Saturday, August 6, 2016
at 6:52 AM
Friday, June 17, 2016
Dearest Friends, Family, and Supporters…
We pray that this letter finds you well, and enjoying the warmer weather where you are. As for us, we are in our winter and the coolness feels nice.
Our time in Zambia is quickly coming to a close, and the weeks and months ahead feel very scary, painful, and strange. We are certainly in the grieving process amidst the very busy season of teams, interns, and change. Things have been given away, sold, and the house is starting to look empty of things, but certainly not children. The house says “something big is about to happen.” One room is piled with things that we are bringing home. That squeezing your life into 14 bags… again… feels familiar but unwelcome.
However, despite our own emotions, things on the ground are going well. We continue to look forward to 4 more boarding homes being completed by the end of the year, and a total of 100 students in boarding for next year. Currently there are 74! Plans continue to be made towards growth for the future, and students continue to be serious about their learning and are producing good results. The forward momentum continues, and will continue. The program is solid and we have made a plan for the responsibilities to be divided and therefore conquered. Shane will continue to observe reports and be available to leadership on the ground while he is in the US office. Next year we will have our first graduating class! We so pray our family (or at least part) is able to return for that celebration.
As in a previous email, we will remain on support for the next 12-18 months. We so desire for you to continue your support as our family transitions. It is necessary for us to continue with the ministry God has placed us in. In addition, we have some one-time needs that are coming our way because of the relocation. We have been very blessed with families advocating for us to collect a lot of things needed for our return. If you have been one of those who have donated furniture, etc… we are so so grateful.
We would be so grateful if you would consider a one-time gift to help our family transition back to the US. Some of the one time expenses we have coming to us are listed below:
· Immigration Fees for our 2 oldest children ($5,000)
· A second car/van for our growing family ($7,500)
· Medical exams/checkups/etc for our children to enter school ($1,000)
· Plane tickets & school fees for our 2 foster boys: Brian and Webby ($8,000)
We have not made very many requests over the last 5 years. We’ve rarely asked for an increase in giving to our personal support. We ask that you prayerfully consider a one-time gift to help our family transition well. If you are unable to do so, but able to increase giving for a period of time, we ask that you prayerfully consider that. We look forward to a time where we are able to transition off of support, but we always welcome opportunities to see God’s faith stretching provision.
Beyond giving, we truly covet your prayers. There are many many details that must come together in the next couple of weeks. Pray for emotional endurance, a good ending of a season here in Zambia, wisdom for the steps ahead, and the hearts of our children especially. Pray we would be wise in making the many decisions necessary to transition from another country. Pray for the people and children we leave behind. Pray for the VISA appointments for our foster children, that they would be granted the student visa allowing them to remain a part of our family. (Surprise! Many of you didn’t know we have more than 5!) Please pray for provision. Pray for protection for the family we leave behind. Pray for good, Godly friends for my children as we start a new life in Normal, IL.
Words cannot express how grateful we are to each of you. Tears feel my eyes and my heart feels like it will explode with gratitude. The work that has taken place here over the last 5 years is a product of YOUR faithfulness. It would NOT have happened without YOU. God is at work, and I believe that in Heaven… if not before… some of our Zambian children will thank you. Their lives are changed forever. And, this is not the end. My vision remains for this place and these children. We still have work to do and we pray you will continue that with us!
We will be sending an update as soon as we get settled in the US. Please feel free to call us or email us anytime. After June 16th, you can reach us at 423-404-3334. Our email and giving information is below.
We love you all beyond words! Nalikutemwa! (We love you!)
Shane, Mitzi, James, Paul, Zack, Kaytie, & Elijah
Check and Mail: Please make checks payable to “Lifesong for Orphans” and mail them to:
Lifesong for Orphans, PO Box 40 Gridley, IL 61744
*In the memo line, please write “McBride: 97800"
at 4:24 AM
Thursday, June 9, 2016
at 8:14 PM
Monday, May 30, 2016
at 9:31 AM
Friday, May 20, 2016
at 2:43 PM
Sunday, February 14, 2016
Love is a funny little thing… It’s written about, experimented with, it breaks young hearts, it drives people to do courageous things. LOVE.
And for a Christian, it is the center of all we do. Love God. Love others. Love self. That’s it. Love is powerful. Love changes people’s circumstances.
Love changes both the one receiving and the one loving.
Love is crazy. It is risky.
It is painful.
But if one thing I’ve learned, it is this:
To hurt deeply, means you have loved deeply. And there’s no greater privilege on earth than that.
With one, comes the other. To accept one without the other isn’t really love, it’s just comfort.
Why all the talk about this little thing called LOVE? What I’m about to share with you is wrapped up in love. Love is weaved in and out and through it. There’s no story I could share now, if it hadn’t been for LOVE.
A long time ago… I met a young man. He stole my heart.
We dreamed of life together. We got married.
We chased dreams, and dreams chased us.
We had babies, both with surprise and plan. We were in love.
One day our dreams were exchanged for God’s. We adopted a little boy from Ethiopia. We moved to Texas. Hearts changed and grew through pain of leaving family, but seeing that God’s family is BIG and His love was BIG. We made friends and loved our little life. 3 years later, God did something else.
This love grew in our hearts to the point of explosion.
The burning was deep, and the calling was clear.
We had sleepless nights, and long conversations. Sometimes we were sick to our stomachs with fear of the unknown. .
Somehow, HIS LOVE MADE US BRAVE.
Without doubt, we sold almost everything we owned. God loved us through people who went above and beyond. Their love enabled us to go.
With tears, 3 small children and 13 bags… we walked through the security gates in the Atlanta airport and I waved goodbye to my family and everything familiar, and I followed that young man I married, who was now fully man.
While it felt scary, the LOVE was greater than the fear.
HE was with us.
I hung onto every promise and truth, and I found that it was exactly that. TRUE.
The African dust settled, and things that were so unfamiliar and uncomfortable quickly became comfortable and normal.
I followed this man around, and trusted him to show me the “hows” and the “whys”. He did that. We were able to LOVE and be LOVED.
The people from the community began to see that our LOVE was real, and deep, and helpful, and strong, and from Jesus Christ himself. Our love grew, and so did theirs.
We kept loving, even when we didn’t know how.
We made the choice to love.
And so we did. We loved each other when it wasn’t easy.
We loved others when we wanted to quit.
He loved me when I was in despair. I loved him when he was spent.
Somehow, Love was also crazy.
And this crazy love brought us the gift of 2 more sons. Not in baby form, but in the form of preadolescent bodies.
And Love kept us fighting for them.
HIS love is relentless, never gives up, and is full of HOPE.
That’s the place we must love from.
Together, we have loved over 370 students… their caregivers… our staff… our team.
LOVE has come in the form of sitting with grieving parents as they mourn their children on the dirt floor of their home.
LOVE looks like holding ones crying from the grief of loosing a brother or sister. LOVE advocates for those who can’t… and gets them the care they desperately deserve.
LOVE speaks life giving truth into a child’s mind, not once, but continually until they believe it.
LOVE is allowing your family to become theirs.
LOVE takes a risk… and forgives that child who has messed up… AGAIN AND AGAIN…
LOVE scoops up the sick off the hard ground and carries them to the doctor. LOVE corrects and disciplines the children going astray. LOVE forgives… quickly and fully.
LOVE goes after the ones who have lost their way.
We’ve seen the power of LOVE transform… hearts, minds, behaviors. We’ve seen the courage of LOVE literally change the entire future of a person.
All of that with a little thing called LOVE. The greatest thing about true LOVE is that it is never a ONE WAY STREET.
The LOVE that I’ve received, is by far the most valuable of it’s kind.
LOVE in the form of letter, or paper watch, or art.
LOVE in the form of a student giving me an encouraging word from the Bible, LOVE from those across the Ocean who were willing to do almost anything to love us.
LOVE in the form of visiting and LOVING the ones WE LOVE.
LOVE in the form of note by your own son.
LOVE through giving whatever they have.
LOVE through acts of service.
And the LOVE of my husband when I wasn’t really LOVABLE at all.
Never be confused that LOVE only flows outward. It is a continual river running, being fed by LOVE so that it can run with LOVE. That’s God’s creative way.
And now, LOVE is asking me to do the hardest thing of all.
5 years of deep, deep LOVE.
Something that no one could ever explain unless you have walked it yourself. To me, 5 years seems so small. But the past 5 years have taught me more about LOVE than the 31 previously.
This man, whom I adore and will spend the rest of my life with, is being led to walk down a new road. Only, this time… He feels it, and I do not. That is a first for us.
It is like my head knows what my heart is incapable of feeling.
So, in June of this year… our family will once again be selling the small items we have acquired… and once again leave the place that has now become so familiar, so much a part of WHO WE ARE… The place where God did miraculous and wonderful things, and we will start to look forward to yet another adventure.
And I will follow this now life-experienced and seasoned man. The one who kills snakes and navigates the African countryside. This man who was so brave to say YES to God and YES to LOVING in such a crazy way!
I will follow that man.
I will continue to trust the same God who has been with us through snakes, malaria, medical evacuations, adoption roadblocks, ever-growing and changing projects, the God who spared my sons life…
Yes. I will trust THAT God.
The coming was hard. The going unbearable.
I can’t speak for the road ahead, for it is unknown. It is the first time we have walked this way. We can only hold on to what we know to be true…
(HIS) LOVE never fails. LOVE is always worth it.
at 12:27 AM