Wednesday, July 15, 2009

El Salvador Mission Trip

She holds her arms up, her hair in pigtails, long lashes batting. How could I refuse her? I see her sweet face, and I would bring her home with me in a heartbeat if El Salvador allowed adoptions.

My mission trip to El Salvador was an amazing trip. It's a beautiful country with similar foliage and trees as Hawaii. Three ladies and I went on a Women's Ministry Mission trip to El Salvador and stayed with our Faith Missionaries Dr. Bob and Angelique Kendrick. I have to tell you I have not laughed as much, as hard and as often as I did on this trip. It's amazing how Christians can travel to another county and make an instant connection with another believer -- that is how God created us to be. He made us all different but made fellowship with other believers easy to attain because of the love we have for Christ.

We spoke at the University in El Salvador at a Women's Conference. Dr. Bob said he didn't put out a lot of publicity because they wouldn't have the room. As it was, the room we had was packed with 150 plus women. Women who were there needing encouragement and a word from God. I went to be a blessing, but was blessed more than I can explain. The University is a Christian University for medical and dental students. Dr. Bob hopes to add the only accredited Theological Seminary in all of Central America in the next few years at this location.

Women in El Salvador are oppressed. If they are beaten by a man, nothing is done about it. We saw women walking with baskets on their heads. Dr. Bob said he's seen women carry car batteries, live chickens, and many other things in those baskets. These women are hard working and precious.

The second day we went to the orphanage. This broke my heart because over half of the children were in the sick ward with a flu, and when we left they were testing them for the Swine Flu (H1N1). Praise the Lord, they didn't have it. It just broke my heart that there were sick children in there with no momma to love on them, hold their hair back when they were sick, wipe their foreheads or change the bed linens. I looked at all the little boys with their dark hair and dark eyes, and I thought, "Wow, this could very easily have been my son." So, while I fought back the tears, I loved on as many little kids as I could.

Our third day we had a women's conference at Chinemeca. Some of the women had been at the church cooking since 7 PM the night before! The conference started at 9 AM, and there were some vans packed with women who drove 2 hours just to attend this conference. Over 300 women attended the conference. That was humbling to me. To know that all these women took so much care and time to come, and I was responsible for speaking. I spoke on being a woman of Godly influence. It was something God laid on my heart when we chose the title of the conference, "Fearfully and Wonderfully Made -- A Women's Conference." Ms Sally and Angelique sang an amazing duet in Spanish. Ms Sally spoke on what it means to really trust God. Susan and Mrs. Lupe' gave their testimonies. It was an awesome day of fellowship and worship. One of the women who was at the first women's conference had brought her dad along with a van load of women from 2 hours away. This young lady had won a door prize that I had made. I had made some hand-beaded, hand-mirrors with a cross on it. She had that mirror in her purse and pulled it out and showed it to me with such pride. I was so relieved to see her again because God had laid something on my heart to tell her but hadn't had a chance. Now was my opportunity with the interpreter. I told her every time she looked into the mirror I wanted her see a daughter of the King of Kings, a beautiful daughter of the King of Kings, and she started crying. I just loved on her. I didn't know what else to do.
At this Chinemeca location, there is a Bible college of sorts where men can come on Friday and Saturdays and take classes for three years. Afterwards, they go and start churches. It's nationals reaching nationals.

Sunday morning, we worshipped in Chinemeca, and then we went to Achichilco, a very poor community. Dr. Bob said the first pastor at this church met with his brother and wife for three years and prayed and no one came. When people started coming, his brother stepped out of the sanctuary was killed. The pastor had been their intended target. The pastor fled the country in fear of his life. Now, Pastor Tito and his new wife Veronica are leading the church now, and it's growing. We were all so amazed at how clean all the children were for them to live in such impoverished conditions. Mrs. Lupe's church has a beans and rice ministry, and with the funds she brought from that ministry, we were able to provide rice, beans, coffee, milk, lard and a couple of other items for the 10 families in the church. They were so extremely grateful.
We left El Salvador the next day, but my memories of the children and the women will be with me for a lifetime.
Thank you, Merciful Father, for allowing me this opportunity to minister.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Saturday before Mother's Day is Birth Mother's Day

It has been forever and a day since I blogged on this site. For the spring my mom and I blogged our Bible study that we were leading at our church, and we truly enjoyed it.

But today is the Saturday before Mother's Day. Do you know what day it is? It is birth mother's day. For all those women who exercised one of the most sacrificial forms of love by choosing to give your baby life, then choosing a better life for your baby through adoption -- THANK YOU! Without birth mothers, women like me wouldn't not be able to be a mom. I have two remarkable birth moms to thank.

My daughter's birth mom who even though she knows she made the right decision still faces guilty emotions on a regular basis. She was so brave and bold and allowed me to be in the delivery room when my daughter was born. This was my only, first-hand experience with live child birth, and I treasure it to this day. We are blessed to have an open adoption, and even though we were in contact with Erin's birth parents a lot more early on, I still make attempts to send them things to let them know how she is doing and what she is doing. For those who don't know about open adoptions or understand them, they are not anything to be afraid of. If you are interested in adoption, you should educate yourself on a matter before you make a decision about it or make any judgment on it. Erin was a very sick little girl. She was in the hospital 6 times before the age of 3. I cannot express how comforting it was to know that I could pick up the phone, call her birth parents and ask about issues that might be hereditary. It was to my daughter's benefit that we were able to have this kind of relationship. I look forward to the day when Erin and her birth mother can meet. It is a day I eagerly anticipate. I want Erin to meet the woman whom she looks so much like, the woman who first loved her, the woman who made a sacrificial decision and made me a mom which I will celebrate tomorrow.

My other birth mother I've never met. I never got to meet. She is the birth mother of my son who we got when he was exactly one week old. She chose to have a closed adoption. Does that mean she doesn't love him, didn't love him because she doesn't want contact? Absolutely not. It's just that this might be the only way she could possibly heal most of her heart. I hope that at some point she will contact the adoption agency and reach out to us when and if she is ever ready because I have so much to thank her for. I have so much to tell her about this beautiful boy that she gave birth to. I have so many things I want to ask her and I want to get to know her as a person, an individual. She has enlarged my circle of influence by choosing us to adopt her Hispanic baby boy, and I want to thank her for that.

For those who have never gone through fertility treatments, miscarriages, failed adoptions, etc., count yourself blessed. For those who have endured and have become mothers despite it all, I know how you cherish those little cherubs entrusted to your care, and we may be told that our children are fortunate to have us, but we know that we are the fortunate ones.

Both of my children know their adoption stories. When they ask me to tell them a story, their story is the one I tell first because both are miracles and their stories need to be told.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Where the Spirit of the Lord Is...

there is freedom -- that is very true. Our pastor is teaching on prophesy and the end signs, and it has been so rich and so good and educational, but it has provoked Satan as I knew it would. He seeks whom he may devour. He has been roaming throughout our church for the past couple of weeks reeking havoc and mayhem. Pastor Rick has a 90 days focus for those who lead in Sunday school or other areas where we are going to be reaching out and ministering more than ever before, and we have missions conference during that time too. We have the Beth Moore Bible study on Esther. There are so many rich, growth opportunities in the next several months, and it is guaranteed to stir the embers of spiritual warfare.

My prayer is that everything will encourage Christians to entrench themselves in the Word, be diligent and on their guard, to reach out when the Spirit leads, and to forgive as the Bible instructs.

We had 40 women show for the Monday night Esther Bible study and 25 for the Tuesday morning. Great turnout, and we had a group from the church out of town, so there will be more next week.

I pray that God will remove any doubts any might have about participating. I pray that God will remove any and all obstacles to their attendance and to their doing their daily Bible study. I pray that God will move mightily among the members of our church and spark a revival. I pray that God will put a hedge of protection around our church leadership and their families along with protection of my family as well. For we fight against principalities and He has already overcome.
Thank you, Lord for being the Victor, our champion. Amen.

Friday, January 2, 2009

A 2*4 to the head

A meeting arranged solely by God happened today, and I was allowed to take part. Isn't it awesome when two or more are gathered in His name there He will be also? It doesn't matter whether you are in church, some one's home, a restroom, a restaurant, anyplace you can have a conversation...there He can show up. Today, it happened in Chilli's. A most enchanting lady met me to talk about a program that God had laid on my heart for young girls. She had a similar program she had created herself because of her heart for children. We began with this common thread, and we began revealing the blessings that God has poured out on each of us. We couldn't help but tear up when we spoke of how God had been faithful when we hadn't always felt like it. We noted how there had been times when we had been angry with God and yet He was closer still. It was comforting and encouraging to talk to a sister in Christ and hear of how God brought her through a very difficult time in her life. Like me, she wondered why we are so surprised how perfectly God's timing is and how He knows what is needed or required before we do. Why is that? He has proven Himself over and over again, and yet we are surprised.

As I said at first, God arranged this meeting. He wanted me to meet this lady, but not for the reason I thought. I believe a beautiful friendship has begun, and I believe God put her in my path because she is suppose to play a part in our Beth Moore's Bible study on Esther. I think she has a testimony that the women need to hear. Sometimes God hits me with a 2*4 like today, but sometimes He's more subtle. I'm thankful for the 2*4s. It's refreshing when God puts something so obvious it can't be denied. So often we search for "signs"and hints from God but often times we miss the most blatant of communication. There is no such thing as coincidence. God is not a God of accidents waiting to happen. He is God on purpose and a God who's always on time.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

2008 to 2009

Flashes of light, eruptions of noise rattling myself to the core, glitter falling from the sky, sparks of silver, green and red explode in perfectly timed sequences. With each dynamic display of color we say goodbye to 2008 and hello to 2009.

Now, safely into 2009, many look forward and make resolutions of how this year will be different and what they hope to change in the upcoming year. Some look in the rear view mirror thankful that 2008 is over, never to be repeated again. Some living in regret and with regret. Some remembering those who they lost in 2008 and mourning still.

As for me, I'm recovering from staying up till 1 AM, but feel blessed by God in 2008 and am eagerly awaiting what He has in store for me and my family and friends in 2009. In 2008, I went on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Italy with a girlfriend. It still seems like a dream. It is my goal one day to return to that beautiful country. God worked on my marriage, on my husband, and on myself to unite and make us stronger, more unified. He still has work to do on us in 2009, though. He continues to prepare me for "such a time as this," and I am getting closer and closer to confidently claiming His destiny for me. In 2009, I want Him to use me to effectively minister to my family, to teach my children about His love and His will. I pray that He will use me and my mom as we teach Beth Moore's Esther, and I pray that the growth from this Bible study will spur growth into the birth of a women's ministry at my church. I want to fulfill my destiny in Christ, to live to the potential He has given me. I pray for wisdom and insight and guidance, and I pray that God will bless me and my family and friends.

Thank you, Lord for the privilege of living in the USA. I pray for our government, my church leaders and those who have influence that you will work mightily in their hearts and will control their paths. I lift up my family to you and thank you for blessing me so richly with Patrick, Erin and Pearce and our beautiful home. Thank you, Lord for your grace and mercies that are ever new each and every day and free for me to claim. Open my eyes and my heart to Your will and your way. I love you.