Sunday, December 28, 2008


I updated my blog just for you. Merry Christmas!!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas everyone!!

Thank you all so much for those who sent money to contribute to things for the boys who are now in our home and hearts this Christmas. They were all like 5 year olds (even the biggest ones) was so much fun.

We gathered at Mami and Papi's house for Christmas Eve as is their tradition here. The table had been set beautifully, there were decorations and candles everywhere, and I got all kinds of sappy as I thought about how these boys had never ever in their life witnessed the special touches of "home" as we know it at Christmas time. It was so special. We each took our part in helping to prepare. I was in charge of Christmas cookies, David in charge of mashed potatoes, etc. We loved it. They open presents at midnight here and so the festivities of that began...I thought the kiddo's were going to die as they waited for the clock to get there. :)

Anyway, it was a beautiful night with family. We are so incredibly blessed to know them all.

As I sat around with Luvin and watched him settled and at peace, I thought about how far we'd come in just a little over a year. He's quite the little man these days, so polite and just inwardly settled. It's making my eyes tear up about every 5 minutes but I'm so honored to get to be a witness.

And the 3 guys who now live with us...Carlos, Eduardo, and Saul. Good things are happening, they are growing everyday in ways that matter. Funny how being surrounded by "good" people naturally kinda urges your goodness to ooze out. Watched Carlos stand for an hour and was the after Christmas dinner dishes with Mami the other night and thought, yep...beautiful!! They're all doing well and loved their gifts and loved getting to spend time here with terrific people.

Then yesterday we drove up the mountain to see our little guys and have a party with their family. It was a LONG ride as the rodes up there have been significantly damaged by all the rain we had here a couple months ago, but well worth it. They had made tamales for us and they were made with love in their kitchen as the holiday feast and so we prayed with every bite and ate them. :) So far so good, no effects as of yet, so I think we're safe.

The boys opened their presents and their parents watched with delight.

I LOVE CHRISTMAS. Seems that it makes us all better people in some ways. More about giving than receiving. We're willing to go the extra mile much easier than we normally do. We love from a deeper truer place in some ways as we sacrifice for one another. I like me better when my heart is focused on other people. Christmas somehow helps us do that in so many ways I think. Perhaps it's that Christ if Christ is in the middle of it, somehow we naturally become better people as we think and attempt to become more like Him.

I pray you all had a wonderful time with family and friends and that you are refreshed in both heart and soul.

I love you much. Merry Christmas from our whole "tribe."

Monday, December 08, 2008


Just received word lately that Luvin will be able to be here for Christmas...he has gotten the grades and good behavior to get permission to leave the property for a bit. I AM SO EXCITED to have him here with me. I haven't gotten to spend much time with him since he went to the other facility because he needed to have time to adjust and rehabilitate some from his street life and get in a routine with rules and such. We have visited several times, but he's not been able to leave the property for weekends or anything.

YAY YAY YAY...gonna be a house full of boys this Christmas.

For those of you who may not know, Carlos, Eduardo, and Saul have moved in and are living here now full time as well. So we're having fun with a Christmas tree and lights and baking cookies and allowing them a home this Christmas.

I look back at the times I knew God was leading me to invest in these little lives and am so grateful that I listened regardless of how much flack I received because they were the "bad" kids. I can't imagine missing out on this with all of them. I'm watching God change them each day and I am humbled to be able to play a part in any of this for or with them.

Sometimes all it takes is someone to believe that you're better than the way you are acting. I know I needed someone to love me in spite of my actions and love me into being better.

By the way Carlos announced to us out of the blue the other night that he wants to be baptized, and Eduardo went away to a teen camp with the church this weekend. Good things are happening.

Please keep us in your prayers as we attempt to love on and direct them in ways that are pleasing to God. It's a whole new world, but we're loving it!!

I'm a firm believer that a house is made for filling up...guess God believes my house is for filling up too. I like that!!

Blessings on you this day.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Miss Betty...

One of my favorite people in all the world passed away today.

She's gone to meet Jesus and Heaven is no doubt having a party...but the earth (and more specifically my heart) are feeling a tremendous loss!

There are certain people in your world that have secured such a spot in your heart that even though you know when their days here on earth are over and Heaven is certain you would love to be a part of ushering them there you know??!! Holding their hands as they take their last breath, saying the things that you say in moments like those, rubbing feet or hands, just being present as the days on this broken planet come to an end. She is one of those for me.

She just went into the hospital a few days ago and since then has been basically unresponsive. They discovered she had multiple myloma and then her kidneys weren't functioning well and last night she had a massive heart attack and so the medical personnel said they didn't expect her to live through the day.

For the past few days I have faithfully been receiving text messages letting me know her condition and two things kept running through my head. #1 ... I am sooooo mad at myself because I was just home and saw Miss Betty and I kept being "reminded" in my heart somewhere that I needed to go spend time with her and take her to lunch or something and I didn't do it. I got busy, distracted, selfish, whatever and it got bumped down on my to do list until the days ran out and I missed my chance. I knew better, I heard better...I didn't listen well to what God was trying to warn me of at all. So I'm reminded again today that the moments matter, they way matter. #2...I want to be there. If I were home or anywhere close I would have shown up at her bedside and I would have sat beside her for a bit nad reminded her that I love her so much. I would have thanked her for praying for me every single day while I have been here and for her commitment to praying everyday without fail for the mister that God would choose to allow me to walk through life beside. I would have laughed (even if she couldn't laugh with me) about all the crazy things she's said and ways she's made me laugh. I would have reminisced with her about good moments, sacred moments that God allowed us to share. Doggone it, I may not have done a single one of those things, I may have sat there silently and not been able to do a thing, but I WOULD have been there.

Some days being far away feels like a chasm too wide to cross. I love here. I so love being here. I love getting to do what I do. I love feeling like it matters. I just hate it when being here means I can't be there for moments like these.

Tonight though Miss Betty sees the face of the one she's spent a lifetime serving. For a long time we've all talked about how we want to be like her when we're her age. She was in her late seventies and still went to ladies class always...she attended Kid City...she was just a cheerleader in the lives of so many. You would be hard pressed to find someone who didn't just genuinely like this sweet lady.

I had the privilege of getting to stay with her for a couple weeks a few years ago after she'd fallen and broken her hip. We watched movies together and I slept in the bedroom across the hall and listened for her to yell if she needed help in the night and I watched her hobble every morning to a chair by the window to read her Bible and spend time praying.

She was SUCH a sweet lady. I miss her deeply already and cannot wait until I get to see her face again.

Thank you Miss Betty for all you added to the lives of so many of us. Thank you for the memories, for your heart bent toward listening to Jesus, for your faithful prayers, for your sense of humor, and for your realness that made anyone and everyone comfortable in your presence. Thank you for your love and kindness to everyone who knew you. You have left quite a legacy dear one. We will remember you with grateful hearts and an abundance of memories that will forever be company on the days and times that we miss you most.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

It's early Sunday morning and I'm in the den and there's not another sound in the's still dark outside and to be quite honest I don't see mornings real often when the sun hasn't even come up yet. I lean more toward the staying up way after it's gone down not getting up way before it's come up, but every once in a while this delights me. Circumstances have beckoned me upward from my warm bed this morning :) I am speaking at my uncle's little country church this morning and so wanted to make sure that I had my pictures ready for their sweet little selves to see.

Finding myself this morning just kinda sappy about all I've been allowed to be a part of just in the past few days. Friday morning I woke up early (that's twice this week, but please DO NOT think a habit is forming:) and had the privilege and I mean that so sincerely to go and spend some time with some gals who are in college at OVU and taking my friend Linda's bible class. She had asked me a while ago if I would do that and to be quite honest I couldn't wait to be with them. It's an age group I certainly have a heart for as they begin the journey and start putting their own walk into action away from mom and dad or whoever influenced them at home daily. They were delightful.

Then got to go spend some time at the Frock's...Sarajane has been knit to my soul for several years now and she is so wonderful about sharing the blessing of her dear family with me. Her hubby has become my big brother and her daughters are my neices in deep deep places in my heart. So my time with them is ALWAYS cherished.

Then Steve and his sweet wife Marcy fixed Ash and I a big pot of stew for lunch yesterday and we got to visit with them and play with their little guy Isaac. Keep that little guy in your prayers. He's been diagnosed with a rare "syndrome" that makes him VERY sick every 2o days or so with high fevers and just horrible aches and pains and he's only 5 so it's way hard on a mommy and daddy to watch. They could use your prayers.

AND THEN...last night I experienced truly a piece of Heaven on earth. I got to sit around a campfire with some of my VERY favorite people and watch the moon come up over the river and my words will never be able to paint an accurate picture of what any of that looked like. It was absolutely gorgeous and I don't use those words lightly. Sometimes God just outdoes Himself even you know and last night was one of those times.

It's been a great couple of days and my time here at home is winding down quickly. I will be leaving in about 12 days and that is always bittersweet. I can't wait to get back to my little brown people I love so much. I am sooooo ready to hug Francisco's neck and cuddle with my boys, but I will so miss this den and my nephews and my mom's treats just to remind me she loves me, cups of tea made with love, sitting near my heart friends here and just sharing about our walk with Christ and what He's teaching us, fall leaves, fires in the fireplace...

What a blessing to have so much of your heart live in two places and both of them carry such rich me remember that Lord when the leaving is difficult. This is a privilege!!

Blessings on you all...

Friday, September 26, 2008

Shout Out...

Well I've been back in the States for a couple weeks now and have gotten to visit my family a bit and be with people I love. That has been so nice. My sister is carrying another little bambino around in that tummy of hers and we wait with delight to watch God bring another sweet little being into our family. You've heard me say on here before probably that I have two absolutely adorably SWEET nephews, and one niece who has totally stolen my heart. I love being an aunt. love love love the thought of one more does nothing but overjoy me.

I am so incredibly grateful that my brother and his wife and my sister and her hubby have been so kind to me in talking to the kids about what I'm doing so far away and trying to make that a good thing in their eyes. We all miss each other A BUNCH, but they know why it's important for me to live in a country really far away while I miss a lot of their growing up. That is a huge gift that they've given me to remind them that while I'm not here I wish I could be and that the reasons for not being here are ones that are important for some other kiddo's who don't live the way they do. (Just as a sidenote if I had to pick one of the things that is the hardest for me to give up it's that...being on the sidelines for their games, and getting to be a constant presence in the dailyness of their lives, I would love to be able to be around more for their important stuff.)

So I have gotten to go watch one of the boys football games. That makes me an absolutely nervous wreck. They are 10 and 7 and they love playing, but for crying out loud do they really have to like run at each other that hard hit each other that forcefully and oh goodness I needed a valium. :) It's important to them though and therefore it's important to me.

Have also gotten to speak at a few places and meet some new folks which is always one of my favorite parts of the journey. Spoke at the Ohio Valley Opry last weekend and it was such a tremendous treat. The family that has organized it and kept it going in our area for the past 8 years is nothing short of tremendous talent...all of them, and their hearts as big as Texas, so I will consider it one of the greatest joys of this trip home to get to meet them and be among them for a bit.

Spoke yesterday to a group of high school students at River High School near New Martinsville West Virginia. Met a teacher and advisor to their Fellowship of Christian Students program at the Opry last weekend and coordinated with him a time to come and share with them and we had a great time. I am always touched to sit in a room with young people and attempt to encourage them to start now with living lives that are passionate about the things God is passionate about. I wish I would have known how "rich" a life like that was at their age. I will continue to pray for them as they are in one of the toughest mission fields on the earth while among their friends and they are trying to do what's right. So here's a shout out to all of you sweet ones that I had the privilege to be with yesterday. You have tremendous hard after HIS heart!!

This weekend we're headed to Indiana and then next weekend is the annual Women of Purpose Conference that I am blessed to get to be a part of so things are busy busy busy but filled with all sorts of good stuff.

Just wanted to check in and remind you all that you're loved by God and by me.

Keep on keeping on, there's a world out there that needs loved on and God uses our hands to do it. We are so honored God that You would choose to use us, may we have hearts and hands ready and positioned to be used by You today Lord.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Well...where to start...LOTS going on to update you about, so let's start here...

Spent a week with a dental team that came through Cadena de Amor and Medical Teams International.  It was fantastic.  I LOVED it!!  My job for the week was to sit by Dr. John's chair (a very gentle spirited dentist who came in from Oregon) and help translate, but truly by job title for the week was the hand holder for the scared little ones.  It was perfect for this heart.  I got to love on them a little bit, remind them that they would be ok, explain what was going to happen and hold their hands when it hurt.  I'm pretty sure if I could get paid to be an official "hand holder" I'd sign up quickly for the job.  Sorta ironic since I'm scared to death of the dentist as well.  I have NO idea where that came from exactly, but it's there nonetheless.  

The folks who came to help the kiddo's whose teeth are at times rotting out of their mouths were so incredibly special.  Their hearts to serve were so evident and it was humbling to have an opportunity to get to know them and serve beside them.  They treated 273 children in 5 days time.  Needless to say they worked tirelessly and served selflessly.  I am honored to know them.  

Shortly after they left, we moved into our new house.  It is near the city, in a very safe part of town, and it has space enough for us to live and to be able to allow Carlos, Eduardo, and Saul to come and live with us as well.  It's a beautiful place and we truly believe it was a gift from God. The way it all came to be is in fact proof of His providence.  I have two "interns" turned into "full timer's" living with me now and they are a tremendous gift as well.  I'll do a seperate post about them at a later date.  You need to know them personally.  I am excited to begin this journey with them and ask for God's guidance and figure out where it leads.  

We're gearing up for one of Steve's first teams to come down with his organization, International Agape Missons.  We'll do some work in Yamaranguila, help fix up a pediatric clinic which treats the street children and some of the least fortunate kiddo's in the city, we'll build a house for a lady who works for us at Casa, distribute food to a community or two, visit the boys home where Luvin lives and love on them, visit the dump and feed those precious folks there.  I am certain it will be a great trip.  

Please continue to keep us in your prayers as we transition and fundraise and all that comes along with all of that.  The barrel is empty at the moment and in our humanness it is easy to worry and concern ourselves over where the electric money will come from, but God is always on time and when I am down to the last bit He sends help just in time.  It's such a HUGE lesson in trust and depending upon Him right now.  When all is said and done and I pillow my head at night, I am reminded, God is faithful and we rest there.  

I appreciate you all so much and your help that allows me to be here living out a dream. Blessings dear ones.  

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

One of the things I do almost everyday is log onto this page and go to the right with the links and hit the Beth Moore blog link...I'm a groupie, I am.

I would do every single one of her bible studies, listen to anything she's ever done, read anything she's ever written, sometimes two or three times. I believe with all of my heart that she is annointed and boldly and courageously speaking the word of God in profoundly powerful ways in a day and time when we need someone to stand up and speak it because it's truth whether we like it or not.

I could share so much about what I love and appreciate about her heart for Christ, but today I just wanted to highlight one thing from her that I continue to see her write and hear her say. She primarily ministers to women and in her bible studies, on her blog, etc. she uses this line often.

"I love you and I am so blessed to be your servant."

That hit me this morning. You know so often I am well aware that my "job title" for this moment in life is to be a servant to these little brown souls that I have the opportunity to serve, but as I read that this morning, I couldn't help but think how God has given me the opportunity to be your servants as well.

I know full well that so many of you wish that you could be here among the kiddo's and people you've grown to love. If some circumstances were different, many of you would be.

I just wanted you to know today that I love you and I am so blessed to be your servant.

Please know that I take very seriously and consider it a tremendous privilege to be here. I know it is a gift, and while I am reaching and touching it is for your hands as well and always propelled with more purpose because of your prayers and support.

Just a humbled and honored servant today...who loves them so much...and loves you too!!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Just a note this morning to touch base and say hello to all of you who are faithful to check this thing no matter how sporadic I am with it at moments...

Have a dental brigade here this week and am working with them to hold hands and tell these sweet little souls that things are ok as we are extracting rotten teeth and putting fillings in others. The doctors who come have touched me deeply already in just a 24 hour time period. Their gentleness and desire to be here is evident and even when they don't speak a word or cross the barrier with words they have found a way to do it in so many other ways already. It is beautiful to watch them use their talents to help some kiddo's who have pain from never using a toothbrush ever.

You should see their eyeballs when the needles and drills come out. They have never even had a tootbrush in there and then this big hands and instruments are flying into their mouth. The doctors do not have an easy job.

Yesterday I sat beside a little girl who was terrified and she would look at the dentist through tear filled eyes and say, "ok I'm ready." Then when the doctor started to open her mouth and put the needle in she would clamp down and shake her head no. Then we'd try again. She was so sweet you couldn't get upset. This is HARD stuff.

I mean seriously who likes the dentist. I have some dentists in my world now that I love, but I do NOT like them so much when instruments are being plunged into my mouth. :):)

It's a great way to spend a week. Loving on some kiddo's who need help in these ways. There are lots of moments I've learned too while they're sitting there in those chairs to talk to them about God as well. Got to hold that little girls hand yesterday and tell her that even now while I'm a big girl, I get so scared sometimes and in those moments I ask God to give me courage and peace. That these are opportunities for my heart to grow bigger because when I conquer my fear this time, my heart gets bigger and doesn't get as scared the next time because I know God was with me and I remember.

Sweet stuff. I love being with these people in case I haven't mentioned that lately!!

Much love and blessings all over your day.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

You can't live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.

John Wooden

Monday, July 21, 2008

I was listening to a Louie Giglio talk last night that someone had given to me. I had listened to it one other time several months ago but found my heart saying amen to everything he said as silent tears ran down my cheeks.

He talked about the fact the church ought to be one of the most "unsafe" places on the face of the earth. Not talking about being a lunatic or danger for the sake of danger, but that we as the church ought to be going out into the most unsafe places in the world.

He mentioned a quote from a 14 year old girl that had come in the form of a letter and it said. "Hi Louie, my name is Jessica (can't remember what her name was for sure but you get the point) and my friends and I have a band. We go into hell and we pull people out!"

We go into hell and we pull people out...what a tremendous description of our calling. Don't know if you've looked around lately but there are some places that are hell on earth. Chances are you won't have to look far to find one.

Wonder how long it's been since someone looked into your eyeballs and said...yep you march yourself right on in there to hell and you help pull them out. It'll be messy and there will be pain and at times you might fail...but it's still worth your effort.

Wonder if instead of sending our children to church and expecting them to come away with a safe faith that behaves well and to christian schools to attempt to keep them from becoming tainted by the world and to social circles where the "good" kids hang out...wonder if instead we begged God to grow them into crazy God give them permission to get a little messy and try some things big enough that without God in them they will surely fail, I just wonder what that might do to a world full of hell on earth if we taught our children that our calling was to march into hell and help pull people out.

And don't even get me started on a church that might choose to start empowering people to be about that mission.

That's God's kingdom come to earth. May your kingdom reign Lord, start here please and please start now.


Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Changes...

There are so many things to say in this one letter that I am clueless as to how to many sentiments that need to be expressed adequately that will surely end up lacking. Always a daunting task, knowing you owe so much and have so little to offer. All the more reason to love a God who takes the little you offer and turns it into something I'll just ask Him to do that here and trust that His sufficiency will hover over these words.

Karen and I came as a team to the children's home in the fall of 2005. We started the journey in the spring and summer with funds and plans being made and so every year at that time we take a look at where we are and our desire to continue our work here. It was the commitment that we made when we began that we would commit a year at a time and would always have the option to do something else if that's what we felt God was leading us to do. In October of this year, we will have been here in the country for 3 years.

Allow me to say that it has been 3 of the very best years of my life. 3 of the most difficult, 3 of the most heart wearying, 3 of the most grueling emotionally, but 3 of the most growing changing fulfilling passionate years of my whole life. I have learned to love from a place deeper than I knew existed. I've prayed through sobs of desperation now unlike anything I had experienced before. I've cuddled up so tight with some little souls, that I'm not sure where my heartbeat ends and theirs begins, our hearts have just kinda become one in so many ways. I've combed lice, cleaned vomit, wiped up poo poo from the floor, all things that I could never have done before, my stomach is weaker than weak. I've also learned the "I love you more" game, the mountain of kisses game, the herbie - every color in the world game. Above all else, I have been taught through grace and patience how to be a mommy. These kiddo's will always hold the most precious of spaces within my heart because among them God grew a momma heart that will hold them so tightly for the rest of my days.

For the past several months though the staff here and the IRC board have known that I will be transitioning from my full time role here at Casa. That certainly doesn't mean that I will be walking away from their lives. I will come to visit and do anything I can to help if and when it is needed. I just feel called to a different form of ministry in the country at this point in the journey.

Every year when we bring teams down we spend our week visiting the hospital and the state run orphange that you've read about before on here and the mountain villages where people are sick and hungry. We spend time among the people and it is one of my very favorite things to do. I feel called out there among them. So, I want to schedule my days, weeks, and months to include more of that. I have an opportunity to go and spend a few hours a week with the teenage girls at Casitas Kennedy (the state run orphanage) who never get to leave there because the children's homes don't want to take them because they are too old and have too much baggage. So I will be starting a program next month to go in and invest in their lives for a few hours a week to remind them that they can "beat the system" and that they are worth it. I am way excited about that.

I will be spending a day a week visiting the hospital and especially helping with the babies with hydrocephaly. Attempting to start a program for the mothers who have just miscarried where they recieve a "prayer shawl" reminding them that we will be praying in their time of tremendous loss while they recuperate in a large hospital room where their beds rest right beside mothers who have delivered perfectly healthy babies who are crying and cooing right next to them.

I will spend days of my week on the mountains finding families who need help and attempting to find ways to meet that need more consistently than a few weeks out of the year. Adopt a family programs possibly or food drive through sacrifice, etc.

Have plans to work with the street kiddo's who haven't been taken in and cleaned up yet and who may never be who need the love of Christ as much as any of them. We're looking at ways to safely feed them a couple times a week and share some time with them and build relationships.

I want to spend some time in some of the private high schools setting up service learning programs. Some of the rich kids here in the country have no idea the "other side" exists and so merging the two is incredibly important for everyone. There is so much potential as we all know when we ignite passion within young people.

New things are happening, plans are being formed, God is giving my heart passion for things to come and I am excited for all that is yet to be.

Three of the biggest FOR ABSOLUTE SURE things that I'll be involved in are...

1) providing a "haven" for 3 guys who have grown so near and dear to my heart. They are like my little brothers and they have sooo much potential to be men of God with some help and guidance. They live near the Casa property now and ever since we have come to this country God has put them in our lives and I have heard Him whisper over and over again, "help them." So they'll be coming to live in a house that I rent in the city that will become my "ministry house." It will never be mine, it's all God's anyway, and He will show me what to use it for and when. I will begin by putting in 3 bunks for these guys and allowing them to call this place home. I will also open it up to folks who are wanting to come and minister here on a longer term basis so that they can have a home to serve out of.

2) and I am supremely excited about this...for the past year and a half or so you've read some things and certainly heard me talk about my little Larios family. I love them so much. They have gone above and beyond to serve me and people that God brings into my life that need help and I have watched from a distance at moments the way they live their lives. I am humbled beyond my ability to say so. Mami and Papi Larios started an organization twenty some years ago called Cadena de Amor (Chain of Love) to help children get back and forth to the States for medical treatment that they couldn't receive here. Essentially without help they would not make it. So Cadena arranges for their visas, finds a hospital that will donate their care, secures an escort for the child and sometimes their family, arranges their transportation and gets them to the States and back for treatment. In the past 20 years or so they have helped more than 8,000 children. They get no fanfare, there is no hype, they just set their hearts and minds to serve and help and it is beautiful. For so long they have done so much of the work without much adequate help. They both have private clinics, Mami is a dentist and Papi an orthopedic surgeon, but they both donate the first hours of their days to this volunteer effort. They wake at 6 to pray together, spend until about 12 doing volunteer work, then go to their clinics everyday from 1 until 8 or 9 at night. Lives lived well and I am grateful and honored to be invited to be a part of what they are doing to serve people. So I will be joining the "Chain of Love" team to help in whatever ways God allows me to do so.

3) And equally as exciting, a new ministry will begin working in Honduras, which also includes some dear people to my heart. My friend Steve Jeffers and some other folks have felt called to come and invest in life in Honduras and help the suffering as well. They have asked me to be their on the ground coordinator for what they will begin here and we are dreaming together of what that will look like. Steve's ministry is called International Agape Missions and he has done mission work in various countries, including Indonesia and others, and is a member of the disaster relief team that is called upon when disasters happen all over the world. He is a man of faith and he chases after God's heart and I am overjoyed to be able to work with he and his team.

Transition is always bittersweet. Excitement for the future and sorrow at leaving these sweet kiddo's to pursue it. Trust me when I say that if I didn't know this was of God I would never have been able to leave them and walk away. It still is one of the most difficult things I've ever done and I know it is from Him. It's difficult to leave something you've poured so much of your heart and soul into.

I would certainly appreciate your prayers for the next couple of months as we all transition. Please pray that for all the ways that Satan would like to wreak havoc that he will be stunted in every attempt. Pray that God will use us all in the ways He most wants to use us and that we will listen to His voice alone and follow His example.

Above all else please pray for the kiddo's here at Casa. Pray that they will be protected by His almighty hands and cradled in His arms of love as things change for them.

He is faithful.

Thank each of you so much for the ways you have encouraged and supported both me and this project. I pray you will continue to support this project and this girl as things look a bit different but this hearts goal continues to remain the same.

Called into his kingdom and compelled by love to live there. My hearts desire is still and prayerfully will always be to love others into His arms in any way He gives me to do so.

Blessings on all of you. Continue to seek His face. Much love.

Friday, July 11, 2008

It's late here and it's quiet and for the first time in a while I have a cup of hot tea in my hand, a candle lit, some soft praise and worship music playing and God and I are alone in the stillness and that feels good. I've decided tonight to be still. Truth is, that I've allowed myself to get buried again. Goodness it makes me so mad at me when that happens, but I find myself here far more often than I'd like to admit. Buried and at total unrest. Perhaps you're familiar with that place that feels like the world is swirling and you cannot stop your head for long enough to just be still and even when your body is your mind isn't.

I got an email from one of my "adopted by heart" brothers today with some of the kindest encouragment I've received in a while. Didn't have much to do with me, and everything to do with seeking the kingdom and I needed reminded that was my job on this earth. He passed along this quote to me in reference to some of the "fighst" I'm feeling in regards to some things my heart is witnessing right now and it spoke. It just perhaps is it's own post tonight without any explanation needed from me.

It was written by a Danish pastor, Taj Munk, who at the end of WWII found himself one of the only outwardly vocal opponents of the Nazi regime. He saw what they were doing and all the horrors they perpetrated and got angry. This is what he wrote...

"What is, therefore, our task today? Faith, hope, and love? That sounds beautiful. But I would say, courage. No, even that isn't challenging enough to be the whole truth. Our task today is recklessness. For what we Christians lack is not psychology or literature - we lack a holy rage - the recklessness which comes from the knowledge of God and humanity. The ability to rage when justice lies prostrate on the streets, and when the lie rages across the face of the earth...a holy anger about the things that are wrong in the world. To rage against the ravaging of God's earth, and the destruction of God's world. To rage when little children must die of hunger when the tables of the rich are sagging with food. To rage against the senseless killing of so many, and against the madness of militaries. To rage at the lie that calls the threat of death and the strategy of destruction "peace". To rage against complacency. To restlessly seek that recklessness that will challenge and seek to change human history until it conforms to the norms of the Kingdom of God. And remember the signs of the Christian church have been the Lion, the Lamb, the Dove, and the Fish...but never the chameleon."

Make us reckless Lord, in all the right ways, please call us out of our complacency and excessive abundance and please Lord help us live for more than ourselves. Please start here...right here in this heart, and then use this heart to speak and live with boldness and courage to affect change for those whose voice may never get heard but whose cry pierces your ears tonight and breaks your heart. For the times we've ignored their cry and sat in our selfishness forgive us. Help us God never to want to blend in but to stand up and live called out. Create within us a holy anger that compels us to a reckless life sold out to your kingdom. Please start here and please start now. Amen.

Monday, July 07, 2008

When God sees someone abusing his wife, betraying her husband, corrupting a child, or otherwise perpetrating injustice, it makes him mad. Anger is the healthy response of a holy and moral God to the unholy and immoral deeds we perpetrate against one another.

Some theories of social justice and the spiritual life are modeled more on Aristotle's god - the "Unmoved Mover" - than the God we know in Jesus. When thousands are starving because of ethnic cleansing in Darfur, homeless because of recent flooding, or being aborted and abused, anyone who can be "unmoved" is worshiping Aristotle's impersonal god who is without feeling.

Anyone who knows the God revealed by Jesus of Nazareth has to feel something of God's outrage at the sight of innocent children suffering. He feels seething anger over the sordid things human beings do to one another. He should be enraged. Cry out for justice to be established.

"Give me 100 people who love God and hate sin," said John Wesley, who founded the Methodist Church, "and we will turn the world upside down for Christ!" Dr. Jack Arnold quoted that line from Wesley in the final sermon he preached in January 2005 - collapsing and dying in his pulpit as he moved to its conclusion - and said, "I think I could find 100 men and women who love Christ in America, but I am not sure I could find 100 men and women in America that hate sin." I have been haunted by that line since reading it. I fear he is correct.

I fear we are so sophisticated and unmoved by evil that it doesn't make us angry. We'd rather do lists and observe rituals. We prefer to fight our church battles over whose doctrine is sounder than to follow Jesus into unpleasant places for the sake of caring about prisoners, prostitutes, and pushers.

Is there a parent reading this who would not be enraged at the person who seduced his daughter or hooked her son on cocaine? Is there anyone so cold and indifferent to the welfare of your own flesh and blood that you would be "unmoved" that your child has thrown away innocence? Made memories that will haunt and terrify for the rest of life? If you could receive such news with the calm of a statue, it is only because you have a heart of stone!

God has a tender heart that is passionate for his sons and daughters. If anyone has caused you to think that anger or getting mad is a wrong-headed thing for Christians, rethink that notion.

And get mad about something.

-- Rubel Shelly --

I was sent this article this morning after sending out a few emails just crying out with frustration to those who are near my heart. I am so trying to sort out what you do with the anger at watching so much of this.

I felt myself starting to get really angry a couple weeks ago when one of our interns Kalie was in the hospital downtown to have her appendix removed. I would be going back and forth from the hospital and every night I would see a young gal standing out there prostituting doubt for food to feed her family. I felt so mad. Mad for her not mad at her.

Then I watched 5 little boys, that I love like my own, climb up into my car and scour it for any sort of food we may have in there, after we'd already given them bags of food. They were so hungry.

I was so angry as I stood and watched. Angry at me. Angry at all of us. Angry at a society that convinces us the "right" thing to do is grow our 401K and save so that when we die we can have A LOT of money to give to our children, so that they can save and put away into their 401K and make sure they save enough to give to their children.

While just a 6 hour plane ride away mother's are watching their children die, with absolutely nothing to give to them in that moment. Does anyone see a vicious cycle that is wrong here??

I'm afraid that sometimes it's not just the perpetrator doing nasty bad things that perpetuates injustice. I'm afraid that we perpetuate it too.

Mom and dad, please know that I am as serious as I have ever been in my life right now. I don't want your money when your time on this earth is over. I will have been grateful for everything you have given me on this earth, but I will not need your pocketbook to treasure every one of those memories. Please spend my share now. You give it to somebody who today has nothing and has no hope of ever getting to save a penny, because they live day to day attempting to survive. You trust God to take care of me when you're gone, because He will. He always does. You hear me shout a loud thank you for loving me and for teaching me that God is in control of this life. I know that sometimes Him being in control has required some serious sacrifice from you. I know He'll have rewards waiting in Heaven for that. I'm sorry that anyone has ever attempted to make you think that to be good parents you owed us that. You do NOT owe me that. I would far rather know that while you were here you attempted to give of yourself and you left with nothing to pass on then that you saved to pass something on for my sake. So excuse yourself from that burden and live giving to those things that you're angry enough about to do something. That will make me prouder than any paycheck at the end of your days. Shame on us. Shame on all of us.

Maybe if we just start somewhere. Maybe getting angry enough to see it is a start.

Monday, June 23, 2008

The mountain of kisses of my personal favorites!! :)
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Got to see my boys on Saturday...always bittersweet right now. Francisco told me numerous times that he was ready to come back to Casa de Esperanza. Rip this heart out!!

We stayed just like this for much of the few hours we spent with them. He gave me "mountain of kisses" on my cheek and hugged the stuffin's out of me.

We miss each other soooooooooooooooo much. Pray for us please!!

Blessings on your day.
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Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Fab Five...

Well as most all of you know by now, tomorrow will mark 3 weeks ago that things significantly changed around Casa and within the family God has built here within these walls.

When Casa officially opened in June of 2006 our first babies to enter these halls were five brothers whose father was in prison for alleged homicide and whose mother was unable to feed them. Essentially they were taken into government care because they were starving and needed help to be able to live.

In God's divine wisdom and providence, He allowed them to call this home. I will never forget the day we walked into the room at Casitas to decide whether this was the case we were going to take or not and Marvin was sitting at the table and just started grinning from ear to ear. That was it. Karen and I were both done and so we looked at each other like yep think we're gonna have to take them.

Everyday since then has been filled with adventures...sometimes hilarious, sometimes tearful, sometimes just plain fun. It has been quite a journey.

I remember the first week they came, Antonio hated white people. :) He cried non stop and we wondered if he would ever stop. To watch him smile and giggle and love on us now is GOOD stuff. He's come a long way baby.

Mario...awww sweet Mario, he hit and kicked and screamed and cried and pulled our hair, and Karen and I would sit on the floor with him for hours during the first few months reminding him that we loved him and that he was going to be ok. He was so angry. To watch him at peace now singing his little heart out, he loves to sing, is God's grace and nothing less.

Francisco -- yep can't go there today. I'll post a part 2 about these sweet boys tomorrow and continue to fill you in over the next few days.

Seems appropriate to celebrate God's faithfulness to us and to them and to acknowledge the precious journey God led us on together.

My momma's heart aches for them in ways I never knew existed...but I would not give up one moment of this ache not a single moment if it meant that I had to give up a single minute of getting to live with them and love and be loved by them. It has changed me in a billion ways and it was one of life's greatest privileges to be able to attempt to serve them for a time.

Please pray for them and for us as we all transition. We all miss each other. The kids bring it up often and the boys call frequently wanting to just touch base and remember we're here and we're ok.

As much as it hurts, I like it that there's an ache and an empty spot. I think it serves as a reminder that we all loved deeply. That God created something here that meant something to all of us. That He was present and that He melded us all into a family no matter how hodge podge it looked and so I'll bear the ache with a sense of gratitude and pride that I was blessed to be a part of any of this. That God would invite us into something so sacred is beyond humbling.

We love you all and are strengthened by your prayers and support. Blessings on you this day!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Today is my parents ??? anniversary. Pretty sure it's like 36, who knows I lost count. It's a long stinking time that's all I know.

I'm 31 and I think they were married for several years before I came along, so yeah 36 sounds about right...I could be wrong.

Anyway that is so very much not the point...the point is that all of my life growing up I had the privilege of living in a home with parents who loved each other. You know those kind of parents where you make YUCK noises when they walk in and kiss each other when you're little and then grow up and realize how tremendously grateful you are that they just really like doing life together.

I know there have been plenty of moments when one or both of them could have given up cause times were hard, but they didn't. They held on through times that were difficult, when they had no idea how to parent these crazy kids God entrusted to them, through times when our family was hurting, through times when it would have been easier honestly to quit sometimes.

I know now at 31 what a gift it is to be able to go home to one house where mom and dad still live. Not just live but live in love with each other still after so many years and experiences together.

I love you guys. Happy Anniversary. Thank you for loving each other and allowing us to grow up knowing you did.

Sunday, June 15, 2008


Not long ago, while on a retreat with some precious folks, I was asked to spend some time journaling and taking some time to reflect and be quiet before God. One of the questions we were asked to ponder was...consider the greatest gifts of grace God has given you and list the top 5.

Truth be known, the question merited some serious contemplation because we are talking about the 5 greatest gifts of grace to your world. HUGE!! I don't know about you but in light of being given FAR beyond anything I deserve choosing five of those seemed pretty significant.

So I went through the list of blessings and settled on the phrase "gifts of grace." While I have been given so much, there have been a few tremendously significant things that have spoken grace to me unlike anything else ever has.

Getting to walk out a calling that is SO much bigger than me and live out dreams with God here in Honduras is high on my list. I know I should have been disqualified from EVER getting to do anything like this. I should have been the last one chosen, and yet, here I am in a country with people I love supernaturally and children who have become my own and as I stand back one word comes to mind...grace, nothing but God's gracious kindness to this girls life.

There are some other things on the list, which would take way too many words to put on this blog, so for today I'll focus on one person that has spoken grace into my life and reminds me often that God's goodness is abundant.

Somewhere near the top of my list I had to make, right under my salvation and walking righteous with God because of the blood of His Son, was the name of this dear one and the relationship that we are privileged to share. At a time in my life when I had just failed at most everything and was rock bottom in a lot of ways, God divinely appointed this lady a place in my life and I had no idea all that would come to mean.
Truth is by all forms of logic she should have given up and not paid any attention to my messed up self. In terms of the wisdom this world gives I was in many ways a hopeless cause and a rebel in all forms of the word. I had decided at that time in life that I was done with God and fed up with religion and was tired of hearing about what I should do and watching next to no one do it. I was angry and hard and failing...
She believed when I couldn't, prayed when I wouldn't, listened for hours while I questioned and vented, loved when I didn't receive or return it well, made time in her tremendously busy schedule to drive to Athens to meet me for lunch and invest into my world, she was the hands of Christ, the heart of Him and somwhere in the middle of all of that, I caught her passion for Christ and I felt His love.
So many people have been such a BIG part of my faith journey, but if I had to pick one that was grace personified, she's it.
She reached out and believed when I didn't deserve it and nothing logical merited it. She just doesn't operate out of logic. She's got a Jesus heart and that made her heart move toward this one that needed His love and she decided to be a conduit of that.
Since then, she's modeled for these eyes a faith that moves mountains while abiding in Him. She has been tender in moments when my heart has been broken and tough as nails in moments when my stubborn will was keeping me from Him. She's prayed me through doing ministry here and almost everyday I open my email to a note from her that encourages me to chase His heart with everything in me.
So today on your birthday dear one, may you be abundantly blessed, wrapped up in Him...may He honor you beyond your wildest imagination for all you've invested in me, and may He thank you in ways I'm not able for the difference you've made in my life.
I am so grateful for this day...when God allowed your life a place in this world, so that one day your heart and life might bump into mine and change the course of my path forever.
Thank you for loving Him the way you do. My life is one among many who have been changed by watching.
Happy Birthday.

And Amen...

May God bless you with discomfort…
At easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships,
So that you may live deep within your heart.

May God bless you with anger…
At injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people,
So that you may work for justice, freedom and peace.

May God bless you with tears…
To shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection,starvation and war,
So that you may reach out your hand to comfort them
And turn their pain into joy.

And may God bless you with enough foolishness…
To believe that you can make a difference in this world.
So that you can do What others claim cannot be done.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Pray Saints...

I can not even imagine...but I know that they could use an army of praying people to hold them up. I read this last night before bed and just couldn't wrap my head around it. Pray on!!

From Fox News -

The 5-year-old daughter of contemporary Christian music star Steven Curtis Chapman was struck and killed Wednesday by a sport utility vehicle driven by her brother, authorities said.

The girl, Maria, was hit in a driveway on the family residence Wednesday afternoon by a Toyota Land Cruiser driven by her teenage brother, said Laura McPherson, a spokesman for the Tennessee Highway Patrol. McPherson said no charges are expected.

"It looks like a tragic accident," she said.

She said several members of the Chapman family witnessed the accident, which happened in Williamson County just south of Nashville. The brother apparently did not see the little girl, McPherson said.

She did not have the name or exact age of the brother, only that he is an older teenager.The girl died later at Vanderbilt Medical Center, hospital spokeswoman Laurie Holloway said.

Chapman, originally from Paducah, Ky., and his wife have promoted international adoption and have three daughters from China, including Maria.

Chapman has won five Grammy awards and 51 Dove awards from the Gospel Music Association.The singer's Web site said that Chapman and his wife, Mary Beth, were persuaded by their oldest daughter to adopt a girl from China.

The experience led the family to adopt two more children and create Shaohannah's Hope, a foundation and ministry to financially assist thousands of couples in adoption.The Chapmans did missionary work at Chinese orphanages in 2006 and 2007, according to the Web site."After our first trip to China, my wife and I knew our lives were changing — our eyes and hearts were opening to how big God really is, and we have wanted to experience more of that," Chapman says on the Web site. "We've really wondered whether or not we should just go to China and stay there. But I don't think so. I believe God is saying, 'I want you to go, get your heart broken, your eyes opened, and then take this story back to the church in America and around the world."'

Chapman also has released a book about being a father entitled "Cinderella: The Love of Daddy and his Princess."

Saturday, May 10, 2008


Well mother's day is tomorrow and while I am so incredibly grateful to be here with my mom and celebrating with her this year...I also miss my kiddo's. Pretty honest statement that when you choose to move away and do mission work that your heart forever lives in two places. Part here, part there, forever and always. That's hard to explain other than to say that when you choose to leave all those you love, you don't do that part way, God creates within you an all or nothing kind of going. While your family and friends remain and you miss them so deeply, you know you were sent and asked to go to invite those folks into your heart as well and so God births another family for you there. I am grateful to my toes for both.

Today though I just need to take a moment to write a note to the ones who call me "Mami" with a joy and exuberance that warms you all over. The ones who want my shoulder to cry on when they're hurt. The ones who want me to lay down with them at night and sing to them and pray with them. The ones who hug the stuffin's out of me and it reaches my soul. The ones whose beds I've now knelt beside and begged the demons to flee and whose bedframes I have touched on a thousand occasions and asked God's Spirit to hover over. The ones who've sat on my lap or kissed my cheek or grabbed my hand and reeled this girls heart in forever.

My dear ones,

Though you won't be able to read this in English (perhaps Mami Ashley or Mami Karen) will read it to you, or maybe we'll print a copy and read it to you someday when you're older and can understand this better.

I just wanted you to hear today that I love being your Mami. I love when you climb up on my lap and just want to sit there cause it feels safe. I love when you smile at me and tell me you love me. I love when you hold my hand because you just want to touch mami. I love it when we play the "I love you more" game and you finish with your I love you to the moon and back in your little Spanish accents. I love singing Jesus loves me with you. I love our trips to town when it's just you and I and we talk about things that matter to you. I love when you beg to sleep with Mami and we lay there before we fall to sleep and you just chatter while we snuggle. (those are some of my favorite times on earth). I love laughing with you. I love the moments when God allows me to pray with you and to hear your pure little hearts pray. I love to watch you praise Him when you sing with all of your hearts. I love to watch you being kind to the others that God has placed into our "Casa family." I love when you bring home your papers from school and want me to have them. I love when you ask me repeatedly to sit with you at lunch or dinner or anytime in between. I love your hugs. I love your mountain of kisses game when you cover my cheek with your kisses. I love doing life with you and watching you grow and change and become the people God is intending for you to be.

While I'm away from you now and when I'm away from you in the future you need to know that a day will NOT pass when I don't feel so incredibly proud to play the part in your life of "Mami Jenny." When I get to Heaven after I have thanked Jesus for my salvation, I will thank Him for letting me be your momma when you needed one, and for using your sweet little lives to touch places in my soul I didn't know existed. You have changed me.

You are precious to my heart and you are forever as close as my heartbeat and my prayers.

Mami Jenny


Friday, May 09, 2008

"People who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are usually the ones who do."

Friday, April 25, 2008

Checking In...

Well I've spent a couple weeks at home just living life near some folks I love a bunch and it has been GOOD for this girls heart. I've sat beside some of the people who remind me without saying a word who I really want to be. I've spent lots of time with my Bible open and my hand just caressing the page as I have sought God in ways different than I ever have before. I've rested. I've read. I've journaled. I've watched the sun rise and I've watched it set. I've listened to the birds make noises and the trees rustle and it has been sacred time.

Today I am going to a Women of Faith Conference in Columbus. As God would have it, some dear saint, has donated a ticket so I can go and be a part of that. I'm going ALL by myself, (I have NEVER done that before and would never have wanted to) but this year it sounded exactly like what I needed to do. Just Him and I. Will sit in a chair all by myself and just listen to Him and soak.

I am relishing in my time with Him right now. Felt like I was parched from the lack of doing so over the past couple of months. I don't know if any of you can relate, but I'm guessing something in that could resonate with a time in your life. Seems as though there are some times in life when you get no heart relief except through those times with Him and Him only. I'm a people girl to the hilt and so it's usually not difficult for me to just feel Him in the middle of all my favorite folks and give me a church setting with whole bunches of people loving Him and I'm in Heaven. Not so right now. It's completely different. I want Him, my Bible, a space in the quiet where I can just hear Him and be with Him. I thought something was really wrong and now I'm just starting to feel like it's way sweet time with Him.

He is faithful. He continues to be so incredibly faithful! I just want to encourage you that the God of the universe can handle your moments of doubt, your months of distance, your questions, your brokenness, your bitterness, your rebellion. All of it. Your God knows how to handle your heart and all that is within it.

I find peace there today! May you do the same.

Blessings abounding on you this day.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


You know it's one of the hardest places to be...that place of invisibility where you feel as though no one notices...notices your effort, notices your advice, notices your presence, notices your behind the scenes diligence, notices what would be missing if you weren't a part of it, notices...well just notices, noone notices.

Makes you think every once in a while that perhaps you should stop offering your effort if no one will notice doesn't it?? Oh come on we've all been there. Well if it doesn't make any difference, then I don't need to ____________, and if matters so little then I'll just show them what happens if I just do nothing. I've said it. I've said it lately even.

And then in this still small voice you know that someone bigger than you and all of them...well He notices. And you're working for Him anyway.

Nicole Johnson does a beautiful job in this short little video of showing the sacredness of invisibility. It is a sacred place to be. May we embrace it as such!!

He notices.

Here's the link

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Worth the Watch...

Just wanted to alert you to a video I watched this morning that was touching to say the least. Very good. It's a Nicole C Mullen video called "One Touch."

Take a minute today and watch it. We're all dying for a touch in the middle of our broken places. This is a beautiful representation of that.

Blessings and Love.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Have you ever wondered how hurting so bad could ever be a part of God's plan for your how to reconcile Him being my "protector" and choosing not to protect me from certain things that have broken my heart...

I'm in this new stage of relationship with God where I have more questions than answers about what following Him all the way to the cross means. I'm sure some of you are very familiar with this place, when God chooses to reveal Himself in harder more difficult ways because deeper requires it. It hurts like heck I've decided...and it's causing me to evaluate so much about what it requires of me to follow Him all the way to the cross.

What does that require when people falsely accuse you... when do you fight for justice and when do you stand silent before your sheerers? Do you ever fight for justice for yourself or are you only to be a voice for justice for others?

Do you speak truth when you know it or do you just wait for God to expose truth in His time? Where do I get in the way of God's timing?

How much pride factors into so much of what I decide to do with my life? Daily where is it hidden from my eyes and so visible to others?

How do you watch a dream die and relinquish it without getting angry or bitter?

If the cross means death and I am supposed to die, then it no longer matters whether I'm right, whether I'm offended, whether I'm hurt, whether I'm applauded, whether it feels good, whether I'm _________ because I'm dead and my "rights" died with it.

it just no longer matters -- but the road to the cross is long and it's hard and it's bloody and it's messy and you sweat and you cry and you struggle and you want to stop and quit and you break and you crumble beneath it - before you ever get to the dying.

So pray that I'll follow Him all the way there, that I'll die to myself...and that in the middle of the journey there that I'll honor Him and that I'll rest knowing that my "desire to please Him does in fact please Him."

no matter how messy it may look along the way.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

This I Know....

Just a few things that I KNOW that I KNOW after I've spent a week back in the villages among the people...

I can sit beside the suffering and forget all about what color we are or language we speak and all at once this undeniable bond forms in spite of every difference we share...

Suffering has a way of putting everything back into perspective...

Arms are arms no matter whose they are when the pain is so great that you just need someone to hold you while you cry...

Dirty faces covering up hurting hearts have a way of removing your pretense and pride and I welcome that...

Sharing moments in sacred spaces like these does something that you have no words for...

Jesus lives among the brokenhearted, lowly, humble, and hurting and I see Him more clearly everytime I choose to live among them as well...

I want more than anything in this world to serve them well...

Monday, March 31, 2008

To Keep You Posted...

Hey all, for any of you checking this on a regular basis (again my apologies offered), we have a group here now...MY PEEPS ARE HERE!!!! The group from my home church has come and they are terrific people who have loved and supported us through the living here and we could not have done what we do without them. And now...we are hitting the ground running...

We were at Didasko children's home on Saturday, spent the day at Casa yesterday with our kiddo's, today we'll be off to the hospital...Casitas Kennedy...and the blind school, so our days are being filled with the blessing of giving yourself away to some folks who steal your heart and end up giving you so much more than you could have ever given. It's a beautiful thing.

If you'd like to stay up to date on the daily brother Chris (yeah I adopted him too, I told you I LIKE big families) and besides that he's just doggone good stuff, is posting on the Captured Heart website, missions tab.

Here's the link, Missions Trip Updates, click and read...enjoy...and most of all please pray as we continue to attempt to be the hands and feet of Jesus.

Be blessed as you are a blessing!

Saturday, March 08, 2008

May I Just Say...

She was beautiful...the day was blessed by God...Dorian was thrilled to behold his bride...and we were humbled to be a part of it.

I will post more pictures very soon, as for now the happy couple have set off for Costa Rica for 10 days.

Some things you just know were planned by God before the beginning of time. This is one of them!!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Your Praying Hearts...

Before another day passes I want to just alert you all to a family that could certainly use an army of prayer warriors.

Most of you who know me well, have heard me talk about Mark and Lori Connell. They are pretty near and dear to the heart of this place. Our children adore them, and we're not far behind in the adoring category. We adore them too!!

For a long time now they have been feeling God tug on their hearts to be down here full time being a part of the work in Honduras. Lori is the executive director for the Mi Esperanza project which many of you are familiar with that helps impoverished women learn a trade and begin to be able to provide for their families through the skills they've learned. That is a very poor description of the multitude of things they're accomplishing, it's amazing, but you can check out more about it at their's linked on the right of this page. Mark is nuts, that's all there is to it, but he's also got a heart as big as Texas and he would serve till his knuckles were raw and does sometimes. He is joy personified and we love having him around here. Every summer he helps TORCH teams, he for lack of a better word "mentors" some little guys in a poor community called San Miguel, he serves and when someone recently described some of what he was doing, one of his very good friends said "real ministry just speaks for itself huh??!!" It's true, and it fits him.

Anyway, future plans are to build an artisan center here in Santa Ana to teach and employ even more women and so we've been singing Mr. Rogers theme song to them for so long begging them to be our neighbor's and live across the street from our project here at Casa. Handy huh??!!

So just a few weeks ago they made an announcement to come on board full time in Honduras with Mi Esperanza and various other projects here and we are DELIGHTED to say the least. If you're looking for a good place to spend a few bucks right now they could use some help getting their things down here and all the start up expenses that come with a move like this. If you're interested let me know and I can get you some more information on all of that.

As so many of us know, Satan never turns his head for a moment to things like a passionate devotion to Christ and a willingness to leave it all and go and so the attacks have begun. This last week or so their family has had a rough time and that's a tremendous understatement...I could tell you what I know about it, but Lori did a beautiful job of sharing her heart and so I'd encourage you to read what she wrote on her blog.

Then I'd encourage you to be a part of an army of prayer warriors who are pleading fervently for the heart of this sweet new mommy who should be getting to enjoy the stuffin's out of her baby right now who is struggling in no uncertain terms. Pray for her dear parents too who are watching their baby struggle. Not an easy thing to do we know. They could just all use some folks to hold them up right now.

Rise up my friends it's time for battle...better yet let's bow on behalf of them!! We'll win the battle there. He is faithful!!

Is it too late???

So my question is, is it too late to make a New Years Resolution??

Cause if it isn't I am RESOLVED to doing better about this daggone blog. Goodness, I used to write on here all the time and update you all. I have been so slacking, and it's not for a lack of things to tell you about. For one thing, our internet (which comes from satellite) has been undergoing rough times...slow as Moses times, so it takes 3 hours for a post to upload sometimes, which talks you clear out of the notion of wanting to post anything for sure. However, it is NO excuse for not filling you in on some way wonderful stuff that's been going on.

So my resolution is this...(Ashley inspired me)...that at least half the days of the month I'm putting something on here. 15 posts a month, yep gonna do it!! May be a one liner some days ... but you deserve better than I've done and so I'm buckling down, fighting off the demon that interferes with our satellite signal and producing some posts.

Think I'll start now. Might do a few today to catch up and we'll see what happens from here.

Much love!

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Spoiled Rotten...

You know every once in a while, God shows us how incredibly spoiled we are and we have the sense to recognize it, and then there are those times in life when He overwhelmingly seems set upon it being in your face in HUGE ways. When your blessings could not be denied if you wanted to try, and where you feel so incredibly small as you run through the record of your spoiledness.

It's a fact, I am a spoiled girl. Sometimes a spoiled brat, I'd like to think most often I'm just a spoiled girl who is learning how better to handle that and share it and be a blessing because of it. I could spend a lot of time listing just the ways I'm aware of that I have been blessed far beyond anything I deserve, but it would leave out soooo many ways I still don't have sense to see, and it would take an awfully long time to list just the ones I do.

God help us. Help us to never believe we have any of this because we've done something to deserve it or because someone came along before us and was able to create for us a land that was entitled to blessings while others weren't. Help us to understand, to really get that You are the giver of every single one of them and you've asked one single thing of us in be a blessing as we have been blessed.

Help us to understand that better every day that we live!!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Well today was the 31st day and we were supposed to be able to go and visit Luvin today. I called the gentleman who has Luvin in his center and he told me that unfortunately a couple weeks ago, Luvin had one of his "moments" when he decided he wanted to run away from the center where he is and so it was decided best if we give him a bit more time to adjust and reprogram some of the junk.

We set up a date and time for a week from Saturday to visit, so we're looking forward to that. They have him in an intense bible program right now to help him work through some things that his heart needs to sort out. He will love getting to learn the Bible, he is so sensitive to things of God. I've said for a LONG time that he's going to be a little preacher someday. May it be so Lord that he preaches you whether from a pulpit or with his life.

Anyway just wanted to give you an update, he is doing well, and is safe and sound still at the center, praise God. We appreciate your prayers on his behalf so much and beg for you to continue. God is going to do amazing things in the life of this little guy, I have believed that fro the moment he looked into these eyes and asked if he could call me mom the first day I met him. Good stuff in there, God's just uncovering the diamond that's been covered up with dirt.

I can't wait to watch him shine!!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of God our Father is THIS...

and it feels as pure and undefiled as anything I've ever experienced, guess He knew what He was talking about!!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Prayers Please...

And by the way, we started with chicken pox yesterday in the house, so if you could all just pray us through that potential epidemic that would be great. :):) I mean with 2 or 3 it is a potential problem, but with 15 well yeah, nuff said!

All will be just fine but for now Fito is scratching and itching with those little lovely bumps all over his chest and arms and we're waiting to see who else will develop them in the days to come.

We appreciate your prayers. Love you all.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

I have so much to write to you, and pictures to show you, and I can't find my camera cord at the moment and no one has one to fit my camera so say some prayers it shows up and I'll get on that, but I wanted to pass along this to you today.

Maybe I'm passing it along cause I read it a year or so ago and loved it and when I read it this week I realized how much my heart needed to hear and proclaim it again. I was touched in deep places the first time by it and maybe in deeper places this time, as I realized how desperately I want this, to live this way, be this way, surrender this way, and how difficult that is to do most often.

I've printed it out and put it in my journal to read and reread and reread and reread, maybe daily...think it sums up the best of anything else I've read what my hearts cry really is when it comes to walking this thing out passionately.

So I pass it on to you in the hopes that it touches you as well...and causes you to live differently in pursuit of Him.

A Call to Radical Commitment
by Rick Warren

Today I am stepping across the line. I'm tired of waffling, and I'm finished with wavering. I've made my choice; the verdict is in; and my decision is irrevocable. I'm going God's way. There's no turning back now!

I will live the rest of my life serving God's purposes with God's people on God's planet for God's glory. I will use my life to celebrate his presence, cultivate his character, participate in his family, demonstrate his love, and communicate his Word.

Since my past has been forgiven, and I have a purpose for living and a home awaiting in heaven, I refuse to waste any more time or energy on shallow living, petty thinking, trivial talking, thoughtless doing, useless regretting, hurtful resenting, or faithless worrying.Instead I will magnify God, grow to maturity, serve in ministry, and fulfill my mission in the membership of his family.

Because this life is preparation for the next, I will value worship over wealth, “we” over “me,” character over comfort, service over status, and people over possessions, position, and pleasures. I know what matters most, and I'll give it all I've got. I'll do the best I can with what I have for Jesus Christ today.

I won't be captivated by culture, manipulated by critics, motivated by praise, frustrated by problems, debilitated by temptation, or intimidated by the devil. I'll keep running my race with my eyes on the goal, not the sidelines or those running by me. When times get tough, and I get tired, I won't back up, back off, back down, back out, or backslide. I'll just keep moving forward by God's grace.

I'm Spirit-led, purpose-driven and mission-focused, so I cannot be bought, I will not be compromised, and I shall not quit until I finish the race.I'm a trophy of God's amazing grace, so I will be gracious to everyone, grateful for everyday, and generous with everything that God entrusts to me.

To my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, I say: However, whenever, wherever, and whatever you ask me to do, my answer in advance is yes! Wherever you lead and whatever the cost, I'm ready. Anytime. Anywhere. Anyway. Whatever it takes Lord; whatever it takes!

I want to be used by you in such a way, that on that final day I'll hear you say, "Well done, thou good and faithful one.

Come on in, and let the eternal party begin!"