ONE LESS ORPHAN June 3, 2011
After holding hands all around the table and thanking Jesus for His goodness our discussion moves to the terrible natural disaster that completely wiped out Joplin, Missouri last week. All that remains are a people who are commonly united by loss and devastation. Among these are 100’s of children who are now labeled ‘orphans’. Anthony and I sit at our overly-crouded dining room table tonight and ask ourselves, “What are we to do?” At this thought I was reminded of a dream I had last autumn that grips my heart with each disaster that is leaving behind a mass of hopeless, hurting, and desperate young people.
In my dream Anthony and I arrived upon a situation that left buildings in ruins, homes demolished, livestock and vegetation completely gone, and people in and under rubble crying out for loved ones. Among the noise, the loudest cry was the silence found in the multitude of children completely overwhelmed and shocked by fear with eyes pleading for hope, answers, and survival. As we rushed forward to wrap our arms around their fear-struck bodies we were stopped by government officials who said, “Not yet.” Soon the guards moved back and we were allowed to proceed into this unknown territory. We ran forward with an urgency screaming within us to save as many as possible. As we dug under broken beams and shattered glass we came up arms full of small children. We headed back toward the safety of a white building in the near distance when we were again stopped by government authority who demanded our official license. As we offered them our papers we noticed for the first time the chaos surrounding us: large, military-looking trucks packed with young girls and greedy men at the boarders offering pennies for the next one. Homosexual couples quickly passing thru the system taking children for the purpose of proving they were a family. Muslim’s whispering to one another how they would rise up their own army on our American soil. The crowds of people lining the edge of the disaster begging to pass thru officials…they were different…they were pure in heart, abounding in love, and passionate to do their part. We asked the woman looking at our papers why they weren’t permitted to rescue the victims. With a stoic face she answered us simply, “They are not prepared.”
I woke with a feeling of sickness and tears trickling down my face. I rose from bed reminding myself it was just a dream, but the truth would not stop provoking me…if we (the church) are not prepared for the shakings and groanings many will be lost that could have been saved! In my dream the lives of innocent children were released into the hands of pornography and the greed of human trafficking. They were taken to legitimize the lust of same-sex unions and to be trained in combat against their own nation. There were many left behind as orphans to raise themselves on the streets where selling their bodies and souls was the only way to survive.
Our dining room is loud with laughter as our 2 year old foster son, Christopher, entertains us with his efforts to make a fish face. Five little boys cheeks are smudged with eggs and hands sticky from pancake syrup. The dishes are piled high. Our 4 year old foster son, Michael, is retelling the story about how God healed him of nightmares. My daughter and I are constantly amazed at the number of boys in our home and how much food they consume. Again, I notice the dishes piled high. My mind drifts back to the disaster in Joplin, Missouri. The hundred’s of children without a meal tonight, without a home, without hope, and without family. Among all the giggles and squirming I try to imagine our table with just one more. Where would we put them? Do we have enough beds? Our van is already too small. I smile as I remember Randy Bohlender challenging us to look around the dining room table and say, “Scooch over…we need to make room for one more!” Just then my precious Micah leans into my lap and says, “Mommy, you’re my favorite Mommy in the world.” I catch a glimpse of my husband across the table scattered with dishes and food and simply say, “We have to do something.”
I know many of you feel the same. You hear the Holy Spirit nudging you to do something about the orphan crises in our nation. Take the first step. Contact your local Department of Social Services and get your foster care license or complete your home study for adoption. Find a family to support who is expanding their family thru foster care/adoption. Start a prayer meeting focused on this topic. We highly recommend you read the books The Spirit of Adoption by Randy and Kelsie Bohlender and Small Town Big Miracle by Bishop W.C. Martin.
Yes! Saving lives is uncomfortable, challenging, and costly. It is the way of the cross.
“And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to me.'” ~Matthew 25:40
Grace to you as you get prepared!
BE PREPARED…GET OIL! October 25, 2010
Through dreams, natural circumstances, scripture and prophetic confirmation we know now is the time for the people of God to sound the alarm. We live in a culture that describes ‘normal’ as fast food, divorce, sickness, youth living out the lust of the flesh, depression, excess spending, sexual sin within the church, debt, and a fatherless generation. Hebrews 12 tells us that He will shake the earth and ALL that can be shaken will crumble and that which cannot will remain. In response to our prayers for a great awakening within our nation, justice, revival, signs, and wonders, God is going to shake all that can be shaken so His bride will be spotless with a heart absent of mixture. When Jesus, our great deliverer, releases His judgements to remove all that hinders love, the church must be prepared with a Forerunner voice for the inhabitants of the world to know righteousness. As these trends accelerate on a natural level during this season leading up to the return of Jesus, we are guaranteed the light and glory of God will also increase. The new normal will be multitudes of salvations and great justice throughout the world. Miracles happening because our shadow crossed over the sick and crippled. Youth who abandon all for the sake of Christ and the hearts of the fathers being turned to the children. Him being glorified in ALL areas of life! All through scripture we see God’s heart to partner with His people. God is searching for the Forerunners of our day to be spiritually violent in radical obedience and love for Him. He desires to lavish grace upon our immature hearts as we willfully move forward with “Yes, Lord!”. Matthew 25 paints a vivid picture of the 10 virgins. Some gathered and stored up oil and others did not. Those who did were able to keep their lights burning when the Bridegroom came for his bride. Those who didn’t were left unprepared and lacking. During crises of any kind: small or large, individual or regional, natural or physical, the people of God need to be prepared. In the days of Noah, the inhabitants of the land were too busy and unaware of what was happening until the flood came and washed them away. Awake, awake oh church! The prophetic signs are meant to give us confidence that the Lord is near, that He hears our prayers, and will soon respond. Isaiah 66:2 says He is with me if I have a contrite spirit. Psalm 25:14 says God will tell me His secrets if I fear Him. Matthew 11:15 says those who have an ear to hear will know what the Lord is doing. First, we must hear the alarm… GET OIL for our hearts so we are prepared in and out of season! Over the past year God has also been speaking to us about getting oil for our home. Just as Noah and Joseph systematically and purposefully prepared for a crisis situation, we should do the same. We are not suggesting that you selfishly hoard or fearfully store for your survival of the ‘trumpets and bowls’ mentioned in Revelation. We are suggesting that you prayerfully consider what the Lord is saying regarding preparation. This summer our community was hit with a microburst (tornado strength winds blowing downwards instead in circular). Within minutes trees were split in half, telephone polls uprooted, power lines down, transportation redirected and moderate flooding. Immediately, we did a head count of our family, lit candles, found our flashlights and then surveyed our community. Although the inconvenience only lasted several days, the reality of our unpreparedness shook us. The Lord had confirmed the stirrings within our hearts to prepare our family and home that we may be fully equipped to serve our neighbors with the Love of Jesus. Through food, water, shelter and leadership we have an open door to help others and share our faith during challenging times. If we are properly prepared crises should bring forth a harvest! We invite you on a journey of becoming spiritually, emotionally, mentally, physically and practically prepared to endure the difficult times and be God’s Ambassador’s to your neighbors. As Forerunners, messengers who have set their hearts to say “Yes, Lord,” and follow through regardless of the cost, we are to hear and sound the alarm…BE PREPARED…GET OIL!
Our Story September 14, 2010
As we embark upon our 17th wedding anniversary I clearly recall one of the first dates I had with my soon to be husband. Feeling something about this guy I had never felt before, I began the investigation process to determine our compatability. I carefully included all the shocking facts about myself knowing if he flew the scene he wasn’t really the man for me. He never blinked an eye as I shared my heart about adoption, my desire for a big family and my dedication to the Lord. Instead, I saw tears well up behind his big blue eyes as he responded, “Yeah, me too.” At that moment we knew we had secretly agreed to this relationship and all the desires that were in our hearts. Soon after we married we moved to New Zealand as missionaries. At that time, New Zealand had the highest teen suicide per capita, abortion rates were soaring, and domestic violence was rampant. This was the catapult in our adoption process. Due to laws within New Zealand we were unable to adopt in that nation. Feeling resticted by law we felt helpless; our focus turned to prayer and acts of justice. Many years have passed, but our desire to be part of the solution to the orphan crises in our nation has increased. For years we have prayed for the ending of abortion and human trafficing. What would we do with the additional 3,700 unwanted babies when God answered our prayer? What was going to happen to the 100,000 minors involved in sex trafficing in the U.S. when God brings about justice? 3,700 babies slaughtered in the womb each day, sex trafficing on the rise daily and numbers increasing upward from 100,000, and 122,000 children in foster care waiting for adoption. What are we going to do? Prayer and adoption is the answer! This journey, these statistics and the understanding of God’s mandate has brought us to this…pray and adopt. We are currently completing the needed paper work, forms and classes for fostercare and adoption. We realize that not everyone can adopt, but everyone is called to be involved. Children, fostercare, and adoption is costly. We have the greatest example of the price of a life when we look at Jesus…it cost Him His life to buy back mine.
We would love hear your adoption story. Please post it below. We know your story is going to bring hope and encouragement to many who are answering the call to care for the orphans. “For this is pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father, to visit (care for) orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” James 1:27 (These posts are public)
Making a Difference Through Adoption July 24, 2010
One day an old man was walking along the beach. It was low tide, and the sand was littered with thousands of stranded starfish that the water had carried in and then left behind. The man began walking very carefully so as not to step on any of the beautiful creatures. Since the animals still seemed to be alive, he considered picking some of them up and putting them back in the water, where they could resume their lives.
The man knew the starfish would die if left on the beach’s dry sand but he reasoned that he could not possibly help them all, so he chose to do nothing and continued walking.
Soon afterward, the man came upon a small child on the beach who was frantically throwing one starfish after another back into the sea. The old man stopped and asked the child, “What are you doing?”
“Why waste your time?… There are so many you can’t save them all so what does is matter?” argued the man.
Without hesitation, the child picked up another starfish and tossed the starfish back into the water… “It matters to this one,” the child explained.
Currently we are wading through the oceans of paperwork for adoption. We know we can make a difference in the life of a child! As we write, there are women who are chosing adoption over abortion. Please prayerfully consider partnering with us in the adoption process. Together we can save the life of one more child.