Friday, April 27, 2012

Do you love coffee?

I love coffee!  If my day doesn't start with coffee, it is a very sad day.  So when I found this opportunity, I thought it was perfect.

Just Love Coffee is based out of Tennessee.  It is a pretty cool company and works with only fair trade coffees. They started giving back by helping families that were trying to adopt fundraise and have opened it up to any organization with a cause.  For every bag of coffee that is sold from "my store", LOT 2545 will get $5.  There are lots of other things on their websites from apparel to music.  Everything that is sold, we get a portion of!  And the stuff isn't crazy expensive to make up for donating a portion to us!

So you can get your coffee and help the boys too!  Make sure you share the site with all of your friends!  What is better than getting something you need and love and helping someone in the process?????

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Feeling overwhelmed

James 1:2-4
Dear brothers, is your life full of difficulties and temptations? Then be happy, for when the way is rough, your patience has a chance to grow. So let it grow, and don't try to squirm out of your problems. For when your patience is finally in full bloom, then you will be ready for anything; strong in character, full and complete.

How funny that of all days today is the day that I found this verse.  Patience is definitely not a strong suit of mine.  I am very impatient.  When things aren't happening fast enough for me, sometimes I foolishly decide to take it into my own hands and of course it doesn't usually help.

Now, having patience means something different for me.  It means that I need to wait on God to provide what the boys need.  It means that I need to have faith that He will always deliver.  It means I need to be still and listen even when I feel like things are caving in and spinning out of control.  

Right now would be a time when I feel like things are spinning out of control.  We are trying to move the boys into a bigger house away from the slum.  Right now we are living so close to the slum that they keep going back and getting in trouble.  Not to mention that our current landlord wants us out!  We finally have found a house and are ready to sign a lease contract but we have one problem.  RENT!  In Uganda, you always have to pay many months up front.  In this case, 6.  The landlord has agreed to accept 5 for now with the 6th paid within the month.  

I am praying and fasting for God to answer my prayers and raise the money for us to be able to move.  Not only do we need to pay rent but also moving expenses.  Throw on top of that the boys going back to school in 2 weeks or so, and my head is spinning with all of our needs.  

I am asking that you would pray(even fast) with me.  Pray that we would raise all of the money that we need for the boys to move into a safe home away from the slum and school fees for the next term.  

I also ask that if you feel God is leading you to help us, you can do so by donating through the DONATE button at the top of the page. 

Thank you for your prayers!  I know God will hear them and answer!  

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Maybe I know...

Coming back to the US this time was very different than the first time.  When I left Uganda in September, I was ready for a break.  I was ready to fit in and just be.  I was ready to not be an outsider and I was ready for people to stop looking at me.  However, it wasn't long after I was back that I started to miss the kids terribly and wanted to be back in Uganda.

I finally made it back in January and when I left at the beginning of March, I wasn't happy I was leaving.  I think I prayed, actually begged God, to work a miracle to keep me in Uganda with the kids.  It didn't happen and I had to get on the plane and say good bye to my family.  A lot had changed in a little over a month.  I woke up to the shouts of boys outside my door telling me to wake up so they could see me before school.  I learned how to cook on a charcoal stove, because I loved them that much.  I fell more and more in love with the kids each day we spent together.  So when I had to leave at the beginning of March I was heartbroken.  Some of the boys were so upset, they refused to even say goodbye to me.  Others begged me not to go.  But I had to, I didn't really have a choice.

The separation hasn't gotten any easier.  In fact, I'd say it has gotten worse.  Here I am again, ready to go back, but unable to.  I talk to the kids and every time one of the first things they ask is when am I coming back.  They tell me they miss me and want me back now.  They tell me they love me and call me mom.  And my heart breaks...Every day, every time.

None of us seem to understand why I am not in Uganda when that is the only place that I want to be.  I spend every day trying to find sponsors or churches to partner with, just so I can go back.  And every day, I seem to fail.  Every time, I tell the boys I am sorry I don't know, I am still trying to find you sponsors.  And every time their response is but I miss you.

Figuring there has to be a lesson to learn in all of this because it doesn't make sense why God would call me to these kids and then keep me from them.  I started to think....

I realized, maybe this is how God feels.  He so desperately wants to be with us, have a relationship with us and be close to us but we ruin it every time.  We are so far away from him by the choices we make or our actions and His heart breaks because all He wants is to be with us,  His children, and He can't.  He longs to have us near, to be able to hold our hands and tell us that He loves us, but we're so far away He can't.  He wants to have an active role in our lives and be there to hug us or wipe away our tears, but we stay so far away, He can't.

I don't know that it is fair to compare my heartache to God's.  I know His hurts way more, but being away from the kids is by far the worst heartache I have ever had to go through, and I have had my fair share.  All I want is to be there every morning when they wake up to tell them have a good day at school and I love them.  All I want is to hug them and tell them I love them and believe in them, I know they can change.  All I want is to love them enough everyday so whatever pain they are feeling grows a little less with each passing day.

For now, I must do it from afar and trust that they know how much I love them until I am able to go back.  Just like God, pours all of His love out for us every single day and just waits on us to come back to Him...

I pray both will happen soon....


Monday, April 9, 2012

Unconditional love

Romans 5:6-8

New International Version (NIV)
 6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Yesterday reminded me of the amazing gift we received in Jesus.  The unconditional love that we have in Jesus.  He doesn't love us because we are worthy.  On the contrary, He started loving us when we were still sinners and continues to love us even though we continuously disappoint Him.  He loves us regardless of the mistakes we make and forgives us because that is how much He loves us.  He wants to know us and have a relationship with us.  His love is what saves us, not our own doing.

It is hard to imagine that someone can love me that much.  No matter the mistakes or bad choices I make, He still loves me.  When I do the same stupid thing over and over again, I know He is disappointed, but He still loves me and gives me another chance.  He doesn't condemn me or throw me away.  He just pours His love into me one more time and encourages me to do better, to be the person I was created to be.  I don't deserve that kind of love, none of us do, but He loves us anyway, no matter what.


Not like I forgot, but yesterday reminded me of God's unconditional love for us.  It is because God first loved me, that I know how to love.  If God can love me, no matter how many mistakes I make, why should I not show the same love?  How could I possibly justify loving anyone any other way?

I can't.

Since the home officially opened back in January, there have been so many difficult days.  In the beginning, it was so difficult, people encouraged me to give up and told me if I did, it was ok, it was understandable.  Just walk away from the kids, let someone else deal with them, it is what is best.  These past 2 weeks have been extremely difficult, made worse by me being in the US and having to watch everything from afar.  Again, people told me to give up.  Not on everything, but on someone.  They said terrible things to me, said that I wasn't making the right choices, that he would never change, and so I should just give up on him.

What if God gave up on me?  What if He gave up on you?

That wouldn't be so great, would it?

Almost every day my heart is broken by one of the boys.  They make another bad choice.  They do exactly what I tell them not to.  But how is that any different than me?  I do the same thing to God every day.  I know I am not perfect and no matter how hard I try, I still make mistakes.  I realize my brokenness.  I realize I don't deserve His love and forgiveness.  But because He is perfect, because He is my Father, He continues to love me and show me the right way.  He never gives up on me.  I have a love from Him that will never end and isn't based on how good I am.  Because I know that love from him, I choose to love these kids in the same way.  I won't give up on them, ever.  I won't throw them away like others have.  I will continue to love them, no matter how many mistakes they make, no matter how many times they break my heart, no matter how disappointed I am.  

God refuses to give up on me.  What would He think if I gave up on those He called me to?