Sunday, October 30, 2011

Glimpse of Redemption...


My Redeemer... My sweet Jesus. He is certainly about making whole, making beauty out of ashes, and filling any gaps, scars, and holes that a sinful world has left marked on His children.

Today, I saw it for my own eyes. It was such a beautiful outward display of what is in the hearts of two boys. Boys that have lived through the death of both their father and their mother. Boys that have wondered "what will happen to my life now?" Yet, they are boys who have experienced REDEMPTION, grace, and LOVE... They have experienced the hands and feet of Jesus in their lives through LifeSong. They see that there is more to life than the hopelessness they see around them. They acknowledge that God has a plan for their lives, and they want to follow him.

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Just yesterday, we took them to get some clothes (which we need to do for most of the kids)... and Haggai had some extra money left over. He could have spent it on another pair of socks, or food for himself. However, He bought apples with it and gave it to the street boys at the market. He didn't do this to receive praise... but rather it was out of love and gratitude for what God's provision has given him... and so he has decided to share it with those around him in need.

Redemption... now being spilled out of one broken soul to the next. They will see Jesus in them. I know it. Because I see it.

These boys are wanted...
Loved...
Desired...
Chosen...
Made New...
and Redeemed...


"Who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with love and compassion."
Ps 103:4
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Friday, October 28, 2011

Adoption ... redefined...

Adoption... it's such a buzz word these days. What I find kinda humorous is that people in Zambia have NO IDEA that there are so many Americans wanting to adopt. It's kinda strange to step out of one culture (the adoption/orphan care world) and step into another culture (one ravished with disease, poverty, and many orphans). It's like one world was made to penetrate the other, only the need is so deep and so wide, that it never fully will.

I used to think that Adoption was something that was concrete, set in stone, legal.... acknowledge by the governments. But what I'm finding is that adoption can be different than that, especially in this culture... actually is just what's in your heart... how it overflows from love of the father onto children around you in need. It's CHOOSING, TAKING IN, ACCEPTING, MAKING
ONE's OWN.

While many... no most... maybe none... of these children will ever be a McB on paper... I'm certain that they will feel CHOSEN, TAKEN IN, ACCEPTED, AND part of US... OUR FAMILY. There surely is power in that... and it sounds like adoption... with a different face.


1. To take into one's family through legal means and raise as one's own child.
2.
a. To take and follow (a course of action, for example) by choice or assent: adopt a new technique.
b. To take up and make one's own: adopt a new idea.
3. To take on or assume: adopted an air of importance.
4. To vote to accept: adopt a resolution.
5. To choose as standard or required in a course: adopt a new line of English textbooks.


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Sunday, October 23, 2011

backwards...

When you think that you are the one giving... you find that really you are the one receiving.

My heart is full.





This is what our home looks like on a Sunday...
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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Meet something beautiful...

Because I am the WORST.BLOGGER.EVER. I have decided to give you a glance at some of the beautiful things that makes up our week...

Please forgive me... but there have been several power outages, I'm gonna blame that. ;)

So... welcome to the inside of our week...and our kids...


On Wednesdays, we go into the compound (village) to visit homes... super glad our kiddos can come and experience ministering to others alongside us...


These are 3 of our teachers that were visiting with us, and delivering food.



Felt kinda crazy one evening and taught some of the kids what bowling is... awesomeness...


A, N, C, E, C... boys at school being silly...



Boys will be boys no matter where they grow up.... ;)


"Football" game today. (I'm practically Zambian calling it football) Tie 1-1. This is "T." He has a hard life, but a ton of potential... pray for God to soften his heart.


This is "Y"... she is a beautiful girl who LOVES playing Volleyball. :) We played across my clothesline today with a flat soccer ball. ha. She's a gal that will benefit from our FGO party we hosted a few months ago. ;)


The kids LOVE to read to us in English. It's one of our favorite things too. I love introducing quality reading, like Francis Chan's children books.


Meet KG's best friend... "W" She is one of the most fun gals here at LS.
(and yes, it's been a month since my hair has seen a blow dryer or hairspray... so don't judge me)



Crazy blessed, and I promise to do better in sharing with with you all!! God is doing so much... each and every day... it blows me away. Whether it is taking a burned baby to the hospital, giving away our food to kids as they leave our homes knowing they are hungry, or singing with them each and every morning before school... we know God is present and working in ALL things. We love you all!!

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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Against my instinct...

Since arriving in Zambia, I've been continually in a place of conflict within my mothers heart. So many things that are " just life" here continually shatter my mother's instinct.

It is NOT ok with me as a mother to see children I love...

wear the same outfit all week long... dirty or not

walk out of my house, an hour before dinner, and I not know if they have food waiting on them wherever they are going...

to walk home in the rain

to work their fingers to the bone when they should be playing

I knew I always believed this... but more and more I see it clearly. Kids were made to be in families. Moms and Dads were made to love their children.


I love my 3+215... and this breaks.my.heart... BUT... I love them NOTHING like my Father does...

Behind these amazing smiles... is so much heartbreak... so much unknown... a desire for more.

praying the Father can use this mother to... you guessed it... "Love like Crazy!"


"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." Ps 147:3




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Sunday, October 9, 2011

Made to be Courageous...

I'm sure you have all heard about the movie Courageous that is now in theaters. Obviously, I won't be seeing that anytime soon. ;) However, I've loved the song by Casting Crowns... that coupled with Dennis Rainey's newest book, Stepping Up, has gotten me to thinking.

When I married Shane, I knew for sure I was getting "the real deal." I often joked that he was the loaded Lexus SUV... only God added things that I LOVE but didn't even know I desired beforehand. You know that feeling? You know, when you buy something and then discover something hidden or super awesome about it that you didn't know beforehand? SWEET!

Well, Shane has turned out to be quite the courageous man. Many would look and think that it may be irresponsible to move your family to a land of malaria and deadly snakes. Some would say that it is not wise to live as we do financially, dependent on a team of other believers to partner with us.


This isn't where we thought we would be. Shane thought we were going to live out our Christian lives in a nice little suburb dubbed as "one of the best places to raise a family." Great schools. Great food. Great sports. Great church.

Over time, though, I saw Shane and his plan for our family decrease. I saw him struggle to loosen the grip of control and give his most valuable possession: us... to His Father. I saw him wrestle with trusting God to provide over his own ability. I see his self reliance decrease and his dependence on God increase.

This takes courage. It takes courage to depend on something you cannot see, trust something so powerful, and walk your family into a place you do not fully know... all because God says "Go." My husband is a man of courage.

What I thought I wanted was a man who could provide me with security, provisions, and a safe life. But what God provided me with was a man who was full of courage... not of his own accord, but of Gods... courage that flows only from a full trust of the Father. I'm so unbelievably grateful that my man is willing to live out what He was created for. And so I say... SWEET! Who knew he was loaded with courage? That all along that was what he was MADE for... and what I DESIRED?

I can't imagine life any other way...

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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Ministry around the table...

This is J. He's quite the cutie. I remember meeting him in April, because I thought he had the most beautiful eyes. Little did I know that he would be at the house every day.


Let me tell you what I know about J. He's 9 years old and in the 2nd grade. He lives with his mother, who works for us on the strawberry farm. He also lives with his 2 brothers and 1 sister, all who are older than he is. J struggles a bit in school, mostly with his rowdy behaviors.

Early this morning, they were outside playing and I had my kiddos come in because it was time for school. J stuck around, without my knowing. :) I went out to get towels off the line and there he was... sitting on our back steps. I said "J, didn't i ask you to go home?" He didn't answer, but replied "I will help you." And he began getting the towels off the line.
-insert here: now... I'm well aware at how sweet this sounds... but also, we are learning that we have to MAKE the kids go home... or they WONT! haha-

I said, "Well, if you want to help, then come in. " I then had him and Z fold the towels. ha. I then said, "if you are staying, then you have to participate in school with us." He agreed. And he did! I told him that I knew he struggled with listening at school. He grinned and said "I make too much noise." I said, "Well, today, I'm sure you will do just fine." And he did. He has great handwriting, but is clearly behind in some other areas.
As I sat and watched my kids learning with J sitting at the table learning, too, I just became full. While some would be annoyed by his presence, I'm asking God to show me how to influence and see into his heart... so that we can help him in school. I've seen parts of his heart... and it is sweet.

As (home) school came to a close, and lunch approached, I said "J, it is time for you to go home. I'm going to give you a banana, and then you have to go. If you obey, you are welcome to come back tomorrow." He agreed and left right away. This is another behavior that he has struggled with at school: obedience, specifically around going home. First, I'm praying that God will give me more time so that I can gain a bigger glance into what "home" is like for J. I'm hoping that over time, trust is built and boundaries are set in place to help him grow into a Godly young man.

So... you can join me in praying for J... and for the influence our family might make on his life.

(on a side note... and much lighter side... the kids came running in this am after breakfast and said "there's a black mamba in the yard!" We all go running out the door and see, indeed, there is a black snake "swimming" across our mud puddle. Shane grabs a hoe and chops it up. The ladies working on the farm then inform us that it isn't a black mamba... but a spitting cobra instead. Oh good, that makes me feel a lot better. ???!?!?!?!)
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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

"It's Malaria..."

Those are the words that I hoped I wouldn't have to hear for at least a year or so, as we get settled in to our new home in Zambia. Actually, it was one of my biggest fears in bringing my children to Africa.

On Sunday night, KG started running a fever... no other symptoms. On Monday morning, she still had her fever and we took her to a clinic about 30 minutes away. It is the best clinic and medical care you can get in this area. They did a finger prick and blood test, and the Dr. brought us back into her office and said "It's Malaria.." She went on to describe the treatment, and what we needed to be aware of. Wow. Malaria? Didn't I spray them obsessively when they were out past 5? Am I not the one who continuously obsesses over the door being closed? Don't they sleep under a net? Aren't we taking a preventative medication for malaria? YES! AND YET...It was time to face my fear head.on.

(KG under to mosquito net the first night in Zambia)


While the potential for "freak out" was pretty high, I have to say that we were "ok." I can't explain it other than God's grace is sufficient... His word is true.
KG really was a trooper. She's been whining and not sleeping the best, but otherwise doing pretty good. We are hopeful the medications we have (which cost us a total of $15) will rid her of malaria. We are to go back next week for a test and hope it comes back negative. Ultimately, it was a mild case. However, there are SO.MANY. MOSQUITOS in our home! We aren't sure if they are getting in through screens that aren't working well, or through the "vent" system... which is just holes drilled... without any screens that we can tell. Either way... just pray that we can find the source and get it fixed asap.

I can't help but think... ultimately, without 1. Parents to notice she wasn't well 2. Access to medical care 3. Ability to pay for the medication : She could have very well DIED from it.

3,000 children die each day from Malaria.

We.are.blessed.

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