Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Bring your nothing, because He wants it all!

  Where has the time gone?  We celebrated two years just a few days ago and as we are packing on our last day, we look back to all of our experiences and feel blessed.  This summer we had to make a difficult decision, whether to renew our contract to stay overseas or to come back to the States.  Over many days of prayer and fasting, we felt God's leading to go back to the States to begin a family of our own and to continue ministry to orphans state-side.  Our stateside responsibility will be to act as advocates for H2H in the midwest and eastern part of the US.  We will travel to churches, colleges and conferences to talk about the ministry H2H is doing in Romania and how people can get involved through financial contributions and/or short term trips.  We are excited for this opportunity to continue to serve our kids through this avenue so that they can have a future and, more importantly, the chance to learn about their savior Jesus Christ!
      We have always heard Jen tell teams and have even told team members ourselves, that on the last day at the orphanage things might not happen the way you want them too.  Kids who you got close to would keep their distance, those who you never saw now are hanging all over you, the ones who are are not violent begin to act out and the violent ones are behaving!  It all seemed so weird to be on the the receiving end of this advice.  You stand in the middle of this tornado of emotions trying to figure out what is happening or where is so and so because I want one last hug and kiss only to be reminded that God is in control.  He has never left.  He was there before you came, is here continually and will always be there.  He never gave you control over His children, only the opportunity to be His hands and feet.  There are so many verses that come to mind when I begin to think about these kids but they take me to a place of worry and what if's.  So God reminds me, "I love you too!  Don't worry about these kids; their physical, mental and emotional well being because I am in control!  I have overcome this world and I AM!  If I feed and shelter the birds of the air and the beasts of the field out of love and my love for you is unconditional will I not take care of these kids"!?
      So as we gave our last hugs and kisses we were comforted with the fact that God is still God and thank Him we are not!  If he wanted all the orphanages to be eliminated and no orphans to exist He would make it happen but His plan is bigger and more glorifying than mine.  So thank you God for allowing us to be your hands and feet here in this beautiful country of Romania!
  Here are some highlights from our time here in Romania!  These are kids that have touched our lives or moments when we saw the fruit of our labor!  They are moments when it felt like you were able to see the face of God!  Moments that capture your heart and remind you of the marvelous and loving God we serve!


       As we look back on our two years in Romania it is difficult to put into words the emotions that are running through our brains.  They come and go so quickly we don't have time to feel sad, or upset, content, joyful, blessed, etc.  We just recognize the feeling and then it is gone.  They are fleeting, but one thing has remained and that is God.  When we pray He hears us and answers our pleas.  One thing God taught me is that not only bad seasons come to an end but the good/great ones as well!  We have grown spiritually, emotionally and mentally to where God can continue to use us for whatever He has planned and prepared to use us for!  So here we go, one more step of faith and another adventure in arms of Christ!

A Time for Everything (Ecclesiastes 3:1-17)

1 There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:
    a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.
What do workers gain from their toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet[a] no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13 That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.
15 Whatever is has already been,
    and what will be has been before;
    and God will call the past to account.[b]
16 And I saw something else under the sun:
In the place of judgment—wickedness was there,
    in the place of justice—wickedness was there.
17 I said to myself,
“God will bring into judgment
    both the righteous and the wicked,
for there will be a time for every activity,
    a time to judge every deed.”