The day I got married, one of my closest friends looked me in the eye and said "God has many wild and wonderful things ahead for you and Jeremy."

Being called mom by 7 kids is definitely wild. Each day I look for the wonder in it all...and give thanks.

Partnering with my husband in life, parenting, work and serving is definitely wonderful. He is my favorite.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Headed to Rwanda

About a year ago my husband and I started talking about getting involved with orphans--not just sitting back and sending money somewhere, but going and serving some place.  We also wanted to go somewhere where we could take our kids, teaching them that it doesn't matter how young you are, God can use you to love His children. 

What got the conversation started? 

We had several speakers come through our church in the Fall sharing God's heart for the orphan.  One Sunday morning, a guest speaker was showing pictures of different orphans around the world and he asked what came to our minds. 

People in the congregation started speaking up.....


All I could think is

"That's my child."

I did not speak up in church but that night Jeremy and I talked.  We both wanted to go somewhere and work with orphans.

We had originally thought that all five of us would go somewhere this past summer for 3-6 weeks.  We knew we wanted to work with an organization or a country that we would at least have the opportunity to pursue adoption.  I knew that my heart was already wide open to welcome more children into our home.

In fact, Jeremy and I had already let our first adoption agency know that we were feeling led to open our home to a sibling group.  New Life would keep us in mind in case they had a special situation come up.  We did not know if it meant foster care or adoption, but we just  knew we needed to first say "yes" to the nudging in our hearts to be open.

We looked at SO MANY possibilities for serving on a mission trip....

Kenya, Haiti, Mexico, Brazil, Liberia. 

And then a friend from church asked if I had contacted their adoption agency who also did mission trips.  They had brought home a son from Ethiopia with the help of All God's Children International. 

So by February we were in contact with the missions coordinator, Erica, and sharing what we wanted to do.  Erica asked me, "What about Rwanda?" 

Everything within me said YES and TELL ME MORE.  

like you ever had one of those moments where you can hear the music?
A little over two years ago, I read Immaculee Ilibigaza's story Left To Tell ---about her surviving the genocide in 1994.  When she first described where she lived near Lake Kivu, I thought, "I want to go there and see this place!"  My heart was softened for the people of Rwanda as I read her story.  So when Erica brought it up, I knew it was the place for us.

We couldn't get a trip together by the summer so we started making plans to go in November when the kids were out of school for a week.  We hadn't planned on leading a team this first time, but there was no other group already in progress.

So here's our team....

We are making our final plans and have had so much support from our friends and family as we get ready to go. 

Like I can't even believe some of the generous gifts we have been given--SERIOUSLY! 

It's so cool to be a part of not only what God is doing in Rwanda, but here at home too!
Makes me think of fireworks again. 

We hope to jampack 14 suitcases full of donations for the people we meet.  Don't think that's gonna be a problem.

We hope and pray that this is the first of many trips.  Praying that a future trip includes bringing home another child (children) =).  Emily and Wesley are ready for a brother and I only recently realized that they thought we could even bring one home this November.

They were a little disappointed to find out it's not that simple.

You can see some of the ministries we will help at Ten Talents International

This trip has got me thinking about a lot of things....but I'll save those for another post....

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