Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Matthew 19:13-15

As you know I have been advocating for Orphan Sunday.  I've called numerous churches in my community.  Their responses made me think of what happens in Matthew 19: 13-15.

 Jesus is teaching and someone has the guts to bring some children to Jesus.  The disciples see this and immediately shoo the children away.  They can not be bothered by the children, they are too much of a distraction.  After all, the disciples are busy learning, hearing what Jesus has to say, as is the crowd gathered around Jesus.  Jesus intervenes and says "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these".  We're not told exactly what Jesus thinks about all this, but we know He was not impressed.  Our Almighty God stepped in and set things right! 

The responses I have gotten range from..."We need more notice", to "We're have a guest speaker come in on that Sunday" to "We are having baptism that Sunday and don't have time" to "We help out with such and such an organization, in fact we even held such and such an event" to "We do not neglect orphans".

These comments literally made me shake with frustration and anger!  Seriously?!?!  This is what our "Christian" community has come to????  This is what we're all about?!? 

Notice in Matthew 19 what Jesus does...He was not given any notice at all. The kids simply arrived and He responded.  I wish this local church would allow Jesus to be the guest speaker this weekend...I can only imagine what He would say.  The irony of it all is that having a baptism does not allow for our orphans to be mentioned...SERIOUSLY????   Baptism is a public proclamation of whom we believe in, follow and love...not taking the time to mention Orphan Sunday is like saying we love Jesus....but telling HIS most precious and vulnerable children to buzz off!...sounds extremely hypocritical!!  I KNOW WITHOUT A DOUBT that Jesus would help the kids and then baptize the people!  Why not make room for both...we may even be surprised at how many others would step up and say "I want to live for HIM too!" 

I know most churches do help orphans in some way...but at what point have our churches done enough???  I KNOW Jesus would say we've done enough when the need has been filled.  And last of all...if we as a church "do not neglect orphans", then why do we still have so many orphans...about 147 MILLION!!  Canada itself has about 30,000 kids needing forever families.  And we say we do not neglect orphans???  Yes we do!!  It would only take 7% of the Christians in each church to help one child and the orphan crisis would be eradicated!!!  The irony of it all is that these same churches preach the importance of tithing...notice that 7% is less than the 10%  mentioned in the Bible.

May God have mercy on us "Christians"!!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

He Restoreth My Soul

Today I am thanking God for refreshing times.  As you know we have been in a difficult place lately.  Martin described it as barely being able to keep our heads above water...grabbing a quick breath before going under again.  Today I can say we are finally in shallower (is that even a word? lol) water.  I thank God for providing a respite for us.

Many years ago we foolishly purchased a biannual timeshare and have often thought of selling it, but it is virtually worthless.  So we have hung on to it and it has allowed us to take inexpensive vacations to Fairmont, BC.  This is our year.  We had full intentions to take advantage of it, but recently decided it was not in our budget and would bank it instead. 

However...Sunday night we realized we HAD to do something and the idea of leaving the next day was mentioned.  The forecast was for snow and cold temperatures...not productive working weather for Martin.  Monday morning, around 8:30am we booked our vacation and by 11:30 am we had made all the necessary phone calls, etc and were on the road! 

I must admit I felt guilty going on a vacation at this time, but not any more.  This week has been so very, very refreshing.  In every aspect...spiritually, physically, and emotionally.  I have literally spent hours praying...fellowshipping with God.  The first few verses of Psalm 23 keep going through my mind.."The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.  He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside still waters, He restores my soul..."   My soul has been restored!

I suppose God is indeed looking after His child...and for that I will be forever grateful!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

What I've Been Reading

I've been reading a fair bit in the past few months, picking up some old favorites and reading some books I would normally not touch.
Bringing Up Girls by James Dobson: This book has been on my reading shelf for the past few years.  I keep going back to it...reading, digesting and then putting a few ideas to the test.  It's one of those books that I find most effective to read slowly...over many months.  Certainly a must read!
Kisses From Katie by Katie Davis:  Wow!  What can I say?!?  I had wanted to order this books ages ago when I first saw it, but waited and asked for it for my birthday.  I couldn't wait to crack it's cover.  But then I became overwhelmed and set it aside for a few days.  I was shocked at my response and couldn't figure out why I couldn't sit down and read this book.  Then it hit me!  I was afraid.  Afraid that God would speak to me and have me leave my wonderful Canadian life and head to some third world country...silly I know.  But even in this God had a purpose.  It helped me better understand people in our Christian community.  Most seem to hold the less fortunate, orphans...and ultimately us...at an arms length.  I think they are afraid, as I was, that God will speak to them, asking them to do something that is totally out of their comfort zone/plans.  I had to give it ALL to God and then I could read and be inspired by Katie's love for God...and His children.
Love's Enduring Promise by Janette Oke:  Janette Oke was my favorite author during my teen years.  I read and reread each of her books.  I decided to reread a few of her books...and critique it...see if she was in fact as good an author as I had always thought....I still enjoyed each book...perhaps mostly for sentimental reasons.  I have concluded that sometimes it is best not to evaluate our earlier loves...to simply hold on to the great memories!
Shooter by Sgt. Jack Coughlin:  I bought this book at a garage sale for 25 cents...for Martin...and thought it would be a good book to take along on our vacation.  I began reading several other books; also purchased at a garage sale for 25 cents. I ended up trashing those books and was left with nothing to read other than Shooter.  This book is disturbing and yet so very real.  It gave this gal who comes from a long line of Conscientious Objectors, a much needed view of all the brave men and women who work so hard, sacrifice so much for our freedom...wish I could take those horrible images and forever erase them from these brave men and women's lives.
Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne:  Just typing the title makes me chuckle.  This book is so not my kind of book!  Alex picked this book as one of his novel studies and being the teacher I have an obligation to read it.  Can't wait to move on to a different novel!  :)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Orphan Sunday Coming Up

Orphan Sunday is rapidly approaching.  It's only 2 weeks away and as usual, I did not get around to preparing as I had planned.  Here is the link to 40 days of prayer from Orphan Sunday's website.  I realize we don't have 40 days of prayer left, but non the less we can still pray.  Would you join me in praying every day in the next two weeks?  Thanks!


PS:  Could you also pray for me as I advocate for Orphan Sunday?  I've been contacting the churches in our area, asking them to participate to bring awareness to the world's orphan crisis, adoption, and foster care.  I am totally going out of my comfort zone and get very nervous every single time I contact someone.  Please pray that our churches would be open to this idea, that the community's eyes would be opened and their hearts softened, and that we as a body of believers would take action...in whatever way we can/are led.  Thanks!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

What in the World Are We Doing...from Linny

I came across this yesterday on Linny's blog at aplacecalledsimplicity.  It is too good to not share...so many truths.  This Friday we will be having a beans and rice supper at our home and will be inviting friends.  Can't wait!


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

What in the World Are We Doing?

This morning as I was praying, the Lord made it clear what I needed to share today. It's comforting to my soul when He does that. He whispers and that to me, is the most unfathomable thing in my life. So here's what He said:

Do you know what today is?

Besides being Tuesday,
October 16th, 2012

it is:

World Food Day

A day where we are given the opportunity to think about millions of hungry people around the world.
Since He whispered it to me,
I have been praying most of the day about it and so many thoughts are whirling around....
but here's the bottom line:

What are we each doing today {myself included} that will change the number of people hungry
around the world tomorrow?

See, knowing there are hungry people around the world, doesn't change anything.
Feeling bad that there are hungry people around the world doesn't change anything either.
Praying for the hungry people around the world is also not enough.

Remember this verse:

"To whom much is given, much will be required."
Luke 12:48

Being 'given' much means we need to 'give' much out of what we've been given!

It is the very essence of the scriptures: caring for the orphan, feeding the poor, giving to the needy.

Can you imagine if that verse had said, "To whom much is given, be sure to pray that somebody else will feel compelled to give out of their excess."

Not quite, right?

Think about it with me, will you?

We don't like what's in our fridge...so we head to the store for something more appetizing.
We don't like the flavors of ice cream in the freezer so we buy more flavors....
We don't like the temperature of our food, so we whine....

We don't like the portions...so we 'supersize' it next time...
We don't want "that" today, because we just had it 'yesterday'.

We don't like the taste so we try to perfect it...

And while we are focusing on food, over 15,000 young treasures,
made in the image of Almighty God, will die a painful death of starvation today alone.

Like this little girl and her friend that I met on the streets of Kampala last year.

They were propped against a building.

Sitting alone.

On one of the busiest streets in Kampala.

Her lifeless eyes are forever etched in my mind.
She and her little friend didn't speak English.
But they understood that we had brought them some
peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
{Do you notice her friend's arm? Just bones.}
He kept giggling when I gave them the food and water.
She was too weak to eat. I helped her put the sandwich to her mouth.
Then I helped her sip from my bottle of water.
She was so weak. So frail. But eventually she smiled a tad.
Her face, her need, her lifeless eyes are why
I am so passionate about our Frontlines+ Feeding program!
She is the face that compels me to do more!

And yet, while they sit starving on a street on the other side of the world,
we can't find something that we like in our fridge.

Or there aren't any restaurants that "sound good" for dinner.

Or we don't 'feel' like leftovers...

What in the world are we doing?


if you are a chef or a gourmet cook or your favorite television shows
are all on the Food Channel,
this is not about that.

You can be all of those and do all of that,
it's okay,
the bottom line is still:
What are we each doing today for the over 15,000 children that are starving to death today alone?
What are we doing tomorrow for the over 15,000 children that will starve to death tomorrow?
What are we doing the day after tomorrow for the starving children that will die that day?

"Whoooa, Linny" you might say.

You're right friends, I'm passionate about it all.

I have looked into the eyes of starving children.
I have held starving babies.
I have witnessed the panic of kids who have come to a feeding program
and the program is running out of supplies...
I can't pretend I didn't see it.

Almighty God is watching.
He sees it all.
He knows I saw it
and yes, He knows we know.
His love compels me to challenge those around me.

We have to do more!

I will never forget sitting next to a youngster at a gathering of moms and kids a few years back.
The little boy sitting next to me was about five years old and he went on and on
pitching a hissy fit because he didn't want the ham and cheese sandwich his mom had brought him for lunch. I had to get up and move. I couldn't take it anymore.

Shame on us western world!!

"To whom much has been given, much will be required."
Luke 12:48

But no doubt, many wonder:
What can we do?
Can we really make a difference from our little corner of the world?

You betcha
Together we can make a BIG DIFFERENCE

Here's one idea:

Today, for lunch, all of us ate with our hands our beans and rice. We talked about kids {just like our little treasures} around the world who have nothing to eat today.

Several of our kids remember being very hungry. One remembers eating dirt outside the orphanage because he was so hungry. Several of them remember older kids at their orphanages taking their food from them. It was actually a very emotional, teary discussion.

Then the money that we would've spent to eat something more "American" we donate to the Frontlines+ Feeding program, which feeds street orphans in Kampala. {No doubt, there are many other reputable feeding programs run by many different organizations - pick one!}

Can we really make a difference?

We can!!!

Each from our little corner of the world -

Think about it -

For instance, since January 2012, Frontlines Feeding+ program has fed approximately 14,960 meals to street kids in Kampala - and we are have just been getting going!

These orphaned street treasures are being fed because normal, everyday people around the world donate a bit here, a bit there...and now, 10 months later we have fed 14,960 meals!

All praise to Almighty God!

As we promised at the inception of International Voice of the Orphan -
100% of the Frontlines+ Feeding program donation proceeds goes directly to feed the kids.

But what else can we do?

Talk to your friends.
Have a dinner, invite your friends and serve a meal of beans and rice and then eat with your hands.
{We are going to do this!}
Talk about the hunger around the world.
Ask your friends if they would want to help feed a child for a year?
{IVO Frontlines+ Feeding Program spends approximately $1.00/ for every three meals fed.}

Decide today to change the way you look at food.

Make a decision to eat beans and rice regularly
{with the money saved going to feed a child for a week or a month or a year.}

Can we really make a difference?

Together - we can!
{more ideas soon!}

"To whom much has been given much will be required."
Luke 12:48

And I was thinking....
if you are interested....
invite some friends or family...
have a beans and rice meal and donate the money to a Frontlines+ Feeding program
and send a picture to:
we will post it to the IVO blog in an upcoming blog post...

We can't pretend we don't know about the 15,000 kids today or tomorrow or the next day.
We have to do something.
Starting today.
Together we can make a difference!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Clinging To Phillipians 4:6-7

Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.  Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done.  If you do this, you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand.  His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:6-7
My life continues to be crazy.  It's not that I'm overly busy.  It's all the "other" stuff.  It feels as though we have a cloud hovering over us.  At times we see glimpses of sunshine. But the next moment it's cloudy again.  Every single day I find myself literally crawling into God's arms for comfort, strength and peace.  It is how I fall asleep at night.  It is how I make it through another day. Each day becomes a little easier, and I learn to give more to God. 
I am no longer worrying about finances.  It is still a concern, but I have come to the conclusion that the same God that cares for the birds will certainly care for all our needs.  I've believed and known this all my life, but being the human being that I am...it is a lesson I need to learn over and over again.
I've said it before, and it is still true.  Every single time we reach out to offer an orphan the love of a family, the opportunity to hear about God...satan attacks with a vengeance.  I'm not sure if we're the only ones who experience this, but it is a reality.  Some would say I'm depressed...and I would have to agree.  However, I do not think this is a depression that can be cured/fixed/helped by medications.  The only cure is to have God fight my battles for me.  Would you join us in praying that the hands of satan would be bound?  That our family would be freed from this spiritual attack...that we would be strong in Christ...that we would lean on each other and not take our frustrations out on those we love the most.
For us, the adoption journey is a very lonely one.  So to have you praying for us...well...it means the world to us!  Thanks!
I had uploaded these photos and forgotten about them.  My girls love to play dress up.  What a beautiful reminder to me of all I have been blessed with!  It makes all the struggles worth it!


  And some day, I will confidently say:
Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to get along happily whether I have much or little (I think it means more that just finances and stuff.  I think it also means the mountain tops and the valleys).  I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything.  I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.  For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need!
Philippians 4:11-13
PS:  For those of you that visit here and don't leave a comment...I would love to "meet" you...hear from you...it would bless my heart.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Harvest For Kids

We attended the once in a life time, World Record breaker for Guinness World Record Book, of most combines on one field, combining at the same time.  What an incredible sight to see!  Saskatchewan you rock!

 The previous record holder, Winkler, MB held the record with 208 combines.  Saskatchewan literally left that record in the dust with a total of 249 combines on the field. The exact number that completed the harvest and will be counted are yet to be determined.  However, the best guess at the moment is 245 combines!  Over 200 acres of oats were harvested in about 10 minutes!  All the bushels harvested will go directly to feeding kids all over the world and sending kids to camp.  You can check out Harvest for Kids at harvestforkids.com/.  The field, seed, fertilizer, equipment, and labor were all donated by various businesses and individuals.  How incredible!

We made sure we arrived early to enjoy all the activities.  Of coarse our kids made a bee line to the horses!

The girls then stopped at the face painting booth.  Raina wasn't too enthusiastic!  Haha!  Too funny!

Alex and Morgun LOVED the remote cars!  I think I watched their expressions more than the cars!  lol

We had intended to stay for lunch, but the line was over 1/2 a km long.  People waited in line for over an hour!  Instead we made a quick dash to Martensville for lunch and made it back with 20 minutes to spare. I was worried we would miss out on the grand finale.  There was no way to know how quickly the long line of traffic would move and fortunately we approached the field from the right direction and made it back in time...others did not.

It was a truly incredible sight to see combines as far as the eye could see, slowly come rumbling towards us.  Wish the pictures did it justice.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


We had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  We had the usual meal with my family and invited Martin's folks for supper yesterday...I am stuffed, but still have room for left overs! I absolutely LOVE all food!

 My brother Andrew flew in on Saturday and will be staying with us for a week.  We love having him here...visiting, playing Settlers of Catan, and laughing.  So thankful to be able to spend time with him!

We spent Saturday at Harvest For Kids, where the world record was broken.  249 combines participated in harvesting 230 acres in 6 mins.  What an amazing event to witness!  I will share more later...

This year as we went around the table saying what we are thankful for, one statement really stuck out.  Malia said, "I'm thankful that I have a family!"  It sort of took me by surprise and I wasn't sure what to make of it at first.  I am amazed that she really understands even though she says she does not remember anything about China.  Sometimes we underestimate how much she understands...

This year I am thankful for all the usual things...God, family, provisions, etc.  But most of all I am thankful that each and every day I can fall into God's arms and have Him carry me through each difficult moment.  It is a wonderful, safe place to be!

Friday, October 5, 2012

21 years!


This morning dawned much like it did 21 years ago.  A heavy frost covered the ground and trees.  A thick fog was slowly dissipating.  Remarkably like our wedding day...as though God himself was wishing us a "Happy Anniversary". :)


I feel incredibly blessed to be married to the guy that still makes me smile...makes my life brighter...and is my best friend!

For some silly reason this song was running through my mind.  It's a bit of a cheesy country song...(I blame the country influence on my older siblings!  :)...but it really is true.

Thursday, October 4, 2012


As you know I have been stressed lately, although I am slowly learning to once again give it all over to God.  You would think that with all the stress we have encountered, giving everything to God would be easy.  It's not.  I'm still learning, I'm still growing, and of late I  have gotten downright excited to see God at work!

One of the greatest stresses has been financial.  I HATE talking about finances!  It makes me feel like a whiner.  Makes me feel like I'm ungrateful.  Martin and I have rarely let anyone know when we have a need.  Too much pride perhaps.  Asking for help goes against every fiber in our beings.  We like to do things ourselves.  We do not like to put our burdens on others.  Perhaps it is the fear of not being heard...the fear of being ignored.  We would much rather help others.  It is much easier to ask for something when it is going to someone else...and much more fun!

However, the fact remains...with our third adoption well on it's way...(we hope to travel sometime late this winter or early spring)...we still have no idea as to how we will pay for it all.   We had thought that I would be working this fall...as much as possible.  However, due to homeschooling Alex, it is impossible for me to work.

We will be selling a bunch of our personal belongings, which should help quite a bit. But it still won't be nearly enough.  We do have some ideas for fundraisers.  We're just not 100% sure what God wants.  At this point we are praying for clear direction. We do not know how God will provide, but we do know God NEVER fails!

Today my heart rejoices!  I am at peace.  I know God will provide.  This past week we were given $3100!  Yah!  Blows me away!  A huge part of that money was not necessarily given directly towards our adoption, but that is what it will be used for.  Curiousity got the best of me, so I decided to to a little math.  So far we have spent $5932.89 on our adoption.  This covers our homestudy, Citizenship application, postage, photos and agency fees.  We have been given/earned $4873.91! This includes the amount I earned in subbing, selling bread; money from the oncewaslost fundraiser, and money from some VERY generous people!  That leaves only a difference of $1058.98!  My heart soars!  I could leap for joy!  We are so,so very blessed!  We know how hard these people have worked to help us bring our little guy home.  I am in tears.  There are no words to adequately describe our gratitude.  We are humbled.  We are in awe.  We are blessed!

I came across this song on a blog I follow and simply had to share it.  It so accurately describes my heart.  May you be blessed by it as well.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Boys Will Be Boys

Yup!  That's disgusting! :)