Oct 29, 2009

A Dream Fulfilled

I am writing this overlooking a pool, which overlooks the ocean in Cabo San Lucas. It might be one of the most beautiful views I have ever seen. But as I sit here writing, another far more beautiful scene is being relived in my mind. The place, my living room. The time, four days ago. You would not think that a living room in Oklahoma could beat the view I am currently looking at, but you do not yet know the story, so here it goes. In May of this year, God placed a group of children on my heart, other than my own. While reading a blog of a woman who was travelling through Uganda on a vision trip for Children's HopeChest, I read her post about a village called Ngariam. The Holy Spirit and the blog post changed my life and I got in contact with the woman who wrote the post and a friendship was born, as was a seed planted. I wanted to know if our church could help sponsor this village. I put together all the details of how HopeChest worked and arranged a meeting with my associate pastor (Kevin). Kevin said yes but to be patient as to when the sponsorship program would begin. I did not know how to be patient when 600 orphans in a village in Africa were further and further on the brink of starvation, while I waited. Summer crept by with no movement from my church and I began hitting my knees harder and harder in prayer, while hounding my church leadership to remember their promise.
In September, HopeChest sent another vision team to Uganda, headed by some of my favorite people, HopeChest was hopeful that someone on the trip would feel moved to step up and sponsor Ngariam so that starvation would not continue, but at the end of the trip, every other team chose a different carepoint for their churches. I knew why, God was sending a church in OKC to Ngariam, my church. But why wasn't He giving me an answer. Two members from HopeChest, Vince and Brandi made arrangements to come to OKC for a weekend the end of October, to meet with other churches and to introduce themselves to my church and possibly meet my church leadership. In the meantime, I arranged a lunch with my church leadership and begged that God would chose someone else to lead this adventure. To put me back in my comfort zone and let me just be the person who introduced my church and HopeChest. But He said no. During lunch with me, my church leadership opened their hearts and stepped out in faith and not only chose to sponsor Ngariam, but we are going to make Ngariam our Christmas project this year, so that a majority of our fundraising efforts goes to help these precious children, but I still did not have a specific date for a launching of the project. This past Sunday, that changed. Vince and Brandi flew into OKC and we had a great weekend planning parties and talking with people about what HopeChest does and how it changes lives. But on Sunday afternoon, sitting in my dining room, eating a homemade lunch, God reaffirmed why I had been praying for so long. Our church leadership set a date for our launch, December 13th. I watched as four men, driven by God's calling for their lives, had their hearts opened and moved by orphans a world away. And I saw the Holy Spirit's work come full circle and that seed that was planted back in May and what grew from that seed spells HOPE for a group of individuals who may otherwise never known that hope existed. I ask all of you if there is something that you have been praying for, keep it up! He is faithful and just and He rewards obedience because while today's landscape is breathtaking, the view from my kitchen table was so much better!
If you are looking for a different way of sharing Christ's love for Christmas this year, I encourage you to check out Children's HopeChest, send me an email, or contact Vince Giordano to see how your church, book club, or business organization may change the life of an orphan. Are you ready to be obedient to what the Holy Spirit is calling you to do?

Oct 19, 2009

Thirteen Weeks

Today marks week thirteen on the wait list. We got to spend the weekend with our niece and nephew again, which was awesome. Finally got the kiddos room put together and Lexi and Landon had a great time checking it out and seeing where their cousins are going to live. Lexi was in the kitchen with me when out of the blue she said "Aunt Linz, how old are your kids going to be?" I laughed and said I don't know sweetheart, why? She smiled and said "I think they will be 3 and 5". When I asked her why, she just said, "I don't know. I just see them as 3 and 5." Who knows. Maybe after all of our family guessing and estimating, perhaps the 8 year old will be right.

Oct 15, 2009

An Attempt At Regression

I posted previously about one of my biggest fears. You can reread the post here. Today, I got hurt again. The first time in a long time. It wasn't by someone I was really close to, it was more like a scene from the movie Mean Girls, and it hurt all the same. I was tempted to return to my old ways, to shut off from the world and just mend my heart myself. And then I took account of all that God has shown me recently and how many amazing friends I've met and reconnected with since August. I am not going back. No matter what my first instinct says. I will not let one group of people dictate my response to the rest of my life. I will not regress, I am too excited about all the good relationships in my life to focus on the bad.

Oct 12, 2009

12 Weeks

Twelve weeks! Wow. Being on the waitlist has definitely been challenging and our anxiety grows with each passing day. Le and I are like two kids waiting for Christmas. We lay awake and dream, guess and gamble when the call will come. But we are trusting that God already knows all the details and we will try to patient.

Oct 7, 2009

Heavy on My Heart

I have posted about these sweet brothers before. They keep being put in front of me and I don't know how to process this information. I have prayed that God would tell me how to be an advocate for these children, perhaps help introduce their forever mommy and daddy to them, but I still have no answers. PLEASE blog, facebook, twitter, talk and pray for these two precious brothers who need a home.

Oct 6, 2009

Where Passion Meets Vocation

When Le and I began this adoption process, I had no idea how it would change me. I just knew I wanted to be a mom. I knew God had directed us to Africa, but I didn't know that He was directing my heart to orphans, no matter where their location. I now know that God is calling me to use my skills, my life, my passion to be an advocate, but the kicker is, I have no idea HOW! I recently read The Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Stearns. Richard Stearns is the president of World Vision and his story rocked my world. God was preparing him for this job for three decades and Richard didn't even know it.
I had lunch with a dear friend last week whose opinion I adore. She told me that my desire to change the world for orphans may die down once my children were home because I would be more focused on them. Dear Lord, I pray this not be true! While I want to be an amazing mother, the things that have broken my heart, I pray continue to break my heart, until God calls me home. My prayer is simply that I am obedient. In whatever situation, decision or task that is laid out before me, I simply ask to be obedient. It may take God 30 years to unveil his plan for me, but I want to respond when called.

Oct 5, 2009

11 Weeks Waiting and A New Initiative

We've been waiting for 11 weeks today. I think I am going crazy, but God is filling my days with ways to be involved with other orphans around the world. Because of those new opportunities, I have to share with you a great new initiative that launched today. HopeMongers is a new micro -giving organization that allows you to pick the project you want to support and then watch that project grow until fruition. This is such an amazing program and I encourage all of you to go, click and give at least $10, then pray over your project and see how God uses such a small gift into something that changes lives! Also, if I don't have your address yet, please email it to me so that I can mail you an invite to my party for orphans the end of this month.