Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Questions, Answers and Life Changes

Questions and how we answer them can alter the course of one’s life.  I googled “Jesus and Questions” the other day and up came a list of over 100 questions that Jesus asked.  How folks answered those questions changed the course of their lives.  That is true for all of us.

Questions for us started over 35 years ago.  “Would you become my foster parents?” Would you consider a pastorate in Lebanon, Ohio?” “Would you consider a pastorate in West Carrollton, Ohio?” ‘Would you consider going to Kyrgyzstan for six months and just showing up?” We said yes to all these questions. I first thought of them as changing the direction of our lives.  I think a better way to put it is that as we said “yes” to each of these, we were directed to stay on the path God intends for us.

About seven years ago our journey into the international world of hurting, wounded and suffering children and adults began. It was a world we had never seen, but from our first steps into Kyrgyzstan ruined us. As Kay Warren says, we have been divinely ruined.  Being divinely ruined means that we no longer see life as we had before. The things that were important, no longer are.  The thing that truly matters is the God directed privilege we have speaking into the lives of people and see them heal and grow. Being divinely ruined is a permanent condition David told me a while back. Once one is ruined, he is ruined!

We have been involved in both US and international work in child welfare for a while now.  We see so much need and so little time to get it all done. AND, we know we cannot do it ourselves.  In spring, I wrote a prayer in my journal that had been on my heart.  It had three parts:  Lord, simplify our focus, expand the message you have given us by allowing us to train others and finally, provide resources to meet the needs to do the work..

Shortly after that prayer, we were asked another question.  “Would you consider coming on full-time with Back2Back. (www.back2back.org is an incredible ministry group working in Mexico, Haiti, India and Nigeria.) We said an enthusiastic "YES!" This isn’t a change of direction. We believe God continues to direct us on the life path He intended for us.  Our partnership with LAMb International will continue and hopefully be enriching for all of us.

Many things will change.  We will be stepping away from training work in Ohio that I have been a part of for over 20 years.  We will be gone much more than before.  We will be challenged to grow in ways we don’t even know about.  The journey continues and we are so excited to begin our work in January with these incredible men and women of Back2Back walking on the path God intends for them.

Photo: "Before you can CORRECT a child you have to CONNECT with that child." Dr. David Schooler
David is sharing during our first trip with Back2Back in January.  We are looking forward to working more closely with Gabriel and his staff in Matzatlan.

Johanna (Lamb co-founder) and I share with the young people preparing to become trainers in Mexico.

Questions are powerful.  They potentially open doors to new things God has for us. It all depends on how we answer them.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Help Desperately Needed

Dear friends of ours were devastated by a fire in their home last night.  It destroyed everything. Dabu and Tanya are ministry partners with us and we have known them from our first days in KG in 2008.  They have been saving for many, many months to have enough funds to attend their daughter's wedding in America next month. Their entire household, clothing, furniture, wedding gifts, etc are gone. They have no place to go.   Please visit the LAMb blog to see all the details. If you can help us restore hope to this family, it would be greatly appreciated.


Wednesday, April 9, 2014


Children graduating from orphanages around the world, leave with no life skills, no understanding of how to manage the basics of life.  As a result, LAMb in partnership with CBN Ukraine has written a nine module program for orphanage caregivers or anyone working with teens aging out of care.

We are excited to announce that registration for the June session training of Life Skills is now open. Please help us pass the word.  Here is the link for registration:

Life Skills Training

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

David's Time with Pastors

Following David's week long seminar on pastoral counseling, we visited the sponsoring church. We were very surprised to see a video capture of some of the week's teaching events. We weren't expecting it so when it came up on the screen it was a great surprise.  We wanted to share it with you.

Many of these pastors are graduates of Teen Challenge.  They have experienced devastation and the amazing restoration found in Christ.  What testimonies we have heard!


Our Time With Adoptive Families

We find the hearts of adoptive families in Russia, just like other adoptive parents where we have been. They love their children and desperately want to know how to help them heal.  We hope our brief time with them on Friday and Saturday helped in some small way.  We also met with a number of them yesterday and today (Tuesday) to go more in-depth.

Here is a short video of the families we met...


Thursday morning very early, David and I leave to join Lynn and Ruby Johnston (LAMb) at the Orphan's Promise Adoption Conference in Ukraine......the journey continues.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Ending Our Time

Friday afternoon, we ended the pastors' four day seminar. So many folks expressed their appreciation to David for the content - pastoral counseling. It is not something here that is often done. Our prayer is that they will feel better equipped to carry on their ministry of healing in very difficult situations.

Here is the group

After class on Friday, we went into the city about 45 minutes away to share in training with foster and adoptive parents.  It is now Saturday morning and we are heading back there today for a full day with many parents who are caring for these children with trauma history and have no preparation to do so. What a privilege to be able to share what God has given us.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

More Pictures from Teen Challenge Chapel

During our time on the campus of Teen Challenge, we have looked around and watched the men whose lives were once devastated by drugs and alcohol. We see what God is doing, and there really are words to describe what we see and hear. These men are now moving toward freedom in every way. They will in turn, help others. Here are some more pictures from David's evening at a chapel service.

Special new friends - Olya and Pasha on the left are the directors of the Teen Challenge Center

George and Katya are on the Teen Challenge staff.