Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Don't You Love it When God Uses You?

Since I am now pregnant and have felt a firm "No" from God when I've asked if I can please keep traveling with our mission teams, I am not able to blog about trips as I usually would...because I am simply not on them. (You have no idea how much this bums me out!)

One of my older blog posts was brought to my attention today by one of our current team members who is headed to Africa for the first time. Doesn't it mean the world to you when something you wrote or said was used by God? Isn't that what many of us search for and hope for? For God to just use us? Well, she posted on her blog today that this previous blog post was what God used to pursue her to GO visit orphans. Maybe God will use this heart breaking experience to break your heart as well, so much so that you too will step out...

I had a couple hours this morning that I could have finally have slept in...yet, I was awoken at 6 AM. As usual, I tried to go back to sleep but as I tried, the memories and realities of our last fourteen days rushed in. I've had no time to process everything as the leader. I'm always "on". Always... but here at the Adonai Hotel which feels like a big hug, thanks to their sweet service and lovely accommodations, I've had some down time and some time alone. We leave tomorrow night so our schedule has slowed down some as I'm trying to be sensitive to the team's emotions and energy which is quickly running out.

As I began processing these last two weeks, I suddenly remembered the news I heard yesterday which, had I been in the privacy of my home and not having to "hold it together" for the team, would have brought me to my knees.

Click HERE to

Friday, June 17, 2011

Visiting Orphans Partnering with Sixty Feet

The cry of our hearts at Visiting Orphans is, "Lord, please send us the children who are hidden. The orphans who have no help. The ministires and orphanages who need us. The children and ministry staff who are crying out to you for help."

Our goal with our teams is to bring awareness to children and ministries who need help. When one of our teams comes in to help then they impart encouragement, love, hope, financial, physical and emotional blessings. We expose the ministry through our team's photos, videos and word of mouth to other individuals who then feel called to help. We call it the ripple effect and it's what is now happening with the "children's prisons" in Uganda through our teams.

An incredible ministry called Sixty Feet first discovered these "children's prisons" and began helping. When I read the stories on their blog about the children in the middle of the night one night, I KNEW God was not going to let me sleep. So the next morning, without sleep, I contacted them via email. Thankfully, I did hear God correctly and Sixty Feet was open to partnering with us. They allowed us to take in a small number of team members from our March team to visit the children first. When they returned home, their stories of their time there and the wonderful insistence of the Sixty Feet In-country Director that we continue bringing teams has now opened the door for this! You can read one March team member's account of her time there here.

We sent our first official Visiting Orphans team in this month. It was led by Kari and Michael Smalley. A brother and sister team whose dad is Gary Smalley. Did Mr. Smalley did a great job of raising his kids or what?!

Here is a letter sent to me this morning by the Incountry Director of Sixty Feet, Moses. (I like to leave the emails with the same spelling and grammar as I received it.)

Thanks Amanda for sending us the team. Kari and Michael really led the team so well. i wish they could come back so soon. This was the first of its kind in this facilities and the kids were so excited to sit and mix with them, the children really experienced the love that we used to tell them about. they sang songs or worship to the kids and praise be to God they always ask me when i will take the team back to visit them. We as the staff of sixty feet were also invited for dinner with the team and i shared my life experience as a person who was in a similar situation and who lost my fathers' house after his death. even now after i have grown and married, but still last few weeks my only inheritance of Land of about 28 hectares is being grabbed away. This is the situation of some of the kids in this facilities in this places and all they need is love and encouragement. visiting orphans team is the exact right persons to help this children experience love because some of the kids in there believe that there none who can care about them but when they see such teams traveling acrose the oceans only to visit such kids then it becomes an avenue for a paradyme shift in their minds.
The team gave us some gifts of clothes, balls and other games and toys were given to each child by the visitors. we then decided to ask for permision from the persons in charge at M so as to distribute the clothes to some kids who really are badly off in terms of clothes The team also gave some money to facilitate activities. thank God we were given that money because on fridays we do not have agenda to go to M but for the love of the kids there all staff were available since it was one of the life changing experiences for the children. In the subsequent staff fellowship which we had the staff were asking of more of such visits since the effect of the visit was real good for the kids.
I am sure the visitors must have sent you pictures . i Loved working with them and really encourage it for it raises the self esteem of this children.
May God bless all the team members who visited with us. May God bless all those who made this possible.
Thank you very much

Our future Uganda teams itinearies will continue to include the children's prisons which Sixty Feet aides. We pray you will feel compelled by our Lord and Savior to leave the comfort of your home to visit these children in prison. Bringing them the love and hope that only Christ can give THROUGH YOU!

Here is an awesome video of our team singing worship songs to the children who are in the isolation cells where the children are locked up for the first 2 weeks after they arrive at the prison. Nowhere to sit...nothing. Just concrete floors and bars. Please continue into the video for more of a close up...

Holy is the Lord God Almighty from Michael Smalley on Vimeo.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

CD Review: No Double Yellow Line - Cindy Foote

I wanted to share a new CD which was put out by Singer/Songwriter, Cindy Foote (think "Sing to the King" and "You Are My King"). I have met Billy and Cindy Foote and can attest to their hearts. They LOVE God and BURN for the fatherless. As a family, they have adopted a little girl from Ethiopia and a little girl from China. Yet, the cry in their hearts does not stop there. Now Cindy has written an entire album of just songs pertaining to adoption and God's heart for the orphan. The title of the album is "No Double Yellow Line".

My favorite song on this album is "Bring Our Children Home". My co-worker, Autumn Kerr and I just started crying as we listened to it. Both from the same place in our hearts, yet a different yearning. For me, we have a little girl picked out in Ethiopia we are waiting for. We became pregnant as we started her adoption process and bringing her home now has to wait until our first baby is 6 months old. I more than understand our adoption agency's policy, but it's still so hard to know that while I grow a baby in my tummy, she languishes in Ethiopia waiting on the right "timing". I want her home NOW! Autumn cries because she too is waiting on God's perfect timing. She is still single and waiting on all those "pieces" in her life to fall into place, yet she LONGS to be a mother and to bring an orphan home into her forever home.

I can't help but mention an older song that Billy and Cindy had on an older album. It's a rendition of an old hymn called "Rescue the Perishing". This has been one of my favorite songs ever.

I hope you will look up her album. You too will be SO blessed by her music!