Living Faith

Noah was surrounded by people who wanted to dissaude and detract him from following God's call in his life. Noah acted in faith to God's call even though what he was called to do went against common sense and the "rules". Noah ran his race with the intent to win. He did not worry about public opinion. We can look at Noah's life for guidance when it seems we are the only ones walking a certain path; running an only course. We are not alone in our faith. God will always be there to guide and help through life's many storms and trials. An active and living faith can at times require actions that may seem new and uncomfortable, but the rewards are eternal.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas is Hope

Wow, it has been so long since I have blogged. So many little twists and turns have happened that I felt the need to sit back and see watch the threads being woven into the tapestry God is making of me.

I recently read a book by Henry Blackaby. In it he shared a story of a friend who had bought two highly trained hunting dogs. He worked with them daily and they were quiet the example of dedication, devotion and discipline to their master. One day when his dogs were out back an English Bulldog came squeezing under the fence. At first the friend thought he should bring the dogs in but he decided to let them teach the Bulldog a lesson. The three dogs went round and round with no lack of hair, saliva and grunts being thrown through the air. The Bulldog finally had his fill and slunk back under the fence leaving defeated. The next day at the same time the same Bulldog returns dragging himself under the fence to have another "play date" with the hunting dogs. The Bulldog meets the same results and once again crawls under the fence gong home defeated once more. Well, the friend has to leave town for a week long conference and his wife is left in charge of the prized hunting dogs. Her husband neglects to tell her about the evening visitor that comes calling each day. It is not long before she finds out on her own. Her husband returns home after his week long conference and after checking hurriedly checking on his wife inquires of the welfare of his dogs. She told him of the bulldog that came every evening at the same time, under the fence, fought with the dogs and left defeated until one day. About mid-week of her husband's absence, the hunting dogs had had enough of the bulldog. Now when the hunting dogs hear the bulldog snorting as he came under the fence they would take off running and barking into the safety of the basement as the Bulldog struts around the backyard in triumph.

My husband has always wanted an English Bulldog and when we moved here to Colorado we were privileged to be chosen to rehabilitate two English Bullies. Their tenacious stubbornness can be one of the most frustrating or respected traits they have. They are also faithful, protective and devoted. When I read the story retold to you above, I laughed knowingly the whole way through and had to immediately read it to my husband.

Throughout Greg's military career we have both felt like Bulldogs.

Throughout our adoption quests we have felt like Bulldogs.

Most recently, throughout our quest for Noah and Rhys, we have felt like Bulldogs.

We were told on 9 December that we would be allowed to help support Noah, Rhys and their classmates who live at the orphanage.

The children will be able to have a tutor and winter coats provided for the small amount of money we donate each month. Although, I want to do so much more. I will be content and patient with God has allowed us to do at this point. The girls also are very excited about being able to be a part of their "friends" lives. The week before Christmas I shared this story of my girls with another adoptive mom.

I have made some big food purchases as I have recently joined Costco. Our purchases have come home in the big, sturdy, Washington, apple boxes.

The girls decided to make dog beds of them and pretend to be dogs. After tripping over the boxes in the living room a few days I told the girls to take them to their rooms. One night last week, after I tucked them in, I heard them in their room talking. They had decided to sleep in the well blanketed and pillowed boxes so Noah and Rhys could sleep in their bunk beds. They were discussing which boy would want to sleep on top. After they fell asleep in their boxes, I went in again to tuck them back into their beds. This went on for several nights until I convinced them they would feel much better sleeping in their own beds all night.

So, fast forward! The girls are going through the advertisements in the Sunday paper and circling what they want for Christmas. They hand me the Target flyer and I started going through it. They had several toys circled of course. But then, I get to the more mundane things in the flyer and have noticed the girls circled princess flannel sheets and pajamas. I marveled over how practicable and smart my girls were. However, I then get to the air mattress that is circled.
I inquired about this. The girls told me that they could sleep on the inflatable mattress instead of the boxes so Noah and Rhys could sleep in their bunk beds. I try to explain that the boys have beds. Chloe comes back with the hard wood beds they have to sleep in at the orphanage. It seemed I could not find anything to satisfy them. Eventually they got interested in a board game and I thought the issue was put to rest for the night. You are right, NO. After I tucked them into bed last night, Chloe began crying. I went to check on her and she told me her friends would never come. How do you comfort the aching in this little girls big heart.

Well, right now we do it through letters we will be able to send, pictures we will be able to receive because of our sponsorship and most importantly our prayers.

God is not done yet. My aching heart for these boys and my tenacious stubbornness caused me to have "myopia" as another adoptive friend once said. I knew I needed to find something to focus my attention on. What I found, after seeking to volunteer in several different areas was World Orphans.

World Orphans' VisionExtreme poverty, chronic disease, conflict, starvation, prostitution, natural disasters and countless other tragedies have combined to produce a truly global pandemic of orphaned and abandoned children. These children are subject to severe abuse and exploitation and often die on the streets, neglected and alone.

When we look at the great social issues of this century – poverty, hunger, HIV/AIDS, child soldiers, and trafficking – there is a common link, the orphan. A child orphaned by HIV/AIDS who is left alone to find food, possibly even caring for younger siblings, will often turn to prostitution. This in turn leads the child to contract HIV/AIDS and perpetuates a vicious cycle.

By stepping in to prevent, delay and rescue orphaned children, we can break these cycles and change more than just the number of orphans.

Orphans Rescued
World Orphans is committed to rescuing millions of orphaned and abandoned children, strengthening indigenous churches, and impacting communities with the gospel of Jesus Christ through church-based orphan prevention, rescue, care and transition programs in the least reached areas of the world.

Indigenous Churches Strengthened
Local churches all over the world are Christ’s front line of care and outreach. World Orphans believes that all ministries – including orphan care – should be owned by the local church. These church leaders know the needs of their community and how best to meet them.

World Orphans has carefully selected key strategic cities with high populations of orphaned and abandoned children and the greatest need for stronger churches. Major cities are often the political, social, economic and religious centers for their countries. Because of their status and influence, they serve as the gateways for the gospel for their nations.

Communities Transformed
When a community sees a local church feeding the hungry, providing medical care and taking in orphans, they see the love of Christ. As the church becomes the “hands and feet” of Christ the community is transformed and the church becomes an integral part of that society. As the children are cared for by the church they become a living example of the power of Christ’s love and a powerful witness to their friends and neighbors.

So, this Christmas, we have lots of hope.
"O Little Town of Bethlehem"
"The hopes and fears of all the years are met in Thee tonight."

If you would like to help or would like to know more about this, please allow me to share with you!

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