Monday, August 3, 2015

Summer Time Summer Time Summer Time

And just like that summer is coming to a close!  We had a great 10 weeks and here are a few photos to highlight our summer!
Ready to watch the USA men's soccer team

Great evening of soccer at Nissan Stadium

Cheering on the US men's team in true style


4th of July celebration with Brooklyn and Marilyn

Hours and hours of rain as we waited for fireworks

Marilyn and Tariku keeping it real

Teddy and Daddy just hanging

Trips to sonic after camp

Carnival day at camp!  

Two peas in a pod - every single day

Bobbi's Dairy Dip

Celebrating double digits

Entrepreneur in the making

Sleep overs and movies with friends


Cooking with daddy late at night

Preparing for parent night

Peach dumplings they made

Celebrating love and laughter that only summers bring

Another camp comes to an end

Friends forever

Time with their sweet Marilyn means another awesome summer

Monday, May 18, 2015

Meet The Gowin Family


Michael and Suzanne say they're just an ordinary family. They help out with homework, share family dinners, and try to keep their schedule straight. While this ordinary family started out with three children, God has been leading them on an adventure...
Through a study of Isaiah, God spoke to Suzanne through His Word, piercing her heart to "seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow." (Isaiah 1:16-17) This was the start of a four-year journey leading Suzanne and her husband, Michael, to Ethiopia 3 separate times to adopt 6 precious children.
How in the world could they afford this? 
Through the love, support, and generosity of their local orphan ministry, they received matching grants through Lifesong to help fundraise to meet the financial cost of each adoption. The dollar-for-dollar matching grants acted as a catalyst, encouraging others to give, while raising awareness of God's great love for orphaned children. As He had before, God graciously provided:

"Through each expensive overseas adoption, the renovation to our home, numerous medical issues to take care, and buying a 15 passenger van to fit us all, God has provided, without fail, and we have no debt from any of the adoptions." --Michael & Suzanne.
What a beautiful testimony of God's faithfulness to those who trust and obey His Word, showing that He, as only He can, can do extraordinary things in ordinary families.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

15-4 MM email

"Slowly [the boys] are beginning to realize they're getting the best...and to also give the best out of their lives."
--John & Mwila, houseparents at Zambia's Student Life Homes



Since January, three Student Life Homes in Zambia are providing a safe environment for 39 students in the freshman class. This move gives them a place where they can thrive in a healthy, family environment away from the temptations and negative influences found in the compound where they were raised. 

As expected, it's been a bit of an adjustment for the 11 boys in John & Mwila's home. Learning to function as a family with roles, rules, and certain expectations has taken some time to get used to for a group of boys who are accustomed to living on their own, answering only to themselves. 

As you heard in their testimony, John & Mwila have not only met hardships along the way, but have experienced great joy of slowly transformed lives of boys like Bernard. Rejoice in God's goodness and work in this home as Zambia's future leaders are being raised today...

Will you join us in praying for John, Mwila, and the 11 boys in their home? Pray for God's Spirit to be among them. Thank God for the growth they have seen in the past few months. Ask God to give John & Mwila wisdom and discernment to parent each of the boys for His glory.

Learn 

More

Thursday, March 19, 2015

New Hope Children's Home ~ Liberia

"We have a new family and a new home and we are now back in school!"

-Famatta, child from New Hope Children's Home 

New Hope Home Liberia


Ebola. The deadly virus that prowled West Africa last year, dominating the news and our newsfeeds. In Liberia alone, taking the lives of over 4,000, and leaving in it's wake sons and daughters to be orphaned and alone.

MM
Meet three of those children: Famatta (14), Olbed (13) and Delight (8), son and daughters of George and Oretha Kanwah, whose lives were taken by the Ebola virus.

In response to this catastrophe, Lifesong staff in Liberia have established New Hope Children's Home, a home to not only provide shelter for 10 children orphaned by the Ebola virus, but also to give caregiver jobs to Ebola survivors.

Fametta graciously shares the devastation they have saw and felt, and of the hope that is slowly shining through...

"My father got the virus when a lady in his church was sick and he took her to the hospital. While at the hospital, the lady died and my father was sprayed with antiseptic and sent home. The next day he started getting sick and when he got to work, they told him not to come back. They also put us out of the company house where we were staying. One week later, my father died in his car and the Ebola burial team came and carried him to be burned in the fire.   

Few days later, our mother got sick and she couldn't eat, but cried all day. She was taken to the Ebola treatment center. Later, the center called our aunt and said our mother has died. 

My siblings and I were put into quarantine at the treatment center for 21 days. We did not get the virus, so the health workers took us back to the community, hoping someone will take us in. No one was willing. We were given a little food supply and some protective Ebola materials.

We were left alone in the community. Everyone is afraid of us. We were not allowed to play with other children or go to other people's houses or buy food from others with money from our hands. I am the oldest, so I tried to watch over my brother and sister.

But now we are have been taken in by Lifesong's New Hope Children's Home. We have a new family and a new home and we are now back in school." 

Please join us in praying for Famatta, Olbed, Delight and the other grieving children in our new home. Pray God would heal and soften their hearts to His Gospel of hope and redemption!

Friday, March 6, 2015

They Don't Tell You About Pajama's ~

Growing up pajama's were nothing special.  Something you put on at night to go to bed, kept on longer for Saturday morning cartoons and stayed in when you were sick.  They had your favorite superhero or princess on them and really that was it - they were just your pajama's.

Fast forward 30 some years and I realize something no one ever tells you about pajama's.  Pajama's are safety and security.  They are knowledge that you are loved and taken care of.  They allow you to be if just for a minute a child with dreams.

You see in my last 5 years I have watched 2 boys who didn't understand pajama's - who from the moment they got up until the moment their heads hit their pillows were perfectly dressed with a bed tightly made.  They needed to be "ready" at all times and at all costs.

As I write this today we are in our 7th 8th or 9th snow day and at 3:27pm my boys are still in their pajama's - playing soccer in the living room while spongebob plays in the background.

I won't take pajama's for granted going forward - for they tell us alot about the world we are in.  At least for this mama they tell me that we are becoming a family more and more everyday.

So next time the kiddos ask to stay in those jammies just a bit longer - know that it is a sign of affection - a little peek into the trust they have in their hearts.

Here are a few of our favorite pajama moments from the last few snow days!





Thursday, January 22, 2015

Meet Roman ~

Roma. New smile_Chernigov
This past Christmas season was extra special for a young man in Ukraine. A 19-year-old young man named Roman.
Unfortunately, at a very young age, Roman lost both of his parents. He was sent to an orphanage and later met local Christians who minister to children and young adults within the orphanage walls and after they age out.
Roman is a very curious kid by nature. He has asked many questions about life, about people, and about God. Another characteristic about Roman anyone would quickly notice is that he would rarely smile, displaying a tight-lipped frown on a somewhat gloomy face. Knowing the hardships of life he had faced, it didn't come as too much of a surprise.
This past September, as he entered a tech school to become a builder, he was invited to attend a Bible Study at a Lifesong Transition Home. He gladly accepted and started to attend. Although, he wasn't quite as quick to accept the invitations that were offered to attend church.The Lifesong staff started to pray for his repentance, as they sensed he was seeking the Lord.
As the staff continued to get to know Roman better, they discovered that his lack of smile had a reason behind it. Roman didn't have any front teeth! Our staff connected him to a charitable dentist who helped Roman at a minimal charge to bring his smile back. And guess what? Roman decided it was time to start smiling again. Shortly after, right around Christmas, he began to walk in fellowship with God, believing in Jesus as his Savior! And now, as you can see in the picture above, he hasn't stopped smiling!
Thanks be to God for drawing this young man to Himself! Please pray for Roman as he starts his walk with Christ, that He would be filled with the Spirit and walk in His Truth!

Learn more about the lives changing in Ukraine at www.lifesongfororphans.org/countries/ukraine.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

ONE

Greetings ~
It's been a big week here in Nashville - my dear friends Gwen Oatsvall and Suzanne Mayernick released their book!!  I mean not only are they wives, mothers to 13 kiddos between the 2 of them, run a successful non profit they know can add authors to their story. How cool is that!!  Anyways a few weeks back I had the privilege to read this inspiring book. And today I want to share the book with you. So leave me a comment on why you want to read the book and tomorrow evening I will select a winner from all the comments!

Want to take a peek inside the book or learn more about what Gwen and Suzanne are doing? Simply click on the photo