Saturday, January 16, 2010

245 and 580

245 and 580....just numbers. No, these two numbers represent the people with whom I had the privilege of spending time today.

I was conducting a foster parent training in Butler County, Ohio today...nearly 50 foster and adoptive parents attended this all day event. As I met them and listened to their stories, I realized the beautiful treasure sitting in front of me. It was a treasure of loving, sacrificial people who have given their time, talents and resources to meet the needs of abused and neglected children. I felt humbled in their presence.

IN THE ROOM TODAY - THERE WAS 245 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE OF FOSTERING AND ADOPTING. THINK OF WHAT THAT MEANS!

What does the 580 represent? I bet you can guess.

THIS IS THE NUMBER OF CHILDREN WHOSE LIVES HAVE BEEN TOUCHED BY THESE PARENTS.

Most of our blogging has been about the needs overseas because a lot of our focus is there. But today, I was reminded once again, that in this country, in this state, right next door, so to speak, are thousands of people who are making life changing commitments to children right here. They live by a higher principle of life. Let me share a story.

KEVIN AND CINDY
Sixteen years ago, Kevin and Cindy felt called to become foster parents. Shortly after going through the licensing process, they received a phone call from the agency, asking if they would take three-month-old Katie. Katie, theagency told them, was a medically fragile baby, born prematurely to parents who could not care for her. They responded immediately — yes!

Delicate and petite Katie was placed into their home the next day, right from the hospital. That first evening, had Kevin not known infant CPR, Katie would have died in his arms.

The weeks turned into months, the months into years, as they continued to care for this extremely ill child. Trips to the hospital were part of their weekly routine, not to mention doctors’ visits and hours of in-home care. Finally, the agency decided to move forward and seek permanent custody, thus opening the door for Katie’s adoption.

As an adoption worker, I was required at that permanency hearing to testify as to Katie’s “adoptability.” The attorney for the biological family got down in my face, nearly yelling, asking me, “Who would adopt a child like this? What’s wrong with these people? Why do they want to do it?” I simply responded to him by explaining that Kevin and Cindy love her deeply. After the hearing, I went back to my office. A message my pastor and husband,David, shared recently in our church, came to mind. I sat down and wrote that attorney a respectful letter. Here is what it said:

Dear Sir,
I didn’t reply adequately in court to you today as to why Kevin and Cindy are choosing to make Katie a permanent part of their family. Let me tell you why. Kevin and Cindy live by a
higher principle in life. It is called VRS.

V stands for Voluntary. No one is forcing them to make this lifelong commitment to Katie. They are doing it out of supreme love for her.


R stands for Redemptive. Redemption means to restore dignity to a person whose life situations are difficult, painful and heartbreaking. Such were Katie’s.

S stands for Suffering. Suffering means the loss of something for the sake of another. Kevin and Cindy have paid a high cost. Emotionally, physically, financially — in every way they have
suffered. They would not call it that, but that is exactly what it is.

This is why Kevin and Cindy are adopting Katie. This is their life principle — Voluntary Redemptive Suffering.

Respectfully,

We recently joined the family to celebrate Katie’s sixteenth birthday. What a glorious day it was as we reflected on the incalculable ways God had provided for this precious child and encouraged the family in uncertain times.

Those parents today, just like Kevin and Cindy represent the thousands of people coming forward to foster and adopt. They are among those who live by a higher principle of life — VRS — the law of Christ. Again, I was humbled in their presence.

Live creatively, friends. . . . Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ’s law. (Galatians 6:1-2, MSG)

Please visit our team's blog: http://www.lambinternational.blogspot.com/

Also, please visit our new adoption blog: www.jayneschooler.blogspot.com

Friday, January 15, 2010

Kids Against Hunger – Food Packing Dates in Southwestern Ohio

Just last Saturday, David and I had the opportunity to spend a few hours at The Factory – the food packing location for Kids Against Hunger in Blue Ash, Ohio. It was an incredible experience. We left deeply moved and even more deeply committed to “getting our hands dirty” wherever God might lead us.

Information about this international relief group can be found at http://www.achildshopeintl.org/HomePage.html



Larry Bergeron, director of A Child's Hope International, explains the packing process to the group of volunteers.

In light of the immense and unspeakable tragedy now unfolding in Haiti, KAH has expanded their packing days this coming week. If you have time – two hours will do it, consider registering and joining the team to pack emergency food packets for Haiti. If you do not have time, but have resources, (and they are very much needed) consider a financial donation.
Here are the packing dates:
Session 1: Sunday, Jan 17, 1 PM to 3 PM
Session 2: Sunday, Jan 17, 3 PM to 5 PM
Session 3: Monday, Jan 18, 1 PM to 3 PM
Session 4: Monday, Jan 18, 3 PM to 5 PM
Session 5: Wednesday, Jan 20, 1 PM to 3 PM
Session 6: Friday, Jan 22, 1 PM to 3 PM
Session 7: Friday, Jan 22, 3 PM to 5 PM
Session 8: Saturday, Jan 23, 1 PM to 3 PM
Here is where you can register http://www.achildshopeintl.org/Haiti.html
Hope you can join this incredible effort to reach the devastated people in Haiti.
Even children can do it!


Two hours per person will feed one child for a year. It is really easy, fun and life saving!

From packing to clean up - it is a ministry making a difference.

Our group packed 16, 416 food packets in two hours.

Could you be in the next picture?

Here is where you can make a donation to the feeding program for kids and adults in Haiti and all around the world. http://www.achildshopeintl.org/DonateNow.html
This short video captures the heart of Kids Against Hunger

video

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Follow Me

From David:


Greetings to each of you. It is a wonderful and awesome truth to be able to declare that we are in Christ and that we are a part of the Body of Christ. We are here for just such a time as this—and these are truly unusual times.


Upheaval is a word that describes these times. We see this not only in the news sources around us, but, also in the cries of people around the world who are going through very difficult times. The best news is that the Kingdom of God is not in upheaval nor is He in confusion nor are we alone.

Allow me to briefly share two life-changing words that those of us who follow Christ have heard and heeded at one time in our lives. Those two words are the words Jesus spoke to Matthew in Matthew 9, FOLLOW ME. Everything in life changes when we hear these words, push our chair back, and follow Him. He did not tell Matthew where they would be going or what they would do when they got there. The word was just to follow—He would fill in the details as they moved on. Jesus did give a clue, however, as to where they would be going in verse10 through 12 of Matthew 9. He said they would be going to “sinners” and “sick” people. There it is—those who follow Him will be going to sinners and sick people.


Who are they?


All of us.


Where are they?


Everywhere.

Jayne and I have captured a little of our journey to sinners and sick people in the pictures that are included in the short video below. This is our journey for now. You have yours and we bless you in it. We would love to hear about it. If granted that opportunity, we will listen to you and rejoice with you in the journey on which you find yourself as you FOLLOW HIM.

NOTE: for our Facebook friends who pick up the link there, scroll down to where you see "see original post." Click that to see the entire blog and video.

FOLLOW ME

video