Mar 31, 2011

This is war.

You know it's time for us to step it up
Another level now 'cause we finished warming up
So we rise up elevate to maintain fill up with octane
And fan the flame we regain all the names
The enemy took away
And like a green beret we will lead the way
Into battle so have no fear we will draw near
So that we can persevere like a gondolier
We headed straight to the top nonstop
Set shop at the top of the Rock
You'll feel the aftershock after we rock the spot
Cause you forgot these soldiers won't turn and walk
We take hard knocks come back for more
Cause we're hardcore we fight for the One who died for (you)
And like Saigon we're on the frontlines
And we carry on to the end times

Now that it's on, we're out in the front of this marathon
With our armor on, stay strong we drive on (drive on)
Our echelon pressin' on 'til we reach the top
And you know we don't stop (our echelon)
Now that it's on

We're on the enemy's hit list
I'm hopin' you get this
You're takin' a risk when you resist the one who made you exist
Evolutionists we got love for you too but we're breakin' down
Walls seeking out the truth
I'm a soldier in this army of One
Like I told ya the battle's already won
So about face move outta the way I gotta pray for you
And this is how we do

- Echelon, by Pillar

Today is the day of the battle to be won. Through prayer, through fasting, through communion with our God. My heart trembles, as I feel the shocks of this battle reverberate throughout the spiritual realm. 3 kids, 3 forgotten faces, 3 of the least of us - eternal consequences.

This is war. The battle is already won.

Mar 29, 2011

All I can think about is pain...

I must confess something. I sit you for a few hours, and hear you talk about your life. How its been hard, how you have been lonely. How your previous job was not what you wanted, how someone was mean to your face.

But all I can think of is Kirill. How he was told - no, you may not have a mommy and daddy because you are less than perfect.

You tell me how you worry about spending money on new perfume, because you and your young husband are broken.

But all I can think of is little Ethiopian infant, with dirt in his mouth, suffocating in the desert - because someone decided he was unclean.

You tell me how you had dreams of being a painter, a famous one perhaps, but had to wait tables in a faraway land.

I can only think of a boy, who's body is so broken, he barely has a spot on it that's not in pain. He has noone to cuddle him, noone to make it better.

You tell me how you struggle with your weight, how every died has failed, and you feel ashamed of your body.

I keep seeing the picture of an 11 lb 3-year old, with her little frail body almost nonexistant - she was starved.

You keep talking about how people wronged you, not giving you the days off work when you asked for them. How angry that made you, how hurt.

I keep thinking about a toddler girl, who's body was slashed over and over by shaman, in order to "heal" her by letting the demons out. And a young boy beaten and buried alive for not working the fields too hard. And the dozens imprizoned in cribs, tied to them, denied the basic nessessities for a human to survive. And barely-teens who are pregnant in the orphanages, give birth to more orphans to replace them. And a 6-year old, wearing a red dress, standing and waiting to be raped again and again by a man 4 times her age, and many more to come. And countless other - some denied even the basic dignity of a name.

You tell me the woes of having to STOOP down to be married by a priest, when you specifically wanted no part of a Christian ceremony, but noone else would marry you on a sunday but a priest. And how degrading it felt, and how rediculous it must have been. YOU HAVE IT ALL. Name. Home. Food. Warmth. Family. Love. And yet you are DISGUSTED by religion., really? How is it that you can enjoy these riches and be disgusted by the idea of a God, the very God who showers you with them, and yet those who have NOTHING rejoice when just get a glimpse of him? How is it that your life is so hard, yet you know nothing of real pain? Do you even know that these atrocities exist right now?

I don't hate you. No, I despair, because I catch myself doing the same. Whining. Wanting more. Doing nothing. Me, me, ME.
Father, have mercy on us.

Mar 28, 2011

God walks with me, even in the rain

It's funny and sad when you realize how much you take for granted a simple
Act of going to church. Tonight after work and dinner I decided to take a walk around Reykjavik's streets.

Most of the shops were closed, but the night life was just starting. I came around the corner of yet another adorable little street, and there it was: glorious, so tall, even from a few blocks away - a house of God.

It looked like a spaceship,pointing towards the heavens. Among the small, old town buildings it stood proud and glorious. I started walking towards it, my heart beating faster, the closer I came. I could see the stained glass above the massive front doors. I don't know what it is about catholic churches that sends my heart trembling. Suddenly, I was all to aware of me messy uncovered hair, me jeans, my dirty sweater.

I wondered if they would let me in wearing jeans, but I had to try. Suddenly I wanted nothing more than to walk into a quiet cool darkness, smell the candles, kneel beside the altar( or more exactly, some dark corner) and ask Him for miracle. For Kiril and the Hook family. For me and guidance. For nothing in particular, just to be in his house, on me knees.

The church was closed for the day, open only during the business hours during the week - sadly the times that I would not be able to com. Disappointed, I sat outside, on one of the benches. No one around, the gray sheet of clouds above. The quietest part of the city at night. And then I realized that He sat there with me. Right on that bench, under the cold drizzle, the gray sky and quiet of the late Monday afternoon. We sat together, me- with disjointed prayers running through my head, and Him, just listening patiently.

How could You be here,with me always? Undeserving, unfaithful, a stubborn faithless child. And yet You walked out of Your temple, sat with me, walked with me back to the hotel, and even now I feel my body tremble and my soul
For You are with me.

I think that's the only God's temple here,although I cannot be sure. I think that I won't get to see the inside,but I suppose that it doesn't matter. On my knees, before you,Abba. Even when I'm walking or sitting at work.

Iceland, the night of the fish.

Ok, so this was way too much fun not to share, and its definitely not as funny when I tell it (I have tested it out already).

So, if you know me, then you know that I am crazy about dried fish, and Iceland is like dried fish Holy land - its everywhere, and is pretty cheap. So my first night here, I bought a bag, and had some and stuffed it in the hotel room's mini-fridge.
A day or so after that, me and John realized that every time we opened the fridge, a big waft of fishy smell was let loose on the room. The fish itself did not go bad - in it\s bag it still smelled delicious (for me), but apparently whatever other noxious fumes it gave off - it went far and wide.

The night of the fish, we cam in the room after having dinner, and it reeked. Really bad. So, we decided to get rid of the fish, because we felt bad that the cleaning people probably had to smell that. But we couldn't just toss it int he garbage can - then it would be even worse, stinking until morning. We couldn't even, for some reason, to bring ourselves to toss it in one of the lobby\s garbage cans. Because that felt wrong.
So, we spent sometime trying to come up with ways to get rid of the fish. Sneaking it outside and burying under the snow somewhere was one idea, but we were too tired to go anywhere.

Now, it was probably just our tired minds, and we were not even drinking, but for some reason we decided that the best way to dispose of the fish (short of sliding it under someone\s door, and letting the, deal with this problem), was to toss it out of the window.

Problem - the window is like 7-feet tall, and the only part that opens was this 1-foot wide portion all the way at the top. So, it was this narrow, angled opening, practically near the ceiling, that we had to try to clear in order to toss the fish outside.

We shut off the lights, cracked it open and commenced with the fish tossing. Because at this point we were doubling with laughter, and nearly peeing our pants, the tossing did not go so well. The large fillets pretty much just bounced off the glass and with a FLOP, landed back on the floor, shattering into tiny fish flakes, stinking the room up even more.
After a few unsuccessful tossings (I think only 2 fillets actually made it outside), we gave up. First of all, the windows were facing the front, luckily NOT the front entrance, but the parking lot next to it. So, whoever the Icelander who found a couple of fillets of dried fish on their car the next morning - I am sorry, I had no choice.

The rest of the fillets we pretty much wrapped up in whatever plastic we could find and snuck it in the lobby, tossing it like a bomb in one of the garbage bins by the elevators.

That was probably the most fun I've ever had with dried fish.And yeah, two days later I bought more fish, and even bigger bad. I don't even care about the smell anymore.

Mar 27, 2011

Iceland, day...something

I must say my body is being pushed to the limit. While I am used to the 5-hour time difference (i think), i am still feeling "weird" and "off" all the time. Probably because I've been so tired after the convention stuff.

But, last night me and my husband finally got a chance to go into town, get something to eat, adn spend a bit of time together. I must say that that was my favorite time so far. Its funny, I go across the planet, and have a whole country to explore, and the person I want to hang around with the most - is the same guy I've hung around for the past 15 years.

Anyway, after some wandering around the typical adorable narrow-street European-looking area, we finally decided on Cafe Paris. I know, that's like so cliche. But the prices were slightly better than the rest of the restaurants around.
He ordered some pasta, and I ordered whale steak. Yep, whale. I always wanted to try it.

Let me tell you, I'm glad we only ordered one. John loved my steak,and I ended up eating his pasta. Its not that it was bad - in fact many people enjoy the texture and the flavor. But for some reason my body rejected it right away, and I almost started gagging. There is a strange, new and unfamiliar after-taste to the meat that I guess my body just could not accept. And maybe because its...whale.

The funny thing, John told me, that its not unusual to be sitting at the same table with some strangers in a restaurant. In US - its really unusual, unless you are at a bar (like the bar itself), but here, its quite common. I guess its a great way to meet people, and it seems that outside of the US, the personal bubble is much smaller. There was a rather handsome swedish young man, who started chatting with us, and ended up at our table. I don't remember his name, but he apparently moved to Iceland to be the middleman for various starting businesses here. Or something like that. I had trouble following him, as cute as he was, he also talked quite fast. He also apparently hoped to hook up with two cute Icelandic ladies at the next table.

It was a chance and very charming encounter. We wished him luck in his business endeavors and with the girls. :)

Another thing we learned - your waiter not always comes back with your check. After sitting around for a while, we were finally directed to the register. So, all in all, a great meal, an interesting chance encounter, and a great night.

The night got even better after that, but I'll have to tell you about that a bit later. I'm hoping to go out to a local thai restaurant, so hoping that my group doesn't leave without me.

That's a metal-cast mural in the hotel's lobby - very nice.

Mar 25, 2011

Call tp pray: Kiril

I have already posted Kiril's prayer on my Prayer wall, but I would like to mvoe this to the main page, as his situation is so heartbreaking.

His family, who just like many families, adopting a child wtih special needs, went through the "trial by fire", the paperwork, the travel, the finances, the questions, just to be told "NO". Why? Not because they were not fit, or could not provide for an adopted child. But because a judjge decided that Kiril did not deserve a family, having Down Syndrome. He was not fit to be loved.

Please follow the mother's story about this horrific experience. Basically, a mother was told by court to walk away from HER SON. I am appaled. I am begging you, my friends, please pray for this situation. This is not just about Kiril, but many other children in his orphanage. Please pray that the hears and minds of people maybe opened regarding the Down Syndrome - it is NOT a death sentence, and those children should NOT be locked away and hidden.

Please pray, please pray. Waiting for a miracle, Abba. Thank you.

Mar 23, 2011

Iceland, day 2

I just woke up, it is 7 am Icelandic time. I think my body is synching up with the time, I guess the next 10+ hours will be a test to that.

As I said, so far everything has been wonderful. I am enjoying, no, relishing and baskin in the comfort of my hotel room by myself. This solitary paradise, although short-lived, as John is arriving here tomorrow, is much-needed. The bed was beyond comfortable, with a feather-filled blanket and a pillow. The temperature in the room is perfect. The bathroom is cozy and clean. I am still figuring out how to work the faucets, as they are a bit confusing. I was told there is a button I am not supposed to press, as it will release the temperature comparable to the fires of hell itself, but I pressed everything anyway. No burns yet. I am being super cautious with the water, so it takes me white a bit to get the right temp for a bath.

Tap water tasted hevenly. Food in general been superb. I am off to have breakfast, which was an interesting mixture of yogurt, fruits, cold cuts, sausages and some pastries. And strong coffee!

I will be working a lot today, but will try to write more. Of, and its been snowing almost non-stop yesterday. Crispy 30s degrees, and feels very fresh (but cold!). Honestly, its like going back in time, back in Siberia - the smell of the wind, the feel of the cold. Its not like in the South in the winter at all.
Even the town itself looks like my hometown in Siberia. heh.

Mar 22, 2011

Iceland, day 1

I have landed in Iceland just a few hours ago. I am half-asleep, but forcing myself to stay awake, to get over the jet lag faster.
It is FREEZING here, and was quite a shock, coming from 70s degree weather. But its beautiful. I didn't get to go anywhere much yet, but the drive from Keflavik to Reykijavik was pretty amazing. Got to watch a sunrise over an island I've never been on before.

I think I might have forgotten my camera cord. If not, will post some pictures soon.

Mar 21, 2011

URGENT: Prayer request

Just brought home from a 3-year hell of oblivion in an orphanage, so tiny...3 years old, and weights only 11 pounds. Unfathomable. Her new family, brought her to the emergency room as soon as they landed in the US.

My friends, Please pray for her and her family. Please, Father, her road has been so long, yet in such a short time. So close to tasting life and love. I hope its not too late, but if it is - please bring her home to You.

Praying for her family, who are in shock and in pain. Please visit The Beautiful Life blog for more details on baby Carrington.

Mar 19, 2011

My own adventure

Next week I am about to leave for a 2-week business trip to Iceland. Yes, you heard me right - Iceland!
I am both excited and nervous. I am terrified of flying, or I used to - I think I am finally getting used to it. Luckily, almost everyone there speaks great English (in most cases, better English than here, down in the South, ifyouknowwahtimean). Ever since we landed in NYC 20-some years ago, I have not been outside of the US, so for me, this is like a grand adventure.
I hope that this year I will get a chance to travel to the opposite corner of our planet - To Africa. I recall hearing myself say just a few years ago: "Africa, is one place I will never ever go, because i am scared of it."

I am so over being scared. Seems that if you are motivated enough, you will do anything. :)

So, I will be checking my blog, and will try to post updates, but who knows what kind of access to the internet I will have? So with that, I hope to "see" you all soon.

Mar 17, 2011

God doesn't "wear off"

Sometimes, driving in my car, or washing the dishes, or showering (those are my special God moments)I think back on the years before God. I'm sure a lot of your will agree, those who were not born with religion around you but have come to God later in life - there comes a point where it's hard to remember or imagine your life without God.

When I first was saved I was afraid that it will "wear off". Like the high after a concert or an event - the excitement wears off after sometime. Like wine, like a drug - the "groovy feelings" will dissipate in reality. I was afraid that one day I will wake up and realize that I don't really believe in God, or salvation, or Jesus. That I will look at myself and feel foolish.

For months, I kept checking my heart, and each day, not a day went by when I did not think about You. And I had my Christian friends - strong, mature believers to help me and guide me and most of all teach me. And yet, I was afraid that one day You will go "poof!", like a cartoon fairy. And I will be back in the world again. Without You. Without hope. Without something precious.
Years went by, but the tiny light was not extinguished. After a while I started to get scared, what if there will be a "test" - a calamity, a tragedy in my life and I will not pass? What if something bad happens to someone I love, and I will get angry and stop believing in You?
I lived in fear, as if my head was already under the guillotine blade - waiting to it to fall. But no calamity came, things were as peaceful as ever. And You would not wear off, I thought of you daily. My heart rejoiced at thinking about You, reading Your word - every time.Sometime I would slip - I still do, and I purposefully shut You out my life for a time. But when I open the shutters - You are there, patiently waiting. Your prodigal daughter, each time you rush out to hug me and rejoice.

Could this be truly real? How can I be saved, yet be afraid for my faith to go "poof"? Over the years, the tiny flicker in my heart was growing stronger. I did nothing to feed it, but it did. The fire in my bones..But if I say, "I will not mention him or speak any more in his name," his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot." Oh Jeremiah, what beautiful words.
Little by little I started to realize that if the tragedy strikes - I will go on. I will shake the grief eventually, and continue marching ahead, because you will be carrying me. The fire burns inside, I now know that no matter happens int he future - you will not "wear off". You will shine only brighter each day, and You will be mine always, and I am Yours.

My little brother asked me, the last time we met "How did you get into religion like that? What was the point for you?"
I could not say, because I don't know. Its not a religion. Its love. I am in love. There is not a particular moment, no road to Damascus that happened. I cannot explain but I think my heart was always pointing to Him, my feet were simply walking on the wrong paths. I don't know what "clicked", how, what words were said to me. I just know that at some point I realized who I was - His. Always. No matter what.

And this is just the beginning.

Drawn from Water

Reading more on the situation over at the orphanage, and our struggles there. My heart feels so heavy, and I don't even have any details. I'm not there to hold them, but I am here to pray for them.
Please take them and seal them, hide them from those who seek to exploit and profit this situation. Father, please, father please. Hold them near your heart today and tomorrow and always.

Mar 16, 2011

Tale of two brothers and a bunny hat

Anton is a one-year-old orphan in Russia. He and a twin were born by surrogate in Russia. The twin was healthy, but Anton was diagnosed with a rare skin disorder called Recessive Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa (see The "parents" took the healthy twin home but abandoned Anton in the hospital. He has been living in a hospital with one-on-one care and was in danger of being moved into an orphanage due to his age.

Now, those of you who are not familiar with that condition, let me tell you - its a tough road. Its a struggle and a challenge, and worst of all - it has no cure. Called the Butterfly disease, the children and adults suffering from it require constant care and pain management. While some forms of it are milder, and don't seem to require constant bandaging, others are not unlike treating 3d degree burns. Constantly. With new ones coming up, on the outside AND on the inside of the body.

There have been a lot of people watching, praying and waiting for a family to find him. And it did! Please visit the blog for the family, who want to adopt this boy. Sweet little Anton (that's my cousin's name, bthw). Look at his lively eyes! It won't be easy, but he will be loved.

There are a number of people that have been helping Anton directly, but right now his family needs all the support and help that we as a community can give them. Please visit their friend's site, Hope for Anton, and join me in the fund-raising event. If you are unable to participate, please spread the word. This time, the item auction is an adorable, custom-made with love bunny hat - just in time for Easter.
I'm told, sadly, the adorable model-baby does not come with the hat. :)

Please visit them! Please pray for Anton and his family, and that the process go fast and smooth for all.

Mar 15, 2011

Prayer requests

My friends, please pray with me, as a few more requests have appeared on the prayer wall (along with an awesome praise report!).

The latest one is for the Drawn from Water orphanage in Ethiopia. This is urgent. To learn more about this amazing place and the awesome people who run it, please visit their blog.

Every word, every post exudes their devotion and love to those children and one another. Please ask the good Lord to shield them from whatever whirlwind that's surrounding them.

Mar 14, 2011

Crafting mis-adventures

So, for a while now I have been looking for "my thing". You might know that I love to craft. I have probably seen literally hundreds upon hundreds of craft galleries. I also have a closet of crafting supplies, ranging from face painting to beads.

But I have trouble finding something that I can feel comfortable with. Something I cam make especially well. I also would like to be able to make things that I can use for the various fundraisers. I'm not going to lie - I don't hold the hopes of living off my craft, as I, frankly, don't have the time or the patience that I used to.

Anyway, I found this adorable tutorial on making dolls out of nylons stockings. The lady was quite good, and she made it look so simple!
Check these babies out!

So, after finding some rudimentary colors at the local Walmart, I set out to try it. Now, the master claimed that it takes her about 30-40 minutes to make them (Unless I mis-read). After two hours, my first creation emerged.

She is...well..memorable, for the lack of better word. I truly hope that my poor deformed spud-Goblin doesn't give anyone nightmare.

^ My son, posing with the doll, trying to look interested.

Ignore the date, my camera is always a few years behind the times. So, feeling ambitious (and having another nylon sock left), I also made a toy (an albino rodent with malformed limbs and disproportionately large butt) for my Gio. He seems to like it :)

Basically its a Pink Lady Spud Goblin.

To-the-TOP TuesdayBusy Mom's Tips Tuesday Blog Hop

Day 2, and Gio has not been playing with the rodent-toy. Why, WHY?! =-D

Mar 11, 2011

Pray for Japan today

As most of your might have heard today, Japan was hit by a massive earthquake a few hours ago. There is not that much information on the scope of the damage yet or the lives taken, but a few sources state that it was one of the largest earthquakes that Japan was ever hit with.

Let us pray today for the nation of Japan. For those who are hurt, lost, missing, or dead. For their families, for the rebuilding of homes and families. I pray that Lord would hold them in His hands and show mercy. I pray that people's heart are moved and called to help however they can.

Thank you, Father.

And a second prayer request is for the coast of California and Hawaii that might possibly be struck with a tsunami. May the damage be minimal, and no lives be taken.

Mar 9, 2011

Little boy and ice cream

A boy of about 10 walked into a café, and asked the waitress how much is a chocolate ice cream cone with sprinkles.

“50 cents” – said the waitress.
The boy, counting the coins in his hand and asked her:
“How much is just a plain ice-cream, without anything on top?"
The waitress, who had other customers waiting, was starting to get impatient.
“A quarter” – she said, sounding irritated.The boy then counted the coins in his hand once more.
“Can I have just a plain ice cream please” – asked the boy. The waitress brought out a cup of plain ice-cream, carelessly tossed the check on the table and departed to wait on the other customers. The boy finished his ice-cream, took the check to the register, paid and left.

When the waitress came to clean up his table, her eyes started welling up with tears – near an empty little bow sat a stack of coins, totaling 25 cents. It was her tip.

The moral of the story: never judge a person, when you don't know the reason behind his actions.

Beyond the blood

God is truly a revolutionary. From the very start of our existence as beings, he has taught us to think beyond our pre-conceived notions and ideas. Think bigger. Think global. Think different. Sounds like a corporate slogan, doesn’t it?

My sister in Christ from Journey 2 Ethiopia have posted this awesome article on adoption. I urge you to read it. It does not matter whether you never considered adoption, or are researching (like me), or are already in the process of adopting, or have adopted already.

One thing that this article helped me understand, and I think that God had already pressed it on my heart through countless of stories of adoption and families rebuilt: Adoption allows us to see FAMILY beyond blood. Ok, the “hippy” concept of all people being one big family is as old as time itself. But if you think about it, we are conditioned to know that family is the most important thing in life. That those people, whom we call family, are bound to us by blood, genetics, DNA – forever. From generation to generation. We are to cherish and protect it, no matter what. They are not perfect, and more often than not, they are who hurt us the most, but the idea transcends all cultures, all times and religions – family is the most important thing.

God, on the other hand is beyond blood. Beyond DNA and the family name. We are conditioned to protect the genes. To consider the blood to be the tying bond. But He, again and again, speaks of thinking beyond that. An adopted child is family. He or she is loved and suffered for, just as “blood child”. So, understanding the reservation about adopting a child – we were conditioned to think that this human being is a stranger.

But is he or she is that more of a stranger than the child growing in our wombs? Have we any control over what our “blood child” will look like, act like, be when they grow up? None at all. Is he or she not a stranger too?

I guess what I’m trying to say that more and more I am catching a glimpse of what God has been trying to tell us all along. As clichĂ© as this sounds – we are all family. Those children in an orphanage across the ocean - are family. Separated by miles, languages, name, tradition – they are family. That guy next to you on a subway – is family. He has no idea he is, but he is. The lady at the bank? Family.
Rebuilding our brains, allowing us to think beyond the box – what if we believed it and treated them like family? Not in small ways, like being nice (although that’s a start). But in BIG ways, as family often does? Giving shelter, giving provision, safety, or home, when a little one has none?

Please leave comments, tell me what you think. I would love to hear your thoughts on it.

Mar 7, 2011

What you should and should NOT tell your psychiatrist.

For reasons not important to this anecdote, I decided to see a psychologist. I have never been to a real psychologist before.I have googled far and wide on what I should expect when I see him/her. Naturally, my expectations were full of what the movies and TV portrayed the psychologists do. I am sure that I am not the only one in this. I also googled on what to say and what not to say to one. Unfortunately, there was no convenient list of DO’s and DON’Ts for this out there, at least that I could find.

Being a Christian – how much of your faith should or can you reveal to your doctor. If he not a Christian or follows any religion at all – should you even bring this up?
When I got to the office, I was so frazzled (I got lost on the way there), that I put the wrong date on ALL of the documents they had me fill out. I was only a day ahead, but the doctor (an older, very strict-looking gentleman) looked at me with THAT look that psychologists I KNOW have and asked me “Where are you getting this date from?”

It took every ounce of self-control not to tell him that my time machine’s calendar must be out of synch. When he asked me whether I have ever experienced hallucinations or heard voices, I stumbled and asked him to clarify. Like what do you mean, doctor, like voices- voices, or like OMG VOICES? He, narrowing his eyes, wrote something down in is pad.

I stumbled on the “Do you think you are being pursued by someone out there, or someone is out to get you?” What do I say?!

I know if you don’t tell your doctor the truth, then you are not going to allow them to help you. But how far does one go? Think about it, as a Christian (if you are, for example), or a person following another religion – how many things we say and do and experience during out normal day that can be classified as basically insane? And we consider them quite normal.

I’m torn and a little scared. Can one be put in a metal institution without their consent in our days? =)

Mar 4, 2011

The boy with broken legs.

I met a woman not too long ago who is a part of a mission group, that works in Uganda, particularly on improving conditions of a "rehabilitation center for children" near Kampala - the capital of Uganda.

One story in particular have always stayed with me. It is about a boy that they found in that "center" - He was only 4-5 years old. His legs were broken, and he was blinded by acid being spilled in his eyes. I was horrified and sick to my stomach to find out that this atrocity was done to him on purpose, AND by his own grandmother. By her reasoning, he would bring more money begging on the streets of Kampala is he was disfigured. He could earn SOMETHING in order to feed himself and his family.

That's not even the worst thing that happened to him. The reason my friend even found the boy, was because he was one of the couple of hundred children that are regularly brought to this "rehabilitation center" - swept off the streets by the authorities. Especially around the election times, because no one wants to see those beggars and children with nothing to do wandering around? So how do you solve the problem? You round them up like cattle, shove them in trucks, then ship them off to a "camp" just a few kilometers outside of the city and lock the door behind them. And THAT IS IT. There is no rehabilitation going on there.

200-300 kids, ages 3-18, starving, lonely, hungry, sick, hurt, with NO adult supervision, locked up behind a gate. What do they sleep on? If they are lucky - on a 20-year old mattress, covered in any possible biofluid imaginable. What do they eat? If they are lucky - they get their single allotted "meal" (swill) which is less nutritional than a stick of gum. If they get hurt? They just hope to live through it. If they are abused? They just live through it. Children, as young as 3, alone, mixed in with teenagers. Barely any supervision.

Some children have parents, but most do not. Sometimes parents of the "fortunate ones" come to pick them up around the Holidays (Merry Christmas, baby!) and drop them back on the street later on, but most of them time - they do not. Those who are able to work - work the fields nearby - a back-breaking labor. Many of them are refugees from Rwanda, who's parents have been killed during the political unrest, but a staggering number of them are HIV orphans.

Hard to imagine, right? In our day an age. What if one of them was MY son? My brother?

When my friends came there, they had no idea what they were walking into. They had no knowledge of this place before hand. what they saw with their eyes left them heartbroken. But also with a vision and a purpose.They may not be able to save all. But they can TRY to save some. Saving one life during your lifetime - is that not a HUGE thing already?

Those are real children. Real people. Not a faceless charitable organization. Those are mothers and fathers just like us. Their are based in Atlanta. They cannot, and will NOT be silent about this. They may not be able to change the system, but they CAN make a tangible difference.

A system cannot be changed through burying the problem. But there is a chance that one of those children, who suffers through this horrible injustice that is being done to them through no fault of their on, will LIVE and grow up to be the one person to change things one day. Those children have no voice. But WE do. We have the means. We have the riches. We have the way to make something good out of this ugliness.
Please visit their site: 60 feet

Their numbers are few, but the need is great. Please consider helping in whatever way you can, even if it is just to spread the word.

Mar 1, 2011

"He loves like a hurricane,,,,"

You know what is amazing? To see a love story so powerful that it literally takes your breath away and brings you down to your knees. To see a story enfolding in front of your very eyes so strikingly beautiful that your heart shatters into million pieces. To see a miracle happen – as graceful as only God can make it happen, not without bumps on the way for us down here, but a MIRACLE. What joy!
Please visit my blog-friend (even know she doesn’t know me, but I love her and read her blog everyday) from A place Called Simplicity and their big news. This is MORE than a birth announcement, or adoption news. This is a true miracle, a love story to cherish. Please visit their blog to hear the whole amazing story.

I am smitten by their whole family, by their little boy that they are about to bring home, and most of all by God, who orchestrated the whole thing.


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