Contemplative.

I haven’t been posting a lot here (although I have been posting on my personal blog recently).  I have been thinking about how to be most effective.

I can recite or post a million statistics or stories of horrible atrocities.  Sad pictures of children who need a mommy and a daddy.  Awful realities of what it’s like to live in the 3rd world while we enjoy a rather lovely 1st world experience.

No matter how poor (which believe me, I am poor) we are or how hard times can get, I still have a home.  I still have indoor plumbing and running, clean water in my home.  I still have heat in the winter and a/c in the summer.  I have a car.  I have food and can easily obtain more, even if I can’t afford it — only 2 blocks to the nearest food bank.  I have parents who still help me when I need it and I always have had loving parents who made sure that I knew how loved I was.

I get weary of defending my passion for Africa and the orphans there.  I care about ALL orphans, but God has placed a burden for Africa on my heart.  It’s hard to stand alone for a long time.  It’s hard when money is tight and you try and you try and you try but it doesn’t happen.

It’s just hard.  But I am learning that relying on God and His strength can renew you.  And not exhaust you.  And it’s worth it.

But I want to be effective.  Not exhausted.  So, I am figuring this out — little by little, step by step.  And in God’s time, it will happen.  Meanwhile, I am going to pray and advocate and do whatever I can for these precious children.

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Book Review: Kisses From Katie by Katie Davis

This is from my personal blog…I thought I would share it here as well.

Journey of a Thousand Miles

Basic Info…

Title: Kisses From Katie

Author: Katie Davis

Publisher: Howard Books

ISBN-10: 1451612095

ISBN-13: 978-1451612095

My thoughts….

Probably the best book I have read in years.  I literally could not put it down.  My conversations have been littered with…Katie Davis said…and in the Kisses From Katie book…and so on.  When I was thinking about what I would write about the book, I picked up it and again….could not put it down.  I could re-read it again and again, learning and growing each time.

After finishing the book and through reading Katie’s blog, she really writes honestly and transparently.  It leaves you feeling like you are her friend.  Like she is writing to you, to tell you about this amazing adventure.

I already had a soft spot in my heart for Uganda and their people, but this book really took that to a whole other level.  I long to be…

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Adoption. God’s Heart for the Fatherless.

National Adoption Day.

So, I can’t remember if I shared this before on here, but I am adopted.  You can imagine then, I think adoption is pretty amazing.  It completely changed my life and rewrote my story.  Someday maybe I’ll share more of my story or if you would like to know more, send me a message…I love to talk about the miracle of my adoption.

And someday (hopefully sooner rather than later), I want to adopt.  I think that my family would not be complete without an adopted child, I believe that God has pressed upon my heart that somewhere out there is a child that was meant to call me “Mommy.”  A child who needs love and family and I can’t wait to meet them.

I have been studying the theology of adoption.  It’s been life changing.  In the adoption world, there is a lot of heated debate on both sides.  The concern of baby-selling, coercion, and exploitation.  The other side concerned about institutionalization, neglect, and an unloved/unwanted child.  And I think both sides are concerned with all of the above…it really comes down to what’s more important and those answers vary.

I think all sides have good points.  Important points.  But I believe that God’s heart is for the Fatherless.  And that He specifically equipped His church to look out for them.  I personally think government has a lot of roles (more on this another day) but that some roles that the government has taken on would be better left to the Church.  But the Church needs to stand up and take back what was given to us by God…a calling to protect the Fatherless, to look after the orphans and the widows in their distress.

Church, we need to stand up.  We cannot sit idle while children go to bed hungry and feeling unloved.  We cannot rest until there is no child uncared for in the world.  Get involved, do SOMETHING.  You can do something wherever you are, with however many (or few) resources you have.

Let’s make National Adoption Day 2013 even bigger!  You have 365 days.  Use them wisely.

Tangible Ways.

There are a lot of ways to serve these kids.  Some are bigger and require a huge commitment, others are smaller.  It’s important to remember that not everyone is called to adopt or work in the developing world, there is so much that you can do right now, right where you are.

Of course, there are the basics that we think of when we think of orphan care.  And these are very important.

  • Adopt a child.
  • Become a foster parent or an emergency foster parent.
  • Volunteer or go on a mission trip to an orphanage overseas.
  • Donate to a reputable ministry or agency who works with orphans.
  • Pray for them.

However, if those are not a possibility in your life right now, there are a lot of creative ways to serve.

To serve local children in foster care:

  • Bring a foster family a meal (or two).
  • Offer to help a foster family with house cleaning, yard work, or shoveling their walk when it snows.
  • Pray for them.
  • Hold a food and necessities drive for the families in your area.
  • If there is a group home, find out if you can hold a game night.
  • Hold a play date for foster families to get together with you and some of your friends.
  • Become a mentor, informally or formally.
  • Become a CASA volunteer.
  • Regularly encourage families who are fostering – send them a card, give them a call, let them know that you are there for them.
  • Become a tutor for a foster child.

To serve in the Church:

  • Coordinate an event for Orphan Sunday (November 3, 2013).
  • Start an orphan care ministry at your church.
  • Plan an event to educate and encourage your church (Faultless is a great movie to show.)
  • Organize a prayer summit for members of your church and community.  Get serious about praying for orphans.

Educate yourself and your community:

  • Learn some of their stories.  Talk to foster or adoptive families about their children’s past.
  • Talk to your children about the importance of orphan care.
  • Host an event and show the movie Faultless.
  • Read Reclaiming Adoption, Kisses From Katie, The Hole in Our Gospel, Crazy Love, just to name a few.
  • Network through social media.
  • Check out great organizations and get involved with them.  (Some great ones are: Lifesong for Orphans, Christian Alliance for Orphans, Together for Adoption.)

Support those who are adopting:

  • Throw them a shower, even if the child is an older child.
  • Offer to babysit so the pa.rents can enjoy some down time.
  • Pray for them

Other good ideas:

  • Reach out to a child who has “aged” out of the system and become a mentor and a friend.
  • Connect with grandparents raising their grandchildren.
  • Let those who are working on the “front lines” of orphan care know that you are thinking of them and keeping them in prayer.

Faultless.

I can’t wait to see this documentary.  I haven’t focused very much on American children waiting to be adopted or even orphans from countries outside of Africa.  I am putting together a list of tangible ways that we can serve orphans together, where ever you happen to be.

I strongly encourage you to check out the documentary Faultless, Christian Alliance for Orphans, and BeUnthinkable.  All great resources!

Sharing some awesome inspiration

I love this video!!

I have read so many studies and articles lately.  Planned and strategized.  Sometimes it’s easy to lose sight of what is important.  So many differing opinions and recommendations, it’s a good reminder to remember — it’s about what is best for these kids…not what’s best or easiest for everyone else.