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.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Christmas in November! Join the Mission Trip!

Applications are due for the upcoming mission trip happening November 20-29, 2015 to Kigali, Rwanda!  It's not too late to join the team.  Contact for more info and fill out the application here.

I wanted to repost a blog I shared over 3 years ago if you are wondering WHY GO.....

Why go?
This is the question I have gotten in the past and have asked myself.  Why go all the way to Rwanda for just 10 days when it cost so much money?  Wouldn't it be better just to send that money to help cover school fees, medical care, and food for the orphans?

God answered that question again and again as we just spent the last couple weeks loving the orphan in Rwanda.

He first answered it through Mike. 

(on the right)

Mike started Ten Talents International in Rwanda which is a program that helps children stay in their families through sponsorship and provides a home for boys who used to live on the streets.

Mike shared that as the only person in his family who became a Christian at a young age, he grew up not knowing what a christian looked like.  It wasn't until he was a young adult and found a church that he saw how a christian lived.

For the boys at the Home of Innocence, some of them lost their families during the genocide and so they have never had a family.   They do not know what a mom and dad is supposed to look like.  What living in a family is like. 

They don't even know what to hope for.

So Mike shared that when we come, these boys SEE a family.  They see a husband and wife, a mom and dad and it gives them a picture of what to hope for as they grow up and someday start their own families.

Why go?

We spent one afternoon sitting in the living room at the Home of Innocence sharing stories of our lives with one another.  We listened to the stories of about 20 boys and young men.  They listened to our story.  When asked of them, "What is your favorite part about having teams come visit?"

They responded without hesitation,

"Knowing you."

Why go?

This question was answered in a little girl named Shema and her single mother.  Shema is the sponsor child of Jeff and Marissa Anderson through Compassion International.  Jeff and our team was able to meet Shema and her mother one afternoon.  Jeff brought them pictures and gifts for both of them from his family.  She showed him her school, their small home, and the goat the Anderson's had bought for them last year.

Shema's mother is HIV positive.  She has no husband and no other family.  Their home was very small, dark, and empty. 
She told Jeff,
"Thank you for coming.  Seeing your love and care for us gives me HOPE."

Money given to this family for school fees, food, and a goat provided much needed help, but it was Jeff's visit that gave them hope and light to their darkness.

Why go?

Michael Jr answered this question for us one evening over dinner.  Michael (we call him Michael Jr at times) lost his family in the genocide and he now lives with Mike and Lisa McColm as their son.  As a young boy he lived in a home much like the Home of Innocence.  He remembers teams coming to visit from America.  We asked him what he thought about the teams and this is what he shared...

"I couldn't believe they would come so far and bring us gifts.  They could have easily stayed where they were, but they didn't.  I felt like I did not deserve it.  When I would ask them about their jobs and they would tell me they worked for some big bank or something, I could not believe it.  Because no one living in Rwanda who had a similar job would ever talk to me.
When they left, it was like the worst feeling.  You knew you would probably never see them again and the feeling that you had when they were here.  I cried.  But knowing that they came to give glory to God also made me want to be closer to God."
(Michael Jr in the middle)

Why go?

Jesus said when you do it for the least of these, you do it for me.  His heart beats for the fatherless.  We go to feed Him, clothe Him, but most importantly,
to know Him more.