Thursday, June 19, 2014

Meet Our Staff




This past weekend we were so very blessed and excited 

to host our very first of its kind


Staff Family Dinner

When I first began the process to hire staff for our Home,

it was with much prayer that I began the interviews.

I prayed that the Lord would lead us to the right staff that 
were suppose to join our team.

Each day to day the tender caring for our 'Gems' is so very important.

As we began the applications and interviews -
We prayed! 



Asking the Lord to direct our steps and provide.
And that He did!

One by one we have grown into an incredible God given Staff and Team.

I have been so blessed to serve alongside these amazing individuals
who truly love Jesus and are passionate about our 'Gems'.
{These are just some of our staff's kids!

I can't help myself I love baby feet!}




We enjoyed the afternoon with some good old fashioned Ugandan football!


Sharon {one of our volunteers this summer} with  Jeremiah 



It was also my very first time to prepare local food -

all by ourselves!!

Thankfully the food turned out good {I was worried!} and the staff said it was
delicious local food!


Our staff enjoying the meal and time together!




It was also Jeremiah's first birthday -

I'm sure some of you remember the story and the incredible honor,

I received last year when I was asked by his parents to name him!

You can read his full story here:




{His parents and brother and sister were so excited with his cake!}

~

It is with a great honor that I introduce you to our incredible

Staff and Team and the families here at our home!

We are getting ready sweet friends -

and it's finally about to be a reality!

,

Monday, June 16, 2014

The Journey to You - Becoming My Sister



Today  is a very special day across the world...

My sweet little sister - Where has the time gone?!

It feels like just yesterday I held you in my arms for the very first time.

~

"She is malnourished. And so frail.

When I hold her in my arms I feel like I am holding a stick.

Her whole body so small. 

Her bones so obvious.  

When I hold her in my arms I feel that she will brake in pieces.

So sick and weak her body can not handle the food she throws up everything.

She has a huge need but it is not huge to GOD!" 


On June 8th, 2011 I wrote the above paragraph in a post titled -


Little did I know what a miracle God was about to perform!


Your frail little body was struggling for every breath.

Yet God breathed life into your lungs and day by day you began to heal.

I would have never imagined the journey 'we' -
my sweet sister were about to embark on.

Several weeks later I journeyed home,
with the sweet image of you imprinted on my heart...


So hard it was to say goodbye.

When we arrived back on American soil we received the most amazing email.

"Pastor Dwight you said you and Linny would do anything for her, 
will you believe with me God is going to heal her and will you adopt her?"

That's the day we would start a whole new journey -

The Journey to You - Becoming My Baby Sister.



In the fall of 2011 we would again board a plane.

This time Mom and I would begin the paper process to bring you home.



Looking back I stand utterly amazed by God!

When I first held you in my arms - I never would have imagined the journey
 God was about to unfold.

You have brought so much Joy into my life precious baby sister.

So hard to believe that today you are turning 4 years old!

I'm so wishing I could be there with you to celebrate and have a princess party!



Happy 4th Birthday precious baby sister!

I'm so thankful for the gift of you in my life -
Thank you for inspiring me and making me who I am today!

Xoxo

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Above and Beyond...






 In preparing to open the doors of

 The Gem Foundation

there have been many needs!

At first the needs were so great that it seemed overwhelming. 

But I was reminded of one thing,
God who called this ministry into being would provide.

I didn't know how or even when but He is faithful and
I knew that He would supply all of our needs.

As a Staff we prayed that our needs would be met, 
above and beyond 
all that we can think or even ask.

We waited with expectant hearts to see what God would do.

In April we had the amazing opportunity to host an

  International Voice of the Orphan GO team

who arrived to serve

and help prepare our home for our precious 'Gems'.

Little did I know that God was about to provide.

Not long after they arrived one of the ladies on the team, Linda,
pulled me aside and said she had been sent from her church
with a gift to donate to a need.

She continued to share with me that her church would like
to purchase our dining table!

I was amazed by His faithfulness!

What an incredible blessing this would be to our home and our 'Gems'
because to me, a dining table is somewhere you gather as a family -
to share a meal, to laugh and to experience love.

Later on that week we were able to journey to a local carpenter
and order a custom dining table,
specifically made to have wheelchairs roll up to the table!


Linda and I pictured with our custom designed dining table!

Thank you so much for giving our 'Gems' a place to grow, 
learn and share a family meal together!

No longer limited by their wheelchairs but instead able to 
participate in a family dinner together!

Thank you for being an answer to our prayers 
Crossroads Church of McHenry, Maryland!




I am so very excited that soon we will be opening our doors
and seeing this table filled
 with all of our 'Gems' sweet faces!

Soon little ones.

We're coming for you!



"And my God will supply every need of yours 
according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus."
Philippians 4:19

Monday, June 9, 2014

Her Eyes




Sitting in Traffic as we wait for the signal to cross the intersection.

I glance to my right and that’s when I saw her.

Her eyes bore into mine…

For a moment I see myself as her. 

What if that was me? 

She shakes her hand back and forth asking for anything.

Hunger pains likely fill her stomach.

Staring through the car windows her eyes plead for mercy.

Just a child herself -
yet carrying her baby snuggled fast asleep.

Cars speed by and she hardly notices that
 they are so very close to hitting her.

She stands on the median between the two sides of the road...

Her skirt is dirty and ripped....scars cover her precious face.

Shoeless she paces back and forth.

I don’t know what brought her to this place where she stands.

Yet my heart is heavy for her... 

I long to speak her language and share with her how much 
Jesus truly loves her.

In her eyes I see such pain and grief and wonder
what has happened in her short life to bring her to this place here?!

So easy it is to roll up my window and pretend I didn’t see her.

Yet I cannot.

My heart is burdened with her face.

You might have also seen someones eyes who bore into yours.
They leave an imprint on your heart and mind.

I always wonder what if that moment our eyes met
left an imprint on her heart as well?

What if God brought us to that moment at that time to show our friend Jesus?!

I quickly search through my purse -
looking for something to pass to her.

I find an apple which as I lift it out the window I
share with her in her native tongue ‘Jesus loves you so much’.
{I only know a speck of her dialect.}

I pray that moment left an imprint on her heart.

I pray that it opened her eyes and that she
wondered who this Jesus really is.

That she would not see my face, but His face.

I long for her to meet Jesus.

For her to see that she has value and was created with a purpose.

I long for her eyes to fill with Joy - for her eyes to no longer be filled
with pain and grief but to be filled with His Presence.

There are so many girls just like her that roam Kampala.

They walk the streets and medians in-between traffic.

My heart breaks for these girls. 

Street children.

To many they are seen as nuisance and a disgrace.

Their childhood and innocence stolen from them
the day they arrived on the streets.

Their eyes reveal they have lost all Hope.

My heart is heavy and I can’t keep her face to myself
but had to share it with all of you.

I pray it gave a glimpse into the daily 
 life of a street girl.

Please join me in praying that these girls
would come to know Jesus as their personal Savior.