Sunday, August 31, 2008
From the Children's Cup "Forty Days of Prayer for the Children" website:
Regardless of why it is going on, it is unbearable and it is going on everywhere we go.
God help us rescue and restore these kids by loving them with Your true grace and peace.
Thank you for praying today. Feel free to leave a comment with a prayer or thought you would like to add. If you haven’t signed up yet, send Children's Cup an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to let them know you are joining with them in prayer.
Saturday, August 30, 2008
But Jesus makes all the difference.
Thank you for praying today for the women of Southern Africa. Feel free to leave a comment with a prayer or thought you would like to add. And if you haven’t signed up yet, send an email to Children's Cup at email@example.com and let them know you’re praying.
Friday, August 29, 2008
From the Children's Cup "Forty Days of Prayer" website:
Thank you, Lord for the opportunity to teach children who otherwise would not be getting an education because they are too poor or too sick or too rejected.
Help us to reach into the hearts and minds of these precious kids You died for and show them Your love while we give them the hope of a better opportunity and future in their lives here.
Most of all, let us show them the way to eternal life in JESUS.
Thanks for praying today. Feel free to leave a comment with a prayer or thought you would like to add. And if you haven’t signed up yet, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and let Children's Cup know you’re praying.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Here's a short video that highlights the situation in Swaziland and what they hope to do about it:
To learn more about their lives and ministry, visit their websites at:
From the Children's Cup website:
But we can also make it possible for those who don’t have access to clean water to actually have it flowing from a well right in their own community. Putting a well at a local church or CarePoint gives a clear message about the hope we have in Christ that we are there to give freely.
God help us know where, when, and provide the resources for digging wells, and use them to draw people to you.
-For Your Glory-
Thanks for praying today. Feel free to leave a comment with a prayer or thought you would like to add. If you haven’t signed up yet, send an email to email@example.com
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
We usually arrive at The Lancasters' around 2 or 2:30 so we can help with set-up and just visit with folks. The actual service starts at 3:00 and runs til around 5:00. I bring books, crayons, pipe cleaners, and small toys for my little ones to play with during this time.
Once the service is over, it's time to feed scores of hungry people...homeless people, neighbors, prostitutes, children from desperately poor homes, addicts...all people created in God's image, loved immensely by Him, but knocked around by bad, sin choices or just the circumstances they were born into.
And after feeding them, we get the privilege and blessing of laughing with them, praying for them, helping them find some clothes to wear, and the kids all play with each other jumping on the Lancaster's trampoline like there is no tomorrow. It's a lot of fun many times. Other times, it's very sad as you hear some of the heartbreaking stories. But through it all, it's so evident that God is there and His strong and mighty angels are about us.
Then, we usually stay and help clean up...washing dishes, moving chairs, picking up trash, whatever.
It's one of those ministries that you can come and go as needed...stay the whole time, leave early, or come late. And it's also one of those ministries that your whole family really can be a part of. My kids give hugs, serve food, carry stuff, give smiles, fill up cups of ice water...all things done for Jesus and His "least of these".
We'd love to have you join us. You can come once or keep on coming.
Let me know if I can answer any more questions. The Lancasters' website is: http://www.wewillgo.org/Site/Welcome.html
Honored to be serving His little ones,
From the Children's Cup "Forty Days of Praying for the Children":
As Christians, we are called to be in the world, but not of the world. We are also called to “go and make disciples of all nations.” HPC Mozambique is doing just that. Through Isaac & Carol Williams, the message of hope, renewal, & transformation is being taught in a whole different world, in an entirely different nation!
We pray for HPC Mozambique as the church continues to reach out & change lives. We pray for the children who come to learn & get fed, and we pray for the leadership as Isaac & Carol find new ways to reach the community they serve!
We pray for the physical needs of HPC Mozambique as more & more are drawn by its servant mentality. We pray for the spiritual needs of all those who come & near the truth of Jesus Christ!
Finally we pray that HPC Mozambique will continue to be a healing place for a hurting world!
Thanks for praying today. Feel free to leave a comment with a prayer or thought you would like to add. And if you haven’t signed up yet, send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to let them know you’re praying.
To read more about the Williams ministry in Mozambique, visit their website at http://isaacandcarol.blogspot.com/ .
THANK YOU FOR YESTERDAY
I want to thank all of you who prayed for us yesterday and sent messages of support. It meant so very much.
As an aside, when 4 year old T saw his Papa Roy's picture below, he said, "is that a picture of Papa Roy in Heaven?" I, of course, said "no", but it is comforting to know that even if we don't have a picture, we can know that he is in Heaven because of his faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. Praise God for that.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
The need is real. It is life and death. And the strategy, opportunity, favor, and passion are all converging for a truly powerful response. Help us tell the story for Your glory and for Your people to see and rejoice as they join the fight.
Thanks for praying today. Feel free to leave a comment with a prayer or thought you would like to add. I you haven’t signed up yet, send an email to email@example.com and let the folks at Children's Cup know you're praying with them.
I'm laughing uproariously at my teenage daughters' reactions to this video. The 14 year old says "this is not rock". Okay...so I do love the song, but I'm thinking these birds look like something from The Village. I'm wondering if movie maker M. Night Shyalaman watched a wee bit too much of The Muppet Show in his formative years.
Oldest daughter is traumatized.
Oldest daughter's mother is cracking up. It's so fun torturing teenagers. Mw-aah-ha-ha-ha!
Monday, August 25, 2008
Exactly three years ago, Little Miss M entered the world. Here are some pictures of the precious darling and some of her many admirers from that day.
Happy Birthday, sweetie! We love you so very much and were given such an amazing gift from God on the day you were born.
Give us all HUGE DREAMS.
Thanks for praying today. Feel free to leave a comment with a prayer or thought you would like to add. And if you haven’t signed up yet, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to let the folks at Children's Cup know you’re praying.
BOUNDING ALONG THE PATH
Sunday, August 24, 2008
From Children's Cup:
"A land once divided by poverty and shame, will now be united to praise God’s name
For those are the faces of Christ who died, to now bring redemption to the lost in doubt
With a heart of compassion and the purest flame, their hearts will burn brighter
THROUGH AIDS AND PAIN
For the lost and forgotten, they surely will rise.
To awaken a nation with soverign sound
We have seen, we have heard, we have felt a call that’s greater than our yearn
We reach out with God’s touch to heal a land that’s known
NO GREATER LOVE
If the poor is love, You are with them
If their shame is grace, You are with them
If their pain bleeds faith, You are with them
AND WE WILL RESPOND…we will respond…
As the tears of the widow, they fall to the ground
She embraces the orphan who now is found.
For Jesus has given his hands and feet to reach this nation and those in need."
Thank you for praying today. Feel free to leave a comment with a prayer or thought you would like to add. And if you haven’t signed up yet, send the folks at Children's Cup and the "Forty Days of Prayer" an email at email@example.com to let us know you’re praying.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
God, protect Your people and let Your light shine in this incredibly dark time for Zimbabwe. Let Your church be safehouses for the hurting. And let this dark season pass quickly.
In Jesus’ name.
Friday, August 22, 2008
Lord we ask You to keep Your hand on them - not just for their safety, but for an anointing to lead the work You are doing in Africa.
Uphold them with strength and joy and creativity and discernment and a deep connection with others You have brought them into relationship with.
Be obvious to them. Bless them.
Thank you for praying today. I don't know The Rodgers Family personally, but after having lived in Swaziland and then visiting several carepoints, including 2 Children's Cup carepoints, in January. I have an understanding in part of what they are facing. It's hard. It's hard to be called to love a people group, that unless a miracle happens, is basically becoming extinct due to HIV/AIDs. It's not that it's hard to love the Swazi people, not at all. The Swazis, in general, are some of the most friendliest, hospitable, and happy people you could ever meet. Their smiles in the midst of such hardship are startingly beautiful...and common. And because they are so easy to love, it makes it even harder for me to know that they are living and dying as they are.
There was a star danced, and under that was I born.
- William Shakespeare
D. Martin Lloyd-Jones
Thursday, August 21, 2008
"Are you really ready to pray THIS prayer??
Lord, use our children to reach the world, to change the world, to serve You
ANY WAY YOU WANT TO.
And do the same with us. WHATEVER You need.
Thanks for praying today."
Feel free to leave a comment with a prayer or thought you would like to add. And if you haven’t signed up yet, send the folks at Children's Cup an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to let them know you’re praying.
And I just had to add that I read an excellent article today on trusting God with our kids while they are serving him. Read LETTING GO OF YOUR CHLDREN: OFF TO THE MISSION FIELD by Lorie Newman at the online magazine, WRECKED FOR THE ORDINARY.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Thank you for praying today. Feel free to leave a comment with a prayer or thought you would like to add. If you haven’t signed up yet, send an email to email@example.com to let the folks at Children's Cup know you’re praying. I know it would encourage them.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
I admit it, I am an ENFP and I need love. Don't know what an ENFP is? Its the way that a couple of really smart women, long before I was even a chubby cheeked baby, came up with describing people like me. They have come up with an amazing system that profiles different personality types and helps them understand why they behave and think and feel the way they do, and what this means to the world around them.
We ENFP types are THE personification of "people people". ENFP stands for Extroverted INtuitive Feeling Perceptive. Sounds complicated, I know, but it basically boils down to a few simple characteristics...we love people, we find joy easily in life, we feel deeply, and we love to feel loved. There are a few other characteristics thrown in there that can be bothersome such as the fact that we're almost always really messy (cause we do people better than stuff) and time can be a relative issue for us.
But since I'm an optomistic ENFP, let's forget about those nasty trivialities and concentrate on happy things...'cause that's one of the things we often do best.
And today I'm feeling the love. My husband is crazy for me. We had a great weekend together and really made some amazing break throughs when I was willing to be honest and talk about hard stuff, something that doesn't come easily for me.
I've also had some wonderful times with my children. Little Miss M said that she loves me more than chocolate, Dora the Explorer, The Jonas Brothers (sorry Kevin, Nick, and Joe), and even Hannah Montana though she did hesitate a bit on that one.
My teenage daughters have me on their friends facebook list and even say nice things about me there...and you know people ONLY put people on their friends list that they truly care about and love.
And then my friends Rhonda and Jeff mentioned me in their blogs today and it just tickled me pink. I know...its sounds really silly. In fact, I feel really silly even posting this. But friends are my treasures. I really and truly mean it when I say they are one of my most precious gifts from God. Its more than just a Hallmark cliche for me. One of the hardest things I'd ever have to deal with would be if God sent me to live somewhere with an unfriendly culture that didn't want to be my friend. One of the hardest seasons I ever went thru was when we left a church and I lost almost all of my friends as a result and then we moved out into the middle of the country where everyone was friendly but no one needed me as a friend. That was a truly difficult and lonely year of life.
But God has gotten me through it and he's blessing me with new friends. Friends like Rhonda that I get to see on a regular basis as we hang out at the park, make bead jewelry, and swap crazy parenting stories over coffee or tea . And people like the Bowmans, Lisa Samson, Claudia Mair Burney, Erin Wilson, and Jeff Goins...that though we don't get to see each other nearly enough in real life, they are pilgrims going thru the same journey I am...trying to figure out what living radically openhanded and in crazy love with Jesus and His "least of these" look like in our modern day, "looking out for number 1" culture.
Sometimes it's really, really hard. The issues I struggle with are not ones that this normally content, Pollyanna gal struggles with. As my husband says, I've always been the most content person he's ever met. But since the Swaziland trip in January, I've not been able to return to that happy-go-lucky state of contentment. I love my life. Its an incredibly good one. I'm more satisfied with ever with so many things. I no longer want new carpet, a couch without stains, and all dark chocolate M&M's I can eat. That's not the kind of discontentment I struggle with. I am discontent now because I'm just no longer satisfied with the same-ole-same-ole status quo. And its really hard sometimes. And it really hurts some days. And I cry...a lot. Waterproof mascara has become a frequent companion.
And often those around me don't understand. They miss the old "girls just wanna have fun" Elysa. I miss her, too, sometimes. But I can't go back. I just can't. I'm too in love with Jesus and what He's done for me and I'm too in love with those least of these that He has broken my heart over.
And so for those other pilgrims that He has brought into my life on this journey, I am so very thankful. I'm grateful for my husband who takes our family regularly to minister in inner-city Jackson and is willing to go wherever God leads us. I'm blessed by my friend Rhonda and her help with the GraceWorks jewelry we make and sell to benefit the orphans and ministries caring for them. I'm motivated by The Lancaster's and their life of radical sacrifice as they left the "good life" in suburbia and moved into the place that others have fled because the Lancasters wanted the "best" life God had for them. I'm inspired by Lisa Samson and the books she writes, especially QUAKER SUMMER. I'm moved by Claudia Mair Burney and her crazy and sometimes painful authenticity as she struggles with the same issues and writes about it so poignantly. I'm inspired (and a wee bit jealous) as I watch Christi and Kevin Bowman prepare to take their family to live and love among the orphans in Swaziland. I'm encouraged by the moms at Five in a Row and my Bracelet Babe e-loop mommy pals who are seeking to raise children who are not comfortable with an "it's all about me" brand of Christianity. I'm seeing a kindred spirit in my friend Drewe Llyn that though she lives in a teeny tiny community refuses to have a teeny tiny outlook on the world and ministry. And I read the other blogs, like ones written by Tom Davis and Seth Barnes and Deidra, and see thru their postings that I'm not alone on this journey. God is moving His people. He's turning our hearts in the direction He is passionate about.
And I'm humbled while at the same time honored to be counted by those pilgrims as a friend and sister. Because someone like me needs this very important provision of companions who allow me to be and become what God is calling me to be.
To read Jeff's blog and find out about some other "pilgrims" go to his website aptly named, Pilgrimage of the Heart.
To read the blog post he excerpts there, go to this Musings from Graceland post: http://elysasmusingsfromgraceland.blogspot.com/2008/07/attic.html
And to have fun with a down-to-earth and adorably funny mom and one of my best IRL friends, check out Rhonda's blog, JUST A THOUGHT.
And on that happy note, a place that we ENFPs crave to be, I will close and go love on some babies and primp before my true love hubby gets home. Life is good.
Even when God is breaking my heart.
From the Children's Cup website:
Help me to understand poverty, Lord.
To see the true ‘poor’ that you see so clearly every day; those who have not found the wealth of Your love and forgiveness. Then let me show them with my life. Your grace.
Thank you for praying today. Feel free to leave a comment with a prayer or thought you would like to add. And if you haven’t signed up yet, send the folks at Children's Cup an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to let them know you’re praying.
This little girl is fed and ministered to through the Moriah Centre, a carepoint located in SE Swaziland in Big Bend. Moriah Centre is not a Children's Cup sponsored one but we were able to visit it back in January. Di Hampson is the director. She is a white South African woman living in Swaziland. Her husband is employed by the local sugar company. She and the Swazi teachers and other volunteers feed and minister to the children faithfully. Some of the children are totally orphaned and live with at the centre. Others are orphaned or have lost one parent but still live with relatives. They are all facing dire poverty and disease. Many of them will not live to see adulthood. It truly is heartbreaking but I'm so thankful to women like Di and so many others who are pouring their lives out because of love of the Father and His precious little ones.
Monday, August 18, 2008
From Children's Cup and their "Forty Days of Praying for the Children"---
Lord, pour out Your Spirit on the people of Healing Place Church in Swaziland.Bless this campus with an amazing, God-given, Holy ability to deliver hope to those who are hurting and to teach the joy of serving in the style of Jesus.
Be glorified in this place.
IT’S ALL ABOUT YOU, JESUS.
Thanks for praying today. Feel free to leave a comment with a prayer or thought you would like to add. If you haven’t signed up yet, send an email to Children's Cup at email@example.com to let them know you’re praying.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
From the Children's Cup website:
God, we are praying for the Kingdom of Swaziland today.
You are the one who cares the most for the precious people of this small but beautiful country that has been so ravaged by AIDS and the horrible effects of having over 40% of the nation HIV-positive.
You alone are able to resolve these problems, so we call on You, Almighty Lord.
Touch this nation. Bless Swaziland with your presence in Your people.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Thank you for praying today. Feel free to leave a comment with a prayer or thought you would like to add. And if you haven’t signed up yet, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and let them know you’re praying.
Here are some photographs from our January 2008 trip that highlight both the beautiful people and their beautiful land:
Prceious Banks, a dear lady I met dressed in the colorful, traditional Swazi garb.
A very talented artist at Swazi Candles.
Absolutely gorgeous, green mountains and hills reminded early Scottish missionaries and other immigrants of their homes they'd left behind.
An absolutely darling gogo (grandmother) I met at the craft market in Manzini.
A child dancing with her teacher at a carepoint. The Swazi people, despite the horrible circumstances facing their nation, do not forget to rejoice and enjoy life whenever possible.