Thursday, August 28, 2008

More tears for India:

[This is email is from someone working in tribal areas in the region near Orissa. For security I have abbreviated and eliminated proper names and place names. Clarifications are in italics & brackets.]

[Beginning of report] “Dear Friends, Orissa burns… Pray for our beloved fellow believers in Jesus. DR. GRAHAM STAINES suffered with his two sons some years ago in a fiery blaze when his vehicle was set ablaze. Now other believers in Jesus are suffering the same way.

“We awoke this morning with the sun shining brilliantly in through our living room windows. What a JOY it was to see it appear after an all night vigil, waiting for reassuring reports that our Children’s Home in B--, Orissa was safe and sound. Plus we have had continuous rain for over a week and the tumultuous clouds had ruled the skies… Yesterday in the evening, phone contact revealed that some 25-30 miscreants, with a container of petrol, had attempted to forcibly enter the campus in B--, Orissa and on not succeeding, broke down the two crosses that had crowned the pillar posts of the main entrance gate.


Gate Entrance to Church & Children’s Home - Crosses were torn down on 25.Aug. 08


Worship Hall in B-- Orissa.


Boys in the B-- Home
.
“THE ABOVE WERE SAVED FROM DESTRUCTION WITH THE TIMELY ARRIVAL OF POLICE YESTERDAY…AUG. 25, 2008. Seven armed constables arrived soon after and the gang scurried for cover. Reports then in came reports of church buildings that had been set ablaze in D--, P-- and V-- and some other ten places in this immediate area. The Indian version of CNN T.V. continued a report of the conflagration spreading throughout the state, every few minutes. A few kilometers outside of B--, a Catholic orphanage for destitute, lower caste girls was set ablaze after the children were allowed to evacuate. It was later revealed that two young girls, fearing for their lives, stayed behind in hiding and went up in flames. A young Catholic nun..(sister) pled with the mob to spare their place of abode, but instead in vengeance they threw her into the blazing building and burnt her alive. The Catholic Priest managed to escape with severe burns from the fire and beatings. He succumbed later to his wounds in the hospital. These reports were conveyed by the constabulary stationed on the B-- Campus.

“On receiving this news 3 battalions of armed Security personnel arrived in the city to protect our property and the Children’s home. Even then, they were apprehensive of the outcome of such a possible encounter and requested Pastor B-- to leave the Church property and to go into hiding outside. He pleaded…”No, I cannot go and will NOT leave the children,” who were some 56 in number. He would have been committing suicide to leave the campus and be confronted by an unruly, angry mob armed with axes, spears and clubs. The armed forces then packed the boys into the girls quarters, with three lady staff members, Pastor B-- and his family and were told to remain quiet and out of sight. They spent the night in prayer, listening to the shouts of the mob outside, seeking revenge for the murder of one of their highly respected [Hindu] priests, by the Jungle Militia, some 100 kilometers to the South. We can say confidently that Christians had nothing to do with that incident, BUT while “ Rome burns; destroy the Christians”, was their goal. The negative report given in the media states that this ‘COMMUNAL TENSION’ has arisen due the large number of convrsons to Christianity by the missionaries, is totally unacceptable and could well be the match that will ignite future fires. The prayers of GOD’S PEOPLE world-wide are requested. Pray for peace and reconciliation in these troubled waters. May His People shine like the morning sun in service to the masses.” [End of report]

What is happening is more or less a pogrom against Christians in Orissa. Currently most of the violence is happening in two districts of the state – it is feared that this will spread. The Hindu, a major national newspaper has carried reports of the violence on the front page for the last several days. This violence has spread due to the murder in Orissa of one of the leaders of a Hindu social / political group called the VHP. Though an investigation of the murder has been ordered by government, elements of the group have framed the murder as a Christian conspiracy against the VHP and violent reprisals have ensued leaving many Christian homes, churches, & other institutions burned. The death toll as reported by The Hindu today was 9 confirmed on Wednesday morning, expected to rise to 14 with unconfirmed incidents during the day on Wednesday.

Please pray for the church in India that it would make Christ’s Name famous in the way it responds to this suffering. Is. 52:13 & 53, 1 Pet. 3:13-18, 1 Pet. 4:12-19.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Praying for my little girl, who will probably come from India:

I've been pretty focused on how to get this adoption process rolling lately- and also excited by all the resources on the internet that are helpful/interesting.

Here is a quote I found that makes me want to expedite the process all the more:

(This is an article about adoption within the country of India- the way it has been for their orphans over the last 10 years...)
Over the last decade, although the male child is still preferred, the number of families that have registered to adopt a baby girl has gone up. Couples who want a male child have to wait for three to four years while the waiting period for families who prefer girls is no more than six months. However, the notion that fair is beautiful and fair is class has impeded the adoption of dark complexioned babies or those who have flat noses in the belief that these babies were born to parents of an inferior caste and class. Unless this mindset changes, the many children who have no say in their physical appearance will continue to languish in institutions, longing for a home and a loving family. (Courtesy: Women's Feature Service) ⊕
Swapna Majumdar 23 Oct 2005
http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/oct/rvw-adoption.htm

This was taken from the website of a Muslim orphanage in India: (And I know it's only a matter of semantics or different word choice in different cultures... but it saddens me that the orphaned kids in this place are being called 'inmates.')
The girl inmates are housed separately in the newly constructed 3- storied building at 2, Sharif Lane, Calcutta 700016. On 31.3.2001 there were 290 girls in the Girls' section , all of whom are provided with free food, lodging, cloth, medical aid and all necessities of life. They are provided basic education in the Government approved primary school inside the building and thereafter sent to High School for their Madhyamik or High Madrasah Examination. Besides one whole time residential teacher there are three part time subject lady teachers for giving them tuition after school hours. Special attention is paid to impart Islamic Education as well as tailoring, Knitting and other handicraft works, three specially for religions teachings, and two for sewing and knitting works. To provide complete and thorough health care for the girl inmates there is a 10 bed medical word. The Girls' supervisory committee assisted by ladies sub committee, Lady superintendent, office assistant, Matrons and other staff look after administration of Girls, section. Pardah system is strictly in vogue for girl inmates.
http://www.calcuttamuslimorphanage.org/girls.html

Join me in praying for my little girl. I don't know if she's even been conceived yet- or what the circumstance will be of her conception and why she'll be up for adoption- but I pray in Jesus' Name that she'll be covered and protected from the plans of the enemy. I pray that she'll know the One who created her and who destined her to have purpose and hope and a future. I pray that she'll bond with our family and truly 'adopt' us as her own, for life. Father, go where I cannot, and protect my baby. She is truly, wholly in your hands Lord.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

The most beautiful prayer time

I just had one of the most beautiful prayer times I've ever had.

I was feeling selfish and grumpy because I didn't get to go to a prayer meeting that I was hoping to go to tonight- because I never heard back if there was childcare available... (funny to re-read that and feel selfish and grumpy about not going to pray...)

So, I decided that the boys and I would have our own prayer time and pray for all the stuff they were covering at the meeting I was missing. It was a prayer meeting for a team from our church going to the Olympics in China to do outreach.

So the boys sat down, and I went to get my Bible out of the car. Andy then said "Oh, let me go get mine out. And then he ran also and got Evan's bible out of his room. He brought both little Bibles down to the table where we were sitting, and they pulled up their little yellow plastic chairs to the coffee table with me. We then opened up their picture Bibles and would pray over the pictures that we saw. I loved it! We first opened it to a picture of David and Goliath, so we prayed for the team not to be scared if they were facing something big and fearful. We prayed for them to be victorious.

Then we opened to where Jesus healed the 10 lepers/people with skin diseases- and prayed that the team would be anointed to pray and see healings wherever they ministered. I prayed that God would open doors for the team- and then Andy prayed for the actual doors of the houses of people who don't know Jesus to be opened as the team was walking by! (Brilliant that we would actually take the prayer literally!- that DOORS would open.)

Then Evan opened his Bible to a picture of an angel... so we prayed for angels to guard and watch over the team wherever they went...

Andy has a little tiny globe that we use to pray over countries at night before bed. We both put our finger on China and prayed for all the people there to know Jesus. Andy prayed that they would all hear Jesus' voice. Then even Evan laid his little hand on China, and repeated after me "Dear God, I pray for China, Amen."

Then I mentioned to Andy that the team had been ministering in orphanages. I asked him if he knew what an orphan was... I told him it was a child with no mommy and daddy... because either the mommy and daddy died- or something else happened where the parents couldn't take care of the child. He then started to cry- and then I started to cry- and so together, in tears we prayed for the orphans of China. We prayed for them to have a mommy and daddy and brothers and sisters to adopt them and love them.

I then told Andy that the team leader had to stay home, and couldn't go on the trip because the Doctors said his heart was sick... Andy said "Oh no!"- and then we prayed for Al's heart to be healed. He also prayed for EVERYONE in China to be healed. (Ahh the faith of a child! Let me have it Lord!)

It was wonderful.

Yes, I would have loved to have been at the meeting. But I wonder if this is what God wanted from my family instead... What a precious gift.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Support Andy in the JDRF Walk for a Cure!

Support Andy in the 2008 Walk to Cure Diabetes

As you may know, our 4 year old son Andy was diagnosed in February with Type 1 Diabetes. We have had a steep learning curve with this devastating disease in the last 6 months. Basically, Andy's pancreas stopped producing insulin, so we give him shots twice a day to help his body to function normally, without his organs shutting down (what happens if he doesn't get insulin).

This year, our family will be taking part in JDRF's Walk to Cure Diabetes (along with 500,000 other walkers across the country) as we raise money for research to be done to find a cure.There is some good news, though. For the first time, scientists are predicting that we CAN expect to see a cure well within our lifetime!

Now, more than ever, you can make a crucial difference. Won't you please give to Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation as generously as possible? Together, we can make the cure a reality! Our family fundraising goal is $1500. I personally think we can raise much more than that though! Would you please contribute? If everyone receiving this letter gave $25, we'd reach our goal! If you decide you'd like to give more, we'd exceed our goal and kids like Andy would be that much closer to getting a cure!

Please visit my Walk Web page if you would like to donate online or see how close I am to reaching my personal goal:http://walk.jdrf.org/walker.cfm?id=87039487

Thanks for joining us in finding a CURE!

Sarah

P.S. If you're interested in joining our team, the walk is held on Sept 13th at America the Beautiful park in Colorado Springs. There will be lots of events for kids, vendors with snacks, etc. Registration starts at 9:00, the walk starts at 10:00. It's a 5k, so bring your kids in strollers and walk as much of it with us as you want!

Neat Video on YouTube about Type1

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Grateful.

OK- so I am thinking of a song I learned on my first trip to India, and I realized that particular trip was 10 years ago!

The chorus of the song is "I am, I am so Grateful."

I have been singing this in my head all evening- even though my day started out much differently.

I was ANGRY!!!

I was angry at God for allowing this disease into our lives. I was angry that he would give the disease to my 4 year old son, and not to me instead... I was angry that although I've attempted a number of times to get involved or get to know others with Type 1 Diabetes in this community, every effort has ended in frustration. I was angry that everyone is not as detail minded as I am. I was angry that I was ANGRY!

So I cried. A lot. And now I'm not angry any more. I'm still sad- but at least I'm not mad, right?

So, I do believe that since the word says that we don't think about God unless the Holy Spirit prompts us to do so-- that it means that the Holy Spirit is active in me tonight. For me to go from Angry this morning, to Grateful this evening, is really nothing short of a miracle.

I choose gratefulness, Jesus. I choose to recognize all that you have done and all that you will do in my life- and in the lives of my family members. I'm grateful in advance for the healing you will bring my precious son. I'm grateful for how you're going to deliver us from a place of dependence on insulin- to a place of only dependence upon You.

And- I'm grateful that you're providing a job, and a future for Dorothy and her family. I'm grateful Lord that you're healing Dana's dad, as I type this. I'm grateful that you're taking my friend Aimee through an incredible mothering journey right now- and teaching her more about love than she ever knew before. I'm grateful that you're causing a bond to form between Comfort and Caleb that will never be broken. I'm grateful that you're stirring up a hunger within Shannon, to feast upon your word- and find joy in it. I'm grateful that you've shown Katie how to love Scott, through her own discomfort and loneliness. I'm grateful that you have a bosom friend out there for Britta- but that most of all, you're her BEST friend. I'm grateful that you're healing John and Sabrina's bodies- and making the rough places smooth... and that you're taking care of Sabrina's mom when Sabrina can't be there with her. I'm grateful that you have a little girl out there, who might not even be conceived yet- who is going to be mine someday- and that YOU will teach me and lead me into the adoption at just the perfect time- so that she's ready when we're ready.

I choose gratefulness God. I choose You.
Thanks for choosing me.

Here are the lyrics (I think) of the song I learned on the mission trip to Calcutta:

Eternally Grateful- Kenny Carter

I am eternally grateful to you Jesus
For your love, for your love
Eternally grateful to you Jesus
For the giving of your blood
I am eternally grateful to you Jesus
For the coming of the Dove

Chorus:
I am, I am, I am so grateful Oh---
I am, I am, I am so grateful

You are the Fountain of Life Eternal
Saying, thirsty one, drink your fill
The Fountain of Life Eternal
Saying, weary one, peace be still
You are the Fountain of Life Eternal
Flowing from Calvary's hill

You are exalted as King forever
And I find myself praising your name
Exalted as King forever
And I watch for Your coming again
You are exalted as King forever
And forevermore You shall reign

You are, You are, You are Messiah Oh--
You are, You are, You are Messiah Oh--
I am, I am, I am so grateful Oh---
I am, I am, I am so grateful