August 28, 2007

Madeline Elisabeth Scott

"Be Thou a Rock of habitation, to which I may continually come; Thou has given commandment to save me, for Thou art my rock and my fortress. For Thou art my hope; Oh Lord God, Thou art my confidence from my youth . By Thee I have been sustained from my birth; Thou art He who took me from my mother's womb. My praise is continually of Thee. I have become a marvel to many; for Thou art my strong refuge. My mouth is filled with Thy praise, and with Thy glory all day long....."

August 25, 2007

The desires of our hearts!

These have been eventful days in Guatemala…the political situation is climaxing with elections right around the corner and the Hague looming seems to just be compounding the problems and uncertainties. It is such an odd situation as anyone on the streets would tell you that adoptions as we all know them are on the rocks, policies changing and in very monumental ways that will effect so many, including the children, yet, the courts are smoothly continuing to process cases…almost feels like an oxymoron. A large hogar right outside of Antigua was raided and the children removed, rumors of hotel lockdowns, foster mothers stopped by police, children taken and a myriad of other rumors along those same line are flying, the papers and news are speaking of it all and with all honesty, it is hard to even keep up and to be able to weed through what is true, what motives are and how this effects all of us and most of all the children. Many if not most families who are living here fostering their children through the adoption process are house bound, as there is just too much uncertainty in the air and Americans are not feeling safe walking the streets with their Guatemalan children, unless the adoptions are complete. Madi and I don’t leave the house without all of our papers, for this very reason. In all of this, ministry needs are increasing…is that even possible…and could I just say, there is nowhere I would rather be. It is like walking through hard times with your dear friend, it only serves to bind your hearts and break down superficial walls as you allow each other into the hidden parts of your heart and lives and this has so served in the same way for me to bind my heart even deeper with this country, the ministries I work with and the children we love and are honored to serve…..most days, I can’t imagine getting on a plane and going home, it rips my heart up to think about it…but, then there is this family of mine and there is no way Madi is not going to be apart of the love they are counting the days to shower on her. Like Peter said one days when we were talking on the phone and I was telling him how that with all of my heart I just wanted to stay in Guatie, how could I leave and yet with all of my heart I want to come home ( talk about a walking contradiction) and he said “Mel, Madi needs us” I love that and he is so right…she does.. we do and when the time is right I have no doubt that Maid and I will be running off the plane into the arms of our famiy....

… yet, our hearts will always be here as well and we will be counting the days until we can come back....He has given us the desires of our hearts and these have been the sweetest days of my walk with the Lord…I just love Him!

I have to say that my sister Mary’s visit was hands down, perfect in every way and I am so crazy about her and proud of who she is and just plain love being with her….we had so much fun and Madi of course fell in love with her…but, who would’t?

We also had the treat this week of our dear friends the Nelsons…well, two of them, Gabrielle and Tim who brought a team down from the church they pastor to serve at Casa Bernabe…come over for lunch! Tim and Mary are two of the people I love most in this world, they have mentored me and have just become my brother and sister! Tim and Gabrielle( their oldest daughter) came for lunch and we had such an amazing time….it is always just electric when we all start talking, sharing and praying the Lord has laid the same passions on our hearts and time with them is never long enough! Next time in Michigan, Guys!

And last but not least…..a very happy birthday, to my good friend, Sharon! We celebrated in style at an Argentinean steak house here in Antigua and it was just so special to able to celebrate Sharon’s life…she is my hero and I tell her that all the time…Sharon and her husband Greg have become the adoption champions of Guatemala…Sharon has lived in Antigua with their daughter Bella for over a year as they have persevered through a very difficult adoption process and their steadfast love as a family for their darling little Bella is a beautiful testimony to anyone who knows and loves them!! Happy Birthday, Friend!!!

This is Sharon and their oldest daughter, Irene!

Oh and by the way…Madi is only getting cuter, more fun and adorable as the days go by…for any of you who had been wondering! :-)

With Aunt Hannah!!

Playing with Alex in Hermano Pedro

August 16, 2007

Sam Sam

I know your hearts for the children of Hermano Pedro and so many of you have asked me to hug children, pray over them, letting me know you are praying for these kids by name... Thank you, thank you, thank you.. YOU are the gift of God to these children, please continue praying!! Here are some pictures and my bad, very untechnical attempt to video Sam Sam...I can't figure out how to add sound, but I'll get some help with it and add it later. Sam Sam was having a rough day today and while most of the children had been taken outside in the courtyard and into the sunshine, Sam was left inside the ward and when I found him was banging his head against the side of his crib, he was so miserable and banging so hard and crying because it hurt but couldn't stop took him about 10 minuets being held outside, away from his crib for him to settle into some kind of peace and quiet. It takes very little...There are so many prayer needs right now, with elections and the Hague looming, the country is feeling pretty unsettled....we need prayer support for His hand of protection over the children most of all and just His direction in regards to moving forward with adoption ministry while the doors are still open. There is no doubt that He is moving and working, we all see it, talk about it, revel in it and want to align ourselves to His heart and hand....

August 14, 2007

For Your Kingdom, for our children, for the sake of every nation.....

Let it be said of us
While we walked among the living
Let it be said of us
By the ones we leave behind
Let it be said of us
That we lived to be a blessing for life

Let it be said of us
That we gave to reach the dying
Let it be said of us
By the fruit we leave behind
Let it be said of us
That our legacy is blessing for life

This day
You set life, you set death right before us,
This day
Every blessing and curse is a choice now
And we will choose to be a blessing for life

Let it be said of us
That our hearts belonged to Jesus Let it be said of us
That we spoke the words of life
Let it be said of us
That our heritage is blessing for life

For your Kingdom, for our Children
For the sake of every nation
We played this song at our TSCM Banquet this year for one of our slideshows and this week as I was with Alison and we spent time at Hermano Pedro, Amor Del Nino, time together and with Madi and Samuel, this song rang in my ears and within my heart and time and time again, the Lord just impressed it’s truth to me…God speaks to me in Guatemala, I am not sure how else to say it…I mean He speaks to me in many different "places" in life, but never so clearly, compassionately, passionately as He does here in Guatemala, I am so grateful…I have learned to hunger for it when I am Stateside, yearn for it while I am here and “too busy” to get away with Him and treasure and hide it in my heart when I hear His voice…this week it was through the children of Hermano Pedro and Madeline….

......this picture is what greeted us when we walked through the doors of Hermano Pedro…. behind bars, with two mattresses on the floor, obviously drugged, Ali and I walked up to talk to these two I couldn’t tell you ages…it was impossible to tell, both where in jumper suits, the young man’s had slippers attached to them that were so small, they must have almost folded his feet in half and we stood and looked through the bars and they sat on the mattresses and looked at us, eye to eye…the young man obviously felt uncomfortable and leaned towards the young woman, who was the size of a 10 year old in the States and I would guess she was in her 20s, had her hair buzzed off, playing with her hands and she, sensing his discomfort leaned over and kissed his forehead….being locked behind bars or even drugged couldn’t keep these two from drawing comfort and strength from each other. It was such a beautiful picture, I think I saw tears in Alison's eyes. We then moved further into the ward and Alison was able to meet so many of the children, spend time with little Alex, Sam Sam and we also visited the older guys and Alison thrilled a couple of them by buying them cokes…later when I was saying goodbye to Willy ( pictured with Alison below) he stumbled around a little to find the right words and with his beautiful face beaming he said in Spanish that Alison was his new friend and that she was the friend of his heart….there is no doubt as to why everyone I have known who has had the privilege of spending time in Hermano Pedro is drawn back and can never forget or get enough of the beauty in and of these children, their unbelievable strength, their endurance, their joy, their pain and their hope....

One day this week as Alison and I were sitting in the park with the babies, two little street boys came up, I think their original intent was to ask for money, but before they could even finish that sentence or hold their hands up for any coins I would give them, they saw Madi and immediately knelt down beside her stroller…I sat and watched as those barefoot, ragged dirty, poor little boys and Madi enjoyed each other to the fullest they laughed, tickled her and peppered me with questions about her…we had a blast, they were so sweet and adorable but you know the thing that struck me the most was the absolute DELIGHT on Madi’s face...

…the next morning I woke up and as I laid there listening to her breathing ( uh…snoring) and thought back to the day before and I was struck again by my baby’s pure, untainted, unprejudiced, non judgmental love for those two little boys…She wasn’t turned off by how dirty they were, or didn’t have to "make" herself be kind and compassionate, she didn’t view her time with them as sacrificial, for sure not benevolent or merciful, she wasn't trying to "fix them"…she was just absolutely delighted to be with them, nothing more attached or beneath the surface…these were her people and she was thrilled they wanted to spend time with her. Do you have any idea how much joy that brought me and in the beautiful simplicity of the moment to realize that as dirty little hands reached out to hold Madi’s clean, chubby little hands that the only difference between Madi and those boys was that she was adopted (taking it to a spiritual realm as I don't know these little boys specific circumstances)…that’s it…no other difference and in her beautiful little baby way, God used Madi to once again show me the simplicity of the gospel and the joy He experiences in us and the freedom He desire for us to walk in the love of God.....we love, because He first loved us!

I realize that this is a ridiculously long post, but I couldn’t close without shouting from the rooftops that MY SISTER IS HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Mary arrived on Saturday and you can only imagine that after 7 months of not seeing each other, the time we are having….it is about as perfect as life gets….I don’t think we have finished one full conversation yet and have started about a million, anyone listening in would think we were insane, but you know how sisters are…another week full of THIS is complete bliss!!! We stayed in the city over the weekend as Alison and Samuel left on an early morning flight today and we didn’t want to spend all our time driving back and forth to Antigua…so we have gone to the Guatemala City Zoo, walked in the mall OF COURSE Hyper Piaz and have seriously thought of setting up residency in the hotel’s Jacuzzi…we will head back to Antigua today, we already miss Alison and Sam and are so grateful for every sacrifice they made to come and stay for two wonderful weeks….More soon!