Friday, April 30, 2010
Thursday, April 29, 2010
After an excruciating time of persecution (you may have heard of the killings of hundreds of Christians in Orissa), they have now been experiencing an "open heaven" for the past 8 months - and still going strong.
I won't go into details, but as soon as they start worshiping God or praying, the children's spirits "go" to heaven and have the most incredible times there - with angels and Jesus and even Bible characters like King David, Queen Esther and Noah.
You might think this sounds crazy, but, believe me, it's not! It's just purely wonderful!
The children relate back to the adults what they have seen and experienced and it totally lines up with the Bible! They talk about stuff they could never make up and didn't know before.
Just a few things about that wonderful place called heaven, according to the children:
- it is of stunning beauty! there are mountains, waterfalls, bridges of gold, streets of gold, a breath-taking garden, trees, etc
- it is filled with LOVE, SINGING, WORSHIP
- There are all kinds of animals in heaven. it's like a zoo, except for all the animals being free, tame (and able to speak!) - - - Kids ride on lions and zebras etc (they described the zebras as horses that are striped black and white) They have a very limited world view and don't even know that most of these animals exist. But from their description, the adults around know what they're talking about.
- the kids have an absolute blast - they LOVE it!
- heaven is a place filled with LOVE, FUN and laughter!
- the kids play in heaven - hopscotch - build little huts etc
- there's snow in heaven and they're having heaps of fun with it - and it's not even cold!
- they eat fruit and drink water. The fruit tastes SOOOO amazing!!!
- they can walk on water - or swim - or dive with the fish
- they can play instruments without ever having learned them - and the instruments don't only make sounds, but have smell and colour exuding from the music...
- they can speak languages to communicate with other people that they've never learned
- they recognize their dead relatives, but are way more enthralled with JESUS
- they get to sit on Jesus' lap and his INTENSE love is lavished on them - he even plays with them and gives them kisses on their foreheads.
Sure puts things in perspective - - - and makes me pray for other suffering children to have the same experiences - what comfort, what healing, what hope!!!
And I can't wait to see all this for myself, too - yay!!!
For now, though, we walk by faith - and not by sight. That's fine with me - for now!
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
It's no secret anymore that Rich and I will be going to Uganda - all going according to plan, in the second half of this October! I am so excited!
I will write more about our journey to Uganda (hopefully) soon.
One of the wonderful ministries for orphans we will be visiting is this one.
I would like to post their wish list here - just in case YOU would like to bless this ministry:
Thursday, April 22, 2010
My brother, Kendall, is heading to Uganda mid-May. Several people have asked if they can gather things to send so here's a list!! Donated goods can be mailed to:
3523 Lake Sunset Court
San Antonio, TX 78217
ps.....We're also raising money (about $15,000) to buy a 14 passenger van for our growing family! If you'd rather make a monetary donation you can use the PAYPAL button or mail a check to the address on the sidebar.... THANKS!!!!
Take ‘N Toss Sippy cups (7 and 10 oz.)
Socks: BOYS size 2T-4T (low cut or ankle)
GIRLS size 2T-4T (casual and dressy for church)
Ziploc bags (sandwich, quart)
Cars/Trucks for boys 18 mths-3 years (they are VERY poor quality here)
FuzziBunz Cloth Diapers: Perfect size : Medium (12) and Large (12) with extra inserts
-OR-One size cloth diapers (18) with extra inserts
Long-sleeved PJs: BOYS size 12-18, 18-24
GIRLS size 12-18, 18-24, 2T, 3T
Girls spring/summer clothes size 12-18, 18-24, 2T, 3T
Infant car seat
Robeez-style shoes: all sizes (these work great for our malnourished kids who need to stay WARM!)
Twin fitted sheets (prefer WHITE but boy/girl colors ok)
Pillowcases (prefer WHITE but boy/girl colors ok)
Toddler-size blankets (I have lots of newborn/infant size)
CANON printer cartridges: BLACK 40 –OR- 50
COLOR 41 –OR- 51
Monday, April 26, 2010
I was referred to this website today - OH MY GOODNESS - - -
it informs about an atrocious situation in an Ugandan "orphanage" - - -
My insides are literally turning and turning since I read this - I can't get it out of my heart and head - that children can live under those horrific conditions - while I am well fed and clothed and celebrate my children's birthdays etc etc
All I can think of is: what can I - what can we do to help?
Sunday, April 25, 2010
The area occupied by this country is slightly smaller than the state of Oregon, USA.
... Or for you Europeans: slightly bigger than HALF of Germany
...or slightly smaller than New Zealand
There are 3.5 million orphans in this country!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(total population of New Zealand is 4 million!!)
Try to get your head around this staggering number....................
... or what about your heart???
... and ask God to allow you feel what HE FEELS about this statistic - - -
Each baby/child has a face, a name, a story and LONGS to be loved, cherished, cared for... be part of a family...
United Nations has stated that Uganda is one of the world’s most dangerous places for children to live.
Over 137 children out of every 1,000 born in Uganda die before their 5th birthday. (UNAIDS/WHO Statistics 2007)
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
breakfast - cinnamon-rolls and fruit salad
and then - the special package from "Mutter" in Germany (my mom)
opening her gift from the combined family - Christmas and birthday and savings- altogether:
an ipod and speaker system!
the "taina" - special flower (see previous post) - that bloomed on Leilani's birthday -
the one and ONLY bloom!
... and ohhhh - the smell - - - -!!!!
Monday, April 12, 2010
Her middle name fits her well, too - cuz she has been such a JOY!!!!!!!!!!
We LOVE you more than words can say, Leilani! Your caring, thoughtful, generous, spunky and kind personality has enriched and warmed our hearts soooooooooo many times over the years - and still does!!!
You're a BEAUTY - inside and out - and we can't wait to see the blossom of your life unfold into the gorgeous flower you were made to be... whew...!!! Go girl!
Speaking of blossoms: this MOST AMAZING thing happenedon her birthday:
A plant that was in our garden when we moved in (almost 2 years ago) decided to have a blossom show up - ON HER BIRTHDAY - of all days. (it never has any flowers)
Now - this is not just ANY ordinary plant - - - it is a "Taina" - and only those in Tahiti will understand...
It has a very distinct, intense, beautiful, mesmerizing scent to it and I LOOOOOOOVE IT!!!!!!!
Smelling it (and closing my eyes) almost brought tears to my eyes and transported me back to Tahiti, where we lived for many years... Every year, there was a season when Tainas were in bloom and we would have some in our house - with that amaaaaazing scent.........
Smelling that same smell - on Leilani's birthday - was a touching gift to me from my Father - cuz she was born THERE - and even though we're now living in NZ, Tahiti is still VERY CLOSE to our hearts - sniff, sniff.....
Thank you, Daddy, that was - literally - very SAWEEEEEET!!!!
I've tried to add photos a couple of times now and it just doesn't seem to work - so here it goes without photos...
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Of course, first enjoy sweet time with Jesus (he's the BEST and makes her heart melt)
Read a few books to some cute little fellow (whose first words every morning are "book - book, pukapuka (maori)")
Go to the gym and work out (thanks to incredibly generous friends who are paying for me to FINALLY get fit!!!)
Browse around some shops (and get a few things for a soon-to-happen birthday in our house - shhhh!)
Spend a few minutes on giving her blog a long-overdue make-over (wishing she could spend LOTS of time, updating you with all the happenin's - but that's gonna have to wait. For now, let the viewer understand the hint in the make-over - hihi)
Go to the store and ask how to take videos off her camera and onto the computer (dud! I know I am challenged, but hey, even my very smart son couldn't figure it out...)
Go on a walk by the beach, listening to messages on "The Spirit of Adoption" on her new ipod (a gift from her wonderful mother for her birthday!)
Watch her beautiful daughter play beach-volleyball and then bring her and her friend home at 3pm
(she's on a 2-day camp to improve her already amazing volley-ball skills!)
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
There are lots of photos, too, if you want to check them out (isabel betts - just become my "friend"!)
But this one I've got to share - just a funny little thing that Kylie let out yesterday:
Sadly, Nathalie has come down quite sick with glandular fever (mono).
I took some photos of the two lovebirds on Easter Sunday while we were at their house.
I posted the best one on facebook.
When Nathalie saw the photo she was discouraged at how "bad" she looks in the photo - (after all, she is really unwell, poor thing...)
So there she was groaning and moaning about not looking beautiful, when Kylie, full of compassion, came up to her, looked her in the eyes - as much as that's possible when you're much shorter than your sister - and said tenderly:
"Nathalie, you're sooooo beautiful!
You're as beautiful as ---- (thinking hard) ----- a KIWI!!!"
Of course, we all cracked up laughing (to Kylie's dismay!) - - - no idea where she could have gotten that from, but hey, after all, we're in the land of the kiwis! (Nathalie had a kiwi on her shirt, maybe that's what inspired Kylie).
I LOVE children!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love ALL children - especially mine :) !!!