As we were taking our first trip to Ethiopia to meet our daughter for the first time, I asked God to break my heart for what breaks His. I returned from that trip crushed. I had 17 hours on the flight home to absorb what I had seen, and that wasn't enough time. Still, nearly 3 years later, I’m trying to put my arms around what broke my heart on that trip.
Ethiopia is a beautiful country full of beautiful countryside, people and culture. But the poverty, neglect and heart-breaking situations I witnessed changed me forever. I cannot look at things the same any longer. There were many things that broke my heart on that trip (orphans, children needing sponsorship, families that need food to feed their children, lack of clean water, etc.) but the orphan is what spoke to my heart the loudest. That’s why I’m a little passionate about children, in general. Once your eyes are open and you can see clearly, you never see the same and you can't ignore it.
Once our eyes are opened, we can't pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows what we know, and holds us responsible to act. Proverbs 24:12
For our family, God led us to adopt internationally. There wasn't a formula or one particular reason -- other than the subtle hints God used to help us with our decision. Don't get me wrong, we made a million excuses in the beginning as to why we couldn't or shouldn't do it. We listened to many lies from people who didn't understand God’s calling on our family, and we wondered ourselves if we were cut out for this . . because we knew we were far from perfect. But the Truth is, we were all adopted by our heavenly father. He adopted us – not as perfect people, but as broken, needy and selfish people. And, going to a third world country showed me what a selfish person I am. Many times people make excuses for NOT fostering or adopting or mentors because they feel that they are not qualified.
But, it only takes ONE person to make a change in the life of a child. Adoption, fostering, temporary care, mentoring, etc. is all the same. These kids need someone and you don’t have to be perfect, and they certainly will not be perfect either.
November is National Adoption Month and the first Sunday is typically dubbed "Orphan Sunday." That’s why I am hosting a Sunday in November (November 10th) at our church dedicated to helping children locally and globally – find fulfillment, forever families, mentors, sponsors and friends. Maybe God is tugging at your heart to ‘do something’ but you don’t know what that 'something' is. Come find out how you can make a difference in the life of a child!
If you are local, PLEASE come share a soup and bread luncheon (to signify the plight of the orphan).. and listen and gather information on how you can help a child in need.
The luncheon begins at noon, followed by the program at 1:00. We will be sharing our story of adopting Ellie, and showing a video of our journey. Please contact me for additional details or to RSVP.
Here's the Agenda --
Sunday, November 10th beginning at Noon
Mountain Ridge Church, 32 Big Dam Road, Dillsburg, PA
12:00-12:45 - Luncheon & Meet and Greet
1:00:1:15 - Welcome and Intro
1:15-1:25 - Fresh Air Fund (HOST a child 1-2 weeks in the summer)
1:25-1:35 - Compassion International (SPONSOR a child)
1:35-1:45 - Bair Foundation
1:45-1:50 - Older Child Adoption Experience
1:50-2:00 - Bethany Christian Services
2:00-2:05 - Safe Families (Temporary/Emergency care)
2:05-2:15 - Rice Bowls & Closing (Feed a hungry child)