Thursday, April 30, 2009

Corporate Prayer for our Friends--Please Join Us!

Pictured above--Ethiopian children about the same ages as Tracy's children and Tracy, Nash, Elle, and Levi in Ethiopia.

Please join us in praying together each day for the Mihnovich's four adoptive Ethiopian children. All four need protection. Two are in grave danger. Here is a message from Tracy...

"We are asking everyone to begin praying for them at 11:00 each day----when it is dusk in Ethiopia--- for protection and release from bondage! We are so grateful for your prayers!! much much love---"

Love and Thanks from the Tuckers in the Mihnovich Family's behalf.

"But, for this very reason, I have kept you from destruction, to make clear to you my power, and so that my name may be honoured through all the earth." (Exodus 9:16)

"For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am in the midst of them." (Matthew 18:20)

"I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it." (John 14:12-14)

Love, Gillian

Monday, April 27, 2009

Oh, PLEASE pray!!

Sweet Tracy and Levi Mihnovich (Pictured above)

Oh, PLEASE pray for Our dear friends, The Mihnovich family, who are in need of a major covering of prayer for the 4 children they are adopting from Ethiopia. The Mihnovich's are a family of 5 who previously have adopted a little boy, Levi,from the same orphanage as Ava and Bruik. Levi (2 years) is pure sunshine and is a major buddy to our little children :). We adore this famiy. They have just received some terrifying news regarding 2 of the 4 children they are now in process to adopt from Ethiopia. To know how you can pray, I have attached Tracy's post from her blog site. Her blog is called, Unveiled Faces, and is in my sidebar to the right of this post--visit it--you will be so blessed by the Word and Presence of God that flows in this family's life.

Needing an Army of Prayer!

When I speak Your Name
Mountains move
Chains are loosed
Darkness fades
It has no hold on me

We received some disturbing news about our children on Friday and need an army of saints skilled at wielding the Sword of the Spirit to lift up our children and pray for God to move powerfully and quickly on their behalf. We are so very confident that He is faithful and will work everything out according to His purposes!

I can't post any details of their situation, but they are in an abusive, horrible situation and need to be released from satan's grip.

Please pray for them

Psalm 68:18---When you ascended on high, you led captives in your train; you received gifts from men, even from the rebellious--that you O Lord God, might dwell there.

and Psalm 10:16-18--The Lord is King for ever and ever; the nations will perish from His land. You hear, O Lord, the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, defending the fatherless and the oppressed, in order that man who is of the earth, may terrify no more.

and Isaiah 49:25-- But this is what the Lord says: Yes, captives will be taken from warriors and plunder retrieved from the fierce; I will contend with those who contend with you, and your children I will save.

and John 14:18-- I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.---------thank you Jesus!

We want to overcome evil with good---please pray for their oppressor-
Isaiah 1:17-18 ---learn to do what is right!, Seek justice, encourage the oppressed, defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow. Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.

Thank you!!!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Twinkle Winklie Video

Happy Friday!! Just sending a little smile your way today. Ava's rendition of twinkle twinkle always makes us smile. She can make her way all the way through the song and actually is a little song writer too now, but thought we'd send out a lil joy today!

You may need to mute my music at the bottom of the page (before you press play above) to make this work...

Love, Gillian

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Sending Some Love Your Way Today !!

Love to you, my friends!! Aren't the graphics above incredible? They spell out love in Amharic, Luganda, English, AND sign language!! These tee shirts will be worn by our mission team as we go to Africa this summer. My adorable friend and Incredible team leader, Amanda, took a little brainstormy idea from me and developed it into graphic art! She is working with a wonderful family company who makes tee shirts for funding for adoptions and missions. Pretty great, huh?!

I'm also especially lovin' these shirts for I will be selling them to fund raise for my portion of going on the trip. At this point, through God's gift of the loving generousity of many people, I have raised half of my needed money to reach the 3,000 dollars I need to go to on the trip which is due within the next 5 weeks or so. If we look at this in a glass half-full way--I'm half way there, right?

Ashley has completely reached the goal for her trip--PRAISES for that!!

I'll be posting soon on sizes and pricing for the shirts. I hope you will buy one..or two...or three... :) Let me know on the comment section of this blog if you would be interested in buying one and what sizes you would need--we are getting numbers together and could even do some preordering...I beleive the shirts will be in the $15.00-20.00 range. A fun shirt for summer too! And a great way to speak to others about the need of people and orphans in Africa.

Thanks, you all!!

Love, Gillian

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Flip Floppin' and Shoes Update!

Flip, Flop
Flip, Flop

Within the last 24 hours of posting this about the need to collect shoes for our mission trip--we have had SO MANY donated from a contact at the company "Soles to Souls" that we no longer need to ask for shoes!! Amazing God!! We are so thankful.
Please do look at the P.S. in this post to see if there is anything there you might gather up for very needy children and adults. We are waiting to see how God will bring in those items.

Hey, Everyone! I hope you are having a great Spring weekend!! :)

Our Mission Trip to Ethiopia and Uganda is about 9 weeks away now. I am deep in preparations for the VBS aspects of the trip--what a joy!

I'm going to be posting needs of the orphans and nationals we will be visiting on our trip.

First, Shoes! Ashley and I are very aware of the need of good shoes for children in Africa. Without coverage, they are in danger of disease and parasites. Some children are not allowed to go to school without them as well. Walking ,sometimes long, distances is a huge part of daily life and the need for shoes obvious--yet not always readily available to many children--especially as they might be growing out of one size into the next.

We would like to collect as many shoes as we can before leaving for Africa. Could you help us? We will be in-gathering new and used shoes Newborn-adult with our focus on children's sizes. We would be thrilled to bring new flip flop type or sandal type or croc-like shoes with us in June. Feel free to contact us if you would like to gather some for children who really have next to nothing. Also feel free to drop them by our home. Every little bit is a gift to Jesus--really significant.

Thank you!!

Much Love, Gillian

P.S. needs: Another need is for women's clothing sizes 0-6. The Ethiopian nannies we met on our last trip only made enough income to sustain life--about $20.00 a month. Clothing would be greatly appreciated. We also are collecting children's clothing to take with us.

Also--if your church's Sunday School classrooms have any extra teaching material that they would like to donate--that would be wonderful!! We are especially hoping for flannel graphs and materials to gather up to leave behind for continued discipleship of the children we will be serving. Many of them have very little to no biblical/educational materials. Simple books, music cds, anything to help these orphanages would be such a help.

Friday, April 17, 2009

So Human--and Forgiven Too

Large Family? Its great! Can be hard--but its incredibly rewarding and REALLY hilarious--every day with so many little people around and teens as well. Here's a list of things that made me smile/cring/laugh over the past 24 hours--it was rewarding to write them down--a great reminder of the joy that's right at our noses -- runny as they may be :)

Said by:

An Adult in our home -- Don't burp in people's faces.

A homeschooling mommy to her 2nd grader after 40 min. of social studies -- No, honey we are not talking about MOMMIES--the Egyptians did that to their MUMMIES. (Real and True Tuckerism this week!!)

A tiny -Weeny 3 year -old girl -- Mommy, am I as strong as Daddy?

A tiny -Weeny 3 -year old girl -- There are pretzels in the bathtub!!--Yucky!!

A getting- tired mommy -- Everyone put your shirts on RIGHT NOW

A tired mommy -- Please take your bare feet OFF your brother and turn around in your chair --its lunchtime

A cute 4 year old riding in the car just with Mom and Mom's reply-- Does God have a car? -- Well, actually, I've heard He has chariots, horses, and rides on the clouds, Bruiky.

Shouted from the boy's bedroom upstairs by a 5 year old-- You're a mean selfish greedy head!!

Hmmmmmn.....things are very real around thankful for the 2nd part of my title up there....

Have a beautiful spring weekend!!

Love, Gillian

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

We each are the Weak but He is Strong

2 Corinthians 4:17-18 "For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal."

He broke his body?! NO!! They looked at me with eyes shining--it was the first time Ava and Bruik really heard the story of Jesus' sacrefice for us. Last year there just wasn't enough language to understand it all. The three littles had been taking turns sitting on my lap Thursday after lunch in a puddle of strong sunshine-- They had enjoyed changing places on Mommy's lap as we learned that Jesus gave up His place and traded places with us so that we could always "sit" in our Father God's lap. Then they all piled on Mommy's lap to understand that because of Jesus' gift we ALL can sit in God's lap with Jesus His son. We all had laughed as I groaned under their weight--"God's lap is MUCH bigger than yours, Mommy!!" We continued our teaching. Now Bruik clung to me. " Really? He DIED? He BROKE His body? " And then, in horror, "Is He dead?"

Oh, no!! I quickly explained how Jesus rose and is alive with us now but Bruik was unsettled--it took a full day for his heart to be illuminated by the Holy Spirit to understand that Jesus is alive and with us now. He prayed at lunch and at dinner "Please God, don't make Jesus be dead. Let Him live. He was so hurt. He needs to live." Our hearts were humbled as we watched our little boy mourning for Jesus "who must live!" taking the Truth of the events of what Jesus suffered to make us whole. We sat with him and let the Truth break our hearts, and steal our breath away-- considering the power of it all. You can imagine how excited Bruik and Ava were when they realised that Jesus came back to life!! We were ordered to read those pages in our giant Bible story picture book several times. Show me again Mommy!! Wowed hearts. How easily they knelt--how quickly they pressed the picture of the empty tomb to their hearts--as did other children too. Simple hearts--harvest of natural response to Jesus. A dear friend of mine reminded me just the other day to remember to always give the invitation to be a follower of Christ as we share about Him with children--she was sharing this in reference to my upcoming Mission Trip and He was applying it to immediate harvest in our backyard--beautiful.

Later in the weekend, I made a trip to our local grocery store to pick up some "supplies" for a hot dog and smores roast (YUM!). As I was standing in the deli section in front of the potato salad, I ran into one of my buddies. "Gilliagan!--oh its you!!" It was my friend, John. If you are local, John might be your friend as well. John is an employee of this local store and he has been helping us push grocery carts full of grocery runs and my children to my van for the past 11 years. Some would call him "special" or "mentally challenged"--we just call him, John :). He's a dear friend. He remembers my children's names and calls them out. He can accurately guess a child's age--he gets it every time--they love it!! He's never gotten my name down. He calls me, Gilligan--you know, from Gilligan's Island. He never remembers my name BUT he remembers Christ in me. "OOOHHH, it's you." He looks at me piercingly "Yes, yes..OH,OH,OH, I gotta tell you somethin, Gilligan...its " and he will share a whole chapter of scripture or share what he knows is true of God. John is suffering from some sort of challenge that keeps him locked up in himself. My heart suffers to see him wild-eyed at other times speaking at break -speed to himself. He often seems to be figuring out a puzzle, suffering. UNLESS he is talking about Jesus! In those moments--without fail-- EVERY TIME--his haze clears--his eyes become settled,peaceful,clear--there is a wholeness and a peace as he talks LOUDLY with much joy--just ABANDONED to the love of a real Savior. He often speaks of his future when he sees Jesus face to face. He speaks of being healed and whole. He gets so excited over Jesus he jumps up and down and we laugh and praise Him together. I go away with joy--filled by his testimony. In 11 years of being John's friend, I have often ached to see my friend walking through the parking lot pushing carts, stammering and shaking his head to clear the thoughts in there. I have prayed over him, asking for God to release him from his trial. I have never heard him question God or speak with self-pity--just simple joy in the one who holds his awe and his enthusiasm. And out of love for Jesus, and in service too--we always make sure we are in John's line at the grocery conveyeur belt.
In the deli aisle I had seen I saw John pushing this HUGE cart of trash--3 huge clear plastic trash bags stuffed in a grocery cart. I called him over to the potato salad and was greated with "OH,Oh, Gilligan! Oh, great. Now lemmie tell you this great thing about Jesus." I too shared with him --the story I told above about Ava and Bruik-- and when I got to the part of "He broke His body for me" John's eyes grew red and filled with tears. "Yeah, He did." He breathed out in awe and with deep sadness. "He did that for me, Gilligan, and ONE DAY (He starts to clasp his hands--he can hardly stand it) He's gonna come for us. WE ARE GOING TO SEE HIM!! And we are going to be LIKE HIM!!" and he begins to preach about Jesus and Heaven and forever and forgiveness and wholeness--and I just joyed with him, standing in that deli section in front of that potato salad and a pretty miffed deli employee who was really glaring by this point (who cares!--he needs Jesus too!!). John had been spotted by his boss and was being called away but before he got the cart back rolling, I put my hand on his arm and silently prayed for God's anointing to fall on him. "And John, Jesus died so our MINDS would be healed--we are to pray to be 'transformed by the renewing of our minds(in Jesus)'." Well, there was this shaking that came over John and then he burst out--really loudly--"I KNOW!! HE HEALS ME EVERY DAY!! HE RENEWS MY MIND EVERY DAY, Gilligan!!" I was blown away by my "broken" friend's testimony--of how Christ's powerful presence--His blood saves him EVERY DAY. Its how he survives in this world, Christ IS renewing his broken mind every day. Its his ticket to survival--to sanity. The dependence--the reality of his Savior--he gets it. What I saw as brokeness and only suffering is the weakness that brings John to the cross--EVERY DAY. This certainly does not discount the complete and glorious healing that is to come for my friend but in his "weakness he is strong". I walked away so aware that I am just as weak in my own areas that are broken and need of fixing and healing--I have SO many!!-- I too look forward to the day when all is complete but I can go to my Savior daily with my weakness and sin to be given life,forgiveness, passage through each day on Christ's victory forged for me. JOY, HOPE,GLORY -- is Now. Thank you, Jesus!!

Love, Gillian

Saturday, April 11, 2009

He Broke His Body for our Wholeness

It is Finished.
The Price Jesus Paid for ALL of our Sin is Enough.
Thank you for breaking your body for us--for dying in our place--for stepping in and taking our punishment so that we can enjoy freed, forever life.
We are in awe of your choice to live a perfect life and then to die and rise again for us!!
We are clean in God's sight because of Jesus' death on the cross. We are covered and freed. Forever!!
Thank you, Jesus.

Love, Your Thankful Children

Our Easter gift to you--a video on You Tube of Keith Greene singing Easter Song
(sorry if link does not work well--its worth the trip to go view it)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

His Bundle on my Back--From my Ethiopian Journal

"He takes care of his flock like a shepherd.
He gathers the lambs in his arms.
He carries them close to his heart.
He gently leads those that have little ones. " (Isaiah 40:11)

African women carry their babies within long fabric pieces on their back. Like these children, as a child of God, since I was five, I have been securely wrapped up within the love of incredible Father God. First He saved me and simply asked me to love Him and to love others. To walk out my life as He did. He named this love, "adoption", as He wrapped me close to His heart. In time and by degree, He lovingly secured a bundle to my back as well. It is so much smaller but looks like the one my Father carries. I love to walk through His world with Him. Within this bundle He has placed Adoption , Rescue, Care for the Orphan--the desire to give place to the lonely--to set them in families--love for His hurting world. This, He has lovingly has wrapped to my back since I was a tiny girl. He has so much more to fit into my bundle. I gaze in there and marvel and wonder at its beauty -- the honor of carrying a likeness to my Father. Other times it has been very heavy to carry. But then, the gold of His Kingdom can be weighty.

I hope you can see her. She is my heart for adoption, for adoption in Ethiopia. A beautiful African woman stands with dignity under a brilliant, cobalt sky. She is dressed in humble garments and is wrapped in a long piece of colorful fabric. With skillful ease, she bends over gracefully to take the ends of the fabric. Seamlessly, she wraps the fabric over a baby on her back or front until the baby has the cosiest of perches to view the market before them. They walk down dusty streets, past baskets of food on blankets, among begging people with gentle eyes and past the man with withered polio legs dragging his torso to the injera stall (Ethiopian bread). Her baby blinks at the sun and is covered with a light shawl. She jostles to sleep, secured on her Mother's back. On they go through the aroma of Ethiopian "Boona"--the most delicious coffee you could ever imagine, around a young goatherd, coaxing his goats through the crowded, bustling market streets. Lilting music plays out of shanty-type one-room buildings covered in tin roofs lining the street, making up the market's stalls --this is the the vast "Merkato".

Her beauty belies the secret of her heart, greyer than the afternoon storm clouds that sweep across Addis Ababa each day at this time. The German medical lab has given her grave news. She is not the first of her family to receive such news--in fact she has watched all of her family members perish after similar reports. Some lived several years--others just weeks. Their arms--asleep in quiet graves--unable to help her. Unable to come to her aid. And no arms to receive her precious Rekeb. Rekeb, full of life and energy with the cry so loud and lively her Mama's name's meaning fits her well, "one who cries out". In different times there were many loving arms to soothe Rekeb's cries. She would have been passed around to bring Joy to every heart. In this land, there is no original word for "orphan" for children are the treasure of their family circles. Rekeb stirs in her cosy sleep, soon she will want to nurse. Who will feed her? Who will hold her? Will she live? Oh, God, help her, see my child. Let her live...
The mother reaches her destination, the outer wall of the local Orthodox church. She can hear the sound of singing. The daily services must not yet be over. She has heard this is a good place. Surely they will hear her. Will they? Or will the wild dogs who run the streets find her first? She shivers. She unwraps her incredible bundle and ...we do not watch the most private and excruciating of moments between a loving mother and child.

With the greatest of care she finds a gap under the wall and makes a bed of colorful fabric for her little one. Rekeb. Will she live? She stays, until Rekab's cries draw a crowd of street children. They pick her up. One older girl wraps her on her back ,in the colorful fabric. They speak of an orphanage not far away. A good place. She will live...

Across the world, my bundle comes to life! It is full, pregnant with a referral of two babies!! I sense the loving arms that brought these children to my Father even as I see their photos on my computer screen for the first moment and I love them even as love swells for these precious babies. Big brown eyes stare sadly at me from the first photo I open. It is a little boy, he is 2 years old. His parents are deceased. As we have nested we did what many parents do and have looked at Ethiopian name lists. We decided quickly and firmly months back upon the name, Bruik, meaning, "gift of God." I wrestle my eyes off of his photo to glean my first bit of information of my new son. And as I scroll down, I gasp and cry,shout and jump up and down--in Joy-- African woman-style!! His name, before me on the screen is...Bruik. Oh, my little son. Placed "on my back" and in my heart since I was a little girl...
The next image is a tiny little baby girl. Her velvet brown legs and arms are so thin they make me ache--with a mother's longing to tend and to nurture. Her cheeks are so kissable -- I can't stand it. Little...Rekab. Captivator of my heart---so dear to another that she was brought to my arms... I stumble around for weeks--dizzy with love and the closeness of the Father--soaring, sometimes staggering under the glory's weight.
Soon we are on a plane, watching a tiny electric airplane model on a map on the screen fly increasingly quickly away from my land. My daily world shrinks away...I turn toward the land of my new children.

There is no sleep for me, I toss in our hotel bed--tomorrow--we'll meet them tomorrow!! It is like the night before I was married--full of mystery, hope, and elation. My mind jumping to the future and savouring the present all at once.
I rearrange baby bibs and formula and tiny outfits and shoes. I pray and thank my Father. I lay out my" bundle" before me and tenderly consider it. Excited to further fill it tomorrow as we love on the orphans we meet and greet our babies for the first time.

On the following day we pile into a bright blue and white van and bump through the streets. We pull up to a walled orphanage and my stomach leaps, "Kids Care Orphanage" says the painted metal gate.

Bruik awaits us, dressed in a crisp oxford shirt and little blue sweat pants. We gently touch and hug. He smiles brightly and jumps into His Daddy's arms. Richard swings him up onto 6 foot 5 shoulders and Bruik looks triumphantly down at his new family.

Rekeb is waiting for us in a walker in the baby room. Her nannies say to me with laughing eyes, "you must pick out your baby now". Oh, no! I know the baby girl which I believe is mine...but she is the loveliest of all the babies in their white metal cribs--what if I am wrong and she is another? The joke is on me--I have hesitated too long. A nanny reaches down to the beautiful baby in the walker and secures her in my arms. I breathe her in. We sway to the musical sound of children's voices and Amharic speech. A first dance...

We drive away from the chorus of children but they remain still in our "bundles". How God presses them on our hearts.

We rename our Rekeb, Ava Aday, meaning, "breath of life, precious flower." She will live. Our Father.our Savior, has promised "life abundant" for her. And as we carry our children close to our hearts and walk through their lovely people, taking in their beautiful land,filled with pain, awe, and joy, we sense our Father, securing our bundles, walking beside us, sharing His heart with us...

Love, Gillian

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

"Whoosh, Whoosh" Jacko and the Dandelions

Sweet, Jack. He has his own special way of playing with dandelion puffs. :)

"At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" And calling to him a child, He put him in the midst of them, and said, "Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. whoever humbles himself like this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me;" Matthew 18:1-5b

Funny lips
Blowing puffs of little boy breath
on Dandelion's "heads".
Whoosh, Whoosh, Whoosh, Whoosh!
And I laugh with my little boy as we
Fall back into the tender green grass.
To watch, to enjoy, to soak it in --
This invitation from the King of Spring and Flowers and Little Boys.
The King of Heaven, reaching,
for me...

Seeds float on Springtime air
And cling onto his bright green shirt.

Seeds, children.
Blown so quickly across our lives.
All the finery of the Kingdom,
Surfing on the Breath of the "one who rides on the clouds".

Blow on us, again, King,
Lift us back on the winds of your Kingdom,
Where funny lips, seeds,
Lives lived with purest abandon,
Take us to your knee...

Love, GG

Springy Photos of the Tucker Bunch

Spring has sprung!--Just a newsie blog today. :) We will fill our Spring Break this week with fundraising for Ashley and my trip to Ethiopia and Uganda --above photo is our favorite fundraiser--cookie sales !! The preschoolers are living outside their favorite dress-ups. We are blowing lots of dandelions, playing Lacrosse with Ashley, made a library run yesterday to pig out on books,having lots of egg hunts. Wednesday-Sunday we will dive deep into our preparations for Easter. Prases to our precious, precious Savior. We so love you, Jesus!!
Friends pictured above are from the Redington and Mihnovich families. Ashley and Whitney Redington are pictured in a silly moment. Whitney, Heather, and Zion biked to our home to share a birthday cupcake with Ava. Princess Ava also loved opening presents with Abby Krehbiel--our precious new friend, JUST home from Ethiopia and she brought one to Levi Mihnovich. I call that photo above--The Princess and the Bono Fan. Levi is sporting his Bono tee shirt--he's a true fan :)--one cool little man!!--Yes, smearing our friends with icing, hanging out in trees, emersing ourselves in the good news of Jesus--sounds like Spring Break to me!! :)

Love, Gillian

Friday, April 3, 2009

Scrub-a -Dub, Dub, Our 6 Kids in a Tub

Anderson's prayer (our 2nd grader) at the breckfast table this morning with the littles (our 3,4,and 5 year olds):

"O.K.QUIET!!(He hollors)" "Let's pray...(everybody, CLOSE YOUR EYES!!), Dear God, really you are Mighty!! We thank you this morning that we are alive and that you brought Daddy, Mommy, and Graham safely home to us. Thank you for not letting the Bridgestone building fall down when Daddy was in it and the tornado got so close to it. You only let the sign blow down--and some bricks--on some cars. You made RUSHING winds last night,RAINS, and STORMS and TORNADOS! You are SO powerful, God. And you gave us T.V. warnings to keep us safe. And we were hiding,in our safe place, but you were strong and you knew where we were. You even kept us from getting slashed with glass (the biggest fear of Anderson's day yesterday). Thank you also for the Cheerios we got to eat in the bathtub and that Annie (our dog) was safe. But most of all, God, thank you because I really like the bathtub so I can snuggle up with my family in it."

In the midst of a scary storm, so many things to smile about--one announcement said that most injuries from tornados are caused by head injury--so someone suggested we all wear our bike helmets :)--this was AFTER the storm warning was over--ever try slurpping up spagetti through the straps of a bike helmet? HEE! They were so funny with their big ole heads all around the table last night. And aren't they silly in the tub photo above--snuggled in the nest in the midst of a terrible storm... I love being God's child.


Thursday, April 2, 2009

Mommy, is it time to go home yet?

Many do not know this piece of information about the American Christian Church's response to the orphan crisis.

30% of Christians say they have considered adoption.

1% actually adopt.

Dear "30%", I write to you in love today. Is the Holy Spirit stirring your heart? Has He given you a precious window of response to Him? Respond. Before its too late. Respond before He allows you heart to be hardened. Before you start believing and saying things, like "well, nows not the right time anyway--how complicated this would make things?"or," How could our family take this on in 'these times'? "The poor, The orphan who are they really?" or, "Didn't Jesus say that the poor will always be with us?" (my least favorite!-a misquote of Deuteronomy 15:11 and Jesus' use of it with the woman with the costly perfume--but that's any entry to come soon...),"we just can't afford it", "People wouldn't understand", "People,people, people...", "Our family wouldn't get it--let me take care of smoothing feelings first.", "Our family photo would look really different on the Christmas card" "Does God really speak to me?","Those kids are so far away","It could (gasp!) bring sacrifice to our children--we may have to live sacrificially financially, time-wise, or in other ways", "what if they do not bond to me?", "what if this breaks my heart?","could my children share me with another child?","we should wait until things are smoother--maybe when the job 'settles' or the kids are older","what if we get sick?", "what if this tires us out?", "but I'm really following Him right now--would He call me to this too?","I'll lose my decorating,or gardening, or vacation, or latte,or this season's clothing,or insert your favorite focus here_________fund in our budgeting--could I REALLY live without that?" "We just won't fit in...", "those people who adopt have some need to 'collect' children how selfish THEY are!--they just can't stop!", or some more of my least favorites, "we just wouldn't be as peaceful a family anymore--it would create ripples here." and "I really don't know how we would do it anyway--my heart really could only love my own children -- that's who I am really responsible for...", "what DOES the Word really say about orphans?--I just haven't been taught that this is MY problem--that I am responsible--leave me alone nagging feeling that won't go away!" -- be careful--it just may go away...
And out of love for you, precious child, I pray that if you are being stirred, that you will honestly converse with God about all or any of these questions--also called--EXCUSES.-- He gives us windows of time to obey Him. And as you deliberate--143 million -- a nation of children-- are waiting and growing and dying. The same God who we call, Father, is their champion. He rises to see to their protection--He cares for them and sets His angels charge over them. They are each as precious to Him as the cherubic faces tucked into our beds upstairs. "Mommy, can I have a glass of water? "squeaks a precious, familiar voice, so dear to our heart, and we run with delight to serve these children. "Mommy can I go home now?" and we swing hands on the walk home. Perhaps God has a child for you, which He has planned since the beginning of the world. Perhaps He is whispering, maybe shouting to your heart? and a little one with perhaps different eyes or a song in their lovely voice is calling out your name at night. He doesn't get tucked in. She really needs a cup of water. He is lost and needs to be swooped up into a Daddy's strong embrace. Remember the story of Samuel? The correct response to God's voice, His calling is, "Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening." Ask, Answer,Obey--if it is "today" beware of the hardened heart--it will lie to you and speak such smooth words to you--it will assure you you are making the most prudent and best decisions...that you can always revisit this later, when He calls again...Will He?

Not my Words but His: " Give heed to my reproof; behold, I will pour out my thoughts to you; I will make my words known to you...But he who listens to me will dwell secure and will be at ease, without dread of evil." Proverbs 1:23&33 (read this passage it is very clear about listening to God's voice and His response to our listening or lack of)

This may not be your message above. Adoption is a specific calling to a unique child. What is clear in scripture is that we all are to care about, and visit the orphan, and relieve their needs. Another misthought is the idea that if we just have beds in our home,extra food and clothing or stuff or an extra bedroom or budget that this is our ticket to being an adoptive parent. NO. Not so. I love in Hebrews how God, when He speaks of our adoption as sons says that He is RAISING up many as sons. Some may not be called to do the RAISING up that these children need. For it is not just placing food in their mouths and placing them in a "safe" spot in front of Dora the Explorer. NO! They need to be discipled and raised up in the fullest of ways and we need to stop guilt-tripping the "rich"--most of us in the Western world ARE rich compared to the world.-- We do not want to force children into places where they are not being called to be raised up with full rights and privileges as sons. We don't just feed or clothe our own children but teach them and hug them and sing with them and counsel them--it is a full-time,life-long occupation, isn't it?

Adoption comes from the Greek word meaning "the placing of a son". It is taking a person into the family as a son and giving him all the privileges of a natural son. Some of us need to stop judging other by the number of their bedroom count or the brand of their clothing or car and just let them listen to God's specific call for them to help His orphaned children.

Some of you may be the "senders" and God may be as powerfully speaking to you about giving resource to orphanages, giving to adoption agencies, or taking an family who has an adoptive heart under your wing and caring for their financial needs. LISTEN. He may be sharing shocking ideas with you that may be sacrificial as well. REMEMBER the parable of that Jesus told of a man who sold everything to go purchase a field? Well he did just that. And guess what he knew? The field contained a treasure, a pearl of great price. He understood that pearl was worth far more than the processions in his hand and what they presently were affording him. He sold it, ALL. He gained EVERYTHING. This is a picture of living in the kingdom of God.

The early Christians got this. They understood this far better then us. In Acts it speaks of how they shared everything. And elsewhere, it is written that God's heart is not that some would have much and other's nothing but that we would understand that as followers of Christ our resource should be distributed equally among us so that need is taken care of among the believers and so that the poor are well taken care of. Ouch, that hurts. But our processions really aren't ours--they all come from our Father (James 1). I bet I'm stomping on your toes but I'm a really poor dancer when it comes to preserving people's false beliefs and feelings over what is Truth and what knowledge really will bring LIFE to your life.

You need to know how desperate your brothers and sisters who have been called to adoption are for your financial help. They need much more than what you have been giving them so far--a pat on the back and a "I so admire what you are doing. I certainly couldn't do this myself! I'm not called to it." Sometimes fundraising efforts so drain them of focus and energy that by the time they reach their children, they have not had any time to prepare their hearts and souls and family structures --to dig deep and get shored up for the real push--the raising up of a son or daughter. The paperwork and legalese is enough to label it a full-time job and in addition they are frantically raising redemption costs --some of which would be a third or much more of their family's take home salary. This may not be the same proportion for you. Or maybe it would but God is calling you to be the financial wagon to carry a child home. Let me tell you brothers and sisters--we need much more than the wagons we have now--lets get a TRAIN going!! I know the resources are out there--to take care of one, two, more even a family a year for some of you. I see the vacations, the new pool or car,the cutest outfits,the gorgeous home decorations--could just one of these things be traded for lives? ORPHANS ARE OUR FATHER'S CHILDREN SO THEY ARE ALREADY IN OUR FAMILY. EACH ORPHAN YOU SEE REALLY DOES BELONG TO YOU. THEY DO NOT JUST BELONG TO "THE CALLED". YOU DO HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY TO THEM. FIND OUT WHAT IT IS.

Have any of you seen Schindler's List? Well, it is NOT an easy movie to watch in the least. There is one scene in that movie that haunted me. It brought me in some ways to the decision to adopt and to keep the orphan before my heart. It is the end of the war and of the Nazi occupation. The precious Jewish people that Schindler has saved--by redemption money costs--are all grouped around him at a train station. He is saying goodbye. They are saying thank you. As he looks over them--just hundreds of souls grouped around him, he pats his luxury car. and says something like, "This could have been 20 lives." and he reaches into his coat for his watch and pulls it out , "and this 10 lives" by this time he is collapsing in grief, he spots his lapel pin, pinned over his heart and takes it off and cradles it, "this... 2 lives". "I could have done so much more..." Perhaps you are generous, I'm sure you are. But could God be calling you to more--a new level of generosity that could be ...shocking...that could buy a lives? Perhaps the "Samuel...Samuel...?" is being whispered or shouted into your ears as well. He who has ears to hear, let him hear...Obey Him while it is still, "today"...

"Oh that today you would hearken to His voice!
Harden not your hearts, as at Mer i -bah
as on the day at Mas sah in the wilderness" Psalm 95:7b&8

"Light rises in the darkness for the upright;
the Lord is gracious, merciful,
and righteous,
It is well with the man who deals generously and lends,
who conducts his affairs with justice.
For the righteous will never be moved;'he will be remembered for ever.
He is not afraid of evil tidings;
his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.
His heart is steady, he will not be afraid,
until he sees his desire on his adversaries.
He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor;" Psalm 112:4-9

Love, Gillian