24 lives in 24 hours

How did you spend the last 24 hours? Did you go to work, drive through traffic, stop at Starbucks, eat some take out, play with your kids, take your wife on a date, call your Gramma, walk the dog, watch the news, read your bible, listen to music, rock a baby to sleep, pray, play on your iPhone, read a book, watch a movie, exercise or catch a little sleep?? Or maybe you went to school, skipped a class, shopped online, did some homework, fed the cat, rode a bike, stayed up late, fought with a friend/parent/spouse, spilled the milk, went on Facebook, read this blog, broke a nail & stubbed your toe… again!?

Whatever you did, was it important? Was it time well spent? Are you glad you did it? Did it make a difference?

24 hours seems like enough time to do a lot of things. Or not. You could be very effective or totally useless. You could be helpful, be a blessing to others… Or not.

Why does it matter? Well to me it makes a world of difference what I do with my time, because I happen to know what happens every 24 hours on an island far away where hope is lost & the people are forgotten. Someone is dying every hour, their time has run out. In the last 24 hours, 24 precious islanders have died. 24, every day. In the last 12 months, while we’ve been in the States, 9,500 have been laid to rest. Before we could get there, before we met them. Before they knew our story… His story… THEIR story…

What can we do with the next 24 hours? We could save a life or two… or 24.

24-left

One for every hour.

We need just 24 people to help us, so we can be WITH the 24 that die every 24 hours…

Please Contact us below & ask HOW you can help!  

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psalm 68

ransom paid – Miracles for annabelle {5k+1}

Where do I start? How can I share the biggest moment in our adoption journey, the moment when God reached down & told us “GO GET YOUR DAUGHTER!”… that moment when He promised to personally supply the funds to pay her ransom???

It starts with a simple prayer. A little boy’s wish for a sister. A father’s heart searching for confirmation. A mother’s aching for her child, so far far away… We had already seen our AnnaBelle’s pictures, her file & her medical assessments. We’d checked with the Dr’s, therapists, parents & individuals who all had specialized experience with her specific needs. We knew she was the daughter God had promised us! She fit every desire of our hearts!

All we needed was $3,150 to start the process! Ha, that was definitely not a small amount to a family of 5 living on support in a mega city like Hong Kong! But it’s pennies when compared to the riches of our Father’s Kingdom! We prayed/fasted & asked God how He wanted us to go get our daughter & what should we do about all the fees involved… His answer was “I will pay her ransom. I will rescue my child. You will pick her up for me!” So by faith we signed the papers & continued to ask God to provide the funds for the total adoption, specifically that first payment due in one week’s time, on a Thursday.

During that week, God reminded us of all the financial bondage He has brought us out of. A past bankruptcy due to overuse of credit in college, bad credit of course & a recent (although slow) turn around of our mortgage in the US that’s still upside down… He told us that He did not call us to adopt only to put us into debt again. That instead, He had prepared all the funds in advance & would provide the total amount needed through His people whom He had already spoken to about our daughter! We began to stand on that word… knowing that He provided the funding for our HUGE move to HK & that His ways are most definitely higher than our own… We KNEW He would come through & we asked Him to do it in such a way that there would be NO DOUBT, to anyone that heard, of His having done it without any interference from us! Only THEN would we know that we know that we know – that He was triple confirming that adopting AnnaBelle was the right path AND that He would provide for her ransom without us going into ANY debt/loans, etc.

We sent out a request for prayer, some of you got that in your email. Emails & texts started to come in – “We are believing with you!”, “How can we help?”, “We can give $300 today!”, etc. We quickly set up an online giving option with our bank & praised God for the quick response from friends! Then, the next Tuesday (2 days before the deadline), a co-worker (who wishes to remain anonymous) asked Mark to come & speak with him in his office. We had not spoken to this man about the adoption. Only about 5 people in HK knew anything about it yet. But this man asked Mark about it, he had heard from a mutual friend that we were adopting “completely by faith”. He was moved by our faith. He wanted to help. So he asked how much was the immediate need & Mark told him. He asked for Mark to bring him some details about the whole process & he promised to help…

On Wednesday, I happened to have a pre-scheduled work related mtg with this same co-worker. When our meeting was over he asked me again for the amount needed by the deadline (the next day). I told him the total needed was $3,150USD. He asked if I wanted it to be sent to my account in Hong Kong Dollars or US & if he sent that amount by that night would it be in time?! I was completely FLOORED!!! I almost could not keep from crying, and then he began to tell me his story of WHY he felt so compelled to give to us, why he had to help rescue AnnaBelle!

It turns out that the very day we had prayed/fasted & signed the final papers (by faith) to begin the adoption, this co-worker was in a Community Leadership class teaching about how God speaks to us through dreams. That same night he had a dream where God was telling him to give & the whole dream was about him giving things away. He told me he ignored the dream at first. The next wk at that same Leadership class, the teacher asked who had had a dream from God. But he didn’t think his was from God. Again, that night after class he had the same dream. When he woke, he KNEW it was from God. He asked God what he was supposed to give & to who. He asked God to confirm it. That day when he arrived to work, in the staff mtg, the Senior Leader was teaching about ‘good stewardship’, specifically with our ‘excess’ that is just ‘laying around’… Later in the day he spoke to our mutual friend who explained our need. He said he KNEW then that he had to act right away in obedience to God! The same day, he told Mark to come talk to him!!! Talk about obeying the Lord’s prompting! This man told us both he was blown away by our faith, but we were not only blown away, but completely blessed beyond words by HIS obedience & faith to follow God so quickly! This man of faith is a hero to our family… a hero of the faith is always an encouragement! Isn’t it just like our Father to be just in time for the things that He plans to accomplish!?!

On Thursday, the first payment deadline, God had provided a total of $5,000US for AnnaBelle, in just one week’s time!! Almost $2,000 extra!! As of today, God has provided over half of AnnaBelle’s ransom! Including travel costs that were donated just one week later (about $10,000 for all of us to travel to/in China for 2wks)!! What a confirmation! Father answered our very specific prayers – He told a man in a DREAM to give to our family exactly what we needed, then He moved others to give as well! This was an absolutely amazing miracle of God’s provision – completely confirming for us that not only are we following HIS PATH TO ANNABELLE… but that HE PROMISES TO PAY HER RANSOM!!!

We give glory & honor to God for the things He has already done in our lives & in Annabelle’s life! We are sharing this story to give God a moment to shine His love into your lives, by sharing how He’s been blessing ours! We learn to trust Him day by day & He holds our hand when we fall… this journey is not a short one, but we will endure to the end because the joy of finally holding our AnnaBelle in our arms, getting her safe & healthy, teaching her about this Father that has loved her since before she was born — will be soooo worth it! Our God is faithful! He WILL provide, He WILL do what He said He would do!! One day, AnnaBelle will be a prisoner no more, because her ransom will be paid, there will be ONE LESS orphan on that day!

We are trusting Him to complete that which HE ALONE has started! (Reminds me of the trusting lessons learned before leaving America almost 2 years ago…) Please pray with us that the rest of the fees can be paid ON SCHEDULE in the coming months! Please continue to pray with us & FOR ANNABELLE as she waits in her blessed Christian foster center! We are so very grateful for all of your prayers in this faith journey! We are so excited to see how God will bring HIS little girl home to our family!

We are in need of another $20,320USD before we can go to China to bring AnnaBelle home! We have TWO IMMEDIATE DEADLINES that we need prayer & provision for. 

June 15: $5,000 = Homestudy fee & travel for the social worker.

July 15: $4,550 = Agency fees & Dossier processing.

If you or someone you know has a desire to help us bring AnnaBelle home – please let us know TODAY! 

psalm 68

Babies at AnnaBelle’s SWI (orphanage) in China.

-JK

heroes worth knowing… Taylor Morris

There’s nothing more inspiring for a young boy than a hero who saves the day, nothing that captures a little girl’s heart quite the same as a knight in shinning armor. As a mom of three growing boys, I am always on the hunt for hero stories that will grab their attention & spur them on to discover the greatness already in their hearts. Greatness placed there by God, the ultimate hero. The same greatness these boys of mine witness in their Dad’s life and the lives of so many others around them. I wrote about looking to God & others for inspiration last January, you can read that & check out the heroes I highlighted then HERE: your excuse is Invalid

This week I stumbled upon the story of a true modern day hero, Taylor Morris. An American soldier, a warrior, a man refusing to allow his circumstances to keep him down. A man who knows where his hope lies and trusts that with God’s help, he will overcome! But he isn’t the only character in the story, Taylor’s surrounded by an entire team of heroes… His support warriors include family, loved ones, friends & now even strangers across the world that are praying for him, sending encouraging words & simply standing firmly beside him in his journey. Don’t we all need that? Isn’t that why God tells us that it is important to not give up fellowship with believers & to seek out Godly counsel in times of need?!

Taylor was deployed (to Afghanistan I think) with the Navy this last January 2012. (Only 1 month after my family arrived in Hong Kong) He came home early, in May 2012. He was severely wounded in action, resulting in the loss of a portion of ALL FOUR LIMBS. His story, his fight to recover, his ups & downs over the last month in the military hospital have already been an amazing struggle, triumph & above all, truly inspiring… Team Taylor has set up a great site where you can be encouraged by his life, learn how to pray for his recovery/healing & even give towards his expenses as the Lord leads you. In the “Journal” section, Taylor’s family/friends take turns contributing stories for all who want to follow Taylor’s journey. Rather than repost the entire saga, I’ll just let you click over to Taylor’s page below.

Taylor Morris – The Man. The Myth. The Legend.

Do you know my friend Taylor Morris? – a friend’s visit.