Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday the 13th

You probably knew Friday the 13th was a special day. But I bet you didn't realize WHY. Today, bloggers all over are spreading the word about First Gift. Water for families in Africa. Check out these blogs (Jess and Megan) for the FULL story, and click here to donate.

$10 buys water for a family for 10 YEARS. Incredible.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Kate' Crazy Cool Christmas

I've been following the story of Kate and her battle with a brain tumor since this summer, thanks to Amanda and Jess's blogs. It is a heart wrenching look at what a family goes through when battling cancer. Most days after reading it, my stomach aches just thinking about what they're dealing with. And yet, like Jess and Joel, theirs is a story of steadfast trust in the Lord and his plan for their Kate.

In the last week, Kate's mom has shared that they'd like to collect gifts for the other children on Kate's cancer floor. I'm going to send some things. If you'd like to help make a sick child's Christmas even better--check out their Caring Bridge site. They're adding Bibles to each gift too, so that those children have a chance to know Jesus if they don't already.

Here's the specifics...
Send NEW gifts to:

Cornerstone Christian Fellowship
Attn: Kate's Crazy Cool Christmas
2211 E Pecos Rd Ste. 2
Chandler, AZ 85225

They'd like these to arrive by Dec. 15th so they can wrap and package them. What a sweet way to give to families in need this year!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

dance party

Last night, Ollie's friend Makenzie (or Bakenzie, as he says) came over to play. Joel cranked up the old school jams and we had a good ol' dance party.

Here is "Ice Ice Baby".

video

Doesn't get much better than this.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

It's That Time of Year...

This morning, I put in my first Christmas CD. Although I like any Christmas music, I have two DEFINITE favorites:
"The New Young Messiah" is Handel's Messiah in a newer, more contemporary version. It is all the wonderful prophetic scriptures put to music. I must add a disclaimer, though--this was released in the early 1990's--think big hair, shoulder pads, and Carmen. But still GREAT music and an incredible message.
The second is Andrew Peterson's "Behold the Lamb of God" (which I have YET to own, still!). But this was my ALL-TIME favorite concert ever, and I still love hearing these songs. They also take the vantage point of what was happening before Jesus came into the world.

It's so incredible to think what it must have felt like to have lived in those times right before Jesus-- knowing these prophecies--that a Savior was to come to save Israel...then 400 years of silence...nothing. Just waiting to see what God was going to do.

And finally, for those prophecies to be fulfilled in Jesus' birth.

Such an incredible story!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Africa

In August of 2004, Joel and I had the tremendous privilege of going to Zambia for 11 days to work in an orphanage. This was something I'd always wanted to do. Secretly, I was hoping God would call us into full-time missions in Africa.

It was an amazing trip. We got to be a part of a Sunday service at the local church on Namwianga Mission. To be a part of a congregation worshiping the same God that I know and worship was incredible. And these people sang from their hearts. These people danced from their hearts. It's hard for me when I hear people who think that dancing is 'innately evil' or who have a hard time with that. In Africa--dancing was an expression of joy, praise, and sorrow. I only wish that I felt so free to respond in that way. (in Heaven, I've decided that I will finally dance!)

We spent time at Eric's House--an orphanage run by Roy and Kathi Merritt. This house had 20-something kids when we were there--ranging in age from 2-20.

Another house on the mission, Haven House, housed the newborn through 2 1/2 year olds. Since we were there, they've built two more houses! These kids are orphaned by sickness or disease (often times, AIDS has taken their parents) or just brought to the homes by parents/family who can't afford to care for them right now. They are then returned to their families once they are 2 1/2 and are weaned from milk.

While we were in Africa, two baby boys were brought to the home. They were 2 of quadruplets--the other babies had died. We had the opportunity to name them--and our group named the "Newton" and "North". Joel and I ended up sponsoring those boys until they went to be with family again. Here are their pictures:


It's been 5 years. Zambia is still so often on my mind. Hardly a day goes by that I don't, for one reason or another, remember that trip.

I came back realizing a few things:
1. God wasn't calling me into missions there (yet!)

2. I'd had it all wrong. WE were not the 'blessed' ones. They were. They knew what was important. Their worship seemed to pervade every aspect of their lives. They were so real. So genuine. So willing to share the little they had.

3. I would never be able to live like I used to, before the trip:

Even though we were only gone 11 days, I came back realizing how much STUFF we have here.

I so often complain that 'we don't have enough room in this house' or 'I just want a bigger, nicer house'. Yet, my bathroom is about the size of some of their huts. Where 4-5 people sleep. And sew. And hang out.
I have an entire room devoted to holding and storing my FOOD. Many of these people live off of 3 meals of nshema (ground maize) and garden vegetables (if they're among the fortunate ones).

I complain when I only have about a few choices of what to wear on my feet. They are among the lucky ones if they have ANYTHING on their feet.

It's a hassle when I have to drive across town to go to the bank, buy my food, mail my letters. They walk on foot FOR MILES to do that. To drink water. To find firewood. And, they carry heavy crates and baskets on their heads while they walk.
I hope that I never forget what I saw there. That I always remember how MUCH we have. I hope we have an opportunity to go back another time, too. But for now, we sponsor two new children who need milk and food each day. And we pray that many orphans and children will come to Namwianga Mission to be loved, fed, cared for, and shown the love of Jesus.

Someday, maybe we'll get to have a bigger part in that. Hopefully.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Joel really wanted to tell you all...

but unfortunately, he's hyperventilating on the couch next to me. So I'll do the honors.

We, The Wichita Photobooth Company, get to attend a benefit called "Big Wish Kansas" put on by Cubs players! We get to actually meet Koyie Hill,

Ryan Dempster,

and Ryan Theriot!

So, to say that Joel is excited is the understatement of the century.

If you'd like to meet them, too, you can! The link above has information for how to get there.

December 5th, Hartman Arena.

Okay, gotta go. I think Joel's coming back...