Saturday, January 31, 2009

God is Ridiculous & AJ Rocks!

Yep, you read me right. God is ridiculous. I think I said that about 10 times last night. Last night I had the opportunity to speak at Acoustic Jeremiah, a quaint little chapel in the woods where you can hear good music once a month. I spoke there when I was home in August, and last night went much better--we had electricity! And, between Matt and the rest of the awesome people who come out to AJ, the kids in Liberia are in for a treat!
I had a vision for decorating for the night.
I was pretty happy with how it came out.
The music was good. The time that I shared was good (I think, I don't really know what I said...but people were smiling and nodding and reassuring me.) And, God was so good!
I connected with some great people who were really interested in ORR and our ministry in Liberia. Others just wanted to hear stories about the kids. And others wanted to give. The wonderful people at AJ collected 50 bottles of children's vitamins! A random woman gave me 4 bags of hygiene items! I sold 75 bullet crosses, and they want more! I felt comfortable, and I feel like I was really able to share my story and my heart...and the people embraced what they heard. To top it off, Alli Rogers and Justin McRoberts played some great music! And Justin shared his heart about what we, as Christians, are called to do...and I wish I would have recorded it...because the things he said should have been followed by a huge AMEN!

[Alli's husband-Kirk, Me, Alli Rogers, Justin's wife-Amy, Justin McRoberts, Matt & McKenzie from Acoustic Jeremiah]

The Donations--The people at Acoustic Jeremiah are awesome!
Children's Vitamins and Hygiene Items
See...God IS ridiculous and AJ rocks!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Hope for Tomorrow

Varbah in March 2008

For about the last week, I have been looking through thousands [yes, thousands] of pictures from Liberia. I have 7 months worth of my pictures, and then some. Anyway, I've been looking through all of the pictures because I'm in the middle of a string of planned events where I get to share about Liberia. Not only does looking through all of these pictures bring back great memories, they also make me miss Liberia!

I wanted to share someone with you. Her name is Varbah...and I absolutely love her! I honestly don't really remember Varbah from when I first got to Liberia. I came across a picture of her from back in March when I first started working with her orphanage and it doesn't even look like the Varbah that I know and love. The children at the home were extremely hungry and sick. They were lathargic, sad and down-right no fun to be around. At first, I hated going to their orphanage--it was dirty, depressing and the director was a total headache. But now, the home is my absolute favorite place to be! Why? Because these children have hope! Today, Varbah is happy and healthy. She isn't sleeping on the floor anymore. She's going to school. She has food in her belly and clothes on her back. And...her little snaggle-tooth smile has stolen my heart.

Thank you to everyone who supports ORR's ministry and my personal ministry in Liberia. I am in Liberia because my Father loves me and wants me to share His love with the fatherless. Because of His hope, and your prayers and support, children like Varbah have hope for tomorrow!

Varbah in December 2008

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Thank You, Mr. President

I haven't gone 'political' on my blog yet, so today's a first. I sat and watched Mr. Bush gracefully depart from Washington, DC after Mr. Obama was sworn in as our new president. I've been reading about what others are saying will be Bush's legacy. Despite what political party you support, and despite who you voted for, you should know about this legacy.

Cameron Strang, Editor of Relevant Magazine wrote an outstanding article in the Jan/Feb 2009 publication called The Untold Story. As Rick Warren stated when he presented Bush with the International Medal of PEACE from the Global PEACE Coalition , "No man in history, no world leader, has done more for global health than George W. Bush."

In 2003, the President announced the formation of the Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). The plan shattered it's goal and provided ARV's to 2million+ people living with HIV/AIDS in Africa in 5 years. Because of PEPFAR, 8 million people have not contracted the disease, who otherwise would have. 10 million lives were saved. And of those, 4 million are orphans.

"A president must have a firm set of principles from which he will not deviate. I believe in the universality of freedom, and I believe freedom is universal because of an almighty God. It's not just freedom from tyranny that the US must become involved in, I believe it's freedom from disease, freedom from hunger, freedom from deprivation. If you believe in the universality of freedom, then you should not shy away from doing your duty." (President Bush)

All of this to say, it's a fabulous article. It's great to see someone saluting President Bush, instead of applauding his departure. President Bush should also be applauded for his efforts in 2003 to get Charles Taylor to surrender, leading to his prosecution at The Hague for war crimes. [And I know, 1 million textbooks might not seem like a great gift.....but it is! Textbooks equals knowledge, and knowledge equals change.]

Please pray for President Obama. That he will lead this country with humility and that he will have discernment. Pray for guidance. Pray that he will continue in the footsteps of President Bush and continue to provide much needed aid for people around the world who are suffering from disease, hunger and depravity.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Do You Get My Newsletter?

I am putting the finishing touches on my monthly newsletter and wondered how many people actually read what I write. If I were to be honest, I really dislike putting together my monthly takes alot of time, and I feel like it disappears into the dark hole of people's inboxes, never to be read. But, it's a new year and some of you might just now be joining me and my journey. Sooooo....if you would like to receive my monthly newsletter, please send me an email at and I will add you to my mailing list. I promise that I will not flood your inbox...I send out a newsletter once a month, and you might get an urgent prayer request every now and then. My newsletter is similar to my blog, except I connect the stories from month to month to keep everyone updated on each of the focus areas of ORR. I also include prayer points, and of course, there's always pictures of really cute kids!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Thank You!

I know I'm alittle behind in my blogging, but I didn't want a thank you to go unsaid. I just wanted to thank all of you for sticking beside me in 2008. Thank you all for reading my blog, sending me emails of encouragement, praying for all things Liberia and ORR, and supporting me! I honestly can't do what I do without you guys.

I plan on doing some blogging this week--I haven't shared with you all that I've been going through since I've been home. Let's just say that my wheels have been turning, my eyes are slowly opening and I feel like my heart is starting to follow Him down a new path. (Don't get any ideas...this path is all good things, and the path still has Liberia, ORR and ministering to orphans on it!)

And in case you don't follow Deb's blog, I want to leave you with these two pictures of Gifty. When I saw these, my heart melted and I realized how much I've missed her. She's been at home with her new family for almost 1 month now. She's doing well and her doctor is trying to keep her healthy and fatten her up while they wait for a new liver. Please continue to pray for Gifty.

Again, thank you for all of your love and support in 2008!