Friday, December 04, 2009


There are 2 million children trapped in the commercial sex trade. This article talks about busting a sex trafficking ring in Kostroma Russia--one of our key ministry regions for HopeChest. In Kostroma, we are preventing sex trafficking through our Ministry Centers, Family Centers, and Independent Living Centers.

Girls there are protected, loved, and cared for by mentors. Go to to see how you can help!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Child Sponsorship works!

Masituula is an 11 year old girl from Uganda that we sponsor. Because of our sponsorship, she gets to eat one meal a day, go to school, have access to medical care, and gets a uniform to wear! Click here to find out more

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

World Aids Day

Today is World AIDS Day, find out about the 5 ways that YOU can make a difference in the global AIDS crisis at

Monday, November 30, 2009

Give the gift of life for Christmas!

Click here to see how you can help rescue orphans from sex trafficking and extreme poverty:

Friday, October 23, 2009


A big bullet point for me on my trip to Uganda was: relationships. It brought a renewed meaning to the phrase “Love your neighbor as yourself”. That phrase has always begged the question amongst the most well versed of theologians “Who is my neighbor?” The Bible answers quite clearly that we are all each other’s neighbor (Luke 10:29-37), no matter what we look like or where we come from or what we’ve done, where we’re going or what our circumstances are. We are ALL each other’s neighbor.

The thing I love about relationships is that we all have a story. Every single one of us has a story that can be told of the things in our lives that have molded us and made us into who we are, what we are and where we are, for better or for worse. This is a common thread that binds us all no matter of our race, religion, or creed. When we take the time to sit down and hear someone’s story, we find out that we’re not so different after all. We are able to see value in people regardless of their social standing. Some of my best friends are people that might seem quite different from me, but because we know each other’s story, we have a tight bond that binds our hearts together, even though people would look as us and think that we were mis-matched.

One of the highlights of my trip to Uganda was forming relationships with the people that I came into contact with every day. Our host Patrick and his wife Sarah are wonderful people and I cherished the time we had together talking about our respective lives. Patrick and Sarah recently had a four-month-old daughter die. And whereas I have no personal experience with this, I do know about the trials of having sick children and how those experiences have helped to mold me and make me into the person that I am. I can truly say that I love Patrick and Sarah and add them to my list of dear ones. I miss them and can’t wait to see them again.

Also, I was privileged enough to get to know the staff at the guesthouse where we stayed. Florence is such a beautiful person inside and out and she worked so hard to make us feel at home, and we did! She has a passion for hospitality, just like me! That binds us as sisters. David and Eddie, our drivers, also hold dear spots in my heart as they shared some heart-wrenching stuff with our team. I don’t see these people as mere happen-stance in my life, but as Divine appointments whose stories continue to shape me and mold me into who God is making me to be. I am so thankful to have met these wonderful brothers and sisters in Uganda and my heart aches to see them again!

I think, and I will challenge you, to step out of your comfort-zone and ask someone their story, you will be delightfully surprised at the bonds that form in your heart. If you want somewhere to start, ask me my story. It would be my honor to share it with you.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Poem by my team-mate (written while we were in Uganda)

Mercy by Malinda Hayes

(Note by Kirsten: Malinda is 18 years old and she wrote this poem after we visited Mercy Orphanage. She is an extraordinary young woman with a God-given vision!)

Images that haunt
Deceit that taunts

Abandonment and shame
Dished out to the lame

Monsters as men tell lies
That lead children to die

Their stomachs go unfed
While they are tortured in their beds

Untreated malaria and worms
Should make the Church do more than squirm

Action should be taken
Because God's plan is in the makin'

Although there may be violence
God will no longer let there be silence

Because of the terror that moves through night
The Church should surely fight!

We will fight with all our might
And follow Jesus's everlasting light

Those who do not walk God's path
Will finally experience His wrath

For giving up just one meal on the table
Or maybe just your basic cable

A child's physical needs can be bought
And education can be taught

We may send money to the poor
But Christ commands us to do more

In Christ's suffering we are supposed to share
So take the time to say a prayer

Jesus gave us the Great Commission
So why has the church made such a great omission?

Love one another, as I have loved you
That is all he has asked us to do

Jesus paid the ultimate cost
Now it is up to us to help the lost

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Oh Africa

I’m writing this as I am flying over the Atlantic Ocean, just about four hours from touching down in USA. I am filled with many emotions, most of which I am unable to put into words at this time, although I’m praying that my God will give me the words when I’m at a loss.

I know the first thing you will all want to know is “How was your trip?”. If you ask me this, know that I am working on a short answer but have not come up with it yet. So far this answer would sound like “My trip was amazing, it was Awesome, I was in the presence of the Holy Spirit, I saw evil face to face, it was devastating, horrific, marvelous, and life changing”.

I’ve tried to narrow it down into four collective categories that were most impressed upon me. The first category includes being in Africa itself. Seeing the sights: The spectacular view of Lake Victoria from our guest house. Traveling by wooden fishing boats across the lake day after day. Much to the amusement of one of my teammates my common recitation was “Hey, I’m sailing on Lake Victoria. Can you believe that I’m on Lake Victoria!” We had fun exchanging this fun but awestruck banter.

The people of Uganda were so beautiful for the most part. They were kind and hospitable and very appreciative of our presence. We also made big spectacles of ourselves and people, mostly children, waved and called out to us “mzungu! Mzungu!”, which translates as “white person! White person!” They smiled and waved and wanted us to touch and hug them. A local mother told us that when we paid attention to her children, that we made them feel special. While we thought it was cute and it made us smile from ear to ear, the deeper heart-felt feeling for me was sadness. I could not hug them all and tell them how special they each were; there were just not enough hours in the day.

The roads were dusty and dirty and a good majority of the people didn’t wear shoes. The average person in Uganda exists on a little over a dollar per day, all inclusive. We walked down dirt roads that seemed little more than paths to us, where most homes were shacks made of tin or home-made bricks. Cows grazing in front of homes was a prevalent sight, as well as crossing the roads with chickens and goats, right in the middle of town. It was hard not to be shocked that people existed this way in such a depraved community. More shocking still was the JOY that radiated from the people. Joy in a world that we would consider helpless and devoid of any happy emotions. I cannot describe the joyful “vibes” from the people as they lived their lives in the midst of their most uncertain circumstances. I learned a lot from watching them.

One of my favorite things about Africa was the music. Throughout the villages and the mundane tasks of life, I usually heard the beating of drums and voices lifted in melodic harmonies. Coupled with the enchanting sounds of the African birds, the drums and melodies were heaven to the ears. It never ceased to amaze me to see, hear, smell, and touch all of these things and people.

The one thing I can assuredly say about Africa is that I fell in love with it and cannot wait to return.

My Thoughts on Africa

Hi Everyone,

I guess it is Sunday, (9-27) although I seem like I’m in a time warp. Our flight from Charlotte was smooth even though we took off a few minutes late. The plane from Detroit to Amsterdam was crowded and over booked but we all made it on.

Interestingly, when we went through the gate in Detroit there were a whole bunch of armed police were crowded around the entrance to the breezeway pulling people over and checking their carry-on bags. As I was passing by, a guy on a walkie radioed that there was baggage that was not be allowed on the flight. I’m assuming the same people whose checked baggage was flagged were the same people not being allowed to get on board the plane until their carry-ons were thoroughly searched. I thanked God for His divine intervention of protecting our plane.

Once we got to Amsterdam we power-walked to our terminal and had to go through security again, which was a pain but we were thankful that our baggage was checked clear through to Entebbe so we didn’t have to go through customs.

Now I sit on our flight to Uganda, hopeful and expectant to witness God’s work and abundant miracles. I forgot to mention that I slept for most of the flight from Detroit to Amsterdam (thanks to the makers of Ambien) and so on this flight I have a lot of awake time and am enjoying chatting with Sarah.

I love you all and will write more when we land!

Today is Monday, 9-27, at about 10:45pm. It has been a crazy and wonderful day. I am happy to report that all of our baggage and supplies arrived safely in Uganda. Thank you Lord! We were so exhausted by the time we got back to the guest house last night and still had to inventory all of the stuff we brought, whether it be medical or shoes or craft supplies, etc. I think we all got less than five hours of sleep but were excited (yet sluggish) to start our day.

We were treated to a delicious breakfast prepared by the local ladies who work here at the guest house. Eating fresh-from-the tree plantains offered a delight to the palate, as well as eating the veggies cooked in a philo-like dough and all the other array of delectable offerings. Also, the coffee did not disappoint; the flavor of the beans grown right here on African soil was exquisite.

My wake-up was complete with a spectacular view of Lake Victoria (the Nile’s source) and the scenery around it. I snapped a few pictures of these huge crane-like birds. These things make bald eagles look like canaries. They were breathtaking and majestic creatures. Uganda is a beautiful county, but by and large I was taken aback by such a stark contrast of beauty and ashes. Birds of paradise, a most beautiful bloom, and palms fronds that were the biggest I’ve seen, both the foreground of high bordered walls topped with barbed wire. A sanctuary inside a prison; this prison where it’s inhabitants are trapped in their current ways and life styles that only seem part of a vicious circle of pain, suffering, and destruction. To take it all in, the sounds, the smells, the traffic, the in-value of human life, it seems pretty far fetched to find hope in this place.

After traveling through the city over bumpy dirt roads filled with numerous pedestrians, cows, chickens, mopeds, vans, and busses and observing a people who seem to go about their same hopeless routines with little chance of every get out of their grip, our vans pulled up in front of Mercy Orphanage. It was here that I saw a glimmer of hope, a spirit of courage, and a faith that was pure and immeasurable in some of the kids who live here.

One young man (maybe 16 yrs old) blew me away when he stood up in front of the whole group and proclaimed that when they did not have food, Jesus was their food.

When they did not have clothes, Jesus was their clothes. When they had no shoes that Jesus was their shoes. He said “Jesus is our father, the Father to the fatherless, the mother to the motherless, yet we do not have physical things, it is because of Jesus that we live”

To have been in this place, which to me seemed hopeless, to hold kids who had not eaten in two weeks, to talk to them, to listen to them and their child-like faith really put my heart in a new place. As for today, I will never be the same. I can’t wait for tomorrow because although I came here to be a blessing, I have been tremendously blessed.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Friday, June 26, 2009

Total Injustice

*I just need to get a few things off my chest so if you're easily offended or deeply in love with either Farrah Fawcet or Michael Jackson, I suggest you not read any further.

What the heck is wrong with us Americans? I am personally appalled by all the public mourning, weeping, and carrying on about two have-been pop/tv stars. Farrah's battle with cancer was admirable and she educated a lot of people with her documentary about fighting and finding a cure for cancer, now sadly her death is certainly taking a back seat to MJ's. So if I had to pick favorites, yeah it would be her. Michael, on the other hand, may have written some good songs which defined a decade, but do we forget such incidences as him dangling his son over a balcony or all the "allegations" of child pornography and sexual abuse going on in his own home? Okay, so they're only allegations, and OJ only "allegedly" chopped his wife's head off.

But this is not my soap box. My anger and disbelief are directed at the media and those who are skipping work to stay home to watch the live telecasts and tributes to these individuals. They're dead. People die every day. In fact, 28 million children die of curable diseases each year! 17 million children die from starvation. STARVATION! They don't die because they have fought a valiant battle with cancer deserving of media attention; they don't die of heart attacks sleeping between the finest of linens. They die because they have no FOOD. They die because they don't have a basic antibiotic to treat malaria....a $25 antibiotic!! But these children get no media attention. They get no justice. What is wrong with us? How can we sit in front of our big screen TV's munching on chips and watching and mourning the death of a freakin pedophile for goodness sake when children are dying TODAY because they have no food to eat? It's pathetic. It's inexcusable.
The child you see in the above picture is a REAL child from Uganda. This photo was taken in May; his body was lifeless and he was literally starving to death. You don't see these faces on the news. You don't see the ticker rolling every time an innocent child dies from lack of food or totally obtainable and affordable medicine. Instead we are content to live in our world with delusions of grandeur and Neverland ranches, while idolizing those pretty faces we see from our TV sets. We choose to ignore the suffering and the dying in places like Africa. Why? Because we are so far removed or because it hurts too much to watch or because we're too selfish and like to put ourselves up on pedestals because we're better, richer, and prettier than the rest of the world? No wonder the world hates Americans.

Did you know that every year 10 million children are involved in the sex industry? And some of that is within our own borders!? Instead of mourning Michael Jackson for his "music", wouldn't we be more effective in giving our time and attention to free the innocent from the bonds of sex slavery?

It's time that we wake up people. It's time that we did something. No more pathetic excuses. Two weeks ago two 11 year olds set up a lemonade stand and baked cookies and raised $40 to buy food for kids in Uganda. If they can do it, so can we. We can choose to not ignore the statistics, we can choose to not idolize people for their good looks or the ability to write songs, we can choose to make a difference, to pay attention, to do SOMETHING!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Weaving the Tapestry of Life

It’s funny how when you take a good look back on your life you can begin to mark the moments that have shaped you into the person that you are, the person that you were, and that person that you are going to be. I love to think of a hand woven tapestry and how it relates to life. When looking at it from the back you see the threads and loose ends and the mess that usually looks like a bunch of nothing. But when you turn it around you see a beautiful picture, a masterpiece. I believe that this is how God orchestrates all of our lives. Our Creator is the Weaver and we are His masterpiece.

Let’s face it, when we look at the back of the tapestry through our own eyes, we can seldom see the big picture. In fact, some of those threads are downright ugly and seem out of place. Other threads may be a nice color, but we just don’t see how they’ll fit into all that ugliness and mess. God tells us in scripture “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9. God uses every thread, whether we understand it or not. There is no way we can see the completed picture until He is ready to show it to us a glimpse of it.

For years now I have searched and prayed and tried to envision what all of the threads in my tapestry would turn out to look like. Sometimes I even threw in a few (or more) of my own just to add a little color to where I thought it should be. I’ve served the Lord in this ministry and that; trying to force myself into places where I thought my threads should be. Not all have been failures and I’ve grown exponentially in my faith and in my walk with my Creator. Not all loose ends or ugly ends are bad ends, they’re just threads in the fabric of our lives.

Over the past several months God has given me a peek at my tapestry and a vision for the future. Several weeks ago our church started a series called “One Prayer” that churches are engaging in all over the country. The first week I was encouraged to “mark the moments” in my life to help me see the big picture. As I’ve done that, marked the moments, I’ve been awed and thrilled to see the path that God is leading me toward. I finally know what I want to be when I grow up! I am so excited and I feel like a kid whose parents are getting ready to take them to the candy store! I might eat a few sour gummy worms while I’m there, but overall it will taste so sweet!

My goal is to begin journaling on this blog and to “mark the moments” in my life that are leading me on the journey of a lifetime. I can’t promise how often I’ll write, but it will be worth reading. I invite you to follow me and see my tapestry unfold.


Monday, June 15, 2009

Finally an update

Hi Everyone,

The past few weeks have been quite hectic with all of the end-of-the-school-year activities going on!  I know that most of you know this already, but John is employed!  Last week was his first week.  Things are different for him, but he is feeling hopeful.  Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers as he transitions into his new job.

Lilly graduated from 8th grade.  We registered her for high school.  John and I have shed a few tears this past week or so, remembering our baby daughter with her perfect pouty lips who turned into an adorable, happy, and funny toddler, with her bouncy curls and infectious smile.  Now she's growing up; blossoming into an amazing young lady.  She is so beautiful both inside and out.  But oh I would give a million just to see her do the "little foot" dance in front of the tv again!  *sniff, sniff*  We are so proud of her!

We spent this past weekend at my parents' house for Erik's graduation from Chiropractic college.  Congratulations Dr. Beauvais!  We are so proud of you!  It was great to be with all of my siblings and their families.  They are all so beautiful in so many ways!!

This past Saturday my sister Medea also hosted "Pay it forward Saturday".  She had a counter full of donated items such as detergents, toilet paper, shampoo, conditioner, pasta, sauce, rice, gift cards to grocery stores and target, toothpaste, deodorant, and assorted other goods.  Medea gave free haircuts and my mom was there hemming and mending people's clothes.  People who were out of work and/or affected by the failing economy were invited to take from the pile of goods and receive the free services.  Others came to give freely and be a blessing to those in need.  It was an awesome day; people freely giving and others freely receiving.  This is what "loving your neighbor" is all about.  I love my family and the compassion they have for others and for the world around them.  I am truly blessed.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Starfish Story

The Starfish Story
 (adapted from The Star Thrower by Loren Eiseley 1907-1977)

Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing.  He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work.

One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer.  He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked fast to catch up.

As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all.  The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them into the ocean.

He came closer still and called out "Good morning!  May I ask what it is that you are doing?"

The young man paused, looked up, and replied "Throwing starfish into the ocean."

"I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?" asked the somewhat startled wise man.

To this, the young man replied, "The sun is up and the tide is going out.  If I don't throw them in, they'll die."

Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, "But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile?  You can't possibly make a difference!"

At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean.  As it met the water, he said, "It made a difference for that one."

The statistics are staggering.
Their plight is overwhelming.
Yet, you can make a difference in the life of a child.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Pharmacy Fairy

Another blessing I wanted to mention... we have a pharmacy "fairy"!  Magically (divinely) our prescriptions have been showing up on our front porch... paid for!  Thanks pharmacy fairy!!! We love you!!!
John has been out of work for five weeks now.  He was promised four weeks severance which has not been delivered (I have no idea why this is all underlined, but I can't fix it) yet.  HR says it will be processed by May 28th (?!?!?).  Also, he has not been able to collect unemployment yet because unemployment thinks we're living off of severance.  There's the rub.

Also, the mom of a child in Sam's class has been another angel in our lives.  She works for the ARC of GSO and took me to this warehouse where I got a bunch of stuff for very little money!  She has been so encouraging and is trying to help us through paperwork and such to try to get medical assistance for the little guy, as well as sent me a bunch of info on camps for special needs kids!  It is amazing how God puts people in our lives and we have no idea what He has planned out and how he intertwines peoples lives together to accomplish His purposes!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Notebook

Okay, sometimes I just need some stress relief and this method has really paid off for me!  I have a notebook that I always carry in my purse in case I need to take notes for some reason or to write something down so I don't forget it (because of my missing brain cells due to college life and having babies).  So anyway, I decided that when I had a sarcastic comment to make (which is usually daily for me), I would write it in my notebook instead of spew it out of my mouth.  The paper in my notebook has perforations so I could easily tear them out and "ticket" people if the need should arise; which it did today.  I "ticketed" Jake and an angry driver.  LOL.  Yeah, it's stress relief because I'm still cracking up about it.  I'll give you an example, but please don't judge me.  One page in my notebook reads "Get a grip"; another reads "Nice parking! (including a heart on the bottom of the exclamation point and smily face)".  It helps me.  It really does.  I'm needing some levity in my life.

Oh yeah, and I have some AMAZING blessings to tell you about tomorrow.  xoxo   

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

More Blessings

Well I'm behind on my blogging again (surprise, surprise) but I want to catch you up and let you know of God's many blessings over the past week or so!  Last week we received another box of some diabetic supplies:  Test strips (which are very expensive), lancets, and alcohol wipes.  A friend sent us a $25 gift card (Thanks LG!), and anonymous friends of my parents sent us $300!  Wow!  Why does the faithfulness of God always amaze me?  We're His children and he is abundantly taking care of us.!

This week God provided us with a blessing of $250 cash!!  Also, a $100 gift card to Walmart and $50 to the movies so John and I can go on a date!!  Dates with my hubby have been among the first things axed as we've tightened our belts.  What a blessing to have such Godly and generous friends in our lives.  The thing that blows my mind is that none of our 'angels' are rich; they have even given sacrificially!  What a wonder to be part of the family of God!  We are truly blessed.

And as we're blessed, my heart remains heavy for people such as these who are literally starving to death in Uganda.  This week I hope to give back in some way, and pass some blessings on to those who really need it:  Orphans and widows in the far reaches of the earth who have no hope of food, clean water, and the basic necessities of life.  Will you join me, even sacrificially?  Here is one way you can help!  Click here!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

The Mysterious Email: Another Chronicle of God's Faithfulness

Here is another amazing story about how God is providing for our family amidst unemployment:

A few days ago we received this anonymous email from someone who so cleverly created an email address just for this purpose. The email read:

Dear John and Kirsten,

We heard about John getting laid off and your concerns about medical insurance. We are praying for you and your family each and every day. We wanted you to be reminded that God loves you and will continue to be your provider! And to know that you are loved by many many friends. We mailed a package to you today that should arrive by Saturday or Monday. We had planned to put this letter in the package, but forgot to bring it to the post office. Please use the contents of the package to help fuel your job search and the money orders to help with medical coverage or anything else you choose.

With God's love and ours

WOW!!  We were so excited and waited with anticipation for our package.  Then it came:

Four packages of our FAVORITE coffee and $600 in money orders!!!  
Plus, we had received another $100 in the mail that day for other things.
That's $700 plus coffee in one day!!!

God is so good!!!  We are so blessed to be children of the most generous Father!

And because God has blessed us, we are able to pay some forward by helping here:  

Will you consider helping too?  Even facing unemployment, we have more than we could ever ask for or imagine.  We have so much more abundance than these babies dying in Ethiopia.  Even if you can only give $5, please please do so.  You could save a life!!!
Praise be to God!

***A special thank you to for being the hands and feet of Jesus.  We love you dearly and are so thankful for you!!  xoxo

Monday, May 04, 2009

Chronicles of God's Faithfulness, Part 2

It has been one week and two days since John was laid off from his job due to the current economic situation in the U.S.  In this short time we have been blessed beyond belief by the Lord and our brothers and sisters in Christ.  Some of these things may be out of order, but I want to recount everything the Lord has done for us so that for years to come the stories of God's faithfulness to our family can be passed down to our children, grandchildren, and generations to come.

We were invited to a close friend's birthday party and had to decide whether or not to buy a gift or to save our pennies wisely.  Our friend knew of our situation and assured us that no gift was necessary.  My sweet children, instead of pouting about not buying the gifts they had in mind, found gifts to give from their own collection of toys.  The thing that impressed me the most was that they picked from their 'best' things; things that they knew that their friend loved to play with when she came to our house.  It warmed my heart to witness their generous spirits and desire to give their 'best' to others.  Then, at the party, not only were the presents a big hit, but the grandma stuck $40 in my pocket.  This is a lady who works hard for her money and doesn't have a lot of it.  I felt so incredibly and truly blessed and humbled that day.

Another day I went into the school office as I usually do.  One of the receptionist's husband had been laid off also and she knew my anxiety over simple things like lunches for my kids.  Four kids packing four lunches and snacks for five days a week really adds up:  Juice boxes, snack packs, etc.  Did I mention that my kids can EAT?!  Anyway, she pulled me aside and offered that since John was laid off my kids could get free lunches.  I had never thought of that and part of me hated to swallow my pride, but my kids are now thrilled to get yummy lunches every day.  Their school does not have yucky cafeteria food, but the Booster Club brings in Golden Corral, Chick-Fil-A, Papa John's, and Subway.  It's all like a slice of heaven to my kids and beats peanut butter and jelly any day!!  Another huge blessing to not have to buy that stuff!!

The other day I went to the grocery store with a friend so we could get some great sales.  Some of the things were buy two get three free.. awesome!  Anyway, when it came time to check out, my friend insisted on paying for my stuff since we got so much stuff for such a small price.  My friend is a single mom and doesn't have a lot by any means.  Of course I argued with her about it but she said that God had blessed  her and she wanted to pass it on, or 'pay it forward', so to speak.  Again, I am humbled and awed at how God is providing so much for us!!

Last night at OFY there were hotdogs, buns, chili, cereal, and milk left over.  My friend there insisted that I take some extras home.  Let me tell you, there is more food in my fridge than there usually is!!  Praise the Lord!!  And this is just a little glimpse of what 's God been doing... Just wait until tomorrow!!


Friday, May 01, 2009

Chronicles of God's Faithfulness - Part 1

As sad and as hard as it was to hear that John was being laid off, we have never doubted for a moment the our Father would provide for us.  The Bible says that when we accept Christ's gift of forgiveness and eternal life and turn our life over to Him, that He adopts us as one of his very own children.  You know that we love this picture of adoption and how Sam is loved immensely  like a child of my own womb.  That is the same picture that God has of us.  We become HIS children.  He is our abba Father (abba is translated as "Daddy").  As an earthly father nurtures and takes care of his children, so God takes care of us, his children.

God knows and is sympathetic toward our anxiety about medical stuff.  We shouldn't be anxious, but present our requests to Him as we've done.  This is the first of many ways that God our Daddy has answered our prayers:  I contacted a Christian medical supply company about supplies for Jake's insulin pump.  Of course, it all sounded too good to be true and I kept waiting for the 'catch'.  I thought I'd believe it when I saw it.  Then,  a couple days after John was laid off,  we received a box in the mail.  In the box were three boxes of infusion sets (retail $110 per box), three boxes of insulin cartridges ($81.25 per box) and three boxes of IV prep ($14.25 per box)  That is $616.50 worth of insulin pump supplies for FREE.  We didn't even get charged for shipping!!  

I cried when I opened the box.  My heavenly Father is so faithful.  He knows the hairs on my son's head and He will take care of him!  I am awed and humbled!!  Thank you Jesus!

Stay-tuned for more God-stories while we're on this unemployment journey!  You will be amazed!  <><

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

To insure or not to insure, that is the question.

To bring everyone up to speed, John got laid off from his job last Thursday.  His position was eliminated because of the economy and the fact that his company has lost a lot of money in the past year, which they are trying to recoop by laying people off.  When we heard this news, we were initially shocked (his branch was profitable for Q1), sad, and scared.  What would this mean for our family?  I cried for a few days, not out of panic but I felt sadness, like a death had occurred.  I still have some anxiety but I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is in control and He has us in the palm of His hand.

John has already interviewed with one company.  He says it went well but there is not a position open immediately; that it will take time if he is offered the position.  I am blessed to have the smartest, most hard-working husband on the planet and he is not laying down in defeat.  He has made a lot of contacts and done a bunch of networking and has a bunch of friends in the industry looking out for him.  Again, we know God has a plan!!

The thought has dawned on us that maybe God has freed us up to do His work.  Maybe he'll ask us to 'put our money where our mouth is' so to speak.  That would be awesome and we would be thrilled to have the opportunity, but as of yet, God has not given us any solid directions.  John heard from the Lord, "Just feed my sheep".  We don't know what that looks like at this point, but we are seeking Him on a daily basis.

In the meantime, we wait upon the Lord to take care of us.  Our biggest stressor at this point is our medical bills and coverage.  As you may know, we have two children with potentially life-threatening illnesses that require extensive medications and medical equipment.  Thursday, April 30th, is our last day of insurance coverage.  We can purchase a cobra policy for $12oo per month.  Right now, we don't see how we'll be able to pay that money- that is almost a house payment.  But we don't see how we can go even one month without medical insurance.  In the next three weeks Sam has appointments with the neurosurgeon, orthopedic, and physical therapist.  He is also supposed to be going to get his feet casted next week for his new leg-braces.  Friday, May 1st, Jake also has his quarterly hospital visit with the endocrinologist and team.  These amount to thousands in medical bills.  So, we're praying for clarity about what to do.  Do we spend the money on cobra?  Do we cancel all these appointments (some took 6 months to get)?  Do we keep the appointments without getting the cobra and risk a high medical debt?  We don't know the answers at this point, although we know God does.  We are seeking Him and asking for direction.  Will you join us?

Thanks!  We love you all! <><

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Startling Statistics

Did you know that every 18 seconds a child becomes an orphan?  

At the same time, Americans spend: 

$19, 977 on coffee
$46, 804 on clothing
$9,132 on bottled water
$28, 539 on diet products (that don't work)
$9,703 on pet food

I don't know about you, but this is disturbing to me.
It's time we did something.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

John and I just got back from going on a youth retreat with our small groupies and kids from our church.  We got very little sleep but it was awesome to see how God is working in the lives of the young people in this generation.  They really are running after God; they want more of Him and to see His power manifested in their lives.  It is humbling to be able to witness the fire that our Father has set in the hearts of these kids.  It has given me a greater desire to run after God myself and to go further on the path that He has laid out for me.

I've been struggling, as many of you know, to find that path, the perfect path that God has laid out for me.  God has been speaking to my heart but it's still hard for me to see.  I'm trying to live each day, one at a time, with the faith that it is He who is leading me.  One thing I've been struggling with lately is the apathy of the church.  This is one topic that has me really fired up and I'm not sure what to do with it.

The thing I see that is driving me absolutely crazy is this:  Why doesn't the church get it?  And by 'church' I mean the global church, each and every individual who calls themselves  Christ followers and who makes up the body of Christ.  There is something huge that Christ-followers are missing.  Even more specifically, I'm talking about American Christians; those of us who live in wealth and abundance and yet are either too naive or too busy or too blind to see God's children dying all over the world.

A lot of Christians are getting it right, so please don't flame me if you're one of them.  I'm just frustrated with those who don't get it.  When a disciple asked Jesus what the greatest command was, He said this:  Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  And:  Love your neighbor as yourself.  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commands.  That's right, all the Law and all the Prophets hang on these two commands!!  I think a lot of us get the loving God thing down okay, but it's the 'loving our neighbor as ourselves' that we have trouble with.  And again, I'm talking to Christ-followers here, those of us who have been given a command and yet just don't get it.

We live in such a self-absorbed culture.  How many of us are loving our neighbors as ourselves?  (If you don't know who your neighbor is, you can read about it in Luke, chapter 10.)  How can we sit by and let thousands upon thousands of children die of curable or treatable diseases in places like Africa?  How can we turn a blind eye to widows and orphans in places like Guyana with no clean drinking water?  How do we sleep at night when children are sleeping in the streets and are sold into sex-trafficking all around the world?  How can we save for cushy retirements when children are dying TODAY, RIGHT NOW because they don't have adequate medical care all over the world?

It seems to me that 'ignorance is bliss' could be a new church motto in our country.  No wonder the world hates Americans.  We spend a lot of our time complaining about what we don't have, bitching and complaining about the government and the president, wasting our time at Tea Parties and the like, complaining about taxes and the economy and spending our money on worthless crap from Walmart.  Is that what it means to love your neighbor?  As churches we tend to place a high priority on Jesus as a 'get out of hell free' card instead of ministering to the needs of those who are really in need.  Yes, we all need Jesus, but: Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?  The thing about Jesus is He met people where they were and fulfilled their needs.  How can we expect to preach the gospel without first meeting the basic needs of those we're trying to reach?  Why should we expect people to truly be saved when we're all talk and no walk?

My heart is heavy.  How can it not be?  I want to make a difference.  I will make a difference.  We can all make a difference.  None of this is too big or too un-surmountable for God, or for us if we are truly Christ-followers.  I hope you'll think about some of this and pray about what you can personally do to make a difference to 'the least of these'.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The curse of Compassion

I was born a compassionate person.  I am emotional.  I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve.  At times, this has been a curse in my life.  I even hated God for the compassion that I felt for others because I lost several things in my quest to be a savior to those in some sort of need, whether it be a physical or emotional one.  I would cry out to God "WHY ME?!  WHY DO I HAVE TO CARE SO MUCH WHEN NO ONE ELSE SEEMINGLY DOES??" I was the girl with the weight of the world in her hands.

During my teenage years I rebelled against my compassionate nature and tried very very hard to turn my thoughts to my own self gratification and righteousness.  I usually succeeded because I am very strong-willed and God gave me the freedom to choose my own path.  As it turns out, it was a very hard and bumpy path with lots of twists, turns, potholes, and even chasms in it.  But even when, in our own stubbornness, we choose the wrong path and try to change what God has made us to be, He is there, like a crossing guard.  At the crossroads of life, which are very numerous if we stop to count them, He is there pointing us in the right direction.  The question is:  Do we choose His path or our own?  Do we go where we feel He is leading us or do we ignore Him because His way doesn't make sense to us?  I regrettably admit that I have taken my own road many times and most often it leads to pain and confusion.  But "God is not a God of confusion, but of peace" ~ 1 Corinth. 14:33

The past several years of ministry have been somewhat confusing for me.  Of course, lots of good things have come out of it but it's like I've been wandering and searching and trying to figure out my place in the world and in the church (the collective body of Christ).  I've served in many ways and capacities but have still felt confusion; never really 'at home' in the role that I was in.  Again, God has certainly used me in every area, and for that I am eternally grateful.

But once again I find myself at a crossroads in my life.  I'm doing my best to listen to the Crossing Guard and to embrace the gifts that He has given me that will put me on the perfect path that He has laid out for me.  This is always easier said then done; the enemy often tries to confuse me, even within the church. 

I invite you to embark on this journey with me and to help me to run the race that He has set out for me.  I don't know exactly what this looks like, what it will mean, or where it will lead me.  I do know that I will try my best to submit to my Father's will and I covet all prayers for strength and endurance on the road ahead.

Until then,

Sunday, March 29, 2009


I have a lot on my mind these days... enough to want to make my head explode.  I figure that if I write about it, which has always been a good outlet for me, then maybe I can make sense of myself and see where God is leading me.

Let me offer this disclaimer:  It ain't pretty.  What I have to say will most likely offend some of you, so if your feelings are easily hurt or you internalize the opinions of others, you probably shouldn't subscribe.  I'm just trying to work some things out for me, and hopefully you, if you want to be worked on or have your ideas challenged.  

I'm in constant prayer that God will give me the words, that these things will be His words and not mine.  Until then,


Friday, March 27, 2009

Twitter, blogging, facebok

I'm just trying to figure it all out.