Sunday, October 25, 2009

Join Us For A Free Seminar!

 

image Is adoption right for me & my family? • Is adoption God's "Plan B"? • What
is God’s Definition of Mother and Father? • These intriguing questions along
with many others will be answered. Call to register today. We hope you join us!

8 8 8 - O N E - C H I L D

WANT TO KNOW WHAT GOD

SAYS ABOUT ADOPTION?

 

Goodwill Baptist

Church

3110 Piney Grove Road
Kernersville, NC 27284
November 14th 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
PLEASE REGISTER AT: WWW.AWAA.ORG/EVENTS

image “As an adoptive parent and
one who has experienced the
miracle of adoption first hand,
it’s so exciting to see how God
is using the message
to inspire, inform and capture
the hearts of many families to
experience this miracle as well.”
Steven & Mary Beth Chapman

Saturday, October 24, 2009

A Journey of Faith

We are the Mullis family from Kernersville, NC and we are adopting a baby boy from the country of Ethiopia..... Even as I write that sentence I cannot believe it is true.

Adoption has been a dream in our hearts for a very long time. We have three biological children ages 8, 9 and 11 and, in my head, I echo some of the very thoughts and statements I hear from others... “Why, with three healthy biological children, would you want to risk the unknown? How are you going to handle the issues of bringing an African child into your white, middle class family?  How are going to afford this? Do you really want to go back to diapers and bottles?”

Some days, I am very confident in my answer to each and every one of these doubts, other days, I am a puddle of confusion. One thing I have come to know is that God has a heart for adoption and God has called our family to answer this call.

When we began praying about adding to our family this way, the Lord continued to place people in our path that solidified our decision. I am thankful for these families and organizations that care for the heart of orphans and want them to have good homes and families.Through them, the Lord has provided me with many answers to my nagging questions. We are excited to watch the Lord work in and through our lives!

As we journey down this path, we invite you to go with us. I can’t promise that it will be an easy trip, but I can promise that God will be with us and our prayer is that through our experiences, HE will be glorified.

The Mullis’ ~ Greg, Jackie, Abigail, Nathan and Esther

You can follow their story on their blog at  www.mullisadoption.blogspot.com.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Christmas Shopping with a purpose!

Beaded Coin Purse  $15

We have some great fair trade items that we have purchased from widows and single moms from Guatemala, Guyana and Uganda. Profits will support our orphan projects in those countries. During the months of November and December we will take our items “on the road”! How would you like to host a party in your home where your friends can purchase great gifts for Christmas and know that their money is making a difference for orphans and widows? You can even earn free gifts based on your sales! Contact us to set a date!DSC_0034

DSC_0048

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Lessons In The Wait – A Story of One Family

“I have not ceased to be amazed at God's provision during this adoption. He seems to interrupt these long waits with blessings that leave me in awe of Him. Thank you all for entrusting us with a grant from Carline's Promise. Michael was just speechless when I called to tell him that we had received the grant. I have been thinking a lot about the blessings during the wait and I want to record some for you, perhaps it will encourage others with whom you come into contact.
We began this adoption journey bright-eyed and full of excitement as we thought about adding a precious child to our family. As the months wore on and all the paperwork had long been in country, it seemed as if all the fervor died down and it became so easy to lose the focus on why the journey was begun in the first place. Then, God would intervene in a very noticeable way and we would once again be in amazement of Him.
*One of the greatest blessings has been seeing other families within our church begin the adoption process. We have two precious friends that are bringing home children from Ethiopia. One of my former students in the youth is now a missionary in Kenya and they are pursuing adoption from Rwanda, also. (Kenya is closing to foreign adoptions it seems)
*We have been blessed to see so many within our congregation take up the cause for children in the foster care system as they now serve as foster parents. Several are in the process of waiting for their foster children to become legally theirs.
*So many of senior citizens at church are faithfully praying for our little girl to come home from Rwanda. They are not only willing to embrace a pastor with a multi-ethnic family, they are praying for it to happen soon!
* We have had the offer of a baby shower. This doesn't sound out of the ordinary, but we are actually having a family shower, with the whole family invited. This has been a family event all along, so it only seemed natural to include everyone in our invitation! We will have a Compassion Child Advocate on hand, so they too, can adopt someone before they leave that day.
* Had this been a short wait, or an easy one, I do not believe that so many would have been waiting and aching with us. We, as a body, have traveled this road together and many, many conversations about orphans have begun because they are becoming aware of the epic problem that young children are facing.
When I look back, the blessings seem so numerous, it is hard to even remember the droughts. Thank you, Caroline's Promise, for blessing us beyond belief. You all are making a difference in so many lives and I am so humbled to be one of them.”
Emily Bowers and her family .P1000426

Sunday, October 18, 2009

“Survivor Guatemala” winner, Dean Culler makes a difference!

People often wonder, “Am I really going to make a difference on this mission trip? I’m only going to be there a few days.” I will admit that I have often wondered the same thing. It wasn’t until a recent trip to Guatemala that I realized you CAN make a difference in just a few short minutes.

On my trip to Guatemala I was able to see how I could physically make a difference in a little boy’s life by just spending a few minutes with him and his mother. While at the school I entered a classroom and happened to spot a smaller, somewhat frail little boy. He was holding his arms in a bent, contracted way - almost appearing as little wings - but with big beautiful brown eyes and a grin that immediately touched my soul. Through an interpreter I was able to find out that he was born this way and as he was getting older it seemed to be getting worse. I sat down in the floor with the boy and had him grip my fingers. His right hand was noticeable weaker. He appeared to have a form of cerebral palsy with poor muscle development to all four extremities. With the interpreter’s help I was able to show the teacher some exercises to try to at least maintain and hopefully improve his range of motion, muscle development and control. I explained that if he did not stay mobile now, as he got older, his contractures would become worse and he would become weaker.

The teacher understood and agreed to work with the boy while at school. At the end of the school day as we were leaving, we were blessed to meet his mother and we again sat down and showed her how to help the little boy do all the exercises for both his arms and legs. The mother became tearful and said she had never pushed him to do anything because she felt he was too small and weak. I told her that I understood, but she should really push him to exercise and do things for himself to help him feel more confident. The little boy did nothing but smile the entire time and that smile melted my heart.Dean_Culler

It wasn’t until a debriefing session that a fellow team member brought to my attention that those few minutes may have changed a life forever. Maybe that was the entire purpose God had in store for me on this trip, those few moments…because I know I saw Jesus in those big brown eyes.

Written by Dean Culler

Friday, October 16, 2009

Thoughts of Uganda

I met a little boy at church on our last day in Uganda. We danced together to the music that preceded the service and then sat down to listen to a concert. I put my arm around this little boy and he sat as close to me as possible. After a while, in the spirit of our previous dancing fun, I removed my arm so that I could clap to the music, hoping he’d join me. Instead, he immediately grabbed my hand and wrapped my arm around him again. This happened several times, until I finally stopped trying to move my arm. This sweet little boy just wanted someone to hold him, to show him love, to make a connection with him. I had to leave that church service early to catch my flight back home, but before I left I made sure that that little boy knew that I loved him and that God loved him – the hands of Jesus reaching down to hug one of “the least of these.”
Kat and Mercy Being the hands and feet of Jesus does not stop now that I’m back from Uganda, however. There are still people in need, both around the world and in my own town. James 2:14-17 says, “What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,’ and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? Even so, faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.”
I am in the process of learning how God wants me to serve in Charlottesville, but He is already using me to help internationally by sponsoring a child. My sponsorship pays for Karen’s care at a Christian home for girls. She is able to go to school (schooling is not free where she lives); is taught life skills, such as cooking and paying bills; and, most importantly, is raised to love God and serve Him. But that’s only the smallest of things I can do. There is so much more I can do! I can tell people what I saw in Africa and encourage them to use their own gifts to meet needs. I can sponsor more children. I can encourage and support missionaries who are in the country on a long-term basis. I can partner with the local church to reach out in making disciples and serving the community. Helen Keller once said, “I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.”
I believe the message God wanted to teach me in Africa was that we are all called to be the hands and feet of Jesus. “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few” (Mt. 9:37). I saw the enormity of the world’s needs during my time in Uganda. The harvest truly is plentiful. But God is using His followers to make a difference. To meet people in their neediness and bring them healing. To love the unlovely and even the unlovable. To provide shoes for naked feet, rice for hungry stomachs, or friendship for lonely widows. Being the hands and feet of Jesus will look different for every person, but we can all do something.

Written by Katherine

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Your Church and the Orphan

Have you ever wondered how God might want to use your church on behalf of the orphan?

Then we have a conference just for you! This conference is a a powerful, interactive one-day event that will help a team of passionate people from your church live out God's invitation for orphan ministry. It is scheduled for Saturday, October 17 from 9:00am to 4:30pm at First Baptist Church in Simpsonville, SC. (First Baptist Church is located at 3 Hedge Street, Simpsonville, SC 29681.)  There is a $20 registration fee per person which includes lunch and a booklet. If you are interested, please call (800) 358-6329 or visit www.hopeforoprhans.org to register. For more information, contact Martha-Marie Smith at (864) 650-6985.

Hope for Orphans Conference

Saturday, October 3, 2009

A State of Worship

What a beautiful day! Starting with our boat ride across Lake Victoria and the short fun ride on “boda bodas” which is similar to (dirt bikes/motorcycles) on village paths. We led VBS with songs of worship with the kids and teachers. Chuck and I led the story of Esther and God’s plans for her and her people and how God directed her path for a great plan. David led the children in learning the Creation Story. The bottom line was - God made everything, including you. It is good! By the end of the lesson the kids were eagerly calling out “The bottom line¨. You should have seen the kids worshipping in song. It was worship for us!

Our timeframe was to leave Bethany by 1:30; we had plans back at the guest house, but God had other plans! As we were preparing to leave and get in the boat, dark clouds began to roll in. We gathered under a meeting shelter by Lake Victoria to wait out the storm. We know God’s plans are certainly better than ours! What started out as a delay, turned into our own personal worship service. Did you know that rocks in an empty water bottle and a bottle of Motrin make great impromptu shakers?

This along with an African drum, the rain beating around us with occasional thunder, and our voices and hearts lifted to God, make for quite a worship service-Ugandan style. It was simply our team and a few people from Bethany Village and Africa Renewal Ministries, singing, worshiping, and basking in our Jesus. As much as I try, it was an indescribable time.

After our worship service, we returned by boat to the guest house to eat pizza. Shortly after eating, Sarah and David left to accompany a local Pastor on a prayer walk for a community. During that same time, the rest of us gathered and held a two hour prayer vigil. We have been greatly affected by the things we have seen and felt the last few days: sadness, frustration, joy, love. We specifically started praying for spiritual and physical protection for our two team members using verses God had revealed to us. But God also kept bringing to our hearts a reminder about his unsurpassed love for us, including the orphans, whether at children’s homes that care for them individually or at an orphanage that doesn’t even meet the basic needs of nourishment. God knows each child by name, they are His children and He weeps with us at the choices that man has made. We felt His presence speaking to our hearts and we know He walked alongside Sarah and David at the same time. But all those words still can’t describe what those two hours were like- an intimate powerful moment.

Do you think we were done? No way! God had more in store to feed our souls. Next door, Ggaba Community Church’s worship team was practicing. That was practice--- but to us it was worship! Lisa and I sat outside to just bask in God’s presence. Wow! What a day! Our bottom line for the day: ¨We spent a whole day immersed in worship with our God who adores us.¨ Thank you my dear Father God, thank you.

Written by Stephanie

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Planting Seeds of Hope

Greetings to our dear friends and family in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ! I can only say that God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit is alive and well here in Uganda. The nine of us have had the opportunity to experience and grow in ways that only God can afford. We are being stretched and pulled and tested and torn in ways that only by the Grace of God will we survive.

There are children here going hungry; one child we met is in the third stage of malaria…do we understand all of these experiences we have seen? No! What we have come to understand is that God’s hand is at work. We are all aware that much of what we are experiencing will never be understood. We have come to realize that it is the act of obedience of being here that we are afforded the opportunity to see, hear, taste, smell and touch Jesus in a new way.

In Galatians 6: 9 we read about how we should “not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good.” Acts of giving aren’t like pebbles dropped in a pool that make a few temporary ripples and then sink to the bottom, inert. They’re seeds planted in the soil of life, and they will come up one day. The harvest is inevitable. Verse 7 states, “Don’t be misled: no one makes a fool of God. What a person plants, he will harvest.”

Decisions are seed. Attitudes are seed. Acts are seed. Prayers are seed. And all of it will come to harvest.

Growing deeper comes when we are willing to go through the rough stuff for the purpose of being transformed. When we not only do the right thing, but do it in a way that observes, includes and heals the hurting who stand along side us. We covet your prayers.

~Written by David Smith