Wednesday, March 31, 2010

"If You Save One Person You Save The World."

Unfortunately I have heard very rude remarks and criticism from people when they see that I have adopted, that I want to keep adopting or that I want to help starving helpless children in another country. Someone close to me said, “Do you really think you can make a difference in Karamoja.” My response: “No, but God can. I just want to be His hands and feet.” I think God will use our family for the Karamoja people but I think more importantly is that I have 5 beautiful kids that I can make a huge difference in their lives everyday. I have lots of feelings about this topic, and I ran across an article in “The Complete Guide to Celebrating the Messiah in the Festivals.” I love this article and it says exactly what I am feeling so I would like to share it with you. It is a little lengthy so I apologize. I encourage you that if you do not have time to read it now, to read it when you have 5-10 minutes:
Saving One Saves the World
Sometimes we don’t want to help because we think, “What can helping on individual do when there are so many in need? So we end up doing nothing. But a Jewish Proverb states: “If you save one person, you save the world.”
How can that be? This proverb came from the story of the Egyptian princess who saved one baby from death in the Nile. Little did she know that baby would grow up to be Moses, the man God used to save the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, to receive God’s Law, and to make His people into a Nation. In turn, Jesus the Messiah came from that Nation to save all mankind from slavery to sin. So in reality the princess, by saving one person saved the world.
The following story by Ester Normand shows how this proverb can work today.
My husband and I had been married only one year when we flew to Nigeria to teach high school English and bible. We were glad to move in near my parents who were still missionaries after thirty-seven years.
Three months later Alimo (Ah-LEE-moh) came into our lives.. She was a starving, brain injured, physically handicapped six-year-old. She couldn’t stand up or talk. Her mother had kept them both alive by gathering palm nuts in the wild and selling them in the market, but was no longer able to carry Alimo around with her as she worked. Naked and emaciated, Alimo sat all day in the dirt.
My husband and I immediately took Alimo into our home. She was so thin that I did not think she would live through the night. But she did, and with food and affection, grew quickly into a cute, giggly little girl.
We sought help for her. Our goal was to get her to be able to take care of her own basic needs and to communicate in some way. We tried physical therapies such as massage, stretching, and patterning as well as many educational activities. Nothing we did seemed to help.

Meanwhile my husband suffered recurring illnesses: allergies, sinus infections, and frequent long bouts with debilitation malaria, then parasites and hepatitis on top of everything. He became bedridden and after a lengthy illness showed no signs of improvement. We had no choice but to leave the tropics.
We could not get a visa for Alimo. My parents could not take care of her for they were already on medical leave In the States. We had to leave Alimo with a volunteer we had barely met. I tried to block out feelings of anxiety, confusion, and helplessness. I had tried to save one person and could not even do that!
Later that year, my dad passed away, and my mom went back to Nigeria and took in Alimo. Since Alimo’s care and therapy was a full-time joy, Mom decided to admit other children to the program. She soon had six children and as many caretakers in her home.
Meanwhile, because Alimo had drawn public attention to the existence of handicapped children in the area, the local churches established a “special” school just fifteen miles from my mom’s home. And six miles from the school, the Edeh family founded Ministry of Mercy, an orphanage for motherless babies, physically handicapped and brain-injured children.
In Nigeria widows usually become destitute, especially if they have no children to support them. The Edehs hired widows and other disadvantaged people to care for three to ten children each. Thus the children and adults formed family units where both were loved and wanted.
We tried to save just one child, but God had bigger plans in mind. Even though our stay in Nigeria was short and difficult, our love for on child set in motion two groups which are now saving more than six hundred!
Hope you enjoy that article. Just a reminder of how big our God is.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Waiting, patience, and trusting.

Waiting......ever been there? Probably a stupid question. We have all been there. Seems to be the place I find myself right now; waiting on a lot of things. This can be a place where our faith is tested. God seems to make people wait in the Bible to trust in him. Countless times in Psalms is says "Wait on the Lord." In Exodus God used waiting on Him as a test for the Israelites. They didn't do so well. It seems to be so much against our human nature to trust and wait on God; to have full reliance on him. If you are like me you like to take things into your own hands when things don't seem to be going the way you had planned. This is the case with Saul in Samuel chapter 13. You should go read it but for right now I will paraphrase the story. Chapter 13 takes place after Saul has been appointed king over Israel (the people) because they so badly wanted a king over them rather than letting God be their king. God gives them what they want and Saul is appointed king. Well in chapter 13 the Philistines are getting ready to fight with Israel. The Israelites are intimidated by the size and power of the Philistine army so they begin to flee and hide any place they can. Saul being their leader sees what is going on and knows that Samuel will be there soon to give a sacrifice to God and ask Him for deliverance and victory over the Philistines. When Samuel doesn't show up when he said he would (or when Saul thought he should) Saul takes things into his own hands and decides to make the sacrifice to God himself. BIG MISTAKE!! God had made it clear in the law (Exodus, Deut. and Lev.), that only the priests were suppose to do such a thing. Ironically, Samuel comes right after Saul completes the burnt offering. Samuel of course is very upset and explains to him that his kingdom will not continue because he disobeyed God.
I have to say that I can really identify with Saul. There have been so many times in my life when I was waiting as Saul was and I would start to get fearful about what would happen right now. Rather than waiting on God for his appointed time I felt I needed to take things into my own hands. I have realized that when I don't wait on God then I don't get to experience His power, and provision. I can miss out on seeing God work in wonderful ways.
Why is it so hard to trust in God? Why can't I just rest in His timing and purpose? Guess I am a fearful control freak. The great thing about this all is that God in his grace lets me live to see the next chapter in my life where my faith grows and I can see that I need to trust rather than fear. Where I need to rest in his timing and not what I think should be happening on my time table. Right now I have a peace about the waiting. I am trying to rest in God and not in myself, my emotions, or my circumstances. In God's infinite grace I am realizing that waiting is not such a bad place to be. I really used to always say I hated waiting but this time I am learning that it is a great place to be. Relying on God for everything and trusting in the unseen.
It sure is hard to learn from our mistakes but it can be such a sweet thing how God continues to give us grace as we grow and continue to trust Him in the waiting and walking by faith.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


I know I haven't really been updating how things are going. I don't really have much to say and not a lot of new news to share. We are still working on leaving by the middle of June and I know I have a lot to get done before then. We have sent out our letters and prayer cards so that was a big mile stone! Hooray! We have gotten all of our medical stuff done with the again hooray!! Immunizations next....
We did have a meeting with all the people going and that was super exciting so be together as a team and talk about our move there.

I also would like to share with you that God has been doing some amazing things in my life and in our family's life. We feel He is preparing us for this move and to minister to these people, and it has been very comforting and reassuring. It has also come with fiery darts, but this has made us grow stronger and for that we are grateful. Our faith continues to grow in His grace and we are overjoyed.

On a side note: In effort to get in a routine I am going to try to blog on Wednesdays.
Thanks for all of your prayers!!


Monday, March 1, 2010

Where I am at

After 3 different non related people suggested a sermon series to me I decided I should stop using the excuse I was too busy and listen to them. I must say that God used these sermons and these particular scriptures to confirm a lot for me and to challenge me with not only my life, but with how we will be making decisions for Karamoja. I encourage you to listen to them and meditate on how you can respond to these radical statements Jesus calls us to.

Hope you are all doing well, and I will be getting the long anticipated letters out soon!
We do have a website in the making if anyone would like to check it out. It is still in construction, but I am excited that people will be able to get all information in one place!