Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Secret Joy

Most evenings, our routine includes reading out loud to our children. Currently we are finishing up "George Muller: The Guardian of Bristol's Orphans". It is a biography from Janet and Geoff Benge's Series, "Christian Heroes: Then and Now". George Muller (1805-1898) has a faith inspiring story. After much rebellion, he came to saving faith while in university. It radically changed his life. While serving God as a minister, George longed for far off mission fields. Then God revealed to George that he didn't need to travel any further than his own back door in Bristol to serve Him. He had a mission field of his own serving the needs of poor and abandoned children.

In the beginning, it started with a simple "Breakfast Club." Children arrived at their home for a hot meal and Bible devotion. Their home quickly outgrew the ability to provide for all the children and adults that arrived to be fed physically and spiritually. One thing lead to another. In the end, George and Mary established a ministry that included the building of five large houses that ultimately provided a safe home for over 10,000 orphans! What makes it even more amazing is that George and Mary barely had a dime of their own. They rested in the knowledge that if God provided the vision and they demonstrated a willingness, God would also provide whatever means were necessary to accomplish His task.

At one point, George saw a need to build another building to accommodate more orphans. The cost seemed insurmountable to most. George wrote in his journal: "The greatness of the sum required affords me a kind of secret joy; for the greater the difficulty to be overcome, the more will it be seen to the glory of God how much can be done by prayer and faith." When I read this out loud to my kids, I caught my breath. How great IS the sum when God calls us to respond to the need of a child? Is it financial? Is it emotional? Is it a spiritual stretch? Most likely it is all three and so much more! Although George planned and organized, it seemed like he did not get distracted by the "big" picture. He didn't get bogged down. He simply stated, "If God is in this, He will supply." The beauty of reading biographies about godly men and women is that they served the same God we do! It is such an encouragement to be reminded of what God has done in the lives of others. As you consider in what ways God is calling you to serve the orphan, my prayer is that you can recognize the "secret joy" that is the result of hurdles that only God can jump. - Monica Lonergan

"If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God.
If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides,
so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.
To Him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen."
I Peter 4:11

We will be attempting to post each month the Broadcaster article for the Open Hearts, Open Homes ministry. In the future to read these articles you can do so by clicking on the "Broadcaster" link on the side.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Children's Books About Adoption

There are many books that families enjoy reading to their children. Books that lend themselves to discussions about adoption are a great way to keep the adoption conversation natural and age appropriate. I am thinking that some readers of this blog may have some favorites you would be willing to share. I will get us started with some that our family has enjoyed reading.

A Mother for Choco by Keiko Kasza - This book is about a little bird looking for his mother. The mother he finds is perfect for him but doesn't look anything like him and the other children in the family are all different also. All the characters in this story are animals.

God Knows My Name by Debby Anderson - While this particular book is not adoption specific it is a great story all about how God knows all about us. Each page includes several scripture references that you can look up together. It is very easy to tie adoption into the content of this book. A great reminder that God has a great plan for each child! The illustrations in this book include children of all kinds.

Child of Destiny: Matthew Was Adopted by Phoebe Dawson - Matthew asks his mother about his adoption in this picture book. She tells him how God has put together His special plan and how God brought Matthew into their family. The book ends with a short child's version of God's adoption of us. Brandon loves to be read this book when we insert his name in place of Matthew.

If you have a book you would like to share please leave a comment and I will post it to the main page, or if you have my (Amy) contact information please feel free to send it to me. This is a great way to share what we have found helpful with others.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Very Questionable Movie - Orphan

We want to simply put this information out to you and allow you to make your own decision whether a response is needed.-----

Recently several of us received an email regarding a new movie coming out entitiled "Orphan". (I attempted to post a link to the press release but couldn't get it to work.)

I watched the trailer for this movie before I posted this and found it to be quite disturbing. This movie is not going to do anything positive for adoption, especially adoption of an older child. Any thoughts of adoption taken from this movie will be extremely negative.

I have posted a link to a petition from America World Adoptions below:


Monday, June 8, 2009

Focused Fellowship Reminder

Hello ladies. It's time!
Focused Fellowship: Thursday, June 11.
We are going to meet IN PEORIA AT 6:00 pm.
We will meet at the North Peoria Panera location off of Knoxville Ave.
(North of Bethany Baptist Church)
We thought with Music Camp taking place at Bethany Baptist it might be a more convienient location.

We hope to see you there! Any questions contact Monica or Amy or leave a comment here.

We will NOT meet in July due to VBS...it would be cruel to leave our hubbies with over exhausted kiddos!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Book Review: After the Dream Comes True

"You've done it. After months or even years of prayers, dreams and effort your child is finally home. Now it's time for happily ever after. And yet the days and months ahead will quite likely stretch you in ways you aren't expecting. I'd like to help you anticipate some of these challenges and give you tools to help you cope. Above all I want to remind you that the Lord brought this precious child into your life. You're in the for an exciting adventure as His plan for your family unfolds!" This is taken from the preface of the book "After the Dream Comes True" by Michelle Gardner. Michelle is the director of Kingdom Kids Adoption Ministries and is herself an adoptive parent many times over.

The author writes in an easy to read style and shares from her own experiences. Michelle Gardner talks about such topics as an adoptive parents surprising emotions, meeting your child for the first time, first days at home, and practical questions to consider. She also touches on birthparents, setting boundaries and establishing routines, spiritual development, and life as an adoptive family, to list a few.

When I read this book for the first time I found it to be refreshing as I felt that in many ways I had found a kindred spirit. I think that you will find encouragement for the long haul in this book and you will realize that you are not as crazy as you thought you were. It would be good to read before you meet your child and also after you have been home for a time. A book worth reading this summer while your children play in the pool!