February 1, 2009

But you will be called "My delight is in her"

Ahhhh so much to share, I need to blog more...these posts get too long and probably boring to all of you --busy with your own lives--- people!!

Hermano Pedro
I did want to share with you about two sweeties at Hermano Pedro. After seeing the difference your prayers make in these children's lives, how could I not share. I KNOW your hearts, I have heard them, seen them and been blessed by them and don't think for one second that because you aren't here day in and day out that you aren't involved in effective ministry with these specific children. Our calendar booked until July already this year with mission teams would say differently and the prayer support that rallies within an hour of me sending an e-mail prayer request out as e-mails come flooding back in and the phone starts ringing just from people saying that they are praying... is testimony of your hearts on fire to make a difference!! Thank you for being in the battle, I feel privileged to walk with you!!
This past week I had Madi home with a baby sitter taking a nap and Hannah and I had run to spend some time with the kids at Hermano Pedro.....hitting the malnourished ward first, no sooner had we walked through the door than Hannah had her hands full with one of our cleft palate babies...little Jose hadn't had surgery yet so his little mouth ( lip) looked ( and is) split wide open but was happy as a clam and had a smile that would kill anyone...I grinned at the two of them and started over to see Alex, but was stopped by this little screeching cry coming from the bed next to his. Glancing at the name tag on her metal bed, I read "Nidia" and my heart stopped when I looked inside the metal slats to see a little girl, maybe 3 or 4 years old so malnourished her little wrist were the size of my first finger. She couldn't have weighed more than nine pounds, it just wasn't possible... her hair had fallen out in clumps because of the starvation and she lay there weakly screeching, eyes wildly roving the ceiling...the last thing she wanted to do when I pulled the metal bars down on her bed was to make eye contact, she purposefully looked everywhere but my eyes. I picked up her little body, knowing that even was hurting her and lay her on my shoulder and the screeching stopped and literally she melted into my arms and pressed her little head against my chest, right where my heart was. I whispered in her ear that today she had a new name, she was no longer cast aside or forgotten...today she was known and treasured. "Your name is Cherish" I whispered to her, at the time not even knowing what was compelling me to give her another name, but wanting the enemy to know, he had forever lost his grasp on this one.

"And you will be called by a new name
Which the mouth of the LORD will designate.
You will also be a crown of beauty in the hand of the LORD
And a royal diadem in the hand of your God.
It will no longer be said to you, "Forsaken,"
But you will be called, "My delight is in her,"
For the LORD delights in you" Is 62
(Our own Amanda Hope, adopted from Guatemala... picture taken the day we heard about her)

(Amanda this past Summer....the joy and delight of her whole family!)

The nurses said she was brand new, had only been there a few days. I found a rocking chair against the wall that I sat and held her frail little body. Around that time Mary burst into the cold ward in her cute sunshiny-ness, calling out greetings to the nurses...everyone loves her in that hospital and watching her... pony tail swinging and her ready-to-laugh-cuteness, I knew why. She picked up Alex who was just as delighted to see her as she was him and we laughed as he laughed and interacted better than he had in so long...... It was time to leave, time to put "littles" back in their cages, time to pull the metal bars back up and here that "click" of them locking that makes shadows pass back over the faces of the prisoners inside of them. I pulled Nidia away from my chest, the screeching started again and laid her back in her cold bed. Mary laid Alex down and we started to walk away....silent tears streamed down his face and he cried so hard, all completely silently that he started to choke and and his body went into spasms. The nurse walked over and in typical reaction picked him up and literally dropped him back on the bed ( I guess they think that clears the airways) all the while tears were streaming down his beautiful face. Finally our little Alex who we watched starving in the downstairs ward for years had been moved upstairs to the malnourished ward...he was getting better, his cheeks chubbier and his smile coming from a full tummy rather than only from the sweetness of his spirit...finally he was well enough to not just struggle for mere survival but to feel the loss of love in his lonely existences and so the tears fell from his beautiful black eyes, he didn't want to be walked away from again.
We were silent as we left the hospital to meet the boys working at a coffee shop, quiet as we kissed our husbands and I sat down at a nearby computer to start working on my next mission team coming the end of February and started listening to my ipod, one of my favorite songs was playing and usually hearing about the love of God and His mercy brings me joy and comfort but not that day, I just couldn't listen...not anymore. It was impossible to hear about the mercy of God extended to me when it looked like it was being withheld from children like Cherish and Alex. Andrew got up from his computer and went and grabbed some kleenexes for me, Scott wonderful man that he is...walked over, put his arm around my shoulder and said he loved me and did I need anything from him...I shook my head no...almost hating the love that was abundant for me and lacking for "them" ...the tears wouldn't stop and Scott sensing the moment which is something he does well, kissed my forehead and walked away. I sat there and wrestled with God, wrestled with Him all through the night and the next day. This wasn't a new struggle for me or anyone else who spends time in places like Hermano Pedro, but I think it surprised me that I wasn't "passed" this struggle. Was His mercy "limited" was His arm short...if no to both of these, why was Cherish starving physically and emotionally and why did Alex struggle with a grief so deep a grief we can't fathom... the grief of being completely being forsaken. Later I was just browsing through a couple chapters in Isaiah and TRUTH came as it always does...faithfully, powerfully, tenderly even when I act like my spirited little Madi when she is quick to make assumptions on my heart for her. In Isaiah 59 it talks about injustice and the sins of a nation, but these words caught my eye

"Now the LORD saw, And it was displeasing in His sight
that there was no justice. And He saw that there was no man
And was astonished that there was no one to intercede;
Then His own arm brought salvation to them........A Redeemer WILL come to Zion"
That was truth over these children's lives, that was THE HOPE, THE PROMISE.

I think I will go kiss Cherish's little face tomorrow ...thank you for praying and for loving these babies!


I love today for all it's restful calming peace. Madi is sleeping on two chairs pushed together in our living room, fever has broken and she seems to be sleeping peacefully after a rough couple of days with the stomach flu, the dryer is on, the house is clean, I even got a shower and trust me after being up with a sick baby all night, THAT was a welcome treat and I am about to stick left over potatoe soup on the stove for dinner. It has been a hectic past few weeks, so today's calm is welcome!

Our dearest friends and family ( my brother) Andrew and ( his wife) Hannah have been here in Guatemala for three weeks and staying three more and not only have we had the most amazing time with them as we always do, late nights, dying of laughter, deep talks, soul searching and seeking God together...in them we find such deep soul connection, hearts exactly on the same page, not to mention we have a complete blast as couples....we have even been known to have special knocks on each other's walls when our bedrooms are next to each other...the "come over and let's talk even though it is one in the morning" knocks. Bottom line we love these two and consider their friendship, one of our greatest gifts. Andrew and Hannah before they were married both felt called separately to international missions, coming together at Bible school, only ignited their passion and brought more definition, they knew they were being called to bring rescue and a message of hope and healing to young girls who had been abused and were victims of sexual abuse and slavery. The cries of these very girls is loud and desperate in Guatemala and Andrew and Hannah heard and obeyed. They are coming under the minsitry of our dear friends, the Morins and Manos de Jesus ( Guatemalan side) Pray America ( stateside...see blog link on my sidebar) and moving down as full time missionaries this spring/summer. Check out their blog and leave a comment http://www.redeemedinnocence.blogspot.com/ We believe passionately in these two and see the hand and anointing of God all over their lives. We all spent about 5 days in Chichi, hanging with the leadership and the wonderful Guatemalan staff and participating in ministry. Scott and I too are praying about joining with Manos de Jesus in minsitry, just not sure we feel the release at this point to fully commit, but our hearts are there as it is a ministry meeting the needs maybe closest to His heart...widows and orphans. Their feeding program feeds 1000 (!!) children weekly, homes that have been built for widows now dot the beautiful mountains sides of Chichi, fresh clean water is offered to families....Christ is being preached in this Mayan community and it is all we can do at this point not to pack and move to beautiful very rural Chichi, but at this point.... we wait.

Andrew and Hannah's arrival in Guatemala was perfect, as they hit the same time as the Authenticos film team...after months of preparation and years of vision for all of us, to have this team here and filming need and ministries meeting those needs within Guatemala was nothing less than awesome. I pretty much walked around with a cell phone glued to my ear coordinating, so don't have pictures, but check out the web-site http://www.athentikos.com/ and please be praying with us that God uses this documentary to bring change and awareness as the "Forgotten" are exposed! I can't tell you how honored I felt to even tag along with this team. I firmly believe exposure can be one of the greatest tools against the enemy and it brings voice to those who otherwise have no voice. The compassion ran deep for every member on this team and I loved working with my good friends, Scott and Amelia Moore who directed the project! More soon!! Love you guys!!

December 31, 2008

Marvelous Light

Into marvelous light I'm running,
Out of darkness, out of shame.
By the cross you are the truth,
You are the life, you are the way

I had been listening to this song all day and what a day it had been too, the middle of November....I left my apartment in Antigua ear-ly (sing song voice) as in 4am early, getting on the shuttle, forcing myself not to announce happily to every tired person in that packed van, that I was flying home to GET MARRIED....

....getting married to the boy I played hide and seek with when we were ten....but, we had grown up, had very separate journeys and God has brought us back together which is a WHOLE other story and miracle... but, I was deep in love that day and about to get on a plane in Guatemala and get off in Texas and step into wedding party central where just about everyone I loved most in the world were going to celebrate with us, this very miracle.

I made it to the airport and even made it to my gate an hour before we were supposed to depart. Even very happy, in love, brides to be, can get a little sleepy and a certain Kelsey had kept me awake until the wee hours of the morning delighting me with Pre Christmas for Madi....she bought out Old Navy and Target, so if anyone noticed that little girl size 2 winter stock was running low, it was because my Madi was being decked out by Kels, who had flown in the day before from Minnesota!! So there I was sitting at my gate and I fell just a little asleep, ipod playing and slept right through my flight's departure and even more embarrassing, they called my name three times on the loud speaker the laughing flight attendants told me later. I felt immediate peace about missing my flight, well maybe not immediate -- immediate... more like 20 mins of panic, then peace that God's hand was in this. I found out that I either could repeat the same flight the next day or leave later in the afternoon and spend the night in the Mexico City airport and arrive the next day around noon...I was already short on time so opted for the latter. I grabbed a taxi to the Marriott to spend a couple hours with my friends Kirk and Kelley
here to bring home their two little boys...our marathon battle of an adoption.

Word spread fast and Scott didn't want me staying the night at the Mexico City airport and while we were discussing possibilities, Peter (my bro) The Amazing made reservations for me at a hotel in Mexico City and his e-mail said..."..this is my early wedding present, enjoy and be refreshed in the Lord" By the time I was about to board the plane that afternoon, one of the flight attendants approached me and said " We have talked and we would like you to ride first class" Settled info my cushy first class seat I grinned to myself at the Lord and turned my ipod back on to have to turn it off again when I saw the the cock pit door open and one of the captains walked out and asked if he could sit with me for a minute. He told me that he felt like the Lord had laid it on his heart when he saw me that he needed to speak with me, so he gave me first class and asked who I was and what was I doing in Guatemala....so there we sat, the Guatemalan captain and the girl from Texas who lived in Guatemala....in first class. We talked about orphans and special needs children... we talked about adoptions being closed and the children who had already gone home and the ones still in Guatemala....we talked about the lives and stories of these children and both agreed that one could never just walk away, nor would you ever want to...those faces forever imprinted on your heart and mind, forever worthy of the fight for the lives, forever "our calling" forever His heart! He offered his help and his friends' help and gave me about ten different ways to reach him, so he could be apart of these children's lives. We shook hands and knew the Lord was present. I turned my ipod back on and that song "Into marvelous light" was playing and I looked out the little airplane window and cried...this was God...this was Guatemala!!

I barely even know where to start blogging again, but because I have been blessed with the most amazing friends and family in the world who love and support me despite long scattered blog posts like this, for them I am going to jump back in and start blogging again.... about our lives in Guatemala and His moving heart and hands that we are privileged to see here!

ALOT has happened this past year....we have had many mission teams come which has opened up so many new minsitry opportunities ( more on that soon!) Madi has graduated to pigtails, loves to be read to and is talking up a storm, so many of my children's adoptions have been completed and they have gone home ( I have some MIRACLE stories, You Guys!!!!) to their families, Madi loves to help me clean the house and for some reason is pretty convinced that she needs to do this in her bathing suit ( I am pretty fond of seeing her brown legs anyway, so don't argue.)

I wake up to a HUSBAND who has a heart full of passion for the Lord and ministry and blows me away with his wisdom, we moved into a new apartment, I still walk past the same children begging as I did last year....we just know each other's names and lives now, I have had my wonderful family all come visit us at different times...

....there have been tears, laughter, life changes and lives changed, God has moved and He has been faithful...I just can't wait to share it all with you!!!

It's good to be back.....Hi Katie!

October 24, 2007

Compassion International

...my friends and I had the privilege of driving up to Chimaltenango with Compassion Int' staff to see first hand the way the Lord is using this amazing ministry...it was one of those face hurting because I am smiling so much days...but, how could you help it, with the beautiful faces of hundreds of mothers and children beaming right back at you, testimony of the love of Jesus already shining in their lives through Compassion!! Most of you probably know about Compassion, how they come along side families in support, sponsor children, school and educate them, feeding programs, working through native Guatemalans and coming along side churches so they are enabling the people to help their own people on many different levels and on levels all of us can be involved in, making a difference...it was such a wonderful afternoon and I am so blessed by this ministry!!!!! http://www.compassion.com/about/where/guatemala.htm