Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Thankfulness - iFast58

God answers our prayers. In fact, He often blows us away. This weekend was one of those times for me. We have been praying for weeks on iFast about the upcoming launch in OKC. We have watched our sweet ifaster, Lindsey A, grow in her faith as she stepped out in faith with her church Body. Here was a church of just under 1,500 signing up to sponsor a village of 600 kids! I went there this weekend wondering how the Lord would answer these prayers. I was blown away. We saw 400 kids receive the blessing of sponsorship. We also found BOSCO in our list of profiles!!! Our sweet iFaster, Melanie Dale, who prayed so fervantly just a few short weeks ago for this precious boy, is now not only his prayer advocate, but his Sponsor mama too!!!!We saw the Lord move in mighty ways. We saw Jesus.

I was so blessed through watching Him this weekend. I was blessed by spending time with a group of people, ALL fellow iFasters, who choose to seek HIS face for the orphans in Uganda. It was AMAZING to join in the throne room from the same spot on earth :-)

I saw 3 amazing things. I saw Him change US, provide for these sweet children of Ngariam and change a church Body...all in the same weekend.

As I entered the weekend, I waffled between faith that they'd all be sponsored and fear that the whole things would be a flop. After at least 5 times of group prayer, I ended at a place of utter submission. Hope for moving mountains and complete peace that HE would move and however that looked would be fine for me. It was such a special time with these fellow iFasters to watch and listen to their hearts break for the orphans. I'm thinking an iFast weekend may need to be in the works :-)

I saw Him come to the aid of the children of Ngariam. 400 kids. 400 little ones who are RIGHT NOW on the brink of starvation will have sponsors...and thus food, and love. amazing. literally breath taking to watch God work.

I saw this church rise up on behalf of the widow and the orphan. As Vince and I spoke on Sunday morning, I literally saw their hearts break. I could see their tears and watch as God reached in and gave them HIS love for the orphans. I saw family after family stand in the church foyer bragging about their "new son" or "daughter". I heard story after story about a family that was going to sponsor just 1 and now they were trying to figure out just how many they could take. I heard stories from yesterday about Facebook exploding with families posting "their" kids and how they were already praying for them.

i literally watched God connect 2 villages...2 communities with HIS heart. Amazing. Breath taking. All provoked because one girl, one iFaster, stepped out in faith to follow her dream to see a village of children have life.

Lives were changed. both here and in Ngariam. As for here, I am changed. I am different. I am thankful. I have seen God personally rise up for the widow and orphan and I have seen God's church respond. I will FOREVER be grateful that I got to be a small part of that experience.

So, fasting will be in Thankfulness. In the midst of busyness (and yes I am VERY busy!!!) I will chose to stop and be thankful that we serve a God who cares so intimately about the children that we cry over all across the world, He also cares intimately about the church here and that we "get it" and are changed in the process of caring for the poor. And...HE chose to use each one of US in the process of connecting the 2. Wow. I am in awe. HE IS MIGHTY!!!!!! Praise His Name!

Let's praise Him with these amazing organizations today....many of whom have listed AMAZING reports of well as lifting them up today.

1. For our year-end campaign
2. New launches - Fargo, OKC, Raleigh, Atlanta
3. New Orleans fund-raiser
4. For the amazing volunteers He has brought to HopeChest
5. For the PRC staff who are slammed with heavy workload
6. For the McElheny's as they prepare to move and come on staff
7. For the Swaziland vision trip in February
8. For the 147 Million orphans in the world

9. For the vulnerable young boys and girls who are targets of trafficking

Redeemer House Orphanage, Uganda
Pray that our application for registration as an NGO in Uganda will be processed quickly and accepted. We have had some difficulties in the process.
*Pray as our board meets and considers God's direction for the future of the orphanage.
*Pray for Elysia, our country director, who is working with an African-based organization as they reach out to the needy children of Masaka, Uganda this week.
*Praise that all of our children passed their school exams and were promoted to the next grade! Elysia has been tutoring them and it is making a difference.
*Pray that the children in our care will respond to God's call on their lives and choose to love and serve Him.
*Pray for a difficulty with Elysia's passport to be worked out quickly.
*Thank God for our sponsors who have chosen to make a difference for a child in Africa.
*Pray that others would heed God's call to care for the widows and orphans of the world.

Prayer requests from ORR-
Please join us in prayer for a precious girl named Korpu. She is 4 years old and weighs only 14.7 pounds. She has been diagnosed as "failing to thrive" and is also being treated for malaria and a UTI. She is living in horrible conditions and we need wisdom in what to do for her.
And along those lines please be praying for all of us, it has been on our hearts the last few weeks to be doing what is BEST for those we are serving, not just what is good, the best. We are seeing that is often going to mean making hard decisions and doing things that are not easy. We want to be advocates for these kids and help them to not just survive, but to thrive.
Pray for the government of Liberia as it unveils it de-institutionalization plan for the thousands of orphans here and that we can see how we fit into that plan.

Remember the Poor:
Still prayin' for the western church!! He says to ask, seek and knock. Incidentally, for anyone who wants a chuckle :), our dear African brother put it this way. "To knock is polite, to seek is a little less polite, and to ask...well that is just the African way!" So, we are taking the African approach as we come before the throne of grace, asking and continuing to ask for revival to be poured out on this land--that the church would rise up to meet all the needs. We know God has provided all that is necessary to meet all's just a matter of releasing what He has provided! (2 Cor 8:14-15)

Liberia Education Project
1. Volunteers:
- We need volunteers to work with the project in area (s) they feel
God's call to make a difference in the lives of the children and
adults in the villages and communities in Liberia. All areas of
expertise are greatly needed.
2. My trip to the project site in Bong County, Liberia:
- I am making a trip from Febuary 4 - March 15, 2010, please pray for
God's provision and resources.
-We are planning to conduct a 2 day camp for about 100 plus children
at the project site. This will be the first camp experience for

children in these villages.
- all the other works to be done during my trip there,
- the work that is presently being done at the project site
3. Funding for the programs of the Liberia Education Project:
- Construction of the school campus
-Water and Sanitation
- Agriculture program to help substain the school and the community

Sam and Wendi are still in Ethiopia. Pray as they continue their "All I want for Christmas Campaign"

Lemonade Int'l
Personal for Bill: I pinched a nerve in my back a couple weeks ago and have
been in significant pain since then. Chiropractic wrok hasn't helped
much. I'm going for physical therapy starting tomorrow. I am asking
for relief from pain that's prevented me from getting much work done
for the past two weeks.

Continued Requests for the Ministry:In conjunction with the Guatemala public school calendar, our schools in La Limonada will be closed for the month of December. During this time, please pray:

* For our team in Guatemala as they prepare for a new school year in January with more children than ever.
* Many of our team members will be traveling to visit family this month so please pray they will have a restful, relaxing and refreshing time with family and friends.
* For the children and families of La Limonada that this will be a time when they learn to trust in God and realize that it is He that is doing the work in their lives.... while at the same time may they grow in their appreciation of the beauty of the relationships that exist with them and the teachers and staff at the schools.
* For the plans and preparations for our first vocational training program for older students - a carpentry workshop at Escuelita Mandarina
* For the provision of shoes, backpacks, school supplies, scholarships and bonuses for teachers through our "Gifts Of Hope" Christmas Fundraising Program

Global Orphan Outreach
Continued prayer for Global's work in progress in Liberia. :0)

Also- lets pray for the CEO's and leaders of mega non-profit organizations who are paid 2- 3- and 400,000 dollars in salaries each year and yet talk about how wealthy Americans should help the poor more. It sends a mix message to those who are wanting to give but see and hear this going on.
Lets pray especially during this holiday season when so many organizations are fund raising. That hearts would be open to God's leading of individual finances and giving.

We were able to raise the $5000 for our Christmas Fundraiser. Thx for praying everyone.
Prayer Request:
I will be having a series of important meetings in Austin over the next two weeks. Please pray for favor and wisdom.
Pray for our 100 kids in Zim to get sponsored.
We're working on an iphone app and may have an investor to fund the project. Pray he comes through.
We're currently looking to expand our child sponsorships, we have various orphanages in Egypt, Kenya, Uganda and Sudan who have asked for our help. Pray for guidance.

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