Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Meet our newest grant family!

Caroline's Promise was founded because David asked the question, "I wonder how many Christians would adopt if they just had some financial assistance?"

Since then we've been able to award close to 20 $3000 grants to North Carolina couples. The kids are from all over the world and are precious, precious, precious!

Meet our newest grant family - Jimmy and Gayla Renslow. They pastor a church in Greensboro, NC and while they were waiting to complete an adoption from China - they sensed God changing their course. He was leading them to Uganda! Their friends direct the Good Shepherd's Fold Children's Home there and were able to match them with Baby Zuri.
The week before our Caroline's Promise team left for Uganda, our Board of Directors awarded a grant to the Renslows who were already in Uganda, completing their adoption. For the first time in CP history, we were able to be in country with one of our grant families. What a special blessing for me and CP Board member, Sarah Ledford. It was just a reminder that God is faithful and He will use us if we allow Him to.
THANK YOU for supporting Caroline's Promise! Because of your generosity Baby Zuri has a forever family!

Happy Birthday Caroline!

It blows our mind to think that 6 years ago our Baby Girl was born in Guatemala. It had been a long wait and we were scheduled to take a mission team in June of that year. I begged God to let our baby be born before we got there so that I could hold her. I was pretty irritated that He had not "listened" to me. Of course David said there was no way we could lead a team, knowing that our baby was there at Hannah's Hope. How could we focus?

All along I had asked God to give us some sort of "sign" - something really cool that would let us know that He had chosen her specifically for us. On the last day of the mission trip we were driving from Lake Atitlan back to Guatemala City. Although I didn't know her birthmom at the time, I felt this strong urge to pray for her. I just couldn't shake it. When we got home we learned that Caroline had been born that afternoon.
God always knows best. Waiting for anything is hard. But later I am usually able to see that He was orchestrating something beautiful. And He was not bothered by my impatience.

You should see her face when we remind her that we (and 2 other teams of people from our area) were in Guatemala the day she was born. I think she gets it on some level too. That she was created specifically for us!

"For you created my inmost being: you knit me together in my mother's womb.

I priase you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place.

When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body.

All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."

Psalm 139:13-16

Happy Birthday Caroline!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Does God really bless us when we give?

Months ago when we were praying about leaving the church that David had attend for 17 years and I for 30 years - we made a list of the pros and cons. It was a huge decision for us and one that we did not take lightly. Our entire family got involved as we made a list of things we were looking for in a church. One of the priorities was a church that is "other" focused. Not that our previous church wasn't - just that we knew we did not want to be a part of a body that didn't serve others.

A few weeks ago I was thrilled to see that the church we are now attending supports the local Pregnancy Care Center. This is a ministry close to my heart, having served on staff for 4 years before starting a family and my private practice. They were handing out baby bottles, asking us to collect change to be returned on Father's Day. Yesterday before church Caroline and I were counting the change - more than $30! Kendall was confused....."Why are we giving "extra" when our family is "struggling?"

It was a valid question. Kendall has ears and is old enough to understand that things are tight for us financially. Although I had been receiving a salary with Caroline's Promise - that funding dried up a month or so ago. And David's business of 18 years has taken a huge hit in the past year. We've had to make some difficult decisions, like laying off employees who were like family - having worked with us for 18 years. Kendall also has picked up on the fact that there are plenty of individuals and businesses who have neglected to pay us. It "hit" him yesterday that if these people had done what they were supposed to do - David's business would not be struggling as much as it is.

So the question was valid, "Why would you give that $30, Mom?" It was a great opportunity for me to explain the ministry of the PCC and share with Kendall how we don't stop giving just because our income has decreased. I challenged Kendall (and myself:) to trust that God would bless us somehow in the week to come. "Just watch, Kendall - something will happen this week!"

Again, this morning as David and I prayed before he left for work, we asked God to show His faithfulness to Kendall (and to us:). I went about my day - a meeting and 3 clients. While meeting with the last client I sensed God asking me to offer her counseling at a reduced rate, for as long as she needed it. It didn't "make sense" humanly - but it was clear that He was asking me to do it. So I did.

That's when it happened! David called and had checked the mail at work. One of the individuals who owed us had decided to pay! Now, it's really just a drop in the bucket of the amount of people who owe us money - but it has spoken VOLUMES to our family!

God is faithful. He always has been. He always will be. When we step out on faith - He blesses us. What a lesson for Kendall - and a great reminder for his parents!