For the fatherless

Almost 10 years ago, we were eating out with some family friends when they told us they were going to adopt. It’s one of my strangely crystal clear memories. I remember my initial reaction and how surprised I was. Let’s be honest: I thought they were a little crazy. At the time, I didn’t understand why they would want to adopt, but in that moment God began to reveal His heart for adoption to me.

I’m blown away by how God has worked in my life since then. I now have 2 beautiful sisters from China and have worked in orphanages in Mexico and China. God has made it painfully obvious that I have a passion for orphan care.

Since November is adoption awareness month, I’ve been reflecting on all God has taught me about orphan care and adoption (including my adoption into His family!) and thinking about what the next step is for me. When I went to China this summer to work in Maria’s Big House of Hope, I expected God to make it clear what my specific role is in orphan care. When that didn’t happen, it was hard to come back and focus on classes and work.

I have a heart for orphan care, but over the past 4 years I’ve also discovered a love for speech pathology. I didn’t understand how I could reconcile these 2 passions! Then this semester God has shown me that these things can go hand in hand. I’ve found myself applying what I’m learning in class to some of the kids I met in China.

It’s like God has this all planned out or something. 🙂

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Of course I still don’t know exactly what He has planned for my future (I’m hoping getting into grad school is part of it!), but I’m excited as I continue on this journey. I’m so thankful that God gives us certain passions and desires for a reason. He interweaves different aspects of our lives together in such a beautiful way!

All that to say, I’m excited to see how God works in peoples hearts this month as He calls people to care for orphans, whether that’s through prayer, financial support, missions trips, foster care, or adoption. Please join me in praying for orphans around the world and considering our role in caring for the fatherless. Also, I’d like to challenge you to take some time out of your busy schedules to read one book about adoption or orphan care. I did this last year (because reading is another one of my passions!), and it’s a great way to learn more about these children’s needs. For book suggestions, click here. Or if you’ve read a good book on this topic, I’d love to hear about it!

It can be overwhelming to hear statistics, like how there are an estimated 153 million orphans around the world, but there are also statistics that say if every Christian family cared for one orphan, there wouldn’t be any more orphans. For me, getting involved and putting faces to the numbers changed my perspective. We can’t change this broken world, but through God’s power we can change the world of a child.

What a blessing to share in God’s love for the fatherless!

john1418_blog2image from showhope.org

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Holler If You Hear Me

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“But as I was coming to discover, that’s part of what teaching is about: the willingness to explore with kids, to reach with them, to follow a dimly lit path together, often unaware of the dazzling surprises that may wait around the bend.” ~Gregory Michie

In my multicultural class, we read “Holler If You Hear Me” by Gregory Michie this past month. The first week, we were assigned the first 100 pages, and I sarcastically thought, “Oh boy this will be fun.” How wrong I was! I ended up reading the 100 pages in two days and thoroughly enjoying them!

In this book, Michie describes his journey as a teacher. Although he didn’t major in education, Michie found himself teaching African American and Hispanic students in Chicago. I appreciated Michie’s honestly as he told of his victories and failures in the classroom.

Each chapter focuses on a different student or group of students. At the end of each chapter, Michie includes an interview with a student, offering the reader a chance to see things from the student’s perspective. Throughout the book, Michie addresses topics such as discipline, cultural differences, gangs, and racism. Michie encourages teachers to have a positive attitude towards all students and to help students build on their strengths. I would highly recommend this book to anyone working with kids because I think that, along with Michie, we can learn from the stories of these amazing children.

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Adoption Awareness Month

Image from www.versifylife.com/psalm-68-5

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” ~James 1:27

Since November is National Adoption Awareness Month, I have decided to read a book this month about adoption/orphans. I would love it if others joined me in this challenge! I’m excited to see how God works this month!

I’d like to make a list of books about adoption, so if you’ve read/are reading a great book about adoption, let me know! I read “Silent Tears” by Kay Bratt several years ago, so now I’m looking forward to reading more adoption books!

Even if you don’t read a book about adoption this month, please take time to pray for orphans and adopting families!

I’ve started a page with a list of adoption books if you’re interested: Books about Adoption/Orphans

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Children’s Lit

“No book is really worth reading at the age of ten which is not equally–and often far more–worth reading at the age of fifty and beyond.” ~C. S. Lewis

One thing I’ve loved about this summer is having the time to read not only thick, long books, but also a few children’s books. Like Lewis said, if a children’s book is good, anyone should be able to enjoy it! Here’s a little about the children’s lit I’ve read so far this summer:

Leepike Ridge by N. D. Wilson

I just finished reading this book the other day, and really enjoyed it! I read an interview with the author and decided to give one of his books a try. The author has a great sense of humor (I highly recommend reading his biography on his website–very entertaining!) which made this book fun to read! On top of that, this book is filled with suspense, treasure, mystery, and colorful characters! The story is about the adventures of a young boy who finds himself swept into a maze of caves inside a mountain. I think anyone 9 and up would enjoy this book! I can’t wait to read more books by this author.

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The Reb and the Redcoats by Constance Savery

Several years ago I loved reading this author’s book Enemy Brothers, so I decided to also give this book a try! This historical fiction book (recommended for 10+) is set during the Revolutionary War in England. In this story, four children are fascinated with a young American soldier being kept as a prisoner of war in their uncle’s house. Despite their uncle’s strict rules and strong dislike for the American soldier, the children attempt to befriend “the Reb.”

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Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

Have you ever wished the characters in books were real? In this book, Meggie and her father come face to face with the characters from a book–and it’s not as wonderful as they imagined it would be. When Meggie and her father read aloud, stories literally come to life! They have to find a way to send the characters back into the book before their own stories have a tragic ending. I decided to read this book after seeing the movie. I really enjoyed this creative fantasy! I also read the sequel (Inkspell), which wasn’t quite as good but still enjoyable. Although I started the final book in the trilogy (Inkdeath), I didn’t finish it. The books become darker and overrun with villains while the protagonists become increasingly filled with hatred and ill will for their enemies. I just decided there were other books I’d rather spend my time reading! Even though it’s written for children, I would recommend these books for teenagers or adults.

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