Sunday, November 30, 2008
Beau and Natalie, we are blessed to call ourselves your friends and are heartbroken with you as your wait is extended. Thank you for your unwavering trust in the sovereignty of God and for setting an example for so many (including us) and making the light of Christ shine brighter in your lives as a result. Love you both and can't wait to celebrate with you at the kids' homecoming.
Follow Beau and Natalie's blog at http://fournetfamily.blogspot.com/
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
- 5.4 million people have been killed in the violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo since 1998. More people have died there than in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Darfur combined.
- 45,000 people die every month in what is being called Africa's World War. This is the deadliest conflict since World War II.
- One of the primary weapons used in this particular war is rape. 80% of women living in the Congo today are victims of rape and 75% of all the rapes that take place in the world happen in the Congo.
- The violence has forced civilians to flee their homes and head for already over-crowded IDP (Internally Displaced People) camps where it is virtually impossible to access health facilities, find clean water sources, and locate nutritional food. Most deaths are a result of these types of conditions, an indirect result of the violence.
- The Congo has been named as one of the most dangerous countries in the world for children, whether they are killed by the violence, die from desperate conditions, or are recruited by the rebels and forced into unspeakable acts of violence themselves.
Who will be a neighbor to these people? Here are some practical ways you can love them as you would wish to be loved.
1. Pray that God would bring justice on all who seek to do evil in the Congo.
2. Pray for believers in Jesus Christ in the Congo to have the courage to stand firm in the face of this intense violence and proclaim the unwavering hope found in Jesus Christ.
3. Write your congressional leaders. Here are some links that may be helpful.
For Texas Senators and Representatives Addresses: http://www.visi.com/juan/congress/cgi-bin/newseek.cgi?site=ctc&state=tx
For info on what to write as a sample letter: http://community.wr.org/Page.aspx?pid=1290
4. Consider giving financially to relief efforts in the Congo. $50 will allow a family to survive for a month. What would God have you give? http://community.wr.org/Page.aspx?pid=1274
5. Grow your understanding of and empathy with those struggling to eat daily by fasting or restricting your diet to basics like rice, beans, and flour.
Please consider how you ought to respond and then do what God leads you to do.
"Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, 'But we knew nothing about this,' does not He who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not He who guards your life know it? Will he not repay each person according to what he has done?" Proverbs 24:11-12
For additional information, check out these sobering videos.
Monday, November 24, 2008
1. I love chips and salsa and I am kind of a salsa snob. I love it so much that even my children know this is my favorite snack. I will admit that I have eaten this for breakfast before.
2. I have an irrational fear of dentists. I require sedation....for a cleaning. I still have no idea what my old dentist looked like because I was always sedated when I left her office. I hate the sounds and smells of the office, I hate sitting in the chair, I hate that mouth stretchy thing, I hate the scrapey hook thing(I am shivering now just typing it). Don't even talk to me about the laughing gas....laughing gas is for amateurs.
3. I purposefully don't correct my kids when they mispronounce words because I think it is cute. I think it annoys my extended family, but come on, Josiah won't go to college saying "benember"(remember). I also cry when they figure it out and start pronouncing things correctly- like the first time Josiah talked about his friend "Joseph" instead of "Jo-fuss".
4. I have a secret ambition to move to Baltimore and get a job at Charm City Cakes. Maybe I will post some pictures of my work and Duff will somehow see it and offer me the job.
5. I have something wrong with my senses- if I am wearing sunglasses, I can't hear as well. Wes makes fun of me because when we are in the car, I have to take my sunglasses off to hear him.
6. If I could do it, my home would look like a Cottage Living magazine.
7. I don't know how many kids I want. It is strange, because most people I know say"we want three kids" or whatever number, but I have not been able to come up with the number that feels "done". Maybe I will know when we get there....I have read that women who have lost children often feel like their family is never complete because someone is always missing, and maybe that is true. But when I see videos of orphanges or think about the USA foster care system, I always wonder, will I always think maybe just one more??
Maybe Wes will add his facts later....
Thursday, November 20, 2008
These pictures are from a little outing we went on about a month ago to Home Depot. They have a deal once a month where they set up a little project for the kids and you can come and build something (for FREE). It is a fun little experience, but it's not really a building project for the kids. It's a building project for Daddy.
I was thinking about this today and how one of the great things about parenting little kids is asking them to "help" with something, some kind of Daddy chore that's not on their typical list of responsibilities, like helping to cook breakfast, rake leaves, etc. Reality is that I don't really need their help and in fact could probably do it quicker and better (and cleaner) without their help, but I delight in watching the joy they experience in being a part of the "mission," a "mission" greater than themselves. I dread the day of their young childhood/teenage response of no longer seeing this as a delight, but as a duty and the proverbial "Aw, Dad!" that accompanies it. So for now, I delight in their delight.
And I think of how gracious our Father is to us. How ultimately, He doesn't NEED me or my "help" for anything, but delights in giving me the opportunity to build intimacy with Him through participating in a mission greater than myself. He tells us as much in passages like Psalm 50:9-10 where he says, "I have no need of a bull from your stall or of goats from your pens, for every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills." I am so grateful that though he doesn't need me, He pleads with me to "sacrifice thank offerings" (vs. 14) to Him, because He knows that there is no greater delight for His children than that they delight in Him.
I don't pretend to think that God needs Brandy and I to adopt. Granted there are 143 million orphans in the world and if just 7% of all people who call themselves Christians were to adopt one, we'd knock that out, but God has already declared Himself to be the "Father of the fatherless," and He'd do a much better job of fathering them than I would (and there'd be less mess). But He gives me the privilege of joining Him in this mission, among many others, and sits back to watch with delight as we delight in Him. How gracious and loving! And how I pray that God will deliver me from my teenage "Aw, Dad!" attitude, forgiving me for the many ways I already do that, and return my heart to the place of childlike joy in asking, "Can I help, Daddy?"
P.S. Within the hour of returning from Home Depot, one of the firetrucks was stickerless, wheel-less and little more than a pile of scrap wood. There's probably an illustration there too.