Yuvaraj Family...

Yuvaraj Family...
A blending of two worlds...then there were 3-

Friday, June 19, 2015

Wishing to shatter the partition in between… Learning about Grace in the Meantime

One of the greatest gifts the Father gave us in sending His Son to save mankind from the downfall of our sin and destruction when He came in human form was the gift of relate-ability. Jesus Christ, clothed in human flesh. Christ chose to face all the temptations we do each day so that we have a God we can go to directly who understands our struggles intimately--not as a distant, high priest judging us from the balcony of heaven, but a Holy God with empathy inviting us to come directly to Him. Hebrews 4:15

As we minister here in India one common misconception with the flock that causes us grief is the notion of holiness in their leaders. Following our services, camps or any conference here in the East without fail, Paul and I are immediately bombarded with an eager prayer line, all wanting a special touch, all wanting a word, convinced in your unique power, your connection with God Himself, unattainable to the rest.

Each day we hit our knees and cry out for the work of the Lord in our hearts, in this city, in our church. We pray over the body, the rooms and even the chairs when it's empty, we visit the homes of the people in crisis or holding a party for us to come and pray and bless them.

And as soon as eager crowds pour in filling up our church, that familiar feeling of the glass right up against my face hits me suddenly, the barrier weighing down my spirit, impossible to shake off or ignore behind the unseen partition.

I feel the heavy of their hopes, the expectations, it is a most unsettling place to be when you and your family know all too well the sin, the short-comings, the fleshing out I myself am broken over in my heart. The outburst of impatience with wild little ones resisting the morning routine to leave on time for church just an hour earlier, the discouragement over unanswered prayer keeping me up the night before, the selfishness in my heart wanting things to be easier, vanity creeping in all over again caring too much about my silly cotton salwar for service that looks more like pajamas.  We tumble in with our crew, all a mess, barely on time and the stares remind me of the role I am eager to shake off.

In the West we want our leaders to be relatable, humorous even, vulnerable, transparent. We want to know them. We want to feel our friends are leading us.

Here in the East where formalities and traditions have crept in, a crippling poison of defeat masked in goodness and pious displays, leaders are groomed to be set apart, super holy beings in their religion, ranking above all. Believers want the show, hungry eyes for the parade of goodness, they want to follow the face of perfection. They want to be convinced of their leader's righteousness. The illusion is the greatest lure here in the Eastern church.

As soon as you begin confessing your sins, teaching leaders to also confess their sins, to be real, approachable, walk in brokenness reminding their people that we are only saved by grace and can do nothing of our own, you have just found the fastest way to shrink your church. The appeal is lost and crowd moves on. They bring their praises and accolades to the nearest church they can find with the bells and the whistles, miracles and wonders.

Though the flesh in me wants to rise up and shake the lines all at once in a group hug spearheading these cultural strongholds with a shout---"We are just sinful people like you, give us a break!!  Do not look to us, we will let you down, we will disappoint, our righteousness stinks before the Lord like all the rest and most of our works will be burned with fire! Let's be real, on our faces looking to the Lamb together!! All that has been given to the Son -you also have!! You do not need a mediator! Your prayers are just as powerful as ours when asking according to His Word!" 

Then He speaks to my heart. "It is my grace they need, and my grace is always sufficient". Grace reminds me of where they are. Grace shows me this way of thinking is not their fault. "Let them not die for lack of knowledge, Lord, let us meet them where they are! Grant me eyes to see what You see, grant me love to work with them as the Father works in our hearts---He ALONE to draw, to woo, to change!! Our hope only in this Gracious Master Who knows no limits--not even limited by my sinful small mindedness."

I have to take a step back here with His precious sheep who need to be fed. He calls me to consider how He works with us in grace. How each is on a different timeline, a different program with the Father and this pleases Him for He is the Faithful One Who has called and WHO will do it. We cannot call or beckon, helpless to rouse ourselves with the slightest hunger unless He stirs our hearts and awakens, unless He grants the revelation, unless HE moves. He decides when we will move and wake up and He decides how swiftly or painfully slow for reasons we cannot begin to see until eternity. 

So for now there is this invisible partition, there is this great divide and though often my nature will question--is this fake or hidden --my Father is teaching me that this for them, for now is grace. So there will not be the deeper levels, the transparency I love to call a friend, the outbursts of laughter will be less frequent and the place to feed my soul is not there just yet and that is OK, because I am learning this is grace. I will welcome them in the prayer line knowing for that moment for most it's their only haven, to fill them up and lock courage away in their hearts they will need to lean on as they return to hostile homes where this peace is unknown. 

I will be 40 anyway in just a couple years so I suppose it's time to learn something of grace, something of dignity, after all, I am a pastor's wife. :)

In the meantime my heart will continue to overflow with thanks and praise and deepest adoration that when it's my Lord and me and no barrier in between, no advocate, no mediator just HE (Ephesians 2:14)--all my tears and all my cries, all my messy messes--no quickly clean it up for God, but here is another sharp and twisted piece, my King I give to You.

 Oh wonder of wonders that He invites! With boldness He tells (Hebrews 4:16), "My joy, my Delight! My precious one my daughter! Run to me, make haste, tell me every single part" and there I bare my soul again and find all I ever need, my soul's best FRIEND.

I dream of that day we will be one as a body worshipping all upon our faces, wall torn down for all to see the only ONE Who is worthy lifted High above all else as we cry "Holy, Holy, Holy!"

For all eternity.

For not to us, Oh Lord--but to YOUR GREAT Name be all the honor and the glory.

What a relief for You ALONE are worthy.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

What’s so special about home visits anyway?

Paul leaves Harvest to meet me in a bustling intersection near Walltax 

Road’s famous fish market as the auto rickshaw drops me off  with two 

of our cubs. 

Paul corrects the inquisitive driver for asking his wife too many 

questions handing him 100 rupees for my ride. It’s rare when they are 

well versed in English This driver was particularly eager to grill me, 

unable to hold back his curiosity. 

Paul shouts at him that he is my husband, loading the tots up on his bike 

as we take off in the bright hazy orange sunset, no skyline in site, boys 

reaching for my water bottle mouths full of dirt.  We have used car, but 

for home visits, the roads are too narrow.

We weave through semis, cows, open lorries loaded with thousands of 

tires and a dozen teens piled on them, holding onto the sides peering at 

us through thick clouds of diesel fumes.  

The boys are wildly excited to get off -- doesn’t matter that it’s to go to 

homes and pray for people. Paul remains focused as drivers honk from 

every side taking chances to turn just inches in front of us -- always a 

wonder we aren’t hit. 

Without fail the smell of the slums hits my senses faster than the visual, 

dramatic though the scene. Always there is an instant audience -- road 

packed full of people lining up for their bucket water supply. We 

dismount and head up several flights of narrow cement stairs, holding 

onto little, sweaty toddler paws. 

A family from church greets, steaming fresh chai in hand. They ask us to 

sit, just a couple mats in a tiny one room home. The kitchen is hidden 

behind a sheet hanging from the ceiling, a towel tacked up behind us 

covering their idols seeking to not offend.  

The wife’s eyes shine with joy over our visit though we still await the 

arrival of her husband.  She is proud of her two sons present with her. 

They share of trials, the pain with neighbors and family surrounding 

them against their open faith, mocking them as they leave for church 

each week.  The husband comes in and my Paul takes seizes the moment 

to share the Gospel full of passion and clarity as their teenage boys 

mutter prayers under their breath that their Father will listen, will come 

to church, will support their stand and their mother’s. 

They announce their great joy over their neighbor’s conception—a 

direct answer to prayer from a house visit of ours back in the fall. (Often 

neighbors wanting to be included in the prayers fill the little one room.) 

They shed more tears and open up their hearts as Paul and I tell them of 

Jesus’ promise that in this world we will have trouble, but He gives us 

the greatest treasure we can know -- His eternal peace. That we know 

what it means to walk in total peace and freedom when HE is happy 

with us because God’s opinion is all that really matters even when 

others disagree. 

The cubs quietly push their matchbox cars along the edges of the 

bamboo mat as we sing to God in Tamil and close in prayer.  The 

husband shares he would like to make a change, he would like to learn 

to be the man of the family, start coming to church. We rejoice with him 

and refuse the tithe he tries to give us, telling him it will be a greater joy 

for him to give in the house of God this coming Sunday next when he 

and his wife attend together. 

Praises to Allah begin to flood the neighborhood from the nearby 

mosque reminding us of the consuming darkness they live in -- stark 

contrast to the hope that just filled their place as we prepare to leave. It 

is a small exchange on paper, no great life altering moment to record for 

this family of four on a Tuesday night, another family to love and 

embrace hopefully into the Kingdom. 

The reality of the greatness of God and His undeniable presence made 

known when we gather—that is what sets these moments apart. In that 

moment of expectation and quiet hope—He is there strengthening us in 

our weakness and creating a sweet bond that only His Spirit can make. 

Our commonalities are few and we realize with each visit we are 

building –- brick by brick of the whole foundation, this is what it means 

to be the body, this is our joy and this is His heart. 

And so we will see Sunday whether or not this dear man makes it to 

church. We will follow up with the wife and her attempt to take 

thoughts captive, to live to please Him alone and thank Him for 

adversity. In the meantime I uphold them in prayer as we return to our 

hot-sticky power outages as water runs out and long nights with sick 

babies and aggressive cockroaches chase me, neighbors feud all night 

long, shouting in a foreign tongue. 

He again reminds me He must increase and I find my way to Him as He 

enlarges my heart for these jewels of His grace. I learn to walk in the 

moment, in freedom, where I decrease.  

This is what is so special about home visits—the way He opens my eyes, 

the way He pours His own longings for the redemption and freedom of 

the souls of others inside my own heart.  And I have hope in these visits 

that the Gospel is doing its work on me.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Love from the Worst blogger, ever. Glimmers of gold from a day at the train station..

Sarah Grace on her new slide, Lisa Marie with big sis Christina my big helper, Daddy with Huds on our train ride Monday no place to sit, crazy fam pic New Year's 2014, Jenny and me~

This blog. Completely neglected and I am the queen of excuses. Random pics from my phone here, have some work to do here on this page. 

I am drawn by a theme and I long to write about the moment, the feelings, the state of my sinfully-hard heart and His most recent dealings -disciplining me, the hour, the rickshaw ride or train or flood we just experienced. Power goes. Exhaustion sets in after settling the babies and just to turn on the laptop seems an unachievable feat as power returns. I realize this blog lacks any official explanation or information and will only serve as a frustration to those wanting to know Who, Why, What When and how in the world do you have all these little people to look after.  I move into that dangerous over-analyzing mode and pick apart what I wanted to express--why it may be irritating, offensive, unhelpful or seem dramatic to most and drift to sleep, hopeful that my Heavenly Father is keeping record of the precious things I cannot seem to keep up with. 

The moments are all a blur here, a blur of challenges and then of His grace, that bubbling brook covering over all that never dries up. Amazing. No two days the same here and you can never anticipate what the day will bring forth apart from His mercy.

In His mercy and kindness, He paves the way for me. 

How thankful hearts rise just with the knowledge that we are mere sheep and He is happy to lead, how I bow to the ground and kiss the very mention of His Name- His Name that is Great, that is above all other Names, that is here, in His presence the moment I call upon Him in truth. 

Thanking Him for what is hard, pressing in, not wanting to miss a moment of His heart beating for mine--to grow, to reflect His very own image-what a mystery. I can hardly believe the honor is all mine.

Studying the life of Job again,  his response challenges me to the core. 

What if Job 23:10 could really come true... 

What if-after the testing, the twisting, the bending and pressing--

there would be even a tiny a glimpse-the slightest sliver of gold peaking out of the mire? 

The very thought excites my soul, I have strength again to do just the next thing. 

I am here... the irony of it still boggles my mind- HOW in the world this sensitive, lover of cleanliness and sweet smells, idealistic, romantic, disorganized, foolish girl ever thought she could move to a third world country and give her life away to service, being of use. Can't think of a more absurd notion! 

The irony of missions --that we could be of usefulness. My plan is to share the gift of life eternal, to love on the least of these and He continues through His Word to bring me to the end of myself, to expose greater idols and love of sin and self, leading me to the way to repentance and life eternal. 

I am no doubt the worst ambassador ever known and only refer to myself as Paul's wife--how greatly and blessed to hold this title alone, but in truth --the pit of my soul always on display here brings me to my knees afresh daily as I realize the one in need and utter depravity was only ever me to begin with. 

Local train station yesterday~

standing side by side with my husband, arm in his, loaded with babies, backpacks full of Bibles, worship cd's we made, coloring books, repaired shoes, new undies and some vitamins for our girls. It never dawns on me that we are considered an aisle to walk through until we are pushed apart as people shove through. Here in India, there is no such thing as personal space. After the 4th woman pushes through us both-I boldly stopped the next, remove her hand from my shoulder blocking her body with my foot out from trying to squeeze her way through Paul and me motioning her to please "go around us". Her glaring eyes turn to laughter revealing surprise... perhaps the first time a foreigner has ever made an exchange with her. 

I wish I was use to these crowds pushing as our clothes drip in sweat, countless piercing eyeballs on us wherever we went--free from all signs of self-awareness as they check me up an down over and over oblivious of how it feels. I am sorry to say, my flesh still roars it's ugliness in defense of rights that don't even exist. I wish I didn't have to confess I felt the urge to teach "these people" about manners, about how to treat women with babies in tow. The Father tenderly brings "these women" to my mind over and over to pray for.... perhaps next time I will have the grace, I will have His heart for them, but I missed it altogether Monday. I am sorry for this, I ask Him for a fresh love to see what He sees, to consider their worth, their needs--and I do believe He will do this again for me.

Rushing by piles of sleeping soldiers on the ground, guns on their chests, nuns in blue and white habits huddled together, towering carts w/ hundreds of bamboo baskets ten feet high held down with twine, babies crying on our hips sporting little baseball caps through the train station to get to the schedule monitor --we know we are late, but maybe the train is again too. A young soldier decked out in camo and black boots looking 2 sizes too big shoves Paul with the bunt of his riffle for added drama--"Stand back, you're too close". His abruptness took us both by surprise as the monitor is about 15 feet away already and this rule was all new to us. The screen flashes to a commercial about ghee. Lard. They love to add to their dishes here.  A real useful screen now--We miss the train listings completely and run towards the sounds of the whistles as one pulls through.

 School boys in uniforms sporting their head phones brush passed us, dogs barking at the monkey who ran off with a stolen juice bottle, beggars pulling at my salwar breaking my heart as I struggle to find some change while keeping up with Paul a few steps ahead.
Beggars are a riot here, you never know the response you will get--they may not leave demanding more, they may gawk at you or kiss your hand as their family members and friends pop up out of the wood work surrounding you. A tall Ganhdi look-alike walks barefoot in his white lunge, a clan of fifty women from a village follow after all barefoot as well on their pilgrimage. 
Soldiers shout at us to hurry up, the train pulls out as passengers hang off all sides and doorways--and no, hanging off a moving train is not something that's reprimanded here. 

We miss another crammed train, no space to even stand. 

 A failed attempt at the hotel upstairs for lunch follows,  the power is out we learn the food is not fresh as we share a table with another family from north India talking rapidly in Hindi about us. I follow Paul back down the stairs with bags in tow and Hudsy fussing over the heat, a rash breaks out again on his neck from it. 

Toilet signs--feeling brave, run around the perimeter of the room to get there as all the rows watch this crazy foreigner. Pay the attendant the rupees and enter in the sopping wet mess loaded with women fighting. One stall is open, a woman guarding it, eight others shouting, changing, bathing with buckets and wrapping in saris...no chance. I decide I can hold it. 

Finally-we catch a train. I'm grateful there's a space to stand near the door for some air. A hand mirror distracts baby from the heat. A barefoot drunk man in his stooper falls asleep at the bathroom door--making me feel sick to my stomach to see wondering how we can help him up. Sellers push through, buckets on their heads full of key chains, water bottles, peanuts, beaded necklaces. 

The train pulls out at last, engine sounds music to our ears. Paul and I exchange smiles and exhale as we stand near the doorway. A little closer to our little ladies.

I missed my time with our sweet dolls all week due to my disk pain and now the chance to hold them, catch up on their tattling, make some pancakes, wash a window, hang a picture, patch a leak, teach a new song, listen to their stories from school--who is teasing them, who's lost her school books, who's back-pack is torn, who was scolded by her teacher. I can not wait for each embrace and the chance to tell them over and over and over a million times how loved and special and incredible and wanted and unique and beautiful and treasured they are. 

My heart swells with hope as the smells of burning trash and sewage fill our nostrils. We are weary after a full Sunday, too tired to even be on this train in the first place--but then it's always worth every second of the struggle as soon as we pull up to the land and 38 little brown feet and painted pink toes dart out of the house to greet us in our sweaty clothes and filling us in on when it will rain, where there's a leak, who is coming. 

All nineteen throwing arms around our necks before we have a chance to even exit the bus. And I can not believe they belong to us. Every gift is truly from above, from this Father with Whom is no shifting or turning. Praise His Name! 

This home, these girls, His goodness--all here with us now. His mercy in person--in the form of a haven and home. So thankful.

Your strength never fails us our sweet Lord! Praises locked up deep within set free at last and His compassion and empathy find their way back to me again. His smile over me so near I feel I could touch it. 

Chubby baby fingers hold my hand tightly as tears start to stream-hate that, but after this child-bearing business, can't seem to stop the flow sometimes. :) 

So very much to thank Him for, my heart cannot even contain it. To track all of His kindness to me-I would utterly fail. 

And the very best gift of all... 

in the thickest parts of the chaos He is here, Emmanuel-with me 

and as if this miracle wasn't enough, glimmers of gold are shinning through and I love this train ride and can't wait to do it all over again. 

Monday, February 27, 2012

A different kind of highlight this time with our girls....a thrilling announcement!

Blogging-- merely an idea for this crazy gal this year... with life in India above our church and with 42 shinning eyes looking to Paul and I....I wonder if I had a day to myself, with power and a good connection--would I be better about it---I doubt it, my style seems too frustrating as I can't keep it to one subject here....so many titles in just an hour here pile up in my mind challenging me to stay on topic here--Sorry in advance, my dear type A friends trying your best to follow...know it's only your love for us you don't give up!!!  Sitting here with my laptop on a box so I don't kill my neck ...making the use of another power outage-battery should last a good 40 minutes as I play worship songs while typing with baby at my side.

Another glorious couple weeks in the mountains with our 19 girls has just come to a close... Paul and I returned from our 14 and a half hour journey in the bus with full hearts and at the same time, emotionally spent.
Entire 15 hr days without power, afternoons focused solely on discipline issues with little ones from not liking their teacher--to telling their sister she was an orphan, dealing with staff issues, interviewing for new positions, meeting with pastors, sharing God's Word in the mountains, shopping for our girl's needs in the crazy market place with baby boys, problem solving over candle light with our team, calls for buses and vans and loading them all up one by one for outings to the park and church, even dealing with a dangerous situation my hubs showed his great wisdom in dealing with him once again.

This is the trip that we will never forget....this is the one where I didn't have to wonder with my hubs what his cherished memory was. 

 Knowing my husband and the way he loves to protect and guard their hearts, I understand how he's waited patiently not wanting to defraud them about our great move to Chennai..though they ask us relentlessly each time we leave...are we coming to your house with Daddy Paul and baby Isaiah and Maciah now?(ah, heart breaker.) 
We both have this odd mixture of great anticipation and then a little nervousness too...what if the enemy thwarts our amazing plan for them....and it will be yet another test to trust and give up our dreams.  SO many altars with these girls since the beginning of this story when they stole our hearts the year the first were born and rescued.
 How many times God Himself revealed His own jealous heart to me of my passion and intensity for these precious ones--(that started back in 2004-my first dip in India)-wanting that for Himself first. Big lesson there.
Then again another game change in 2007 after a failed attempt to help these same children when God reminded me HE is the one who opens and closes the doors. I went to India on a mission determined to help these same babies and when I found myself on the other side of a huge closed door, darkness flooding my heart and an anger I had never known surged in me for the injustice I witnessed.
If I could only have more of an understanding, Lord of Your true sovereignty--that indeed YOU ARE! You are the first and last and beside you there is NO other! YOU are the blessed controller of all things....(Rev. 22:13, Is. 45:5, Tim 1;7) this is at the base of our theology here....and one of the attributes that made me fall for Paul early on. All is in His hands and with this knowledge only I can keep an open hand and open heart...I understand that the focus must always be on the ONE and only...vs. being small minded seeing only the the situation -or the person we think is blocking us or our family from grace in that moment. 
With this acceptance that it is God Who parts the sea and moves the waters as He wills on our behalf I had the strength to put down the only thing I wanted years ago--to be a mommy to these girls. 

My journal entry in the fall of 2007 on the cement floor of my little rat-hole hotel in Chennai opens with "I have another plan for you, my dear daughter"....Little did I know at the time my God, in His infinite mercy, in His grace and love had Paul in mind for me----first would come marriage--and then the babies. :) First He would demand total submission and abandonment to Himself--not a calling, not a desire to serve--only a desire to see and know Him in His beauty.
First, He wanted to heal the broken places in my heart I had long sealed up, even forgotten. I thought I was there....I had to come to India for God to reveal how many idols I held tightly in the secret places of my soul. 
 How He convicted and molded my adulterous heart that was married to a calling without me even realizing...
"Bend the knee, my daughter and worship and love and look for My face--not a purpose, not a calling....for I am the One that is here waiting, calling out to you"...
And I thought I sold my things and waited 2 years for the blessing to go and serve in India to care for the needy and the hurting, to be a mother to 'throw-away' babies... 
No, indeed--"you came to seek My face", was His gracious and daily reminder in my brokenness..How many idols that needed to be stripped away,
 with thankfulness I write this that the Lover of our soul never gives up on us---but sees what I can become and calls me over and over in spite of my own selfishness.

 And that is where I met Him all over again as He wooed me in my sorrow on that altar.... the altar where Paul and I were called to set these girls not once or twice, but 4 times with the acceptance that HE may or may not chose to give them to us. 

The amazing part of this whole journey with many layers...(I vow to compile in a book for my children one day), in taking on the care of 19 beautiful darlings is that God keeps bringing to the forefront of our hearts that this is HIS glory and He is not willing to share with anyone. It's HIS story.
 He is the one who knitted them together in secret in the very wombs of their enemy....He is the ONE Who rescued them, using even corrupt people to save them for their own purposes. Though the enemy schemed their death many times, God meant each attempt to be for the glory of the risen King.   
The irony is that my Lord loves His glory and He allows every tear, every test, every injustice that we cry out to HIM for relief from for our very own good when we adore Him. To the praise and honor of HIS own Name-the One that is worthy of all laud, all adoration, all our lives.
 It's amazing, He allows us to call out to Him for what He put in place, 
He allows us to plead for His mercy-to remove, to tear down a painful thing and to raise it up again for the praise of His Name.  He just waits to make sure it is HE that will have all the glory. :) 
 Tears fill my eyes as I type making it hard to see what I am doing. Little Mac Truck sits beside me on the bed his chubby arms flying up and down, as he enjoys the sound that comes from the slap them bouncing off my leg. :) 

Our highlights...the quiet moments we caught one on one with each girl hearing her whisper the treasures she's been storing up for us, the squeals of excitement when we got our school girls their first new bangles to wear like all the other girls, shinning sunbeams reflected off their brown fingers all smooshed under our door waking us each morning, partaking in true family life with my girls, doing lice-kit treatments together. ;)

I narrow it down to the one that was most unexpected for Paul and I that came in the form of a gift. 

This is the first year in my ignorance, I am attempting to put together some sort of fund raiser to build their home. You can't possibly know the burden to move these beautiful girls unless you come and visit, love on them and see where they are living. You can't know the urgency we feel to get them near us until you travel the grueling all-night bus ride with us and our baby boys. The land where they are is not ours. The girls alone are.
How desperate we have felt to get them near us, to be with them at any chance we want to. To give them a lovely, safe haven where their unique gifts thrive in under the love and care of watchful eyes who fear God and are crazy about them, giving everything in their power to help them succeed.
 These little lambs are no less than miraculous. Paul and I see giants when we look at them. Paul and I see the greatness of God in their eyes and when His Words fall from their lips you cannot help but worship our God, seeing His holiness. 

We never want to defraud our little ones....Knowing what a bear it will be to move them. Our first year and a half was the battle of their legal documents...ensuring every jot and title was legit and even getting aid from Paul's brother, Xavier willing to travel in all the original dangerous villages for signatures of those who gave over  the babies. Because these very crucial steps weren't taken before, the girls home could never be legal making it possible for the government to seize them at any time. 
On this trip to India we have now in our hands the miracle of the certificate of a legal girls home. I cannot even express what a mountain size task this was to secure--especially since this government building we picked up our documents in was burned down just a day later. 
So, we praise You, Abba and with gladness in our heart we bend the knee and embrace YOU for putting the obstacles in our path causing agencies and government officials to wash our hands of these girls and the mess. We bend the knee at YOUR sovereign ways and the time in which YOU do all things well for Your own joy and knowledge, hiding from the masses. We bend the knee at Your merciful choice to move the mountain You only put in place. 
After the miracle of securing proper work-the next giant in our path ---
a daunting amount of money needed to BUILD.   
Those of you who know us best know how much we loath to discuss money.....we'd rather do anything---a hike with babies on our back to Tibet from here--you name it, this just is not the way God has lead us to this point. This happens to be another quality I fell in love with in him. 
Upon our return to the states this time though, I had to be focused, I had to pray for the courage for this  project, believing that God would bless our hard work as we shared our girls story in any capacity we could. Wanting to give these girls the very best compelled me to arrange something for them to share.
This way we would be able to plan for building and finishing our dream campus this year. 
Leave it to the Lamb to want to show off again without my help. :) He gets a kick, I believe out of reminding me how much HE does not need my help, my ideas, my fundraiser ideas. I am so use to Him showing off at the last moment so this time it really took Paul and I by total surprise when a selfless couple and lovers of the Lord gave a huge amount to help fully cover expenses for our girls home.
 Surely God would have us struggle a bit in the states, surely we would have to wait on Him, cry out, linger in the night hours in prayer wondering when, how. Nope, not this time. 
This time God wanted to give Paul the joy and highlight of what would be most precious. 
Telling our little darlings about our dream to MOVE THEM!!!!!!!!!!!!
move them OUT of Egypt. 
We could never share this dream with them until we were confident of their documents and then of the funds to cover this great task. 
With a bursting heart I can hardly type this properly here. 
How great are you, Lord. 
How awesome are Your ways...sooo vastly far above my own. 
Thank you for the incredible reminder that these little ones are Your's and no ones love for them compares to Your's, o Holy of Holy. 
Keep my mouth oh Lord from sin, for I am utterly undone. 
Oh, Savior of nations, how You call us to worship again on our knees, face to the earth here in the East counting Your gracious ways over us. 
This dream....that started in the heart of a great, merciful, Loving Father.... 
this dream YOU dared to share with me, Oh my Lord, I am undone. 
I can not and do not even believe this is coming true. 
My heart is so overwhelmed at the greatness and the goodness of Your love for the children who were meant to be killed the day they were born. 
Your love, Oh, Lord!!
Your love is forever!!!!
How YOU sing over them!!
How this is Your story.....I love it. 
You are my most favorite story teller, o Great Lover of my Soul!!!
I love the way you draw us in, then leave us hanging in suspense for a couple chapters and at last shine so brightly with Your glory I can hardly 
see to read the rest of the chapter!!
I never imagined in my wildest dreams, Oh Lord how speedily You would rush in this time and rescue us. 
You know we are utterly lost without you. We don't have a chance on our own!!
You know we are crazy, Abba!!!! 
But let us be crazy for the thing that YOU are. 
Let us be solid, an unmovable gaze fixed upon the Master's face, eyes locked on Your's, ears opened to the sound of the voice we are desperate for!
We worship YOU!!!!
We adore You in Your greatness! In the beauty of Your majesty, You have won us over. 
Thank you, o great Lover of My soul!!
how Your goodness compels me to forsake all and follow You!!!
Let us be faithful, Oh our Sweet Lord!!
Every rupee, every moment, every heart... 
our prayer for 2012~ 
faithfulness, completely to our Lord. 
Thank YOU that these girls are radiant worshippers of YOU, with a great purpose to lead nations to Your truth. 

Wishing I had a photo to post of this -38 dark sparkling eyes looking up at us with thrill as Daddy Paul shared with them the story of their new 
home being made just for them. 
Who knew the priceless highlight would be so life changing. 
I never believed God would give us that when we were there in the mountains with them. Pictures are on the way~ stay posted :) 

Thank you our precious givers with all our hearts.We love you as our own family and long to see HIm bless your own family as you have given. 
You know how much your obedience is changing lives....
and one day you can come and see it and feel the hug of a little beauty thanking you herself!!!!

Thank you for getting this far if you read this - your prayers are keeping us and we thank you with all our hearts~ 
now to face my laundry....love from afar, molly and the gang~ :)

and no, the work isn't done yet, it's just the very beginning, but praise to God we are ready....to order and get going on the plumbing for the campus, power up and order building supplies--it is a miracle. 

Friday, December 16, 2011

2011's first entry :) (Another day with Sonia in the hospital-Madras)

After God graciously added 20 little ones to our lives since September 2010, I completely abandoned writing. 
 19 beautiful baby girls God birthed in our hearts before we met each other --(girls rescued from female infanticide) and the 20th  --2nd son to Paul and I birthed at home in Phoenix in September:)

I am just now coming out of the fog and giving into my friends challenges to get back on here, to document our wild journey, it's challenges and victories in hopes of remembering the stories of His faithfulness in years to come. 

So power outages and slow speed dial up, diaper-less babies, look out, I am determined!
I will get a post on here--even if it takes a week in bits. :)

One of our precious 19--Sonia, age 4 thanks to a few of God's generous kids was able to undergo heart surgery here for a 5 in. hole!
This entry has to do with giving thanks for and trials that go along~

"I have all and abound"  Phil, 4:18 a; 

"He is able to make all grace abound to you"!
2 Cor, 9:8

Words my mother use to challenge me to chew on, to say out loud over and over until they ring true though everything in me protests the opposite. 

Paul,  (My amazing hubs of 3 yrs), flashes his all-knowing smile my way under his dirty sun glasses when he hears the pep talk with God under my breath, through my head covering on the bike, "I have all, I have ALL, i abound, I AM abounding, overflowing, flowing...."

The more I tell myself I truly do ALL and abound, regardless of the scenery around me, regardless of the lack I feel-- the more I learn to let this truth sink in and settle on deepest levels of my frail heart, the more I learn to hear it--I find I really do start to believe. And this is the victory that overcomes the world, our faith! And when I let my soul feed on this principle, I can boldly stand and encourage the vision of my husband, I can speak healing into the lives of our children, I can see with eyes of faith and this is His design for our lives. 

It's a good thing when God rushes in changing my perspective, it's a great thing when I can remember in light of eternity today is just a flash, in a moment we will be with Him and in a moment we will be like HIM!!!

Some of the struggles that have been more overwhelming than usual include driving on our motorbike with babies to and from the hospital in flooding, congested traffic and filth. And dealing with disorganized staff and nurses who don't seem to care for our little one they are over seeing in the hospital. Parents are required to sleep overnight with their children in the hospital, to chart all voiding, to dispense medicine and give care as nurses make notes from their table observing.  Paul's mom has graciously spent these nights caring as I am not permitted with a nursing baby. 
The staff informs us to come at 5 or 7 am to begin Sonia's operation and we will set our 4 am alarm, bundle babies and arrange/pay for a friend to help watch them in the hospital waiting room as they aren't permitted inside..... then they will inform us the procedure will delayed another 4 hours all the while baby girl is not allowed to eat or drink waiting for her operation on the bed. The cost for this procedure has doubled from what they informed us and we learn they will not begin the procedure until it's paid upfront in full. 
We must be there to sign a paper before they move her or do anything, but 4 out of 5 times they will inform us no one is permitted that time....when you’re too polite we are learning no progress will be made. Paul yells at the helpless and confused staff barefoot in saris behind the dusty counter for their error and lack of proper communication all causing our sweet girl to suffer in the wait for thirst. I feel livid, anxious to head upstairs and give her lunch and juice. Paul He heads to the chaotic parking lot that also serves as a temple full of mournful and singing worshippers offering trades and sacrifices for a family member inside. He's on the line with two calls at once with banks trying to move funds just given in the nick of time her surgery through the night.  We sneak up the flights of stairs in the back. The surgery postponed for the morning again.

 Down the stairs again to nurse our three month old waiting in the lobby with family.

"Thank You, Lord Jesus, you are here".

"Thank You for reminding me to abide, with out you I cannot do this", I pray in the over crowded waiting room..

Our night is short, full of prayers, full of hope for our little one to have His favor and mercy repairing the walls of her heart--it's her big morning, at last! Paul and I can't believe how the Father has provided all we need just in time without us informing everyone of the need, this is the He works--without faith showing His mighty steadfast power in our lack each time! 
Finally, we sneak up the flight of stairs like every other morning (as only one parent is allowed at once) where we will be able to spend time with our precious Sonia together! The little dolly waits in her hospital gown--open in the back--her shinning eyes light up as he lifts her head to the sound of our calls, "SONIA, SONIA" (it’s a well-known song in Tamil here), surrounded by iv bags, carts and tiny sick babies--even just a few days old. She leaps in our arms forgetting about her bandage on her heart, clinging to us for dear life smiling. She's ready to pray--our little tradition when we first arrive in the morning, she presses her hands tightly together, "Dear Jesus, thank you for this day. My Jesus, thank You for my heart. My Jesus, please bless my doctors, please bless my nurses..." then she proceeds with us to pray for her 18 sisters and ends with baby Maciah looking up asking suddenly, "where is my baby?" (Our baby boy :) who is not permitted on this floor.

:) I adore this little girl!!

Paul plays a game with her on the pillow using the chain on our entrance pass, her giggles lighten my weary soul.

All to fast our time is up, Paul and I tell her she will have a bran new, beautiful, strong heart when she wakes up and see us, we tell her how proud we are of her and that Jesus is with her, He is going to repair her heart! We are excited, it's happening though we hate to leave her bed side every time. I have to believe in these moments , He is calling her to Himself and nothing will hinder her from following. He is making her brave. There is something so undeniably special and magical about this little girl, you can't stop from smiling yourself when you meet her--the way she can light up the whole block with her darling singing and dancing--she is meant for great things in this world, I can't believe He gave us front row seats in her life.

Last night after we left, Paul's parents went to pray for her--of course they were stopped by the hospital staff as well, but Paul's dad pushed right through to find Sonia sobbing alone in her ICU bed, he went to here, laid and on her forehead and silenced all in the room, including Sonia. How thankful I am to have loving in-laws who have also taken on these girls and their care in their hearts with us.

This hospital is the very best in India for hearts. Sonia's surgeon is clearly brilliant, but lacking strength in the people skills department. "Can you explain to us how you repaired the hole- what’s involved in re-constructing  the atrium wall?? "
He replies "Ya, you can just check the chart at the time of discharge."

Paul says questions here are very offensive and untrusting, the opposite of what we are taught in the states--to welcome and encourage questions as a means of instruction and growth.

Maybe I can ask in another manner, "Sir, see we rescue girls and have other girls with heart issues and will face this again-we wanted our girls to have the best care- vs. cheaper government care. If there is a way you can help me with photos of the heart before and after the surgery so that we can document what a great service our little girl had with your treatment, vs. something local..."   "No photos were taken of Sonia during surgery, she will have a long life now, see the file at discharge".  As he gives a smile that doesn’t seem to go with his tone or few words.

I remind myself of the miracle that we are even here in the lovely  hospital, I praise God that our little girl is no longer critical as I look around at all the mournful faces of families of sick little ones. Praises well up in my heart turning genuine as I consider all my hubs has on his plate .....

Paul's cell vibrates none-stop as usual when we meet with staff in the hospital, questions regarding church needs, repairs in the church, budget issues, calls from our other 18 girls we are missing, updates on our babies waiting in the lobby, new sports teams for the start of the year needing orientation, jerseys, friends inviting us to their churches, dinners, wondering why they haven't seen us yet in India... etc.

and he is here with me, with Sonia….making this happen. His heart adores these baby girls as much--if not more than I do, what a gift! This undertaking was never something I talked him into.

He declined 3 pastors invites for him to preach this week; I am thankful.
(He's a pastor---we live above our church in madras :)

It's all worth it, I tell myself as we come home after 7 hrs, walking up the 47 stairs carrying water, babies and a few groceries , greeted by the neglected mounds of laundry waiting for us to wash together by hand.
I am stopped by the presence of the Lord
grateful He is steadfast in His encouragements to my soul, I make sure to put crying babies down, sit and listen.
"I have much more for you, my daughter, I am molding you even in this"

A great comfort to my soul that all this struggle, all this waiting is accomplishing a greater, hidden work in the eternal realm. 

This morning at 4 when the call to prayer sounded and our church started to fill up below for prayer and fasting, Paul declared a stay at home day as he noticed I was limping to get baby. (early this year I broke 3 bones in my ankle from a fall down the stairs in my 2nd trimester needing surgery and now I have a foot full of plates and medal that aches when I am too active:)

  I am very happy with this declaration in our little two room place-I love the days we lock ourselves away ( although home here feels like a very extended camping trip---in a third world country, I must confess). 

I am learning to entrust Sonia as well as all of our precious children to the Lord and His perfect care as He knows the way that we take and only He knows what's ahead the next day. I trust His grace supply is enough to sustain us this moment. And in this moment joy is realized as I discover, truly I DO have ALL and abound.