Haiti Day 2

Haiti Day 2

I am in Haiti this week with Community of Faith, seeing what God is doing down here through the two churches we are associated with and our school, the Community of Faith School in Le Village de La Source, Haiti. I am posting with limited internet, so forgive the sloppy formatting and lack of photos.


I am a person of strong feelings and opinions (understatement). One of the things I have oh so many feelings about is how to honor and respect people when traveling to another culture, so that you aren’t the rude American taking pictures of other people’s children as if they are zoo animals. Just imagine if someone showed up at your house or junior’s preschool and was looking through the window, taking pictures of your little precious without your permission. “Lawsuit” (you need to know that in my head that word was said in the church lady’s voice). It even has a name – poverty tourism – exploiting people with a right to privacy and dignity just so you can score the best Facebook profile picture. It crawls all over me.

So imagine my mental angst when it comes to me traveling for the church to document the progress of the school that our church supports, which involves shooting pictures and video of other people’s children. For me, a natural over-thinker, it is a mental minefield. So I have been praying about it, asking the Lord to give me eyes to see and to use even my camera as a way to connect.

We drove from Gonaives up to Le Village de la Source, which is this tiny village tucked in this valley with literally 360 degree views of absolutely beautiful mountains. We went to visit the COF school up there for older children started by one of the Pastors on our staff. I walked in a little nervous, not only to shoot pictures and videos, but because we had been told that we should each prepare a greeting that they would translate for the children, and I struggled to find the words. I have terrible stage fright and knew whatever I said had to be simple because I was bound to stutter my way through it. The children sang us a song as we walked in, and the leadership of the school began to greet us one by one. Just before I was introduced, our leader David introduced me and explained that I would be documenting the story of their progress, and not only how the school had grown but how they had all grown as students and leaders. I stood up shakily to give my little speech, and it went something like this. “Bonjour (my only French word – they giggled at my Texas/French dialect). Thank you for coming today on your day off to visit with us. Our church loves you and prays for you. I love being here, and personally am so happy to see so many girls in school today. I believe that with education, and Jesus, we can change the world. It is nice to meet you and thank you for having me.” I nervously sat down and looked over to find many of the children smiling at me. It gave me courage, and I slipped out of my seat and began to work my way around the room taking pictures and videos, slowly working my way into a rhythm as I moved around the room and caught more and more shy smiles from eager children. I also caught glances from a group of neighborhood women and children who had seen our van pull up, stuffed like a clown car full of white people, and come over to look through the windows and see what has happening. I shared our snacks with them, and although we didn’t know each other’s language, we communicated through smiles and gestures until I felt like I was making friends.

We gave the school children some gifts, and they gave us gifts, and as they told us stories and gave us greetings, we identified three people we wanted to get on video. I stepped out with another member of our team to setup for the video shoot, and the technicality of it relaxed me even more. As we were setting up, I noticed that the neighborhood women I connected with earlier had following me over and were watching. I used some of them as models to get my settings right, and let them listen to my microphone setup through headphones. I tried to tell one woman my name and get hers, but she remained silent and watchful, not understanding me. I shared a snack with her. After I handed it to her, she reached up to the tree we were standing under and tore off a leaf. She handed it to me and patted her hip. I struggled to understand. I said the word “leaf” and tried to hand it back. She patted her hip again and pointed to my pants. I realized she was pointing at my pocket, and the leaf was her gift back to me. Again tears rushed to my eyes as I put the leaf in my pocket. “Oh Lord, yes, how quickly I forget. This is about connection, one mother to another, and I don’t want to be the one only giving. It is mutual.” I said “Mesi” (my only Haitian-Creole word) and put my hand on my heart to tell her it meant something to me, and we smiled at each other.

We began to shoot our stories, and I saw the children watching me from the periphery. After I finished I took the camera and headed to the group. I asked them if I could photograph them (which of course they didn’t understand) so I gestured and they began to pose. I shot a picture, and then stepped forward so they could see what I had shot. They giggled, and more and more kids came over, and we did this for 10 minutes, back and forth, pose and giggle. I have dozens and dozens of cheesily-posed pictures of smiling kids, and I love them. I need to find a way to get printed copies back to them.

So the Lord did it (not surprising). He made the two things I was nervous about, speaking publicly and taking pictures, the two tools he most used to allow me to connect with the kids. I’m grateful.

Less and less asleep

Image courtesy of istockphoto.com

I came across this verse this week:

Though the mountains be shaken
and the hills be removed,
yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken
nor my covenant of peace be removed,”
says the LORD, who has compassion on you.

(Isaiah 54:10)

When I posted that verse to Facebook, a sweet friend posted this song, Shadowfeet by Brooke Fraser.  It seems, lately, that many roads lead back to Brooke Fraser for me.  Her music seems to be written for someone struggling to stand and many of her songs have spoken peace to me in recent months.

So today I wanted to share this song and these lyrics for the rest of you hanging out in the waiting room with me.

This is my prayer.

Walking, stumbling on these shadowfeet
toward home, a land that i’ve never seen
I am changing, less and less asleep
made of different stuff than when i began
and i have sensed it all along
fast approaching is the day
when the world has fallen out from under me
I’ll be found in you, still standing
when the sky rolls up and mountains fall on their knees
when time and space are through
I’ll be found in you
There’s distraction buzzing in my head
saying in the shadows it’s easier to stay
but I’ve heard rumours of true reality
whispers of a well-lit way
when the world has fallen out from under me
I’ll be found in you, still standing
when the sky rolls up and mountains fall on their knees
when time and space are through
I’ll be found in you
You make all things new
You make all things new
You make all things new
You make all things
You make all things
When the world has fallen out from under me
I’ll be found in you, still standing
Every fear and accusation under my feet
when time and space are through
I’ll be found in you
when time and space are through
I’ll be found in you
when time and space are through
I’ll be found in you

I love the line “I am changing, less and less asleep, made of different stuff than when I began.”  I pray that is true in my life. I pray that people who see me will see my fears and the accusations of my enemy under my feet as I stand, found in Jesus.

You make all things new.

Empathy for the “Unemployed”

Image courtesy of iStockphoto.com

I kind of wanted to write a blog about our crazy experience of being “unemployed” – what it feels like, but I am feeling conflicted.  On one hand, I know I was terrible, in the past, about either saying awkward things, or judging people harshly who went through long periods of unemployment, and I know I would have loved to have read something like this.  On the other hand, it seems narcissistic and whiny to be truthful about our feelings. So if I write this, will you give me some grace as you read it and realize this is just our perspective and I am sharing it to help shine light?  I am really trying not to complain or make this “about us.”  This past year, I have learned many lessons that may help people who have not gone through this understand the feelings of those who are going through it.  So, if you are interested in seeing a glimpse of perspective from the other side, read on.

Lesson One – To be careful how we define a person. I think, before I went through this, that I lumped all unemployed people in one group.  But the reality is more complex.  Justin and I don’t even know what to call ourselves in this time, so we do fully understand other people’s confusion.  We are not technically “unemployed” because the reality is we have been piecing together as many part-time and freelance positions as our bodies and our family can withstand in this time of “unemployment.”  And yet we are somehow also under the umbrella of “unemployment” because we are constantly searching for and applying for fulltime jobs for Justin.  We do not receive “unemployment” from the government because we worked for a church before and churches are exempt from paying into unemployment, therefore church employees are ineligible to receive unemployment (which really is a difficult reality for the thousands of church employees who have been or will be laid off in this recession).  I jokingly call us “underemployed,” but it is rather murky water.

Lesson Two – To be careful about assumptions about someone’s situation. There is so much inflammatory political rhetoric surrounding the unemployed, and it is easy to assume the worst.  Last week I read a quote from a congressional candidate saying that if the government extended unemployment benefits, people would just “sit around.”  I know I once thought that about long-term unemployed people.  Now don’t get me wrong, I am positive there are abusers of the system and there are certainly lazy people.  So there is that reality.  But I don’t know that I will ever assume again that someone’s unemployment benefits are the reason they are not finding another job.  Here’s the truth, Justin does have a fulltime job – with no pay and no benefits.  His job is to look for work.  He sends at least 3 -4 resumes with personalized cover letters out a week.  He is on job search websites for hours almost every evening.  He has had countless interviews and lunch meetings, and flown to two different cities for extended interviews.  He always sends a thank you note after an interview, and at any given time is following up on 3 different possibilities.  Many potential employers have had him arrange music or record demos from here as a part of the interview process.  And he does all of this while working part-time in two different jobs and freelancing as much as possible – often late into the night.  Oh yeah – and he is a dad and husband and helps me care for our home.  Since we were not eligible for unemployment, I don’t really know how much you can receive, but even if it is a decent wage, I just cannot imagine a scenario where someone would choose this.  Looking for work is HARD and compared to this, a fulltime job is CAKE, plus the obvious perks like a paycheck and benefits. 🙂

We have also been the recipients of some other pretty nasty assumptions.  Someone told us we “couldn’t take care of our kids” and that was pretty hurtful.  I know the person didn’t mean to say that – but it exposed what they thought about us and their false assumption about our situation.  Our kids have not lacked anything in this time.  We are not in foreclosure or in debt trouble – our lifestyle is mostly unaffected.  Justin is taking excellent care of our family and I am more proud to be married to him today than I was the day I married him.  We give great credit to the Lord, and we would have never thought things would be so good after 10 months of extended financial challenge, but we are grateful that our kids are not in jeopardy.

And finally, most everyone assumes, like I once did, that there are jobs with benefits easily available “in the meantime.”  We know this because everyone suggests it to us, just as I think I likely suggested it to every unemployed person for the past 5 years.  Here’s the truth – Justin has applied at every Starbucks, Guitar Center, Nordstrom, and Apple Store within an hour of our home.  Most of the time he does not even receive a call back.  He is just far too overqualified.  They look at his resume and know what he is trying to do – make ends meet until he gets a fulltime job.  They don’t want to train an employee they are going to lose in six months.  That leads to the next lesson I’ve learned:

Lesson Three – Unemployment truly is a cycle and a trap. It really is true that if you are unemployed and looking for a job, you are placed at a lower value than someone who is simply looking to transition.  And actually, the opposite is also true when you are doing so many things to stay afloat.  Justin is actually overemployed as well as unemployed.  Here is the line we have heard twice when churches see all of the work Justin is currently doing on his resume:   “You seem to be doing many varied things right now, are you sure you really want to zero in and focus on one fulltime job?”  You wouldn’t think it, but the incredibly hard work Justin is putting in to care for our family is kind of hurting him.  It makes him appear scattered to someone who doesn’t understand this situation.    Justin has had to give the answer, “I want to serve one local church with all of my heart, but for now I must provide for my family” multiple times, and each time it makes me proud and brings tears to my eyes.  I never thought he’d have to defend himself for working so hard.  The system is truly stacked against the unemployed.

Lesson four:  There is a delicate balance between caring and prying. There are many many people praying for us.  We have chosen to be rather transparent about our situation and our job search because we value those prayers and we want to minister out of every situation of our life – even this.  The benefit to our transparency is that we are blown away by the family the Lord has given us this year.  The downside is, our situation is public.  Most people, when they see us, briefly say “How’s the job hunt going?”  We do not mind answering, because we cannot overstate the value to us of people’s care, and people’s prayers.  But there are some days where even explaining that much is exhausting.  When you have seen another week pass, or have fought worry all week, or just watched an amazing door shut and you are hurting, to tell people “Nothing yet, but thank you for praying” is humbling and difficult.  And there are a few people who really pry well beyond where we are comfortable.  Those people also care for us, but we tend to avoid them because we feel like we are having to explain ourselves and justify why we don’t have a fulltime job lined up.  We know they care, but we don’t necessarily want to (or feel we need to) give them a play-by-play of every job and possibility we are seeking.  The truth is that we live this reality all day everyday.  We really have thought about and tried for almost everything out there.  Corporate jobs, school jobs, non-profit jobs, church jobs, retail jobs, silly jobs.  All while not being able to ignore the reality that there is a calling the Lord has placed on my husband’s life to be in ministry.  So no job, even if it pays more, can add up to the possibility of a ministry job along the lines of his calling.  So we are constantly working through that and praying through that and trying to walk this path with wisdom.  There are factors in our situation that a casual observer cannot possibly understand in a 5 minute conversation about our situation.  Yet some people seem to expect that explanation.  Some days we are strong enough to handle that, but other days we could not get through that conversation if we tried without breaking down.  So we kind of go “undercover” in avoidance of having to answer.

Lesson Five:  This road is far more difficult than I ever expected. I think this experience will help me hurt with, pray for, and bear the burdens of friends who go after us.  Prayerfully, the lessons I am learning will help me be a “safe person” for my friends who go through this situation in the future.

  • First of all, I have learned the value of prayer. The people who hug me and simply say “We love you and are praying” are the people who bring tears to my eyes.  I want to be that person for someone in the future.  Those people get it.
  • Second, I have learned the healing quality of laughter. The other people who get it are the ones who treat us like we are normal.  So many people approach us with the “unemployment face” and the “are you ok?” head tilt, you know?  Haha I’m sure there is a Seinfeld or Friends reference in there somewhere.  I want, in the future, to treat our friends like they are normal, even when things are difficult for them.  I want them to know that I am here to talk about it and pray if they need me, but otherwise they know I will laugh with them and let them forget their situation if that is what they need.  My friends have struck that balance SO WELL in this time.  Girls (you know who you are) you have been so good at this and I am so thankful for you.  You are the gift from God to my heart in this time.  I have laughed and enjoyed walking through this year with you – the friendships we have formed this year are the fruits of our difficulty and I really do thank my God for you.
  • And finally, I have learned the immeasurable value of sharing the Word of God with a friend in need. So many women and men have reached out to me through Facebook, my blog, a text, a phone call, or a lunch to share Scripture, or a song, or a prayer to encourage me on my way.  These precious people have spoken peace to my heart.  I have fallen deeply in love with so many people, people who I barely knew before but who are now heart friends, who have fought through the awkwardness of approaching someone who is hurting to impart encouragement to my family.  I once had a precious friend fight a terrible disease at a young age.  I felt the Lord lead me to reach out to her, and when I got close to her I discovered that she was rather lonely –  her disease had scared off many people just when she needed them most.  The truth is, we are all nervous when it comes to the hurts of another person.  And we can easily push away to avoid the anxiety of the situation.  But ministry happens when we press in with gentleness.  That balance will be my goal in the future.

Lesson Six – God is in control. There is a reason we are still looking, and it has nothing to do with the recession, with Justin’s qualifications, or with the churches looking at him.  The reason is simply that God, for His own reasons, has not opened the door.  There are days we do not understand that.  There are days our family does not understand that.  There are days our friends do not understand that.  But none of our “understanding” makes that any less true.  None of this wait makes our God any less good.  He is good.  He loves us.  He is sovereign.  So we have moments of worry, yes.  But we do not live in worry.  The lesson of this year is not about worry, it is about sovereignty.  It is about resting in the arms of our Father.  So my hope is that as I walk through this with friends in the future, that I will acknowledge, as my friends have to me on days when I struggle, that God is in control and that He loves me.  Because that is the truth that overcomes all of this confusion.  At the end of the day, that truth gives peace.

Anyway – there it is – my perspective “from the other side.”  If any part of this sounded bitter or like a passive-aggressive message to anyone, please know it was not.  We hold no bitterness towards any person for their very human reaction to a seemingly frustrating situation.  We fully understand how difficult this is for friends and family to navigate and all of the people close to us have done remarkably well.  I just wanted to put this out there for someone walking with someone facing this, or for others facing it with us.  If the statistics are true, and 26% of Americans who were fulltime employees 3 years-ago no longer have that security, there are many like us out there and the church needs to work hard to be the “safe place” for people like us to land.

A Case for Life – A Case for Compassion

I am processing something these days and I write to process – so welcome to my inner monologue.  And bear with me – it’ll be long.

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about Confession.  It has occurred to me that another side benefit of confession is that from it flows compassion.  It is easy to stand back and judge the sinner until you admit you are the sinner – until you know the pain they are in and the battle they are facing.   God is compassionate and as we become more like Him – our compassion grows.  Lamentations 3:21 – 23 says  Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:  Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

I was taught compassion by my amazing mom. If you know her – you know what I am talking about. This is a part of her testimony and she doesn’t mind me sharing – my mom as a very young teenager found herself pregnant and had an abortion.  There were crazy circumstances surrounding her decision – and in the world’s eyes – her decision was an easy solution to a complicated problem.  But I will tell you that decision hurt my mom deeply.  When she became a Christian she finally began to mourn that decision and heal from the pain.  Although she knows her sins are forgiven, I have seen her pain and it has made her DECIDEDLY pro-life.  She will help any young woman and relate to them because she feels that abortion is, frankly, incredibly difficult on the heart of the young mom (in addition to the obvious life of the child).  The young woman may not deal with it immediately, but it is her belief, from her experience, that they eventually will deal with it and that it is a painful reckoning – a loss of innocence.  She is amazingly brave and honest to share her testimony and I grew up knowing about this from an early age.  And it made me compassionate.  It made the abortion debate not about a hateful sign held up at a rally – it made it about the fear and loneliness of a very young girl in a terrifying situation and what I could do to help that girl.  I can’t tell you how much I love and respect my mom for sharing – for confessing.  What a brave thing for her to do.  For using even her most painful moment to teach me and my siblings the redemptive power of our King.  To illustrate for us true compassion.  So, growing up in her home, the question of whether or not I was pro-life was an easy decision.  I was.  For my mom and all moms.  Women who say that pro-choice is the stance that supports women simply aren’t talking to all women.

But my mom also taught me to back up my political point of view with action.  You can’t SAY you are pro-life and not be willing to lay down your life for the mom and/or the child.  To sacrifice to support her in her choice to give her child life.  If you want her to make that difficult choice – you have to be willing to help her.  You can’t legislate morality and then walk away and not help women navigate the difficult waters of adjusting to an unplanned pregnancy.  I grew up watching my mom do things like this – in part because of her experience.  She has a heart for young women.  She understands them and hurts for them.  She wants to give love to them and rescue them before they ever make the decisions that will lead them to unplanned pregnancy. Her compassion overflows onto the hurting.  Period.  It was great to grow up in her home and witness that firsthand.

Justin and I are in pain for children in our world.  I have come to realize this feeling as compassion – taught to me by my sweet mom. Our hearts hurt – we want children’s lives to be redeemed.  We want them protected, provided for, safe, loved, whole, healed.  We want to adopt.  We sponsor children through Compassion International.  We read blogs about human trafficking, adoption, diseases, and other issues surrounding children around the world.  Bottom line – we want to rescue children from death (and introduce them to Christ).  We want to use our money and our time in the most effective way possible to help as many children as possible.  We also want to be mindful of the children the Lord has already blessed us with.  So along with our considerations for the children out there who we want to rescue – we also have to weigh the affects on our own children.  I don’t mind them paying a material price – they don’t get as many toys and junk but get instead a baby brother either in our home or around the world in a Compassion project.  That’s not even a consideration – we’re willing to make that sacrifice.  But we do want them safe from abuse or harm.  We want all of our children to know a loving, safe, joyful home where they can build a great foundation for life.  So as we make decisions – these are the things we consider.

Lately, the hunger in me to adopt has grown, but also some interesting things have happened that have kind of refined my vision for our future.

As Believers, I believe we are supposed to change the world – to bring heaven to earth.  To provide community and fellowship, sacrificial love and friendship to people around us who need it.  That doesn’t mean that we are all to adopt – but James 1:27 says that “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”  Jesus Himself in Matthew 25:33 – 40 talks about who He will let into heaven and He separates the righteous and the unrighteousness based on their service to “the least of these.”   If you take the Bible seriously you see that a fruit of true righteousness is caring for the least of these.  We have been given so much – we have to give back.  Because of the grace, love, provision, protection, life we have been given, we have to give grace, love, provision, protection, and life to others in our world.

Some friends of mine illustrated this for me this past week.  Because of their privacy, I’ll not give the details except to tell you that they lived this principle out when they were introduced to someone making a decision about a potentially very difficult special needs pregnancy.  They met with this mom and offered to help this mom in any way to be able to have this child – first of all to help financially and with support if she decided to keep the child, and second they were ready to adopt the child if the child was indeed born with special needs and if the mom didn’t feel she could cope.  In talking to my friends, their willingness to do WHATEVER this mom needed to support her was incredibly impressive.  They had compassion – they were willing to make her difficulty their shared difficulty.  They brought heaven to earth.  And the mom responded in love.

Around the same time – I read a difficult blog about an adoptive family that was actually having to give up one of their children because of some serious abuse that he had faced before they adopted him.  It was one of the most powerful things I’d ever read.  It was the first time I’d considered the dual goals of strengthening families in a certain country as well as providing adoptive services in a country.  I know that sounds simple – but I’d never thought of it.  It is exactly what my mom always taught us.   Yes – providing adoption is a powerful sacrifice and is incredibly giving to a child.  But if you can heal a home so that a child never faces terrible abuse before they are adopted – how much better is that for the child?  Rescuing them from a terrible circumstance is an incredible gift – but if you can spare them from even needing a rescue so that they only know safety and security in their birth home?  So much better.   Even if it is in a difficult country.

What does redemption look like for children of the world?  What does bringing heaven to earth look like?  I think my goal as a Believer should be first of all healing and strengthening family units worldwide.  Ideally, there would be no broken hurting families giving up children for adoption.  Reducing the overall number of orphans at the source should be an equal goal along with getting all of the 145,000,000 orphans in our world today adopted.  So caring for the orphan, as a Believer, suddenly becomes MUCH broader.  It means we care about poverty, the spread of preventable disease, the sex trade, war, starvation – all of the factors that influence the family and that turn children into orphans.  It becomes big – overwhelming if you don’t take into account the number of Believers that the Lord was speaking to when He gave the command in James.  James 1:27 and Matthew 25 aren’t written to super Christians.  It doesn’t only apply to the clergy.  It applies to ALL BELIEVERS.  So if you spread these challenges among 2.1 billion professing Christians in our world (1/3 of the world population), it becomes much more manageable.  What are 145 million orphans in a community of 2.1 billion people who believe in Jesus Christ as Savior?  Not so overwhelming, right?  But here are some statistics that bring shame on the church and I believe shed light on why this problem seems so big.  According to Barna, If 7% of professing Christians adopted, there would be no orphans.  But adoption is a big sacrifice and a big gift – and unfortunately the church today isn’t so big on giving.  A recent study by Barna showed that only 3% of Christians tithe, down from 8% in 2001.

This is where we need to RISE UP.  We need to change the world.  We need to start giving our 10% to the Lord.  To the church, to organizations worldwide that fight for the family (www.worldvision.org, www.compassion.com).  We need to INSIST that our churches support the widow and orphan,  that they restore and redeem families.  We need to befriend hurting people.  We need to be people of compassion.  We need to support women when they face an unplanned pregnancy.  Not judge her.  Not shun her.  Not call her names or distance ourselves from her.  Love her.  Support her.  Stand with her.  We need to hear and respond to the call of the orphan.  If we have room and resources, we need to consider adopting and giving these sweet children a safe home.

As a part of the church of Jesus Christ we will stand and give an account.  And I think if we have worked hard to “make a nice life for ourselves” while 10 million children die each year from preventable diseases and while 145 million orphans live without hope worldwide, we will have wasted our lives and we are going to have a rude awakening when we face our Creator.  Jesus never promised us a nice life.  He never promised us a safe suburban life for us and our children with a fat retirement account.  He promised us in John 16:33 that “in this world you will face trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world.”  He has won the battle if we will only show up and fight.

My Pastor and I discussed it recently – and God is raising up an army of students – their heart for the widow, orphan, poor, and hurting in our world is unprecedented.  God is raising up an army that cares and will make a difference and we, as adults, can either be a part of it or we can dismiss it and squash it as the idealism of the young.  I’m convinced it is happening right now.  They are fearless.  Students – Please don’t waste your life.  Please don’t get wrapped up in nonsense “reality” shows and ignore the world around you.  Follow the call.  Heed the instruction.  Be a generation that worships God and obeys His call to change the world.  Parents/Adults – we have the resources to support these students and make their vision for the future a reality.  We need to step up and meet that need.

So this is what I am processing these days as I think about our future and about when we will follow the Lord in obedience and adopt.  One thing I realized – and again this is simple but I’m clueless sometimes, is that our call to adopt isn’t something we came up with and now we need the Lord to provide the way for us to work it out.   It is something He called us to and He will be faithful to bring the resources and requirements into line when He is ready.  He began it, and He will accomplish it, and He will get all of the glory.  And until then, He has called us to Compassion and He will provide the resources for us to continue our support of those sweet kids and those sweet families even during tough times.  He called us, He will accomplish it, and He will get all of the glory.  He holds us in His Hands, and He is always faithful.

Jesus please lead us to be a light to this dark world.  Please allow us to heal hurting families and rescue orphans before they even become orphans, to give lonely hurting girls a safe place to make the decision to protect life.  Please let us bring heaven to earth while we are here and take so many hurting people with us when we go to live with You.   Please RAISE UP an army that not only Believes in You but is ready to LIVE for you and GIVE for You.