Friday, June 27, 2008

Dangerous Surrender - Chapter 3

Gloiously Ruined -
I am struggling a bit, because although I KNOW I am officially "seriously disturbed" - I am not sure yet that I am "gloriously ruined". Kay says, "you won't become gloriously ruined sitting in your living room" - ouch - that's where I am right now!
Over the past year a lot of the ways I have become "seriously disturbed" is by reading the blogs of many others that are "gloriously ruined" (or are on that journey like me) and I have been able to do that from my living room! I know that it is part of the process and work He has been doing in me but now...I am CONFIDENT that God is calling me OUT of the living room and I believe He has been preparing me for quite some time!
I have recently started to take some smaller steps OUT, yet I know He is calling me to MORE! God is developing in me a heart of compassion that I have never had before. I still have a lot of growing to do in the ACTION department. It is one thing to feel something when I read about suffering, it is quite another for me to step into someone's suffering. I still have fear, I still have my guard up - I'm still not quite sure what it looks like when I am the one God uses to bring hope to a suffering soul. But I know I WANT it - because I have become convinced that I will MEET GOD there. And isn't that always the cry of my heart - "God, I want you - I want to know you more". I believe He is telling me that that is HOW I will find Him and that is WHERE I will find Him.
This trip to Guatemala is going to be a stepping stone on the journey. I am so thankful that I am taking this trip with my husband and that we can have this experience together. We both sense that there are some new things on the horizon for us as a family and are seeking God to be in the center of His will.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Back to Guatemala

Chris and I made the decision just last week! We are going on a 5 day missions trip to Guatemala in mid-July!
Since last fall I had been praying about a missions trip for this summer and I really was hoping to go to Guatemala. I spent LOTS of time online trying to find opportunities. I ended up finding a church in our demonination and in our area that was taking a team in June. I contacted them and was pretty sure this was IT! The day before I needed to make a commitment to the trip, Chris and I both decided that I wouldn't go at this time (the Orphan Summit had just come up and we decided that I would go to that instead). I was bummed about not going to Guat. but was at peace with the decision. Of course, God still has His hand in all of it. I ended up getting to meet Shelli, who was organizing the team and another friend of hers Kathy, that is adopting from Ethopia (amazing story - check out their blog!) They both attend different churches in the area and are interested in having adoption/orphan ministries at their church, so we know the Lord intended for us all to meet!
Now about THIS trip! Last fall I watched this video and it really made an impact on me! We made a donation to Healing Waters International They are a Colorado-based nonprofit that provides clean water to the urban poor of Guatemala, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic by installing water purification systems in local churches. The churches then sell the safe, purified water -- at a greatly reduced price -- to the people in their neighborhoods. Instead of living with intestinal sickness caused by contaminated water, people who couldn't otherwise afford clean water are now able to get it. Along the way, they get connected with their local church. The churches, in turn, are given a great way to reach out to and care for their communities. It's a brilliant concept that meets physical, financial, and spiritual needs...all at once.
A month or so ago we received an email from them about a trip to Guatemala! Chris and I both read it and said "let's go". We took awhile to pray about it and last Monday took the plunge and bought plane tickets! Thanks to our wonderful family and church friends our children will be well cared for while we are there!
The couple in the video went to a grand opening of a purification system - our trip will be a bit different. We will have the opportunity to visit 2 of the churches with the systems. We will learn about them, talk to the pastors about how it has impacted their church and community and also have a meal with a family that has used the water and learn about their lives. We will also spend time serving at an elementary school in the area. The last day is planned for the group to do some sight-seeing, but Chris and I are working on spending that day at an orphanage!
We are so excited and I can't wait to truly experience Guatemala and connect with my daughter's birthcounty!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

A Miraculous Friendship

This is about a friendship between 2 little girls. One born in China and one born in Guatemala. Through an amazing set of circumstances (some joyful and some painful) the Lord has brought both these girls to forever families in Michigan. Sometimes it is completely ordinary to see them playing together, but other moments when you think it all through - it can also take your breath away! Under what other circumstances would these 2 little girls ever have the chance to become friends?
Here they are playing together the other day!
(Becca is in white and Sophie is in yellow)

I would be remiss not to mention Sophie's mom, Aimee. I'm so grateful to have a friend who "gets me" and who is walking the same paths of ministry with me! Thank you for your miraculous friendship!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Following or waiting?

I am so eager to follow God's footsteps - but He hasn't yet told me where I am going.
It's been a fairly "blah" couple of weeks. As it happens - I was SO excited after returning from the Orphan Summit. I was ready to take on the world - now I feel like I am back in the dealing with the "everydayness" of life.
I still struggle to find the balance of it all. Is God going to send me out with a mission for Him when I still struggle at home with selfishness, when I don't prioritize my husband, when I lose my patience with my children? I only have to look at the disciples to know the answer to that question. God using me isn't dependent on me getting my act together - but it is still something I struggle with.
Lord, help me be faithful with the mission at hand - in my home - and help me to know where you are leading.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Real Hope for Haiti

I don't even remember how it all happened. Those of you in "blogland" know what I mean. You start on one blog that links you to another and to another and then you say - I found this great blog, but you're not really sure exactly how you got there!
Sometime last fall, I bumped into a blog by the Livesays - they are ministering in Haiti and I was immediately hooked by their "realness". I was also instantly drawn to Haiti and it's people. From the Livesay's blog I was linked to Licia and Lori's blogs. The work that they are doing for the people of Haiti is amazing. There have been so many times that their blogs have made me cry. Sometimes the tears are for the people they help and sometimes the tears are for my own heart that would have rather not known or seen the suffering of the world and for the apathy that still can plague me.
More recently I stumbled across the blogs of Aaron and Jamie Ivey - they have been to the Rescue Center and are in the process of adopting two children that live there. They started a grassroots blogging campaign to raise awareness and funds for the Rescue Center! Chris and I were excited to be able to become involved with this ministry.
So much of my heart is in Guatemala, but a piece of it now also resides in Haiti, and I hope someday I will be able to see these ministries in person.
For more info on the Real Hope for Haiti Campaign - please visit here.