Monday, October 31, 2011

$40.00 on candy?

Pinoy Sagagawea
In just a few more hours our precious girls will begin dressing up in the costumes that they chose last week.  It is the one time of year when your imagination gets to run wild and you can be anything you want to be.  Last year our sweet Naomi got a taste into the American thing called Halloween.  I remember the look on her face when I took her to the store and she got to pick out a costume.  Strange for a Filipino to watch us Americans run around in costumes going from store to store saying "treat or trick".  It is even more strange that people give you candy when you say that.

Last year Naomi dressed up as an Indian.  I really don't know if she had ever seen one before, but that was the costume she chose.  Tonight, she will be a policeman....or woman?  Out of all the great costumes put in front of her to choose, she chose to be a policeman...seriously?  Oh, well...it is her night I guess.



Even mom gets in the fun!
My mind keeps thinking of how strange it is for someone coming from another country to watch us.  I heard somewhere that the average American will spend $40.00 on candy during this time of year.  Wow!  $40.00 just to give candy ( treats) out to children who knock on our doors and say, "trick or treat".  I remember how fun Halloween was for me growing up, but now, as an adult I have to take a step back and re-evaluate things.  Mostly, because, for me, my eyes have been open to something much greater and I am so glad they have. 

All over the world ( and here in our country as well) there are children who will have no chance to experience a trick or treat.  They will never be able to pick out a costume, carve a pumpkin or go to a church to play games.  All the while, we spend our precious money buying extravagant costumes and tons of candy for the children who are given that opportunity because they are in a family.  Because someone cares enough for them to make sure that tonight is the best night ever.  One question still haunts me -if one is able to spend $40.00 on candy, is one able to give $40.00 to help a child experience something that will last longer than one night? 

When we were in the orphanage in the Philippines we gave Naomi a chocolate bar.  There was a knock on the door and our Jacob was there.  We invited him in and gave him a chocolate bar. That one bar given to Jacob changed his life.  That is what God used.  It wasn't $40.00 worth of candy. It was a dollar's worth. 

Some wonderful people have been praying for us and supporting our cause.  Today, I found out about an opportunity for those of you who write or know someone who does.  Please visit:
http://writingwhilethericeboils.blogspot.com/ to see how you can be entered into a drawing to win a 4000 word manuscript critique.  Our family was also featured in the local newspaper.  You can view the article online or buy a paper on Wednesday. One more exciting thing happening in the Worthey home is our radio interview.  There will be a 10 minute radio interview on Thursday, November 3rd at 10:00am.  When I get the details, I will post it for you. 

I leave you with a picture of the girls last Halloween and also with the question...can you spare $40.00 to bring an orphan home?

Lorrie




Sunday, October 30, 2011

Gifts that we hardly feel worthy to pick up...

Drawn by Naomi (Then Mitzi)
When we started this journey the Lord made it clear to us that He was going to lead and that He was going to provide (read our very first post). We brought a few loaves and fishes and through you - He's multiplying it.  I'm chuckling to myself now thinking "..why did you doubt?" - He has always proven He's more than able.

God has used you to care for orphans and has moved mountains on their behalf this week. Just look at what has happened just this week:

  • We were matched with THE child the Lord laid on our hearts by the Philippine government -that was not a given people... But it was to the Lord ;)
  • There was a SURGE in giving this week when the need came ...He's always just in time....
  • This really blew me apart - another family at roughly the same stage as us in their adoption journey gave to ours - 
 I still don't know what to do with this extravagant love the Father lavished on us through this couple and all of you that showed up this week.  It's really humbling that God is doing exactly what He said He would do when we said yes to Him and to Jacob.  We are humbled, we are undone when gazing back at the events of the week - rivers beginning to part, walls with cracks appearing...  We're not there yet -there is still much, so much yet to be done.  But know this - We thank God for all of you.

Marshall and Lorrie

Saturday, October 29, 2011

In Anticipation I'm Remembering...




I can't believe we are getting so close to bringing Jacob home.  I woke up thinking about it this morning and remembered what it was like bringing Naomi (then called Mitzi) home.  Many of you that are on your own adoption journeys have asked us "what is it like when you finally came home?  I want to give you a snapshot.

This is video of us about to depart from Ninoy Aquino airport in Manila with our precious cargo - our daughter.  I want you to notice two things:  Naomi's cautious but excited and optimistic attitude, and the look on Lorrie's face ... Moms and Dads - this says it all.

Marshall

Friday, October 28, 2011

Keep it Coming


We want to say "thank you" to all of you who have already helped get Jacob a little closer to home.  Some of you have donated multiple times. Some have linked our page to your facebook page.  Others have called your family and told them our story.  Many of you have prayed for Jacob and our family.  Yet, the need is still here - it doesn't just go away.  Here is how YOU can keep it coming....

 It is exciting around here.  Watching the kids carve pumpkins, bake the seeds and pick out fall festival costumes brings joy to my heart.  It is truly a fun time of year.  I love watching the look on Naomi's face as she runs across a pumpkin patch.  The simple things in life bring her the most joy.

At the same time I am reminded of our Jacob who waits for us to "fetch" him.  I am reminded of the room we were placed in at the orphanage and the knock on the door. That was our invitation to our son.  That particular day, that simple knock and those precious words, "I love America, take me with you.:"  That, you see, is the day our life changed forever.  Yes, we were at the orphanage to bring our daughter home, but God had a bigger plan for us - one we could have never imagined. 

The other night I wrestled with God.  I was mad.   Mad because we were in this situation. My conversation with him went something like this..." God, why us?  Why would you call us to do something this big?  Why are we  the ones who have to reach out and keep asking those we know for financial help?  I don't like this one bit Lord.  We need the money now and there seems no way to get it!  The funds aren't coming in Lord. You know the needs around here, the broken car, Naomi's citizenship papers that we need to get before we can travel.  The mountain seems so big and us so small.  WHY are we doing this?"  His answer was "why not". 

Some would say that Marshall and I have chosen to adopt Jacob and that we are "doing what we want to do" as it is a choice.  I want to tell you that it isn't a choice - it is a command and shame on us if we don't.  When we met Jacob and he spoke those simple words to us right then God was working.  It is God's choice for Jacob to be in our family.  From the beginning of time, God knew Jacob would be in our family - he had a plan for Jacob's life and that plan was to be a Worthey.  So now, we step out on faith and watch as God does His work.  However, that doesn't mean it is easy.  And, it doesn't mean that I don't talk to God often telling Him that I really don't enjoy what is happening here. 

When we turned on the computer yesterday we saw that there had been a donation to our family.  It came from a family who is in the process of adopting .  Yes, they are waiting for their child and somehow they came to help our family.  I keep hearing, "Oh, I really wish I could help, but I just can't ...in fact, I would love to write you a check right now."  I don't know the circumstances of your life, or what is happening in your family, but I do know that most of us in America have some extra money put away for "a rainy day".  One of my friends told me a little while back that the reason people don't give is because they haven't caught onto the vision yet.  They don't know what you know Lorrie, they haven't been in your shoes or seen what you have seen.  Here is just a little glimpse into what I have seen and the changed life I have witnessed.

It is really simple.  Changing a life and making a difference doesn't mean that you have to go to extreme measures. It doesn't mean that you must sell all  your possessions and give them to our family. Here's what it means...

We got an e-mail from our adoption agency yesterday saying that they will let us pay the first portion of our fees to the Philippines first before we have to pay their portion.  So, it looks like this. - we need to come up with $4,300.56 to send to the Philippines right away.  As of this morning we have $3,470.00.  That means we only need $830.56.  Once we get that money, we will be able to send a check to the Philippines and they will send Jacob's stuff over to get it into our government. - Basically, the ball will be rolling.    After that, we will still need $3,500.00 to finish up the adoption and of course, the plane fares.  If 83 people could donate just $10.00 each, we would have enough money to get the ball rolling. 

Wow!  That's exciting to know that for just $10.00 you can be part of changing a life.  So, we are asking you, would you please go to the chipin button on the left of this page and send our family a $10.00 donation right now?  Jacob waits and God is calling you to help. 

May God continue to go before us and may everyone see HIS mighty hand

The Worthey family

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

We've Got the Joy Joy Joy Joy Down in our Hearts

Today is the first day of a new beginning.  No, we don' t have our Jacob home yet, but we know that he is ours.  This is huge! 

Last night our son , Noah, told us that the thing he feared the most in life was not being matched with Jacob.  To quote him, " now I have nothing to fear".  Today takes on a brand new meaning.  Noah also shared that the night before last he had a dream that we had gone over to the Philippines to see Jacob.  When Noah saw the pictures of Jacob that the Philippines sent he said, "mom!  Jacob is wearing the same shirt in the picture as he had  on in my dream"!  Amazing stuff to watch the faith of a child.  I know that Noah and Jacob will be the best of friends and brothers.

Some of you have shared your hearts for our family on my facebook page.  Thank you for the kind words and the prayers.  We have felt them. They have carried us through the days when there was no call and we didn't know the outcome of things.

 I just realized that there was no link to this blog on my facebook page.  I was seriously wondering why there hadn't been much response by my friends on the blog and now I know why - there wasn't a way to it.  Now, there is a way to get to this blog.  Please join the site and pass our information along to everyone you know - seriously!

This picture was taken on the day that Naomi was to go back to 
thePhilippines the summer she came over here . 
Her expression says it all.

We have been asked what's next? When will he be here?  How far along are you in the process?  So, I will do my best to answer those questions.  When we told the Philippines that we accept Jacob's referral , they expect the last of our payment.  In fact, we got an invoice today for the rest of the adoption fees - $7,500.00 and some change.  Until we can come up with that money, nothing will move forward.  Once we are able to get the funds together, the Philippines will send over Jacob's information (birth certificate,etc...) and then we wait for the approval on our government - The I-800 to be exact.   Once all of that happens, we wait for "the call" again saying that we can travel.  The rest will be history.

Naomi having a good time in the pumpkin patch













































































We really have no idea the time frame.  We keep thinking that if everyone we know - and those we don't could just donate $10.00 of their money to our cause we would have enough to begin the next step.  Sounds SO easy - but that isn't happening.  Here's the honest truth:   If you have been waiting for the "official" match or just to see if it will really happen,  it is time.  We need your help.  Without you -it won't happen.  Would you just give $10.00 to Jacob?  If you do, I know you won't be the same watching him grow up or hearing the stories of his life.  You won't be the same because YOU helped him get here.

May God bless all of you as you continue to follow our blog and help us get the word out!  We can sing it now. "I have the joy, joy, joy , joy down in my heart"!  Can't wait to teach Jacob that song!!

Lorrie, Marshall, Joshua, Noah, Hannah, Naomi and our Jacob who waits - will you help him join his family?








Tuesday, October 25, 2011

How the Lord moved today..no really he moved big time

San Paolo, Leyte, Philippines
Today brought God news... We were contacted by the Philippines today.  They have matched us with Jacob and sent us a placement proposal.  Now you need to understand... this was not a given, there are MANY children that are waiting to be adopted in the Philippines - many.  So what are the odds that they would match us with this specific child that imprinted himself on our hearts when we were first there? From the world's perspective - pretty slim.  But you see as  redeemed people - that is not our perspective.  We stepped out on faith to pursue one child, this child - Jacob (see earlier post: I Like America Take me With you).  We stepped out because he laid it on our hearts.  Just look at what he is doing people!  This Psalm says it all for us - celebrate and praise him who is able to do immeasurably more than we can think or ask for....


May the LORD answer you in the day of trouble! May the name of the God of Jacob set you {securely} on high! May He send you help from the sanctuary And support you from Zion! May He remember all your meal offerings And find your burnt offering acceptable! Selah. May He grant you your heart's desire And fulfill all your counsel! We will sing for joy over your victory, And in the name of our God we will set up our banners. May the LORD fulfill all your petitions.
 
Psalms 20:1-5 
 
Sing with joy with us!!!
-Marshall and Lorrie

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Jordan, Jericho and the little meter

Jordan River at Flood Stage
River - raging. Walls towering.  I wonder what the Israelites must have felt, standing in front of the Jordan at flood stage or staring up at the walls of Jericho while standing at the base with the Lord prodding - "Step in." or "Shout!".  What was it like that millisecond before the first guy carrying the ark put his foot in the water or during that pause just before Joshua told them "...Now SHOUT!"?  Was it fear? Or was it anticipation?

I think it was the latter.  I think that somewhere along the way carrying the ark up to the Jordan fear became anticipation of what God was about to do as they approached the torrent.  I think that nearing the end of that 7th time marching around the city God did a work in their hearts changing the thoughts from "really Joshua?  were just walking around a wall.." to God is moving something fantastic is about to happen.  And of course...the miraculous, the fantastic did happen.

I've been struggling to understand how God is going to get us across our Jordan and how he's going to blow those walls that stand in the way of getting Jacob out of that orphanage.  We really do have no means to do so at the moment.  Last night as I lay in bed, I was sleepless.  My thoughts were consumed with "...it's getting close and we are so far behind on funding...how?"  Then the enemy was there with condemnation of course "..you're failing...you screwed this up...if you were smarter you would have..." -you know how he operates.  But then I heard something else: "Marshall, where do you have your faith placed?  In people?  In yourself? Or is your faith in ME?  Right away I knew.

Those of us raising money for adoptions that have those little fund raising meters on our blogs I think are tempted (me included) to wake up and check the little meter each morning hoping for it to move.  I learned last night that I had put my faith in the little meter and removed it from the one "...who can do immeasurably more that we can hope for or ask".  Not good.

So what now?  Our Jordan is getting closer - we feel the spray.  The walls are getting nearer - daunting.  So what now?  I'm placing my hope in my helper who is the ultimate Father to the Fatherless who desires to place Jacob in a family even more than we do.  So I think in stead of fear I have anticipation ...not of the little meter moving but of what God is going to do.  So to those of you who are working to the same goal - bringing an orphan home..resist the temptation to stare at the meter and stare squarely into the eyes of Jesus and know he's the same one who parted the Jordan and the same one who crumbled the walls.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

What is your part?

 I awoke this morning to a call from a friend asking me if I was free this afternoon.  She had an extra ticket to spend the afternoon hearing Leigh Anne Tuohy speak at a local church.  My family and I had seen the Blindside several times, so I immediately said, "yes, I can come"!   As I sat there listening to her story - not that of Hollywood, I was touched by the fact that a simple act of kindness shown to someone changed someones life.  Literally.  Here was a person, who by the worlds standards, was a nobody.  He was indeed told that very thing by everyone he had ever met.  "You will never amount to anything...You can't go to school, You will never be able to hold a job much less become a football player.  It just isn't in your cards".

 I wonder how many people have heard those same words over and over again.  How many children live in inner cities with an inward desire to "escape" their life and be something different.  I also wonder how many of those very children will never be given a chance.  As we sit in our nice little comfortable homes with our nice little tv's there are others who would love to just have a place to call home.

Leigh Anne challenged us today. She challenged us to do something - do your part.  Whatever that looks like, we should do our part.  For our family, doing our part really takes on a meaning.  We have been called to bring a child into our family.  We have been called to step out of our comfort zone, go to a place that might be different and change a life - forever.  It isn't pretty all the time.  Our car needs $500.00 worth of work.  Naomi needs to get her American Visa so that she will be able to travel back to the Philippines.  That is another $500.00. At this time, our family can't plan for retirement and our children can't go to the overnight camp with their school because it costs $95.00.  At this time...we just don't have it.

However, this is what we DO have.....


So the question remains - what is YOUR part?  What will you do with Leigh Anne's challenge to "do your part".  Maybe you already have.  I know that, for our family we haven't done enough.  Not yet - maybe not ever.

We appreciate all of your support for our family.  As of today we have been given $200.00 in gifts to bring Jacob home.  We need so much more.  Please pray that God will multiply the $200.00  already given and all will see HIM work.

 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

New times

    The days are changing. Summer is officially over here.  We had our first hard freeze last night and  this morning I woke up to the leaves falling off the trees. Such a beautiful time of year with all of the colors.  I am constantly reminded of God's love for us.  The pictures He paints are amazing.  Our family spent the weekend with friends.  We sat around a table and talked about the things going on in our life.  We shared stories, ate great food and enjoyed each other's company.  I was reminded of how special life is and what a gift we have been given to share life with each other.  I am also reminded of the millions of children around the world who are not able to sit at a table and share life with someone.  How lonely it must feel to not have the comfort of friends, family and food.  My heart continues to break for those less fortunate than myself.  So often I tend to get upset that  I have to wait until payday to get things that I think I need now.  How silly is that?  Praying that our eyes continue to be open to what really matters.

Worthey family 2011

Saturday, October 15, 2011

10 Ways to Care for the Orphan

There are things we can all do - not everyone is called to adopt - its ok if that has not what Jesus has put in your heart - but don't walk away.  I'm sitting here a grown man shattered over the tought of so many without well...us.  There are MANY important things you can do for the orphan - right now



PRAY for them Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. -Matthew 7:7-8 "I had been in many prayer groups interceding for the things of God but that night I was surrounded by people who have never been involved in praying as a group. And what touched me was the move of God upon this group as they wept and cried out for the foster care children, workers, and others involved! Truly humbling!"
SPEAK up for them Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all the unfortunate. Open your mouth, judge righteously, and defend the rights of the afflicted and needy. -Proverbs 31:8-9 "I didn’t think a whole lot of it at the time. I received an email about a teenage girl from Ethiopia who needed an adoptive home right away. I forwarded it on to some good friends who forwarded it one more time to some friends of theirs. That’s all it took. That young woman now has a forever family. Who would have thought speaking up for an orphan could be as easy as hitting the forward button?"
PROVIDE for their needs If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food…and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? -James 2:15-16 "I looked up. There was the boy with a missing smile…He extended his hands to me, his burned brown hands. I took my wipe and cleaned each of his precious palms…The language barrier crumbled as I was just a mom caring for a boy’s hands the way they should be cared for. It wasn’t the shoes, or the toy or candy...it was a simple act of love and the boy who lost his smile, found it. He hugged me tight and called me Amiga…friend. The smile he gave me was more precious than any gift I had offered him…I had been transformed by an orphan; I was con-quered by a smile."
SUPPORT those who support them …and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds... -Hebrews 10:24 "We were expecting a baby, but when our foster agency called us about a six year-old instead, we felt we just couldn’t say no. We agreed to take her into our home, but we found ourselves in need of several items. A friend from our Sunday School class passed around a list of our needs, and within days, we had a new bed, linens, a dresser, and other items we needed for our new daughter."
PROTECT them from harm The Lord protects the strangers; He supports the fatherless and the widow, but He thwarts the way of the wicked. –Psalm 146:9 Sam and Janet have fostered many children over the last decade. In one emergency placement, they agreed to take in Duane, who’d been abused. One day, while playing, Duane followed Janet into the laundry room. As she poured the bleach into the machine, Duane ran away, screaming, "Please don’t put bleach in my eyes. I haven’t been a bad boy!" Janet wrapped Duane in her arms, assuring him he was safe now.
VISIT them where they are Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of God is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world. -James 1:27 "As we turned to leave the orphanage, one of the boys had asked to address our entire group. Smiling, 15 year-old Israel said, ‘Thank you so much for bringing us the candy, the Bibles...thank you for playing games with us and telling us about Jesus. Please don’t forget us. Please come back.’ And then, after a silence, with tears in his eyes, he spoke one more time. The translator, through her own tears, told us Israel’s words, ‘Today was the best day of my life.’"
GIVE sacrificially to them Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. -2 Corinthians 9:7 Eight year-old Alex of Uganda lost his parents to AIDS at an early age. Before long, God provided for him and more than fifty of his brothers, sisters, and cousins, through a ministry called Ugandan Lambs at Grace Brethren Church in Long Beach, California. When a congenital heart defect was discovered, his sponsor raised over $15,000 from the church and community, more than double the amount needed to pay for the surgery that has now saved his life. One young boy even gave money he had held onto for over a year since his grandfather had given to him.
ENCOURAGE them to press on We urge you brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone. –1 Thessalonians 5:14 "We met Kent while working as house parents at a children’s home, but he soon aged out of the system. Not wanting him to be without support, our family celebrates his birthdays with him and invites him over on holidays. We talk once a week, encouraging him, and sometimes providing the tough answers he needs. For four years now, God has used Kent to refine our hearts and to encourage us as our children have seen and learned how to reach out to and love others as Jesus calls us to do."
ADOPT them into your family A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God is His holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families… -Psalm: 68:5-6a NIV "It was a typical evening dinner with my family. Kilyan, my two year-old son that we had recently adopted, sat across from me in the chair he’d claimed for months since our return from China. Tonight, though, he looked up at me with his huge grin and said, ‘You’re my daddy.’ Looking back through tear-filled eyes I could only whisper, ‘Yes I am.’"
MOBILIZE your church for them Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you. -Matthew 28:18-20 Irene grew tired of reading the stories of abuse and neglect among the foster children of South Florida. She began knocking on doors, trying to find anyone who would listen. Her persistence paid off when she reached the pastor of Calvary Chapel, Fort Lauderdale, who took a huge leap of faith. Now, a few years later, 4Kids of South Florida has grown into a ministry that has blessed thousands of children through adoption, foster care, mentoring, and more.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

God's continued faithfulness

WOW! What a day it has been!  Who would have known that when we created this blog on Monday afternoon the impact it has had on so many different people.  We serve an amazing God!  It all began Tuesday morning when I opened my e-mail and saw a message from someone in Woodland Park.  Someone who had read Adeye's Blog saw our Blog and decided to send us a message seeing that we were neighbors. Literally, we live right down the road from each other!  These wonderful people help orphans and wanted to let us know that they would love to be part of our adoption journey.  Just like that, God gave us a new friend!

We continue to be amazed at the numbers of people who are viewing our blog.  The number keeps growing everyday.  Praise be to our Lord for that!  This afternoon we received a letter in the mail from our church family.  The note read.."we will be praying that the Lord opens other hearts as well."  Inside the letter was a generous gift from our church.   The neat thing about that was Naomi's reaction to the gift.  She jumped up and down saying.."this is for my brother to get him home."  She gave me the biggest hug.  She is seeing first hand God's provision for our family.  This is HUGE for her. 

At the writing of this blog, we have had 4 people donate to Jacob's ransom. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.  Please keep it coming.  Pray for our family.  Most of all, pray for Jacob that he knows he is loved and that his family is coming soon! 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

"I like America - Take me with you"

You guys might of noticed that we're blogging alot. Partially because 'hooray we figured it out' is in effect and partially because Adeye's website we shared with you in our last post really motivated us to try it.  Lorrie and I were looking at our site and realized that we really did not give you an idea of who we are working hard to bring home - never to be abandoned again.

First of all you need to understand that the privacy policies of the Philippines are pretty strict -no photo's of the children to be shared over the internet etc. etc.  So while we can't show you a photo or tell you his real name we can tell you about him.

We call him Jacob.  We met him while at the orphanage picking up our Naomi. Jacob really made a point to 'orbit' us.  I mean he was really checking us out. Naomi was quick to tell us - "...this is my beeesssst friend"  so we wanted him to stay in the dorm room  with us while we were connecting with Naomi.  Funny thing -we gave him a bar of chocolate and he quickly checked the door, shut it and took a bite while watching the door - it clearly was not the time to share.

We spent most of the day at the orphanage with Naomi and her caregivers, Jacob would check in on us then disappear for awhile.  After the fact - we found out that when he disappeared he was hanging with our son Noah - just  talking.  The time for us to spring Naomi from the Orphanage came and we were delighted to take our daughter home - finally after years of waiting.

But before we left Jacob appeared one more time and had something to say to us.  He boldly walked up to Lorrie and I and he said "...I'm Jacob (name changed) and I am Naomi's best friend - I really like America - will you take me with you?"  Ouch.  I'm looking for a bag big enough to take him right there but we knew we could not.  We left so happy to have Naomi and to bring her home.  Mission complete...but only in our minds at that time.

We're home about 2 months later....

Marshall to Lorrie:  I keep thinking about Jacob
Lorrie to Marshall:  Really!?  He's never left my mind...
Marshall:  Do you think...?
Lorrie:  YES!

So we present it to the kids - especially slowly with Naomi:  What do you think about adopting again from the Philippines?

Naomi - Will I still be special?
Mom and Dad - "<snif>  Honey you know that your special can never wear off - you are always special - forever
Naomi - "promise?"
Mom and Dad - We promise...

And Naomi has been the excited cheerleader ever since then.  Another very important thing to know.  Remember the times Jacob "disappeared" for awhile at the orphanage talking with Noah?  We found out what Noah and Jacob were talking about at the orphanage when we asked Noah about adopting again. During those conversations with Jacob,  Jacob asked Noah "..will you be my big brother?".

So that is the story and we are "Going for it"  He's our son and we're (with the Lord's help) going to bring him home - never to be abandoned again. By the way the picture - that's  Hannah leading the way into the orphanage to get her Sister in 2010.

May the Lord Break down your gates of bronze and bend the bars that he as bent for us to set everyone free.

Check out 'Together we Can'

I wanted to let you all know about my friend Adeye's blog site.  Check out her blog and get entered into a drawing for a $500 Target gift card!  That's right - check it out!  Here is the link to her site.http://www.nogreaterjoymom.com/.  Thanks for doing your part in helping bring an orphan home.

Wow - Who Knew?

We blogged yesterday.  When we went to bed last night - there were 12 hits on the blogg.  Now less than 24 hrs later we have over 90.  That is encouraging - not just because the blogg is working but because there are people out there that care about orphans.  God is up to something here he's moving, rocks are breaking as he passes by - he's moving to rescue the orphan and to let the fatherless know they have a Father.  Move with him today.  Check this clip out and think

video


- what if...?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

GO FOR IT

A friend contacted us yesterday to encourage us and answer our request of "Gee what do we say?  We just got asked to speak to our Church family about our adoption journey.  We are encouraged.  See some of his thoughts an a letter to us from yesterday below:

3-5 Minutes is not much time for a presentation, but it worked for me, speaking at a pastor's conference in the Philippines.  One pastor came to our ministry table after the conference and inquired about adopting.  A few months later we helped them start the adoption process which resulted in a very successful adoption of an amazingly charming 5 yr. old boy.

I would stick to the following. Not necessarily in this order

Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in DEED and in truth.  (1 John 3:18)  ACTION SPEAKS LOUDER THAN WORDS.    Saint Francis of Asisi said, "preach the gospel at all times, if necessary, use words."  ( WE ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS QUOTE) Action that preaches the gospel is our living example.

Jesus Christ brought the Gospel and God's love to mankind by living example.  Christian families who adopt are MISSIONARIES who bring the Gospel and God's love to orphan children by Living Example.

Orphan children want to know, "If God loves ME, why am I an orphan?"

Galatians 4:4-5 is a simple statement that children who have been adopted can easily comprehend the gospel in the context of their own adoption.

God sent Jesus Christ into the world - "So that we might receive the adoption as sons."   "As many as received HIM, to them He gave the right to become Children of God" (John 1:12)

Everyone understands belonging, it's why we get married.  PERMANENT Relationship is critical.  So why is it we can't understand that orphans also need a permanent relationship with someone?


We worked in an orphanage for six  years and the children did not believe that either we or God loved them.  "If YOU love me, why am I an orphan?"

James 1:27 is a COMMAND for every Christian to help rescue orphans in one way or another. This is big:  NOT ALL ARE CALLED TO ADOPT, but ANYONE can love and minister to orphan children in a very practical and meaningful way by helping members of their church family who already want to adopt.

Adoption is the best way to share the Gospel with orphan children, by living example.

Overcoming the objection that adoption is an extravagant luxury that others should not be asked to help pay for.

Jesus Christ shed His blood on the cross TO PAY FOR OUR ADOPTION !  The most extravagant gift in the history of creation.  Love that is not extravagant is not love.  In the Filipino language, Tagalog, the word for love is the same word that is used to describe something that is expensive or extravagant. "Mahal" is the word for love.

Mahal kita means "I love you"    Ang mahal!  means IT'S EXPENSIVE.   Ang masyadong mahal means ITS EXTRAVAGANT.   Love, by its very nature is extravagant.

A pastor who preached an eloquent sermon about God's extravagant love shared how that is God's example and model for us to be extravagant with our love for our fellow man.  The same pastor when approached about adoption ministry asked me, "Why should we spend all that (extravagant) money on adoption?  It's cheaper to raise those children in an orphanage!"

By our standard of measure, extravagant or cheap, it will be measured unto us.  For those who want to feel God's extravagant love, it is necessary to be obedient to practice our own extravagant love.  Help pay for a child's adoption.  (Matt 7:2)  (Mark 4:24)  (Luke 6:38)

Most people are not aware of what happens to orphans when they leave an orphanage with no family.

Theft, prostitution, homelessness, substance abuse, incarceration and suicide.  Read this statement on Steven Curtis Chapman's website:   "The Great Need"  Show Hope Foundation  Paragraph 5
     http://www.howtoadopt.org/TheGreatNeed/

Predators lurk at the gates of orphanages, already armed with the names of the girls and the dates they are due to be released to snatch them away directly into sex slavery.  (several hundred thousand annually)  We know several people who have personally witnessed this.

 James 1:27

When the church practices pure and undefiled religion,  the world notices and people are drawn to Jesus Christ. (Glorified or lifted up)  (Matt 5:16)    Jesus said, "If I be lifted up, I will draw all men unto myself" (john 12:32) This creates one of the best and easiest ways to generate healthy church growth.  Never in my life did I hear this exclamation from a total stranger until I got involved in adoption ministry:  "My what a wonderful thing you are doing, the world needs more people like you."

Hope this will stimulate your creativity. Let the Holy Spirit guide your lips, as He blesses your investment of a few loaves and fishes.  GO FOR IT.  In the name of Jesus.

Gerry

Go for it...INDEED!

Pure and Undefiled....

James 1:27 says that “Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.”  That word “visit” is perhaps misunderstood.  You see in the Greek that word means not just to pop in and say “hello” it means to look after, to care and provide for.
As you may know our family has been particularly impacted by this verse in our calling to adopt orphans.  We are convinced that the Lord of all and the Creator of all of us has called us to “look after” and “provide for” orphans.
In obedience to his call we adopted Naomi in 2010 from an orphanage in the Philippines.  She’s living a new life now and the Lord’s work is evident.  You see – she sings – all the time. But the songs are not popular tunes or even Christian music from the radio.  They are songs she makes up and sings to her heavenly Father that are spontaneous and all her own.  What a voice and no kidding when she does this we stop and we listen and we are amazed at what the Lord is doing in this little girl’s life.
We returned home with our daughter relieved ‘the process’ was complete. “Not doing that again – that was too hard” we thought to ourselves.  But it’s the Lord’s story not ours. While in the Philippines we encountered a little boy –we call him Jacob. Jacob was abandoned at birth by his mother and then once more by what was supposed to be his adopted family in the Philippines where he was placed by their equivalent of our Child Welfare system. Abandoned. Twice. Jacob never left our minds.  The Lord brought him to mind over and over again – in each member of our family. 
Early in the Spring of 2011 Lorrie and I were called by the Lord to this task once more.  Adoption is not easy – it is hard. Its hard emotionally in the waiting for it to come about and hard because the world, the bureaucracies the “process” and yes the enemy is set against you.  It is also incredibly hard financially. Typically the adoption process can cost up to $22,000.00.  It is a monumental endeavor for any family. We sacrificed much to get our daughter home, we went into debt and did not seek the help of others – looking back we think that maybe we should have opened up a way for others to take part in what God was doing for these children.  In fact, we believe that the Lord has told us very clearly that this battle is his and he would provide the means to “look after” and “provide for” one more child – Jacob in particular. 
More often than not the Lord chooses to work through his people and that has what he has been doing. People we do not know have been giving, someone who wished to remain anonymous contributed $2,000.00 at exactly the time Lorrie and I chose to be obedient to this call.  Later an acquaintance contributed $1,000.00 – again at exactly the right time to start the ball rolling in the Immigration Service of the United States.  When the Lord has blessed us with any excess either through our income or through the generosity of others we have obligated it to this mission.
We are now at another Red Sea, another Jericho waiting to see how the water will part and how the walls will fall.  We were approved by Immigration to adopt a child from the Philippines today. This means that very soon, we will be asked to pay $7,000.00 in fees to the US Government and the Government of the Philippines – funds that we can only depend on the Lord to provide.  There is more after that but for now we’re focusing on this Jordan before us.
We’re asking that each of you consider being part of what God is doing – to be part of parting the Sea and knocking down walls – to help us “visit” an orphan.  Lorrie remarked today that she has 400+ friends on Facebook and that “if each one gave just $10.00 we would be over half way”! Wow what a thought. So we’re trusting God and asking all of you to prayerfully consider joining us in this mission to bring Jacob home – NEVER to be abandoned again, to sing his own songs of praise to this Strong Tower, this God who loves him, loves you and loves us.

Thank you and may He who parted the waters, and knocked the walls down be with you.

Marshall, Lorrie, Joshua, Noah, Hannah and Naomi