Saturday, October 20, 2012


My fast has ended I feel God encouraging me to place all my hope in him.  I read through the book 30 Days of Prayer for the Voiceless, my hope seemed to drain out, the evil and oppression some live through is hard for me to comprehend and as I wait for our children to come home and I pray that they are not experiencing these kind of things, I must put all of my hope in him.

A couple of weeks ago I asked the church congregation to pray for our children as the wait seemed to be dragging on forever, and of course I got emotional as I always do when I talk about our adoption.  After church, people asked me if we'd been matched with a child yet, etc etc., and I knew they couldn't comprehend my bond to children I didn't know anything about or even how many children we're getting.  It's hard to explain that I know because God has told me there are two and it's hard to explain that God has already connected my heart to theirs and so my heart aches to hold them in my arms.  I know people mean well and they are trying to understand, and yet they don't understand.  I feel like an island in this adoption.  I see others on the horizon trying to see and understand but their view is limited and their understanding limited because their knowledge is all gathered from a distance.

A week or so after I shared at church, a lady stopped me after Sunday school and asked me how our adoption was going and I went into my usual explanation, but she stopped me and  held out her hand to me.  I didn't understand at first that she was trying to give me something.  She handed me a small, yellow glass disc and on it was the word HOPE.  She said, "you just hold on to this while you wait."  I teared up and thanked her.  She had touched my heart deeply, maybe she hadn't experienced the ups and downs of adoption but she had understood my despair and knew I needed hope that day.  I know she was being obedient to God, He had sent her to gently remind me where my hope should be placed. 

Romans 15:13
So I pray for you Gentiles that God who gives hope will keep you happy and full of peace as you believe in him.  I pray that God will help you overflow with hope in him through the Holy Spirit's power within you.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Female Suicide Bombers

Day 14

Definition:  Women who are recruited to die with explosive belts strapped around their waists o kill others under the guise of equality, the promise of rehabilitating a family member, or cleansing their own reputations.

Female suicide bombers believe their destiny is to become the bride of Allah in paradise.

Streets, hospitals, babies and children's events are named after "martyrs."

A portion of the book: "The women were awkwardly silent.  Malbrook spoke a little about her daughter, spoke with pride, but there was something else in her voice and manner.  She seemed weighted with sadness; a deep, abiding grief that she had never stopped carrying since the day she lost her daughter.  Her voice was soft.  She told the women that she still cried all the time, "day and night" for Wafa--who had died several years before.

One of the women went to Malbrook, and held her hand.  She looked into the older woman's eyes as she knelt beside her.  Then she prayed, never turning away her gaze.  Tears flowed on more than one face in the room.  'Did you know what she was going to do?'  one of the women asked, referring to Wafa's plans to kill herself as a female suicide bomber.

'No,' said her mother.  'If I had known, I would have stopped her.'
(30 Days of Prayer for he Voiceless)

Oh Father the you would hear the crys' of these desperate women.  That you would intervene.  I pray you would send missionaries to reveal to them the truth of your love, that they would not feel compelled to kill themselves and others.  Oh Father be with the victims and the families of those who are murdered, only you can heal the wound.
In Jesus name, Amen.

Monday, October 8, 2012


Day 13

Definition: Pornography is the explicit depiction of sexual activity in literature, films, photography or the Internet, that stimulates erotic feelings.

The pornography industry is a $57 billion global business, $12 billion of this is in the US.  This is larger than the combined revenues of all professional football, baseball and basketball franchises in the US.

47% of Christian men say pornography is a a major problem in the home.

A portion of the book:  "She will be invited onto the movie screen of his mind, loyal to him as he trains his body and mind to think of her as an object to grope and ravage and touch.  And then with a a single movement of his finger, the flip of a page, she will be ushered back into the dark recesses of his mind.  With the click of his finger at  his computer, she will be filed away.  She will wait there until he tires of the other lovers, old an new: a fix, a stimulant.  His beautiful lover without a name." (30 Days of Prayer for the Voiceless)

Oh Father forgive us for turning something so beautiful into something so harmful.  You intended sex to be between a husband and a wife an expression of love and when it is made into something it wasn't meant to be it wrecks havoc in so many lives.  Father help those trapped in pornography to break free and find freedom in you.  In Jesus name, Amen.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Barren Women

Day 12

Definition:  A woman incapable of conceiving or unable to get pregnant.

In some places motherhood is the only way for women to enhance their status within the family.

The impact of infertility is compounded because women are generally held responsible for reproductive failure.  This blame may result in divorce, husbands taking a second wife, difficulties with in-laws, domestic violence and economic abandonment.

This is a topic I know too well.  I don't even have to deal with many of the repercussions that many women do, but i know the pain that comes from not being able to bear a child.  God has used my infertility as a great blessing to us, we have children from Colombia and Ethiopia and without a very hard dry season of infertility we wouldn't have know the beauty of adoption.  It has taught us so much, we have a new deeper understanding of all that the Father has done for us and we better understand that he adopted us for his great pleasure.  but for many cultures infertility is viewed much differently and adoption isn't even in their vocabulary.

Let's read a portion of the book:  "I am barren.  Every month I hold my breath and say a prayer--many prayers--and every month the turning moon mocks my fragile hopes as it calls forth another river of blood.  Oh God, what would I give to stem that implacable tide!
I am despised by men who don't see any purpose for me apart from bearing children.  I am pitied by women who are more favored than I, and of whom I am jealous with an intensity that sometimes borders on madness.  I am utterly alone, and full of emptiness that devours me from the inside out -- a long, slow, agonizing death of the heart.  Little by little I am being eaten alive, and one day there will be nothing left." (30 Days of Prayer for the Voiceless)

Oh Father that you would open the wombs of these women.  That you would hear their prayers just as you did with Leah and Rachel.  Oh Father, that cultures would change and women would be valued for who they are and not for how many sons they can produce.  Open eyes to see women the way that you see them.  In Jesus name Amen.

Friday, October 5, 2012


Day 11

Definition:  Sexual intercourse or other sexual activity between persons so closely related that marriage between them is legally or culturally prohibited.

68% of incest survivors were adult victims of rape or attempted rape.

In East Africa 9 out of 10 girls are abused by the people who they trust most.

A portion of the book:  "'You're a woman now Anna.'  By this , her uncle means that she can be kicked, mutilated, sold like a commodity, burnt, at the stake, raped.  'You're a woman now, Anna,' says her uncle.

When Anna closes her eyes to pray, the memory plays out in her mind. the nightmare of that night forces itself upon her against he will.  All at once she is on her uncle's farm again , in the barn.  There to see the new litter of kittens her uncle said were born early that morning.  Before she can ask him where the kittens are, his hand is on her shoulder.

There are no kittens.  Then it all happens.  Quickly.  He grabs her by each arm and pushes her into the hay.  The scream is sucked out of her chest as she is pushed harder against the ground.  Her voice is trapped somewhere between her stomach and her heart.  She can't pull away." (30 Days of Prayer for the Voiceless)

It makes me so angry and sick to type these words, to imagine what this young girl was forced to endure.  I can't begin to imagine the suffering that she faced, by someone who was supposed to love and protect her. 

Oh God, I cry out to you with an anguished soul.  I pray you would come to these children, who are victim of incest and bring your healing to them.  I pray they would allow you to minister to them as only you can.  Bring people in their lives that can help them heal and overcome this evil violation.   I pray for your justice to come here on earth as it does in heaven.  I pray these perpetrators would not get away with their crimes.  I pray government officials would diligent tin caring out justice.  In Jesus name Amen.

Thursday, October 4, 2012


Day 10

Definition:  China is the  world's most populated country with over 1.3 billion people, 637.5 million of which are women.

The age old bias towards boys, combined with the one-child policy imposed since 1980, has produced the largest, the highest , and the longest gender imbalance in the world. 

Women, who are up to 9 months with their second or third child, may be taken to the hospital by regional population control officials for induced abortions.

A portion of the book:  "I have buried the memory of you deeply within.  My heart feels like a hardened tomb, cold, filled with no light.  But every year around this time, the time of your birth, a memory tremors through my body, sharper, more painful than the contractions that delivered you into our cruel world.

Your father was so excited that day, he was sure you would be a boy.  we drove for hours by us a week before your arrival, winding through rice fields so we could get help from a better doctor.  Your father held me to the bed, buried his face in my chest, cried with me after he quietly nodded his head at  the doctor who took you out of the room.

I wanted to scream at the doctor, "Just one!"  That's all you were, just one more girl, surly there would have been room and food enough in this country.  But no.  It is a cruel world.  Who am I to defy its rules?" (30 Days of Prayer for the Voiceless)

God created man in his own image...male and female he created them. Gen. 1:27

Oh, Father, reveal your truth to the Chinese people that one gender is not better than another.  Please Father let the value you have for women reign their hearts.  hear the cry of mothers all over China mourning for their lost daughters.  Be merciful Father. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Female Labors

Day 9

Definition: Female labors are women who work too long, too hard, and too much, especially in back breaking manual labor.

The majority of women earn on average 3/4 of the pay of males for the same work. 

On one hectare farm in the Indian Himalayans, a pair of bullock's works 1064 hours. a man works 1212 hours and a woman 3485 hours in a year.

     A portion of the book:  The women of the village would laugh about it, look up from their work as they cooked around the fire, and push their tongues through spaces once filled by teeth and smile.  They tried to prepare me for the day when the village midwife would put a knife between my legs and cut me.
     "You"ll scream until you fade into dark dreams, then wake up groaning in pain.  The most pain you will ever know."
     "You'll pray to God that you could die.  It is one of the times in your life you"ll wish you were born a man."
     "But you won't have to work for a week."  And then they would all laugh.  Around the circle they would go, energized by each other's playfulness after another tiring day, each new comment like another stick thrown into the fire, until they felt warmed and comforted by the laughter.
     "A week of rest, of sleeping, of nothing."
     "You'll feel restless with so little to do."
     "But oh, you'll remember that week, daughter.  When you're out in the field planting seeds with your own hands, bent over the dry earth."
     " When you're walking all that way from the river with a jug of water on your head, the sun beating down on you."
     "When you're fetching firewood, or watering the goats."
     "When your husband chooses to lie with you at night--"
     "or in the morning, or in the afternoon!"
     "When you bury another baby in the ground, you"ll remember that week of rest."  The women sitting around the fire would become quiet.  Some busy again with work.  Some would stare into the fire.  Their faces betrayed their fatigue.  Skin weathered by wind and dryness and sun.  Bodies taut, hands strong and muscled. 
     "You'll wish you could bite that stick between your teeth and welcome the pain, if only to a have a few days rest." (30 Days of Prayer for the Voiceless)

Who is like our God who rescues the poor from those too strong for them? Psalm 35:10

Can you imagine?  I can't.  What if I was born into that?  Why was I placed here?  In such a place of privilege and freedom.  I don't know and I don't understand, but I know we have a responsibility to help, to pray, to educate others, to help save these women.  We can make a difference even if it is just for one.  Imagine if you were that one.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


Day 8

Definition:  Purdah is the practice of the seclusion of women from public observation by covering their bodies from head to toe.  It is also a state of social isolation, which confines women to their homes.

Purdah is frequently carried to such extremes that women suffer from softening of bones, eczema and ulcers due to lack of sunlight.

In Bangladesh, woen have been attacked with acid because they were brave enough to be seen in public, transgressing the traditional boundaries of purdah.

Purdah includes the restriction of women's access to medical care.

A portion of the book:  "As Nailah entered the world, mourning and disappointment were all around her.  Rejection was written all over their faces.  Her father's pursed lips, silent curse; Grandmother and the other women's rigid shoulders, frozen in silence, heads bowed, looking at the ground; Uncle kissing father's cheek, holding him by the shoulders, whispering; Grandfather, with tears in his eyes.  Nailah's birth was a disaster because she was a girl. 

Mother's faceless face, covered in dark cloth ; another passage and another birth awaiting Nailah.  A covering to surround Nailah like the placenta that followed her out of her mother's body like a shadow, that once held her, hid her from her family's expectant view.  A layer to shadow her whole life behind walls meant to protect her modesty and the family's honor, behind closed doors and separate chambers.  A new skin to cover her skin, to hide it from sun, from wind, from roving eyes, the unchaste.  A dark layer to hide her tears and the smile few will ever see." ( 30 Days of Prayer for the Voiceless)

Oh Father,
The oppression that these women face is beyond anything I can imagine.  The rejection from the whole family , just for being a girl?  How can it be?  The way Satan has permeated this society with these evil traditions is frightening.  Oh Father, that you would send your light into these dark places.  That the light of your love would bring release for the captives that you would reveal your love and perfect plan for their lives.  That they would know just how much you love your daughters. That doctors in these lands would speak out against these practices.  I pray you would open the eyes of the men in this society to see just how precious and valuable women are to you.  That these women would see themselves as you see them.  Oh Lord, begin to break down these strong holds that soon a generation of women would be able to feel the sun, wind, and rain upon their faces.
In Jesus name, Amen.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Eating Disorders

Day 7

Definition:  An eating disorder is a compulsion where a person's eating habits damage their health.  The eating may be too excessive (compulsive overeating), too limited (restricting), or cycles of binging and purging.

95% of those who have eating disorders are between the ages of 12 and 25.

Eating disorders have been diagnosed in girls as young as seven.  81% of 10 year olds in the United States are afraid of being fat.

The average American Woman is 5'4" tall and weighs 140 lbs.  The average American model is 5'11" and weighs 117 lbs.

A portion of the book..."She thinks the problem is her body, but really it is in her mind.  She cannot see how thin she has become with self-hatred, how the skin of her face pulls tightly over her cheek bones and eye sockets, how her hips have all but disappeared.  She is miserable at the sight of herself. always unsatisfied, seeing herself as "too fat" when in reality, she has brought herself almost to a point of weightlessness.  She cannot hear her body's groaning; she has made it hungry but will no longer feed it.

She remembers the first time she put her fingers in the back of her throat, heart beating anxiously and how the fingers were like a gun and she hesitantly pushed the weapon further down her throat.  Then suddenly her stomach was empty.  She and been afraid at first, but it was simple and she painless, really.  The next day it was easier, she knew what to expect, knew that her stomach would cramp and tighten as she bent over the toilet, that if she ran the water at the sink people at the house could not hear.  It was her little secret.  She told herself she would only do it a few times a week, would continue exercising and only purge occasionally, just as a way to help her body rid itself of calories, to get control of the fat before the fat took control of her." (30 Days of Prayer for the Voiceless)

The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save, He takes great delight in you.  He will rejoice of you will singing and quiet you will his love.  Zeph 3:17

Dear Father, I pray these girls facing eating disorders, would be found out.  I pray people would open bathroom doors and see, really see the pain these young girls are in and help them seek help.  Open ours eyes to see those that are hurting right before our very eyes.  Oh Lord that these girls would see themselves as you see, beautifully and wonderfully made.  i pray that their minds' would be renewed by the power of your word.  Let us not turn a blind eye to the suffering around us, but let us rise up and help those in need.

Saturday, September 29, 2012


Day 6

Definition: A refugee is a person who flees his/her home to escape invasion, oppression, or persecution.  They genuinely risk serious human rights abuses.

75-80% of the world's refugees are women and children.

Women and children refugees are vulnerable to violence and exploitation by military and immigration personnel, bandit groups, male refugees and rival ethnic groups.

A portion of the book..."The girl told Hawa that if she and her children wanted safety inside Chad, she would need asylum.  That's why Hawa agreed to visit the girl's uncle who helped people like Hawa: women who couldn't read or write.  Asylum is why Hawa agreed to his price, only because she needed his help to complete the form. 

If Hawa had learned to read and write, she would have printed, in neat, clean letters of her own:

Name:  Hawa Fentale
Sex:  Female
Age:  24
Country of Origin:  Sudan
Family Members:  Husband (deceased)
                              2 children (female aged 3, male ages 8 months)

But Hawa cannot write.  She can only look at the government form that weighs heavily in her hand and wonder what other question remain.  Hawa waits through the night unaware that there is a child growing in her womb, a child that does not belong to her dead husband.  Between pangs of hunger and cries from her children, Hawa imagines what life will hold when her family is given asylum in Chad, and how as a stranger and a widow she will find a home.  In the morning, she will bring the white government form to the girl's uncle again and pay his price so she can answer another question."  (30 Days of Prayer for the Voiceless)

As I read this book, I am overwhelmed with gratefulness that I was born into this nation.  A nation that values women and nation that seeks to protect those who are defenceless.  While in so many other places women and children are shamelessly exploited for others personal gain.

 Father God we know you are compassionate and we ask you pour out your compassion on these people who are displaced and seeking to find asylum.  Father raise up compassionate aid workers to help those in need and we pray your judgement would fall on those who seek to exploit the helpless.  Oh Lord have mercy upon these peole that they might know you and the freedom that comes from being a child of God.  I pray protection over them. Amen.

Friday, September 28, 2012


Day 4

Pakistan has over 81 million women who suffer some of the worst cases of gender-based injustice.  Female literacy is 23%; school enrollment is 16%; maternal mortality  rate is as high as 340 per 100,000 live births.

99% of the babies which are thrown into gutters, trash bins and on sidewalks in Karach are girls.  They are considered a burden on society.

Daily up to three women die from "stove deaths;" one out of three of these were pregnant.  This usually occurs after a history of marital abuse for not giving birth to a son, disobedience , or allegations of adultery.

The more I read this book, "30 Days of Prayer for the Voiceless" the more grate full I am that I was born here in the United States where women are valued.  I can't imagine the oppression and violence these women endure and it is deemed acceptable, even normal behavior. 

A portion of the book:  Zafran Bibi was marries 13 years ago to Naimat Khan.  Three years into the marriage he was convicted of murder and sentenced to 25 years.  She had to live with her in-laws, harassed occasionally by her husband's brother, Jamal.  When she complained about his advances her mother-in-law blamed her.  A few days later Jamal raped Zafran.  Her in-laws discovered she was pregnant and accused her of adultery with another man called Akmal.  This got Jamal off scot free, and Akmal was thrown into jail.

Zafran still went to the police with her father-in-law to file a report.  She stated that she was raped while cutting grass a short distance from her house.  But even her lawyer portrayed her in court as a women of low character involved willingly in a sexual relationship.  She got death by stoning for her ungodly behavior while the rapist was released.

Lord, I pray you would set these women free.  I pray for the missionaries living in this area, the ones who are trying to bring your light into such a dark and evil place.  I pray they would have the strength to preach your words.  I pray that many would receive Jesus as their savior and know true freedom.  I pray that this distorted code of honor would come to an end.  I pray you would open the eyes of the world, to raise up an out cry against these practices and oppression.  Oh Lord, I pray our heart would break for the things that break your heart, that we wouldn't stay wrapped up in our own little world but that we would reach out and help others in need. In Jesus name I pray Amen.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Day 5

Definition- It is the medical termination of a pregnancy at any point before the full delivery of the baby.

Approximately 46 million abortions take place each year worldwide--almost 2 every 3 seconds.

The average is 1 abortion per woman worldwide.

Careless abortions account for 80,000 maternal deaths globally per year.

This one really breaks my heart.  As a mother who has dealt with infertility.  I can't say I really fully understand abortion.  I do know that, it is a complicated multi-faceted problem, that creates death and destruction for both the mother and child and it's devastation has far greater reaches than I can imagine.

I believe abortion has it's root in the Satan, the father of all lies, he lies to women telling them they can't have their child for a multitude of reasons and gradually the women begin to believe the lies or they are pressured by someone else until they give in and have their babies aborted.  The aftermath is crushing, they realize what they have done, maybe they don't admit, it not even to themselves, but the pain and hurt is there as a constant reminder, and only God can heal the gaping wound.  My heart breaks for these women so many of them believing the lies of Satan and then the guilt and shame that must come.  I feel so inadequate to even type one word about this subject.  All I can do is weep and pray for these women and children.

God delights in forming babies in their mother's womb. Psalm 139:13

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Domestic Violence

Day Three

Definition-domestic violence occurs between spouses or intimate partners, when one partner in the relationship tries to control the other person.  The perpetrator uses fear and intimidation and often physical or sexual violence. 

60% of battered women are abused while they are pregnant. 

Every 9 seconds in the United States, a women is assaulted and beaten.

A portion of the book:  "She's you neighbor.  No matter what language you speak or where you live -- a house in Peru, an apartment in Toronto or a hut in a North African village.  You talk to her throughout the week, send your kids outside to play with her kids, you share the same street."  (30 Days of Prayer for the Voiceless)

It's astounding that domestic violence is so rampant in our society and around the world.  I pray that these women would have the courage and support to come out of these abusive relationships.  Ps. 83:2 Says, we are to "defend the cause of the weak."  I pray that our eyes and ears would be open and to the cries of these women that we would be there to support and pray for them.  That we wouldn't miss any opportunities to help.  Oh Father that you would send them the help they need and that they would have the courage to accept your help.

Monday, September 24, 2012


Day 2

Definition Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome is a serious , fatal disease of the immune system contracted through blood transfusions, sexual contact or contaminated needles. There is no known cure for it.

AIDS has killed more than 25 million people since 1981 more than four Jewish holocausts or 22 Rwandan genocides. 

Africa has 12 million AIDS orphans.
 This book was published in 2005 so these numbers are even higher now.

Did you know that today in America HIV is considered more manageable than juvenile diabetes?  We have come a long way in the war on HIV.  Today people living with HIV can have a long and full life with the proper medications, diet, and care.  I don't want to over simplify because it can't be a cake walk to live with HIV, but it is a drastically different story for those who contract HIV in Africa or other countries where money is scare and medical care is hard to come by.  In those countries HIV is a death sentence.  Unfaithful husbands give it to mothers who give it to the unborn and nursing children who will all die without our intervention.  It creates a society of the very old and the very young.  Can you imagine whole villages where grandparents are caring for their childrens' ,children.  There are few young adults who are not sick or dieing, so there are very few workers to bring in the crops, carry the water, or tend the livestock.  This disease to wiping out an entire generation in some places and in others in has become a manageable chronic disease.  We have the resources to change these statics, but we must care about these people the way that we care for ourselves.

A small portion of the book:  "She didn't know that her husband was infected with a virus called HIV when she married him.  She didn't know that he knew he was sick.  At the time, she was 16 and he was 31.  She didn't know he believed that sleeping with a virgin would cure his disease." (30 Days of Prayer for the Voiceless, forwarded by Loren Cunningham)

Pray for those infected with HIV all over the world.  They face challenges in all areas of their lives that we can't even imagine.  Pray that others would educate themselves concerning this disease to help fight the stigma and misconceptions.  Pray that God would raise up doctors and missionaries to help fight this virus in the most remote villages.  Pray that people would be educated so that young virgin girls would not be needlessly infected.  Let you heart be broken for their needless suffering.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

30 Days of Prayer

So I've been praying and fasting for 12 days now and I feel like God wants me to blog about it. I don't really want too. I'd rather keep it private, but I know God has greater plans, so I'll share with you what I've been doing.
Our Bible study group is doing a book called "Tune In" by Jen Hatmaker. In this book she challenges us to fast as a way to hear God more clearly, she described fasting as a way to make room for God.  I'm fasting one meal a day and I do feel a closeness that I haven't felt before.  Before I had aways viewed fasting as more of a sacrifice that had to be so difficult you couldn't pull it off, no matter how hard you tried. Anyway to say my view of fasting was off track is an understatement.  I feel like I have a better understanding of it now, but I know I still have much to learn.
As I felt God prompting me to pray I knew I would be praying for our children to come home, for them to be safe, for their paper work to be in order, that they would be released. But God has laid several other things on my heart, one is a book called "30 Days of Prayer for the Voiceless".  I've had this book forever, it's been buried in a pile of books on the back of the toilet, not kidding that's where I found it.  I think I'll back track to day one and give you a short summary of what I've been praying for each day.  I hope to give voice to those who have no voice and that as you become aware of the needs that it would cause you to pray and to even reach out in some way to those in need.
Each day it gives a a topic, then it's definition, along with statics, a personal impact story and then a verse from the Bible to pray and a way to act.

Day One
Child Prostitution
This one makes me want to throw up, my stomach turns over and my eyes begin to pour out tears and I know our Father in heaven weeps and groans for these children.  I really don't enjoy knowing all these facts and I'd rather hide my head in the sand and pretend this never happens, but I can't because I have children out there alone and defenceless and I know God is calling me out of my apathy. 
It is the sexual exploitation of a child for renumeration in cash or kind, usually but not always organized by an intermediary (parent, family member, procurer or teacher).
So in other words these children, mostly girls, are exploited by those who are supposed to love and protect them.  In Thailand, 10-12 year old girls service men in the sex industry.  They typically have sex with men 10-15 times daily, and sometimes as many as 20-30. 
Her family needed food and if they sold her into the sex trade they'd have one less mouth to feed and more money to feed the younger children.  Did her parents know where she was headed?  Some do and some don't, parents are promised that there children will be well cared for, educated, and released after a time.  All of it lies.  Can you imagine being so desperate to feed and clothe your family you would consider selling your oldest daughter?  Hoping against hope that she wasn't going to be forced into the sex industry , but you feel you have no choice and because girls have little or no value in your culture, you go ahead even though you know deep within your spirit you are selling your daughter into the pit of hell.  It happens everyday day all over the world.  It happens right here in America and still we turn a blind eye.
I have no idea how to solve this massive problem, but I do know I must pray.  I must turn from my apathy and tell others of this problem.  We must join forces with organizations that are fighting these problems on the front lines.  We must give them our time, energy, money, and prayers.  These children deserve for us to fight for them.
If you would like to order this book it is, 30 Days of Prayer for the Voiceless, foreword by Loren Cunningham

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Hey All, It's been awhile, I know, things on the adoption front have been very disappointing lately. The wait times keep going up, our agency is now saying we should expect to wait 18-24 months for a referral. We have currently been waiting 10 months. We would appreciate your prayers, especailly for our children as they wait. My heart aches to have them home in my arms. On a completely different note I leave with a few touching things Abe has said in the last few months that reassure me that God has a plan and a purpose in the waiting. During Holy Week we attended a drama of Christ's crucifixtion. Abe wept through much of the performance and on the way home he said something like this, "Mom if you or i had to die, you know we haaaad to die, I would die for you", then he turns and looks at his brothers and says, "I would die so you can have mom." I thought my heart would melt right there, Abe had wept because he had understood just how big a sacrafice Christ had made. He understood that God gave Jesus to die so we could live. Several weeks later Abe said to me in an extremely serious voice, "Mom I need to tell you something really important," he pauses for dramatic effect and then says, "I LOVE YOU!" and throws his head back and laughs like he just said the funniest thing in the world. That's our Abe the son we waited on for almost 2 1/2 years and worth every minute, and so we'll keep on waiting for the next two, praying all the while that God will bring them home soon.

Monday, February 20, 2012

He's HOME!!!

Ben made it home safe and sound. The boys and I are so gald to have him back. Hope you enjoy reading about his journey, if you have any interest or would like to know more don't hesitate to ask. Ben really feels a calling to help the "least of these" and if you would like to be invovled in some way we'd love to help you get started or point you in the right direction.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

How Can You Help!

Friday morning we went to a government orphanage. It was a very different environment that the other places we've been. The Ethiopian government has decided to focus more on reunification (meaning trying to keep orphans with families) instead of international adoption. Unfortunately, this is slow and often impossible process which means that the orphans suffer. Even more unfortunately, it sometimes means that orphans are placed in back in situations where they are unloved or abused or even worse. I don't want to be overly critical of the Ethiopian government. While I don't agree with some of their practices and policies, they are faced with a HUGE problem and they do a lot of things really well. That said, international adoption is not the perfect solution for every situation. God's plan was for families to stay together and to love and care for one another. Sadly this doesn't happen nearly enough, thus the world's orphan crisis. There is no one solution to the problem. One of the best aspects of this trip has been to see so many different people doing so many different things that really do work and really do make a difference. The fact of the matter is that this probably is the solution--lots of people following their individual callings with love and compassion while seeking justice for the oppressed by trying to meet not only physical needs but more importantly break the "orphan" spirit that tells the least of these that they don't matter, that they aren't valuable, that they are worth loving, that they don't have hope or a future.

After leaving the government orphanage, we ate lunch with Jimmy and Rachel Gross, American missionaries who are getting ready to open a home-based children's care facility. It is similar to what has traditionally been called an orphanage, but it will be smaller in scale to facilitate more of a family environment. They took us to see the facility that they are going to use. It was an incredible place and they were able to rent it for an incredible price. We were the first guests to see it, which was very cool because One Child campaign contributed the first funding to the project. The timing of the gift was far more significant than the amount because Jimmy received it (totally unexpectedly) on the same day that he made the final decision to go ahead with the project. The gift was a wonderful confirmation of their calling.

It is now Saturday morning, and I get to climb on a plane and head back home in about 16 hours. It has been a great trip, but I'm ready to go back to my family. Thanks to all who have followed my adventure and prayed for me along the way. Please don't forget all of the wonderful children and amazing caregivers I've been posting about after this trip is over. If anyone would like to talk about you can make a difference in these people's lives, please talk to me when I get home. Caring for orphans is one of my deepest passions, so I love to talk about. It would be a pleasure for me to discuss with anyone who will listen.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

more from ET

We started this morning by going to Compassion Family International (CFI). It is a children's care facility near our guest house. Caleb sponsors a little girl there. There were about 25 kids there this morning. There are about 50 others that CFI care for, but they were off at school. The kids were fun to play with because they were excited to see us, but they all have families so they weren't so starved for affection that they were able to just have fun with us. After that we went to a kindergarten that is provided in a very poor part of Addis by Kids Care (they also run the orphanage where Sam lived for 7 months) to meet with the founder who is named Aster. She is really an amazing woman, but she had something come up so she had to leave before we got there. The kids same some songs for us and performed their letters and numbers in English. The staff then served us a coffee ceremony. In the afternoon we head out to Holetta, wihch is where 4 Tracy Mihnovich's came from. We got to see the orphanage they lived in while the adoption was processed. We walked through the community a little bit and there were some places where you could feel the evil. We got to see the site where a grain mill is going to be installed soon to bring economic opportunity to some of the poorest women in the country. The installation has been on hold since last July because the government has been coming up with excuses not to turn on the power to the building. While we standing the building talking and getting ready to pray about the situation, 2 government officials came in and told us that the electric meter would be installed Monday. They even stayed & prayed with us. After leaving Holetta we drove back to Addis to have supper with Tara Mowen and her 3 boys. Tara has been here about 8 weeks while the adoption of 2 of their sons is finalized. There adoption stories are pretty cool and can be found at It was nice to see Tara, Jacob, Kaleb & Isaiah. We made back to the guest house by about 8:30, so I'm hoping to get to bed a little earlier tonight. Thanks!

More ministries within ET

Yesterday afternoon we went to Hope for the Hopeless, a Children's Hopechest drop-in center for street kids. There are about 15 boys and 2 girls who stay there. One of the girls in named Meron. Part of her story has been documented in a video at Meron is the teenage girl who is the second in the video to share her story. She has one of the most horrible stories I've ever heard, but she is one of the happiest, most magnetic people I have ever met. While her story of redemption is certainly one of the most dramatic on the planet, the sheer number of lives that have been healed here is staggering. Some of the boys at the center shared there stories with us, and common themes from them and most of the other kids we have spoken with are as follows: born in the countryside, one or both parents died, they walked many (sometimes hundreds) of miles to Addis in hope of finding work, once in Addis they find no work, since they have no work & no money they sleep on the streets, it is very cold at night so they sniff glue or gas or drink alcochol or smoke cigarettes or chew chat in order to feel warm or at least forget that they are cold, during the day they beg for money or steal, bigger kids beat them up, they are alone and very afraid. Every single story is heart-breaking, but the great part is that the stories of the kids who get plugged in with the amazing ministries we seen don't end there. For these kids, the story continues often like this: Someone from the ministry found me on the street, he can and talked to me every day, after a while I started to trust him and came to the shelter he offered me, they gave me food and safety and love and sent me to school, when I started I was last in my class but now I am fourth and next year I will be first. I share this generalization to give you an idea of how lives of helpless children go from very bad to much better here. I am hesitant to do this, because every child is a unique person with a unique person and, most importantly, each was created for a unique purpose and is full of unique potential.

After visiting Hope for the Hopeless, we went to dinner with an American missionary couple who are getting ready to launch a ministry called Bring Love In. It is one of most beautiful models for caring for orphans that I've heard. In addition to the millions of orphans in Ethiopia, there are also (at least) thousands of widows with no one to provide for them, protect them, or care for them. Bring Love In will hire widows to live in homes with 6 to 8 orphans. The beauty of this model is threefold: First, it simultaneously helps widows and orphans. Second, it creates a family environment (rather than institutional care) for all involved. Thrid, the project is very scalable. Once one house is full, they only need to find and train another widow and find another small house to rent. Larger care facilities are expensive and hard to find, so relocation or expansion is extremely difficult. Today we are going to another carepoint/sponsorship facility and then we are going to meet Aster, the woman who founded the orphanage where Sam once lived. Aster has started a lot of other projects, so I am excited to see an old acquaintance and to see what she is up to now. Gotta run--thanks for reading!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

more from ET

Tusday monring we went back to the Children's Hopechest care point in Chappa, the same place we had been the day before. We had 2 things on the agenda there. The first was to take pictures of 143 kids that still need to be sponsored. Caleb and I worked on this task while the rest of the team did some activities with the rest of the kids. The culture was a little different there (not as touchy-feely and a little more reserved that the rest of Ethiopia) so it was interesting to see the kids reaction to having their pictures taken. Overall it was fun seeing all of the kids, and we were able to find every kid on the list we were given. The other thing we did was serve the kids a feast. Someone back home had donated funds for the feast. The team bought a small brahma bull (which was referred to as an ox), some injera (a kind of bread unique to Ethiopia) and several cases of soda pop. The bull was walked on to the property Monday afternoon and was then butchered after the kids left. Some of the staff stayed up all night butchering, preparing, and cooking the meal. The main dishes were 2 kinds of stew, one spicy and one not, which were served on top of the injera. We used a bucket-brigade approach to get the plates to the kids once they had been filled. It was a lot of fun and the kids were so excited. Many of them probably only get meat a couple of times a year, so it was a real treat. After they had eaten, each was given a bottle of pop. We weren't sure if it was the best idea, but the local staff insisted. It was the first encounter with pop for many of the kids. Some drank it way too fast and felt bad; other spit it out because the sensation of carbonation was so foreign to them. All of the kids had a blast regardless. The staff then served our team a couple of small but special dishes they had prepared. It was some of the best Ethiopian food I've ever had. The selections included tibs (which is small pieces of marinated beef served on top of injera), a kind of powdery paste made from butter & false banana (which is the root from a tree that look like a banana tree in every way except it doesn't produce bananas), and last but not least pieces of raw fat from the "hump" on the neck of the brahma bull. The Ethiopians told us we didn't have to eat the raw fat, but I thought it would be fun. It was actually really good!

We left Chappa in the early afternoon for the drive (about 5 hours) back to Addis. We stopped on the way and ate a late lunch/early supper at a really nice resort on Lake Langano. The food was pretty good, but they had ice cream which is rare here & was really nice in the middle of a long, hot car ride. Driving is always an adventure here, but it is even more exciting at night. I lost track of how many goats, donkeys, cows, people, cars, trucks, etc we almost hit on the drive. Our driver is a really cool older guy who is really great at what he does. We got back to the guest house about 8:30 and were disppointed to find that the internet wasn't working. It was probably good though because we all went to bed earlier than normal. This morning we went to a couple of different ministries in Korah, one of the poorest slums in Addis that started as a leper colony about 80 years ago. It is next to the city's trash dump from which most of the residents of Korah glean their existence. This first place was called Mission Ethiopa, which was founded by the same guy who owns the guest house we're staying in. Mission Ethiopia rescues women (about 35 at present) from the streets and gives them work makes beads & scarfs which are mostly sold to Westerners. The wages they earn are enough to provide them with housing, food, clothing, and education for their children. The women start each day with an hour or two of praying for one another and their community, singing and dancing. They have truly become a family. It was fabulous to see healing and redemption among a group who had previously been literally some of the most destitute people on the planet. I will be bringing home lots of their handiwork if anyone would like to buy some & support thier ministry. We next went to Empowering Hope which is a day care for single women in Korah. The day care services are provided at no charge to the women so they can go to work. The goal is to try to keep the women from having to give up their children for adoption for no reason other than abject poverty. They have about 60 kids in the program. The children are given 2 meals a day, medical care, some clothing, and some food to support the nourishment of the rest of the family. They also do some microfinance work with some of the mothers to give them greater opportunities to earn a living. This afternoon we are heading to Hope for the Hopeless, which is a Children's Hopechest drop in center for street children in Addis. We are then going to dinner with a couple of missionaries. The trip has been really amazing, but it is starting to get long. I really miss home, especially my beautiful wife and wonderful children. Time goes fast here though, so I know I'll be heading home before I know it. Thanks for reading!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Sponcership Changes Lives

Today we went to a Children's Hopechest care point in Chappa. It was in probably the most beautiful part of ET I've seen. There were about 220 kids there. Only about 1/4 of them are sponsored. One of our team members brought care packages from almost all of the sponsors, so it was really nice to see the kids get a rare treat. We brought soccer balls, t-shirts, etc for the kids as well. The kids were happy, healthy, & well-fed. All of the kids go to school at the care point. Sponsorship truly is changing the lives of these kids, their families, thir communities, and over time will change the entire nation. About the time we left, they brought in a bull that someone back home donated some money to buy fire the kids. It is going to be butchered tonight, and a feast will be given to honor the kids & staff. The kids don't know about the feast yet so tomorrow will be a great surprise for them. We will be back there tomorrow morning and then we will be heading back to Addis in the afternoon. We ate a very late lunch at a really nice hotel on the bank of the Blue Nile. It was beautiful and the river is so big that there was a wonderful breeze coming off it. The project for this evening is to find Tullo who is a little boy in Awassa sponsored by Frances Anson. That's it for now!

Awassa and Shone

I'm at the hotel in awassa. The hotel & city are both nice. We
went to a care point in Shone that Pochi's church has. Caleb raised some
funds for a building project that is now done. They have about 100
sponsored kids, but only about 25 were there today because it was Sunday.
All of the kids we saw driving through the city were extremely poor. It
was great to see how well the sponsored kids were doing nutritionally,
medically, and spiritually. They were visibly better off than the rest of
the kids in Shone. Their pastor talked to us about the difference One
Child has made to their ministry. It is the only outside group that has
ever been there. Caleb and I spoke to the whole group a little and then
we played some duck-duck-goose. It was a lot of fun, and then we all sang
together. We have been to a lot of places on this trip where things are
really getting better for the kids. It is very encouraging. After that,
we went to the look development center to drop off care packages for
Lar,Dan, & Michelle. None of the kids were there, but we met the guy in
charge of sponsorships. He knew Mugaleta & Sisaye. He didn't know
Wubinesh, but he is going to get the care package to Children's Hopechest
so they can get it to her. I was really hoping to meet the kids, but it
didn't work out. The sponsorship guy said Sisaye & Mugaleta were both
doing well. It was a long drive (6 hours?) out to Shone, but it was great
to finally get to see the country side. It is thw dry season, so
everything was very dry. I saw a lot of livestock grazing on corn stalks
though, and everyone who has been here in the rainy season was shocked to
see that everything was now brown instead of green. I am now at the hotel
in Awassa and the power just went out on the whole block. This is not
unusual here. Tomorrow we are going to a Children's Hopechest care point
in Chappa which is near Awassa. On a slightly different note, we were
only a few miles from Kembata this afternoon when we were at Shone.
Kembata is the city where Isaac's birth mother came from. While I didn't
get to see the exact city, it was neat to see the region of his heritage.
The trip has been a lot of fun, and we've met so many amazing people.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

More from Uganda

Hey hey! Yesterday we met with one of the SixtyFeet missionaries--a gal named Kirby from Jacksonville. They have been working with the children's prisons for a while now. Only a small percentage of the kids there have actually committed any crimes. The majority are either abandoned by their parents or guardians or were caught in a round-up of street kids. As you can imagine, the conditions are not good at all. The SixtyFeet team has found favor with the staff and wardens at most of the facilities, but some higher ranking officials don't like the publicity that has been generated. SixtyFeet's license to operate is under "review" so they can't go into the facilities for a couple of months. This is terribly difficult for them to deal with because they know the condition of the children inside. It turns out that the children's prision isn't closed, just closed to visitors for the time being. We also met with an amazing Ugandan woman named Mama Phoebe. She and her husband quit their jobs about 14 years ago to start a school for orphans and destitute children. Uganda was ground zero for the AIDS epidemic, with the better part of a generation being lost. This generated a huge number of orphans. Almost every family has taken in nieces, nephews, cousins, grandchildren, etc, but the burden is simply more than the society can handle. Mama Phoebe and her staff interact with about 1300 kids each day. They provide schooling for about 800 of those, including room & board for about 250. Another One Child team is coming in August, and they are planning to spend a couple of days at Rebecca Sorensen's school (which I mentioned yesterday) and a couple of days with Mama Phoebe. It was really quite amazing to find such incredible ministry partners on our first trip to Uganda.

Our flight landed in Ethiopia about 7:30. It only took about 15 minutes to get our visas and go through customs (which is a miralce), but then we had to wait about an hour for 2 of our bags to make it to the baggage claim. In Africa they have a saying that goes "Americans have the watches, but Africans have the time." We are staying in a new guest house which is really nice & the staff here is unbelievable. Today will be a little bit slower since it is Saturday and not as many places are open. We are planning to visit MARK 10:14 Ministry, a ministry which seeks to lift street kids (and their parents where possible) out of poverty through vocational training, sharing the gospel, and helping meet physical needs while they get back on their feet. I think we are going to hear some of the boys share their stories. We are also planning to visit the America World Transition Home today. This will be an exciting reunion for Caleb and I as we both have two children who were cared for by the wonderful nannies at the transition home. I brought pictures of the boys to share with the nannies. They all remembered Sam (or "Mickey, Mickey, Mickey" as the used to call him) when we came to get Isaac. Tomorrow we are heading out into the country side to go to Children's Hopechest Care Points in Shone and Awassa. We will be gone for 2 or 3 days, so I dont' know if communication will be possible. I'm really excited to finally get out of Addis and see the country side. Such a trip has just never worked out on our previous trips to ET.

If you want to know more about Rebecca Sorensen and her ministry go to her website:

Friday, February 10, 2012

Ben is now in ETHIOPIA!

Carnival not Carnivore

I was really disappointed when we pulled up to Carnivore last night, turns out the name is "Carnival". The disappointment didn't last long though. On the walk up to the restaurant we went right past the biggest, most beautiful barbecue pit I've ever seen! There wash a band that played Ugandan music & they did some traditional dances. The waiter set a toy gorilla on the end of the table and told us he would keep bringing meat until we turned it over. It was a dream come true! Before we flipped the monkey we enjoyed chicken gizzards, a couple of different beef dishes, a couple of goat dishes, pork and chicken- a wonderful meat medley! Rebecca and Michael (an awesome Ugandan man who works with Rebecca and has taken in 14 boys) joined us and we had such a fun time. She shared some more about what her girls had been through, some more healings they experienced, and some things that still needed to be healed. We can't even imagine how blessed we are not to have to experience what so many kids if Africa do. It was very encouraging to see what is happening at her school. It gave us all hope that some of the horrible things we'll see in ET can get better. We found out last night that we won't be able to visit the children's prison. Apparently the government has closed many of them, at least the ones close to the capital where we are. My guess is that it is in response to the publicity that SixtyFeet has generated. I can't help but wonder what happened to the kids who were there though. We are meeting with the local pastor who has been ministering to the children, so hopefully we can get some answers. I'm really excited to head back to ET tonight.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

More from Uganda

We just got back from Rebecca's school and it was beyond amazing. They sang and danced and had a big program, partly because today was the 3rd birthday for the school. The kids led worship & I can't a even describe how powerful it was. A little girl named Fatima latched on to me as soon as I got there and never let go. She was either on my lap or holding my hand for about 6 hours. I told Rebecca I wanted to sponsor her. She wasn't one of those kids that you just fall in love with at first sight. She was very solemn but she wanted so desperately for me to hold her that I felt like I needed to take care of her. I met several of reabecca's girls & they were all incredible. She is planning on bringing a kids choir to the states in January & I mentioned coming to indiana, I so hope you get to meet her. We are going to supper at a place called "Carnivore" so im really excited about that. The children's prison trip is tomorrow morning & then we'll be heading to ET tomorrow evening. I can't believe we're almost done here. I don't feel like we've helped at all, but I guess that our contribution really begins when we get home. Uganda has been a great experience, but ET is my calling. I should have good Internet when I get there so I will be able to write more.


Leigha here:
I got an email from Ben today. He's doing well. They are in Uganda, scouting out places to lead future trips. Ben is traveling with a mission group called "One Child", there mission is to lead trips to different places around the world to help others understand "the need" and then those individuals take "the need" back to there local churches etc. and begin to meet "the needs" the saw on their trip. Caleb (founder of One Child) has a church interested in making regular trips to Uganda so this current trip is to access the needs of the Ugandan people and figure out all the logistics.

Here is part of Ben's email, "We met with a local pastor today and it went pretty well. We went to part of his community and talked to some women and played with lots of kids. I am FILTHY from the sweat, dust, and dirty kids. I even ended up with poo all over my arm. Turns out that potty training kids just don't wear anything but a shirt. A girl named Rebecca Sorensen has been taking us around. She is 28 and has been here for 2 years. She has started a school that has 200-400 kids each day. She has also taken in 14 of her own. Very similar to Katy Davis work. I think she really wants Caleb to work with her because she is going to be with us basically the whole time we're here. She sells beads too, so I'll try to bring some home. She said they have beaded purses too. 3 of her girls have been healed from HIV. We are going to her school tomorrow ago celebrate their 3 year anniversary. Someone gave her 8 acres that she plans to clear for farm ground- maybe we can get your dad to come help! I miss you guys. I have slept 4 hours since I work up Monday morning but I feel great. I ate fresh talapia on the banks of the Nile for lunch. We are getting a kicked out of the Internet spot. We are 8 hours ahead of you.

I know Ben is right where God wants him. Please pray for him.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

He Made IT!

Ben is in Uganda.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Africa or Bust

Ben left yesterday for Africa. He's going to Uganda and then on to Ethiopia. He hopes to post more about his trip on the blog so stay tuned. Last I heard they landed in Brussels about 3 am. He is visiting several orphanages, they are hoping to meet some their immediate needs and talk with the directors about how they can better support them in the long term.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Listen to Abe

I had just finished cleaning the bathroom, while Isaac played in the bath tub. Sam and Abe came in to brush their teeth. I said, "boys i don't want to see any toothpaste in the sink when your done." Sam starts looking around, all perplexed, like leaving the sink without a big blob of toothpaste smeared somewhere on it is an impossible task. Abe stares right at Sam and says in the most authoritative Abe voice you've ever heard, "Sam you better pray about it!" Abe is so right. Even the smallest things can be brought before our Father in prayer. Abe has been learning about the power of prayer and he can attest that it is working in his own life, so if your wondering what to do about something big or small. I suggest you listen to Abe and pray about it.
Here they are Sam and Abe.

On a funny note. Isaac came out the other day with his lip colored red with a magic maker and declared that he was ready to go. I guess he put on his lip stick and was ready to paint the town red!