Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Hey Friends! Thank you for following our journey on this blog.  All future blog posts will be on our website orbiefororphans.org.  Meet us over there, changes coming soon!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Promise for a Life Poured Out

Through Orbie for Orphans, we meet so many heroes.  These are warriors on the front lines who are caring for vulnerable children.   God has some rich promises for His people when they care for the forgotten and hurting,  like orphans and foster children.  Here's a great treasure tucked away in Isaiah 58:10-12.

"If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday.  And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.  And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to dwell in."

 For orphans and foster children a terrible breach has happened - actually their worst fear has happened, the loss of their family.  The foundation of their lives is broken.  But when God leads His people to intervene, significant things happen.   When God's people evangelize, disciple and care for these children - foundations are built, breaches are repaired, children are set free!

But how sweet the promise here for those who get involved, for those who pour out their lives.  The promise is verse 10 is significant:  Even their dark times are bright because God is with them.  He is light.  Even the darkness is not dark to Him. (Psalm 139)

These folks have scorched places but the suffering is not overtaking them.  The Lord is guiding them continually and satisfying them! They are like a well-watered garden - blessed, cared for, nourished so that they can thrive as they "spend" their lives for the least of these.   They are repairers of the breach, and as a result,  the foundations of many generations are affected! Now that's a life well spent.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Collins gets her Forever Family!

3 Years ago today when we first laid eyes on her, we could never have dreamed just how much we would love this little girl...
* or the staggering amount of information her little brain has learned after coming to America at age 5
*or the healing that comes  from being the apple of her daddy's eye
*or the boatloads of laughter she has brought into our family
*or how one little person could have this much gumption, tenacity, and athleticism
*or how she would be so curious about everything and talk nonstop :)
*or how sweet the relationship would be between her and her 2 brothers (and future sis-in-law)
*or how adopting a 5 year old is not for the faint of heart, but following Christ is never the easy road but rewarding above and beyond anything eye can see or ear can hear
*or how God would heal so much trauma, anger,  loss and sheer fear in her heart
*or how perfectly her life illustrates that HE GIVES BEAUTY FOR ASHES
*or how profound our gratefulness that HE rescued her from the pit of despair and brought her into a family that loves her more than she can conceive
*or that this whole experience, her life, the changes in our family, and now our life's purpose through Orbie for Orphans....is all because of this one day!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

An Accurate View

My dad has been living in heaven for the last 13 years, but I still find myself learning from him.  He was an optometrist, a vision specialist, so his life's work was to help people see as they should.  Some of my earliest memories are climbing up into his exam chair, feet dangling, head pressed up against that black piece of equipment, seeing all kinds of letters.   With the flip of switches, Dad would begin to check my vision.  I guess he was switching to different lenses, changing the view, so he could take me to the accurate view and determine the strength of the contacts and glasses I would need.

God has been flipping switches on us for years now,  giving us a different perspective.  The crazy faith walk we have been on of adopting an orphan, leaving church staff after 25 years and starting Orbie for Orphans has been inundated with God changing our view.  2 weeks ago we were in Haiti, and even though we had been there other times, a flip was switched.  We could see so much need in the orphans of Haiti.  We went into remote areas with no schools, no clean water, no sanitation.  We saw people just trying to survive. We visited 7 orphanages. We could see their tremendous physical needs, but even greater we could see their spiritual and emotional needs.  We will never be the same.  

Often people who go on mission trips talk about being "gloriously ruined".  It IS glorious to be able to really see God's view,  and it DOES ruin us from spending our time, energy and resources on things that really don't matter all that much.  Life is so short, the needs are so great...and the blessing to be able to see is really amazing!  God sees everything as it really is.  His is the accurate view.  If He works in your life as He has in ours, following "wherever He leads" means  a new perspective.   It's a view that will break your heart, challenge you to fly higher than you ever thought you could, and change you forever.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Heavy Laden Children

When this beautiful child came to us through adoption two and a half years ago it didn't take us long to see that she was heavy laden. She had spent from age 2-5 in a government run orphanage in China. Her pain was so evident.  At the surface.  Real.

One thing thats easy to surmise about every single orphan and foster child on the planet- they are heavy laden. There has been trauma and great loss.  They are staggering under the pain of living without the love of a family.

3 weeks ago we were at the National Orphan Summit in Nashville.  One of the main speakers was a  man from Kenya.  At age 5, he saw his mother beheaded.  He lived in an orphanage until he was 18.  In his message, he said that it wasn't the lack of food or clothing that was hard...it was the emotional pain.  In his orphanage years, he never had anyone hug him or tell them that he was loved.

Our mission is to make a powerful connection between God's Word and these shattered hearts.  They can understand it.  He is able to heal them through biblical truth.  In Matthew 11, Jesus says these things can be hidden from the "wise" of this world, and yet revealed to little children.  In the same passage, He invites the weary and heavy laden to come.  This is an invitation every orphan and foster child so desperately needs.  In verse 29, He says, "Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your soul."

We're trying to do that "learn from Me" part to heavy laden children.  A life without the love of a family is too much to bear and their souls are crying out for rest.  Parents give rest to their children.  They calm them when they are afraid.  They soothe them when life hurts.   By losing the care of loving parents, these children have lost that rest.  But oh the power of Scripture!  It's not just black ink on a page.  It's living.  It's the actual Word of God able to heal, bind up and restore.   In Matthew 11:29 there's a beautiful link - learning from Him results in rest for the soul.  By animating the specific biblical truth these children need, the learning curve is greatly accelerated.  And the best result of all? Heavy-laden orphans finding rest for their weary souls.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Brevity of It

This week I had heard Billy Graham's oldest daughter, Gigi, speak briefly at The Cove here in Asheville. She asked for pray for their family because George Beverly Shea died this week at the age of 104. Many, many years of serving Christ alongside Billy Graham around the world with incalculable fruit! Truly, his was a life well lived. Gigi went on to say that someone had asked her dad what he thought was life's biggest surprise. His answer? The brevity of it. Oh, the truth in that! It all goes by so quickly. Flies by, actually. In many ways, I think that one truth is what led us to start Orbie for Orphans. There is so much suffering. So much work that needs to be done. So little time. Jesus told us to work while it is still day, because night is coming when no one can work. For us, even though we had been in full-time ministry for 25 years, it was alarming to think that our ministry years were going to end one day. There was almost a panic that we wouldn't have the biggest impact with the years we had left. God led us to start Orbie to meet a great need in the world: the creation of a tool that churches, mission organizations and orphanages can use to connect God's Word to the specific pain of these children. We are simply thankful that God has this for us, and could never imagine a better way to spend the days we have left. Time's running out...

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Power of Shoes

Our friends Wes and Stephanie Wright share a pretty miraculous story today of what they almost missed....the rescue of their newest little China doll who came home to America in February. Here are Stephanie's words: We had heard all the objections from every corner and had many ourselves. After all, we already had 8 children, two in college, three adopted with special needs, and the last one with severe surgical needs and lifelong challenges. So Wes decided we should not proceed with plans to adopt Ava. The next day I got an email from him titled, "Shoes". Here is Wes' email to his wife: "I start with shoes because as I sorted through shoes last night and began putting them away, I thought about the feet that could use them. I looked at all the boxes of clothes we have in the attic and thought about the feet that could use them. I looked at all the boxes of clothes we have in the attic and thought of the little girl that could use them. I did not sleep well as I thought of Ava. I had looked over her file yesterday and her pictures. It is wrong of me to commit to her and then walk away. It is wrong of me to begin planning for her and walk away...I am unable to walk away from Ava. My eyes are full of tears as I write this, I will not abandon her. Our kids will rally around us, our parents will get on board. This is not about anybody but Ava." We got to meet little Ava two days after coming home to America. She was breathtaking. Melted into our arms, so grateful to be with her new family and new friends. We were all in awe of this sweet creation of God. It's mind boggling to think that precious Ava could still be sitting in an orphanage, if it hadn't been for shoes....