Did you know that “Smathering” is not a word? The things we learn every day right? Anyhow…
Ok, so I have like twenty different updates I have been meaning to write but there have been eight boys following behind me all week calling me their camp counselor and asking me for sodas and forgetting to put on their swim suits before pool time. So my writing has been limited to only really important things (like new kids in the project… Which is amazing. Right!?!)
I will see if I can remember at least half of the things I thought of while chanting “WE LOVE JESUS, YES WE DO. WE LOVE JESUS HOW BOUT YOU?!?” and other normally-obnoxious things that would get our team the points we needed to win.
First off we are beyond excited about the kids that are coming into our new families in Ethiopia. Things are going well on that end and we find ourselves more than ever thankful for all the faithful Christians who have risen up and joined the effort to build future leaders for their home country. God has truly blessed us with good people who are all moving valiantly into the challenge before them this week.
Not only are they working through an intense time of transition in each of the 14 children’s lives (yes I said 14! 12 that came yesterday, Setota and one more 9 year old girl who came as well) they are also working hard to set up more homes so that the rest of the children who are coming to us will have families to come home to. Mothers are being trained, homes are being rented, furnishings are being purchased and meanwhile all the necessary reports are being filed to keep it all in good standing with the government. Like I have mentioned before, we are registered at the highest level possible with the government, and that means lots of paperwork! To say this is a busy season for the staff back in Ethiopia would be a massive understatement. They are all running full steam!
I get teary eyed when I think about the redemption that this whole time is soaked in, the love that these kids are coming into and how beautiful this new life of theirs will be. How amazing it is that fourteen kids are now in forever families!?! Praise God for this!
But, the race is just getting started, there are twenty more who are waiting to come home and we need to get ready to take them in.
Back over on this side of the world we are ramping up for our trip around the states to spread the word about the work we are doing. Tomorrow we will be speaking at a small church here in California, at Greenhaven Community Church. These are some of the wonderful people who have given selflessly behind the scenes to make Bring Love In what it is today, and we are excited to connect with them. I will be preaching the service tomorrow and am looking forward to sharing with them some of the things that God has been teaching us in our life. (If you happen to be in the area we would love to see you there!)
Many of you know that I am just now stepping into this new area with teaching the word, and that although I am about as comfortable as a cat in a dog park when I stand in front of people, I feel that God is pushing me to have faith and do this. Last week I spoke for the 250 kids at camp and for the first time really felt like something clicked, like I was able to communicate freely and speak my heart instead of choking on the microphone like has happened so many times before.
In a way I guess that is a prayer request, for years I have felt called to spread the gospel by preaching and teaching, but I never actually did it… Until now. And it is as uncomfortable as heck!
In 11 days we hit the road for our fundraiser tour for Bring Love In. We are really excited about the trip, especially with the timing and how the floodgates are now opening up with the orphans who are coming to us in Ethiopia. We could not be here raising money at a better time!
Our goal is to raise support for twenty (or more) forever family houses and also to help get a solid financial foundation underneath the organization. Taking permanent responsibility for this many kids is (as any parent can attest) a massive undertaking, and we hope to be able to solidify the structure that keeps these families afloat no matter what comes along. Please pray with us that things go well on this trip, and that our family has the stamina to keep moving forward, I am sure that somewhere around the 26th State our kids will hit a wall…
If you have already checked it out, take a look at the tour schedule, chances are we are coming somewhere near where you live. And we would love to see you!
Earlier this week we posted about a book giveaway. If you have not had a chance to read all the amazing comments about people’s faith journeys from all around the world you really should check them out. What a blessing that was to read. Also, if you have not written one yourself, there is still time! Monday we are going to be announcing the winners, hop over and read about the contest rules here.
Lastly I wanted to just say how good God is, this whole time of what could be crazy unrest has been so peaceful, and even though our family is once again on the move, living out of suitcases, and hopping from place to place, we feel so at home, and so thankful and in love with the great big God who redeemed each of us just like he has for those new kids who are in their new families back in Ethiopia.
Oh yeah, one more thing. I am reading (and really enjoying) a book called Sacrilege. It is a wonderful book that is challenging me and my faith today. If you are looking for a good book, check this one out.