Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Orphans -- Adoption is for Now #1

Some Statistics to inform and tenderize our hearts toward adoption and the poor of the nations:

Heartbreaking Orphan Statistics

Every 15 SECONDS, another child becomes an AIDS orphan in Africa.

Every DAY 5,760 more children become orphans.

Every YEAR 2,102,400 more children become orphans (in Africa alone).

There are 143,000,000* orphans in the world today. The population of orphans theoretically makes up the 7th largest nation in the world.

Orphans in the world today spend an average of 10 years in an orphanage or foster home.

Every YEAR 14,050,000 children grow up as orphans and AGE OUT of the system.

Every DAY 38,493 children AGE OUT.

Every 2.2 SECONDS, another orphan child AGES OUT with no family to belong to and no place to call home.

Many of these children accept job offers that ultimately result in their being sold as slaves. Millions of girls are sex slaves today, simply because they were unfortunate enough to grow up as orphans.

*Reliable statistics are difficult to find, even the sources often list only estimates, and street children are rarely included. But even if these figures are exaggerated by double, it is still an unacceptable tragedy that over a Million children would still become orphans every year, and every year 7 Million children would still grow to adulthood as orphans with no one to belong to and no place to call home. They are totally vulnerable and easily fall prey to predators and slave recruiters.

(Data provided by UNICEF)

Monday, March 30, 2009

Happy Birthday #3 Ava Aday!!

Sing it with me :)... Stevie Wonder style!!! "Isn't she lovely? Isn't she wonderful? Isn't she precious,la la la la la la, (I don't all the words),I never thought through love we'd be, finding one as lovely as she, But isn't she lovely made from love. Isn't she pretty, Truly the angels best, Boy, I'm so happy, We have been heaven blessed! I can't believe what God has done, Through His love He's given love to one, But isn't she she lovely made from love..." we sure do celebrate Ava today!! Happy Birthday, princess!! We adore you! And now off to make a party for our little flower!!

Love, Gillian

"Their hearts will swell with Joy"

P.S. Just needed to share evidence of God's fingerprints with you...
On March 30th, 2006, we were accepted into America World Adoption Agency's pilot program to Ethiopia as their first family to adopt from Ethiopia -- I printed and cherished that email. We were confirmed to adopt on the VERY DAY she was born!! Cool, huh! There are SO many happenings like this in God's Kingdom. We delight knowing that before God made Ava, before He even made the world He planned out where she would be born and the places she would live. We are so grateful to have her in our arms today. Please pray for, as Ava calls her, her Ethiopia Mommy--she is very sick and we do not know if she is even still living--they do not make as much of a deal of birthdays in many parts of Ethiopia, I have heard, as they do here. Sometimes no record is even made of the date. One reason is because so many children do not live to see these early birthdays--each one is a triumph--especially in the first five years. Surely this little girl who was loved so much to be placed in a safe setting by precious,loving arms is carried not only on her birth date but every minute in Ethiopia Mommy's heart. Please help me carry the sweet burden of loving her and praying for her today.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Bread Lady

Women Making Injera Bread in Ethiopia

O.K., y'all, my children have asked me several times since entering "blog land", "Have you told them about the bread lady?" Well...(smile), let me tell you...the "bread lady" is a very special person around here. Funny though...we have never seen her! Just huge bags of bread in black Glad bags that arrive at our door..a new game of Easter bunny or Tooth Fairy but just really odd over at the Tuckers' house? No, let me rewind a bit...

Love costs. It can be expensive. That's a distubing thought isn't it? But its true. Of course the most amazing cost has been spent on the cross for our buying back for an eternal relationship with God. Yet, even in our lives, love can be costly. And it should be as we are to be living mirrors of God on the Earth--living out before the world what Christ looks like, what He stands for. And, I'm not talking about jewlery or cards or presents here --I'm thinking of the redemption costs that God places before us, here, on this Earth. Many examples come to mind--the patience that we must "save up" to bear with daily interactions with our sandpaper relationships--you know, the "gratey" ones that really rub us the wrong way--its costly to bite our tongue or perhaps to become "bankrupt" popularity-wise for living out our lives in a way that is set apart (holy) for God. There's also the cost of keeping an open heart and hand outstreched to the things of God--it may just break your heart even as it expands it. I will never forget the day I announced to my mentor for adoption that we were adopting--I was glowing --on cloud nine with dreams dancing in my heart and most likely in my eyes. She hugged me and then said, "Gillian, once you go forward with this, you can never go back again. Once you look 'under the rock' your heart will never be the same again. It will slay your heart. Get ready to be changed forever. It will be one of the best and the hardest rides of your life." Costly. Yet what is the price of a life? Sometimes we joke with people who come us to us in stores and ask in a light, joking way "how much to take this one home with me?" and we have always grinned and replied, "oh, you don't have enough!!this one's priceless!!" Adoption is one example of --the purchase of a redemption price to save -- quite literally-- a life. Though I have heard of other redemption costs, such as those that are going to dig fresh water wells to bring living water to people or those who bring justice to children trapped in slavery, or those who give every Saturday night to read to thier friend in the nursing home down the street, this cost, the one for Adoption and for the saving of two lives, two names -- two little sets of hands in mine, this recently has been our specific call. And it has been worth every hour of completing ALL the paperwork to complete the dossier. It was worth every tear and every torn place in my Mother's heart. It was worth the dusty, incredible trip -- high altitude sickness, 5 children with Hepetitis A, 3 sets of poopie diapers for (forever! it seemed),rearraging our schedule--no, lets say, demolishing it!, stretching my waistline (stress can do that to me),the angst and concern first over skinny under weight babies we could not get to until travel date and now an ache that will never go away for thier precious families--is the birth mother who has Hep. C still alive?--I hold her heart in my arms I'm sure,the probing and searing looks and comments, the loss of place/identity, to a degree in a culture (my own) in which I once flowed around so easily within--being the big, racially mixed bunch really gets you over your fear of being stared at!! to think I once was shy!!:)

But the cost--it is worth it. Let me shout that, "IT IS WORTH IT !!" For we know, inherently so, for what has high value can bring high cost. And what God's heart is after is what is of highest value. I'll count the cost as being so "worth" it!!

I'm going to be spending alot of time in the blog being thankful for the amazing blessing of adoption--showing the incredible value of it. But to display my heart with honesty--the cost needs to be shown a bit --its o.k.--its just part of the story of redemption. And my Father, God loves redemption. And, after all, I'm not "spending" my resources at all--they all come from my Father--that's where this really get good. Poopie diapers? He gives me patience--when I allow Him too.-- Sickness? Over and over He is showing us His willingness and delight to heal our bodies.-- Wisdom to raise 6 kiddos? Well, that's James 1--He gives us wisdom generously if we ask, believing...and the money? the redemption price we had to gather together to save two lives from a desparate situation--it came from Him--it was miraculous and it still is. We are wowed EVERY day by His provision.--and that's where the bread lady comes in!... :)

You can look up how much it costs to adopt two children internationally--lets just say--its alot. Its alot for those who are not already taking care of a brood of kids on one income in an expensive school district. And yet, as each round of checks came, God provided for the liquid funding for each set. You know those finacial systems that speak of having "cushions" financially? ...well, we never "sat" on cushie cushions but now I know we are sitting on a pretty firm "bench". HA! Add the current financial state of the country to adopting 2 children, raising 6, and moving all in the past 18 months and we are in great need of God to really "show up" and "show off" on a daily basis. And, we are loving it! Yes, that wasn't a typo. It is so awesome to live each day really getting "give me this day my daily bread". Ah, bread!! so tell me about the bread lady, Gill!

(I share this with permission and prompting from my sweet Richard).
This Fall was an especially challenging time for us finacially for all the reasons mentioned above. We became completely drained due to the cost of our adoption plus a move last spring. We were experiencing shortages that were the type that make a Mother's pulse race--yet we stood on the fact that God promises to take care of His own.--there was this one period that was incredibly tight--at one point there was just nothing left--and there wasn't going to be anything coming in for days. We prayed. We prayed simply with the kids. Richard went and laid hands (literally) on an ATM machine for gas money. God made just what he needed come out that day, no more, no less --Manna. We thanked and jumped around with the kids. "Man! I wonder how God's going to take care of us next!!" Anderson shouted. Jack wanted to go back to the bank to watch the miracle machine spit some more money out! Within the next few days first Richard ran into a deer with our Suburban--smashing in its nose and putting it out of comission. We walked to school--it was fun--an adventure we shared praises and swang hands and had a little more time to connect in the morning--and we prayed and trusted that our Father was taking care of us. We experimented with all sorts of bean soups, baked bread, picked apples from Kathleen's tree--alot! Ate LOTS of applesauce :). God extended the harvest of our little garden and we thanked Him around the table. And we sang. Then a few days later, our green, wonderful free car from Richard's family lived out its final moments --as Richard backed out of the driveway for work, plumes of smoke and weird noises came out of the engine--it was
dead". But our faith wasn't. Its in moments like these that Faith's really real--its a gift from God and really is there right as we need it. We asked God for a car. And even asked for a VERY low price for it and waited. He gave it! Within a week, one of my dearest friends, Eliana,you'd just love her--she walks with Jesus so simply but winsomely-- was driving us to school, as we sat in the car I laugh, sighed over our cars and she asked, "what about this one?" "what would you like for it?" in faith I mentioned our VERY low idea for a price and within a few days the car was in our driveway -- a gift from God. We all gathered inside it to praise God and thank Him for taking care of us. You could cut the Joy with a knife and serve it on a plate with some ice cream for dessert!! It was wonderful--it was how God takes care of His people. Provision continued, different faces, different stories but daily during that time. Friends dropping by with coolers full of food --a friend had just defrosted a freezer for moving and our freezer was stuffed with its contents--we praised--we thanked --and we ate WELL--fun, really yum food. My friend, Eliana "just" popped by to make and share her excellent cooking several times. And when the pantry got low another week we were invited to spur of the moment dinners--who "just" invites 8 people over?--thanks God! and other such happenings but what we loved most was the bread lady.

Early in this time, my precious friend, Laura dropped by my house one night. I just love her! "Does your family eat bread?" YES!! And boy do we love it even more now!! "Well, there's this lady..."she said, "we call her the bread lady. We don't really know her well. She showed up at a yard sale we were having a couple weeks back with a trunk full of bread. She has some deal with Publix where they give her thier day old bread (its very fresh bread)" And you know I said, sure! we'd LOVE some!! "Well, you better go get the kids to bring it in." she told me. What? and then she opened the back of her mini van (my stomach just lept mentioning this)--inside were bags and bags--we are talkin' grocery bags--maybe 5? just filled with bread. We lugged them all inside. Just overcome. Manna does fall in Williamson County --just sometimes in the form of Pepperidge Farms Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread and Country Oatmeal with extra fiber and Poppy Seed Multi-Grain Bagels and Italien Bake and Eat Deluxe Loaf--oh my!! It wasn't just any ole bread--it was the best!! So we had the most fun pulling out all those loaves and sorting them in lines of like items--like a little bread store. Everyone exclaiming--OHHHH--I love this kind! and hand me some more of that one! look here's some MORE!! We stuffed our freezer--we put loaves in the pantry and loaves in the garage (it was wintery in there). We made plans for bagel pizzas and french toast and pannini sandwhiches...and lots of pb and j!! But we STILL had loads--I mean grocery bags worth left over. Thinking of how God instructed the Israelites to not hoard up the blessing of food that He gave them in the wilderness journey, I knew we would neither hoard the blessing or waste it either. So all loaded up our red wagon and handed out bread to the neighbors, and to our friends, and to contract workers in the neighborhood, and to some roofers who softened thier rough exteriors as they saw that wagon full of bread rolling up (the next morning)...You can imagine how we hit our knees that night in thanks and praise to God!! a shower of provision -- so much that we were able to pour it out all over others as well--we became bread distributors--crazy ,wonderful!! and the bread kept being brought by for weeks and weeks. Varying amounts--ALWAYS at the right time and just what and more than we needed. The children are completely in awe of God's hand. What He has allowed us to walk through--the cost, the wait on Him, the awesome provision it ALL is meaningful and fits together to create a faith that is unshakable no matter what the times are around us. We are standing on His provision. Its just there. Believe it. Fall on it. He's right here. He REALLY is. Ask, expect Him to show up on time and take care of you. Man! Showers of bread?!! He really is an awesome Father.

"Rejoice in the Lord,O you righteous! Praise benefits the upright....Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him. on those who hope in His steadfast love, that He may deliver their soul from death, and keep them alive in famine. Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and shield. Yea, our heart is glad in Him, because we trust in His holy name. Let thy steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in thee."

No Sugar, Spice, or Puppy Tails...We're Made of ....What?...Really?

This is an amazing video link (below) to an excerpt of a talk by Louie Giglio about an amazing fact of how God has made us. There's a wonderful suprise in it!! Please click on the link and enjoy. -- and then come back here for a visit!

Love, Gillian


13 For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17 He is before all things, AND IN HIM ALL THINGS HOLD TOGETHER. 18 He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. 19 For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, 20 and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven (from Colossians 1)

Made by Him for Him to come first through our lives...

Love, Gillian

Grace in a Puddle

There are No "Refi"s in a Magnolia Tree.

"Refi"s ? Crisis? Anxious Times?

I think the birds building a nest in my Magnolia tree may have a unique opinion to share --or tweet? sing? about this whole "issue"...

A home to live in that shelters them

A puddle to bathe in.--and they were completely adorable flapping and splashing with abandon in there today by the way. Practical, convenient, entertaining provision!!

A blue sky to fly in...

Too tongue and cheek to compare our worries and troubles with birds?

Jesus didn't think so.

He said to look to those birds, to slow down and even stop to listen to thier beautiful voices--and even-- to look at those dandelions in your bright spring grass --or in our puddle pictured here-- with simple awe and belief. If our Father takes such great care of them and clothes them and cares for the places they live--notices each one and ensures all the details for care and full life for them...won't He do the same for you?

Look up, look down, look around this Spring--evidence of His provision and love is singing and growing all around you.

"See the birds of heaven; they do not put seeds in the earth, they do not get in grain, or put it in store-houses; and your Father in heaven gives them food. Are you not of much more value than they?" (Matthew 6:26)

"And why are you troubled about clothing? See the flowers of the field, how they come up; they do no work, they make no thread." (Matthew 6:28)

"Aren't two sparrows sold for a penny? Not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father's permission." Mark (10:29)

Yep, the same provision that's in my Magnolia tree is in any of our lives in Him. I hope my response to the Father's care will be
simply trusting
joyfully abandoned
singing praises in the puddle of Grace...

Love, Gillian

Saturday, March 28, 2009

From my Ethiopian Journal -- Behind the Blue Gate

Ava is above at 9 months in her referral photo
Bruik at 2 years in his referral photo
photos as well of the gate and the laundry
our few referral photos
I carried them around everywhere!!

This comes from my journal -- it describes our little Ava...She was one year at this writing...

Behind the Blue Metal Gate

She was kept behind fenced-in walls
The type that are high and reaching and strong.
Enclosing, Excluding

Hidden away,
inside the the tall fencing was a tiny hidden garden,
reaching up for patches of sunlight,
parcelled out--as the sun travelled slowly over-head.

Where was it going? Daily, it kissed the garden,
and then it would travel away.
And she would reach her velvet brown arms
to catch the sunlight and to
feel its warmth.

The day I met her,
as we rang at the great blue metal gate,
surrounding her hidden garden,
she waited for me,
in the tiny garden,
behind the tall, great walls.

She reached for me--
I picked her up,
in that moment's gift of sunlight.
And, as we swayed,
standing there,
she reached her tiny fingers
and pointed over the wall to great trees overhead,
also swaying in the sunlight and in an African breeze.

Those mighty trees were the first moment we shared,
there, in her world of walls and tiny parcels of beauty.

She studied me,
seriously, with wise eyes and directed our gaze back,
to the great trees towering overhead,
over us
and over the garden and the little white clothes lines,
positioned to also catch the sunlight,
and the African breeze.

Wind chased through little white stockings and lifted worn but bleached white nursery blankets,
The clothesline danced with us as we swayed back and forth.
We shared the mighty trees--
And a promise was whispered to us that was full of expectancy, awe, and joy.

I had to leave her that day,
within the walls,
behind the gate,
behind with gentle women with welcoming smiles,
and a sea of other young children.

I had to leave her sitting in her seat by the tiny garden,
with the bright yellow daisies and the hot pink trumpet vines,
climbing up the walls
up and up
to kiss the sunlight
to mingle in the ancient trees
and wave in the breeze.

Serious eyes following me and then face turned upward, toward the mighty trees overhead...

I could not sleep that night.

I could not rest until she was back in my arms,
and we were driving
of the blue gate
the bright sunlight,
along crowded, bustling streets--

in my arms.

Love, Gillian

From my Ethiopian Journal -- April 26th, 2007--We arrive

...As we walked through security at Nashville Airport, I felt free -- that leaping calf freedom that is promised in the Word that seemed so far away during the days of lost refferals and losing or precious Joshua (to a mid-pregnancy miscarriage) --years of waiting and growing and watching those black baby calves leap in the farmer's field near our home--would I ever again? The day of travel, April 26th, was Joshua's due date -- 4 years old on that day--how precious this was to my Mother's heart that God included our precious glory baby in the celebration of today...Now, on the plane...these babies are so beautiful!!!And so are the stewardesses and the older women even -- Wow! what a gorgeous people group. Of course the babies are making me yearn to hold little legs and pet/stroke soft curly hair, to look into my own set of brown eyes...

Ethiopia--from the moment we stepped out of the airport into the bright sunlight, bleached white clouds, smelled the sweet air and took in the tall, rounded mountains, I felt--like a college girl arriving home for the first semester break--or stepping into a movie after reading the book--or shaking someone's hand that I had only previously spoken to on the phone.

Africa--in 3D was ALL I knew it would be--its like God gave me a hunger for it--prewired me with the sensations of it---before I even stepped foot here--I missed it. Strange that we did not feel strange on the plane of hundreds from another place--but it all felt so --right. Richard and I kept exchanging grins and squeezing each others' hands--he was in the very same place--so incredible to walk this together...

The Ethiopian people are truly beautiful with their fine features and lovely figures. White beauty pales (quite literally!!) in comparison!! But what is more exquisite is the quality and figure of their hearts. They have a quiet,gentle almost tender warmth about them. They walk with ease, length of stride and dignity. We did not hear one cross word on the airplane or as we went through customs--unimaginable in my reved up land!!

Girmanchew -- an Ethiopian national who used to work for the African UN and now America World Adoption Agency -- waited for us a we deplaned--he was waiting behind a large group of families waiting for their extended families peacefully--restful in their expectancy. As each traveller made it through the mechanical trays and tracks of customs and gathered and bundled themselves back up, they pushed through doors at the bottom of a wall of glass. There they were enfolded into family groups. Bundles relieved, arms wrapped around, the family lingered and just enjoyed being together--the arms remained on the shoulder--there is much affection here--no one rushed off or away like we do in America , where the fetching of bags can feel like a crazy race on one of those shows on T.V.--"O.K. (pant,pant, scan, scan, dodge around) lets get your bags (hug, pat, pat) now let's get to the car--I'm on the meter in the parking garage or double parked ;) "You got the bags?"

We had our own welcoming party. Albeit a party of one--it was a moment and a face we had already anticipated for so long..

Girmanchew was camouflaged in the vast group of national families, yet as we took off our shoes and deposited our suitcases on the customs' conveyor belt, we knew he was near. We gathered our mass of suitcases, stroller "balanced" on the top like the umbrella and little fish bowl in The Cat in the Hat illustrations, piled around various other bags and hopped around, getting our shoes back on, then we huddled back together with arms draped over and around the top of mounds of international trappings, pushing and guiding them --wobbling -- out the glass wall into...African sunlight--Oh , my! Arrived!! We made a path tentatively through the nationals' warm greetings and then, off to the left--set back about 3 rows --there was our anchor man--Girmanchew.

Dressed in dark jeans jacket with a relaxed smile and a sign that read, "America World, Tucker Family." He extended his hand in a universal gesture of hello and welcome and honor--a warm handshake. He and our driver, Zadu took our bags under their command and pushed us out of the crowd into the expanse of parking lot that melded into a grand horizon of ancient green mountains--dome shaped--sleeping under an African Blue sky. Bright white clouds sailed over-head--fat, pregnant with moisture. Mounding, glorious clouds...

"The humble will be filled with fresh joy from the Lord. ((I believe it--stand on it))
The poor will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. ((I'm impoverished without Him --without resource,strength, direction,or holiness))

"No longer will Jacob ((Gillian)) hang his head in shame, no longer gaunt and pale with waiting,
For he's going to see his children,
my personal gift to him--lots of children ((and answers to hard questions))
and those children will honor me by leading Godly lives. In holy worship they'll honor the Holy one of Jacob and stand in holy awe of the God of Israel.
Those who got off-track will get back on-track, and complainers and whiners learn gratitude."

From Isaiah 29 Parenthesis are my response...

Still, Before you,
yields glory,
uncovers true joy.

Love, Gillian

Good News--according to a very special woman--

I answered him," when you pocess something really good you wish your friends to share it with you. Now, I think that Christ is the best thing in the world and I would like all men to know Him and love Him as I do. But faith in Christ is a gift of God, who gives it to whom He likes.

words from Mother Theresa from the book, My Life for the Poor--a must read!!

The Simplicity of It...

"This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptence (and for this we labor and strive), that we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe." I Timothy 4:9

Love, Gillian

Friday, March 27, 2009

Oh, Noodles!!

Now this really is a "slice" of our life here at the Tucker house :)

Check out video number three (to the right here) and I'll go wipe the noodles off the counter...and maybe off the boys?



Muli Mutya! Selam! Hey Y'all!

Hello to you in greetings from Uganda, Ethiopia, Franklin,Tn . :)

God continues to press Africa on our hearts and this summer He will be sending my oldest child, Ashley (14 years) and I over to Uganda and Ethiopia on a Mission Trip with America World.

His call into this trip was unexpected and so clear--so like Him! We are trusting for Him to provide all we need to be launched off. I'll share the story of our separate callings in a different post...

We have met a number of our incredible team members via phone conferencing and many come from our local area and so we are really enjoying getting together regularily to plan, pray, and break bread together. How beautiful unity is!

A bit of a description in the words of Amanda Lawrence, the leader of the trip and also a dear friend:

Our 2009 Visiting Orphans trip to Ethiopia and Uganda will be from June 20th to July 2nd. We will visit Amazima Ministries in Uganda. You can read more about this wonderful orphanage at http://kissesfromkatie.blogspot.com/. We will also visit and care for the orphaned babies at Amani Baby Cottage and teach VBS to older orphans at the Canaan Children's Home. All of these orphanages are in Jinja, Uganda. We will then travel to Luweero to work with the children at New Hope. (read Amanda's blog, listed link on the right of this post, "Bright Future".)

When we travel toAddis Ababa, Ethiopia and work with many school and orphanages, one of the places we will visit is the very orphanage that my two youngest children were cared for in, Kids Care, and the transition home that dear friends from America World have poured so much love into. I can't wait to walk through the blue metal gate of Kids Care and wrap my arms around those dear children and nannies.

I would like to introduce you to our team members who have blogs--I will be carrying thier blog links as I receive them in the list of blogs to the right of my posting.

Ashley's blog is the "Captivated" one. Leave her messages--she'll love it !!!

And for the "why" of why we are going...here's a bit from a previous trip..Please do take another look at the photo above before reading the following written by Amanda...

God's touch opens our eyes:

"The story on this picture....hhhmm...this one makes me think! Here I am, praying spontaneously for this woman who we saw crouching on the side of the street. She was blind and my heart just literally went out to her. And I spontaneously obeyed...stepped out in faith. What I felt was that I was to touch her..to tell her how beautiful she was. I couldn't imagine the last time someone touched her or told her this. She was probably younger than I was...How long had she been blind? How long had she been homeless? Did she have kids? I watched as she took the money and snacks I gave her and very quickly brushed them inside her skirt so that no one would steal them. As I began to pray for her, I of course, prayed for her healing...but I touched her eyes. When was the last time someone touched her eyes?! You know, I hope God heals her, but what mattered most in that moment was that she felt God in that touch. I prayed she would know how beautiful she was and how much God loved her...even if by that one moment...that someone felt compelled to stop and talk to her and touch her. She truly was beautiful. Beautiful in her weakness and her complete humbleness. As I left she tried to give me her ring. It must have been the last valuable possession she owned and she wanted to give it me. I was glad that she was unable to get it off her finger, but maybe it would have blessed her to have been able to give it to me. For some reason as I write this post, I miss her. I wish I had spent the day with her. Listening to her story and just sitting with her. I feel God's presence in these times."

Touch the eyes of my heart, Lord. Touch and heal my understanding. May we see you. Open our eyes to those who need our touch--your touch--in front of us in the grocery line, at the library, next to us at the breakfast table today.

Omukwaano! Love, Gillian

He always states it best...Isaiah 61

To begin, let me use, HIS words...

Word He has spoken and sung to my heart...Whisper --sometimes a shout of a promise... Word, even now He is weaving,revealing in the story of my Life...Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening...

(the anointed one speaks this, and my heart is for Him)

The Spirit of the
SOVEREIGN Lord is on
because the Lord has
anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.

He has sent me to bind up
the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for
the captives
and release from darkness
for the prisoners,

to proclaim the year of the
Lord's favor
and the day of vengeance
of our God.

to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion--
to bestow on them a crown
of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of

They will be called oaks of
a planting of the Lord
for the display of HIS splendor.

They will rebuild the ancient
and restore the places long devastated:

they will renew the ruined
that have been devastated
for generations

Isaiah 61:1-4

Love, Gillian