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Sunday, August 7, 2011

Two Things I Can't Get Off My Heart !!!

There are so many ways to love on children in orphanages ... We can look at the whole picture and see where God is calling us to fill in the puzzle pieces ...

I went to Uganda open and willing to see what God has for my family in our next season ... Always ready to answer the call no matter how hard it is ... Open to going in the direction that God wants and not the direction I want (believe me I HAVE A DIRECTION I WANT) ...

Two things I haven't posted about till now (waiting on God's timing as he refines me) is about Brian (from Redeemer House) and Ekisa Ministry ... I have felt God tugging at my heart for older boys for over a year now along w/ Jeremiah and Elijah praying for a brother and when I saw Brian's sweet face on the wall at Redeemer House my heart just smiled ... I met many boys at Redeemer house, but God was obviously directing me to Brian ... When I returned home I contacted the director (precious, precious, precious Kathy) and asked about Brian ... She told me that he was un-adoptable and his mother was doing her best to get back on her feet.  She talked about how Brian was thriving at Redeemer house and was happy w/ his friends and his school ... It took less than a second for God to impress upon my heart to help Brian's mother ... To show her we care and to give Brian some peace knowing that someone wanted to help his mother ... Kathy sent me the kindest message saying how 4 other families had inquired about Brian and once they found out he was un-adoptable they just never emailed back ... Loving on a child who is in an orphanage has many different sides ... Will Brian ever be reunited with his mother ??? I don't know, but I do know that he will have some hope in knowing that she is being cared for and loved on by others ... It will give him security to focus on becoming a strong young man and in return perhaps he will have a desire to help others ... I think of Brian often during my week and hope that on my next trip to Uganda that I can meet him and his mother ... WE HAVE TO FIND A WAY TO HELP ... There is no more perfect way to see Jesus and to know HIM better than to love on HIS hurting people ... Why do we close our eyes and hearts and go about our EVERYDAY normal routine ... Why aren't we trying to seek out DAILY a way to do KINGDOM WORK and be an extension of HIM ... Why don't we CRAVE the blessings that come from loving those that JESUS LOVES SO DEEPLY ...

I want it to be a part of my everyday - praying for those that are hurting, lost, and lonely ... Finding ways to serve others ... Challenging my family and my friends to see OUTSIDE the box ... Teaching my children how to DESIRE JESUS above all else !!!

I would also like to introduce you to EKISA ... There is just no easy way to describe what all Emily & Emily (the directors of Ekisa) are doing ... Emily W. is a dear friend and used to work at Amani (where Joseph / Daisy were before coming home) ... She loved on my kids before I ever knew them ... She has a heart for special needs children and dreamed of opening an orphanage / home for those angels and her dream became reality LAST YEAR ... She didn't just talk about it, but decided to follow God to a very deep place of LOVE ... When I say I had to put my visit there out of my mind for a while that is just the truth ... The children we met there had such a large range of SN from CP, to severely burned, to extreme hydrocephalus, downs syndrome, autism, and more ... I was overwhelmed w/ the all the NEEDS they were meeting each day w/ the most amazing loving hearts I had ever seen ... There house was set up to care for them in the way each needed ... The volunteers so peacefully fed them, bathed them, talked to them, and just were so excited to share their stories ... They are doing some of the hardest work I have ever seen done to CARE and LOVE on these children ... I can only guess that Emily / Emily and the volunteers know something about meeting Jesus each day that I can not comprehend ... To see those sweet children when you wake each day must be both heartbreaking and joyous !!!  Whether they were discarded, abandoned, or brought to Ekisa by parents who CAN'T care for their child it is a reality that is simply something we DON'T like to think about here in America ... I tried desperately to put it out of my mind because I felt so helpless and overwhelmed ... So today I am telling you because my eyes were opened AGAIN and I see yet ANOTHER side to Jesus ... I want you to also see what I saw at Ekisa ... I love sharing ministries with you and I know 147 will do something in the year to come for Ekisa ... We will find a way to lightened their burden financially, we will pray for them, and we will encourage others to go and volunteer there ... It is a place of Jesus ... I can only imagine if HE were walking around today that Ekisa would be a place he would visit often ... Thanks Emily and Emily for loving the way you do !!!

ME, EMILY, AND SUZANNE 


Meet JOJO ... the squishiest and most adorable little fella EVER !!! He lives at Ekisa ... 


The angels of EKISA !!! 


Thanks to all the people in my life (whether blogworld


12 kind words.:

love said...

i love brian and i love ekisa!! and you, gwen--love you and your heart. thank you for always encouraging others to chase after Him! cannot WAIT to be back in uganda!

mrs.stinnett said...

thank you for being so bold to open your heart and share!!!! I don't know if I can help in any other way but prayer - but I commit for me and my children to pray for Ekisa daily!!! thank you for reminding us that we must have more than intentions - we have to take action!!!

ESolgos said...

I love the idea of finding another way to help orphans outside adoption (when that isn't possible). That is true, selfless love. When we adopt, people think we are selfless, but really we get so much in return. But loving an orphan by loving his mother is truly selfless. Thank you for sharing your heart. It is beautiful.

Robin said...

LOVE the pic of JoJo!! He lived with me for a year before I met Emily and Emily!!! I'm so excited he's there with them and getting the special care he needs :-)

Behn and Meg said...

You know what? I thinking helping Brian's mother is a wonderful way to serve brian and follow God's call to care for orphans AND widows! I love James 1:27, but lately I've been thinking that it's maybe 'easier' to follow the part about caring for orphans than it is to also care for widows. (Not that it's easy to care for orphans- no way! But let's be honest, we women do have that maternal instinct). So, I'm so glad you addressed your heart for helping Brian's mother. How sweet!

Jenn Nahrstadt said...

reading about ekisa made me think of our friends who have 2 autistic boys. their oldest son is going off to college this month, and their world is about to get VERY small. there is no one they trust to watch both their boys so that they can get out and be together as a couple. they don't even get to go to church together! we have helped out, but i'm sensing there's a BIG need out there and that i'm being nudged to consider what i might do about it. thanks for this post, reminding me there are others who are caring for the least of these.

Anonymous said...

I just checked out Ekisa's website and was so touched by those beautiful faces. Just wanted to share that they have sponsorship plans that start at just $5.00 per month. So families with tight budgets - like mine - can still help! So now I get to be a part of their wonderful work. Thanks for sharing. Can't wait to see how your readers bless this ministry with love, financial support, and prayers.

Cindy

Anonymous said...

I love this post.

Thank you for continuing to challenge others, and to endlessly provide opportunities to live out the Gospel!

Tisra
www.fadelyfamily.com

Karen said...

WOW! Emily and Emily are DEFINITELY Jesus with skin on!

Erika J. said...

They have accepted my application there and I can't wait to get over there. Thanks for connecting us Gwen:)

roomforatleastonemore said...

Thank you GWEN for sharing about his older boy! You know my heart is there as we adopted a 10YO son last summer. You are so RIGHT that there are more ways we can help. You have such a platform, so LET'S HEAR IT FOR THE OLDER BOYS! Keep us updated!!!

I will check out the ministry more. We just got home from the amazing VCH (S had surgery with the equally amazing Dr. K on Wednesday). She is sleeping and Mommma needs to sleep too. Gotta love the sleep chairs in the PICU! ;) Love your heart!

Oh and the island ... I am SO THERE. Actually, some of what you said we already do (PJs all day ;), but I so want the island or the cabin in the middle of nowhere with not much of anything in it except my family and what we actually need (not want).

Erica said...

INCREDIBLE. Love this post. Just read about Ekisa recently - incredible story. I think I need to take Nichol there to serve. She would love it.