Thursday, April 14, 2011


UPDATE:  after today's mail run and a precious friend's delivery to our house tonight, YOU have given $890 to the women and children of sadamo genet.  (and if you do the god-math, that equals $3,560!!!)  but don't stop now - if we can give that much in four days, imagine what the lord can lead us to do by the time good friday comes!!

i've never claimed to be a genius.  in fact, since josh and i began the blessed journey of parenthood, i would come closer to saying that i've engaged in a bit of a "brains for babies" trade-off.  the old noggin isn't quite as sharp as it probably once was (as evidenced by the fact that yesterday i walked upstairs with the sole intent of retrieving the dirty clothes baskets and came down empty-handed.  three times). 

but i can do simple math.

even my 1st grader's got this one down.  as she sits at our kitchen table completing her math lesson each day, she can whip out some addition and "equals/does not equal" facts.  take this one, for example:
$1,000 = $1,000, right? 

not so in god-math.

if you've been us following for a while, you know that this journey started out more than two years ago when the lord called us to adopt a baby from ethiopia.  in july 2010 we fell in love with the son we had waited so long to have.  the next month we clung desperately to one another here while he was being buried in an unmarked grave there.  we had thought we were naming judah for life here on earth; but in actuality, his name - "to praise" - held far more more meaning for our lives here on earth and his eternal life with christ.  by god's spirit our hearts and eyes were opened wide to the many needs of ethiopia and her people, and days after judah's death, the lord graciously began a work that i wrote about in this post.  here's an excerpt:

on friday when we got the phone call that judah had died that morning, the forceful weight of grief came crushing down on us.  and i didn't just do the weeping thing.  i did the lay-on-the-floor-in-a-fetal-position-sobbing-so-hard-that-i-could-barely-breathe thing.

it wasn't pretty.

but i just couldn't escape that still, quiet voice that kept reminding me of the very purpose for which we had named our precious baby.  judah -
"to praise".  i suppose it's one of the mysteries of the LORD, but josh and i felt that judah's death could wreck our hearts while simultaneously provide us with a beautiful opportunity to praise GOD for his goodness, mercy, and love.  through the pain, we clung desperately to isaiah 55:8-11: 

"for my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD.  "as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.  as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: it will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what i desire and achieve the purpose for which i sent it."

we knew that GOD had a larger purpose in what was happening -- we just didn't know what it was, and we surely didn't know how to get there.  so we prayed...

we prayed for the LORD to extend judah's influence far beyond the six weeks he lived on earth.  we asked him to give us clear direction on how we should move ahead.  but most importantly, we prayed that through his grace, we could affect significant change in judah's name -- for GOD's glory. 

our prayer became this: "please multiply the reach and the effect of this story."

we had soon partnered with compassion international to support - in judah's name - a child survival program in the small village of sadamo genet, ethiopia.  it was our utter delight and joy to meet the mothers and babies there in february of this year and listen as they shared with us stories of hope, healing, and provision.  but even greater than that, the women served there heard the gospel for the first time through the work of compassion and its supporters, and sixteen of those precious mothers have surrendered their lives for god's glory.

fast-forward to this past week when i received an email from our case worker, patricia, letting us know that four babies had died due to a measles outbreak in the community that quietly found its way to the doorstep of the orphanage there.  in some ways it felt like i was going back to that day in august when patricia told me that judah had died.  so armed with god's leading - and a donor who was willing to match the first $1,000 that we could raise for the sadamo genet CSP - we set out on a mission.  $1,000 equals $2,000.

by the time tuesday morning rolled along, a second donor had offered to match the first $1,000 as well.  $1,000 equals $3,000.

today is thursday.  josh called me down to his office first thing this morning because he needed to tell me "something important".  as i rounded the corner i immediately searched his face for a hint of what was to come.  the glimmer in his eye gave away the fact that what he was about to say was good.  i just didn't know how good.

yes, the lord has stirred the heart of yet ANOTHER $1,000 matching donor!!!  now $1,000 equals $4,000.

when we commit our hearts and our resources to eternally impacting the lives of others, we're acting in obedience to the lord's commands in scripture.  he honors that obedience, he blesses that obedience, and clearly, he multiplies that obedience as well.

and that, my friends, is god-math.    

*the instructions below are copied from the original post.  i'm both marveling and giggling at the bolded phrase.*
IMPORTANT:  in order to be able to track all giving toward the $1,000, i need to receive the money here and send it in collectively to compassion.  please send your tax-deductible checks (payable to compassion international!!) to me, and i'm going to send them in to compassion on good friday (april 22), and i'm praying fervently that by the prompting of the holy spirit, i will have a minimum of $2,000 to deliver on that powerful day.  if you are uncomfortable mailing your check to me, please donate online HERE (but comment or email me with your giving amount so that i can add it to the needed $1,000).  

"but who am i, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this?  everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand."
1 chronicles 29:14

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