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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Summit VI

Will you be there? I will for a brief 24 hours, but I can't wait. Come see me at the 147 million orphans booth! :)

Invitation to Summit VI from Christian Alliance for Orphans on Vimeo.

With Haiti’s earthquake drawing global focus to the plight of orphans, Christians from across America and beyond will gather in Minneapolis, MN, for the Christian Alliance for Orphans’ Summit VI on April 29-30, 2010. The objective: to inspire and equip Christians to “care for orphans in their distress” through adoption, foster care and global orphan care ministry rooted in the local church.

What you can look forward to:

· Featured speakers will include national champions of orphan care and adoption, including John Piper, Mary Beth Chapman, Tom Davis, Doug Sauder, Stephanie Fast, Jedd Medefind, and Al Mohler. Compelling voices from the global church will join as well, from Africa to Central America.
· Music will be led by Steven Curtis Chapman, Peder Eide, Desperation Band and other artists.
· More than 50 workshops delivering nuts-and-bolts for adoption, foster care and global orphan programs – designed for both laypersons and leadership
Orphan care resources for church ministries, as well as personal orphan care and adoption journeys
Breakouts will also include 5 “Hague Hour” Credits for Adoptive Families.
Q&A sessions and networking opportunities with respected adoption, global orphan and foster care organizations and veteran ministry leaders.
For Christians stirred by the plight of orphans, Summit offers the biggest and best opportunity of the year to learn how to act upon conviction. To learn more and register now, visit the Summit website here.

A taste of breakout topics:

· Haiti and the Local Church: What’s Next?
· Bridging the Great Divide: Building Positive Relationships Between Church Ministries and Government
· Understanding Childhood Development of Overseas Orphans
· A Lifelong Love: Keeping the Gospel at the Center of Orphan Ministry
· Church-Based Orphan Ministry 101
· Fundraising for Orphan Ministry
· Starting in the Right Direction: Helping Pre-Adoptive Couples Make Sound Decisions
· Now What? Helping Children Age Out of Foster Care
· The Financial Challenge of Adoption and How the Local Church Can Respond

· Engaging Church Leadership

· A Child’s Journey Through the Foster Care System

· How Does It Work? Models of Global Orphan Ministry Based in US Churches

· Practical Ideas of Orphan-Focused Events

· Understanding HIV/AIDS and the Orphan

· And many more…

And there’s more! Five sessions will provide pre-adoptive families with needed Hague credits.

· Adoption and Orphans: Becoming a Multicultural/Multiracial Family

· Adoption and Orphans: Attachment and Trauma (Part I and II)

· Adoption and Orphans: Grief and Loss

· Adoption and Orphans: Acclimating to a New Family Member

“American Christians are stirring to the needs of orphans both at home and abroad as never before. What’s thrilling is that even small ministries in local churches can make such significant impact. There are millions of parentless children worldwide, but a single statistic matters more than any other: it only takes one caring adult to make a lifelong difference in the life of an orphan.”
- Jedd Medefind, President, Christian Alliance for Orphans
Friday, March 26, 2010

be a whistleblower for peace

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,

for the rights of all who are destitute.

Speak up and judge fairly;

defend the rights of the poor and needy.” Proverbs 31:8-9

Praying that the Lord would break your heart for the things that break His can be an often overwhelming thing!

I am thankful to have had the veil lifted from my eyes, yet those eyes are now often filled with tears, tears for the poor, the least of these, the orphans, those living in complete oppression. Gwen sent me the falling whistles story last night and it wrecked me! All I could think about the whole time were my precious Hill and Wick. At 12 and 13, would most likely have been whistleblowers, put on the frontline. Can't wrap my brain around it honestly, but can help bring awareness to the plight of these boys in the Congo.

Please take the time to watch the story on the link below.Then purchase a whistle!

Falling Whistles Story

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

pretty sure we would be buddies

A friend from church sent me this today and I was so blessed. I long so much for Ethiopia that it filled a void for a moment! Click here to pre-order her CD, comes out in April. I can't wait for it to get here.

Isn't she a doll?....with an incredible voice, from Ethiopia......yes, we would be great friends.
Monday, March 22, 2010

world water day 2010

Today is World Water Day. It is estimated that over 1.1 billion people rely on unsafe drinking water to survive. That means--ONE IN EIGHT PEOPLE ON THE PLANET DON'T HAVE ACCESS TO SAFE, CLEAN DRINKING WATER. Unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation cause 80% of all sickness and disease, and kill more people every year than all forms of violence, including war. Many people in the developing world, usually women and children, walk more than three hours every day to fetch water that is likely to make them sick. Those hours are crucial, preventing many from working or attending school. Additionally, collecting water puts them at greater risk of sexual harassment and assault. Children are especially vulnerable to the consequences of unsafe water. Of the 42,000 deaths that occur every week from unsafe water and a lack of basic sanitation, 90% are children under 5 years old. That is just not right! (charity:water)
Watch the video below to see what charity:water is doing in Haiti to help remedy the problem there.

You can also purchase a shirt from Overlooked

Front says....

Maji Ni Uzima (water is life)

Back says....

Over 6,000 people die every day from drinking unsafe water. The purchase of this shirt will provide someone with clean water for 5 years.

You will receive a FREE water bottle with the purchase of a shirt!

Be thankful today as you wash your hands, get a cold glass of water from the faucet, shower, cook, etc. that this is a problem that most of us simply can't relate to on a daily basis.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010

going back!!!

I'm so excited!! I just booked a flight to Ethiopia for a trip in June. I can't wait to be there again with the people that have captured my heart. I am going with two incredible women- Julie and Kristin. The trip has been so ordained and I really can't wait to see all that He has for us! It is basically a vision trip. We will spend much of the time with some amazing folks from A Glimmer of Hope. Take the time to watch the following video. They are doing some incredible things in Ethiopia to change the lives of those currently living in extreme poverty.

A Glimmer of Hope - LTBH Feature Film - Austin 2009 from A Glimmer of Hope on Vimeo.

Moody is simply the best hubby EVER- encouraging me to go, knowing that it will require him to care for the 6 kiddos at home, and one that doesn't sleep!! I am so blessed to have him as my best friend and helper in life! I will be asking for specific prayer requests closer to the trip and possible help for him as well, though he is fully capable!!! :)

We will spend most of our time down in the southern region of Ethiopia and I am thrilled as Eyasu and Abe are from the South! I just have a feeling that my life will be wrecked for the better as I experience so much of what breaks His heart. It is definitely a leap of faith to leave the kids, leave my man and go, but I just know that He is asking me to and so that gives me peace.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Our baby is 2!

It is so hard to believe that our baby is 2. How did that happen? It seems like yesterday that he was placed in my arms for the first time. I have been so emotional. Hill was joking around with Abe saying, "how did you get so cute??" and I quickly chirped, "well he gets it from his mama of course"..........enter the floodgates that don't seem to want to quit.
The beautiful woman above is Abey's birthmother. She is young and she LOVES her baby boy. She found herself in an impossible situation and did the most selfless thing imaginable, she placed him up for adoption. She had no idea that he had such a significant brain injury.

I can't quit thinking about her today and the emotions that she must be feeling. Does she see Abenezer in every toddler that she sees? Can she feel in the depth of her being how much this child is loved? That his face lights up when any of his 5 siblings walk into the room? That his 13 and 12 year old brothers talk in funny voices to him (in front of friends even) and have about 20 different nicknames for him? That his 10 year old sister ADORES him and is one of only 3 that he will take a bottle from? That his 8 year old sister thinks he is "the funniest little thing in the world"? That he thinks Eyasu is the funniest person in the world? That he loves his daddy walking in the door from work? That he is thriving in his daily therapy sessions, getting so much stronger in his head and trunk? That he is happy and healthy? That he has so many people praying for him? That he has the best laugh on the planet? That he loves Elmo?....................... I pray so.

Abe is such a blessing to us and we simply can't imagine our lives without him. The honest truth though is that much of Abe is also hard. He can't sit, speak, entertain himself or sleep through the night, but God is so much bigger than any of that! We are often tired, but His mercies are new every morning. He has shown us so much more of Himself in this precious child than we could ever imagine.

We feel humbled that we were chosen to parent him, to love him, to be taught by him......yes, you can be taught much from a delightful little guy that doesn't utter a single word. His smile says it all. You see Jesus in him, and that is a gift.

Happy Birthday Abey! We love you so much baby boy.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010

empowering women through design

Please take a moment to watch this amazing video below. I went to college with Kirsten and I love what Raven+Lily are doing to empower women around the world. I immediately recognized the beautiful women from Ethiopia and can't wait to purchase some of the beautiful items they are making! I get so excited when people use their God-given gifts and talents to make a difference in the lives of those suffering from extreme poverty.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

we have some winners!

We have some winners!!! Abe worked SO hard to draw names today, got tired and Eyasu came in and replaced him. Sweet those Ethiopian boys.

Congrats to the following winners:

1. Kristy - She is the beautiful mama to 9 blessings, 5 from Ethiopia.

2. Cheryl- A local friend that has been waiting with much grace for her Uganda blessings.

3. Amy Jo- Blogging friend that recently returned home with a precious boy from Ethiopia. She is missing everything she discovered there and I know her pain!

4. Our Family- Waiting for news for their Ethiopian adoption to start moving again as it has been on hold awhile. Longing to go get their daughter! Hope this helps a tiny bit. :)

5. Jen- Mom to one of Eyasu's bff's from Gladney! Don't even try to blame Abe for cheating!:)

6. Kristin- Precious family. Mama to 4 (two waiting for her in Ethiopia). They travel soon!! :)

7. Annie- Mama to 3 kiddos and now owns a necklace like her mama! :) Has a positive, encouraging blog, redcedar.

8. Sara B- I'm pretty sure she is fabulous! Didn't have a way to prove it without a blog, but trust me, I have good instincts!

To all the lucky winners--- email me a teamalexander at mac . com your address and I will get the necklaces in the mail asap. I would love to say tomorrow, but I might be lying. Things have a tendency to roll around in my car awhile before actually making it to the post office. Full disclosure here! I will make it a priority though, promise.

To those that didn't--- I feel your pain, I NEVER win anything! I won a book from Kari once and I promise that was like winning the lottery! This was fun though, so I will do it again soon. :)
Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Rejoicing this morning!! More to GIVEAWAY!!

My dear sister, Gwen, called early this morning with the news that she is headed to Uganda. She finally got a court date. She has waited with grace to get the news to FINALLY go and meet her precious Joseph and Daisy. She works tirelessly for the 147 million orphans of the world and she encourages my spirit daily.

In her euphoria- she has graciously donated 5 more Uganda bead necklaces for me to giveaway. Make sure you have left a comment in the previous post to win one of these beautiful creations! Support 147 million and their efforts to advocate and educate!!!
Monday, March 1, 2010

book review and a GIVEAWAY!!!

"Will the world change our children...or will our children change the world? Time is short and lives are at stake. Right now, God is inviting our families to become part of a bigger story—a vision that will engage hearts to make a radical difference. One Million Arrows is an inspirational call to raise our kids to impact their culture, community, and world for Christ. If we want our kids to discover their purpose, if we want them to live with passion for the Kingdom, if we want our family to go down in His-Story, accept the mission...and leave a mark for eternity."

If the above quote gets your attention, I highly recommend reading "One Million Arrows".The following is a book review to give you a taste of what you will discover in the book. Reading the book further inspired and motivated me to keep training my God-given arrows to view the world through the lens of Scripture, and allow the very things that break the heart of the Lord to break their hearts..........not stopping with a broken heart, but moving to action to make a difference in the lives of the some 147 million orphans in the world.

There is a movement afoot within conservative Christian denominations regarding discipleship of children for kingdom purposes. Julie Ferwerda has added yet another call to discipling your children with one caveat–she is taking it global.


The book is divided into three parts: Gather, Sharpen, and Launch. Recognizing that the time is short, and the need great, Julie exhorts all parents to disciple their children to impact the world instead of the world impacting their children. In her part on gathering, she lays out a plan for the parents to chart their own course with their families and to hop on board the one million arrows campaign and challenges each family to own the mission of discipling their children.

Part two guides the parents in gathering the arrows (children) to sharpen them. She helps the reader to understand how to shape your arrows in your home and beyond. In so doing, you will ultimately be able to send your arrows off into the world to impact the kingdom of God.

The final part of the book is how to launch your arrows. This can be a difficult process for all parents while also being perhaps one of the most rewarding times in a parent’s life.

Throughout the book, you get to know Papa–Dr. M.A. Thomas. He was the inspiration behind the book and the movement, One Million Arrows. She shares about Papa that

God gave him the vision of gathering one million orphaned and abandoned children, sharpening them as “arrows for God,” and launching them to start one million churches in the these communities of India who had never heard the name of Jesus. He has been faithfully working toward the vision since, and today he has launched 16,000 orphan arrows as ambassors of Christ into India, and planted 21,000 churches."

In support and celebration of this book release, I will be giving away 3 beautiful Uganda bead necklaces! Just leave a comment to enter and I will draw later this week. Isn't winning stuff fun????

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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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