Monday, May 28, 2012

Entering my mission zone...

 Dear Readers,
  Argentina has never been on the list of places where I wanted to go. Honestly, it hasn't. I have dreams of going to Uganda to visit our sponsored child, Moris, and am hopeful that one day I can go to China-- either to get my own child or to go serve children in orphanages. As I blog for Reece's Rainbow I have fallen in love with children from Russia, Bulgaria, Ukraine. I have cried over the conditions these sweet ones live in, and have daydreamed of one day going to one of those orphanages and living there..feeding mouths, kissing foreheads, wiping little chins...and most of all showing God's LOVE to these children who are dying with no love at all.  Watch this video and your heart, too, will break for these children who lay, starving, cold, and desperate for love all day long. My Marcia is in a mental institution, losing hope, as I type...
    I'm getting off track here. :) (You see what I mean? I'm passionate about missions...and have several places I would love to go!) But God hasn't opened the doors to any of those places (yet!). He HAS however, opened the door to a place I would never have imagined myself going to. He has paved a way for me, my brothers, and Mom to go on a mission trip through our high school ministry- something I not only thought was impossible for all three of us, and also something I, quite frankly, wasn't comfortable doing. We are going to Argentina in 3 days, dear ones.... Three days!!!!!!
    I think I have gone through this whole process in a kind of daze...attending meetings and learning about the culture, furiously practicing Espanol, feeling extremely blessed by the outpouring of love so many dear ones have sent us in the form of prayers, phone calls, emails, and donations that have brought us to where we are. Sweet family and friends, not only did your donations provide us with enough money for my family to go to Argentina, it also provided us with enough money for two other people to go, plus a few 'bonus' checks we received this week that will cover some of our ministry costs. How amazing is that? God is big, and He could not have shown me any clearer that it IS His will for us to go on this trip.
  argentina. three days. argentina. argentina. i will be in argentina in three days. argentina argentina argentina!
  I can't believe it, really, I just can't! I'm scared and excited and nervous and surprised and blessed and trembling.  Oh, readers, even though Argentina was never on my list of places to go, at this moment I'm feeling so very blessed that I get to go! I have a feeling it will be on my top favorite memories list for the rest of my life. I have a feeling God is going to do great things in this country, and I have a feeling that I am going to be grown so much through this experience it's going to make me cry and God laugh!
  Just the fact that I'm going to be spending a week in a stranger's (who doesn't speak English!) home a country away from half of my family and a street or block or house away from my other half of my family is a scary thought. I don't know how I'm going to handle it...I'm the girl who panicked after a weekend at camp! I don't do well away from my family, not well at all. The fact that we have never been to Argentina and have no idea how wheelchair accessible it is is a scary thought. The thought that my mom and brothers may be in an entirely UNaccessible home and I'm not there to help them frightens me. The fact that I may have to share my testimony (which as of right now seems to be nonexistent as far as anyone but me is concerned...I can't get it out of my mouth to save my life) frightens me hugely. And the fact that my Dad and little sissy aren't going makes me nervous.

   This trip is going to be different than any trip I have ever been on before.. I am going to have to cling to God for dear life!
I am really looking forward to drawing near to God this trip. I am also afraid of the circumstances that will draw me near to Him, but overall I am excited.
  I used to look at mission trips as things that you go on for God to use you to grow/bless others. But now I am realizing that He also uses them to grow and bless you!
  Please pray for our entire team as we leave for Argentina this Wednesday. We leave around noon. Please pray for all of the kids in our group, that as they leave their families and the familiarity of AZ behind that they will cling more and more to God, and build supporting relationships with each other. Please pray that no petty riffs will come between us, that we will all come together and love each other fully. Please pray for safe travels, and that we will stay healthy as we leave AZ's sunshine to Argentina's winter chill. Please pray also for God to make a path for Benjamin's wheelchair in Argentina. Please pray for little Cate and Dad and Uncle Lenny at home, that they will be okay without us. Please also pray for me as I am staying in a different house from Mom, Benjamin, and Mason and am nervous about that. Please pray for the people of Argentina to feel God's love through us, and for His Will to be done. Please also pray for Scottsdale Bible's other mission teams that will be going out while we are in Argentina.

  Thank you, my readers, for praying with us and for supporting us as we embark on this new journey. My mom over at will be blogging while we are on our trip, and I will be back with pictures galore!
  Much love and God bless,

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Remember Natalee

Dear Readers,
I'm participating in a link up with a fellow Reece's Rainbow Prayer Warrior, Renee. My post today will be how I invision Natalee, the child I will be writing about, in the future. So, come with me and imagine this sweet girl in 5 years, home with her forever family...

Natalee squeals with delight as a friend spins her wheelchair around one last time. As the music fades out, she feels her wheels begin to slowly come to a halt. Her heart slows and she just sits there smiling, unable to contain the joy of her moment! You see, Natalee has just finished her first ballet production. They performed "Cinderella", and she was one of the dancers at the ball- and also a little mouse! Natalee may not have been able to say how she was feeling, but everyone around her knew how much she loved them--and ballet! She loved to don her pink tutu (even though the tights were difficult) and to grace her orthotics with dainty ballet slippers.
But even though all that was wonderful, her favorite part was the music. She would sway and gracefully swing her arms to the music whenever it played. She absolutely loved music. Her mom thought music was the best therapy for her, and played it constantly.
They giggled at "Silly Songs with Larry the cucumber" together, and her mom spun her around to Tchaikovsky's famous Nutcracker tunes. Her mommy heart ached for those years when Natalee lay alone in the orphanage with no music or loving care.

As Natalee's friend, Sasha, skipped down the stage in time with Natalee's speeding wheels, Natalee heard her parents gasp. She was afraid, for a moment, that something was wrong. Her parents were so precious to her...she hated for them to be sad. Her fears were soon put to rest, however, when she felt herself being enveloped in a huge hug from Mom, who was crying and saying "You were amazing! Just beautiful." Next she was crushed in her dad and brothers' grasps, relishing the fact that she was loved.

Natalee had spent 5 long years in an orphanage..but now she was home.

Oh, how I long to take Natalee's hands and help her dance, twirl, and spin! I pray that she finds a forever family who will help her soar to new heights.

But as cheerful as this story is, for Natalee there currently is no Mommy to love her or ballet productions to take part in. Right now Natalee waits.

Step with me into a gray room, a few years from now. I'm going to introduce you to Natalee, and what her future looks like today. Yes, that is her, the pale, thin child lying in bed with haunting eyes and almost no hair.
She is 13 years old...yet the size of a 6 year old. She wishes she could reach out to you...please help her!
She doesn't know a loving hand. She is neglected because there are simply too many kids who need care- no time to pamper any of them. And by pamper I don't mean long bubble baths. I mean frequent diaper changes. Natalee hasn't had a diaper change since yesterday morning. She shivers as she lays in wet, sticky sheets. Her nose is runny, her feet are cold, her bottom is sore. Her stomach feels the aches of hunger and malnutrition. Sweet Natalee has no one to hold her, or sing her to sleep. She doesn't cry, because no one would hear, any way. She just lays there. And she waits.

Please help change Natalee's future...please pray that this precious daughter of the King will not have to endure any of this horrific nightmare.
And if you are her Mommy or Daddy...please come bring your baby girl home.

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