Sunday, February 27, 2011

Please Pray!!!

Could you please join me in prayer for this situation?

Ebel and Lora Kremer are from Holland.

hey did their DTS {Discipleship Training School} with YWAM in South Africa and started building an orphanage at Athi River YWAM base, Kenya.
( 8 homes where local foster parents can give a normal family life to 12 children each)

They were also involved in the children's program for the YWAM base.
The base accommodates 25 staff members and 50 students had just arrived there.

The robbers came into their home around 1 am, shot and killed Ebel, and brutalized Lora,
Their two small children were home at the time. Lora has been to hospital and is now with the kids at friends in Nairobi (50 km away) and prepares to come to Holland where her husband will be buried. He was a former policeman.


Would you please pray with me for Lora and their children? The trauma. The pain. Who can imagine?
The cost of serving Christ can be unbearable.

Never in my wildest dreams....

... would I have imagined on that cold, snowy day in Switzerland when we said "I do" to each other

that I'd kiss my handsome knight good-bye

23 years later

for him to go to Christchurch in New Zealand to love on earthquake victims:

first 4 days as an Emergency Medical Technician with our NZ ambulance

and then leading a team of people from YWAM (that one, I might have been able to imagine..) and the Tauranga House of Prayer - beautiful people from Holland, Samoa, NZ and the USA to do whatever is needed - from prayer to cleaning up people's houses and everything in between.


Ya just never know where life's gonna take you when you start out!

I am SOOOO blessed!!!

We have 6 beautiful children who all love God

including a little 4-year-old Maori boy

and a 20-year-old Ugandan boy

and are healthy (most of the time)

Soon, we'll be grandparents!

We get to live in beautiful New Zealand!

We get to invest our lives - every bit - into eternal matters, things that really count -


Happy anniversary, honey! I'm so proud of you and miss you like crazy already...

This was at the Bugali Falls in Uganda

Friday, February 25, 2011

About LOVE

More often than not, LOVE is not that mushy, gushy, lovey, dovey feeling that we sometimes associate it with.

More often than not, LOVE is spelled


It is staying up night after night with a sick child

Making dinner, cleaning the toilets, washing clothes, going shopping

Forgiving a loved one again and again for hurting us

Releasing a hubby to pursue his ministry or passion while we stay home with the kids

Doing something nice for someone even though we don't feel like it.

You get the picture - and if you've been married for any length of time - or have children, you know all too well what I'm talking about.

Lately, my thoughts have often been wandering to the story of the Good Samaritan.

I wonder what life was like for him when he was traveling down the road to Jericho and saw the hurting man lying on the side of the road.

I bet that when he got up that day, he thought to himself:

"Alright, what a great day!

I've got some free time

I just happen to have extra money in my purse I don't need.

I'm feeling great!

Wonder what I should do today?

I feel so full of love,
so generous I could just hug the whole world.

Let me go out, take a walk and see if there is anybody that could use my help in any way."

Yea right!

That MAY have been the case.

But I'm not so sure it was.

More likely than not, he was just as busy with important "busy-ness" as the other people who walked by the hurting man on the road

who had no time

didn't want to get their hands or clothes dirty

couldn't be bothered with the hassle

or the expense.

YET - he cared, stopped and sacrificed to help the hurting one -

out of his OWN pocket

No ministry fund or whatever

Rich serving the tsunami survivors in Samoa a couple of years ago


He set the perfect example of what LOVE is spelled like

No holding back

Giving it all

Even when it was way less then "convenient"

the ultimate sacrificial love!

HE defined LOVE for us with the story of the Good Samaritan!

‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.

I want to love like you, JESUS!!!!

Even when I don't feel like it.

Even when I haven't had time with my hubby for a long time and will miss him very much for those 2 weeks he'll be in Christchurch.

Even if it will mean that my workload will increase considerably when I already have a lot on my plate.

I want to JOYFULLY give up my husband.

It's really not much at all.




Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sadness - again...

There is that feeling again ~ ~ ~


as our country of New Zealand is in a state of emergency

for the first time - EVER -

after the massive earthquake that hit Christchurch.

It is heart-wrenching to watch the images on TV.

Oh, the heart-ache of so many...!

Lord, you are close to the broken-hearted.

Bring comfort and peace to the mourning.

Strengthen, help and guide all those who are trying to find the last survivors.

Bring good out of this tragedy!

I was at the hospital with Shayden when I found out about it.

My precious little darling is recuperating from pneumonia (we just got home today and he's doing better).

Leilani and Kylie were sick at home.

Rich was just about to the minute finished with his 1 1/2hour exam when the earthquake occurred. He has been doing (very) part time studying over the past year and I am so proud of him passing the very demanding and stressful exam.

He is now officially an Emergency Medical Technician.

YAY!!! Well done, honey!!!

Since then, he's been on the phone almost non-stop to decide about a possible deployment to Christchurch. It's not sure yet, but he will probably go in a couple of days...

Lord have mercy on Christchurch - on our country!

Friday, February 18, 2011


This girl is incredible! Only in her early 20s - living in Uganda - having adopted 14 children - lost one (back to her birthmother - who's now staying with her).

Reflecting JESUS soooooooo well! WOW!!!

What an example!!!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Moths no more!

Lately, we've been having moths in our pantry - yikes!

Somehow, some food must have gone off - and produced this nuisance.

In the past when this has happened, I would always find the source quickly and get the problem taken care of.

Not this

Even though I thought I went through EVERYTHING,

they still kept coming

from somewhere


I ended up having to throw away quite a bit of food

as the moths got into more and more of it.

What a waste -

I was REALLY bothered by it!

As it kept going on without me getting control over it, I felt a scripture popping into my heart:

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.

But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:19-21

The only reason why I had this moth problem was obviously because I had stored more food than what we were using - yes, I'm confessing here.

Of course, it all came with good intentions,

ya know, saving by buying bigger quantities

getting stuff when it was on sale etc

BUT - the reality was still that I was "storing up where moths were destroying",

having more than I needed to for our daily needs.

And that with trying to tighten our belt more than ever

not only because things are tight

but so we can spare some for Africa.

We recently learned about friends getting robbed.

Thieves broke in and took everything of value in the house.

How heart-breaking!

My heart goes out to them - for sure!

BUT - the reality was that they were "storing up where thieves broke in and stole"

I am not judging about their possessions.

Just sayin'...

And thinkin'...

Can we simplify our lives even more?

Think twice before buying unnecessary STUFF?

And store up in a place where the investment is BEST?


I WANT TO!!!!!!!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Orphans kNOw More

The main ministry the Lord has put on our heart to help raise support for, is the "Orphans kNOw More" ministry started by African YWAMers.

It started with them taking in the orphans left and right, as they would care for their parents who were dying of Aids.

No support, no money, lots of love ~

~ and faith ~

And then, along came a YWAM family in the UK to bring support - after their 8-year-old daughter heard from God that she was to take care of orphans.

Long story - Orphans kNOw More was born out of that.

As I wrote in my last post, these families do a MOST OUTSTANDING labor of love for the orphans and I have the highest admiration and respect for them! I know I would NOT be able to do what they are doing!

As a matter of fact, when I was in the plane on the way back from Uganda, I felt like lying on the dirt - face down - for a month (of course this wasn't possible, are you kiddin' me?).

I felt SOOOO very humbled!!!!

... by the way people in Uganda lived.

... and by the way the local people are reaching out in the most self-less ways and caring for the orphans and widows around them!

The solidarity is just amazing!

Before going to Uganda, I always saw myself involved in orphanages.

After being there, I am convinced that the orphan care model of OKM is so much better!

In an orphanage, the children's physical needs may be taken care of very well, but they grow up with changing caregivers and the stigma of being an orphan.

And who will they go to and relate to once they're adults if they've grown up in an orphanage?

Nothing beats being part of a family!

That's GOD's design!


Healthy ones, full of love!

In this photo, the dad is missing (he's a pastor and was just busy when the photo was taken)

The children have a sense of belonging and the consistent love and care of parents.

Talk about 24/7 discipleship happening in those homes!

In the pilot project in Jinja, there are 9 core families.

Most of them are YWAMers/pastors.

They live scattered in the communities, not in some kind of compound.

It's the most natural and cost-efficient orphan care model.

Each of the core families have satellite families they care for.

These are widows with children.

In Uganda, widows are helpless and vulnerable and really need the care and protection of a "man in the house" kind of situation.

So the core family's fathers act as father for all the widow's children as well, which includes going to school meetings, looking after these children's extended families, including their grandmothers etc.

It's a incredible amount of practical work, running around here and there, caring for everyone that's all scattered.

It is not an easy model.

Not easy to fund-raise for, as there's no "building", or "compound" that you can take photos of and "advertise" or have people visit easily.

We did get to visit with lots of the families, but it took people's time to take us around, which is something they can't do continually - on top of their already stretched days.

This model is not easy for the parents.

In an orphanage, staff are on shifts and get time off and if it gets too much, they can always resign and find another job, right?!

In a family?

Not a chance!
It's 24/7 care - no breaks - and folks, these people don't have vacations - ever!

It's full-on!

Many of the couples are young and just starting their own families.

Others, like the families in my last post, have been doing this since they got married - now children are getting older.

Can you imagine taking older children into your home, including teenagers, with traumas and grief etc after you just get married!

The only support they have are each other.

No social services to give on-going support and training, like we've got here in NZ.
(there is 1 social worker regularly visiting the families and giving a bit of support, but it's very limited)

The more experienced help the new ones.

It's tough.

Even financially (they get help through OKM, but it mostly just covers the education costs for the children)

BUT - It's rewarding!

And worth it!

We got to hear some of the testimonies of these children.

VERY touching!

As one girl said at the end of her heart-breaking story:

"I am so happy now, because I now have parents and a family.
I get to go to a good school and everybody knows that I've got a momma and a papa.
It's so wonderful!"

Most all of them (if not all) want to reproduce what they've experienced.

Take in children once they get married (some of them have).

Support the ministry once they finish their education and get a job.


This is one of the satellite families - the one that we were able to bless with a small water tank with the gifts we got to take.

Precious family!

Precious hearts!

We saw how far the children had to walk to get water every day.

It was such a joy to designate the water tank for them!