Sunday, March 22, 2009
For some it means praying. That's by far the most important thing we can do. Beyond that I think it means doing whatever we can, whenever we can, with the resources that we have - to make a difference in the life of an orphan. God wants to use all of us.
A lot of people have things that they're passionate about. David and I have always had a heart for missions, and still do. But it wasn't until we started asking God what He thought about orphans, that we realized they are his heart. God has "a heart that beats for orphans." If you ask Him what He thinks and you search His word, you'll find that to be true. You'll begin to understand that we were orphans before He found us. His heart beats for us.
Aren't we created in His image? Then shouldn't our heart look like God's heart? If you're a follower of Christ - it's not an option to care for orphans and widows. God says "do it." Not, "do it if you are passionate about it." (James 1:27). We're doing a lot of great things in our churches. But how many of those things are required by God?
Most days I can handle the fact that a lot of people don't understand the needs of orphans, don't care and don't think it's their responsibility. But this morning - I'm not handling it very well. If someone we know answers the call to adopt - do we just think it's their responsiblity to make that happen? What if it's OUR responsiblity to help God unite that orphan with their forever family? And I'm not talking about just using our money. What about our prayers? What about our PRESENCE?
When we answered God's call to adopt Caroline we were misunderstood, judged and talked about in not so nice ways. God knew that with His help we could handle it, but it hurt.
Here are my suggestions for how you can help adoptive families. I encourage you to ask God how He wants to use you.
*Pray for adoptive families
*Listen. Even if they're talking about paperwork that you're clueless about. Listen and ask questions.
*Support their efforts to raise money. Maybe you can't give alot financially - but your presence is HUGE. I remember standing in awe of the people that came and helped with our fundraisers. The blessings that came from them helped me "get over" the disapointment of the people who didn't show up.
*Encourage them during the wait and don't ask stupid questions like "Why is it taking so long?" and "Why does it cost so much money?"
*Don't criticize their adoption choice. If they adopt from foster care - don't tell them every horror story you've ever heard about kids in foster care. If they adopt from another country don't ask them why they aren't adopting from the US. Trust that they have heard God's call.
*When they travel to get their child - offer to take care of their home while they are gone.
*TAKE THEM MEALS when they get home! What makes us think that people who come home from the airport with their child are any different than people who bring their child home from the hospital? One of the greatest gifts my Sunday School class gave me was meals! But just this week someone told me that although their church takes weeks of meals to people who have their kids in hospitals....this family did not receive one meal when they came home from Africa.
*Try to understand when they choose to "cocoon" as a family. Please don't criticize when they're not at church. The first few months home are crucial to bonding and attaching. They don't need to run around. They need to stay home.
*If they're struggling, support them and be quiet. Please don't use their experience as a reason to never recommend that someone adopt. We have struggles with our biological children and our children that come to us through adoption. Your criticism does not help.
I'd love to hear other comments of how you think people can help adoptive families.
Friday, March 20, 2009
During the month of April they will do a pencil drive for kids in Guatemala and Guyana. The really cool thing is that they aren't just asking their parents to buy the pencils....these kids are working for it themselves!
We can't wait to see how God honors their work!
Thursday, March 19, 2009
A few weeks ago I was struggling to find funding for our upcoming Seeds of Hope Banquet in North Carolina. I was discouraged to say the least. One of our board members, Sarah called and encouraged me with a story of a local children's home that she had visited that week. The Director told Sarah the story of how early in their ministry she had needed potatoes to feed the children. Her first response was to go home and see if she had potatoes in her kitchen. But the Lord stopped her dead in her tracks and told her that she needed to trust Him to provide. As the day went on people randomly stopped by the home with bags of potatoes, just sensing that God was asking them to donate them.
I was encouraged and I asked God to "bring me a potato story!"
That afternoon I received a phone call from the marketing director of a local car dealership. David and I had been chosen to receive the Modern Automotive Citizen of the Month Award. What an honor. The coolest thing is that Modern Automotive donated $1000 to Caroline's Promise! God had given me my potatoe story.
He can do anything and He will. So many times I find myself in situations where I can't make it happen. He teaches me over and over that I can trust Him. He is faithful. I love the ways that He is receiving glory from the day to day in my life. What do you need to trust Him for? Do you need a "potato" story?
Most people comprehend how expensive adoption can be and some people understand the sacrifices that adoptive families make. Their friend, Leslie wanted to help them so she decided to do what she does best.....SING!!
Leslie and her church are hosting a concert Saturday night March 21 to benefit the Barrow family's adoption. You are invited!
"What a blessing it is when God opens a door of opportunity! My name is Courtney Myers. I am a recent college graduate living in Greensboro, NC and working as a technical writer. I love to write and edit, and even majored in English at N.C. State University. About two weeks ago, after a particularly slow day at work, I felt God’s intense call to do something beneficial with my gifts and talents—to use them to further His kingdom and help others. Unsure how to handle this strong plea from God, I began to search the Internet for volunteer opportunities in the Triad area. I found everything from child care to answering phones—God was definitely showing me there was an opportunity to help right in my backyard.
The Volunteer Center of Greensboro had a link to the Human Race on its Web site. Curious, I looked at the long list of participating non-profits and linked to each of their Web sites. That is how I found the site for Caroline’s Promise. To me it was a completely random act, but looking back on it I know that God had this planned all along! Listed on the Caroline’s Promise Web site was a list of their volunteer needs—including grant writing and researching. Theirs was the only site I found in the entire area that had an advertised need for a volunteer who possessed writing talents. This was it. My volunteer opportunity. I felt God tell me I did not have to give up my gift to help others, but rather, I could use my talent to help serve His people.
Monday, March 9, 2009
A group of volunteers from Shady Grove Wesleyan Church in Colfax are hosting a Parent's Night Out this Friday March 13. There will be snacks, games, movies & crafts! And the cost is a love offering/donation to Caroline's Promise.
Need a date? Contact Jennifer Barnes 336-362-5426 or firstname.lastname@example.org by Wednesday to reserve a spot for your kids! Thanks ladies!
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Caroline's Promise expands to South Carolina!
We are excited to announce that the ministry is expanding to the state of South Carolina! This was not our timing, but God has made it obvious that He thinks it's the perfect time. Doors continue to open and we are standing in awe.
Our Director for Caroline's Promise South Carolina is Martha Marie Smith. Her husband Eddie will be her number one volunteer, of course! We are thrilled to have this talented couple serving with us for the sake of orphans.
We'll kick the ministry off with a Seeds of Hope Fundraising Banquet Tuesday April 14 on the campus of Southern Wesleyan University. Learn how you can sponsor, attend and promote this event at www.carolinespromise.net. Gifted speaker, Rob Mitchell will be the highlight of the evening. You do not want to miss this event!
Please keep Martha Marie and Eddie in your prayers! You can reach them at MarthaMarieSmith@CarolinesPromise.net.