Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Gems Need Your Help!



Before we opened...


While preparing to open The Gem Foundation 

my best guess was that we would add Gem upon Gem

ever-so-slooooooowly.

I thought that probably in the first year we would have

 six or so sweet Gems to love and care for.

Our first Gems arrived!



Imagine the surprise when Watoto contacted

The Gem Foundation and asked me if we could

partner with them!

Before long they gifted us our first 11 Gems!!!

Wow!! 

I was in shock to say the least!!

Of course, we were smitten with each of the 11!!

Definitely looking forward to a bit of pink sometime

in the future,

but things were busy and the rooms were

nearly filled - already!!

Before we could even get really settled with the 11,

a call came for one who needed a home.

Before long we took the "extra" room we had for supplies

and the nurses station and moved

a sweet girl gem into there.

Then there was another call.

And then another call.

Every room available was now overflowing.



But what would we do?

Turn our back?

Never!!

The needs have been enormous!!

Bigger than we could have imagined.

More beds ordered as quickly as possible.

One coming from the far west.

One coming from way up north.

Many severely abused.

One left naked and tied up in public.

Horrific malnutrition.

Desperate situations.

Indescribable needs.

More cribs ordered.

Squeezing in here and squeezing in there.

And the calls keep coming.

With every addition our hearts have welcomed

and embraced each new Gem.

All fitting in to our precious Gem family.  

Personally, I have been so humbled and amazed by all that God

has done in our life and ministry.

He has blessed us and provided again and again.

Now just five months later, we have had the joy of 

caring for 23 precious ‘Gems’!!

Little did we know that in the first five months,

 we would not only have tremendous joy and blessings

but also such sorrow and grief

with the loss of Arthur and Jason.

When we first began I joked with friends that we’d grow little by little.

Little did I know that God had other ideas and soon our arms

would spill over with His precious Gems.


.



Tonight downstairs twenty-one precious Gems snooze in their beds.

My eyes fill with tears.

 His goodness never ceases to amaze me.

Yet  several months before we opened

 God began to whisper to me that someday we’d need a place

 to call our forever home.

I thought that maybe that day would come in a few years.

And with each phone call and new referral for our home

I realized "someday" might be sooner than I had imagined!!

As we have grown we quickly came to understand that

our home is just not big enough.

We’ve rearranged rooms more times then I can count as

we’ve added each new crib.


But friends - we are more than out of room!

We must do something to change that.

The need is still too large!

With much prayer we began to dream of our own place to

truly call our forever home.

A place where our Gems can heal, learn and grow.

We're dreaming of a place that we no longer struggle

to bath our kiddos, 

but a place with wheelchair accessible showers.


We're even dreaming of a place with land to run and play -

to plant and to grow our own food.

We are dreaming of a place to see our Gems thrive and

take their very own steps.

We dream of a village of special needs children growing to adults

because some will grow with us for a short season,

some will be resettled

and

some will live with us long term. 

Would you prayerfully consider joining us 
in making our forever home a reality?

Here are just a few ways you could partner with us...

First, would you please pray with us?

Ask God to direct your steps...

Then - 

Perhaps you would host a fundraiser 

or

 have a cupcake sale

or

organize a multi-family yard sale

or

have an auction...

or

even get your church involved...


There are so many ways you can be apart of

The Gem Foundation's Forever Home!!!

If you or someone you know is interested in partnering with us:

Send us an email at:

office@thegemfoundation.com

You can also be a part by donating now.


DONATE



We need you!

Will you help us??

Thursday, December 11, 2014

"Will You Marry Me?"



My heart is practically bursting at the seams!

It all began so many years ago..

The day we first met - for him he says it was love at first sight.

I was 6 years old and he was just 8.

Little did I know all that would transpire 10 years later.

In early fall of 2008 we began emailing.

Casually he would appear as I would Skype his little sister Anna 

{Who happened to be my best friend!}

Little by little he would appear more frequently and 

then one day he would ask if he could have my cell number.

Then on December 31st - he texted me asking 

"Can I call you for a quick question".

I couldn't imagine what that question would be as I quickly texted back,

"Sure".

As my phone rang I looked at my Mom and asked her 
what she thought he had to say.

She mumbled something and I shook my head.

As I answered the phone on the first ring,

I questioned what he needed.

He responded "I wondered if you'd be around on the 24th of July"

I giddily asked if he was bringing his sister to visit.

He responded, 

"Actually, NO I was thinking we could just hang out?"

I told him I'd look and let him know.

As we said goodbye - I was dumbfounded.

Did Joshua Q. really just ask me out?

So I did what all teenage girls do and I texted him back.

"Did you just ask me out?"

He responded with a "Yes" 



{Just kids!}

And so it began,

We eagerly began counting down the days until our very first date.

Just two days after my 16th birthday.


Our first date.

~
We  fell so in love and we dreamed of our future together.

We were each other's best friends, confidants and encouragers.

Yet to our heart break,

after three years together we would part ways.

and say goodbye to what we had thought would be forever.

He would head off to flight school and I'd 

 move to  Uganda and call it home.

~

To my surprise after living in Uganda for just about 7 months,

I would journey to a local Orphanage to drop off food for their kiddos.

As I was visiting and playing with the kids.

I heard a car coming up the lane,

As I turned around to my complete surprise

there stood Josh.

The man I had fallen in love with so many years before.

Only this time we hardly knew each other.

We hadn't spoken in almost a year.

But God would have other plans as he would begin to do some healing in our lives.

Some of you may have even read the post titled:


~

That summer a new friendship would start.


We spent many hours that summer spending time together and talking.

As he journeyed home,

we'd continually talk on the phone, Skype and text.

Not a day would go by that I wouldn't miss him.

As he left he made me one little promise.

Within one year he would be back.

I apparently didn't take him seriously at the time.

But true to his word,

Within a year passing -

the guards came to tell me that there was someone waiting on the porch for me.

As I'd walk out to the porch to my surprise there stood Josh.

I was so shocked that I just stared at him 

and then ran inside to tell Macey

 {my assistant, picture taker and best friend!}

How funny it must have been.

There stood Josh and all I did was turn around and run.

{poor guy!}

We joke about it now!

Those few weeks we'd spend together would be some of the best ever.

We'd share our passions, talk, laugh and spend time loving on my gems.


Just two months later Josh would travel to my parent's home to

 spend some time with my family,

talking with my Mom and Dad and to ask their permission 

and blessing on our relationship.

We were so excited that they gave us their blessing to pursue a courtship relationship.

We'd then begin Skype dating. 

Which living in Uganda can be a bit difficult.

We'd soon plan that he'd fly in for Christmas.

We began counting down the days.

But then on December 7th - something truly special would happen.

Josh would ask me to have a candle light dinner on the balcony of

The Gem Foundation

{conveniently we'd lose power and this would have been the perfect set up!}

As I came out to the balcony to my surprise I'd find it lit up with tea light candles,

and classical music playing.




We'd sit down to dinner and talk.

He began sharing how he'd love to spend his life growing old with me.

Then he'd stand up and ask me to dance on the dance floor,

{Josh is a romantic so of course he lined the floor with more candles!}

We'd dance to our old song and then another and on the third song,

He'd stop,

all the sudden to my surprise there he was on one knee!

thats when he asked;

"Will You Marry Me?"

to my reply I said, 

"YES! A THOUSAND TIMES YES!'

Oh my sweet friends,

it's officially official,

I'm marrying my best friend and we couldn't be happier.

We are so excited to spend our lives growing old together 

and caring for our most precious 'Gems'.

We are so thankful that God redeems and restores our brokenness!

Out of our Ashes He makes such beauty.

We haven't picked a wedding date yet - but hope to soon.


Rejoice with us sweet friends -

WE'RE GETTING MARRIED!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Jane Mercy Come's Home!!




We are so excited to share that our home has gotten a lot more pink!

We’ve welcomed home 'Gem' number 19!

I am so excited to introduce her to you!!

Meet our 'Gem',

Jane Mercy 

She is so full of life and bubbly personality!


She is sassy, sweet and loves to giggle.


Our ‘Janey’ is hearing impaired and has epilepsy and
several other special needs.


But she never lets that stop her -


She loves to play outside, and her smile radiates as she runs in the sunshine.




It is our prayer that ‘Janey’ will be able to learn to communicate. 

We are so excited to see her begin learning sign language 

and to watch the world open up to her!

 If you are interested in sponsoring our

"Jane Mercy"

Email us at,


office@thegemfoundation.com

Subject:

"Jane's Team"