Shine Like Stars

Shine like stars in the universe as we hold out the Word of life (Phil. 2:15)
We're not trying to be rock stars but just shed some light on a sad and lonely world. Stay tuned for how God works through weak and tired, sometimes really cranky vessels.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Birthday Boy

I can't believe that Nathan's 3. He still seems like my baby. We had a fun Birthday, we had pancakes and bacon for breakfast (which is a big deal around here, I'm so not a morning person and I only make pancakes for dinner), walked to Old McDonald's (Caleb's term) for icecream cones after lunch, when Michael got home from work we went to Greenfield Village to ride the train, than off to the park for pizza and cake with the fam. What a fun filled day.
The train ride was Nathan's highlight. While we were waiting for the train Caleb told the conductor that it was Nathan's birhday. The boys got to sit on a special seat while we waited for the train to come. Then as we were riding the train the announcer wished Nathan a happy third birthday and everyone clapped for him. It was real cute:)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Application Sent!!!

We offically started our adoption!!!! We sent our application in to All God's Children International. It's been so long since we decided to adopt it feels great to finally turn our application in.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

It all started with eggs

This morning while I was making eggs for breakfast, I had a great conversation with Caleb.
C-"Mommy, do people in Africa not have eggs?"
Me-"Yes, some people in Africa have eggs. Not everyone in Africa is poor but there are a lot of people there that need help."
C-"Can we go there and give them our money. But we need to keep a little for us so that we can eat too."
C-"Did you know that we are going to get two kids from Africa? One is a baby girl and the other is a 4 year old boy" (I don't know if this is wishful thinking or if he's prophetic)
C-"Mommy, why are we going to adopt a baby and not have one from your belly."
Me-"Because there are babies that don't have mommies and daddies and we'd love to have one join our family."
C-"Can we play outside now?"
All of that started with eggs:)
I love these kinds of conversations with him. He's such a thinker and often challenges me.

Monday, June 9, 2008

The Mighty Thundercats

These boys are so cute! What a great team we had. Michael was a really good coach. He was able to get kids to play who had no interest at all in soccer. Caleb was quite a good kicker. He was always very entertaining on the field. If he wasn't in the mood to kick the ball you could find him dancing or making up games as he chased the other kids around. Although it was a good season, I have to say I'm very glad that it's over. Nathan decided half way through the season that he wanted to be on the team, at that point that wasn't a possibility. So, I spent much of my time running on the field to fetch my crazy two year old. The other parents on the team were great and helped out a ton as I chased Nathan, they often kept an eye on Addie as I ran NayNay to the potty. The most common phrase I heard was "wow, you've got your hands full." I'd agree:)

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Parting is such sweet sorrow

The boys loved hanging out with Annie and Allan. Caleb showed off for them by doing crazy dances late into the night and Nathan loved talking and singing to them in his raspy voice. We can't wait to hear about all the amazing things they do in South Africa this year. They leave next month. Nathan cried as he watched them drive away and kept saying "No, they no weave."

Friday, June 6, 2008

Africa Revolution

Our friends, Annie and Allan Greig, have this awesome ministry--Africa Revolution they came and shared their vision and the awesome stuff they are doing with some of our friends on Wednesday night. I'm so impressed with this ministry. Their view of orphan care makes so much sense, taking care of the widows and orphans, sounds fimiliar (James 1:27). I also love that they help the churches in the area do the work they are already doing. It's really a great ministry. You should check it out:)

We're so proud!!

I took the kids to the Nursery Olypmics this morning, it was an event that our county does. Anyway, they had a ton of fun. Addie won the Diaper Derby! She's such a champ. It was so funny. They put the babies on one end of a tarp and the moms on another. The babies just sat and looked at eachother, like "These people are crazy". Caleb really wanted Addie to win so he started crawling to me and she followed. It was all pretty funny.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Check out Red Letters Campaign

This is an awesome website about how we, who are extremely blessed, can help end extreme poverty.

Here's what Red Letters says:
What RLC is about
We at the Red Letters Campaign (RLC) believe that YOU have the power to reduce extreme poverty, fight preventable disease and connect orphans with loving families. Our mission is to provide you the tools and a network of partners and like-minded people that enable you to be an active part of the solution - the way you want to participate.

RLC is a different kind of non-profit designed to support you in your passions - not the other way around. Whether your passion focuses on the HIV epidemic in Africa, providing safe drinking water to Central America or finding homes for children without families in India, we can connect you to people and resources that help you make a difference in the way that you desire.

Whether you’ve just recently become aware of the challenges faced by the orphaned, widowed and extreme poor or have already rolled up your sleeves and joined the front line, the Red Letters Campaign will connect you with the people and resources you need to turn passion into action.

A clean cardboad shack

Blog Buzz question of the week: Put yourself in the place of a person who lives in extreme poverty. Write your feelings, fears and daily life struggles.

Since I first found Red Letters I've been thinking about my time in Guatemala. The second semester of my Sophmore year at MSU, I decided to take time off school (I'm still working on that pesky degree) and go work with a ministry in the Guatemalan Dump. The woman who ran the ministry often used the phrase "the poorest of the poor" when talking about the people who live there. The six months I spend working with them, changed me in so many ways.

To answer the buzz question, I guess I have to say that I can't answer it. I can never fully put myself in the place of one of those dear people that live in extreme poverty because I will never know physical hopelessness like they do. The hopelessness that I found in the dump was unlike anything I will ever know as a middle class American. Those poor people have little to no hope for their lives changing. They live day by hoping to find some "treasure" in the trash that will help feed their family. The depression that they face as they daily move among the garbage is almost tangible. They wake up to trash, sleep in trash, watch their children play in trash... Not only is living and working in garbage bad enough, the heaps often ignite sending horrible fumes into the air that these amazing people cannot escape from.

I could go on and on about my memories from the dump, but I won't. I will say that a person who lives in extreme poverty faces hopelessness every moment of the day. That is a feeling that I can't imagine. The shining light in all of this is that there is hope in Christ for these people. 1 Samuel 2:8 says 'He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes and has them inherit a throne of honor.' In the life ahead, they will inherit an awesome throne. I can't wait for that day.

Hope for them doesn't have to only come in heaven. I have seen people who live in the garbage dump changed through Christ's love lived out through people and even though they have not been able to move out of the dump, Christ in them has changed their view on life. They have hope. Hope in knowing that even though they struggle, they do not struggle alone.

Seriously, I saw change hope made in people. Some of the shacks that I would visit of women who had been a part of the ministry for years were spotless. The house may have been made out of tin and cardboard but it was more tidy and organized than my brick house often is. The point is, that people helping really does make a difference even if it's one shack at a time.