Sunday, December 25, 2016


Friday, December 16, 2016 we got the call we have been waiting for since seeing our sweet boy's face in Oct of 2015.
I had just finished putting the ingredients in the crock pot to take to a Christmas party that evening when the phone rang. It was our agency...

All I remember saying over and over is "are you kidding me?" I hit my knees in the kitchen and put the phone down saying thank you Lord, thank you Lord. I'd pick it up and tell her I needed just a one more minute and put it back on the floor. I finally got myself together enough to understand her say "call your husband and ask him if Thurs, Dec 29 will work for court and call me back." I called Roger, Momma & Emily. I just remember literally jumping up and down for a min and then being on my knees sobbing.

I had been wondering what in the world this moment would be like.

The next few days were a mix of shock, overwhelming gratitude to the Lord, joy, anxiety, couldn't eat, couldn't sleep, could barely think. I knew one thing I couldn't wait to get to the Lord's house on Sunday. We scheduled flights and started packing. We were to fly out Fri Dec 23rd and land Sunday, Christmas Day. Because we were going to be in country our agency moved our Court Date up to Tuesday the 27th.

We planned Christmas with our families for the Thursday night before we left and began packing & tying up loose ends with work.

The emotions were coming and going like a wave and honestly it was almost too much. I asked the Lord just to settle me down. Give me a peace. Calm me. We took the kids to see Star Wars and I was just fine and then right in the middle of it another wave came. It was a roller coaster of emotions that were difficult to manage.

Thursday Dec 22 came and our #3's cough turned in to a really bad can't breath painful circumstance that ended up with us in ER and before I knew it the dr was telling me he would be transported to Macon to the children's hospital. Elim began to cry. I sat down on the bed and looked into his eyes and said "You are more important than an airplane. Remember what we talked about this morning? What does Immanuel mean?" I asked him to tell me out loud and he did "God with us." "That's right baby boy, God is here with us, right here in the hospital room and everything will be just fine."

We were supposed to fly out the next day to Ethiopia.

I remember thinking... Is this really happening? Like, is.this.really.happening.

Roger was at home with the other kids with my daddy & I sent him a text that read "I need you here now."

What is happening? What's wrong with him? How long will we be there?
Can our court date even be moved? Do we cancel our flights?

A call from a brother in Christ reminding me that I have died and my life is hidden in Christ (Col 3:3) was exactly what I needed to hear.

I called our travel agent (HUGE Shout out to Erica Shubin with MKI travel. That girl!) she helped me focus,  asked a few questions and within about 1 hour had alternative flights for a few days later.
I called our agency and she said no worries, we'll put court back to Thursday the 29th.

Roger and E drove away in the ambulance and I stood there with Reid praying.

At this point there were 2 different decisions we could make.

Get really angry with the Lord.
Trust Him and not my own understanding.

We decided to trust the Lord. I went home, took down all of the Christmas decorations, cleaned the house, and piled up on the couch with my boys and we watched Pete's Dragon while we waited for updates from Roger.

Slowly the peace came. He was there. Immanuel, our God with us. There with us on the couch, there with Roger in the ambulance. God is so good to us. In the midst of utter chaos He sustains, strengthens, assures, provides, all the while giving the Body of Christ the opportunity to pull together and pray and encourage. Text message after text message from our church staff and family and from FB friends offering their homes if we needed a place to stay. If there's one thing the Lord does in a difficult circumstance is He brings unity & generosity! One our people came up there and stayed with Roger spending the night & most of the next day! OUR VILLAGE GAME IS STRONG PEOPLE!! 

We discharged from Macon on Friday, the 23rd around 7pm and came home. They ended up treating him for acute asthma and gave us 2 inhalers. He is home and fine taking it easy.

Deep Breath.......

We are leaving tonight, Sun, Dec 25 to drive to Atlanta for our flight at 5:30am in the morning. 
We'll land in DC and catch a new flight that will take us directly to Ethiopia landing on Tues, Dec 27th around 7:30am. We have court Thursday the 29th and at that point we will take custody of him and SHOW YOU HIS BEAUTIFUL FACE!!!!!!!!! 

We may never know this side of heaven why our time was delayed here but we trust in our sovereign God.
I do know that the devil hates anything that is of the Lord and adoption is a picture of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Lord has a heart for the orphan and the goal of our enemy is to steal, kill, and destroy anything that is of the Lord.

I do know that the Lord has the final say and in the end HE WINS. He always has the victory.

This situation with Elim has settled me emotionally. No more waves of overwhelming emotions.
I am peaceful and ready for the task at hand relying solely and placing all confidence in our God.

Roger, Cameron and myself will be traveling and Roger and Cameron will be returning on Tues, Jan 3rd in Atlanta around 2:30pm.

I will stay behind with #4 & obtain the paperwork necessary to BRING HIM HOME!! Prayerfully this can be accomplished in a week or 2.

Ways to pray:

*For many opportunities to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with many.

*Safe traveling

*For immediate connection with our son

*For open doors & favor with government officials and all involved finalizing his documentation so we can exit the country.

*For Cameron. This is his first time on a plane & in another country. This was a specific prayer request that the Lord would financially provide so that we could bring him. We are praying the Lord would use this to reveal Himself to Cameron is ways he has never experienced, that He would draw Cameron closer to Himself and that He would use this later in His life. (It gets me so excited to think about!!!)

*That God would be glorified in every aspect of our time there and traveling.

*For our children back home. For E to remain healthy.


We are going to ETHIOPIA!!!

last picture of us!! *tears*

May the things of Earth grow strangely dim in the light of His glory & grace,


Thursday, August 11, 2016

As I am lifted up from the Earth, I will draw all everyone to Myself. -Jesus

This is probably my favorite blog post because it has nothing to do with us & everything to do with the Lord. There are several stories only He could write and I wanted to share them! 

So here we are lifting up HIS NAME.

Story #1  The day we met our son
April 2016

You might remember about this time last year me posting to Facebook about a sweet lady, Stefanie, that LIVES DOWN THE STREET FROM US knocking on the door one Sunday afternoon and saying "we heard that you are adopting from Ethiopia & I just wanted to let you know we will be moving to Ethiopia in October (2015) to serve as missionaries & we are happy to take your baby anything it needs." 

At that time we didn't know if we would be matched with a boy or a girl.
1 or 2.
And had no idea how old he or she or they would be!

October of 2015 came and this sweet family found out their departure date was delayed.
October of 2015 also came and we were matched with our SON!! 

They found out they would be leaving in January of 2016 and again Stefanie said she would take anything we wanted her to take to him!!

So, we made him a book of us to send with her. 

Our picture was on the front along with John 3:16. 
Pictures of Roger and I that said "momma & daddy."
Pages of the kids together and individually with their names and ages showing him his brothers.
Pictures of grandparents & our cat, Wrigley Ann. 
Pictures of our house, his bed where he will sleep, the yard, the kids at the beach, playing soccer in front of our church.

We also included a storying scarf we got from the IMB that's used around the world as you minister to oral learners and asked her to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with our son using this. 

Our agency told us our son did not know about us and they would not tell him until we were submitted to PAIR, which is one of the final stages we are currently in!

So........on Thursday April 28, 2016 at 2:30am (our time) Stefanie along with her son, our gracious new Ethiopian friend Fekadu who translated for her, visited the care center in Ethiopia and she introduced our son to us. 

Roger and I got all of the kids up and sat on the couch & got to FaceTime with him for about 30 minutes. <insert cry face>

Fekadu's face came on the screen first, then to Stefanie's face and then Fekadu said "are you ready for your boy?" 


We said yes and saw his face. The sweetest, cutest, most precious face I've ever seen. He was smiling and holding the book we sent him. Looking through the pages pointing and looking back at us. 

It's still overwhelming when I think about. Stefanie and her family were supposed to leave in October & THIS would not have happened if she would have left then. We didn't even know about our son at that time. What a gift. A gift from the Lord. In His sovereignty He arranged this moment. I can't describe to you my thoughts.
Stefanie is also an adoptive momma. She said she prayed over him and loved on him from me. The Lord just knew it needed to be her. She has identified with the waiting, the longing, the hard, the ups and downs, the delays, the victories. All of it, she knew and wrapped her arms around our son with all of that in her heart. 

The voice we have longed to hear, the face we have longed to see smile and giggle. We saw him and he saw us. And he knows he is loved and wanted by 5 crazy americans across the big pond. 

The first thing he asked was "when are you coming?" We didn't make any promises but told him as soon as we could!  He told us his favorite color is yellow and as Malachi held up Wrigley to the phone he said "I no like cats!" We might be in trouble ;) He showed us his bed and we showed him his here. The boys were so excited to meet him. Elim is going to be stuck to him like glue I can already tell <3 At one point we were making fishy-kiss faces to each other. I can't WAIT squeeze himmmmmmmm!!!!!!!

After we hung up Stefanie shared the Gospel with him using the pictures on the story cloth and said that he has been attended a Protestant church and has seen the Jesus film! We are SO GRATEFUL!!

Stefanie, thank you so much for doing this for us. We are forever grateful. I can't wait to hug your neck in Ethiopia soon! We are continuing to pray for your family as you serve Jesus in Africa! 

Story #2: a visitor
May 2016

My friend Danielle who is adopting 2 children was traveling to Ethiopia THE VERY NEXT MONTH to visit her kids and graciously offered to take him a package from us. Some of the things he specifically asked for while we were Face timing with him were a book bag, some crayons and coloring pages so he's got it :) Along with pjs, blue crocs from Aunt Em, suckers, some of the boys favorite cars, fresh paintings & a precious story book that we recorded our voices reading to him. 

Earlier in the month of April my best friend put together a surprise birthday party for him. Including an incredible cake that my sweet friend Karen made & gifts from everyone for him. <insert many many tears> So we included a couple of pictures from that party in with this care package. This is a picture of him holding the picture we sent.

Our first picture together (cry face)

She videoed him opening his book bag . Crrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry faccccccccccccccccccce.
He was grinning the whole time!!!!! Couldn't hardly wait to get inside of it and see what treasures his family sent him!!

 Welcome to the gun show ;)

look what's on his shirt #4 :)

This timing of this visit is God ordained & was the first step in establishing trust with him. He asked us for a bookbag with color book and crayons and then the very next month it showed up. This is huge! 
Danielle I can't thank you enough for this treasure. Thank you for loving on him while you were there. I know you know just how much this means. We are praying for Mek's paperwork!

Story #3: Another visitor
June 2016

A fellow adoptive momma with our agency traveled to Ethiopia to get their daughter and while she was there she spent some time with our #4!!! She sent me these pictures. She said he was thrilled to show her his book we sent him. 

Thank you so much Addie for visiting with him and loving on him for us! Are continued prayers are with your family as guys as you transition home with your daughter!

Story #4: another visitor 
August 2016 

Danielle is in Ethiopia right now & has passed court with her son and is waiting for paperwork to be finalized so they can pass court with their daughter. Would you please pray this is quickly resolved so they can all come home?

She's been visiting with our son at the Care Center while she was there and sent us these pictures <3
They played hacky sac and she said he made up his own ruled to tic tac toe :) Rascal <3 

that smile tho!

We are praying Danielle! Love you friend! 

Story #5 another visitor
August 2016

My friend Tisha who has adopted 5 children from Ethiopia is there THIS week as well for her Organization called  A Heart for Korah.

 I encourage you to check it out! She's been posting families that are available for sponsorship on their FB page  and on their Instagram.  This is a way for you to:

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly, defend the rights of the poor and needy.”

-Proverbs 31:8-9

The rainy season is beginning and the temperature drops in Ethiopia. Tisha was gracious enough to take a care page over to our son for us!! She visited with him this week and gave it to him.
Here are a few pictures.

 sitting on his bed

This hoodie was a hand me down from our neighbors. I was so excited to text her and tell her it made it all the way to Ethiopia!! 

This kid!! He smiles all the time!!!!!! 

We stand in awe of You, Jesus.  

There's no way in the world we could have arranged all of these visits!!!!!!!!!!!!!
What a thrill & privilege to be used as Your hands to extend love.

I hope you are SEEING JESUS my friends!!!!!!!!!!
Look at the people He has sent to love on him!

 The story of his life God is writing, it is incredible. There is no mistaking the hand of the Lord all over it. He is seen and known by the Creator of the Universe.
There is a plan for his life and while we live in this broken world and we can never replace his birth mother and father we are so ready to receive &  love him.


That's the bazillion dollar question.

As I have been composing this post we received an email for the FINAL step of our PAIR process with the US Embassy. An interview with his finder. 
After this interview is complete we will be issued a PAIR letter and will be DONE with the paperwork! #chills

The next thing is to receive a positive recommendation from MOWA on his case and be issued a court date! THEN WE GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!

We are inline with several other families waiting for this positive comment already. I have zero idea of the time frame. All I know to do is pray.

 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
Romans 12:12

Pray for his finder interview to be completed, if it is missed and has to be rescheduled it would delay us for weeks.

Pray for a flood of positive comments to  be issued and court dates to be given. (The courts are closing for rainy season and will re-open end of September.)

Pray that our eyes will remain on Jesus and not the months passing by, that our faith will be strengthened and that He will continue to be honored in our wait.

He knows. He sees and He knows. That is my greatest comfort. And we are clinging to His promises.

We can't thank you enough for interceding for us. For stopping us & asking how it's going and immediately  praying with us right then. For the random texts and prayer cards that arrive just at the right time.

I wish I were better with words like my friend Candace but I'm not.

We are in awe of our God and His perfect timing and undeserving grace.

Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory,

    for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!
Psalm 115:1

May the things of Earth grow strangely dim in the Light of His glory & grace,


Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and He brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed.
Psalm 107:28-29 

Be still in the presence of the LORD, and wait patiently for Him to act.
Psalm 37:7 

 Even when I must walk through the darkest valley, I fear no danger, for You are with me; Your rod and your staff reassure me.
Psalm 23:4

 You will keep perfectly peaceful the one whose mind remains focused on you, because he remains in you.
Isaiah 26:3

Friday, February 19, 2016


The battle has intensified since October when we got the news of our son.

Fighting to keep my eyes fixed on the things unseen, you know Jesus and eternity vs. the things seen, you know, the weeks and months passing, the email not there, other cases moving forward in their process and the list goes on and on.

Its this hard thing of wanting to close so my eyes so I don't see it all. Thinking that will help me not be so stirred up all the time & I can focus more on Jesus.

If I could just close my eyes that will help me tarry in this blissful state of not knowing and seeing so I won't have to fight the battle. But if I close my eyes that won't stop my mind from wandering. Oh but if my mind is distracted by the upcoming wedding season it will shift my attention and thoughts on someTHING else and I won't refresh my email every 5 minutes. That honestly sounds much easier.


We are in a BATTLE for crying out loud. And it's not against the adoption agency or the in country staff or your husband or your boss or your fill-in-the-blank.
It's against the world, our flesh & against our enemy the thief who wants to kill us and steal from us and DESTROY us & evil rulers & authorities of the unseen world. John 10:10 / Eph 6:12

I can't close my eyes and wish for peaceful easy dreaming of rainbows and unicorns or sitting by the water with my Bible and feeling the cool breeze on my face, although that would be REALLY nice about right now.

I can put on my armor of God & trust in my Sword. Depending on the Holy Spirit to help me with the confidence according to His Word that He hears me and as I draw close to Him He promises to draw close to me knowing He is fighting for us. Empowered by the Holy Spirit putting to death the desires of my flesh and using my eyes & mind for righteousness sake. Seeing the whole picture with fixing my focus on Christ and renewing my mind with His Word.

I shout from the roof tops GOD IS GOOD and WHO IS LIKE OUR GOD when things are going good, but what about in the valleys? Because we are weary and weak and feel guilt from our lashing out in our flesh day to day out of bitterness and frustration on the delay of the thing, worried about the weeks ahead. Hand raised-my current situation.

Who or what really is my treasure? My thing? Who or what am I waiting on?

The child? The job? The good report? The house? The promise fulfilled?

All of those things are good, but they can all be taken away. Then what's left?

The things unseen, the things of eternity, eternal value, things that will never pass away.
And will always satisfy. The Person of Jesus Christ. I know how weak I am. I know the potential of my pride. I know my wandering heart, Lord I feel it. Proned to leave the God I love.

It's my greatest fear. Getting to the end of this current thing in my life that the Lord is sanctifying me with, obtaining the earthly prize and forgetting Him. The thing I've longed for, prayed for, lost sleep over, raised money for, worried over for so long....... I get it and then what?

Oh Lord bind me heart to Thee. Take my heart and seal it. Don't let me become proud and boastful and forget You.

Keep my eyes FIXED on you. You are my Treasure. You are my reward. You are the prize. You are the goal. Becoming more like You is my desire.
Help me Lord Jesus not to long for ANYTHING more than You. Not to go to the well for water in any other place for satisfaction other than Your well of Living Water. For You alone satisfy. I want to hunger and thirst for righteousness MORE than this child. Jesus set my mind on things above, not on the things that are on this Earth. Because I have died with You and my life is hidden with You.
Thank You for grace. And fresh mercy waiting for me every morning. And for the occasional mountain tops. You are faithful in it all.  

May ALL THE THINGS grow strangely dim in the light of His glory & grace,


Friday, October 23, 2015

THE CALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have wondered for 4 years what it would feel like to type this.....

WE GOT OUR REFERRAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The call came last Friday. I had just picked up the boys from school & was pulling into the ATM in Leesburg when she initially called to "check in on us & ask me a few questions" and then said "ok I'll check in with you later."
30 min's later she called back & said "Ok, I have a file for you. It's a boy. He just turned 6. Are you interested?" UMMMMMM YES MA'AM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

I was shaking and covering my mouth bc it was the UGLY CRY as I was driving us home! It was 4:15pm and Roger couldn't come home until after 5pm but I meant I was not going to open that email without him!!

They gave us the weekend to pray through it and ultimately gave us two weeks to make a decision but after a series of events by Monday evening we knew he was ours!!! We called our agency Tuesday morning after Bible Study and said YES!!! He’s OURS!!
After we hung up we cried and thanked Jesus and cried some more. 

I went on to Wal-Mart and attempted to grocery shop. I was grinning like an idiot at every stranger I saw. Feeling like I had a HUGE secret I wanted to shout out to the whole store but knew not everyone would get it or understand so I just grinned and said hey. I ran into a friend from church and just couldn't hold it any longer. WE JUST GOT A REFERRAL & showed her his picture!! :):):):)
I managed to get most of what we needed and bought a 5x7 frame so we could print his picture and tell the boys that night.
I fixed their supper and waited as patiently as I could for them to get done and called them all over to the couch & hit record on my phone.

 I have been in a fog the past week. 
Hard to keep my thoughts together. 
Can't stop smiling. Still feels surreal like I can't believe it's happened! 
**We can not post personal information about him online including his name & picture** BUT I am happy show you in person. Please ask me & I will gladly show you :) 

Wednesday we mailed off another packet of acceptance paperwork & got our PRAISE ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

So what’s next?

*Pray. For the Lord to begin preparing the soil of his heart to receive the seed of the GOSPEL & for him to be LOVED BIG when he gets here! 
*Pray for much grace. There will be gain on our end of  welcoming him into our family but significant loss in his life. Jesus be near, in, all, around, before, behind. I don't know what else to say.
*Fundraising for travel funds.
*Our agency still has several documents that need to be gathered before he can be submitted to US immigration approval. This can take anywhere from a few weeks, to several months or I’ve heard in some cases over a year.
Would you pray with us that these documents will be easily gathered so he can be submitted by Christmas?(that would be the best GIFT EVER!) 
*After approval we are assigned a court date in Ethiopia.
*BUY AIRPLANE TICKETS TO ETHIOPIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We’ll meet him, go to court, come home while those documents are being processed then take a second trip back to get him & bring him home FOREVER!! 

O Lord, I will honor & praise Your Name, for You are my God.

You do such wonderful things! You planned them long ago and now you have accomplished them!

Is 25:1

There is still much to accomplish but as of this week we are basking in the greatness and grace of our God. 
The One Who is continuing to do the work He began. 
The One who is Faithful and accomplishes His plans. 
He who makes the crooked paths straight.
Who brings the mountains low & makes a path no one knew was even there.

Who are we Lord, who are we. 

We give praise to Your matchless and majestic Name. 
There is none like You, Father. 

None like You.  

Don't give up hope my friend if you are in a season of waiting. 
God is not a far off God. He is near. He hears, He see's, He is aware of your circumstances in life right at this very moment. 
The gift of His presence & our salvation is enough.  
Take your eyes off of your circumstances and FIX them on Christ.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Heb 12:2

 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Cor 4:18

Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on Earth. For you have died & your life in hidden with Christ in God.
Col 3:2-3

May the things of Earth grow strangely dim in the light of His glory & grace,

One joyful momma of FOUR BOYS {i still can't believe it!!!!}

Ps- You might be saying to yourself, wait, I thought this was supposed to be a girl who's name would be Lily.
Well my friend, I did too.  The humbling thing about surrendering your life to Christ is that it's every part of  your life. Your hopes, your dreams, your plans, your desires. You delight in Him and He'll make your dreams, hopes and desires into His and it will be EVEN be better than you could ever imagine. It will be His Best.
"My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts," says the LORD. "And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine."
Isaiah 55:8

Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.
Eph 3:20

Wednesday, February 4, 2015


This is Jesus speaking:

When you obey My commandments, you remain in My love, just as I obey my Father's commandments  and remain in His love.
John 15:10

How do we remain/abide in His love?
How did Jesus remain/abide in His Father's love?

Through obedience. 
Through obeying His commands.

What was the Father's command for His Son? What was His will for Jesus?

 But it was the LORD's good plan to crush Him and cause Him grief. Yet when His life is made an offering for sin, He will have many descendants. He will enjoy a long life, and the LORD's good plan will prosper in His hands.
Isaiah 53:10

 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through Him.
John 3:17

God's plan was for His Son Jesus to die. 
To crush Him. 
For Him to suffer. 

To die. 

And Jesus willingly obeyed His Father's command. Jesus was death.

I dare say Obedience = suffering & at times death

Dying to our flesh, daily. For myself, minute by minute.

Jesus loved His Father and wanted to please His Father.
The expression of His love was His obedience. 
He showed His Father how much He loved Him by submitting to His plan for Him to die. 

Do we obey God's commands for a reward? 
For a "blessing?"
Are we obeying Him just to  receive something something out of it? A personal gain? A desire of the flesh satisfied? 

Do we tithe "so we'll have all of our financial needs met" or do we simply tithe because God's Word says to tithe and because we love God and want to please Him we obey His Word?

Are we obeying to adopt so we'll have a cute little girl running around here with a pink tutu & converse and take super cute pictures of her to paste all over social media and my heart will be fulfilled having a girl to complete our tribe? 

I confess to you it has taken me almost 3 years to come to the place of obedience with out a reward along this adoption road. 

I say it to my kids all the time.

"My desire is for you to obey because you love me, not out of fear of discipline or for a reward."
What was Jesus' reward? Knowing He pleased His Father's plan for His life.

John 15: 11 is what got me this morning....

I have told you these things so that you will be filled with My joy. 
Yes, your joy will overflow!
John 15:11

Jesus knew that obedience brings joy! That's what He's telling us these things. 

When we obey we will be filled with HIS Joy.

The JOY of obedience.

Obedience = Suffering = Joy

I know, it's a mystery. 

Not all obedience is easy, fun, feels good. In fact is produces suffering. But that suffering leads to JOY! His joy. Not joy from things of this world. 

It sheds a whole 'nother light on:

The joy of the Lord is your strength!
Neh 8:10

Obedience leads to sacrifice. A giving up of something. A surrendering. 
All throughout scripture obedience resulted in sacrifice. 
When God told Abraham in Gen 12:1 to "leave your native country, your relatives & your father's family, and go to the land I will show you" he sacrificed & gave up a lot! And then God told Abraham to kill his only son Isaac as a sacrifice in Gen 22. Hello! But each time Abraham was obedient to God's command. 

God's sacrifice for us was giving up His one and only Son.

He gave Him up so that WE would have eternal life.

Obedience may not feel good, make sense at times; chances are its in direct opposition to what your flesh desires but if you obey God's command and His will, it will lead to JOY. And that joy will be your STRENGTH. 
Standing on the edge, choosing obedience, knowing it might result in a lot of suffering but knowing it will please the Lord when we walk in obedience is enough. 

Dying to self and living life through the lens of eternity, the forever battle until Heaven. 

May the things of Earth grow strangely dim in the light of His glory & grace,


 On the shore of Haiti.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

"Lily" in Haiti!

I wanted to share a little bit about our trip to Haiti this past summer!

I had no idea what to expect on this trip just that Emily and I would be teaching Vacation Bible School to about 100 children in a small village just outside of Petite Goave called Morne Tapion.
We broke down the book of Esther into 4 days and had a craft for the boys & a craft for the girls specific for that day to go along with the lesson.

The place where all of this went down was at a school in the village. They wereon vacation (summer break) so the school was used as a gathering place to teach VBS, hold medical clinic for adults in the village, feed the kids and for CPA to lead a Women's Bible study.

The plan was the teach the kids the lesson combined with a translator and then split with Emily taking the girls & me with the boys for crafts. Our first craft were crowns!
It was extremely challenging to communicate with these kids due to our lack of French/Creole  & only having 1 translator.We did a lot of holding things up and showing them what to do. They are super smart :)

 The boys Day 1.

There were a LOT of kids the first day!

Day 1 I noticed there was a significant amount of small children and a handful of older ones. Older meaning 12+. There was one in particular that was in the back of the room. His name is Ydson, pronounced "Edson." He was quiet but participated. He wasn't loud or seeking attention. He had a gentle disposition and was willing to help me with the smaller ones if I asked him. I was drawn to him & wanted to know more about his story when time allowed.

After craft time we did recreation and passed out some small light up footballs and got out the bubble guns. They loved it!

And a local climb up a coconut tree with his machete and cut off the top for us to drink some fresh coconut juice! It was warm and sweet!

Day 3 was the day in our lesson we prepared to share the Gospel. Our craft that day were salvation bracelets.

The challenge with so many children is that it's hard to do things with few hands. Emily and I laid in the bed the night before and begged the Lord for wisdom in just logistically and simply presenting the Gospel and executing the craft so that it would be as effective as possible. Knowing the Holy Spirit is Who draws the salvation but wanting the lesson do be done the best way possible with as much organization as we could.
Up until Day 3 we had gathered all of the children in one room, boys & girls for the Bible teaching and Em took the girls and I took the boys for craft but by Day 3 there were SO MANY more kids.

We ended up after the lesson taking a small group, around 40, into a separate room with Emily and I & a translator and doing the craft and then bringing in another set of kids. It worked perfectly and we praised Him for the insight He gave! We were able to easily communicate the Gospel and each color of the salvation bracelet & what they symbolized! They repeated to us what each meant and we really felt they understood!

Towards the end of the craft we asked if anyone in the room had accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and several of them raised their hands, including Ydson! I was thrilled and relieved all at the same time!! I turned my back from them and just thanked the Lord for Ydson's salvation! I have no idea why I had this reaction. I guess bc I had been wondering if he was saved but just couldn't get to him to talk! My thoughts immediately went to discipleship, accountability, mentorship, what's his prayer life like, has he been baptized. Does he have a Bible? Who is pouring in to young man's life and teaching him God's Word?! I longed for some time with him to talk!!

They asked for soccer balls during recreation and we didn't have any with us so when we went to market that afternoon we bought them boys some soccer balls!

Emily snapped some pictures of Ydson and I playing keep away with some of the other boys!

One afternoon we had some down time and I asked one of the boys, name Regal who knew English if he would be willing to translate for me bc I really wanted to sit down with Ydson and know more about him. I wanted to know how long he had been saved, if he was an orphan or lived at home with his parents. I just wanted to talk with him. He said sure. Turns out, Regal the translator & Ydson are cousins.

So we pulled up a couple of chairs and Ydson was looking at me like I was a crazy blanc (white) and I could tell he wasn't sure what was going on . I told Regal our translator to tell him that I was a momma of 3 boys, the oldest being 13 & that the Lord had fashioned my heart for boys and I that is why I was drawn to him. I begin to show him pictures of my husband and children on my phone and after a few minutes he felt comfortable enough to ask me a few questions.

He wanted to know what school was like in the States so I told him what an average day looked like for Cameron and what his activities consisted of. He wanted to know about soccer and sports so I told him about Roger coaching with the church soccer and that my boys played.

Then I asked him some questions.

He told me the date he was saved and said he had not been baptized. He is not an orphan and lives with his family. His father is a masonary and his mother makes and sells things. He is 17 and in the 7th grade and loves school. He has 3 sisters and 1 brother and they were all there.

As we were talking a young woman came up and pulled up a chair and sat down. She had been there all week and was a familiar face. She began asking Regal, the translator, questions to me. Was I married, did I have children, how old were they. After she learned that we have all boys she said "You need a girl!" I pointed to my stomach and told her that I couldn't have children any longer and she grabbed my arm with the look of sadness on her face. After a few minutes of trying to explain that we were adopting she finally understood. I told her that we were open to a boy or a girl.
She asked me what would I name her if we had a girl and I told her LILY.

Regal, our translator, busted out laughing. 

I asked him what he was laughing at and this was his response as he pointed to Ydson....

"That is his nickname in the village; Lily. They have called him that his whole life."

Ydson's nickame in the village is Lily.

I stood up and tried to find Emily with my eyes since she was the ONLY one there who would get why in the WORLD I was sitting there with tears streaming down my face. I couldn't find her so I sat there in the center of all of those faces staring at me and all I could say was "Jezi" which means Jesus.

Please don't read this and think that I think of this as some sort of sign because I don't.
I really don't. I do think, I KNOW, the Lord is intimately involved in a every detail of our lives though and that little moment in the village on the side of a mountain in Haiti that day was no happen stance.

The very last day was my favorite time with Ydson. From the moment I found out he was saved I wanted to talk with Him about the Lord and see what his relationship with Christ looked like. Before we left I took out my Bible and Ydson, Regal and myself stood there and talked about God's Word. He thumbed through the pages like he had never seen one before, looking at the front and back, scanning the pages with his hands. Come to find out he doesn't-well didn't- own one.
He does now! And so does Regal.

Regal to the left & Ydson to the right.

"This book is more important than any other book you have, Ydson.Treasure this Book & read it everyday." We talked that day about creation, fruit of the Spirit, Proverbs, lust, purity, him leading his brothers & sisters. I wished so badly we could have talked for several hours but we only little time left. Since then, I've prayed some of the same prayers for Ydson that I have my own boys.

To say that I'm excited to see him again and hear all about what God has done in his life over this past year is an understatement. I'm OVER THE MOON excited!!

If it's the Lords will, we will return to Haiti this July and Roger and Cameron will go with us!  I left burdened for discipleship with those older kids. (Esp the boys) They are the next generation growing up in that village. They are the next leaders! Roger is preparing several lessons to teach them while we are there. You can be in prayer for that!

 Lily in Haiti.... who would've guessed it? :)

May the things of Earth grow strangely dim in the light of His glory & grace,

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