Thursday, April 29, 2010

Adopted!



The trigger of interest for me to go on the mission trip to Vnam was the orphans. I have followed many blogs of families that have adopted and have been on the praying end of those as well as friends from college and now high school who are adopting! I am an adoption blog junky!! My Dear and I are watching for God to tell us when we are to join the ranks of these parents. I wondered if Vnam might be where He would lead us.

In my readings, I have established a few rules for adoption....this is where families who have adopted laugh! We have 1 son and 2 daughters so naturally, our child would be a boy. Our child would also fall within the birth order meaning that he would be 2-3 years younger than B. keeping with the pattern of the ages. Yeah, I know, only God would smile at my arrogance with a "bless her heart" on His lips!

Let me just say, the little boy above broke the mold! He came into the orphanage later in the afternoon because he goes to a deaf school off campus. I attempted to talk with him at the orphanage but our signs were different-it was worth the try. I think he was in shock that someone was attempting to communicate with him.

We played with chalk and wrote our ages learning that he is 11 years old. We played Frisbee and ball as well.

The next day we returned to the orphanage. This was the day that Fay would lead the children through the plan of salvation by telling a story. The director said, "we welcome your Jesus story." Fay began with Adam and Eve's sin in the garden and then taught our need for a Savior-Jesus. She told how Jesus was born, died, and rose again (makes me want to say Hallelujah just listing them!)

The majority of the children listened. We invited anyone who prayed to ask Jesus to come into their hearts to come to the front. As children sometimes do, they all came forward- copying one another. In that crowd, I spotted my little friend.

I tapped him on the should and motioned for him to come and stand with me. He did so. We prayed with the other children and they went out for snacks and the goodies we had brought them. My little friend and I stayed in the upstairs classroom. We went and got the picture book, flannel board pictures, and a Bible lesson book that we had given the children with the story of Jesus in it. I began flipping the pages in the book. I touched the picture of Jesus in the manger and signed Jesus. We turned the page to a picture of Jesus as a toddler and I signed Jesus. Again and again, I found Jesus on the pages and then my little friend turned the page and found Jesus and signed to me. HE GOT IT! He would flip pages and point with his little eyebrows narrowed as if asking a question and I would answer with pointing to pictures and signing it. When he saw the cross he made the sign of the cross as most Catholics do. I showed him the sign language for the word cross. That little guy sat as I told him the very story that Fay had told the other children but this little guy was getting it!!! He wanted to know who hung Jesus on the cross and found a picture of an angry King assuming that is who did it. He found the pictures of a heart colored black and related that to Adam and Eve and a heart colored white and related that to the picture of Christ's resurrection.

We looked at a picture of Adam and Eve in the garden. I touched the picture-he signed them and I signed, "God Made" after each of them. Then I pointed to him and signed "GOD MADE!" His face lit up!!

It was an "I love you too God!" moment! I was unsure that anyone knew we were still in that upper room but my heart was thrilled. This little guy was hungry to know!!

I spent the rest of the afternoon playing with this little guy and that included the "God Made" game. When it was time to go, I looked at my friend Bob and said, "Can I keep him?" What an amazing little boy. It was easy to tell him I loved him.

This little guy did not fit my list but would have fit perfect in our family. Americans are not allowed to adopt for Vnam. If they were, I would have My Dear on his knees about this one. I shared with my friend the love I have for this child. She told me the government may tell me that I can not adopt him but no one could tell me I could not adopt him through prayer. So with that being said, this little guy is ADOPTED by me!!



You know the tongue roll is hereditary. He must be mine!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

a little help, please.

I had some reward money for being a customer at a store. I had to use it by today so last night we loaded up the troops so that I could go get some shirts that fit. A year ago, I cleanced my closet of stuff that was worn out or showed too much if I wore it. With that being said, I needed shirts.

I know I have gotten older but has fashion really changed that much? I am beginning to wonder if since the clothes are made in Asian countries are they measuring Asian ladies for fit? I have seen those ladies and they would be the first to say that WE ARE DIFFERENT! I will just call myself a typical, healthy American (I so need to get a post up on this topic while in Vnam.)

Due to my disappointment in fashion, I have develped a shirt test. I put it on and bend over in front of the dressing room mirror-if stuff is visible, the shirt is out!
The other test is to reach. If you can see that evidence of my last pregnancy (or 3!) when I reach up or what the back of pants hold, then that shirt is out. I do not have an office job. I work with children so I reach and bend a lot. I also run, jump, carry...the list goes on. Honestly, I don't know how anyone can wear those shirts!

I took several shirts to the dressing room and only one came close to passing the test but I did not even like it. So needless to say, Miss B. got some new shirts last night! A babydoll style fits perfectly around her round, milk tummy. Now, wonder if I can get some of those in adult sizes?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

New Glasses


Since our trip to Vnam, I am seeing ministry differently. I did not realize that I was looking at it through, "it's all about me" glasses. You would think I would already know how this works. I held ministry positions since college and even worked at a Missions camp. I was called to ministry and then called to be a minister's wife....I should have gotten it! But it was clouded through those "it's all about me" glasses.

Many times when My Dear wanted to hang out with the fellas or have teenage boys laying around our living room with game controllers, soda, burping, or the RISK game board-I wondered why he did not want to spend time with me. I resented his being gone every Friday night for football games and through the week for practices in a position he volunteered for.

Tonight, after a service mission project and then a game of Capture the Flag-we had My Dear to ourselves again. After dinner, we hopped on our bikes and rode to the park. We LOVE our bicycles! As soon as we got there, the kids ran to play and a teenager came up and started talking to My Dear. Our kids were too busy playing to notice. I knew what was about to happen-I learned this lesson within the first year of marriage-Has Ball, Will Play!

My Dear jumped in on a game of basketball with some teenagers. He not only played but gently coached the kids as they played. I could not help but watch and smile! Right there, My Dear was showing those kids that he cared about them. He cared enough to hang out with them and to teach them. He attempted to build relationships and give the kids a face they may recognize at school or in the community (and with his haircut it makes him easy to identify.)

I saw what My Dear sees all the time, an opportunity for ministry. I was able to look at the situation with New Eyes and I am liking my new glasses so much more!!

Monday, April 12, 2010

small framed-Spiritual GIANT

My bed has been stripped of it's linens (thank you Billy) and lays naked under clean laundry waiting to be folded and put away. But I need to talk to ya'll!
My Dear just asked if we had mushrooms and peppers on the pizza we had for dinner-apparently, I did not clean up after B. very well.
Cool story-our local "Papa's Pizza Hut" as B. calls it agreed to put a flier about a new study at church on their pizza box lids. Because of that, the people of our church bombarded them with orders to thank them. So much so that they just laughed when I told them why I was ordering. He said, "we have talked to all of you tonight!" What a witness to those folks! My Dear has lost 17lbs so pizza is a no-n0. We ordered when he would not be home but he contributed the funds to pay for it. I pulled the wagon for a walk afterwards. Praying that God will see our goal and evaporate the extra calories! He is a mighty God!!


As you can see, I have some stuff to take care of BUT my heart and head have been so full I need to puke on paper as my friend Fay says. Speaking of Fay, let me tell you about this small framed-Spiritual Giant!
It was Fay, who told me about the mission trip to Vietnam. She asked if I would pray about her going. That night, I contacted My Dear (who was away at camp) and asked him about it. He said "GO!" I called Fay and we celebrated over the phone-we are going to Vnam!
Fay introduced herself to me when we came to the church. She knows about being a pastor's wife. When she began to talk to me, I did not know anything about her, but she sure knew what I was facing as the newbie. She is the kind of friend that you back your truck up to and DUMP! She has been there!
It was such a blessing to watch Fay do what she loves-tell people about Jesus!
Fay was asked to speak to the Pastor's wives at the conference in Vnam but became ill. You may recall reading that a taxi cab driver asked Jesus into his heart as a result of Fay needing to leave the conference. She had struggled with God bringing her across the globe to be so sick, but then she knew!
Because she was unable to speak at the conference, she was invited to share her testimony at a rural house church. She was unsure of what part of her testimony to share but knew God would lead her. She shared less about her life and more about her Lord.
After the service, a 23 year old woman (pictured below with her baby) was lead to the front. They asked that our group pray for her because she has leukemia. My hand, as well as others, immediately flew back to touch Fay.




Fay knows leukemia. Fay released her husband to the Lord 6 and half years ago at the age of 32 after a battle with leukemia. God blessed her with a husband (I am looking forward to meeting someday) and 3 little boys. Fay knew, that this woman is the reason God did not want her to share that part of her life. Fay stepped to the front of the church lead the prayer over this young woman. Short little Fay prayed with such boldness. Her voice never cracked and a tear never rolled from her eyes. ( I on the other hand was a mess!) Fay prayed with authority! I marveled at our God and what a divine arrangement He made. Once again, Fay was reminded why God brought her to the other side of the world. It was POWERFUL!
God gave me a sweet picture of Fay as well. Bob was heading into the China Sea to do baptisms. We were celebrating on the beach when I spotted Fay standing on the beach holding Bob's belt and shoes. It made me smile to think of how often she has played that role for her husband. I teased her about her experience with doing that and she teased back that she had held bigger seeing that her husband towered over her, much like her boys are beginning to do. Such a sweet picture in my heart!



Lastly, Fay was able to pray with a young women outside of a Buddhist temple as she accepts Jesus as her Lord and Savior. This was one of the highlights of Fay's trip! This woman was looking for something and had no idea she would meet Christ at the temple!

Now you have 2 more faces of Vnam women to pray over. I am so thankful for Fay and women like her. I am so glad she is on our team!

Monday, April 5, 2010

I'm MOVING!

Some days I get so fed up with the STUFF in my life and the culture we live in that I want to put our belongings in the front yard with a for sale on it and pack the family up and move to a 3rd world country.

I heard God tell me before our trip to Vnam to prepare to move. Finally, He is going to do it! He is going to send us to Vnam!!! I told My Dear and he did his preacher laugh. Have you noticed the preacher laugh? It is the laugh to celebrate what God had done. Billy told me about the laugh when he called My Dear (in the car with 2 preachers) to tell him that he had accepted Christ. I asked Billy what the fellas said and he said, "they laughed!" Hence-the preacher laugh. So when I asked if My Dear was ready to move-he laughed.

As I sat with all of those folks in the insanely hot room I waited to hear God tell me to go to Vnam. I understood our leader's love for the country and it was easy to love the people. The fields are so ripe with folks hungry to know! Surely they could use a homeschooling mama and a white preacher....in case you have forgotten Lord, we are portable.

My Dear tried out some Vnamese on skype and Amy said he was very good (which is just like Amy.) I asked her if he should relocate and she said yes. My Dear took the opportunity to ask me, "are you staying?" I knew it was a loaded question and I could not answer yes. I assured him that part of my heart would be in VN (Vnam) but my body will be in NV (our little town.)

When we returned home, we were greeted by cold, energetic folks in the parking lot of the church. My Dear is taking a team to Haiti this summer and after a missionary spoke on Sunday, I believe another team will be forming. It hit! When God said get ready to move He was talking about our church. We are to fulfill the GO part of Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation! Mark 16:15

Sunday, I went to step into our comfortable worship center. I immediately felt overwhelmed. I walked back out. I could not sit in that room with everything perfect when my brothers and sisters were in the heat worshipping with the chickens. Let me tell ya it was some worship too!!

God had laid this on my heart prior to returning home but I had forgotten until I stepped into that room. The two weeks prior, I had slipped my shoes off at the door to go to church. I was reminded by a friend, that I have to do what He is telling me to do! (I really like giving that advice but not so much getting it.) Again, I hear God say "MOVE!" "It is not about you and people looking at you-I am telling you to do this and when I don't want you to do it anymore, I will tell you." So, I found an old metal chair and walked myself in-late-sat in my ole chair and wept. Even a metal chair is exceptional seating from where I have been. But God is calling me to MOVE! Move out of my comfort zone- to be different-to give up comfort!

He is calling me to look up and look out for others. Do the little things! MOVE myself across town to assist a family. I need to MOVE my excuses out the door. MOVE the me out of the way. Yep, I'm MOVING! Taking baby steps, but MOVING cause I want to be on the "GO!" for Him.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

You Never Know Who is Watching


Just when I think my body is back to normal, I lay awake in bed. I am aware that the happenings of the trip have invited some spiritual warfare so please continue to pray for those you read about. So here is what has been on my heart to share with you.

Each time we left the hotel, we would pray together. When we got to Vung Tau we had enough room to stand in a circle holding hands right outside of the hotel. The hotel manager asked our translator Grace why we did that. Grace told me about her posing the question, told me she spoke English and prompted me to go to talk to her. Grace was our eyes and ears! She invited us to join in where God was working.

I walked into the lobby to check on Grace while the rest of the group waited for their dinner. I saw the young woman and went to talk with her. Because both of us had a strong dialect, I had to strain to understand what she was saying and I am SURE she had to do the same. I told her what I believed and then went back to our table to get a tract to take to her. I asked her to read it and she said she would.

She talked with Grace again. She told Grace that 2 people in her life had told her about Jesus. But 3 years ago, her boyfriend died while they were at the beach together so her heart had been hardened. In their talking, this young woman ask Jesus to be her personal Lord and Savior and she began a relationship with Him! Grace joined us at the dinner table to share the good news!

Sam and I would hug the hotel manager each time I saw her but then again Sam hugged everyone! The day we were packing to leave, this precious woman joined us in our circle to pray!

As I was walking down the steps to board our taxi/bus she held my hand as far as we could reach. She did not just hold my hand but we held tight. She stood on the porch until our bus was out of view and I watched and prayed for her as we pulled out. The tears came as I watched her stand there all alone. She was so heavy on my heart. I felt like we were her hope, driving out of her life forever. But then God laid it on my heart so gently, that we were not her hope, we left our HOPE there with her.

Her life is changed forever. Grace said she would return to the hotel occasionally and be able to encourage her. She also had suggested a church for her to attend in the area.

So what about you? Folks are watching and waiting to see Jesus in you! Are you pointing them to Him?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Time With Daddy

I am up 2 hours early this morning. So, maybe I am off still a little bit on time or maybe it was the chocolate that Nana left when she went home. Either way, I am up. I awoke with prayers of those who accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior in Vnam-the hands I held and the necks I hugged. Prayed for them today as well as the ministers and wives that blessed me.

With My Dear working outside of our home and my being at home full time, the children miss their daddy. On Wednesdays, he kisses them good-bye in the morning and gets home to kiss them good night. In fact, he comes straight through the door to get to their bedrooms before they are too groggy to know he was there.

If there is an event or camp, I try to busy them so they do not miss him. But then it happens, a break down. My Dear and I have diagnosed the problem as "QT." One little person gets QT and can not contain themselves. They need Quality Time with daddy! Daddy sweeps in to cuddle, talk, read, and sometimes lay down beside them and it may keep them up past bedtime but there is only one cure for the problem. Although mommy is good enough for the events of the day, they want daddy at night.

A mom mentioned to me that she could never leave her children like I did by going to Vnam. But now I know that I needed QT with my Father too!

God kept my mind focused on the people of Vnam while I was there. He comforted me with knowing Daddy and Nana had the fort held down here. He even allowed me to talk with the family via skype and many times, the children were too busy to talk.

He had so much to show me...so much to tell me... so much to remind me...and so many ways to lavish His love on me. I truly needed the QT!

Not until I heard the shouts of "There's Mommy!" at the airport, did I realize that I did miss those little darlins'! I ran to them and the tears came as soon as I saw their little heads sticking out of the same window of the van. It made it possible to hug all of them at same time! (Thank you God!)

I am glad to be home with my little posse but so very thankful to have this experience. QT with my Father was just what I needed to be the mommy and wife that He called me to be. Thank you God for continually investing in me.