Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I just wanted to wish all of my Love in Liberia friends a very Merry Christmas! I hope that you spent your day with loved ones, and that you were able to pause for a minute to reflect on Christ's birth. I spent my day with my family. Our traditional Christmas morning casserole for breakfast, my sister playing 'gift fairy' as we opened our gifts, a big Christmas lunch, lounging around, game playing, driving around to look at Christmas lights, and it's midnight and I'm still in my pjs! I savor the time where all of my family is together--it doesn't happen often enough. Time spent together, with no agenda or plans and there's no place to's wonderful!

Anyway, blessings to you and your family! I love you all and I am so grateful for each of you--for your prayers, love, support, and just for reading my random thoughts and following me on this journey.
This photos just made my Christmas! It's a picture of Koiboi ("my son") receiving his Christmas gift in Liberia yesterday. I was immediately excited to see how great he looks...and then my heart hurt--I wanted to scoop him up and give him hugs and kisses! And, then I couldn't stop thinking, "look how big and good he looks!" So, from Liberia to Atlanta to you, Merry Christmas!

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

Isaiah 9:6

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas from Liberia!

Christmas in Liberia 2010 from Orphan Relief and Rescue on Vimeo.

Thank you to everyone who donated gift bundles this year! But, it's not too late to donate bundles...we will deliver after Christmas too! For just $25, you can fill a child's Christmas with joy and laughter--kids who otherwise wouldn't have a Christmas. Visit the website to donate bundles, and don't forget to write a personal message to go with your bundles! This is what Christmas is all about!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Give Warmth. Give Blankets.

Sign my pledge at PledgeBank

Even though the pledge is successful in the eyes of Pledgebank, I am still looking for people to donate blankets! My bedroom has blankets everywhere...but there's room for more! An easy way to purchase blankets is with a few clicks, and you can send them right to my door.

Walgreens has fleece throw blankets on sale for $1.99. A friend donated $40 and I ordered 20 blankets! And, if you spend $25 or more, then you get free shipping!

If you'd rather go shopping, RiteAid has fleece throws for $1.77 (offer ends 12/25).

Also, I know that plenty of stores have fleece throws for Christmas, so be watching the clearance racks for good deals on blankets after Christmas...and even better deals on into January. I need all blankets by January 15th. Click the Pledgebank box at the top to sign the pledge and get all of the details! Help keep children warm this rainy season!

Thank you to everyone who has donated blankets so far!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Kiddo Updates

There is one kind of photo that really excites me. Some call them the 'before and afters.' I like to call them photos of children that were literally on the brink of death, or so malnourished they didn't play or smile...and now they are happy and healthy! Let me share with you a few photos of some children who don't even look like the same children any more! Praise be to God!

You might remember Gifty. When we found her, she was incredibly sick. Gifty spent months in the hospital, and we eventually learned that she needed a liver transplant. She has had a very difficult road--battling illness after illness, and just getting no relief. Through the miraculous hand of God, not only was Gifty adopted (adoptions in Liberia were closed), but she also had a liver transplant! This is Gifty just a few weeks ago!

CCF Kids

These children are very special to me. We have traveled a long and difficult road together. Their home really was the 'worst of the worst.' I thought I put it on the blog (I guess not), but I know I had it in my newsletter. Back in June, their orphanage had a fire. The boy's dorm was destroyed. This was an interesting answer to a long-standing prayer--God, send relief for these children! The children were divided up and sent to four different orphanages. These four children went to an orphanage together. After only one week there, they were happier and healthier. Now, it's been a few months. Look at them now--thumbs up!

Being able to step back and see how far these children have come makes me extremely grateful. Grateful to God for bringing relief to these children. Thankful that they are all happy and healthy. Thankful that now they have been given new and improved opportunities in life. God is so good, and I can't wait to share the another great 'before and after' story!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


It's here!!! My new pledge is up on Pledgebank! I am collecting throw blankets this time, and I need your help. When you're doing your holiday shopping (even if it's at 3am--why?!), please pick up a throw blanket for an orphan, like Lucky. Blankets are needed, especially for rainy season, and they will arrive just in time! Ready...set...go!

Sign my pledge at PledgeBank

Monday, November 22, 2010


The other day, I started thinking about my time in Virginia--how more than a year ago, I had spent a week there, and now I have just spent over a week there. I started thinking about what last year’s trip entailed. It was a week of God--God whispering, God speaking, God teaching, God renewing, God stirring. However, the last 2 days of my trip felt like it cancelled out my week of God. I won’t go into details, but the last 2 days of my trip was the beginning of the enemy stealing my joy.

The enemy loves to steal our joy. Sometimes, he takes huge chunks of joy, and those times are recognizable and painful. Other times, he slowly steals our joy. He comes in the darkness of night, or flies under our radar, and over time we hardly notice how far we’ve fallen into his pit. During my week in VA last year, a huge chunk of joy was ripped away from me. It hurt. It stung. I tried hard to move on, to regain what was lost, but I began to slowly slip into the pit of darkness, lies and complacency. Some of you might have taken notice, and you might not have known it at the time, but this was the during the darkest hour.

I started to feel better and life started to improve. But, I knew that I didn’t feel right inside. I was tired, frustrated, hurt and just trying to keep my head above the water. I knew that I needed His joy back! I would taste joy, or see joy in others. I struggled and wondered what was wrong with me. I wanted something so badly, and didn’t quite understand why it was no where to be found.

Then, I went to Virginia last week. God moved. God spoke in new and fresh ways. God gave me a dream. God put others into my path. God provided time and space to be with Him intimately.

I had multiple people pray for me, and specifically for joy. Nope, I hadn’t told any of them (heck, I didn’t even know them) about my stolen joy, but I’m pretty sure that some people have just seen it in my eyes. One person shared with me that they saw me scanning scripture over and over again, and that this was where my joy would come from. WOW! That took me a minute, or a few days, to really think about. It’s true, though. I’ve been scanning and scanning and searching and praying and listening. Not because someone looked into a crystal ball and told me to, but because God has given me His joy and the desire to draw closer to Him. I have new eyes and a new mind and a new heart. I feel good, and feel like I have a bounce in my step. I don’t feel tired, beat-up and broken down. I feel thirsty, and that my thirst is being quenched, but I also just want more.

You can pray for me, that I would continually be filled with His joy, so that I might overflow into the lives of others. And also, that the joy would just get packed inside in preparation for returning to Liberia. I’m not sure where this will all lead, but I pray that God would fill you with His joy today!

Pray for Bill

This is Bill. Bill is meek and shy and he's just a super good kid. Last year, he started complaining of "bone pain." We asked alot of questions, trying to better understand what exactly he meant. But Bill was in serious pain from time to time. One day, I showed up at his orphanage and he was in tears--he was in alot of pain and he couldn't move his arms. Without knowing what else to do, I loaded him in the truck and took him to the hospital. He silently cried the whole ride there, and was released that night without any kind of diagnosis.

Deb and Elena, who are currently in Liberia, told us this past week that Bill has been diagnosed with sickle cell disease. As soon as I heard the news, my mind went back to that afternoon that I took him to the hospital--making guests ride in the bed of the truck through the worst downpour of rainy season, but all to get a child in extreme pain to the hospital. My heart broke.

I don't know too much about the disease, but know that living with it in Liberia is going to make life very difficult for Bill. Standard treatments available in the first-world will not be an option and poor healthcare make the possibility of serious complications scary.

I'm asking you to pray for Bill. Pray that the pain would subside. Pray for healing and comfort. Pray that treatments would be made available, and the there would be no complications. Pray for patience and endurance and perseverance--living in an orphanage in Liberia with any disease has to be difficult. Pray for wisdom for doctors and for us, as decisions are made regarding treatment. Lift Bill up to the throne and pray for healing!

Friday, November 19, 2010


It's been quiet around here. I've been a traveling woman--2,143 miles! I just got home from spending 11 days in Virginia doing fundraising for ORR. The time was jam-packed and it was tiring, but the time in VA was awesome! It's always great to share and connect with new people, and it's even better when God provides divine appointment after divine appointment. And, it's so encouraging when you talk with people who 'get it' and want to be a part of Orphan Relief and Rescue's ministry in Liberia!
[The Nacho Libre Fundraiser at the monastery! Awesome idea and so much fun was had!]
You might remember that I spent a week in Virginia last year at a monastery. I will be the first to admit that I was totally hesitant prior to the monastery experience, and I might have even thought it was alittle weird and goofy. However, there is something special about that place. Other than the wonderful people and the beautiful chapels and grounds, the halls of that place are filled with the Holy Spirit. I lovethe prayer chapel and have been known to spend hours in there, laying on the floor with my Bible and journal and some crayons or colored pencils. So this past week, I just wanted to seek refuge in the prayer chapel--specifically on the floor between the pews of the third and fourth row on the right side--but the schedule was just too hectic. I longed for that space. I needed that space.

So, after an awesome week, and a time of worship and renewal at The Ascent, I decided to stay in Virginia alittle longer than I had planned. The goal of my first day was to spend as much time outside with God as possible. My other favorite place in VA is on the bank of the James River.
[Two afternoons on the James River. Can it get any better than the picnic photo?! And my view?!]
Whenever I had the tiniest bit of free time, I would make my escape to the river! It was freezing cold every time, except God brought the warmth and minimized the winds for my Sunday afternoon on the river! I spent 4 hours there...with my Bible and journal, enjoying His warmth, the water and the sounds of the waves. Then I decided to take a walk, well, more like a trek. The Noland Trail is a 5 mile path through the woods and around a huge lake, and this time of year it was absolutely beautiful with the changing leaves! I set out on the 5 miles, hoping that my foot would hold up. I did all 5 miles and my foot felt great! And has felt great since then! I got back to the river just in time to see the sunset!
[The BEAUTIFUL fall colors on the Noland Trail! God is good and He created us to admire His beauty!]
The goal of my extra morning in VA was to wake up and spend time in the prayer chapel. This was really just a culmination of the week...and a time to find calm and peace, and to thank God for everything that had happened in VA, before I started my 10+ hour drive back home.

So much more happened while in Virginia, and I look forward to sharing those stories with you. I feel like I could write a few chapters of a book right now, so I will stop here for today. I am going to get all of my thoughts in order, and then the storytelling will begin! God is up to some pretty cool things, and His joy is filling my heart on a daily basis!

Friday, October 29, 2010

You're Invited!

For those of you who are local, I wanted to invite you to HeartCry's annual Pasta Dinner and Silent Auction. You might remember that this event last year raised $30,000 to make a house a HOME for the children at Danny Feeney Memorial Orphanage! The theme of the night is 'Be Love...' and there will be food, fun, fellowship and opportunities for you to 'be love' to others. There will be both a silent and live auction and there are so many super cool things to bid on--vacations, artwork, handicrafts from mission trips, nativity sets from around the world, sports memorabilia, Delta flight simulator hours, and the list goes on!

The goal of the evening is to inform and educate people about needs--local needs (Fayette Youth Protection Home, Department of Family and Children Services, Gracie's Closet, etc.) as well as needs around the world (Liberia, Romania, Haiti, Burkina Faso, Thailand, Ethiopia). A portion of the night's proceeds will be used to improve the ORR field team house in Liberia! We are in need of a new generator, and eventually it would be a huge gift and blessing if we could have running water!

WHAT: HeartCry's Pasta Dinner & Silent Auction
WHEN: Friday, November 5th at 6:30pm
WHERE: New Hope Baptist Church
551 New Hope Road
Fayetteville, GA 30214
COST: $8

Leave a comment or send an email if you'd like a ticket, or you can always buy one at the door.
I will be there with my Liberia/ORR stuff, and would love to see you there!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Change of Scenery

[The beautiful sunset over the Sound from Day #3. I had to get outside sometime! This is the backyard of the house I'm staying at!]
I've spent this past week doing something I haven't done...ever. I've been sitting at a desk, in front of a computer, in an office, from 9-5 for the last week. By day #3, I declared, "I'm not very good at this." And it was true. It was bright and sunny outside, with a predicted high of 67 degrees...and I was sitting inside, at a desk, in front of a computer. Enough to make this woman go crazy!

I'm up in Seattle until Friday, having my taste of life in the ORR office. I know I just made it sound like some form of torture, but it has also been good. I've been working on, and have almost finished, some new stuff that will provide kids with fundraising tools, and connect them with the kids that we serve in Liberia and Benin. There's been some good brainstorming, but that's been a struggle for me as well. We will be sharing about ORR tonight and tomorrow, so you can be praying for those events. And then it's back in the office on Monday morning. But with Monday comes a lunch date with my long-lost friend Rachel, and dinner with a couple who I originally spent time in Liberia with back in 2007. That sounds like a decent Monday! So as I stay snuggled up in my bed this rainy Saturday (yea, it's after 2pm and I'm still in my pjs and haven't done much more than fry two eggs and do lots of reading), I just wanted to let you all know that I really do appreciate each and every one of you, and thank you for joining me in this adventure!

P.S. Deb and Elena have been in Liberia for a week now! After tackling issues with vehicles, the generator and the internet, they were able to get to some kiddos late in the week and report that everyone is looking really good! Praise God!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Prayer for Deb & Elena

These are two of my most favorite people in the world. That's us, above, two weeks ago in Seattle. Deb is on the left, and Elena's on my right. Deb and Elena are my friends, encouragers, prayer warriors, roommates, coworkers, sources of laughter, partners in crime, beach bum buddies, rummy on the porch opponents and the two people that keep me (somewhat) sane when I'm in Liberia! After a short time at home to rest, fundraise and to visit with family and friends, they left this morning to head back to Liberia.

You can be praying for them--for safe travels, for flight connections, baggage arriving, adjusting back to life in Liberia (heat, rain, no a/c or running water, daily stresses, etc.), and for carrying the workload on their own while the rest of us remain at home for more rest and recuperation. I know their return will be full of joy and frustrations, wonderful reunions and hesitation...but they can really use all of our prayers. Join me in praying for two of the best prayer warriors I know! I'm looking forward to hearing from them once they get in Liberia and get settled, and I know that God has something great in store for them during this new season! Love you girls!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Send Me!

I have spent the past 5 days being a part of New Hope Baptist Church's "Send Me!" Missions Conference. Over 20 missionaries and organizations participated as the church celebrated the past 10 years of missions at New Hope, and anticipated the future. It has been a fantastically busy week!

The conference kicked off on Wednesday night with an international dinner, followed by a parade of nations, special music and Dr. Emir Caner really challenged the church. On Thursday, the missionaries had lunch withthe senior adults and Thursday night was a youth event with the Matt Papa Band and Dr. Caner. On Friday night, I had the privilege of sharing with a women's Bible study class over dessert and coffee. Saturday's International Bazaar was a great afternoon of fellowship and fun! We (well, a few good men)recreated an African village--complete with a mud hut, chickens, a well, a typical African school setting, a Land Rover loaded with medical supplies and a bush church. It was AWESOME! It was so much fun to share with people about Liberia and about ORR's ministry. The conference wrapped up today with another challenging message this morning, and then a luncheon for all of the missionaries. We just couldn't stop laughing at our table--all kinds of T.I.A stories were shared amongst us.

This past week has been refreshing and it's always so great to just be able to share about Liberia, ORR and the needs of the children that we serve. I have made new friends, connected with new prayer warriors and it's exciting to think about how everyone can come together and impact people all over the world for Christ! Here are some photos from Saturday.

A super huge thank you to everyone at New Hope who participated, planned and prayed for the conference! I know that God was stirring hearts, opening eyes and calling others to GO!
[And P.S. my suitcase arrived on my front porch on Friday morning! YEAAAA!]

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


I'm beginning to feel ashamed to show my face around here. It's hard to blog when I'm home--you all don't really care about the happenings on this side of the ocean, do you? Between that, and my mind and heart being all over the map, it's hard to come up with a concise thought to share.

So, I'm begging for mercy. Let's start over. For real, this time, I'm going to start blogging more regularly...whether you want to hear about things on this side of the pond, or not. I just tell myself that you want to hear about America too.

I've been home for almost 3 months now. That's pretty hard to believe! My foot is still healing. It's been hurting alot this past week or so, but I think that's just from over-use and not being able to wear my Chacos. You can be praying for continued healing for my foot, and that my lost suitcase (thanks Delta!) will be found, because it contains my comfy Chacos...along with other important things--like my winter wardrobe.

I spent all of last week in Seattle, Washington with my ORR family (that's the whole gang above!) in our new offices. Everyone is home from Liberia right now, so this was literally the first time in 3 years that everyone has been able to be in the same place at the same time. We had a week of teaching, prayer, worship, hanging out, refocusing, counseling, lots of meals together, plenty of laughter, some sunshine but mostly rain, and a silence and solitude day-trip to Mount Rainier (pictured above). We also said bittersweet goodbyes to two field team members (Matt & Mariel) and three office staffers, but we welcomed three new field team members. God must be up to something, because our family just keeps growing! You can pray for us as we go through this season of changes. Pray for me, as I stay home for a few more months--that I would just soak up this extra time at home and that I would use it constructively and creatively.

Today was the start of a 5-day missions conference at my home church. I got home from Seattle on Sunday and hit the group running to get things together for the conference (um, yea, stayed up until 3am). I'm looking forward to reconnecting with people and connecting with new people, while sharing about Liberia and ORR's ministry. You can be praying for the rest of this week--lots of events, interactions and opportunities.

Now that I've tackled the blog update, it's time to begin my newsletter update--which is LONG overdue! Love you all!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Help Orphan Relief and Rescue Win $10,000!

Help Orphan Relief and Rescue win $10,000! Jake traveled to Liberia this summer with Orphan Relief and Rescue. He is in a local radio station's talent competition, where the winner gets $10,000 for the ministry of their choice...and he has chosen ORR! Here's where we need your help! The first part of the competition is based on number of views his song has on YouTube. You can watch up to 100 times from one IP address per day. So, while you're sitting at your computer, pull up extra windows, stick your computer on mute and keep watching the video! You have to watch it all the way through to count. Right now, he's a few thousand views behind the person in first place, but the videos with the top 5 views will perform for judges on September 4th for the $10,000. So, we need to make sure Jake is one of those Top 5 videos and the YouTube competition ends August 20th! Jake is super talented, and what a blessing and honor it is that he wants to use his gifts and talents to glorify God and help ORR and the children that impacted his life this summer! Please help spread the word! Thanks!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

I'm Back!

[Beautiful day in Destin!]
I've been soaking up the sun, sand and surf in Destin, Florida for the past week, and now it's time to get my blog updated. I enjoyed my five days of sitting on the beach under my umbrella reading my book with the waves crashing and the sand between my toes. I have REALLY missed the ocean since I've been home, so I was absolutely loving it--moon boot and all!

In other news, I finally was able to get behind the wheel of a car today! It was the first time I had driven a car since June 25th (the day I broke my foot), and the first time driving on American roads in 6 months. It was wonderful and freeing--but it's back to the land of speed limits, stop signs, traffic lights and laws. Now my only problem is that I need to find a car that I can use while I am home for these few months. If you have a no-fills, dependable spare car that I can putz around town in, let me know!

And in even bigger news, today was my first day of trying to wear a shoe on my broken foot! I used my time in Destin to transition from crutches to strictly moon boot, and today decided to try the shoe. After church and lunch, my foot was ready for a rest....but it was awesome to be able to get round, even though I was slow and hobble-y. It was great to be able to do the 'Liberian church sway' in church today too! I still need to take it easy, and just continue to be aware of the pain, but I am hoping that my foot will continue to heal and I can become more and more mobile!
[Feels great to have my slippers back on BOTH feet!]
Thank you to everyone who has been praying for me and my foot!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

These Made Me Happy

[L to R: Olivia from Amazing Grace, Naomi, Kumba, Patricia, Ma Ruth, Mercy and Jogma]

I asked Auntie Debbie if she could take some photos of my girls at Frances Gaskins. Not only did she send me photos of the girls, but she sent me photos of the girls at Amazing Grace...working on jewelry! The photos made me very happy...and made me realize how much I miss those girls! I miss Naomi's huge smile, Patricia's between-her-teeth laugh, Mercy's unsuspecting smirk, the spark in Jogma's eyes, Kumba's hand in mine and Ma Ruth playing with my hair.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

On Being Home

Two weeks ago today, I was leaving Liberia unexpectedly. It's hard to believe that I've been home for two feels like I've been home for a month! There has been alot of adjustments, especially since I am one-legged and on crutches. It's been rough, I'm not going to lie. But, I have had alot of interesting observations since I've been home. Here are a few:

- I have desperately been missing the ocean. The sound and breeze, but more importantly, the ability to walk to the beach at the end of the day and de-stress.
- I have been incredibly claustrophobic since I've been home. I live in the woods. I go outside and look up and can see a sliver of sky. It drives me bonkers! I miss seeing the horizon, the sunset or the approaching thunderstorm.
- There sure are alot of white people!
- The biggest difference is the fact that everyone lives in their own little secluded bubble. You don't talk with your neighbors. You don't say hello when you walk by someone. You for sure aren't yelling out your window at the guy who tried to form a second lane. Everyone goes about their business and doesn't have the time, nor the interest, in talking to the people around them. Nobody lives their life on the side of the road for the rest of the world to live life inside your house, with all of your doors and windows closed, for no one to see.
- I feel like I live in an aquarium, or like I'm just watching a movie or something. You're always closed up inside of your bubble--usually your air-conditioned house or car.
- I miss my 24/7 open windows and my front porch! I feel like I need to breathe in huge amounts of outside more of this fake, inside, air-conditioned stuff! Problem's too hot here, and there's no ocean breeze, to make sitting outside bearable in the heat of the day.
- Food. Eat. More Food. Snack. Watch Food Network. See commercials of fast food. There is food everywhere! All people do is eat, or think about what they will eat next. It's no wonder America is fat. [I have enjoyed my fair share of good food...but not nearly as much as I was wishing for when I was still in Liberia, haha.]
- Speaking of food--can I just say again how much I LOVE Chick-Fil-A! It's the only fast food I will eat. I still haven't had McDonald's, which kind of surprises me. Most foods seem too I just feel like a double cheeseburger would taste like a salt block. I have to work my way up to the Micky D's. But, I am LOVING the non-stop produce out of the garden--tomatoes, cucumbers, egg plant, watermelon, cantaloupe, peaches, okra, green beans--it's the BEST food I've had in a LONG time!
- Ok, enough about the food. Let's talk hot showers. Ah! They are wonderful, but I admit, I really miss my outdoor shower!

I couldn't wait to come home to 'just be normal,' but the whole broken foot thing makes that impossible. I can't do most things on my own. It has been challenging and frustrating. I remember in Liberia, just wanting to lay on a comfy couch and watch a movie. Let me just tell you...I'm sick of the couch, sick of movies, sick of TV, sick of the internet. I want to be outside (in that heat?!), enjoying some body of water or horizon or breeze or something.

It has been great being with my family, friends and church! I love them to death! I have missed them all so much! But, I miss my Liberia family, my community, the kids and directors. It's pretty quiet around here. No Momo around here, haha.

I guess those are just some random thoughts on being home. You can continue to pray for my time at home. I have one more week before I head back to the doctor for my foot. I'm really praying that I will get the go-ahead to be crutch free next Friday, but we'll have to wait and see. If I get to ditch the crutches, then I can tell you now that I'm heading for the beaches of Florida!!! And if not, then I'm busting out my new sewing machine! Just pray that I would feel 'normal' soon and that I could fully enjoy being home! Also, that God would use this time to renew, refresh, restore, give new passion and direction, and that He would continue to guide and direct me. Thank you for your prayers!

Sunday, July 4, 2010


Update: For those of you who don't know, I left Liberia on Thursday to head home. I was sick with malaria, but even worse, I injured my foot. The doctor in Liberia said it was badly sprained and casted it, but I made the decision to come home. Thank goodness I did, because it turns out that my foot is broken! I am on crutches and in an air-cast for the next 3 weeks, and then I go back to the doctor to check on the bone-healing progress. I was originally scheduled to stay in Liberia through the end of August, but sometimes things don't go according to our plans. It is good to be home, and would have been impossible to properly heal in Liberia (especially since the doctor couldn't detect the break). I will be home for the next few months, and would love to see you, have lunch, hang out, share with you and your friends....I'm game! Thank you all for your continued prayers and support, and I will keep you posted on the foot!

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July!
I have worn my red, white and blue.
I enjoyed the fireworks.
I sang patriotic songs.
I spent the weekend with family and friends.
I ate bbq ribs, baked beans, watermelon, homemade peach ice cream...and more!
I wasn't planning on celebrating the 4th this year, but my unexpected return home enabled me to do all of these things!
It was great!

Thank you to all of the men and women who have fought for our freedom!
I hope you all have a great 4th of July weekend!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Danny Feeney Grand Opening!!

The homemade invitations that were hanging on trees...awesome!
It was a stormy morning in Cottontree.
The community gathered to welcome the children.
The dining hall was converted for the program.
Bunkbeds, linens, mosquito nets and teddy bears waited for the children.
The girls approve!
Presenting Salome with the dedication plaque.
Hon. Minister Geebro, as well other VIPs got the grand tour.
The group shot with all of the kiddos!

More photos and videos to come!
In the meantime, here is an article that our good friend wrote about the grand opening.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Unexpected Update

[I know...everyone's dying for some photos of the Danny Feeney Grand Opening. Give me a few more days.]

For those of you that don't know, I have been sick and in bed with malaria since Friday. On Friday night, in an attempt to get back into bed before passing out, I fell and badly hurt my foot. On Monday, I was well enough to venture to the hospital for an x-ray. Thankfully, my foot is not broken, but it is badly sprained. After a family meeting, we all agreed that it would be best for me to return home to the States in order to fully recover and get proper medical care. It would be quite the challenge to keep a cast dry during rainy season, and maneuvering around on crutches has already proven to be difficult.

So, I will be leaving Liberia tomorrow at 5:30pm and flying through Accra, Ghana. I will land in Atlanta on Thursday morning at 8:45am. And don't worry, God's timing is perfect, because I will be traveling home with a team from PTCUMC, so they can all help me out!

I have quickly been reminded that our plans don't always work out, but that God's plans are always the best! I don't know why this is happening, but I can only trust that God knows what He's doing and that He has something super great in store for me!

Thank you all for your prayers, encouragement and support over the past 5 months! They have been the most challenging months yet, and it means the world to me to be surrounded by an army of prayer warriors, encouragers and friends! Please be in prayer for my flights and that my foot would be ok for the 12 hour flight from Accra to Atlanta. Pray as I quickly try to wrap things up here! I already know and realize that I'm just going to have to leave some things undone. Pray for the next few months--that God would reveal His plan for me, in Georgia, during this time and for rest and healing.

Love from Liberia,

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Playing Catch Up

Things have been so crazy around here the past few weeks! And, I've been lazy and have been sick and tired of starring at my computer, so I haven't made any posts. But, to catch you all up on what's been going on around here....well, there's alot!

Last Monday, my mom and Jake (fellow New Hoper) left Liberia. They were here for 10 days, and other than a trip to the ER, and the loss of 2 days for Jake, it was great! It was awesome to have my mom back in Liberia and the kids loved it! We spent half of our time working on the new Danny Feeney Orphanage in Cottontree and the other half of the time we did the usual Child Development Program activities. They brought a fun foam cross craft and plenty of glitter and shiny-shine to keep the kids happy! We were able to take in Monrovia, make it to Robertsport and visit old friends from my BJCCV days. The 10 days flew by too quickly and we had a jam packed 10 days! Here are 10 days in photos. [click to enlarge]
Eh, Liberia!