Happily married, beautiful healthy baby, huge church family, home owners, and a dream come true career as a firefighter. What more could we possibly ask for, right? Yet most of us are still quite unsatisfied with these seemingly good blessings, and the insatiable urge for more is never quenched. We have been living comfortable, safe lives and Jesus set the bar higher then that. In Matthew 5: 6-11 Jesus tells us that, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied... Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me." Have you ever really THIRSTED for righteousness? By having an insistent craving that can only be mitigated by conforming to the high standards that Christ Jesus set before us. That kind of thirst our family has never known, until we started surrendering all to Him. We relinquished our hopes, dreams, plans, and comforts to the Lord and He revealed exactly what He wants us to do. Sell everything we have, and move to Kenya.
That's right, we're moving to Kenya! We have already sold one of our vehicles, and our house is officially for sale. Now we are praying that the Lord will send someone to buy it. God has been preparing our hearts for this adventure for sometime now. Charlton and I met in high school, and we have been almost inseparable ever since. We have been married a little over three years, and like most married couples we have always wanted to have children. (biological and/or adopted) Last year the Lord blessed us with a precious baby girl, who I gave birth to on September 19th. We named her Ava Grace, and we are so thankful that God has entrusted her with us; she is a pure joy. This year we have really felt a strong calling towards the orphan crisis going on in the world. So strong that Charlton decided to go on a missions trip to help and minister to orphans. After days of searching and praying he came across 'Believers World Outreach' and signed up to go to Uganda. A few weeks later I had the opportunity to join my mother-in-law at a house church that she had been attending. (Charlton was not with us, because he was at work. He is a firefighter and that job calls him to have 24 hour shifts.) There I met a very unique family that has ten children, two are biological, and eight are adopted. I was automatically drawn to the eldest adopted girl named Esther who is from Ethiopia. We had a great conversation and she shared her story and pictures with me. That night after I put Ava to bed, I looked up adoption/orphan videos on youtube. I was trying to get more information and facts, but instead I entered an emotional roller coaster that had me bawling my eyes out all night. The next day when Charlton came home, I showed him several of the videos that had really touched me. At the end of one of the videos, there was a website and Charlton suggested that we check it out. Well, the first thing that came up on this website was an advertisement for 'The Summit.' We have heard about that adoption conference before because we live just outside of Louisville Kentucky. We also attended church where that event was going to take place. We knew that the conference was out of our budget, so we did not think twice about it until we saw it on this site. Coincidence...I think not! Well, it was then that my husband came up with a plan. We had been trying to sell my cello for awhile, and no one had showed much interest. He said, "Let's post your cello on craigslist, and all the money we get from the sale will go to the ticket prices of the conference." He proceeded to pray, and post the ad. Not even 15 minutes later, a women called me very delighted because she had just received her tax return and wanted to buy my cello. I met her at Starbucks that evening, and she informed me that she does not even play the cello, but wants to learn. She bought it on the spot! Needless to say, we bought our tickets for 'The Summit' and had a life changing time. The first morning of the conference we heard a woman named Carolyn Twietmeyer speak about her family. One of her children has a medical condition that she shared with us, and as she was talking I got this overwhelming revelation from the Holy Spirit telling me that we need to care for a child with this condition... a child with HIV.
I knew nothing about HIV, but since that moment I have certainly done my homework. As Christ followers we are called to care for widows and orphans, and love people like Christ loves us, by denying ourselves and picking up our cross daily. Our relationship with God has turned our world upside down, and we have been rethinking many things. When Charlton returned home from his mission trip to Uganda he was forever changed. The lack of true discipleship, and poverty effected him to make a change; a heart change. His first day back at work was truly his last, figuratively speaking. That day he received a phone call from a brother in Christ inviting our family to move to Kenya with his family to spread 'The Gospel of the Kingdom' and plant Jesus into the hearts of men. We believe the only way we are going to make a dent in the orphan crisis is through discipleship and organic church planting. Kenya. Wow. This is going to be an amazing journey.
"For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me.' "Then the righteous will answer Him, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? 'And when did we see You a stranger, and invite you in, or naked, and clothe You? 'When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' "The King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.'-Matthew 25:35-40
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Visit Kingdom Driven Ministries for additional information.