Tuesday, September 3, 2013

People are messy.

People are messy.

You know why? Because people aren't perfect. You're not perfect and I'm definitely not perfect! Jesus was the only one who was and is perfect. So if none of us are perfect, then none of us should be too surprised when we discover that others aren't either. And yet, there are many times when we are surprised. Why is that? Honestly, I'm just asking the question cause I don't really know exactly why. What I do know is that God is bigger and He works ALL things together for good. He doesn't waste anything. Including our messes. He can use a mess between friends to cause us to have to learn to communicate - in my experience, those times when we worked through something hard and messy - on the other side, it made us even closer. It certainly made us love and respect each other more. And it helped us understand the heart of the other person. And by being willing to work through the junk, we also both saw that we were valued and loved by the other person because they cared enough about the other and the relationship itself to stick around and work through it.

Culturally, I've noticed we're avoiders. We'd rather avoid conflict than deal with it. Conflict is messy. It involves trudging through the mud and the muck, airing out some yucky stuff and working through it (key word: working) to get to the other side. It often involves hurt feelings and initial defensive responses or tears or anger. Like I said - messy. But the other side is so rewarding. I hate conflict and I always dread hard conversations. Who doesn't? But even though I don't like it, I also don't want to walk away from something or someone just because it's hard and just because it's not fun. Where's the reward in that? Where's the commitment and loyalty in that? Where's the growth in that? If I did that with everything and everyone, I'd be pretty lonely and I wouldn't grow and my avoidance of the other person involved might even hinder something God might be trying to do in them through the situation. God can and does use messes! When handled in a biblical way - He can also be glorified in the process. When we stay the course, when we fight for our friendships and what we believe in, when we work through the hard stuff and learn to communicate well - relationships are so much deeper, so much richer, so much more fulfilling. And don't we want that? I know I do!

Friends, don't run from the hard stuff. The hard stuff is what refines us. It's the crucible that helps burn off all of our impurities. Let those trials transform you. Because after all, it's all part of being transformed to be more like Christ. And that's why my favorite verse is this one:

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. ~ James 1:2-5

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Visiting Orphans new promo video

I'm excited to share the new promo video for Visiting Orphans will all of you. We've made a lot of changes and we wanted to share those with you - this video is a look inside the ministry of VO.

Check it out and please share it on your facebook, twitter and blogs if you like it! We hope that this video will give people a clear picture of what our ministry is all about. GO BE LOVE

Monday, July 30, 2012

Last full day

Internet has been down but today we are shopping in Jinja so we have it. Picture our whole team on their iPhones accessing wifi. We have had an amazing time lovin on the kids here. And this morning we got to hear the directors testimony. God is so good! We have had a great trip. Hard to believe tomorrow we head to the airport. The team goes home and I go to Ethiopia to see my sweet boy. I am soooo excited to see him. It's been a year!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Friday Update

We split the team today. Half of us wen with me and half went with Elisa and we flip-flopped visits to two of the children's homes. It was a great day loving on precious kids and babies. An emotional day for the team though. But we ended the day with a very warm welcome from the kids where we are staying. Those of us who have been before have specific kids that came to find out and remembered us. Amazing with all the teams that have come - they still remember specific people.

Tomorrow we are making a feast here. Like a big family reunion! And then Sunday we get to do church here as well. Monday we do some shopping and spend the rest of the day here before heading to the airport on Tuesday.

Hard to believe we only have a few days left. This team is now like family and we have shared experiences no one else has experienced with us. One of the hardest parts is parting ways with family in Uganda and on our team once the trip is over.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Update from Uganda

Had a great 2 days in Palissa. We got to serve a big feast yesterday to the kids and staff. It was fun and tiring. We stopped at the school on our way out today. It was a long drive to Jinja today with our luggage van breaking down but it didn't take long to get fixed and we made it to our destination. While we were waitin in our big bus, we stopped off at a little place that had a restroom and sodas. Lots of kids flocked to us to check out the Mzungu's. One kid had a nasty open sore on his foot. Lauren got out her first aid kit and cleaned it, put ointment on it and bandaged it up for him. I hope it heals up. It looked really painful.

We split the team into two groups and visit two orphanages tomorrow and then spend the rest of the time at a children's home in Jinja. I am so excited to go back there!

The kids here in Uganda are so precious and joyful. They teach us so much more than we could ever teach them. I'm so glad to have been able to come back.

Our team is fun - now that we are getting to know each other more, everyone is coming out of their shells and we are laughing a lot. It's been a great trip so far. Can't wait for all o them to experience Jinja. Love it there so much!!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Ministry in Palissa

The team does not have internet right now. Here is an update from Autumn:
"We spent the whole day with the kids in Palissa. Out team went shopping for food and prepared a big meal for all the kids and staff. We have a whole new appreciation for how much work it is to cook here. It was such a great day. We are sad to leave tomorrow but we have more amazing kids to see before the trip is over."

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Adoption update

Praise the Lord - my little guy got moved to my adoption agencies care center last Friday. I found out an hour before I left for my trip to Uganda. A year of waiting for this very news - it was surreal. Please pray I'll find out today that I have a court date before courts close August 15 and while I'm in Ethiopia. I'm specifically praying it'll be August 1st. Will update as soon as I hear!