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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

.The Mercy House.

It's no secret that God has opened our eyes and softened our hearts for a continent we have never even set foot on - Africa. I have researched and studied everything I can get my hands on about her culture, her people, her land, etc. I wake up thinking about Africa, and I go to bed at night with her on my mind. The Bible talks heavily about the need for us to take care of the needy, the poor, the orphans, and the widows. For a long time I just skipped over those passages assuming they were written for the "super Christians" who had that calling on their life. Please understand that I understand that many of these needs are right here in our own backyards - in America. I get that, I know that. My heart is heavy for those needs as well. It is just that at this time in our life, for some unknown reason, God has pointed our eyes in the direction of Africa. This is where the different callings come in I believe. The Bible clearly says that all believers are to do the above - take care of the poor, the needy, the orphans, the widows, but I think that God burdens every one differently with who to help. And isn't that great? Because if we are all being soft to His leading than the hurting, needy people everywhere should be getting help from someone! Too bad it doesn't really look like that, but that is a whole 'nother thought.

It seems that the more attached my heart becomes to Africa the easier it is to find others that have the same burden - at least online. The internet has become a sweet oasis for me during this adoption process. God has used other believers whom I have never met to encourage me, to challenge me, and to inspire me. On some of my darkest days during this journey, when there was not a soul that I could pick up the phone and call who would understand the crazy feelings I was having, I would get an email from a stranger speaking truth to my heart and encouraging me not to give up. Every one of those emails have been printed out and preserved. When I thought we were alone in these intense feelings for Africa I would click into a blog and read another family with the same burden. I want to share a family like this with you. If you get around the blog world much, you probably already know Kristen.

Kristen is the author of We are that Family. Her first book is soon to be published and released. (Jealous!!) She has three beautiful children and a great husband, and she is just a beautiful, authentic woman. Back last winter, just as God was starting to plant a seed in our hearts about adoption and Africa, Kristen went on a Compassion trip to Kenya. She wrote vividly and transparently about her trip, about the needs in Kenya, and about how God was breaking her heart for Africa. My heart was pricked. I cried over every post. God used Kristen and her blog to open our eyes a bit more and to take a step in our journey, and we gave up cable in order to sponsor a child through Compassion. Kristen's story is now a part of our story. I am forever grateful that she lived her life on her blog, because our lives have been changed. We can never go back.

Now Kristen and her husband Terrell have been led into a new and exciting ministry - The Mercy House. She can explain it much better than I ever could. If God is tugging at your heart to make a difference in Africa, please read about this ministry and pray about how you can get involved. Jim and I are in the middle of praying about our involvement right now. We know we will be involved, because we love Africa, and because this family has become very special to us, along with Kristen's sister and her family who run Into the Streets of Ethiopia. Isn't that so amazing? Two sisters with HUGE hearts for Africa! I love it.

I know I speak passionately and boldly on my blog. I know it is not the same blog that many of you first started reading. Honestly though I am not the same person. But please, please, please do not ever come here thinking I want to guilt you into giving me money for my adoption or giving money to other ministries and needs in Africa. I just want to present the need, and let the Holy Spirit do the rest. Some of you will feel called to help in Africa, some in Brazil, some in China, and some in the United States. My only real prayer is that we all would do something. I wasted a lot of years doing nothing. So I want to stand here and bridge the gap as I am led.

Kristen and Terrell, Jim and I are fervently praying for you and this dream that God laid on your heart. We know that God will equip the dream that He grew for you. It has been amazing for us to watch how God has worked and how you have listened and obeyed. Thank you for setting such a beautiful example. You guys make Texas look mighty inviting!

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Unknown said...

Such a beautiful post about a beautiful cause, Tiffany. I too have been so touched by their testimony. I am touched by YOUR testimony, as well. I am also praying for direction on my family and I's involvement in all of this. My heart has been pricked as well, and I cannot turn away from all of this. My heart is so heavy for these beautiful people that God loves so dearly. Amen to standing and bridging the gap as we are led! Lots of love to you all! Still praying for your journey with the adoption : ) Blessings to you!
Love, Laura

Heather and Adam said...

Keep speaking passionately and boldly! God has used you to teach me how to be a better advocate for the orphans and the poor. Thank you. My wife and I fell in love with Africa 11 years ago on a trip to Kenya. We are blessed that He is calling us to adopt at this time. Congratulations on your referral, we will continue to pray for your family as you proceed rather quickly through the process.

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