Thursday, December 31, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
The Widow's Offering
21:1 Jesus  looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, 2 and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins.  3 And he said, “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. 4 For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”
... and pondering what it means. for me. for now. not that i'm looking to regift the three half-used bottles of body lotion in the bathroom. but what if i gave more like the widow and less like the rich? joyfully. trusting. all. less like the couch cushion fund-- more like the bank account. more like heifer international-- less like best buy.
haven just learned the fabulous new word, that she doesn't just say, she articulates. 'MIIINEEEEE'. as we try to emphasize sharing, it's our hope that she learns nothing is really ours to hold to tightly.
Lord, my prayer is that she, that we, would give as the widow. trusting that you will provide for our needs. giving freely of what you've entrusted to us. not what comes easily, but what takes sacrifice.
Monday, November 09, 2009
i've been back from kenya for a few weeks now and yet i'm still struggling with how to write about my time there. i'm still struggling with how to process what i saw. felt. lived.
Thursday, November 05, 2009
ladies and gentleman, we have pig tails. it's taken almost two years, but they have arrived! i couldn't help myself-- posting about hair. this is a big deal folks.
Friday, October 30, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
we are doing well, the medical clinics were amazing, we saved many people's lives...what an amazing feeling! we have helped mabye more than 2,500 patients. it has been life changing for all of us. we are all well and feeling great. about to drive to kisumu for our flight to nairobi where we will take the day to see africa tomorrow, safari and shopping. all the gifts have been greatly appreciated by the children. we just had our final clinic this morning for the last of the children at tumaini and had our game day. everyone was a winner thanks to your generosity! so thank you to each of you who have helped us with this project.
as always we will have many stories of our wonderful time in Kenya, we are deeply toched by these people.
Friday, September 25, 2009
There are millions of children orphaned worldwide. Millions who die each year because they lack basic medical attention or enough food to fill their bellies. It's overwhelming, right? Almost easier to shut our ears to it than attempt to change things. But each number represents a name, a child just like mine, a person created in God's image.
I'm only one person. Only a stay-at-home-mom. Only Jen. What could i possibly offer? A lot. Hope. Love. A voice.
I'm joining a medical team traveling to four towns and two orphanages surrounding Lake Victoria in Kenya October 16th through the 24th to help serve the forgotten.
I can't help 10 million orphaned children, or feed an entire country. But, you and I, we could help one mom just like us, or three siblings, or six tiny babies. We might not all move to Africa, or write million dollar checks, but we need not stand paralyzed.
Won't you join me in loving our neighbors? I'm collecting the list below to bring with me and would love your help, no single item costs more than $10, most are less than $5. There are many other ways to meet the needs of these. Take a step. Make a difference. Let me know if you need help.
::80 children's underwear
::40 small umbrellas/rain jackets
::20 boxes of band-aids
::30 packages of Neosporin
::10 soccer balls
::15 children's tylenol
Along with meeting physical needs, there are spiritual needs to be met too. Would you commit the month of October to praying for the country of Kenya? Pray for a good crop this year, a peaceful government, a cure for AIDS, enough food for the poorest of the poor, caregivers for every child, others to have compassion.
I'm excited to see how God will work-- both in our hearts and in another land. Thank you for your love and support in advance!
PS- If you'd like to donate, but don't live down the street-- I'd be happy to send you an address. Thank you!
::Matthew 25:34+ says, "Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.' The the righteous will answer him, saying ' Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you? And the King will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of thesemy brothers, you did it to me.'
Sunday, September 20, 2009
every month i re-decide that haven is at the greatest stage and this month (even with meltdowns and tantrums) is no different. she is such a joy and is learning so much.
:: she says mommy and daddy really well now although she gets them mixed up
::she loves to have a job whether it's feeding beau (read 'dropping his food all over the floor two feet before the bowl') or throwing the napkins away at dinner
::i can braid her hair! okay, that's more an accomplishment for me than her, but i'm pretty proud and thankful that it looks better than i imagined my abilities would allow
::she's starting to like forgotten veggies again
::she's speaking along with her signs for many of them now-- peeze, moa (more), boat, dar (car), side (outside)
:: driving in the car at the grocery store is the highlight of the week
::beginning to interact with other babies at playdates
::loves baby dolls and feeding/caring for them. the latest thing is to hold them to the sky and then put the baby down to tickle them so. cute.
::washing hands at every given opportunity, brushing teeth, and putting on lotion are so fun
:: she's pee-peed in the potty twice now, but for the most part just likes to act it out and flush paper down the toilet
:: she's so aware and knowledgeable of so much more than she let's on to-- she remembers rules we've told her from previous days and adds motions to songs that she saw over a month ago
::she loves reading her storybook bible and having it read to her and even bows her head to pray at dinner with us
::she has beau wrapped around her finger, he'll bring her a ball to throw and play
::the gal has super sonic hearing and points to the sky every time a plane flys over-- even when we're inside. she waits for you to recognize it too, which can get a little tiresome since we live so close to three major airports!
::'mel-mo' and baby signing are still the favorite videos, but when i need to braid her hair (45 minutes +) she LOVES marley and me and waits for the dog to come on screen to point him out.
:: she loves to please and will applaud herself for a job well done and loves to get a high five for recognition
Friday, August 21, 2009
my husband and i have made it a priority to teach our daughter of the love the Father has for her. although she is only one, she knows much about love. she can even act out the motions to one of her favorite songs that sings, 'Jesus! he cares for me'.
for as much as i love my sweet girl, God loves her even more. he loves her more than i can imagine with a love that cost him his son. it is the same love he has for you. the same he has for the men and women filling our prisons. the same love he has for the children in africa. children without clean drinking water, without parents, without food enough to fill their bellies. without hope.
that i could steal just a week from my calendar to fly across the globe, give out a few stickers, hold a few hands, and kiss a few foreheads will not make any headlines. it's impact will be so minute compared to the millions in need across the sea. but oh, that it would be a fragrant offering to the One that beckons. and that he would change me into someone that resembles Him more through the process.
it is my responsibility. it is my desire. he has commanded us to go. whether that means out of state, out of country, or out of comfort zone. it is i who is to love you. love that sees you as better than myself, love that sacrifices my wants for others daily needs. it is i who through grace alone am hands and feet of a God who lives. for if not me, then whom? if not you, then whom? if not now, then when?
so, yes, i will leave a dearly loved baby girl safe with her daddy and family whom love her fiercely and will travel to towns where streets have no names. there, i will love-- love lavishly with my whole being so that someday even though bellies go empty and rain tarries someone's little girl might say, 'Jesus?! yes, he cares for me!'. for His glory.