Thursday, November 26, 2009

Dreams

Two and a half years ago I sat alone in the middle of the night in the common room of a guesthouse in Kampala, Uganda thinking and praying, knowing that in a few short hours I would be boarding a plane and leaving the country that I loved so much. I was sad, yet as I prayed I knew that God would bring me back to Africa one day. The past two and a half years have held so many highlights, so many wonderful, fruitful moments in ministry, so many blessings and experiences that I wouldn't trade for the world, yet through it all a piece of my heart longed for Africa. Many times I would find myself before God questioning, "You said You would take me back to Africa, but when?". With each day that passed, the more I found myself immersed in life and ministry here, it seemed like that day would never come.

When I was a young teenager, long before I became interested in missions, I saw a W-Five special on orphans in the Ukraine that really stuck with me and I remember thinking, "I want to go there someday". Since then, through reading books like this and learning more about ministries like this, my eyes have been opened and my heart has been broken by the plight of orphans in Eastern Europe. Over the past couple of years God has gradually been laying Eastern Europe on my heart more and more. A dream began to form in my heart that I believed was from God. A dream to go to government-run orphanages in Eastern Europe where children were being neglected and to simply hold them and love them with everything I had. So, I began to pray that God would provide a way for me to go and do just that. The problem was, I didn't know anyone in Eastern Europe and I could not simply hop on a plane to a formerly communist nation where I didn't even speak the language and just walk into a state-run facility and say, "I'm here to love and care for your children because you are doing a horrible job at it"... It seemed impossible.

Fast forward to today... Those of you who read my newsletter know that in less than two months I will be heading back to Africa for four months followed by a seven month trip to work with orphans in the Ukraine (if you did not receive my newsletter but would like to, please e-mail me at ambassadoroflove@live.ca). It may have seemed far off or even impossible at times but God fulfilled the promises He spoke to me! There's a verse from the book of Numbers that I love:
"God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?" (Numbers 23:19)

So, I guess my message today is this: Has God promised you something? Do you have a dream in your heart that you believe is from Him? Even if it seems far off or impossible... don't give up because God always keeps His promises.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Mission... POSSIBLE!

This Saturday, from 2:00-4:00 at Westview Bible Church (corner of St. Charles & Peirrefonds Blvd), myself along with three other young women who I love (namely Casey Watts, Danielle Pierre and Suzanne Bisaillion) will be participating in a panel discussion on missions.
So, if you are a woman between the ages of 13 and 113 and are interested in hearing more about missions and learning how you can be involved please, come and join us.

If you have any questions feel free to e-mail me at ambassadoroflove@live.ca

Hope to see some of you there!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Only 44 Shoping Days Left!

Do you ever get tired of the commercialism  of Christmas? The constant advertising, the crowded stores and that which I dread the most, the stress of finding a gift for that person on your list who has everything. Over the past couple of years it seemed like everyone on my list had begun to fall into that category and I was just buying stuff that they neither wanted or needed... Ever since I was a little girl one of my favorite Christmas songs was Amy Grant's Grown Up Christmas List (re-done by Plus One in 2002 as "A Prayer For Every Year"). Anyway, last year our family cut back on gifts in attempt to give more to those who are truly in need and in the process, I was inspired to write my own version of what my "grown-up Christmas list" would look like. I wanted to share that list with you, along with some links to organizations that I love that are working towards accomplishing those items on my list. Maybe it will give you some gift ideas for that person who, although they may not be on your list, does not have anything...

Do You remember me?
Long ago on bended knee

I prayed to You
With childhood fantasy
Well I’m all grown up now
Would You still help somehow
I’m not a child
But my heart still can dream


So hear my prayerful wish
My grown-up Christmas list
Not for myself
But for a world in need


That we would learn to share our wealth
(Kiva: Micro loans empowering the working poor to lift themselves out of poverty)
That the sick might know good health
(Health Partners International: increasing access to medicine and improving health in the developing world)
And the oppressed be helped
(International Justice Mission (Canada / US): securing justice for victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression)
That every child would have a home
(Our Own Home: providing a home for orphans living with HIV/AIDS)
And no one would feel alone
(L’Arche Daybreak (Canada / US): a place of belonging for people living with intellectual disabilities)
But Your love would be made known
(Amazima Ministries: sharing Christ's love with over 400 children in Uganda, East Africa)
This is my grown-up Christmas list


Too often we’re consumed
With our own families
With buying gifts
To place beneath our tree


But there’s so many in need
Help us open up our eyes
Reach out and let
Compassion rule our lives


That we would learn to share our wealth
(Please Help Me: providing assistance to children and families in Montreal’s Cloverdale community)
That the sick might know good health
And the oppressed be helped
(Project Genesis: assisting people to better understand and defend their social and economic rights)
That every child would have a home
(Reece’s Rainbow: special needs adoption ministry)
And no one would feel alone
(Tim Huff / Light Patrol: reaching out to and caring for the homeless)
But Your love would be made known
(Options Crisis Pregnancy Center: providing unconditional love, acceptance and assistance to those facing unexpected pregnancies)
This is my grown-up Christmas list


There’s no excuse, we have been called
There’s something we can do
Help us love the world with open arms
And then let Your light shine through


That we would learn to share our wealth




That the sick might know good health




And the oppressed be helped




That every child would have a home




And no one would feel alone




But Your love would be made known




This is my grown-up Christmas list


This is my only life-long wish


This is my prayer for everyone

Monday, November 9, 2009

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Scripture

In honor of Orphan Sunday, here are some verses I am meditating on today...

Deuteronomy 10:17-18 – “For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing.”

Psalm 10:14, 17-18 – “But you, O God, do see trouble and grief; you consider it to take it in hand. The victim commits himself to you; you are the helper of the fatherless… You hear, O LORD, the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, defending the fatherless and the oppressed, in order that man, who is of the earth, may terrify no more.”

Psalm 68:5-6 – “A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families, he leads forth the prisoners with singing...”

Psalm 146:7-9 – “He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets prisoners free, the LORD gives sight to the blind, the LORD lifts up those who are bowed down, the LORD loves the righteous. The LORD watches over the alien and sustains the fatherless and the widow…”

Hosea 14:3 – “…in you the fatherless find compassion.”

John 4:18 – “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

2 Years, 3 Months and Two Days...

That's how long I have been waiting to type these words... I AM GOING BACK TO AFRICA!!!
A few weeks ago I wrote about how God's plans are always best and right. I truly believe that God's plans for me are best and I can honestly say that I have been totally at peace with whatever God had in store for me, whether or not that included going back to Africa. Still, lately it seems like everywhere I turn I am reminded of the plight of the children in Africa and my heart's cry has simply been,
"Here I am, Lord. I am willing. Send me!"
Well, I'm still working out the details but I got the call yesterday and it's official... I'm going back :)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Orphan Sunday



This coming Sunday, November 8th, is Orphan Sunday. According to the latest statistics, there are approximately 147 million orphans living in our world today. It's a huge number, I know, and it's hard to imagine what one person could do but here's another statistic... 2.1 billion - that's the number of Christians living in our world today. All of a sudden 147 million doesn't seem so huge, it no longer seems like such an insurmountable problem. If simply one out every fourteen Christians did something to help just one orphan, the world's orphan crisis could be solved. So, what can you do? Sponsor a child who has lost their parents through World Vision, Compassion International, Christian Children's Fund or any other sponsorship program so that they can go to school, receive food and medical care, etc. Support an orphanage (here is one of my favorites). Foster a child from within our own child welfare system. Come Along Side a family you know (or don't know) that is adopting and support them in prayer and/or financially. Adopt a child into your family. Even if you can't do any of those things right now, would you set aside sometime on Sunday, November 8th to pray for the millions of children around the world who will go to bed tonight without a Daddy to wrestle with or call them "Princess", without a Mommy to offer kisses when they fall and scrape their knee or tuck them into bed at night.

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress..."     James 1:27

How will you look after the orphan?