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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

meet some of the team

I am going to attempt to introduce you to some of the team members joining us on this journey.  There are so many amazing stories of the Lord promting each of them to say "yes" and GO!
Cunningham family- Sweet Callie is the little sister that I never had.  She is an orphan advocate, loves all things Africa and a mere Sophmore in college!  She loves our family well and we miss her terribly when she is at school. I can't wait to see what the Lord has for her as her heart is SO BIG for the very things of Him. She may have been the first person to commit to GO.  Her father, David, is a dentist.  He wasn't as sure about making this trip as she was for him. :)  Love her tenacity.  Her dear mom, Pam (now a dear friend) was also wanting to go.  They prayed and dear dad came around!  He is hilarious and will be a huge asset on the trip.  Dentally and comedic relief. Sad  that Christian (brother) isn't making the trek too.

Turner fam (4 of the 6)- Now here is where the tears may start to flow for me as I am still so humbled the Lord called them to go! I will try not to write a novella.  The Turners were some of our first friends in Arlington.  Our children are all around the same age and have been each others best buds since birth.  Our families have done life together for over 13 years and they have been so supportive our adoptions, etc.

Abbi, Eyasu and Ave

Abbi has wanted to go to Africa since we first traveled to get Abe.  She told her parents that she would want this for as many birthdays and Christmases as they wanted, she just wanted to GO. She is 11.  Do you not just love the generation that He is raising up to advocate for those needing justice? They prayed. The Lord gave them peace, they bought tickets for Mark, Lori and Abbi.
Wick, Brady (his mom is going), Blake (intro below), Jack and Hill

Jack has suffered SEVERE food and other allergies most of his life.  It just didn't seem wise for them to take him with his current weakened immune system.  My boys SO wanted him to go and we all prayed.  The Lord gave them peace again to purchase Jack a ticket and he was a last minute addition.  KJ and Ashlyn will stay home, but I trust our entire families will be together there one day. :) Maybe the Kelleys too??
Starr (mom going), Issy, Abbi, Ashlyn and Kati Jo

Our hearts are just so full to be able to experience Ethiopia together.  One of the other great joys has been to witness how the Lord is using each persons unique gifts and abilities to maximize this trip.  Mark is kinda like McGyver.  Serious.  We were having some issues with how to sterilize the dental instruments.....not a problem for Mr. Turner.  He has pulled together some contraption that utilizes a crock pot to become a professional grade sterilizer!  So amazing.  Turners, we simply count it one amazing gift that you will see first hand where our hearts have been for over 2 years.

Susan Orlie- Susan and I grew up together.  Products of HP. We reconnected over Mijos soon after she and Michael moved to Arlington.  Susan and I could talk about the good ole days and Moody and Michael talked about being from Arlington and dragging these girls away from Big D to Atown. :)  They have been dear friends and walked through all of our adoption process and dark days post Abe's diagnosis.  Susan is super creative and the Lord will use those gifts in Ethiopia for sure.  Michael, thank you for carrying the load while your wife joins us this time!  We look forward to you being on the next trip. :)  Susan is also one of Abey's "people"!  It is a short list and he has excellent taste.

Rainey with Gibson and Gabby

Rainey Webb- We first met at Kanakuk, she married one of my very first friends at Baylor, moved to Arlington and we bonded over Africa and adoption.  Rainey and Chris are just two of my favorite people.  She spent a summer in South Africa and jokes that she kinda feels like she is cheating by heading so far North East, but she is excited about this trip.  My dear friend has a heart of gold and I can't even wait to see all that He has for her on this trip!  Thank you Chris for carrying the load (and 2 dear grandmoms) and letting her go with us.  It just wouldn't have felt right for her NOT to go!  Seeing Abe's birthmom again on Saturday in Ethiopia just wouldn't be complete without her there.......
(aren't they cute???)

Arlington Family- The Arlington's are neighbors and dear friends.  They have a son Blake that is Hill's age.  Donna is one of my heros as she stepped in when our world was crumbling and said she would be one of "Abe's people" ........ and she IS!! He adores her.  She would come down daily (even if only for a few minutes) to hold Abe, knowing he was particular about who could hold him and also knowing this mama needed a break!  She held him through many baseball games and that is exactly where the Lord confirmed for their family that this was a trip they should take!  All 3 Arlington's are going and we are so thrilled.  Donna has coordinated ALL of the humanitarian aid and it has been no easy task.  She has done it with grace and we are so grateful.  The Lord is clearly using the unique gifts of this family to enhance many aspects of this trip. Mistletoe Court may never be the same. :)

Porter's- Craig and Jamey are faithful friends, prayerfully future neighbors and fellow adoptive parents from Ethiopia (they have the most beautiful baby girl waiting for them in ET).  We home school together and Jamey has allowed me to cry on her shoulder more times than I can count.  Another one of Abe's "people" as she graciously walked the road with us as life got messy and I needed support!  She also was so supportive as Eyasu's adoption took longer than we planned as the courts closed and we didn't pass.  They are stepping out in faith, joining this journey (more in the next intro) and trusting the Lord to reveal their future in Ethiopia.  Praying for BIG things in regards to their adoption. Craig has helped tremendously with the finances of this trip and we are so grateful for his gifts in that department. :) They are leaving behind 4 amazing kiddos and I know that is a huge sacrifice.

Pantego Bible Crew-  David Daniels, the head pastor of PBC, and Moody had lunch awhile back to discuss the trip.  Their hearts for Africa were growing as the Lord was already doing some pretty amazing things there!  The Lord completely confirmed in their hearts the desire to go as the dates perfectly coincided with our trip and another opportunity.  They will join us for most of the trip, then head down south a bit to see what World Orphans is doing in Ethiopia.  We are so excited to see what the Lord has for PBC and Ethiopia.  David and Tiffany, George and Laurel, Holly, Angela and Todd, Craig and Jamey- know we are blessed that we will be serving together.  PBC printed amazing prayer cards for our team and we are so thankful for them- what a great tool to gather a large prayer team as we go!!

Pacific Dental Crew- our dear friends, Pam and Steve Thorne,  own Pacific Dental Services.  We met them early on in the adoption process.  They have 7 kiddos, 2 adopted from Ethiopia.  Steve told his dentists about the trip and 9 jumped on board. They live in California, Colorado,  Pacific has been very KEY in helping coordinate the dental supplies, etc. Kyle, thank you for all of your hard work.  Steve and Pam, thank you for your hearts to serve the Kingdom.  Thank you too for entrusting us with your very precious, Savannah!  We are so excited that she is going with us and know that we will take good care of her. :)

(Savannah and Avery)

Kimmie Jo and Wendy-  Oh my word these two.  What a blast they will be!  Kimmie Jo has an adopted son from Nigeria and a HUGE heart for Africa, as does Wendy. They have graciously stepped up to coordinate all of our lunches while in the field on dental days and we are very grateful.  I fully anticipate hair nets from these two as they are FUN!!  Wendy is on staff and Kimmie Jo is the wife of an elder at our church, Connect.  Thank you Brad and Greg for keeping up with kiddos and allowing them to go.

Isn't God so good?? Just blows me away at the team He raised up to GO.

More intros next post!


Henley on the Horn said...

What sweet introductions! We're praying!

Mike said...

Emily, I'm not a blog reader but every now and then Susan hands me the laptop and says you've gotta read this. I loved the introductions and just hearing how God brought all this together. You and Moody are such brave warriors for God's people...I can't say enough how grateful we are that we get to be on this journey with y'all!

Heather said...

I love it! So glad to see this new cast of characters! So fun! Will be praying for you all!

Erica said...

AMAZING to see what God is doing! Sister I'll be a praying and a texting while you're gone! Love you and your crew. Awesome intro - we are covering you all in prayer!

Kyle said...


We're honored to be able to participate in this trip and we're all so excited to meet the whole Texas crew.

Birdie Pearl said...

Emily, I will be lifting all of you up in prayer and I cannot wait to see what HE has in store for all of you.

Julie said...

Mark is looking forward to taking David and the Pantego group to see the World Orphans projects. Praying that your trip sees many fruits!

missy said...

i wanna know them. how exciting!

Christy. said...

It sounds like you are going to have an amazing time serving those in Ethiopia and what a joy it must be to watch God orchestrate this trip!!! I can't wait to hear more...

Callie said...

I miss you ALL terribly when I'm at school too! Did I tell you I signed a lease on a house for next year? Already trying to figure out how I'm going to get you to come see it :)

Maybe the Lord is calling you to move to CS? Somehow I'm not seeing Moody going for that one!

The Porter Family said...

Who would of thought this is where we would be ... what a crazy journey!! We are SO excited for all that God has planned for this trip. I can't believe we are going to ET together!! Love y'all -- thanks for all the listening and hand holding you have done. Just warning you there might me more still to come!

Jennifer said...

WOW! What an incredible journey you are all on together! Congratulations to you. Sending prayers from Utah.:-)

Shanna said...

Love it Em! Thank you for taking the time to do this!!

Cindy said...


Candy said...

So great seeing the "sent ones" God has called to join you in Smile Ethiopia. What an amazing King we serve.

Love the personal profiles on all, Em. Only wish Nanny & Bunty were on the team.
We'll be prayer support.

Love you!


Kristi J said...

wow...i'm blown away by that team..amazing!!! kj

Missy @ It's Almost Naptime said...

Y'all are going to have so much FUN!! You are blessed with so many great friends, Emily!

da momma said...

i wanna go
maybe next trip!
will be praying for all of you

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"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 becoming polluted by the world." James 1:27
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