Sunday began with church at First Assembly of God in Trenton.
This was the title of Pastor Randy Cowarts message...
Is there not a cause? Indeed there is.
I think Pastor Randy did a marvelous job with his sermon and I love his comment about not playing on peoples emotions. He could have stood up there and told sad story after sad story, but he didn't. He simply got up there and shared scripture. I believe even the saddest of sad stories couldn't have been more powerful than the Word. People needed to know they were hearing the Truth, not some possibly made up story.
And the Truth is... we are commanded to care for the widow and orphan! In the OT, caring for widows, orphans and strangers was structured into their entire being. It was a way of life. Perhaps if we would continue to take God at His Word and obey, there wouldn't be 147 million orphans in the world.
Renea and I were given the opportunity to stand before the church and share the vision and purpose of Joint Heirs Adoption Ministry. To date, there are now 6 families who have expressed a desire to adopt just within my church! Tell me God isn't about to do something awesome!
With JHAM, our goal is to educate, bring awareness and be able to help families financially adopt. I felt that most families were probably discouraged from adopting because of the costs involved. But really what I've learned this weekend is that even more of a barrier than the money, is simply the husband.
Perhaps the money is the reason behind the husbands unwillingness? I don't know. I know that was Jack's biggest concern. How will we ever afford it? But that's where JHAM comes in! We can tell people where to go for help in financing and eventually be able to help them ourselves.
It does make me very thankful for my husband. He was always on board. A few people said he was just going along with it because it was what I wanted. They made it sound like he was being roped into something he didn't want. He completely was not. He and I talked and prayed about it and both came to the conslusion that this was something we both wanted to dive into. And isn't that what marriage is all about? How often do we go along with something that is important to our spouse that we wouldn't choose to do on our own? I think I'm chasing rabbits here... but my point is, the husbands seem reluctant and I would welcome any idea's you have on how to reach them. My husband will tell anyone that he would do this all over again, just not publicly! :-) But, one on one... He's an advocate!
From 2-4 on Sunday was our Open House. Renea and I have discussed wether or not it was a success.
We did not have nearly the attendance we had hoped for, but I don't believe numbers determine success. This day was not about 'us', it was a day to advocate for orphans.
Our goal, as stated above, was to give those interested in adoption and foster care a place to go for resources and to raise awareness.
Did we raise awareness? I think we did! People are calling me a celebrity from being on the radio so much this month! So I think we've got the word out!
Did we provide resources and help to those looking? Absolutely! Those that did attend our event were the ones seriously interested in growing their family through adoption and they found what they needed.
I'm so glad that we had representatives from Childrens Services (DFS) because a lot of people seem to be interested in domestic adoption and it was wonderful to have them there to answer questions.
Here's Renea and I in our Orphan Sunday shirts!
We learned a lot from this event about what to do and not to do next time!
For starters... our venue had a big band orchestra the night before so we could not get in to set up until after church. Our event started at 2. So you see, we were rushed! I will NEVER again do that!
There are a ton of people to thank... including Renea's mom who works at the center and for that we were able to use the building free! So thank you very much!
My mom... baked cookies, helped set up, stayed, completely tore it down while I visited. She truly worked her butt off for us and I'm so thankful for her help and support. Thanks mom, I love you.
My Aunt Ake drove over 4 hours to be there to support us and she was helping set things up as well! It was such a wonderful surprise to see her and have her help. She is always sending us encouraging emails and supporting us! Thanks Aunt Ake! Love ya!
And Cindy - thank you so much. Just your presence was wonderful. I didn't have time to visit with you much, but you helped more than you know. Thank you for keeping an eye out on Jia and for coming and showing your support. I'm so glad about the information you got and can't wait to see what God holds for your future!
To everyone who showed up and worked, the ladies from DFS, Judy, Diane, our familes... thank you so much for living with the craziness that has become our lives in the last couple of months!
Renea's beautiful daughter, Taylor, and Jia, playing the organ. Jia just loved her and according to Renea, the feeling ran both ways!
Princess Jia. Her brother got her crown from halloween out of the van and she wore it all day! She really is somethin'!
Possibly the best part of the day was meeting my friend Beth, her husband Ron and daughter Lucey. Beth and I have been 'blogger buddies' for a while now and they've recently moved closer to us. After a few failed attempts to get together, Beth, Ron and Lucey decided to make the 2 hour trip to see us Sunday!
We had such a great time meeting you and seeing the girls together!
I see a long friendship ahead of us!
We got so excited visiting with Lucey and family that we forgot all about the Steven Curtis Chapman telecast. Kasey and Krista stopped by to check it out and then we didn't even do it. That is my one regret from Sunday. I felt so bad we forgot all about that part. So sorry guys.
Renea, Melinda and I really worked our tails off trying to get local churches involved in National Adoption Month and Orphan Sunday. We presented to the Ministerial Alliance, we sent letters to pastors asking them to speak on orphan care, we advertised, we did open line...Renea went to several churches in our community personally and shared with them. The responses went from one pastor visiting with her at length and preaching about accountability on Orphan Sunday to completely ignoring her as they walked to their car for lunch.
I really wanted to rant and rave about the response from the local pastors... I REALLY wanted to. I wanted to go on about how the church is more worried about itself than others, but I won't. I wanted to go on about how churches seem to think they need bigger and better churches and activity centers than the church down the street, but I won't. This day wasn't about them, or us. It was about the orphan. And the orphans are close to God's heart and He will take care of them.
We can't all share the same vision, God hasn't given us all the same gifts. And I'm sure there are people out there with a passion for something that I just 'dont' get'.
I ran across this verse and shared it with Renea in her time of discouragement and I'll share it here... this will be my rant and rave, then I'm done!
Don’t excuse yourself by saying, “Look, we didn’t know.”
For God understands all hearts, and he sees you.
He who guards your soul knows you knew.
He will repay all people as their actions deserve.