Saturday, January 30, 2010

Hosting Pictures! Finally!

Here are all the girls (from Ukraine and those in the host families) after a spa day. They had so much fun being treated like the princesses that they each are and getting haircuts, styles, and make-up!

Allee and Nastya had so much fun in the limo that was donated to take the kids to the spa event.
Nikita was so proud of his dragon!

Kolya (in the middle) was able to celebrate his birthday with his host family.

Sveta, Alexandra, and Vika are ready to show off their skills at ice-skating! We were treated to a night at Schlitterbahn Christmas.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Where Did Three Weeks Go?

The 17 Ukrainian children that Charis Orphan Care and Adoption Ministries brought to Texas for Christmas have now safely returned to their orphanages. But although they are gone from us for now, what has happened in their hearts and in the hearts of those who were involved with them cannot be returned to what it was. All involved have been changed. This trip was short but for some reason it was extra special. God did incredible things through this and we just give Him all the praise and glory for what has taken place. Many hearts have been moved on behalf of orphans - those specifically that came as well as the needs of orphans in general. Many if not most of our host families are pursuing adoption. Wow! And the children - they were filled up with love, fun, memories, gifts, family time, and we pray the presence of the Lord in the host homes. We pray for each one of them, that God will continue to water the seeds that were planted and that not one good plan that He has for them would be lost. My heart aches for several in particular. At the same time I am filled with joy at the gift of being involved in this ministry. Loving orphans has been a joy mingled with pain like nothing else that I can describe. It must be just a small taste of the love and joy and pain that our Father pours out over us.

In Fall 2006, Zach and I went to a Hope for Orphans conference. The opening was a short video with Steven Curtis Chapman and his daughter about hidden treasure. Then our speaker asked us all if we wanted to be blessed. He then said to simply get involved with what God cares about, to join Him in His work, to love what He loves.... I didn't really get it then. But I get it a little better now. Blessed we are to love our own children as well as those who remain fatherless. These 17 children have blessed me and all those involved with them in ways that are incredible. Is it all easy? Of course not - it is incredibly hard sometimes. And I have shed more than a few tears due to the sheer amount of work, the emotions, the pain. But strangely enough - the joy comes through the pain - through seeing God do what only He can do - in hearts, in circumstances, in incredible details that have caused me to just stand speechless as I just see Him at work. And I know it is all Him.

Want to get involved? Visit our website, email me for more info, consider hosting this summer, pray, give, etc, etc.

Charis has some exciting new things on the horizon...

Here are our girls from the salon day! What fun this was!!

Lots of more pics soon - The Salon and Limo Day, Ice Skating, Face Painting, and much more!!