Wednesday, January 27, 2010

They're Home!!

Thank you to those of you who prayed for my friends the Daby family this last 2 weeks. They arrived on Monday night at the Rochester airport with Johnny and Marie. Praise the Lord, he is faithful to deliver!! Here is the video link to our local news that covered their return.

"Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him:
I will set him on high, because he hath known my name,
He shall call upon me, and I will answer him:
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him, and honor him.
With long life will I satisfy him, and show him my salvation."
Psalm 91: 15- 16

Praise God for His provision, promises and deliverance for us all!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Johnny and Marie

I have the privilege of being acquainted with a wonderful Christian family named the Dabys. Joshua and Liz are the parents. Josiah, Emma, Johnny and Marie are the children. They are your typical homeschool family- lots of love, busy times, ministry work, homeschool group etc. There is one very disturbing difference between our family and theirs- while all of my children are safe under my roof this morning- Josh and Liz's aren't.

You see, for over two years, Josh and Liz have been trying to adopt Johnny and Marie from an orphanage in Port Au Prince, Haiti. When I first met Josh and Liz a few years ago, Liz told me at that time about the adoption and her hopes to have their kids here by the following summer. Josh and Liz have both done missions work in Haiti, and have a burden from the Lord for the country. Two summers ago, my sister and her husband had a vacation Bible school in a local park, and Josh and Liz were there ministering alongside a team of inner city kids. I so enjoyed watching Josh interact with the kids. He is a very talented percussionist, and in fact owns an African drum repair business. At one point, he had a group of these kids off to the side, laughing and smiling while singing praises to the Lord to his drum accompaniment. I think the fact that he's a totally bald white guy who can totally jam a traditional African praise rhythm on a drum shocked, and then tantalized them! It was so apparent to me from watching him minister to those kids how much love he has for them. When Liz talks about her kids in Haiti, the love she has shines through. Even Josiah and Emma talk about their brother and sister- who will some day come to live with them in their house here.

What I'm saying is that these kids are as much a part of their family as if they were here in the US. Now imagine your young children, half a world away, surviving an earthquake but unable to go back into their house for safety reasons- and sleeping on the ground instead. Imagine not being able to contact them. Imagine all your hard work and paperwork being destroyed (the government buildings are apparently all gone). Imagine wanting desperately to hold and comfort your kids, and not being able to. And then, please pray.

Pray for the safety of them and all the kids who are orphans in Haiti. In a country with so few resources, orphans tend to get thrown away. Pray for the Daby family to have peace and God's assurance of His provision for them and theirs during this time. Pray that the governments will be able to somehow expedite the adoption so the kids can come home. If you feel so inclined, please contact your US Senators and/or State Department to ask for emergency Visas for these kids so they can come home.

Here is the link to the interview the Daby's did on our local television news. (click on the link for "Greece family waiting for word").

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Please Pray for Haiti

For some time I have been planning to start blogging again- but haven't had the time to get it going. I don't think anyone will still even be reading this at this point (except my friend Sue who tells me she checks every day for a new post! Hi Sue- bet you thought you were escaping the cold when you went to Florida this year-ha!), but I cannot give up any chance to plead for prayer for the Haitian people in the wake of the huge earthquake yesterday.

In 1999, I had the opportunity to travel to Haiti for a missions nursing trip with my college. I remember being shocked beyond belief out of my comfortable view of Christianity and missions. I have never seen poverty like what I saw there. To get through the airport alone was a major feat- as armed soldiers representing the government pretty much take whatever they want from incoming passengers. The team I was on was carrying many much needed medical supplies for a very poor region of the country, and we barely got through. Praise the Lord, He made a way for us- we weren't harmed, we lost none of our supplies, and we got out of the country right before another mini-revolution started.

How to describe the abject poverty? In the capital city (where the epicenter of the quake is) most common buildings are made of concrete. People sleep on the floor on mats, if they are lucky, and if not, just on the ground. Children there are not clothed until they are around 5 years old- and then mostly in just tee shirts. The city we went to (Desailline) used to be the capital of Haiti- and there is no running water, no sewer system, no central electricity, virtually no telephone lines. People literally go to the bathroom on the ground. The one river that runs through the city is the source of water for every use- I personally saw a woman gathering her drinking water in a pot just a short distance from the cow who was standing in the water getting a drink, right next to another woman washing her clothes. Disease runs rampant there, due to a lack of sanitation, little clean water, very limited medical care, no infrastructure, and malnutrition. People die there of things we haven't worried about in 100 years in the West- typhus, cholera, cancer to name a few. They don't even name their babies until they are a year old because the infant mortality rate is so high. Mind you, Port Au Prince (the current capital and epicenter of the quake) is better off in many ways than this- they do have some electricity and limited water- but all things being relative still one of the poorest nations in the world. If their capital is destroyed, any minute support that flows out of it into the poorer regions will cease, people will suffer and die everywhere in their nation. Not to mention that 1/3 of the population is in Port Au Prince and the surrounding areas.

What I am saying is they are POOR! Poor in a way most of us can't even imagine. Spiritually, there is a large Catholic presence there- but about 85% of the people still practice voodoo/black magic to some extent or another. Evangelic Christianity is hard won, and many cultural barriers must be overcome. The government is essentially a dictatorship- with whomever is strongest being in power. Oh, don't let the "elections" fool you- it is not a representative government with a President like what we have here in the USA. The military is the strongest branch of any industry there- and given that they have not had a foreign threat to their nation since pretty much the first revolution- I'll leave it to you to figure out what that military is needed and used for.

An earthquake like this will literally kill hundreds of thousands of people. They will have no where to go for help. There are very few hospitals, and all are built in the flimsy construction style of concrete with little if no reinforcements inside the walls. Many, many people will die in the coming weeks just of their wounds and lack of adequate medical care. Their government will do it's best to protect itself and its interests first (as it always does), and it will truly be up to the international aid organizations to save whom and what they can. I can't even imagine the rebuilding.

However, the hope is in the Lord. Even in the face of all that destruction and death, He is there. Please, please, please join me in prayer for the people of Haiti. God is there.

Here is a blog of a missionary family serving there.
This is the CNN link for the ongoing coverage.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Apple Doesn't Fall Far..Part 2

Lest you think we have lost our sense of humor here at chez Wendymom- this little incident should reassure you.

As much as my daughter is like me, my son is like my husband. Easy going, kind of shy until he gets to know you, goofy sense of humor, and laid back. We often joke that the Lord has given us mini versions of ourselves- and that's why we both gravitate toward the opposite child.

Last week was kind of crazy around here- the hubby was in California for a business trip, the missionary family we had living here was leaving, and it was my baby's second birthday on the weekend. Additionally, we housed a nationally known speaker from the homeschool movement who was in town for the weekend for a meeting.

So, on Saturday after soccer- I asked the whole family to pitch in and help me get ready for the party on Sunday afternoon. Now, mind you, the first floor was pretty clean given the presence of the out of town guest (sometime soon I'll blog about that one)- but the 2nd floor was a decided mess. Why does this matter? Because the toy room is up there, and I knew the kids coming to the party would want to play in it. Given that the floor was not really visible- it needed a good picking up and vacuuming. I am a little neurotic in that I figure if there will be kids in the toy room, there may end up being adults up there as well- they may have to mediate, help clean up etc. So, I wanted the rest of the 2nd floor picked up and vacuumed as well. Oh, and the 2 bathrooms up there needed to be wiped down just in case someone was busy in the one down here and they were needed. I think you're getting the picture. I promise, I really wasn't trying to make the place spotless- just not so embarrassing!

Back to Saturday afternoon. Hubby and 5 year old son were sitting in the dining room as I was laying out the one task I wanted their help with- just pick up the toy room and bedrooms so I could come through and vacuum uninterrupted- when my son looked at me with a genuinely perplexed look and said the following,

"Momma, why can't you leave it the way it is?... it looks fine to me!"

When I tell you my head swiveled around to catch my husband's eye so fast I almost herniated something- I mean it. It was all I could do to not bust out laughing and crying at the same time.
If I have heard that e-x-a-c-t sentence once, I've heard it a hundred times from my husband's mouth. I just never expected the genetics to kick in so soon.

Needless to say, both hubby and I laughed a good natured chuckle, shaking our heads and marveling at it.

Then, I put them all to work!

Oh my...

Today was an interesting day. This morning we went to soccer with the 3 kids, hubby is an assistant coach on the boy's team, and the baby and I roam between the fields for 2 1/2 hours each week showing our "family support". When hubby and I decided to have our kids involved in things, we decided that if at all possible, we would go to them as a family- hence my presence there each week.

This week was a little different- a very good friend of mine was there with her 3 week old baby boy. I saw them from across the field, went over and sat down with her and her husband. She offered to let me hold the baby- was very sweet about it- and so I did. I can't describe to you the total feeling of my mind and heart ripping in two at that time. Oh my, such a beautiful little newborn boy- soft, cute, smelling like a baby. Such happiness and joy for my friend and her family.

At the same time, such pain in my heart. I will never get to hold my son David as a 3 week old like that. I miss him. I still want him. And, it hurts. I could hardly keep the tears at bay while I talked with my friend- I didn't want to bring her sadness during this awesome time. I have been teary eyed all day since then.

Additionally, today was the day I was to prepare a meal for another friend who just had a baby. Hers is a boy too. Praise the Lord for my awesome husband who delivered it for me- no questions asked. I told him I've been sad about the baby today and he has asked me about 12 times if there's anything he can do for me. Thank you for that, Lord.

To add to my plate- my, ahem, "friend" has arrived as well. I keep telling the Lord that it is all in His control, but then my heart desires what it cannot have.

I am going to delve into the following scripture and make it my own for the rest of this weary day.

Psalm 35: 17-19, 22
The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth and delivereth them out of all their troubles.
The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart,
and delivereth them out of all their troubles.
Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.
The Lord redeemeth the soul of His servants,
and none of them that trust in Him shall be desolate.

Thanks for listening.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Daily Reminders of God's Grace

Let's just say I've been feeling a bit depressed lately. Hypothetically speaking- overwhelmed, grieving, frustrated, and stressed. Anybody else ever been there?

The Lord used this post to remind me, gently I might add, of my value in my home to the children I have here. Sometimes I get so bogged down in the "doing" of being a homeschooling mommy, that I forget about the "being" and the big picture.

This morning I was humbled to discover this blog. I read through a very brief section of this lovely lady's posts, and found myself so deeply touched by her plight. Oh my word- what a little perspective won't do for you!

Yes, I am grieving deeply the loss of our baby, and yes, it is painful. But there are others out there dealing with much different and more challenging things. The one thing I do know is that God cares about all of it- and has it all in His grand plan for each of us. Would you please pray for me today to be strong, and for these other ladies as well? Thank you.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Apple Doesn't Fall Far....

Some people tell me that I am rather a bit of a "crusader". I'm sure it's because when I get passionate about something, I can't let it go until it is properly cared for. I absolutely despise injustice- when I see something "wrong" happening, I will work until it is righted. Customer service is always a biggie for me- because I was a waitress, secretary, and nurse at various points in my life. I have the insiders track into these areas, and am not afraid to speak up until something is resolved.

So, yes, this means that I have called the "1-800-Taco-Bell" number to report the 17 year old workers there for using foul language when I came through the drive through. My hubby will literally stand back, shaking his head and laughing as I go to work. I always try to be respectful, and take the "catch more bees with honey than vinegar" approach first- at least until I meet resistance. Then I have been known to go toe to toe with the tenacity of a bull dog. Oh, there are stories about me that are almost legendary from my time as a nurse.

This past week a good friend of mine asked me to drive one of her kids for swim lessons because her other child had a high fever. I of course offered to come get him so she wouldn't have to leave the house. She just lives in the next town over- the town that is the same mailing address as mine. I don't go over to this town very often, for everything I need is much closer to my home if I go east instead of west. Oh, and every time I go to this particular town, I get lost. Not just a little lost- but really lost. I don't know what it is, especially since our area is literally laid out like a grid, with north/south roads regularly intersected by multiple east/west roads. The road leading into this town, however, is one of those where two routes converge into one and then diverge again. Right in the middle of town, with one sign pointing to the divergence. If you miss the sign, you miss the road. Simple as that. Even my husband- who once drove us home from Vermont with no map , on the scenic route through the Adirondacks, gets turned around there.

After I assured my friend I would pick up her son, I went on Google maps to find directions to her house. Mind you, I've been there before, but wanted to have something with me as a guide in case I got lost in the Bermuda triangle again. We set out in plenty of time to get there early, and wonder of wonders, I got lost. Again. I followed the directions on the map search to a "t" and still couldn't find it. I drove up and down the same road 5 times looking for the side street to turn on, all the while with the kids in the back helpfully adding "Mom, we're lost." "Momma, if we're late for swim lessons, can we still go in the pool?" and other helpful things. I won't go into detail about how high my blood pressure was after about 10 minutes of this- especially when I looked in my purse and discovered I had left my cell phone home. Oh, and I was due at swim lessons to teach the bible study/lesson before it started- no pressure there! We did eventually reach our friend's home, picked up their son and got back on the road. The problem had been that the directions weren't as clear as they could've been about the two roads splitting back off from one another- you are told on Google maps to "follow" a certain route- but they don't specify that the two split off from one another on Main Street, on a tiny section where you have about one second to see the sign.

I'm getting to the point, really I am!

As we were driving away, my 8 year old daughter piped up from the back seat- "Momma, we should go onto the internet, to the "how are we doing section" of Google maps and tell them they were wrong." I'm like, "Um, hum honey, sure". Then she says, "Here's what we'll say- Dear Google maps- you are wrong! We had to go pick up a friend for swim lessons today and got lost because of you. I am not happy about it. I was very mad about it too. We almost didn't make it to lessons on time, and if you don't fix it, the next person will be late too. Next time, we are going to use the competitors map. The ---- Family." I almost drove off the road, cracking up. She had it down perfectly! And I promise the line about the competitor is totally authentic.

Apparently, this trait is genetic. I have never included a section on "How to be a crusader for all that is right and good" in our homeschool curriculum, but the child has it d-o-w-n. Amazing! The cool part is that if we can get her raised up in her beliefs about God as the ultimate authority of right/wrong, she will be less likely to be swayed from them because of this. And, she won't be afraid to speak out for Him. Kind of like a superhero who has to learn to use their power for good. So, for this I am grateful today.