Monday, February 11, 2008

REsponding to God's Call

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:27

Has God ever put it upon your heart to take action on a matter and you just pushed it back, not wanting to deal with the extra burden that action might put upon you? For the past year or so I have had a Moses attitude. Reluctant to follow through on His calling using a myriad of excuses as to why, or why not. Not enough time, don't know any body, how would I start such a thing?, will look into it closer to fall, etc.... all of these negative replies have been going through my head.

This past weekend I attended a women's REtreat at our newer church - Blackhawk E-Free. Our keynote speaker on Friday night was Sharon Clausen. I am sure her words struck a chord with many in attendance. Her message certainly hit home with me as I could relate to the story of Jonah and Moses and how they responded to God's call. A key point made was this, "delayed obedience is DISOBEDIENCE." How true, and I knew it. I was letting my fear of knowing only a handful of people in our new church squelch a ministry God is asking me to lead.
The signs have been pretty clear - and go back probably 7 years ago, before we adopted our daughter. I was watching a concert on prime time to raise adoption awareness. One break featured a baptist church that had a "One Church, One Child" ministry, in which the church raised the money to allow a family to adopt and give a child a loving home. I was so taken with that concept, and had wished that something like this was available for us as we were contemplating adoption. This was a seed planted.

Years later, after God had already blessed us with a beautiful little girl from Korea, I continued to share our adoption experience, answer questions, and have been privileged to be a part in four families making the decision to adopt. (sprout) Of course we know Whose hand was really at work, bringing families together through adoption.

As I walk through the halls of our new church on Sunday I see so many families brought together by adoption, and have talked to a few. Focus on the Family just happend to send me an email last fall about a new ministry called "Cry for the Orphan", with so many links to help churches get started in orphan care ministry, give families resources, and a wealth of agencies and information to process.(sprout) In November, our church moved to a new, larger building. On that first day Pastor Chris said that the new building was not about the bricks and mortar that make it up, "this building is only a tool for us to use to do God's work." (sprout)

I thought to myself, we have the room here. Room for adopted children to play and grow together, room for adoptive parents to come together and share stories, room for parents of adopted children to mentor those who are considering, or in the process of adoption. Having been through the wait, and not being a patient person, having moral support through the process is so important! There is room to educate and have workshops to help parents with adopted children learn how to deal with issues and feelings their children may have. I pray there is means to raise money, for the church to have a desire to raise a child within its community, to help families adopt and offer love and opportunities for quality life.

The verse from James is key for me. I have been given a vision for what this ministry can do:
• To come together as a support group for families in the process of adoption, or who have adopted.
• To learn from one another by sharing of experiences and backgrounds.
• To foster and encourage adoption.
• To help make a difference, one child, one family at a time.

In a cast of a thousands I feel so insignificant, so unremarkable - I have no idea how someone such as myself can begin to cast such a vision. Our keynote speaker mentioned God being sufficient for our needs, which made me smile. Earlier in the week I had just studied the word grace, and came upon the verse from 2 Corinthians, "My grace is sufficent for you, my power made perfect in your weakness." This vision for adoption ministry is not about me - it is about God and the great things He can do. I came home Friday night, typed up the vision that had been swimming in my head for the past two years, and sent it to the person who receives such ideas at our church. The wheel has been put into motion, and I have taken a step towards obedience.

I also met another adoptive mother on Saturday, and we plan to discuss the vision further. If you have such a mission in your church, please do share with me what your church is doing for adoption - whether it is mental and spiritual support, financial support, successful fundraisers...whatever. I don't know what I am doing yet, but am willing to listen and see all that God puts in my path as I strive to be more like Mary, and say, "I am the Lord's servant."

I cannot fail to mention that the photos used in the layout above were taken by my best friend's son, David, as they served on a mission trip to Liberia in November. David's photography really spoke to me and touched my heart. I created the layout as part of a challenge at the Scrapbook Playground's huge February crop event. It is powerful in its simplicity and speaks to my heart. The digital elements used in the layout were downloaded from, the papers and border by Krytal Hartley.

If you are interested in adoption or about starting a ministry in your own church please visit the link for Cry of the Orphan and others I have listed in my sidebar. I ask that you keep this vision for an adoption ministry in your prayers, as I wait upon the Lord to see what great things He has in store. Thank you.

1 comment:

Annie said...

My sister desperately wanted to adopt 2 children in a ministry orphanage in Africa but was refused because she was a Christian of the LDS faith. Please spread the word to accept GOOD faithful parents no matter what address they go to church to on Sunday.