Monday, January 31, 2011
Seven years ago, Lynne Stokley was in Russia meeting her daughter, Laura. Fast forward to this past Sunday at FBC. Lynne was celebrating, along with the rest of us, Laura's decision to become a follower of Jesus! What a beautiful picture of God's redeeming love for us. We as Christians were all orphans before being adopted into God's family. We were in a state of hopelessness but through Christ we have been blessed, chosen, adopted, accepted, redeemed and forgiven! Wow, are you shouting praises yet to your Heavenly Father? Thank you Lynne for listening to God's call to adopt and introducing Laura to the love of JesusThis past Tuesday night, we had the first ever foster care training class (GPS) at FBC. We had a fantastic group, and I look forward to how the Lord will use each home represented! Please pray for this group and that the Lord will send us just the right social worker to work with these families.
Finally, I am meeting with members of Frazer to share how FBC's ministry began. Morningview has a ministry and Gateway is in the process. Gateway started a foster care training class on Feb. 1 as well. Their class is being taught by Debbie Dickson (Shepherd Staff Ministry) and Cheryl Thomas (DHR). Christian families throughout Montgomery are living out God's command to take care of orphans/vulnerable children.
Sunday, January 30, 2011
We are so pleased that Auburn Coach Jeff Grimes, and his wife, Sheri, are coming to First Baptist on Feb. 20th. They adopted Jada from Ethiopia in March on 2010. Below is a picture of all four of the Grimes children. Jeff and Sheri are being faithful stewards of their opportunity to share their adoption story as well as the needs of millions of orphans. Please mark your calendars for Feb. 20 at 6:15 and invite friends!
Jada with her siblings
Jada with mom and dad, Sheri and Jeff
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Andy, Beth and Dow returned from Haiti safely late Sunday night. It was a very productive trip and, they were continually amazed at how the Lord was working. There is so much to tell that we are planning an update/mission trip meeting soon. In the first picture below is a group of additional 33 orphans that another pastor and church are caring for. They range in age 3 to 14.
They are staying in different homes throughout the area, but gather at their church for classes taught by their pastor. They learn Bible verses, manners, etc. Andy doesn't think any of them are in school. The pastor is doing everything he can to help out. It is a sad situation! Maybe one day, Children's Hope will be equipped to provide support. We did provide some financial help this trip.
This is a picture of Mel Johnson with the St. Bd. of Mission. We love Mel! When you are with Mel, you truly see Jesus at work. This young fellow with him is Myson. He is the oldest child of the 16 orphans and what a character. He is always smiling and loves to be the center of attention. Samuel found him in Port au Prince washing windshields.
Beth with some of the younger girls. Beth's red hair and finger nail polish were big hits.
This is the front yard of the rental home. The tin gate in the background will be replaced soon.
Friday, January 21, 2011
Since October, we have been trying to wire some money to the bank in Jacmel for the on going expenses of the 16 children but have had little luck. Today, Andy spent quite a bit of time at the bank trying to sort out the process through the translator. He thinks they have it worked out but just to be sure Samuel and Pastor Paul will attempt to withdraw money from the account tomorrow. They also spent more time with the children today. Beth had a dance ready to teach them, so I am wondering what kind of success she had. She also wanted to teach them how to play hopscotch and rock school on the steps.
They also looked at some land today for a permanent home. Andy and Mel (St. Bd of Mission) have to try to stay out of sight while trying to look at the land - hard to do , right? The reason is that we think the owner will increase the price significantly if he knows Americans are interested. Andy is to be given prices Saturday morning. Please pray for a favorable price on the best piece of land.
I have included a picture of the children's school. Makes our school buildings look like palaces!
They start school in September and go to the end of June. Their hours are from 7 am to noon.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
I am so grateful to be a part of FBC Montgomery! When we first began to sense God leading us to start a church orphan ministry, I continued to envision families, couples, singles rise to the challenge to help meet the needs of children. May I say that I have not been disappointed. It is happening one person at a time through a phone call, email, lunch meeting or brief encounter at church. He is calling us to go beyond our families, our careers, and our church and be willing to sacrifice and take risks. This is not easy! Christ was all about taking risks and of course paid the ultimate sacrifice. Lets be like Him and continue to answer His call.
We have over 200 members in our yahoo group! As I said earlier, I was overwhelmed by the response of people to help with snacks for the foster parent classes. Comments like the following go a long way in affirming this ministry:
"I will be happy to help with snacks"
"just let me know, I can do several nights"
"I will bring a Chappy's tray"
"count me in"
"I'd love to help with snacks"
"I've been praying about how I can help with this precious ministry"
I will get a calendar out soon and more info.
Please read Joy Portis' most recent post at joyportis.blogspot.com , especially those of you interested in foster care. Also, mothertheworld.org is a great blog!
Andy, Dow, and Beth arrived safely in Jacmel this afternoon. They visited the school where the children attend and met the lady who runs it. Andy was taking pictures of the school and this caused a big uproar from the director. However, when it was explained to her why he was taking pictures, she was fine. School was out for the day, but she was instructing about 150 women on how to run a business, etc. They meet every Thursday afternoon. Andy had just discussed the idea of "microloans" with Pastor Franky, ort interpreter! Microloans are small loans given to someone who has a good idea for some type of business. An example would be giving a loan for a sewing machine and fabric. Once the person has the business up and making a profit, they pay the loan back. So many people have the desire to get started in a small business but do not have the money they need up front. We will continue to explore this possibility. Please continue to keep them in your prayers. Hopefully, I will have some pics to post soon.