4.26.2010

a little more about Kind Hearts & our fundraiser

Kind Hearts care-point has 68 children, all are who are currently sponsored by families around the country. Sponsorship includes nutritious meals every day, clothing, medical care, education and Christian discipleship for each child!!

One of Kind Hearts' projects includes a fresh water-well. This project was adopted by St. Joseph Christian School in MO. The project goal is $15,000 -- and St. Joseph's has already raised $12,000!! This well will allow HopeChest to then develop a chicken farm on the property (for fresh eggs and meat - protein for the kids' meals and funds from egg sales) as well as bathrooms, showers and a kitchen!!

So far, together we've raised almost $400 for Kind Heart's playground!!

Our goal is $2800! We are so excited & thankful beyond words for your partnership in this effort!! Any monies raised above the cost of the playground equipment will go to the fresh-water well project!!

Make a donation for your Mother's Day card today!! I'll mail them one week from today!!!
Read my posts below for more details!!! 100% of your donation goes to KH!!

To "meet" some of the children at Kind Hearts, click here! You'll even see a pic of our sweet "T", the little boy we sponsor!!

And here is a drawing that we recently received from "T"!!!


4.23.2010

you + me = PLAYGROUND in Ethiopia

This...

...equals NO MORE this!

Kind Hearts care-point for orphaned & impoverished children is in desperate need of many things. Playground equipment is on that list (see above pic, taken by Karen Wistrom in Nov 09). Might not seem like a high-priority -- but, every child needs a few moments in their day when they can be, well...a child. Carefree, giggly, silly, dreamy...released from heart-ache and worries, that often plague the children at Kind Hearts.

Playground equipment for KH will cost around $2800. For some reason, this project spoke to me. Clean water, medicine & education are extremely vital needs for these children. Just like salvation is of utmost important to Followers of Christ.

But...

God didn't stop with salvation. It was a beginning point from which He lavishes blessing into our lives.

And I'm not satisfied to just give the basic minimum to the children at Kind Hearts. The love of Christ compels me to do otherwise!! I want them to know, in their heart-ache and isolation, that's God love for them isn't a worn-out, hand-me-down...it's pure, full...over-flowing!

You can help make this a happen! Make a donation for KH (top, right button) in honor of a special mother or friend this Mother's Day, and I'll send a Celebration Card to that very special woman, letting her know how incredible her influence has been! It's reaching all the way to Africa!!

Read the post below (date 4.20.2010) for more details!

4.20.2010

celebrate a MOTHER, bless a CHILD

This will be the second Mother's Day I will celebrate as the forever-mommy to my sweet Micah Yoseph from Ethiopia. Yet I still can't help but think about the many, many children in Micah's birth country who are currently growing-up without a mom. Or, the many other children who are living on the street or with destitute relatives because their mother is too sick to care for them.

This Mother's Day, I don't want a single gift...I want nothing...other than the opportunity to be a surrogate mother of-sorts to these lonely, hurting children. And I pray that you will join me this Mother's Day! Join me, and stand in the gap for mother's who are unable to feed, clothe and educate their precious little ones!

Here's how YOU can be apart!
You can celebrate your mother (any mother...or any special woman) by making a monetary donation that will be presented to Kind Hearts care-point in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. I will send a Celebration Card (picture below) to the woman (or women) you wish to honor -- letting her know she has touched your life, and the lives of children in Ethiopia!!!

Kind Hearts (sponsored by Children's HopeChest) is a care-point for orphaned and impoverished children -- because of the gracious support of sponsors, Kind Hearts is able to provide to food, clothing, and education...and most importantly, the Gospel of Jesus! But the children of Kind Hearts have many other needs as well! Clean water, bathrooms, kitchen, books, playground equipment...!!

Your donation can help Kind Hearts become more than just a place to survive, but a place to THRIVE!!! These children are Ethiopia's future...let's help them be world-changers!!

Excited yet? I am!! And so is Children's HopeChest!

Here's how you can participate:

To make a donation, use the PayPal donation button on the right column. While making your donation, there is a place for special instructions so you can provide me the name and address of the woman you are honoring. 100% of your donation will go to KH -- I'm donating the stamps and cards! I will print and mail your card the week before Mother's Day. And on Mother's Day I will present our donations to Children's HopeChest -- check back here as well, so we can celebrate our efforts together!!

Questions?? Don't hesitate to contact me at alisafmartin at yahoo dot com

For more info about Kind Hearts, visit Karen Wistrom's blog (Kind Hearts sponsor coordinator)!!

Below is a video of Kind Hearts, compiled by a team who visited KH in March 2010 on behalf of St Joseph Christian School, St Joseph, MO:

4.17.2010

WARNING. If you read this...

...you are responsible to do something!

Most of you know, we are involved with sponsorship programs in Ethiopia (via Children's HopeChest and Compassion Int'l).

The two organizations that we help support through HopeChest are Kind Hearts and CFI.

The purpose of these facilities is to provide a safe-haven for children who have lost one or both parents, or who are living with extremely destitute family members. These children receive food, clothing, and education, and a chance to hear the Gospel of Jesus. Both of these facilities are still in need of sponsors and financial donations to help improve their ministries (ie- water wells, school supplies, clothing...).

Click on the links below to read more about these efforts, and follow the journey of the adoptive families who are spear-heading these ministry efforts for HopeChest:

Kind Hearts Care Point, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

CFI Orphanage, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

4.15.2010

what is he mixed with?

A few weeks ago, Micah and I were in the check-out line at Target. As I was getting ready to swipe my debit card, I heard the cashier say something in a somewhat-hushed voice.
Pardon me?
"What is he mixed with?" she asked a little louder.
It took me about 3 seconds before I realized what she was asking.
Oh, he was born in Ethiopia!!
"Ohhhhh, so he was adopted," she said, in what was probably her normal, louder tone.

I told Vince about it later that day -- I told him if I had been on my A-game I would have told the girl that he was mixed with a Pit Bull. Ha!

But, I'm glad that I hadn't been on my A-game that day. The cashier was not being rude...she was simply curious...and, rightfully so! I would never want to give her, or anyone else for that matter, a bad impression about adoptive families.

Vince and I walked into international adoption with eyes-wide-open. We knew we'd get lot's of questions...and lot's of stares. And you know what? We're OK with that...then, and now.

As I was waiting for Micah to come home, I spent alot of time in the Psalms. A theme that I encountered over and over was, Lord, I will praise you among the assembly and at the gates for Your grace, providence and wonderful deeds in my life.

That so resonated with my heart!! I knew that Micah's adoption was God's wonderful deed, that deserved my praise and testimony! So, I don't mind when people ask about our family...even when they are rude. It's always an opportunity to praise my God -- to tell of His wonderful deeds!! As well, we will teach our children to use the good & bad intrusions to glorify God!!

Ps 7:17 I will give to the LORD the thanks due to his righteousness,
and I will sing praise to the name of the LORD, the Most High.

1Ch 16:12 Remember the wondrous works that he has done,
his miracles and the judgments he uttered...

1Ch 16:24 Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous works among all the peoples!

Ps 63:2-8 So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,
beholding your power and glory.
Because your steadfast love is better than life,
my lips will praise you.
So I will bless you as long as I live;
in your name I will lift up my hands.
My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food,
and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips,
when I remember you upon my bed,
and meditate on you in the watches of the night;
for you have been my help,
and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.
My soul clings to you;
your right hand upholds me.

4.12.2010

Does your heart multi-task?

Up until about a month, or so, ago Vince and I had Ethiopia-tunnel vision. What do I mean? Ethiopia had consumed us. Between Micah's adoption process, our experience in Ethiopia, and the many ministries several of our friends have launched in Ethiopia, we have been inundated with the extraordinary needs of the children who call Ethiopia home. And many of these ministries our family is currently supporting.

So, when (kind-of out of the blue...having already started our 2nd Ethiopia adoption) we sensed the Lord leading us back to China I had a collision of sorts within my heart. How could I be totally devoted to Ethiopia, and yet make room for China? Would it have to be one or the other? This is my type-A personality thinking out-loud here. Ashamedly, I admit I even had the fleeting though, will I love my son adopted from China as much as I love my sweet Micah. But I think that's a pretty normal thought...whether our children are adopted or biological.

Well, I'm typically a great multi-tasker...but, how could my heart handle being fully-devoted to both Ethiopia and China?? I was really worried about this!!

Thankfully I'm not still asking myself those questions...looking back it actually seems a little silly.

This is one of the most amazing parts of being a Follower of Jesus! We don't love or work in our own strength. Christ does it through us! It's His work and His love! And there is more than enough energy and love available to us, as His Followers!!

All that said, to say...God has showed us we can be fully-devoted to Ethiopia, to China...to the fatherless all around the world!

And, as excited as I am about our journey to Baby Judah in China, I am equally excited to share Into the Streets of Ethiopia -- a vision for Ethiopia's street kids, birthed by our dear friend, Robel -- and now this ministry is now going to reach hundreds of children because of the support and passion of adoptive families!! Click the the pic for more info...help us help them!!!




For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith––that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Eph 3:14-21

4.11.2010

closer still!

We got re-fingerprinted on Friday (2-mos after our first prints were taken). I ended up needing to re-do my prints, as well as Vince, because the officer who's signature I need is MIA. I wish I could say our prints were for USCIS, but still only for AL. Prayerfully, the kinks have been worked out with AL-DHR's new background-check process, and we'll have a quick turn-around. Other than our AL background check and some pending lab work for our physicals, we're just about finished with our home study. Our Waiting Child application for China is ready to go, but we have to sit on it until a draft of our h/s is submitted to AWAA.

We're getting very excited about "meeting" Baby Judah!! Even Micah is saying "Ni Hoa Judah" -- and, he knows that Baby Judah is in China, and that we're going to pick him up on a big, white jet...

...a song that I made up for Micah, sung to She'll Be Comin' Around the Mountain:
Micah came on a big, white jet when he came
Micah came on a big, white Jet when he came
Micah came on a big, white jet
came on a big white jet
came on a big, white jet when he came

Micah flew across the ocean when he came
Micah flew across the ocean when he came
Micah flew across the ocean
flew across the ocean
flew across the ocean when he came

Hence, Micah knows big, white jet!!

4.05.2010

Grrrrrrrrr!

Yes. That's a growl! And I praise God for the restraint of His Holy Spirit, which has over-come my desire to bite!

The primary delay with our home study has been our AL background check. AL DHR transitioned to a private agency to handle the processing of finger prints...and, of course we were caught in the transition. Although, that's not totally what has caused our delay. A particular form that accompanied our inked-fingerprints was out-dated. Here's where the grrrrr comes in. This form was provided to us by our home study agency. Nonetheless, I got a letter on Fri stating we submitted an incorrect form...6 weeks after we submitted our prints. Grrrr, again.

I contacted both the background-check agency and AL DHR and expressed my frustration. But I did so very graciously -- it's not their fault we were given an old form. So, now I've got to track-down the police officer who did our ink prints and get him to sign the correct form. Good grief. Not to mention, my form was the only one returned thus far...Vince's is still floating around USPS.

The good news is, once we submit the correct form, the turn-around time is about a week. Whoot!

And some more good news is that God has reminded me of a lesson I obviously didn't learn very well during Micah's adoption.
Patience.
I'm always chomping at the bit to get things done, acting as of this process is all about me, me, ME -- but in reality, this process is about our sweet Judah. Well, actually it's really about God!! So if we have to endure fingerprint-fiascoes (or whatever else) to keep from jumping ahead of God, so be it!

...but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.

Isaiah 40:31

An Orphan's Ticket Home

An Orphan's Ticket Home
Click here to Donate Today!!!