch!  Megan was in town and shared her heart.  Jan was able to come!!  we raised $100,000!!  The Holy Spirit was so heavy in the room.  My heart felt as though it was going to explode.
Gwen and I traveled to Knoxville to speak to a 3,000 member church.  It was AWESOME.  The heartbeat of the people there was all about giving and serving others.  Our hearts were filled with hope that more churches will see the heart of Jesus as we left town.
We had our 147 Christmas sale. (shop with purpose)  We spent the day listening to Christmas music and filling bags of gifts for  people to give away.  And the icing on the cake was that Jan was able to be there with us!
God has given her such strength the past few weeks.  She has more JOY and is sharing her heart and HIS purpose for her life and others.  IT HAS BEEN AMAZING to watch her share HIS story of her life that HE is writing each and every day.
This week I was thinking back of the past few weeks and realized that HE is writing a story in my life each and every day also.  My days aren't filled with doctors appointments or scheduling surgery, but they are filled with living out strength, patience, perseverance, and grace.  HE is in the small things too. He is in the everyday, all day long and is writing a story with our lives.  Why does it take a brain tumor to make us realize that we ought to live each day with intention?  Going through the motions of baths, laundry, meals, school distract us.  While those things HAVE to happen so that our homes do not collapse, there is a bigger picture here.  OUR LIVES are a colorful, beautiful picture that God is creating and we do not even realize it.  What do I want my picture to look like?  I get to draw/paint it, I have the opportunity to choose what I want it to be filled with....hhhmmmm...clutter or INTENTIONAL things?
 This is the land where we are building the medical facility
 Jan loving on the children in Haiti
 our sweet friend Katy Southern  (far right) went with us to take pics of our time in Haiti
the four amigos

The past few weeks have given me perspective.  One day when I stand before the Lord, I want my life painting to be FULL of colors, pictures, and LOVE.


www.147millionorphans.org
Friday, November 9, 2012

"if you have EVER been the great physician Lord, HEAL my sweet sister!


This week has been a week of falling on my face before the Lord, crying out "if you have EVER been the great physician Lord, HEAL my sweet sister!"  Many of you might remember my post "Never underestimate your walk..".  Anna Bliss (angel on earth)  was serving in Uganda alongside Katie.  Anna Bliss's mom (Jan) works for 147 Million Orphans.  Three years ago, she called us out of the clear blue and told us that God told her to call us and see how she could serve.  Her children are older, she had extra time and wanted to serve in a mighty way.  SOOOO, Gwen and I put her to work!  She is SOLD out for Jesus like none other, and speaks BOLDLY about His sovereignty.  She has done every job to be done at 147 without complaining. We have all been SO busy planning for our fundraiser the past few weeks.   This last week, we received some devastating news.  In Anna Bliss's words....click here: LOVE WITH ABANDON.


Sunday, November 4, 2012

when fear creeps in....

Hello blog world!   it's been too long..i am going to try and do better.  the truth is, there hasn't been much to say. Day to day gets hectic and the last thing i want to do is open my computer once i get everyone in the bed at night.  I'll admit, I am the worst blogger EVER!

 I went to the SHOW HOPE fundraiser last night and cried most of the night.  Frances Chan spoke, and BROUGHT IT.  They had the cutest little boy from China named YOYO come on stage and sing AMAZING GRACE.   I closed my eyes and felt as though I was at heavens gates.

Finally, the Wright family came on stage.  Several years ago, Rebekah Wright emailed me and told me that she and her husband were feeling called to adopt. Their hearts were being tugged towards domestic.  I walked alongside her through their process, and watched them bring home precious little baby Caleb.  We all go to the same school, so I have been able to watch Caleb go from a newborn to a lively toddler.  This year, they ventured to China and brought home Isaac.  His story isn't as "cute and cuddly" as bringing home a newborn.  He was at Maria's big House of Hope.  Issac can't walk, when not in his wheelchair, he pulls himself around by his upper body.  He has a HUGE smile pasted on his face each and every day as she is bringing him into school.  Rebekah asked the audience "if fear and money were not an issue, would you adopt?"  Tears started streaming down my cheeks, as I thought about the paralyzing fear that consumed me when the doctor told me that Josie had TB and HIV.   It started ringing in my ears.."fear and money, fear and money, fear and money."

Genesis 15:1
[ The LORD’s Covenant With Abram ] After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward. ”
Genesis 46:3
“I am God, the God of your father,” he said. “Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make you into a great nation there.

Deuteronomy 3:22
Do not be afraid of them; the LORD your God himself will fight for you.”

Deuteronomy 31:6
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”


There are MANY verses telling us not to fear...He will provide.  

As Steven Curtis Chapman led us in singing.  I stood there with my eyes closed praying that HE would remove all fear in His body of Christ.  Think of what we could accomplish with no fear in our lives. Adoption aside, think of everything else that we could do for the glory of Christ if we had absolutely NO FEAR!   
No fear = FAITH

If we just had FAITH without FEAR, think of what we could do for the kingdom of Christ. 
Matthew 6:30
If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?

Matthew 8:26
He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.

Matthew 17:20
He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”


I have been anxious about the amount of money that 147 Million Orphans is trying to raise for the medical clinic in Haiti.  $200,000. is a LOT of money.  I am turning it over to HIM, RIGHT NOW.  He WILL provide, for he loves those kiddos more than I do! 

Fear completely paralyzes our FAITH. 


This is the site for our clinic......I WILL NOT BE PARALYZED!  Let's do this!!



Saturday, September 1, 2012

a different season/different emotions

I AM STILL ALIVE!  After going to Uganda, mama had to take a break from life and just lay on the couch with my youngins' playing games, reading books, and watching TV.  Time out for my two middles to watch their newest flips in gymnastics, and the late night talks and games to attend for my oldest two, and last but not least my sweet hubby:)

Preparation for school set in and I am still not finished with all of the "parent nights" at school.  This is the first time in 16 years that I have not had a preschooler at home.  I thought that once my kids got in school, there would be LOADS of time to organize, bake, etc...haha..not so.

 Being in Uganda left my heart feeling empty and desperate to come home and take a closer look at my children that I have through adoption.  As i looked into the eyes of the children in the baby's homes, i couldn't help but see the emptiness in their eyes, which led straight to their hearts.  My heart was broken for them and my head kept leading back to my house in Nashville.  While my children's eyes are not hollow, there is a part of their hearts that still isn't whole, and I can't help but wonder if it ever will be.  My boys I have had since birth.  The only thing they know is my heart and my home.  I know their heartbreak  will come later.  It just will, it is inevitable.  Until then, Mike and I will be on our knees.  Our prayer will be that HE will fill their hearts with his peace and love instead of the abandonment that could very easily creep in.  While it breaks me to think of the future and what we will be dealing with, I am forced to deal with the broken heart at hand, MY SWEET JOSIE LOVE.

Josie will turn SEVEN in February.  It is so hard to believe.  We will forever be dealing with the stigma that is attached to HIV/AIDS.  There have been many children with HIV adopted through Josie's story.  While it brings a smile to my face, it also feels my heart with sadness.  Many of the families that have gone to bring these children home are not willing to disclose that their children are positive.  While I COMPLETELY understand the fear that accompanies what your child might endure because of the virus ( I feel the fear also, thankfully, Christ carries that burden on my behalf)  If we are not willing to walk the journey and bring light to the darkness that accompanies it, then Christ is not glorified in the capacity that HE could be.  Which in the end, just adds more stigma.  This is a VERY controversial subject, one that I really struggle with deep down.  The past several years I have encouraged these adoptions and maybe haven't done my due diligence in preparing hearts on how to deal with life and not fear once you get these children home.  It saddens my heart.  It makes life harder with Josie because there are MANY "positive" children in the US now, sitting in the infectious disease doctors all over the nation, not willing to take a bold stand on behalf of these children and educate  others on the virus.  If their parents are not willing to educate, encourage, and enable then who will be their advocates?  WHy not just hand it over to Christ and walk in the light?  No lies, no secrets, just living our your faith walk that HE has given you to show who HE really is, each and every day.  is it hard? YES.  Does it make you more dependent on Him? YES.  Does it free your family up to live out LOUD the journey that HE has given you? YES.  Does it release you from the fear that satan  has you bound in? YES.  Does it make my heart ache that fear overrides Christ? ABSOLUTELY.

I have been so focused on getting Josie Love walking, talking, and healthy that there hasn't been a need to think about her heart.  We had to get her "living" before we could focus on anything else.    As she has matured and is interacting with more people and living life normally, and as i look deeper into her soul, she is a broken little girl.  The negligence in her life the first three years has left cracks that only Christ can fill.  Mike and I  spent time with a counselor last week trying to "unpack" her past and future and I was left with a heavy heart.  The first few years of her life are TOTALLY blank.  To go back and   try to fill in the cracks feels totally overwhelming.  BUT, we will and HE will.

Many people go into the adoption process not understanding the depth of heartbreak that it will leave. (hence the disruptions)  MOST people have no idea how broken these children are on the inside because the outside looks "normal."  I PROMISE you, if you do not deal with abandonment issues once coming home, you WILL deal with them at some point.  IT IS PART of the adoption process.  Your child might be 18, but at some point, you will HAVE to unpack that part of their heart that is closed.  IT is NOT for the faint at heart, it is HARD, will be HARD, and makes your heart feel SO heavy that it is suffocating.

SO, what to do?  pray.  pray each and every day for Christ to enter into their hearts NOW.  That while they are too young to grasp HIM, they will FEEL HIM in a mighty way.  That RIGHT NOW, HE will fill their hearts with peace that you can NEVER do as a mom or dad.  These children are broken on the inside (EVERY ONE OF THEM)  and HE has to intercede on our behalves because we will NEVER be enough.

Join me in praying for all of these children.  Pray for all of the people that are in "process" of adoption, that they KNOW what they are getting into...that it is HARD.  (maybe not in the beginning but at some point it will be)  and last but not least,  pray for my heart so that if one more person asks me if adoption is a "fad" that i don't punch them right in the face.




Thursday, July 12, 2012

life at home: "re-entry"

It never ceases to amaze me how difficult the "re-entry" back into my normal life can be.  My body clock is SO off...i am wide awake every morning at 3:30 am.  I am FREEZING. who knew that your body could get use to no air condition and then when you have it again...you FREEZE?!?!  My husband is SO glad to have me back....have I mentioned what a rockstar he is?  he took my kids (6) and 3 friends to the lake for the night of fourth of July....R.O.C.K.S.T.A.R.  The other night, he made me promise that I wouldn't ever take off and leave him for another man...and leave  him with all of these "crazy kids!"( hahaa)  But most of all, the time table of America.  every thing moves at a CONSTANT pace...we go from one thing to another.  BY THE CLOCK.  One of the most bittersweet things about Africa is there is NO time frame.  life moves on each and every day minute by minute.  if you are late..it is okay.  EVERYBODY is late.  plans change moment to moment and nobody cares.  HERE..if a plan changes, you have to contact the person, then they have to contact three more people to change their plans and the chain reaction ends up affecting like 30 people for just one change of plans!  If you are in Africa visiting, it is refreshing.  If you are there adopting, it makes you want to put a gun to your head!! Coming back home to children that want to "go and do each and every minute of the day" is about to kill me...especially since I am up for 18 hours of the day.  Katie often tells me that bringing her two youngest to America is much more difficult than having 13 in Africa and that is the reason..the pace..it is much more slow.  So, I am up at the crack of dawn, complaining to you.  In reality, I am SO thankful to be home.  Absence DEFINITELY makes the heart grow fonder.  I LOVE my family and my life.  I LOVE knowing that HE has me in the palm of HIS hand and that I can feel HIS presence each and every moment.  I LOVE having to rely on HIM for every single thing in my life...because, the truth is, my life is MASS CHAOS (another revelation while being gone!)  I love my husband more that life itself...did I mention that he is a rockstar?

As I think back over my time away, there are a few things that I want to  live by daily.  The needs around me are TOO many.  So, I have a choice.  to feel COMPLETELY overwhelmed.  OR to meet each need as I am faced with it.  each person.  each appointment.  each bath.  each meal.  each  medicine.  each  NEED by itself, with nothing attached but what is RIGHT in front of me every minute of the day.  It is baby steps through life.  we are NOT guaranteed tomorrow, only today.  SO, I will live each day, moment by moment.  NOW, the hard part is dealing with everyone around me.  People want commitments for the next 3 weeks.  A timetable...that is how America works.  The thought of it makes me feel like I am drowning.  I will not fall into the pit of DEMAND.  day by day...survival.

I want to remember how 98% of the rest of the world lives.  Some with no water or food or clothes.  BUT with a smile and thankfulness that they are alive.  I want to HOLD onto the JOY that only HE can give me rather than the empty happiness that the world has to offer.

I want to CLING to HIS word and HIS promises that HE will NEVER leave me NOR forsake me.   When my days here on earth are DEFEATING, that HE will give me the perfect amount of strength!

I can't forget the mother who locked her 12 month old twins up in a hut  from morning til dark to go out and search for food.  Their empty eyes, peeling skin, and swollen bodies from being so malnourished.  The look on their faces as I spooned food into their mouths and when the bowl was empty..they cried for more....  bowl after bowl after bowl.

I will never forget the twins that were covered in open wounds from syphilis.

the children that tested positive for HIV....will they get the meds that they need or die?

REALITY....we all need a dose of it.


Deuteronomy 4:40
Keep his decrees and commands, which I am giving you today, so that it may go well with you and your children after you and that you may live long in the land the LORD your God gives you for all time.






Friday, July 6, 2012

A fabulous day and a little clarification

I received an email from the US, that I am so thankful for.  I never know who wants to be mentioned on my blog or who doesn't, so typically, I steer clear from any mention of names unless i have permission.  All of that said, the person that asked us to bring the formula and diapers to Damalie was Brantley Freeman with voices4thevoiceless.org.  I LOVE what this organization does.  I LOVE their hearts!  They have been collecting funds to  purchase land and BUILD Damalie a permanent place to care for all of the babies that she has in her custody.  When we met Damalie the first day, she told us that she had some friends for America that we helping her to have a permanent place.  However, she HAD to move into a place with water and electricity by this past Monday or the children would be taken.  SO, all of that said, the house that we rented on her behalf is just temporary.  She will only be there until the new place is built by Voices 4 the Voiceless.

While we are just an extension of what is already being done for this ministry, it helps my heart to see the body of Christ joining hearts in providing for people in need. HIS timing is perfect.

I spent a lot of time yesterday talking to Damalie about logistics of licensing, legal papers on all of the children, how money will be spent (not given straight to her but through the correct channels) that will best benefit her and these babies.  She has a clear picture of what has to be done to care for these babies on the Ugandan side and what has to be in order for us to help on the US side.  I am thankful that Voices 4 the Voiceless had already laid the groundwork so that she is able to understand.  The need in her home is SO great.  We have some doctors with us that examined the babies yesterday.  Several are severely malnourished, a few had malaria, syphilis, eye infections and diarrhea are common and we were able to test for HIV.  While a few showed to be positive, not nearly as many as I thought MIGHT be, so it was a blessing.  We spent the rest of the afternoon helping to feed dinner.  I am thankful to see that she has Ugandan women to help, and hopeful that the children that we diagnosed with sickness can get the meds that are needed and get better.


We are closing in on the last few days of our trip.  pray for our hearts to stay open for what HE has for us, and that we can see things clearly..just as HE sees them:)





Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Uganda day 3




 We have fallen in love with baby David at Katie's house.  Grace and I can't keep our hands off of him. This is a pic of him and his mom with Grace.  He is malnourished, so Katie is giving him formula and feeding his mother so that her milk is becoming more rich and substantial for him to be able to flourish:)



We spent the morning in town shopping for African paintings and other fun souvenirsJ  After eating lunch in town,  we headed into the karomojong village with Katie to pick up a lady that has a baby that had been burned.  She had a kerosene lamp burning  in her hut and it fell over and caught the foam mattress on fire that the baby was laying on.  It burned one side of the baby’s body.   When the mother brought the baby to Katie, the burn was packed with rabbit fur ( a custom this village has done for many years when they have a large wound.)  Katie took the baby to the hospital and the doctors refused to treat the child.  So, of course, Katie took the child home and pulled the hair out one by one with tweezers for hours upon hours. Katie redresses the burn each day, and it is actually healing really well. 

After dinner, I went into town with Katie and Anna Bliss.  We went to the store to buy drinks and snacks for a man that has a hurt leg. As I walked into the hospital room, I was OVERCOME with the WORST stinch I have EVER smelled in my entire life.  The smell of rotting flesh is like NONE OTHER!  From his knee to his ankle is open flesh, his shin bone is the color of charcoal and all around the edges is green goop…. We are not sure WHAT exactly has happened, but DO know that there is two choices.  1) amputate 2) strip the leg down to bone and muscle ONLY and treat it every day for the next year to make sure that infection doesn’t set in after it is all cleaned out.  We will know tomorrow what they decide. 

Never a dull moment here….

Uganda day 4

I could barely get my eyes open this morning!  Who knows?  Maybe it was the smell from the rotting leg from last night that sealed my eyes together?!? (haha)

I went into the karomojong village with Katie this morning.  There was a little part of me that was dreading it abit.  Every time I leave there, I am SO overwhelmed with the needs, and I feel SO helpless.  I feel a bit of anxiety on what my part is in the BIG picture of these people’s lives.  I pray for them, but it never seems to be enough.  The teenagers on our trip, stayed at Katie’s house with her girls and baked cinnamon rolls, banana bread, and cleaned out her pantry and medical closet.  Susan, Renee, and Julie all went back into town to purchase mattresses, brooms, formula, diapers, and medicine for the babys home that we found earlier in the week. 




We had bible study with the Amazima “bead ladies.”  Katie is teaching them about the names of Christ.  She sent a plaster (band aid) around the circle and  asked in what way the band aid described Christ.   She taught them that Christ is the “HEALER” in our lives.  How does He heal?  By prayer, by miracles, etc…What does He heal?  Our sicknesses, our heart…heals us from  addictions.  IT WAS STRONG.  She had them read scripture and applied it to their lives.  I was in awe of how applicable she made it to their daily lives.  When she was finished, they asked the “vista” to pray.  I WAS SO HUMBLED to be sitting in a circle with these women,  much less, to be lifting them up to my sweet Savior in prayer.  My dread of the morning turned into thankfulness.  I am SO thankful that He had me right there in THAT moment to feel HIS presence in such a mighty way.  The red dirt smothered feet, tattered clothing, smell of burning trash, and the naked little bodies running all around brought a smile to my face and joy to my heart. 

We returned to Katie’s and picked up the rest of my group.  We headed straight over to the new baby’s home that Renee, Susan, and Julie bought in town today.  The lady that runs the home started crying as we pulled through the gates with a van filled with MORE goodies for her and her babies!  We changed diapers, folded clothes, and promised her that we would return on Thursday to test all of the baby’s for HIV/AIDS.  Once again, tears were flowing as she explained that she desired to test them all, but it was going to cost 200,000 shillings to do it and she did not have the funds.  I AM SO EXCITED to be a part of this “GOD walk”

There is absolutely NOTHING like it!!




Sunday, July 1, 2012

Who knew? HE did. Uganda day 2


Please bear with me, because there are really NO WORDS to describe what we experienced today, but I am going to do my best. 

 The group that Grace came to Uganda with (Christ Presbyterian Church) was contacted and asked to bring formula and diapers to a lady that was running a babies home.  Upon arrival, they contacted the lady and asked her to meet them so they could pass it off to her.  After a series of events, they just decided to go to her home and give it to her.  When they arrived they found a lady living in a small home, with 14 babies all around the age of 6 months., and one 18 months old.   As, they talked to the lady and she shared her story, they learned that her husband is a pastor, they have 4 children of their own, and her heart is to help abandoned children.  (most from parents dying of AIDS or other  circumstances)  She spoke of her love for Christ and that she knew that HE had provided for them thus far, but couldn’t help but be anxious of the probation officer’s return. Over the past year, she has come to be known as  “that person” for the police or friends to bring these babies to .  The roof of her home was full of leaks.  There was one corner that stayed dry when it rained, so that was the corner in which she would move all 15 babies when the storms come each afternoon in the rainy season.  She had NO running water.  No electricity.  While talking to her, they realized that while she had papers showing that she had followed all of the legalities to have the children, and was abiding by the rules that are under Ugandan law, her facility in which they lived  DID NOT meet the requirements.  She was keeping chickens in one room as a means of bringing in money to feed the children.  The probation officer told her that he was going to return TODAY (Monday) and take the babies if she had not removed the chickens (which she had) and gotten water and electricity in her home.  The leaders from CPC asked her if she had another place that she could move and she told them about a new home up the hill that was available for rent but didn’t know any details.  The leaders of CPC walked to the home, knocked on the door and asked the man living there if it was available.  It just happened to be the landlord and he said that he would be willing to move out if he had renters.  They asked what the monthly bill would run and he explained with electricity and water it would cost around $400 a month.    At that moment, the spirit moved, they told him that they would commit and the deal was done.  When they returned to the babies home and told Demali their plans, she dropped to her knees and SOBBED praising Jesus for his provision. They came back to the kids that were on the trip and told them the story.  Each child on the trip has committed to a month.  Their goal is for each child to raise $400.00.  To watch these kids get SO EXCITED to share this story and raise the funds to help this ministry care for these abandoned babies was TOO much to bear. I thought my heart was going to burst right out of my chest! 

AND THEN THE FUN PART CAME…..We all loaded up,  drove to the old home, took the baby beds apart, packed clothes, mattresses, food, diapers, and formula AND MOVED THEM INTO THEIR NEW HOME!!!  (rainstorm and all!)   THE BODY OF CHRIST was at work in a MIGHTY WAY right before my very eyes!  I seriously could hear angels singing from heaven!!

 LAST, BUT CERTAINLY NOT LEAST, we walked each and every baby up the hill to their new home, where they now have water, electricity, and no leaky roof!    Demali kept saying “I thought you were just bringing me formula and diapers, HOW did this happen!?!”  She cried all day long.  Through her tears she praised Jesus over and over again.  By the end of the day we were all exhausted physically and emotionally.  Our hearts were full.  SO FULL, that we could hardly breathe.  I cannot wait to go back later in the week and see the babies all settled in to their new home. 

As I looked into each of the babies faces, I couldn’t help but think of Caleb and Joshua when they were just as tiny.  Those children all belonged to someone just a few short months ago.  A mommy who loved them with her whole heart, just as I love Caleb and Joshua.  And  the one thing that I am clinging to is that these children have a Jesus that loves them more than I can comprehend.  He has sent a lady to care for them and love them each and every day.  He has sent a group of teenagers from the other side of the world, who have opened their hearts to help provide for these children and I got to see the WHOLE story unfold right before my very eyes!! 

Who knew?! 

HE did.










Uganda Day 1


My brain is still in somewhat of a fog.  Every year I forget how LONG the flight to Uganda is!  After a good nights sleep,  you hit the floor running and your eyes and heart are seeing things that are ONCE AGAIN unimaginable. 

We pulled into Amazima’s sponsorship/praise and worship right as they were beginning to eat.  Each year there seems to be 100 more children there!  Katie’s program is now up to 582 childrenJ   It is so neat to see  the children that once had hollow eyes and empty bellies to bright eyes, full bellies and hearts full of joy.  What a sweet, sweet blessing.  It made my heart SO full to hug Katie and her girls.  It started raining and Katie and I stood under a tree and got SOAKING wet just catching up on life.  She holds such a BIG part of my heart.  I am so thankful that God gave her to me as a friend.  It is such a special gift. 

Grace’s group was already there playing with the children.  To pull in and see THIRTY people from my hometown was so SURREAL.  Seriously?  We are all in Uganda together? As I looked around, some were playing on the playground, some were looking at the baby pigs, others were talking to “Franko the monkey”   It was one of those “W.O.W.” moments.  I couldn’t help but think back four years ago when that piece of land was completely empty, nothing on it.  We had NO IDEA that Amazima would grow like it has, much less Katie would have written a book.  Who knew?

Abbie, Kate, Grace , and I went on a walk/run this morning.  There was a young boy STRUGGLING to carry a large tub of water back to his hut.  We came alongside him and helped him carry it.  I COULD NOT BELIEVE HOW HEAVY IT WAS!!  As we walked onto the trail to his home there was an additional bottle that he had already carried to that point.  It took all four of us to carry what he had carried all by himself.  I couldn’t help but think of the HUNDREDS of children that I have seen carrying those big bottles on their heads.  Who knew?

And then it hit me…HE knew.  THIS had been HIS plan all along!  While  I am going through life each and every day…just surviving…HE is planning each and EVERY moment for HIS glory.  AND HE has every moment of this trip planned out….and I can’t wait to see  what He will do.






Wednesday, June 27, 2012

warfare in my life

 Life at home with my kiddos this summer has been HARD.  DEFEATING,  EXHAUSTING, and just downright  DIFFICULT. My kids have fought more than ever before.  I have been waking up each morning and JUST SURVIVING.  Because I have been so focused on just making it through each day, I haven't stopped to think and RECOGNIZE what is really going on. It has been warfare at it's finest.  God is doing AMAZING things in Haiti and I leave tomorrow for Uganda.  I KNOW this is satan trying to defeat me, but BOY, I am sick of it.
  My 16 year old, Grace, is in Uganda right now with a group from school.  I am going to meet her at the end of her trip and we will stay for another nine days in Jinja with Katie.  The group that is going with me is a group of moms and daughters.  God solely orchestrated this group (because it is somewhat random) and I know HE is going lead it.   My sister, Susan, (Landon's mom) has never been to Africa.  I am taking her and my niece, Abbie ( who belongs to my other sister, Dana).  Landon is going to leave the place where he is serving for the summer meet us over there....can't wait to see his sweet face:)  Abbie, has a HUGE heart for people.  She is one of the most solid 16 year olds I have EVER met.  I cannot wait to watch how God is going to open her heart to what HE has for her life.  She has walked through all of our adoption journeys alongside Grace (they are 5 months apart) and so she TOTALLY gets the orphan crisis. There are two more moms and their daughters (Renee and Amy Manuel and Julie and Abby Cook) And sweet Kate Farley, who shares a heart with Grace for Africa will be with us.  Her mom was planning to come with us, but has to stay home due to family conflicts:(   I know the Lord has a SPECIAL trip planned and hearts are going to be MOVED in a mighty way.   I am excited to see Anna Bliss and Katie.  I can't wait to kiss on all of Katie's girls faces...walk the red dirt roads, and feel HIS presence.   Please be praying for our trip..for safety/my SUPERSTAR hubby that will be here with my kiddos:)   Anna Mitchell and Stephanie Todd..my rockstar babysitters!

Matthew 17:20
He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustardseed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”  


I  am not sure why I have to be reminded OVER and OVER again of this truth.  I am clinging to this verse.  a mustard seed is LITERALLY as small as the head of a stick pin.  THAT MUCH FAITH...that is ALL that I have to hold in my heart for the rest of the summer.  HE will do the rest.  





Sunday, June 24, 2012

Haiti Part 2


                                  
This is our team: Gwen and I could NOT do what we do if it wasn't for these extra three ladies!  Jan Eberle, Michelle Smalling, and Katy Southern.
Megan leading us to the top of the mountain where her schools are (and future church and medical clinic will be.)


This awesome people are the artisans that make the jewelry that we sell on our website (147millionorphans.com)   Sophie (bottom right) is a young gal that has taken these guys in and taught them a trade so that now they can feed their families.  AWESOME



At school each day, Megan's students receive breakfast.  God has given her a group of Haitian women to make this happen..feeding 400 students is NOT a small feat!!







This is the kindergarten class....

                                          



                                                     
this is one of the teachers bathing her child during class:)  She is afraid to leave her baby with anyone because of child sacrificing...SO, she brings her baby to class with her each day.



this is the breathtaking view from the top of the mountain.  This mountain has been used for voodoo for many many years, and Megan has bought it and claimed it for Christ.  Her prayer is that HIS presence will start here and spread through her country.


The secondary school building is almost finished!  all of these hatian men had a smile on their face.  it is amazing how work gives people value and meaning in their life.



This lady showed up on Megan's porch with her sick baby:(  I felt like I was reliving being in Uganda with Katie.

One evening we walked up to the mountain to sing praise and worship.  I must admit I was a little scared.  megan assured me that we were safe because she knows every person between her house and the top...actually she sends all of their children to school:)  SO  I went with it!  when we got to the top there was a solid white horse grazing!!  CRAZY!!  i felt like that was God's way of whispering to me that HE WAS there with me...made my heart feel full.

SO, this is RESPIRE HAITI.  Megan Boudreaux began this ministry a little over a year ago.  She is a ROCK.STAR.  She walks by BLIND faith daily and then sits back and watches God "do HIS thing!"  She has a feeding program, a school, and is praying for funds to build a church, cafe, recycling business, and who else knows what God will place on her heart!  It is SO AWESOME to watch how the Lord has provided every step of the way for her to do HIS work.

Gwen and I and 147 MILLION ORPHANS FOUNDATION have committed to help build the medical clinic!  You will be hearing more about this..I can't wait to watch HIM provide for it!


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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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