11 days exactly to blast off to Ukraine. Hard to believe how fast it has approached. Our table is forming with the items to bring and still accumulating.
I am a very blessed to have three Ukrainian children that call me "Mama". I am even more blessed to have all three of my children have the hearts desire to serve their Lord and Savior and be willing to step foot back into the country they once called home and most would never look back or have the desire to return when there was so much pain and hurt associated with it. This is now Kolyas 3rd trip back to Ukraine to serve with me.
On this trip the team will be giving cardboard testimonies...This was who Kolya was........
This is who Kolya is now.......
Although I was saved this was the life I had.........
This is who I am now.............
God has wonderfully orchestrated an amazing team for this trip which we are so excited to serve with to reach out and teach these orphans about Christ and to love on them. Being in the service of orphans and others is the closest I feel to God and it is truly amazing.
Why Ukraine when there are so many other places to serve like right here in our country, USA. I have been asked time and time again by people who are my family, friends or I do not have a relationship with. Many have not been supportive of our journey over the years. Funny enough now those many of folks that have met our children their hearts have changed toward the journey we were called to. My answer still remains the same to folks that do not agree...we go where God leads us. We are not put here to serve what others want us to do or think we should do or what is best for us although there intentions may be concern for us but what we specifically are called to do by Christ. Joe and I have served in youth ministry with at risk you for over 20 years here in the US and have been foster parents and in 2010 God said I have something different for you. He lead us to New Horizons For Children where we found Kolya and that is a huge story in itself totally orchestrated by God. In our years of service and foster care God has exposed us to so many things from joy, sadness, loss, restoration, molding, shaping, equipping, training and the list goes on and on. In the middle of all of this for the last 20 years never in a million years did I ever see where we are at now and man is it GOOD! And I sit here and give all the complete glory to God. There was one point in ministry where that glory started to shift in my heart to pride when we were getting noticed for the service and work we were doing with youth and God quickly stopped that 12 years ago when he took my one fear from me, my health. I was ill and even near death twice which brought me to my knees countless times to where I was ready to give up the fight. Then I surrendered all and hit the floor after years of complete stubbornness and selfishness and just thinking and praying Lord please make me better verse trying to see what he wanted to teach me. A little over 2 years ago when I could barely breath and doctors did not know what to do with me because I was getting worse I surrendered all and told God my wish to serve him and glorify him and if he would restore me and give me strength to fight I would be His foot solider. With every step with my black Labrador, Beau by my side to help support me as I started walking the stairs to gain strength and air God began to heal me one step at a time. Not even a year later Kolya came into our life. I am saying all this because again in the middle of it all I never new the great plans God had or was making for our family and future. And now I sit here with two little incredible kids diagnosed with HIV and it is just a diagnosis but their symptoms were all too familiar to me, had I not been sick for all those years I would have no clue how to help them with their health and seek God to restore their health. We are watching our two children heal from leaps and bounds mentally and physically and it is incredible and again all the glory be to God. Now I see how he took something so bad which was me starting to rob His glory years ago and turned it into a beautiful things of restoration not only for me but unfolding before my eyes for my kids. Why am I saying all this....there are so many people called to adopt here in the US and abroad with very little support and even financially. They are so discouraged for one reason or another. I want you to be encouraged if God calls you to jump that no matter all to come ahead if you listen to His call you will be rewarded for that and it may not be the way you expected or planned. So many folks I have seen and work with go to adopt a specific child and it disrupts whether it be that child gets adopted by another family in country, the child is not legally free, the adoption gets delayed the child passes away the list goes on and on.....it does not mean necessarily he is slamming the door but seeing if you are willing to answer His call and then move you forward in His timing to the place and child he has set aside for you. It also could be like myself my heart was aimed at myself when I was ill and not seeing what God wanted me to see. God may be wanting to change you or your heart in one or more areas and he needs to see and needs you to be willing to be molded before he will put that specific child(ren) before you. Then again once you are willing and change he can and will use it for His glory and you could be used specifically to help your child overcome a battle you once had. Transformation is a beautiful thing when it is for His glory!!
I am not sure why I added this all in when I am writing our mission trip stuff but I felt I was suppose to so I rolled with what God put on my heart.
Again take off to Ukraine in 11 days. I ask for your prayers for these kiddos we will be ministering to that their hearts are open and willing to hear His call. That God uses us as His foot soldiers and put us where he needs us at the specific times. That He rocks our world for His glory in this ministry time there and we come home changed and on fire for Him and this service. I pray children's lives are saved and changed for His glory. I pray for safety in all our travels. For the protection of the team as we know Satan is on the move to seek and destroy and that our camp is protected and safe by Christ. I am sick as a dog right now and asking for prayer for a strong and speedy recovery of this snotty mess I am right now. That God gives us the ability and words in our lessons to reach these kiddos and they will allow to be free and show us who they really are. I will be interviewing children and I truly pray this so I can see if they can function in a family environment and do my best to advocate for them for their forever family that best meets their needs and who they are. 11 days folks whew wee!!!! We are pumped and ready to go except I do not want to go with a load of kleenex and boogies!
What are our needs at this point. We are packing up and almost ready to roll. We are funded for this mission trip, we are just asking for prayer listed above and needing a little more funding to get this last extra bag on the plane with us. We are taking back a box of socks donated and a skateboard Alex and Kolya made for the kids and anything else we can fit in that bag to max it to 50lbs. We have had a donation of $50.00 come in so we are just short $105.00. If you would like to send a contribution to help us get this extra bad there to the kids please send me a line or you can email a donation via paypal to firstname.lastname@example.org and select "Gift" to avoid paypal fees.
We so appreciate all your prayers and support on this journey ahead.
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