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On my journey to a closer walk with Christ, I knew God was refining me to see what He saw.  He was teaching me to see how He saw.  He was trying to get me on His path and the journey that He had for me and my family.

And that journey had something to do with children.

And something to do with orphans.

I planned to sell the house.  Sell our cars.  Sell our furniture.  Sell our belongings.  Pull the kids out of their schools.  Kiss our families goodbye.  And move to ANYWHERE in the world to work with orphans.

I saw those starving faces and I was moved.  I would see those beaten and battered little bodies and I would cry.  I would see children living and eating in trash heaps, and I wanted to shelter them and feed them.  I saw what Jesus saw, and I was so sorry.

It’s funny, how we think ORPHAN and instantly think of Africa.  China.  Burma.  Guatemala.  Every remote, scary, impoverished place on this planet……

Except America.

I didn’t think of here.  This is not where I ever imagined God calling us.  I imagined everywhere else.  But that wasn’t God’s plan.

People think foster care and they think “oh”.  It isn’t glamorous.  It doesn’t sound as adventurous and “ministery-ish” or “missionary-ish” and people dismiss it.

No one has love offerings for foster families or donation campaigns of clothes, food, or furniture.  Churches don’t have letter or card writing campaigns to encourage the foster families.   No one is sending “mission teams” to help build buildings or add additions onto houses for families in the U.S. that need more room.  At least none in my area.

But they don’t see what I see.  They don’t know what I know.

I’ve seen the beaten and battered bodies.  I’ve helped nurse them back to health.  I’ve prayed he wouldn’t die.  I’ve sat by his hospital bed more than once crying as I rocked him for the terribleness done to him.

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I’ve seen the bloated belly of the malnourished.  I’ve moved him away and out of the trash can more times than I could ever count as he foraged for food.  Every day is a mission to teach him to trust that someone will feed him.  Every day and at least 3 times a day.  I’ve treated his disease-ridden body every day, trying to heal him as best as I can.  I’ve seen the faces of strangers when they see his leopard-spotted scars covering his stomach and back from neglect of his disease.

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I’ve held and rocked and snuggled the orphan of America.  Every day is a new day to show them the love of Christ.  Every day is a new mission to teach them that they are good and they are worthy of love.

They are worthy of parents that love them.

Even if I did not give birth to them.

As of late 2010, more than 408,000 children were in the U.S. foster care system. Of those children, 107,011 were considered “adoptable”—meaning, their parents’ rights have been terminated or relinquished.  In Oklahoma alone, there are over 8300 children in foster care.

Each child has different needs and concerns.  They all have different demons they face.  So fostering these children is never easy.

It’s hard work.

It’s tiring physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

But, God had a plan for those missionaries in the foster care system:  His church.  He called us FIRST as a church and as Christians to help the orphans, and for too long, we failed.  He designed us to be supported and encouraged through our church families.  He planned us to walk this journey within our Christian communities with people that will surround us with love, encouragement, prayer, support: financially, emotionally and spiritually.

How are you helping?

How is your church helping?

If your church isn’t helping, spread the word!

This is a lifelong journey, and for us, one that won’t be ending with the adoption of our 3 foster children.  God is revealing much more and much bigger plans for our family, but we cannot do it alone.

Will you please commit to praying for our family as we seek God’s plan for “more”?

It is something that is much bigger than I could ever dream, and much bigger than anything Mike and I could do alone.  It’s exciting and scary all at the same time.  This is God-sized and we have no idea the beginning or the end of it.

We cannot do it alone.

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