Friday, January 18, 2013

My Lindsay......

Tonight I have one of my favorite girls in the world who is going to write a guest blog- My precious 9 year old Lindsay is going to blog about what it was like to travel to Ethiopia and adopt 3 children her age.........
A few years ago my parents were talking to my family about adopting a child or two. I was exited because I would have a sister my age to play with but also at the same time I was a little sad. One reason is because I would have to share my mom and dad. I was excited to get to go to Ethiopia with my mom, dad, brother and sisters when it was time to bring Tia and Garrett home.
When we got to Ethiopia it was a little weird. I saw kids on the streets and I saw people washing other peoples shoes..One of the things that I liked most was when we got to see orphans. There was one girl that I didn't want to let go of. She was a little tiny baby. I loved that I could hold her but at the same time I was sad that she didn't have a mom that could hold her all day long.     
Ethiopia is very different from were I live. For one thing every morning at about 4:00 am we would hear music playing. We also saw many children living on the street. Every night we brought some dinner across the street to some boys who washed shoes to get money for food. I don't think that they had a home and it made me so sad to see kids my age not have a family.
When we came back home on an airplane Tia and Garrett were scared. I helped them by playing with them. This was only my second plane ride ever so I knew what it was like to be a little scared. My first plane ride was to Ethiopia.
When we got home Tia and Garrett were amazed by our house. They kept on turning the lights on and off. Also the turned the water on and off. They were so happy to have a bed that was just for them after having to share or not having a bed. I can't believe that they use to sleep on the dirt every night.
I was so glad to have them home and sharing my mom and dad hasn't been as hard as I thought it would be. We even have now adopted Lemi because all of the kids in our family really wanted to adopt him. I am now glad that we have a big family with nine people. Lindsay

Monday, January 7, 2013

A Passion Mom........

For the past few years David and I have had the opportunity to be a small part of the Passion movement. We have the role of being door holders and leading a group of people to help the thousands (60,000 this year) of college students to find their seats in the Georgia Dome. It is always such a blessing to play our part which is to hold the door so that these students can receive all that God has for them for the few days that we are together.

This year I found myself oddly in a new role. I was doing what I had done the previous few years but this year my focus was different- This year our oldest daughter, Megan, was one of those 60,000 students who had gathered to worship and be challenged to be all that God had created them to be. I found myself in the role of being a Passion mom. In the years past I have been in awe of this generation who give sacrificially and worship passionately and this year I was so excited for our Megan as a senior in high school to experience these few days.

The days leading up to Passion I found myself praying for God to do some amazing things in Megan's heart and life while she was experiencing Passion. Megan has a huge heart and she seeks to follow God with all that she is and so I prayed that God would continue to reveal His plan for her life as she spent these days with other students.

During these few days I am always busy running around making sure that the door holders on my team have all that they need and/or help with any issues that arise. I spend much of my time praying as I walk miles a day around the Dome. On the second day, I stepped in for a few minutes of worship and I was amazed once again by the sight of 60,000 students worshiping our creator. It is really as close to heaven as I think it gets here on earth. With tears pouring down my face I worshiped Him and as I worshiped I felt Him tugging at my mom heart.

I felt Him say, "Mendy, are you really willing to let her (Megan) follow me?"
For the past two years Passion has focused on slavery. There are 27 million slaves in our world today. We heard story after story of lives who are in complete bondage without hope unless the church steps up to be the hands and feet of Jesus. What if God calls Megan to go and rescue those who are caught up in this bondage? Am I as her mom ok with that?

Success in our country is so marked out that if I were honest I will tell you what I had done just a few moments earlier. I had just send David a text that said, "Just think our son-in-law (or 2) could be worshiping in this very room with us now." You see I want Megan's life to unfold how I think it should unfold. I have always known what success would look like for her. She will go to college, fall in love with an amazing man (who loves God and can provide well for her), they will marry after graduation, Megan will be a teacher, they will purchase a home, they will be involved in the local church, they will have our grandchildren...........and the successes go on and on.

God caught my attention and very clearly made me think about what success to Him looks like. I am ashamed to say that His idea of success seemed so far away from mine. Success to Him would be Megan fulfilling the role that He has designed for her to play not doing what is expected from our society. Could it look like my success? Maybe, but the success I want for her is a comfortable life and I should know by now that God doesn't always want us to be comfortable. He wants us to be obedient and full of faith in Him as we willingly lay down our lives to follow Him.

For a few minutes I had to wrestle with the fact that God might call Megan into a very dangerous place of rescuing those who need to be set free, He could call her to love on those who are fatherless in another country, He could call her to translate His word into another language, or He could call her to be a second grade teacher right here in Harrisburg, North Carolina. I have no idea what His plans are for her life but in my heart I had to wrestle with myself until I could put my selfish desires down and trust Him with Megan's life- Where ever that may lead.

My own heart.......

As I listed to the challenge to end slavery my heart was breaking because we have 3 children that very likely could have ended up being slaves. I couldn't imaging my sweet Tizita being sold into the sex slave market yet my mind went back to the airport in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia both in August and October of this past year.  We witnessed hundreds of very young girls boarding airplanes to travel to what they thought was freedom yet what they were going to find was slavery. I remembering saying over and over to David in the airport, "David, we must do something. We can't let these girls go." Yet we had no way to communicate with them. I cried as I watched these helpless girls who had nothing but the clothes on their back and a plane ticket- They were walking into slavery.
 Each trip after boarding our plane my mind went back to my little world and I quickly erased the sights of those who were being sold into slavery.. God rocked my world this week  and brought those sights back up. Today I will call an organization from Passion and share what we have seen. Whatever it takes I will not allow the enemy to have his way. I am willing not only to allow God to use our Megan but I am a willing mom of seven to do my part to END IT! Will you join me?