Remember how I said that I wanted to share something else that happened at the Summit but couldn't just yet because we were still waiting and praying about some things? Well, a few weeks ago we got confirmation about some of these things and now we are ready to begin moving forward!
And just to satisfy your curiosity right off the bat, I am going to tell you that no, we have not started the process to adopt again.
Not YET anyway. :-)
But for Randy and I, this is something that is just as thrilling and has been just as much of a God-calling on our lives as adoption has been. We have known from scripture that just like Abraham, we are blessed by God to be a blessing to others. He has placed the plight of the orphan, the widow, the poor, and the stranger on our hearts in such a way that we have found it hard to forget. And that's a GOOD thing!
Because God's heart beats for "the least of these." Actually according to Jesus' words, whatever we have done for the least of these we have done to Him. And if we are true followers of Christ, then I think we should start taking His words a bit more seriously than most of us have been. We are called to get off the couch and get moving. That is true faith. It is a call to open our hearts to those who are so important to God and become an agent of change, an advocate, and to start practicing true religion (James 1:27).
And those of you who know us well know what I mean. This is what we were meant to do and until now have felt as if we have had this dream/vision for several years yet had no idea how or when or through whom it would be accomplished.
And slowly God has been revealing His plan to us and slowly we have begun to take steps in the direction we feel He is leading us.
As we came home from the Summit, we were completely overjoyed about all the things God had shown us and amazed at how many opportunities we were presented with to partner in God's work of caring for the fatherless. We felt like it was exactly the jumping off point that we knew was coming! As I shared a few weeks ago, at the conference we were encouraged to dream big, huge, God-sized dreams and then obediently begin with small steps each day. Well, we have been doing just that. Small steps towards the bigger picture... things like prayer, Bible study, research and phone calls with different organizations, and inviting others to join us on this exciting journey.
And SO much has happened in the past month that we are having a hard time keeping up!
There are many different facets to the vision that we feel God has given us and I won't go into all of them right now. But the bigger picture is that Lord willing, we plan to start a ministry whose purpose is to share the hope and love of Christ through the care of orphans and vulnerable children, both locally and globally. It is a dream we have had for some time, but God is the One who has been fitting all the pieces together more recently to lead us down this path and we are so excited to say OK! :-)
One of the aspects of this ministry that Randy and I will be directly involved in will be the forming of a long-term, strategic partnership for the care of an entire community of orphans and at risk children. We feel strongly that this partnership will unify our entire church body in caring for the least of these and not only transform the orphan community that we partner with, but transform our church community as well. There is a lot more I could say about this, but I am running out of time and there is one more thing I have to share or else I'll bust!
So, it is with great excitement and anticipation that I share with you that:
Randy and I will be headed to AFRICA this September!
We will be going with another couple from our church to ETHIOPIA on a vision trip with Children's Hopechest. They are an AMAZING organization and Lord willing they will be facilitating our "community to community" partnership with a carepoint of orphans in Ethiopia. During this vision trip we will have the opportunity to visit several sponsored and unsponsored communities while we are there and our hope is that one of the yet unsponsored communities will soon find a partner in our church. We are beyond excited for this opportunity!
I wanted to share a little part of a letter that Randy wrote to the staff at our church about this opportunity. I thought it was a beautiful summary of what we envision happening with this part of the ministry.
Imagine seeing the face of a child. Beginning to support that child and their community financially. Beginning to pray regularly for that child. Developing a relationship with that child through letter writing. Supporting projects in their community. And then a year, two, or three years later being able to meet that child in their community which has become dramatically different since the time you first saw their picture. What a blessing that will be. What a transforming effect such a partnership could have on a child and a community. And, possibly even more so, what a transforming effect such a partnership could have on the community here at Trinity.
While this is only one aspect of the ministry that we hope to launch, it is an important one and we have much to plan and prepare for. The timing of it couldn't be better as we will have all summer to raise prayer and financial support before we leave in September. Would you consider partnering with us? I will be posting about the different ways you can do that in the coming days and weeks. And trust me, there will be a lot of opportunities! For now I just wanted to get the news out so you can consider your partnership in this mission as well as be praying for our family as we start planning for this exciting adventure!