Less Than 1 Week Away!–My Thoughts in the Days Before Hosting

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I can’t believe it, but the 202 kids who are coming to America for the New Horizons summer host program will be here in less than 1 week! Ukraine kids will be here in 3 days and Latvia in 5 days!  I’m thinking this would be a good time for me to share a few of my thoughts I had in the week before our hosting. 

I’m a big journaler, so you will get to see a lot of my honest thoughts from these days.  I’ve also included links from my “virtual” journals, Twitter & Facebook, to show my real-time thoughts… my emotions were all over the place!

  • 12 Days to Go – Things coming together
    So many things had to come together for our hosting to come together.  I was supposed to take a final the day after the kids arrived, so I had to desperately appeal to my professor to let me take the exam early, or else I said I would drop the class.  She was strict with her policy and said she would not make any exceptions… until we prayed!
    It’s incredible the way You have made things fall together for us to have Sasha!  I know you are in the middle of it all.
  • 9 Days to Go – Doubting & desperation
    The days leading up to hosting I was desperately broke.  The amount of money in my bank account was in the double digits.  It was a very scary time and I had some serious doubts.
    Please honor my faithfulness.  Please bring me through.  There is no way I could do this on my own… I know that’s when Your strength shines the greatest.
  • 5 Days to Go – Finalizing plans
    We didn’t get our finalized flight info until the week before the kids flew in.  It felt so late, but everything worked out just fine.
  • 4 Days to Go – Serious setbacks
    There were some very serious hurdles New Horizons faced up until the day before arrivals.  There were striking airlines and government issues not allowing the children to travel.  All we could do was pray!
    You said ask and You will receive whatever you need.  I ask that You make a way for all the kids to come this weekend.  You are able!
  • 3 Days to Go – Thankful
    I spent lots of time just thinking back to how much God had provided and made everything come together. 
    Thank You God. I don’t know what else to say except thank you!
  • 1 Day to Go – A big frustrating mess
    There’s not a much better way to describe it.  I had planned to make the 8 hr drive to Chicago the night before arrival.  But that plan was ruined by a horrible snow storm.  I made it about half way there, gave up, had to check into a hotel with money I did not have, and my dad’s flight to Chicago was canceled. I was incredibly disappointed and frustrated.
  • 0 Days to Go – Pure excitement!
    What an exciting day!  Things shaped up very quickly, the weather cleared, dad’s flight got rescheduled.  Before heading to the airport I got to have lunch with a couple other first-time host families at one of their homes, it was great just to get to know everyone.  Then we headed to the airport and finally got to meet our wonderful boy!

A perfect picture of the anticipation you feel... all the months of waiting & they're right there!

Hosting definitely puts you through the entire spectrum of emotions, but it is entirely worth it! 

Then he said to them, “Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For it is the one who is least among you all who is the greatest.”
Luke 9:48


More than Ideas–!deaCamp//Orphan

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I made a commitment, when I started this blog, to post every Saturday. And by golly, I intend to keep that commitment, even when I’m very much occupied right now at an awesome conference in Northwest Arkansas.  

The Idea Camp is a collaborative movement of idea-makers who facilitate hybrid conferences and develop resources for people who desire to move ideas towards implementation. Facilitated by a growing collective of innovative thinkers and practitioners from numerous disciplines, participants gather around topics of interest to encourage & inspire one another, share practical wisdom from the field, and develop viable networks for idea-making.

And this one was all about orphan care and it was incredible! It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hear the hearts and glimpse the visions of some of the most influential believers in the world of orphan care. 

I absolutely loved the way Mike Rusch captured the essence of the entire conference in the last session – rewritten on his blog.

Twitter became my diary to not only chronicle ideas that we shared, but the words God used to reaffirm the passion he has given me for loving orphans. 

  • "The need is the call"
  • "look for ways to give a platform to their voices rather than use their voices" -@jonathanolinger
  • Eastern europe workshop with Matt Mooney of @99balloonsorg http://twitpic.com/43p4o3
  • ·Our focus should be as much on orphan care as adoption (if not more). .018% of all orphans will be adopted. @cthomasdavis
  • "Man made orphanages for children, God made families for children." – @johnwcarr
  • "85% of the men in the prison system come from fatherless homes" -@caseyhenagan
  • "I wonder if i wasnt so selfish, how much richness I would have in my life" -Jason Locy
  • 42% of children who age out of foster system end up in the criminal justice system by the age of 24. The church MUST change this!
  • · RT @joshuasegraves: "The story of the Gospel begins in darkness" @joshbottomly // Powerful imagery.
  • 43 million orphans are found in the top 100 unreached people groups around the world – @JasonKovacs
  • "How does your work reveal Christ’s power over death in the life of the orphan?" – @mbrayster #ICOrphan
  • Church leaders: support the passion of your people, then you will have ministry #ICOrphan
  • 163 million orphans & 2000 million believers…http://twitpic.com/442×26
  • RT @theideacamp: Every three months a child is in an institution is one month lost for development of that child. @ericstowe of @AChildsRight
  • The children of #icorphan doing what 143million children can’t do, draw their family. http://instagr.am/p/B3uqz/
  • RT @slidingstairs: My fav part of #icorphan – hearing story after story of how God is using ordinary people to do what only He can.
  • I didn’t even leave the country (or my state for that matter), but I’m still having reverse culture shock right now.
  • …tomorrow when we wake, may we make a decision that#ICOrphan was not just inspiration but true change.

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