Thursday, January 26, 2012

Faces In Another Land

"But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted;
   you consider their grief and take it in hand.
The victims commit themselves to you;
   you are the helper of the fatherless."
Psalm 10:17-18

There is so much that goes on in my heart throughout the day. I am overwhelmed with a love for a Country that I have never been too. I don't know much about their culture. I don’t speak their language. I only have 1 true African friend. (I love you Jackie!)
Although one of my husband's best friend is a refugee from Sudan.
However, I am completely overwhelmed with this people and their land.

Is that weird?

I think it would have to be. Or it could just be a God-thing.

I am reading two books right now. "No Longer A Slumdog" by K.P. Yohannan. (WOW!)
Also, reading and rereading “Kisses from Katie.” Between these two books my mind is constantly thinking of everything other than the easy and simple life of America.

When I read that Katie is pulling jiggers out of malnourshied and emaciated children, I think, “I can to do that.” When she picks up a child out of the slum and brings them home for a month, feeds them, bathes them and nurtures them back to health, I think, “I can do that.” When I read that K.P., founder of Gospel for Asia, I'm overwhlemed with story after story of how he rescued children straight from the mouth of death. He gave them hope and now they are healthy, beauiful, thriving children. It's so the Lord.

I don’t know. My mind is a crazy place these days.

When I have these thoughts, I ask myself and the Lord, “Am I fooling myself. Am I living a fairytale dream in my mind? I mean, who wants to sell everything they own and move to a land they know nothing about and pull jiggers out of AIDS children and scrape dead skin off their bodies and hold them and love them and tell them about Jesus?"

Welcome to my mind.

Many times at night, I sit on the computer and I read stories. I read blogs and I look at pictures. (I know...) Here are some that I think are special and I want to share with you my thoughts as I look at these precious faces. Maybe you can relate. Or maybe this will show you, that yes,
I have flown out to the coo-coos nest. (Hopefully the Lord’s coo-coo nest!)

Here is Pauline. Isn’t she beautiful?

When I look at her, I see pure beauty.
Is that strange?
What we define as beauty here in America is, well, don’t even get me started.
Sure her skin is weathered. She didn’t just come from the salon and get a $145.00 cut with color. She probably hasn’t seen $145.00 in the last 10 years of her life. Vacation? Not even a word in her vocabulary. Paulina, 91, is among the growing number of elderly Africans who have no adult support. She is taking care of her 16 grandchildren. All 12 of her children died of AIDS.
Life is so different in Africa.
She is beautiful to me and I love her.

If you saw this picture in a magazine, would you wonder why she is crying?

 Or would you quickly turn the page because “you just cant look”.
I stare into her eyes and I wonder what her life is like.
Does she have a bed?
When was the last time she ate?
How many times has she been abused?
Does she have anyone to tell her she is loved?
These are the questions I ask myself as I am pleading with Jesus…

I’m assuming this is not a fun-Friday-night-sleepover as Hannah
might think it is when she looks at this picture.

Do you know that when children in orphanages wake up together in the morning,
they get on their knees and pray for “forever families” for each other?
Yes, they pray for each other to find families. I find that joyful yet heartbreaking all at once.

Do you remember what it was like as a child to eat your lunch by yourself on the play ground?

Probably not because most of us had many friends to eat with and that made us comfortable. Do you know that most children, when they get food, will go off by themselves and eat at a distance because they are in fear that someone will come and steal their food? They rather eat alone and thus protect their food. In many cases, older children in orphanages will take the food from the younger children preventing them from getting their full meal and plunging them deeper into starvation.

Other times, they simply do not get to eat because there is no food to eat.

SIMPLY. no. food. to. eat.

Although they don’t have much, some children don’t have anything: they still manage to sing and play with the biggest smiles EVER, laugh louder and longer and sing with all their hearts.

It’s very humbling to me. You would think it would be the exact opposite but they are kids.
Just like my kids.
Just like yours.
They love to play. They love to jump. They love to wrestle.
They are people just like us.

A personal reminder I whisper to myself daily.

"The first question the priest... and the Levite asked was,
'If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?'
But the Good Samaritan... reversed the question:,
'If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him."
Martin Luther King, Jr.

 "I see the faces of these precious children and my heart goes out to them.
I like to think that one person can make a difference,
even if it is only one child at a time."
Ms. M.L. (Bridge of Hope sponsor)

"Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing
because he could do only a little." Edmund Burke

"The biggest disease today is not leprosy or tuberculosis,
but rather the feeling of being unwanted." Mother Teresa

There is a part of me that thinks I "have it all figured out".
Man, that is a scary place to be. (And not very Biblical)

Here is what I want our family to do.
(I hate the sound of that but it really is my heart)

I want to move to Africa.
Adopt a village.
Drill a well (water is LIFE).
Build a church and a school.
Teach farming.
Grow food
and love LOVE L.O.V.E. the people.

Am I crazy?

(Coo-coo.... Coo-coo)

Will you pray with me?

My heart is with a people I have never met.
I love them with a love I can not explain.

These are my thoughts.

This is what I do in my free time.
I sit and pray over faces just like these.
They all have stories.
They all have feelings.
They all have a desire to be loved.
Nobody should have to ever live the way some of these sweet faces live today.

"I want to lift them up. When I go to villages, even different places,
I see people who are without food even.
I groan within me.
And I think, 'How can I help them come out of all this poverty
and oppression and this kind of problem?'
That is my burden."
Niran John Das (missionary from India)

I guess I have a burden too.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Test Batch RESULTS - MBM

** MBM Readers... this is really a continuance from the post yesterday!
Sorry to post twice, I just have to share.
I am overwhelmed with joy at His faithfulness!

Oh. My. Word.

Where do I begin.

Last night was the big night. My sweet Hannah and I headed over to Biscotii Bari to run our first “test batch”. It was the first time experimenting with a recipe that would more than quadruple the amount of loaves than my original recipe. Normally when you run a “test batch” it does not come out perfect and you have to dump it and start over. (Oh my heart was grieved just thinking about dumping all this ‘food’ when my purpose is to be raising money to buy food. It just did not sit well with me.) My amazing friend (you’re a God-sent Stacey!) helped me figure out all the measurements and turn my ingredients from cups to pounds. What a learning curve. Hannah and I had to weigh out 12lbs of flour, crack 40 eggs and dump a lot of pumpkin into this HUGE blender that sounded like a jet flying overhead.

 Exciting stuff to these non-bakery girls!

Not sure how anything was going to turn out, we prayed and laughed all night.
There was something so *FUN* about doing what we were doing.
Even knowing it may not turn out, we still were filled with joy and anticipation.

Well, after mixing everything together… it looked normal.
It tasted normal.
It smelled normal.
The consistency was normal.

So, we went ahead and filled over 40(!) bread molds and got them ready for the oven!

As I wheeled the cart into the WALK IN OVEN (*giggling*) we prayed again.

After 43 minutes of baking we pulled out the loaves...
Perfect color.
Perfect size.
Perfect height
and yes, they smelled PERFECTLY yummy!

All I could think was,
“Oh my goodness… HOW DO THEY TASTE???”

We all know that once you bake bread, it’s best to let it cool and the favor settle.
Oh that was SO HARD!

Making a long story short (or maybe not) I brought two loaves home so we could taste them after they cooled. You have to understand something; we have been eating this pumpkin bread for years so it’s very hard for me and my family to really be able to tell if it’s really good or just OK.
The real test would come when other people would try it.

Well, after several people had the privilege of being our ginny pigs,
the roomer on the streets is… 


This morning a man from next door to the bakery sampled some
and came walking into the bakery with his hands out and said,
“Who made that bread?
I hate pumpkin.
I hate pumpkin everything,


(Literally! I think he thought I was a nutty-bread woman)

Not only did he love the bread and say he would eat it year-round,
he took 2 loaves and is serving them as samples at his board meeting
in the morning with all of the “Bread FOR Life” information displayed!
(Sanyu Babies Home; Bible verses and orphan statistics)

Are you kidding me??

My friend who is a professional baker said it was AMAZING
and walked around sharing it with all her co-workers and business neighbors. Ha!

I am simply speechless.

For a “test batch” not only to turn out, but be some of the best bread I have ever baked
can only happen because of one reason… God’s hand is all over this!
This is GOD’S BREAD!

So my short-story made long, after I finished shrink-wrapping all the loaves of bread
(BTY the shrink-wrapping machine is my new best friend)
I have brought this “test batch” turned “Perfect Batch” home and now
I’m giving them all away!

That’s right!
I’m going to give them to people in this community as a blessing and share with them my heart for the orphan and see if they want to jump on board. I think the more people can see God’s hand in this, the more they will be willing to contribute. And that’s what we want; unity in the body so we can come together and fight this war for these precious innocent babies and children that were given no chance for a future. I mean, technically all this bread should have been dumped. However, God does not have time to waist. He is not in the business of “testing”… time is limited and time is precious!

This, to me, is worth sharing!

I hope and pray you are encouraged through this testimony.
I give all praise and glory to Jesus.
None of this has anything to do with me.
I am a selfish, self-centered person.
Daily I am seeking the Lord to break my heart for the things that break His.
When I pray this prayer, I start to see things a little different.
I am beside myself with this fundraiser and that the Lord would use
a little ol’pumpkin bread recipe to raise THOUSANDS of dollars for His kingdom.

Totally speechless.


But Jesus looked at them and said, 
“With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Matthew 19:26

Monday, January 23, 2012

In Only 6 Weeks!!! - MBM

I am simply blown away at the incredible goodness of our Lord Jesus Christ!
When we are yielded to Him, nothing is impossible! NOTHING!

I’m so stinkin excited to share with you all that the Lord is doing through “Bread FOR Life”!

“Bread FOR Life” is an ongoing fundraiser that my family and I started in
early December 2011! Basically after many months of prayer asking the Lord
what we can do to raise money to help support, feed, clothe and love the orphan, I got this idea...

We can bake bread and sell it!!!

So that’s what we do.
(Who would have thought)

It’s called “Nana’s Pumpkin Bread”.
(My mother’s recipe that my children have appropriately named.)
Yes we bake loaves of pumpkin bread and ask a suggested donation cost of $8.00 per loaf.
Genius! (God style)

My pastor was kind enough to allow me to share my heart with the congregation of our church and explain to them why I was doing this. Why my heart bleeds for the orphan and how much we need to rally together, as Christians, and support anyway possible.

Well since that Sunday, GOD HAS POURED OUT ABUNDANTLY upon this little ministry!

As of today, "Bread FOR Life" has raised
$3600. in just 6 weeks!

O.M.Goodness, I get goose-bumps just typing those words!

In just 6 weeks $3600… and counting...

It’s unbelievable to see what the Lord can do with a little flour, eggs and pumpkin.
You know?

Not only is this ministry raising money but it’s also raising awareness regarding the orphan crisis both locally and abroad. I believe it is also shedding light to the church-body of how much we have and how much, sadly, we don’t give back. The response has been simply overwhelming with love and support. Yesterday alone, while at church, I received a $100 bill and a check for $273. I didn’t even have to sell any bread. Ha! The Lord is moving the hearts of His people and awakening them to obey His word. And they are SO HAPPY when they give. I have seen (and shed) more tears
this past 6 weeks than any other time in my life.
Nothing compares to witnessing and being part of the Lord’s mighty work.

You know, as Christians the Lord does not say,
“Hey, when you are back from vacation and if you have money left over,
do you mind helping the children who have nobody and nothing.
I would really appreciate it.”


He says, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."

It’s not an option for His people.
We are commanded all throughout Scripture to care and look after the orphan,
fatherless, needy, hungry, naked and brokenhearted.

Praise God for “Bread FOR Life”… $3600+ more today for these precious innocent children.
(and Lord willing SO MUCH MORE TO COME!)

I am blessed to have had the opportunity to share in two different churches thus far and I pray that the Lord would move on the hearts of His people and allow “Bread FOR Life” to visit their church, so those people have the opportunity to give and support in such an awesome way!
I mean, you get a yummy loaf of bread and at the same time,
your helping to provide LIFE for a child. Literally!
Doesn't that sound like a good deal? I think so!

I’m telling you this, the love and excitement and unity that this brings
to the heart of the believer is undeniable. Leaves you speechless.

"Bread FOR Life" gives
100% of ALL
(every penny) raised
to the orphan.

It is so remarkable to see the different ways God is providing to make this ministry happen.
Many of you may recall when I posted about my friend offering me her commercial bakery
to bake my lbread in...
(I blogged about it here).

What an answer to prayer!

And nobody even knew I was praying this.

* I giggle at His goodness. *

Well tonight is the BIG NIGHT!
Drum roll, please...
I am running my first 'test batch' and if all is well, I will be yielding about 30-50 loaves
in one batch in half the time! Unreal!
(Sure beats standing in my kitchen for 12+ hours just to get 15 loaves.)

Woo-Hoo Praise God!

I believe He has great plans for this little sweet-orphan-loving-ministry
and we are sooo blessed,
beyond thrilled
and exploding with excitement
to see what He has in store for us as we serve and bake for His kingdom!

Our prayer is that
would be fed through "Bread FOR Life"!

We are praying BIG… I mean, why not???

Our God is H.U.G.E.

Praise God!!!

$3600 in 6 weeks…. WOW!

"Once God has spoken; twice have I heard this:
that power belongs to God"

Psalm 62:11

Saturday, January 21, 2012

My Son

My son was sitting at the dinner table
with his head down.
I was wondering what he was doing.

He then, lifted his head and said,
"Mommy, I'm praying!
 I'm praying that I will be a preacher."

He's 5.

A moment stitched in my mind and heart F.O.R.E.V.E.R!

"And He said to them,
'Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature."
Mark 16:15

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Love I Can Not Explain

"The first question that the priest... and the Levite asked was:
'If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?'
But the Good Samaritan... reversed the question:
'If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?"
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Yesterday at church was unbelievable!

My husband preached an amazing and incredible message to the congregation!
(I'm not just saying that because he’s my husband. It really was an anointed word from the Lord.)
I hope to be able to link it to my blog very soon.

And YES…

"Bread FOR Life"
hit it out of the park, AGAIN!

With 35 loaves of bread,
was raised for the orphan!

Woo-Hoo JESUS!
(Jumping up and down, singing and crying with excitement. Literally!)

All this money is going to the feed the children who have no food.
Dress the children that have no clothes.
Educate the children that have no school.
Love the children that have no one to love them.
This is the bottom-of-my-heart prayer for every penny ever raised through this ministry.
That THIS bread would give them LIFE and HOPE!

My heart melts, bleeds, cries, sings, rejoices, mourns,
weeps, laughs and loves all at the same time.
(In case you don’t think that’s possible, I am here to tell you, it is.
Ask my husband. He doesn’t know if I’m coming or going)

I can not tell you what the Lord is doing in my heart.
I’m not even sure it’s possible to explain.
I only really know of one other woman who understands the condition my heart is in.
This woman and I went on a walk together last night.
We talked, prayed and cried for the lost children of this world.
(I love you Mama M.)
It is super comforting to have a sister that really does “get it”.
When I say that, I mean, someone who understands and is willing to sell everything
and leave tomorrow if that is what the Lord wanted.
I didn’t get to this point overnight.
It was a process.
However, I do believe with everything inside my heart and mind,
that is what I would do if that's what the Lord wanted from us.

I would be willing.


We are waiting on the Lord.

There is something absolutely undeniable that has transpired in my heart.
I know I have said it before. Many times.
My life has completely changed and I have no idea what it means.
However, the Lord knows.
It’s all I can really say.
He knows the innermost parts of my being.
He knows what causes all these emotions to be radically stirred in my heart
to the point of complete overwhelmingness.
(I think I just made up that word. I like it.)

He is the only one that can interpret my heart and mind when all I can do is

So as I wait on the Lord, I will continue to do what I am doing.
I will raise as much money as I possibly can and help support,
feed, cloth and share Jesus with these little love-friends
until I trust the Lord brings our paths together!
I love these children.

My life will never be the same.
And what is even cooler is that my children LOVE these children.
They see pictures and they “want them”. They want to serve. It’s beautiful.
(Kiki told me today that he wants to play with little black children. I love his heart.)

Here is a short video to show you who I’m after.
This is what entangles my heart to no end.
These are the faces that make me do what I do.

These are God’s children.

As I look at the faces of these children, I weep.

SO Special


LOVED by our Heavenly Father.

They are why I do not want this life anymore.
I want a life of complete and total surrenderance to Jesus!
(Did I just made up that word too? I like it!)

This is where my heart is.

Loving every single one of these faces with a love I can not explain.

"See that you do not despise one of these little ones.
For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven."
Matthew 18:10

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Not Only "Bread FOR Life"... Coffee? YES, Please!

"There is one who scatters, and yet increases all the more,
and there is one who withholds what is justly due,
and yet it results only in want.
The generous man will be prosperous, and he who waters will himself be watered."
Proverbs 11:24-25

What could your morning devotion time need more
than a nice warm piece of Homemade Pumpkin Bread from "Bread FOR Life" ;-)
and your Bible opened to your favorite Scripture passage?

No clue.

Well I'll tell ya!

A nice warm cup of joe called
"Sanyu Coffee Blend"

That's right!

A medium blend of 3 different African coffees-
Tanzania, Kenya, and Rwanda, the base of that being Tanzania.
ALL donated by my sweet Ugandan-Sanyu-OrphanLover-Volunteer Teresa
(compliments of Petaluma Coffee Company)
who's heart also breaks for the orphan!

Woo-Hoo- Jesus!
You are inspiring the hearts of your people!
Set them all on F.I.R.E!

Teresa has created this yummy pound of coffee specifically
with the faces of Sanyu babies on her heart!
of donations raised will go directly to the need of Sanyu Babies' Home!

Isn't that splendid!

So if you are in the mood for a "hug in a mug" all the way from Africa
where these little precious children are from,
please contact me and I would be delighted to send you a bag.

They will also be for sale at 360 Church along with "Bread FOR Life".

We are asking a suggested donation price of $12.00 per bag.
(20% discounted to regular price pound of coffee)
Shipping is extra.

All money raised will help give
to an innocent child who is at risk of losing their own.

"Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,
when it is in your power to do it."
Proverbs 3:27