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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Thankful Heart

No words could ever express how thankful we are for this AMAZING Family. Because of your hearts Our Families lives have been changed FOREVER!!!! AFRICA was AWESOME and I'm so glad God sent our families together! We Love you Lawrence Family!!!!

May the LORD repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge." 
~Ruth 2:12


*Pause My BLOG Music at the bottom & ENJOY!!!*

Monday, January 23, 2012

Until Next Time...

Today was our last day in Ethiopia:( Bittersweet as we wait to board our 10:45pm flight to make the 33 hour trip back to Midland. We ventured out this morning to visit the Alert hospital(ALL AFRICA LEPROSY TUBERCULOSIS REHABILITATION RESEARCH TRAINING CENTER) that sits near the trash dump in the Korah community. This hospital was established by German's to help train medical proffesionals & offer those affected with leprosy receive life saving medical care. It has since began caring for those with TB & HIV/AIDS as well. We enjoyed watching many of them weaving, sewing, crocheting and creating beautiful crafts. We were able to visit their gift shop and we were blessed by all the beautiful things that these patient had made. Next we traveled to the Fistual hospital where we ended up not being able to have a tour, but the grounds were blooming with beautiful flowers. You can watch a great documentary on this hospital called "Walk To Beautiful." We stopped to buy some Ethiopian coffee and headed back to the guest house to  pack, shower and head to the airport. Our hearts & minds are FULL, and we pray that as we return home we will continue to see what God really wanted us to get out of this trip. It is amazing that just when you think you are going to help and love on people, you end up really being the one that get's an Extreme Heart Make-over!

Until Next Time... We Love you Ethiopia!

Thank You for touching the lives of our girls:)

 He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. ~Mark 16:15-16

Kidane Orphanage

We had a blast last night at an authentic Ethiopian resturant where we had some new experiences. Ha! We tried most of what they brought us, but I did pass on the ox stomach. Eeeeww!!! Anyway the entertainment was fabulous!! And Yes, Sid has been practicing his new dance moves that he saw:)

        Today we traveled across town to Kidane Meheret Children's Home. The orphanage is run by Sister Lutgarda and the children are blessed to be very well taken care. The children receive basic care, education, work skills, & chruch and prayer. The children are beautiful and helpful and loved having so many of us to hold & feed babies, paint fingernails, make bracelets & worship with them. It was such a fun day! I spent time feeding a precious little girl that had CP. She was so determined to try to feed herself and I loved her spirit. I was thrilled to find out that the very next day her Forever Family was coming for her:) In fact as Sid & I walked through the orphanage with the sister  inquiring on children available for adoption. We soon  found out  that every healthy  infant, several toddlers, 2 older girls all hand families coming for them. WOW! I thanked the sister for all her hard work & for being the hands and feet in helping place the children in families. It was so wonderful! It was hard to see the sweet special needs children being passed over. Such sweethearts just longing for a Mama & Papa. A HUGE thank you to all the sisters and mamas taking such good care of these children. May God bless each & every one of you.

    After a fun-filled day with the children, we traveled to a market to do a bit of shopping. It was a fun experience for the girls to see how to bargain & how to tell the kids wanting to clean our shoes NO 50 times. So many little faces just trying to feed themselves. So hard:( We had a yummy dinner at the guest house and an Amazing worship time as a team.

Thank you to everyone that has prayed for us. Please continue to lift us up as we really begin to process everything we have seen & felt. Pray that God will continue to break our hearts as we settle back into our western culture, and that we will continue to take action to help make a difference in the lives of those who are in poverty, those who are suffering from treatable diseases, and the widows & the orphans just trying to survive from one day to the next.

Tomorrow.... Our final day. Excited to see our family at home, but SO hard to leave our new friends & a country that we LOVE. Now this saying really makes sense...

"I Need Africa More Than Africa Needs Me"

“Open your mouth for those who can not speak, for the rights of all the unfortunate.  Open your mouth, judge righteously, and defend the rights of the afflicted and needy.” ~Proverbs 31:8-9


Our Day at Korah today was an incredible blessing. The leaders, families, & children are all amazing and we were blessed to spend time with them. We spent the morning split up into our teams doing arts & crafts, playing futbol (soccer), and singing worship songs with the children followed by Wynne sharing the story of Jesus through a candy cane. The kids were excited to recieve a candy cane once our time was over. Sydnie spent time in the kitchen with the women that were cooking the goats we had brought them the previous day. She had fun helping cut up the goat meat & the women were blessed by her willingness to help. Baylie had some girls insist on braiding her blonde hair. A little painful, but so fun!Lacey had a trail of little ones following her around loving the attention. And Sid was spent time with the elderly that come to the feeding center. Such a blessing to see him feeding a Leper that hand no hands & sitting quietly holding the hand of an 86 year old man. We literally looked into the eyes of Jesus all day. And It. Was. AMAZING!

"The King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.' ~Matt 25:30

A Story From My Heart, That only GOD could have orchestrated...

        As I stood in a tiny little medical room so neatly organized, I listened to Emily the Nurse & Berhanu a young man that onced lived on the trash dump discuss the needs of two young boys they had just brought off the dump, my heart was broken. As Emily cleaned wounds on one boys leg, found them clean clothes and then took them both to shower and to eat fresh cooked food I was overwhelmed with the needs of not only these two fatherless boys, but to the thousands just like them. And then... I glanced out the door to see a mother and her sweet baby waiting patiently to see Nurse Emily and My. Heart. Stopped. What I saw looking back at me was a very weak but very sweet little one with Down Syndrome looking at me with the most amazing big brown eyes! Be. Still. My. Heart! His name is Abraham and his mama loves him with all her heart. After she was given a new pair of shoes & some 500 calorie packs to add to Abraham's diet we decided to walk with her to her home to carry a sack of food for her and her family that was Provided for by Hope for Korah. Sydnie & I both went with her along with a translator and followed her through the dirt paths and then  through another familes hut & into her tiny hut. She shares these little home with her 14 yr old, 12 yr old & Abraham her 2 yr old. As we sat on the only bed in her little 8x8 hut we would soon find out that she was also a widow. Her husband taken to be with Jesus because of a treatable disease, Leprosy. I was finally able to hold Abraham just long enough to assess him because he was so afraid of  me. That's when I was able to share with her through a translator that God had given her a perfect child. I was able to encourage her and teach her things to help her little man. She was thrilled to know that because he could bear weight on his legs that he could someday walk. We then found out that she needed help to keep her two older children in school. It cost a mere $5 a year to attend the local school plus books and supplies. She was also just 1 day away from having to move out of her home because she had no money to pay the rent which was 200 brr(about $12/month) I immediately offered to pay for two months rent & Sydnie offered to pay the third month. This would give Hope For Korah time to get her set up so that our family could sponsor her family. She was overwhelmed and hugged me like I have never been hugged before. She will soon be working with  the Mission Ethiopia program where she will be empowered by learning a trade that will help her provide for her family. But in the mean time we are her Family Sponsor & we are BLESSED to be able to help her and her children. For me, I know that this was orchestrated by the Father to the fatherless. My heart is forever changed because of what I have seen, what I have felt, and what I know God wants from me. God, break my heart for what breaks Yours. Move me to ACTION daily, and help me to love You more for who You are.

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world
 ~James 1:27

I HEART Ethiopia!!!

We started our day off today BUYING GOATS!! That was an interesting & fun experience! On a busy street corner in the middle of the city there were crowds of men desperately hoping someone would by at least one goat from them. Today we bought 4 from the man with the best price. I will say that thiswas the first time I have ridden in a van with a goat laying tied up in the floor next to me. Ha! We then drove only about 20 minutes to the edge of town where the Village of Korah is. I was so excited to meet the people of this Leper community and love on some kiddos! We started our first day out by seperating into small groups with a translator and vising homes in the community where we served fresh ethiopian coffee and fresh baked bread. Yum to Both! It was so amazing to sit in a tiny 8x8 hut with one twin size mattress (for a family of 5) and see the love & happiness that their family shared. We could see such JOY as she prepared coffee for her visitors. We were truly blessed to see how much they love our heavenly Father and hear them speak of how this is temporary and one day they will live in their permanent home with our Creator. Wow! My heart was broken yet somewhat jealous to see how much they love & praise God even in their poverty. That may sound crazy, but i saw something in that home that we just simply MISS in our plentiful western homes. Lord, O pray that my eyes will stay wide open, that I will see that I have MORE than enough. Help me to PRAISE YOU in EVERYTHING, to remember EVERYTHING belongs to YOU, and to be content and have JOY wherever You may lead me in this earthly life. We spent a few hours loving on the children as they came to the church for lunch and waved goodbye as they returned to school with promises of a funfilled day tomorrow.

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But let all those who take refuge and put their trust in You rejoice; let them ever sing and shout for joy, because You make a covering over them and defend them; let those also who love Your name be joyful in You and be in high spirits. ~Psalm 5:11

I Left My HEART in Rwanda

I never could have dreamed that leaving Rwanda would be SO hard. The beauty, the joyful hearts, the happiness among the poverty, my LOVE  for these amazing people will always be. You will be missed my sweet friends! I WILL be back! My Heart is in Rwanda...
             Today was a  full day of traveling. We traveled 3 hours by bus and then flew from Kigali, Rwanda to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. We finally settled into our Ethiopian guest house just in time to eat dinner and then we were off to bed.

Tomorrow we're off to BUY GOATS for the kids at Korah...

Rwanda Memories

 "If there is among you a poor man of your brethren, within any of the gates in your land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart nor shut your hand from your poor brother, but you shall open your hand wide to him and willingly lend him sufficient for his need, whatever he needs."
~Deuteronomy 15:7-8 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Noel Day #2

It was so wonderful to arrive at the Noel orphanage today and greet familiar faces so excited to see us. My Patrick & Denise found me quickly:) Baylie & I spent some time in the youngest baby room holding babies, playing with babies, and having a sweet teenager, John, translate for us with the caregivers (Mama's) It was nice to be able to tell them what a great job they are doing taking care of the children and that we hope God blesses each of them for what they do every day for the children. We then strapped a baby on our back and walked around with our other friends laughing and playing, working hard to understand each other. It was just SO Awesome!!! After my sweet little one Louisa took a long nap on my back I took her back for lunch and headed over to sing with Sid in the special needs area. It was such a blessing to see these special teenagers blossom and come alive as Sid played ball with them & sang to them for hours. Sid left the soccer ball with a little boy, Modest who stayed with him all day with a promise that the ball would stay in the special needs area. Praying it stays their for a while since it is the ONLY thing they have:( We had lunch and then we sang worship music with all the children. My favorite part was listening to our friend John who is blind sing several songs with Sid playing guitar. It was so so sweet!!! We took instant pictures of the kids, played ball, and walked & talked all day. It was spectacular and exhausting, and I loved EVERY minute of it! It really is amazing home spending a day holding the hand of a child can make them feel so important, so loved, so special regardless of the fact that you do not speak the same language.
So many people talk about whether they think short term mission trips really help or hurt. Without a doubt, we have made a difference in the lives of many. And even if I only reach one child with the love of my Savior then It. Is. Worth. It!!!

My sweetest moment of the day:
Singing these words to my blind friend John and seeing him break down in tears...

I Love you Lord, And I Lift My Voice
To Worship You Oh My soul Rejoice
Take joy my king in what you hear
May it be a sweet, sweet sound in your ear

John & Sid Praising God
Baylie with a Little Tiny:)
Little Louisa Nappin'
Sydnie & Alise
My Sweet Patrick's
Learn to do good; seek justice, reprove the ruthless,
defend the orphan, plead for the widow
~Isaiah 1:23