For the Glory of Our Wonder-Working, Awe-Inpsiring, Jehovah-Jireh

Stepping out in faith, stepping out of my comfort zone, is teaching me more about the awesome power of our Almighty Savior than I ever imagined. Day by day, Jesus smiles down and reminds me that he is able to do more than I can conceive. While praying with others, I thought it would be encouraging to have a place where we can come and share these wonderful works with one another.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.(Ephesians 3:20-21)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Ever More

I love the beach, and often feel so close to God when we are there. As I walked along the beach at Palm Coast this summer, I felt as if God were speaking to me, telling me of a new work I would do for him. I remembered a scripture I had read years before, but I wasn't able to find, not then anyway. I thought of our mission trip and wondered what purpose I might have after we came home from Africa. As I pondered and prayed, I began thinking BIG thoughts and dreaming BIG dreams. My dream included building a home for orphans. (I was thinking China at the time.)

As the time drew near for our mission to South Africa, I began to focus on the work he would have for us there. I began to anticipate the inconceivable.

I would never have imagined that I would find such joy in seeing Shandakani, the first child we identified to sponsor, or that I would feel sadness in my heart when I saw her for the last time before we came home.

Nor could I have imagined the love I would feel for a little boy who jumped into my arms, put his arms around my neck, and rested his head on my shoulder. I never anticipated the joy I would feel when I was able to see Adi one last time or the excitement of learning he would be the second orphan we would sponsor in the school next year.

As I have been praying Ephesians 3:20, and as our mission team read and claimed Habukkuk 1:5, God began to move in ways we would never have imagined, and would hardly have believed, even if we had been told.

We would learn that Brad and Hazel Palmer of Build the Nations had wondered if they should begin providing a home for orphans. As they learned of our desire to work with orphans, they contacted a local pastor. He helped them identify Faith, Solomon, and Shandakani. Visiting the home of their grandmother and learning of their situation, they began to make plans to bring the children to the mission base to stay Monday-Friday. Their grandmother is 84 years old, slightly crippled and blind in one eye. She and the children are excited about the possibility of their staying at the school during the week. The children wanted to go to school on Saturday!

Then, as I fell in love with Adi at Auntie Lydia's, I was moved to ask Hazel if she thought Adi could be the second orphan we sponsored. But, Hazel took it a step further and asked Auntie Lydia if Adi could live on the mission base, at least during the week. She also made plans for Zuavhudi to do the same.

Hazel began to talk with me and others on the mission team. She shared her dream of building a home for orphans on the base, and we shared her excitement. We were quickly promising to come home and help raise funds to build that house!!!!

That night in my prayer time, I thought, for the first time, of the prompting from the LORD while I was at the beach. And, just like Jesus, I found the scripture I had looked for earlier, but couldn't find. I found it when it was TIME. "Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert."

It was time, the time was now, for the new thing to spring forth. I was in the wilderness in Afria, in the dry season, where the place looked like a desert. God was showing me clearly the new thing. And, as I read more, I found Isaiah 45:2, "I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight."

So, ever more than I could have imagined when we felt called to go to Africa, ever more than I could have imagined when we left home, we broke ground for the new building for orphans, a step of faith, before we left Africa.

Look carefully at the photo with Josie-Tatum in the foreground. You will one day see a new thing spring forth from the plot of land that looks like a wilderness. You can be part of the new work for Jesus by joining us in prayer. And, if the LORD leads your to contribute monetarily, please email me at

Join me in.....Anticipating the Inconceivable.

(You can read more about Faith, Solomon, Shandukani, Zuavhudi, and Adi at our family blog... )

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


The wisdom of the world is that an honest confession is good for the soul; but the wisdom of our Heavenly Father is, "Confess your faults one to another, and pray for one another."

Today, I confess my weakness. That is a good thing, because He promises that His strenght is perfect in our weakness. Today, more than ever, I request prayers for me.

I confess that the journey of last week, the journey that took our Brandon to meet his biological father, has drained me physically, emotionally, and even more spiritually. I believe I am malnourished. I feasted on Olive Garden Grilled Chicken and Shrimp Carbonara, on the best cheese steak sandwich I've ever eaten, on lots of salad, and too much fast food. I am weak, though, because I did not take enough time to feast on God's word.

In 10 days, Josie-Tatum and I leave for South Africa. I must spend the next ten days preparing for the battle, sanctifying myself for the work of the LORD.

Please pray for me. I feel so weak. I feel so inadequate. I am working to restore my vision. I know that God will do more than I can ask or imagine, but I believe in the power of intercessory prayer as well.

I thank Him that tonight, our pastor reminded me that there is power in praise. I thank Him that our pastor reminded me that I am energized by praise and worship music. I praise Him because Jesus knew I needed to be reminded of that, and our pastor was obedient to deliver the message to the flock, so I could hear.

I thank Him that He prompted me to pour out my heart tonight to my church family, and they began to pray for me. I thank Him for the sweet prayer of Brother Ricky. I thank Him for the sweet words of Mrs. Caroline who said she was lying in bed praying for Josie-Tatum and me last night. I thank Him for those who came to me with love and hugs and words of encouragement.

I praise Him that I had begun to think that preparing our thank you letter for those who have contributed would help me remember where we began and where God has taken us. It would help me remember that this mission was ordained by Him. He sent affirmation by a visit to a blog.

And, I praise Him again, for giving me more than I asked for, for affirming more of His sweet words to my soul. As I was seeking direction for Bible study, I thought about Joshua. Feeling weak, I thought I needed the words that remind us to be strong and very courageous, for our God is with us. I had decided I would study the book of Joshua as I prepare for the mission.

Then, just like JESUS, he affirmed for me that Joshua is indeed where I need to spend time, and a letter of thanks to others can be a remembrance and encouragement for me. I went to Linn's blog. (Many of you know Linn, but if you don't, you should get to know her by clicking here.) Linn spoke of her memorial box, and I knew then that our thank you letter could be a memorial box for me. Then I followed the link to her first memorial box post, and do you know where her scripture reference came from? Of course, you do. It was from Joshua. Affirmations of the evening #1 and #2.

Now, to some of you who are less inclined to believe in my God who is the Wonder-Working, Awe-Inspiring, Jehovah-Jireh, this might be hard to believe. But, just now, while I was typing this post, pouring out my heart, asking for prayers, my son Caleb and his girlfriend came in with the local newspaper. In this week's paper is a story about our mission trip. I read it and wept. There is a quote in the story from the missionary who founded Build the Nations, where we will be serving. Here is what he said of Josie-Tatum's visit, "These kids have never had a visit by another child who cares about them, let alone one from overseas, and that alone will bless them."

So, Big Shout Out Praise to the Wonder-Working, Awe-Inspring, Jehovah-Jireh for already sending answers to my heart's cry. Please pray with me and anticpate the inconceivable!

Friday, June 26, 2009

The sun has not yet risen, but the mother has. This has been one of the most emotional, heart-wrenching, wisdom-seeking weeks for the family.

Once again, the mother was drawn to the courthouse, where the beauty of old wood and the smells from yesteryear greeted her upon opening the door. She was welcomed by the court clerks, people she's known for most of her life. They led her quickly to the file, to read through once again, this time in search of another address, that of her son, while his mother was still alive. He wants to revisit his old neighborhood in Tennessee, to drive past his former school, to bring back the memories of the time when life was simple, far less complicated.

The mother poured over the pages in the file, not finding the address she had hoped for. She did, however, come home with two important pieces of information.

The first:

She found a name, nothing more, but a the name of a person she would try to locate. This person may hold information about her son's life with his mother, and perhaps, she would remember their address.

The second:
She learned something she almost wished she didn't know. She was aware that her son had lived with two other families before coming to live with his forever family. She knew the first family he lived with was in the home of his mother's best friend. She knew his mother had left him money. She had been told the funds were mismanaged. What she didn't know was that his mother had left him over a quarter of a million dollars!!!!!!!!

When he joined his forever family, less than one-fourth of that remained.

Her son had once asked her if she knew how much money his mother had left him. She didn't know. Now, she did. She had to tell him. He asked.

She drove home with the information. Reluctantly, she shared. How could your mother's best friend, and later her brother mismanage the trust your mother had lovingly prepared for you, when she knew she was dying???

The son left for a soccer game.

The mother returned to the name:

She searched the name on, and learned there were at least three people by that name living in TN. She decided to call the one who lived closest to her son's hometown. What difference would it make, in the grand scheme of things, if the person she contacted was not the one she hoping to find?

Her first attempt exceeded her imaginations...just like Jesus.

Yes, she remembered the biological mother, she remembered her son, she remembered their address, she knew the school he had attended. She remembered.....
These two women spent nearly an hour on the telephone, their only connection in life, a child they both loved. The new contact had so much information. She was with the mother when she moved to TN. She was with the mother when she gave birth to the son. She was with the mother when she was dying.

She has photos. She was the friend who gathered the things that were to be her son's, things that were given to the guardians, some of those things lost now. She has more photos, though. She would gather them. She wants to see the son when the family passes through. She will bring the photos. She has something greater.......

She has his mother's ashes.

The son's mother had requested that her friend be the one to scatter her ashes in the ocean. Her friend, after 11 years, had not been able to complete the final request. She had cleaned the home. She and her husband had cared for the son while the mother was dying in the hospital. She had been through every one of the mother's things before her son moved to Florida with the family friend, following the death of her mother. She had fulfilled every request of the mother, but she and her husband, who also loved the mother so, were never emotionally able to complete the last.

She will give the ashes to the son.

The mother has much to share with the son following his soccer game.

Then events took another turn.
The friend who mismanaged her son's trust fund, the friend who had no contact with her son for 8 years....that friend called her son!!

She asked him to have dinner with her. She wants to see him. Her sisters want to see him. Her nieces want to see him. Would he be comfortable driving alone to a town between their homes to meet?

Yes, he told her, he was comfortable driving alone. When he hung up the phone, however, he told his family he has NO intentions of meeting her alone. He wants his family to join him.

Could you please be in prayer for the son? Could you please be in prayer for his parents? Could you please pray that the LORD will speak peace to hearts, that there might be reconciliation, that the son can boldly, but lovingly, ask his mother's best friend what she did with his money?

Will you please pray for his strength when he is given his mother's ashes on Tuesday?

And, will please pray for the peace that passes understanding on Thursday when he meets his biological father for the first time?

The mother will forever be grateful for your prayers.

Can we, together, anticipate the inconceivable?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Hearing God Speak

I wonder how many times God has been speaking to me, and I wasn't listening. I sat with Him on the front porch again today, my favorite place to meet with HIM.

Today, I heard the birds singing, the mockingbirds, the cardinals, the sparrows. I heard the the song of the crickets and felt the breeze brush across my face. A hummingbird visited the miniature red roses at the bottom of the step, and then flew past my face. I marvelled at how big our God is.

I began to talk with Him about our mission to South Africa. I have been busy, busy with His work, but I was losing my vision. We have seen miracle afte miracle in His provision for our expenses. His works have far exceeded my imigination, but I was losing focus.

Today, I asked God for a work on my heart, for a renewed passion for our misison to South Africa, just a simple prayer. I closed my eyes and meditated on Him. I saw His face. The, He began to speak in that still, small voice.

I began to see the faces of the children we will minister to in South Africa, and in their faces, I saw His face. I began to sense just a small portion of the love He has for each of them. I felt my arms around them, ready to shower them with love and kisses. I saw the teenagers at the home of Aunty Lydia, and thought of the room they live in. The tears began to flow, and I began to thank Him, to truly praise Him for restoring my vision.

We serve a big God, and we settle for little visions. Get your Bible, go outside, sit in the rocking chair, close your eyes, ask Jesus to give you a vision.
Anticipate the inconceivable.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Prodigal Father

A Message From the Adoptive Mom

Today, on Father's Day, I sat at church, already with thoughts of our son's biological father on my mind, in my heart. Our son was asked if was going to call his dad and wish him a Happy Father's Day. He emphatically stated that he hadn't even thought about it and he was afraid it might give his dad the wrong impression.

I wonder if our son's Father is thinking of him on this day. I wonder if our son is thinking at all about his biological dad on this day.

Then, in church today, our pastor preached about the prodigal son. It suddenly occurred to me that our son's biological father is a prodigal. I began to cry--tears that have been trapped inside for several weeks now. I pondered all that our son's biological father has missed in the past eighteen years....while squandering his wealth in wild living. He chose not to parent our son. He chose to think only of himself. He has no family; he has only himself to worry about.

But, I wonder if he has come to himself in that distant land, a home a thousand miles away from his son. He is definitely not worthy to called Father. He has done no good thing to deserve that title.

As our pastor preached, I continued to weep, quietly. He told of his own prodigal son, how he feels he failed when he came home. He spoke of our words and the power they have to edify or tear down.

I was reminded that my words to the father can have a tremendous impact, to tear him down or lead him to the TRUTH, to offer criticism or compassion, to share judgment or forgiveness.

I want my son to feel free to express his emotions. Our son's bio dad will never be a dad to him, but they are part of each other. I don't know what will come on the day of the first meeting, but I want the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit with us. I pray that we are able to celebrate that the father who was dead is alive again, the father who was lost is found.

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Father's Face

The adoptive mother was on her way to town this afternoon, when she stopped by the mailbox. It was quite full, the electric bill, a newsletter from a mission team, several other miscellaneous items, and then an envelope for her son. It only took a moment to realize the return address was that of the bio father.

The mother considered going on to town, but only for a moment. She couldn't wait to see what was inside. She put her car in reverse, turned around and pulled back under the carport. She couldn't suppress a smile. She went inside and said to her son, "You know your mother is dying to know what's inside that envelope." It took her son longer than it did her to realize who the card was from.

He opened it, and a check come out. Interesting...isn't it? The father who long ago chose to have no part of his son's life, sent him a $100 check for graduation. The mother wondered...what went through the man's mind when he decided on $100. Did he talk to anyone about his son? Does anyone in his family know that he has a son who lives nearly a thousand miles away?

There was something inside the card that the mother could see...something the son had not yet looked at. She finally asked, "What else is in there?"

The son turned it over, and it was a photo...the first time he had ever seen his father's face. The mother wondered what he was thinking. He didn't say anything. She finally said, "You don't look like him at all." Her son said, "No, I don't." He looks like so much like his mother who only had the blessing of loving her son for six years. Her son remained he disappointed? How many visions has he had in the past 18 years, imagining what he might look like?

There was another photo, that of his grandmother. Her son has several people in his life who are his grandparents, but this woman, now 90 years old, is the only one who is bioligically related to him. Does she know she has a grandson?

Tonight, the mother will ponder again as she falls asleep. What is her son thinking? As soon as the adoptive father came home, the son said, "You want to see what my dad looks like?" She knows it is on his mind, though that's the only time he's mentioned it since the envelope arrived.

The only handwriting on the card read, "Looking forward to meeting you soon." The meeting is to take place in two weeks. Please pray for the father and for the son. Please pray for the family. Please pray peace, strength, and wisdom for the family.
Join me in expecting the inconceivable.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

No Less Than Remarkable

I stand amazed at all that God has done. We committed to the mission trip just over two months ago, and we have more than we need to go to South Africa. He is truly the God of Ephesian 3:20. He is able to do exceedingly more, immeasurably more, than we could ever ask or imagine. And, to Him be glory!

When we committed to the mission trip, we were seeking $6,000. It was not until God spoke to me through a child's $5.00 offering that I began to ask for enough money for our expenses, and enough to sponsor an orphan's schooling for a year. Tonight, we achieved both goals with $100 remaining. We will receive another offering tomorrow night at VBS and have a Father's Day Cake Sale planned already. I am learning to anticipate the inconceivable with every step of our journey.

Today, I visited Katie's blog and was reminded of all that God can do through one faithful servant. I pray to see more of His wonder-working, awe-inspiring goodness.

I am truly amazed at all that God has done. The miraculous provision for us, when we just committed to the mission in March is nothing if it is not REMARKABLE! If there had ever been any doubt in the beginning that we were on the right path, that doubt has been blown away by God's faithfulness.

I can't wait to see what He does next! Join me in anticipating the inconceivable.