do ORPHANS have souls??

...just asking...

Of course, you know my answer to that question. However, I ask it because I am struggling with the Church's (the global 'C'hurch) response to the orphan crisis. And not the Church, as 'a building'--but the Church, as in 'individuals'.

Let's just think about Africa for the moment--it is becoming a continent of orphans. A CONTINENT!!! FULL OF CHILDREN WITHOUT PARENTS! Not only do these children not have parents, in many places there are very, very few adults in general.
These children, and the remaining adults, have HUGE needs: food, clothing, shelter, education, health care...oh wait, and how could I forget: THE GOSPEL!

So often, the Church is unwilling to allow orphan care fall under the work of missions. For some Christians, these children might fall under the category of ministry -- but most often, they just fall off the radar all-together.

Orphans...not mission work. Are you kidding me? Are the fatherless not worthy to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ?? Do we not see that orphans are becoming a people group unto themselves. Yes, most are under the age of 18, and so they don't fit nicely into our church-planting programs.

But wait, Jesus was first recorded teaching in the temple at what age?? As a matter of fact, I think God's Word has ALOT to say about training-up children.

So, what's the plan?? Just curious. Do we wait until this current generation of the fatherless is 18-25, then extend the Kingdom to them? Ridiculous! Besides, without physical and emotional care most won't live to see '18-25'.

Now, I'm not saying that no one is doing anything, because that's not true. Families are adopting; churches are sponsoring orphanages; parachurch organizations are putting feet to our money....but, the demand of the fatherless continues to far out-weigh the supply of Believers. Did you lose sleep over that last night?? Apparently most people aren't...nor are they losing eating out, fall fashions, season tickets...you get my point.

Wow, how far could a little sacrifice go? How far could alot of sacrifice go?
Maybe the appropriate word isn't sacrifice, but instead obedience.

How far could alot of obedience go...
As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance... 1Pet 1:14
He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8


It Is For FREEDOM that we are FREE!

Many of you remember (and commented) on two posts in July (#1 and 2) about purchasing a home. Well, the issue has continued to ebb and flow...until this week.

It seems, at least in my life, God's still, small voice is not terribly difficult to discern--but it is easy to ignore. Our lack of peace about purchasing a home was enough to keep us wrestling with the subject, but not enough to demand a decision. But God has faithfully (and finally) brought us to the conclusion -- through much counsel and prayer -- that we cannot both purchase a home AND begin a second Ethiopia adoption.

So we have decided to not purchase a home, and instead pursue an adoption. And we are thrilled...relieved...we are freed!!!

Sell your possessions, and give to the needy.
Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys.
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Luke 12:33-34


Punch in the Gut

A few of you know that we're prayerfully beginning the process to adopt another child from Ethiopia. We cannot officially re-apply with America World to begin the paperchase until we submit our 6-month post-placement home study (we're having that visit next week). And then we cannot submit our application to Ethiopia until Micah has been home for one year (Apr 2010). So that gives us about 6 months to compile our dossier.

Last week I requested AW to send me a new adoption application, so I can ease myself back into paperchase mode. Well...ease, it was not. More like a punch in the gut. The paper work aspect is manageable...I've already been-there-done-that twice; it's the finances that I just can't seem to get that been-there-done-that feeling about.

I suppose some of my angst is because we also need to make a decision about a home purchase in the next two months. On top of learning, that because Vince is considered self-employed, we will be able to re-coup very little (if any) of the Federal adoption tax credit.

Needless to say, all the above gave way to a good cry. Guess I was expecting a second adoption to be painless, since the first one was such a test of faith. But it doesn't work that way--at least not for me. God continues to use the seasons of my life to perfect my faith...with obviously a long way to go.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses,
so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
2 Corinthians 12:9

America World Africa Reunion

Here are a few pics from our reunion in Branson, MO -- you can see more on my facebook page.

Families at Dino's Bakery (yes, THE Dino...although, I don't really know who he is -- before my time I suppose)

Micah and his girl friends! We spent our week in Ethiopia with the two sweeties in brown T's.

Micah & Rae. Rea's mommy (from Branson) & I were waiting-for-referral buddies when we lived in Springfield.

Little Miss Emma...a sweetie pie!!

Holly and Jayden...Holly & her family met Jayden the same day we met Micah...we took pics & video for each other on our Gotcha Day in Ethiopia.

My Branson crew (minus Kim G) -- it was so good to see you, girls!! My, how far we've all come!

No Branson trip is complete without an excursion to SDC!!


six months home

Well, September marks our sixth month home with Micah. He has officially been in our care longer than he's been in anyone else's care. This is a very special milestone to us!! He's doing amazing, so much so that it is easy to forget how far we have come as a family. Vince talks often about the first night we spent with Micah in Ethiopia...Micah was terrified, and so were we...we couldn't help but wonder, "What have we done??" We then re-lived that very experience during our first night with Micah here in Birmingham.

But all three of us persevered. We have grown into the family God has planned for us to be.

A very special milestone (for me, in particular) has also occurred this month.

After months and months of dadadada.....finally, mamamamama!!
I don't think Micah's inability to call me mama had affected my bonding with him--I know he knows I am his mama. But it has been so sweet to hear him experiment with his new-found consonant! (Even if he doesn't realize he's saying mama, I love hearing it just the same!!)

We also attended an America World Africa Reunion last week-end in Branson, MO. We loved meeting families that we've corresponded with via email/YG over the past two years. We spent time with the family we traveled to Ethiopia with in March -- and, we got to see many of the children we met in Ethiopia...this time they were with their forever-families!!! No words to describe...

We also were able to see many dear friends from Springfield--most of them had not met Micah yet, so we had a welcome home/birthday celebration!

I'll post some pics soon (or you can check out facebook).

An Orphan's Ticket Home

An Orphan's Ticket Home
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