Saturday, November 12, 2011

Fall Trip to the Arboretum

Lindsay, Tanner, Amanda and Lilly made a trip to the Arboretum with me this fall.  There aren't many times that will happen with everyone's busy schedule but it was really fun.  As usual, it was beautiful with all of the pumpkins and fall flowers. I hope you enjoy the pictures as much I enjoyed being with them to take them!

Fall Trip to Rockport, Mass.

My sweet mom and I made a trip up to Rockport, Mass. mid September for some play and reading time.  We met up at DFW and flew into Boston, then got to the train station and traveled by train to Rockport seeing some great sights along the way.  It was a wonderful adventure and so many folks were so helpful along the way.  We stayed at the Emerson Inn by the Sea and it was so lovely.  We did some hiking along the sea shore, shopped in town, ate a little bit of everything and started laughing on the plane.  I love spending time with my mom and am so thankful for these extra special times.

"Cute as a Button" baby shower for Amanda

I know this not following in chroneological order, but I wanted to get this in.  Lindsay, Julianne, Karen and Megan hosted the cutest or "Cute as a Button" shower for Amanda immediately following our return from Africa.  There were all 4 grandmothers, both moms, her sister and all sister-in-laws, Aunts and cousins from everywhere.  It was a very special day.  

Lindsay made the invitations using a stamp for the design, printed them and then applied several different textured fabrics before applying the buttons.  We found several great ideas on other's blogs and even used some of the recipes available.  Megan had a gift that was opened throughout the time Amanda was opening her gifts.  She stacked several smaller boxes within each other and each time you opened a gift, there was a question.  Whoever answered it unwrapped the next box.  It was very cute and really helped Amanda feel more comfortable.  

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Meeting Miss Lilly

Everyone was excited to meet Lilly!  Tanner was especially excited to have his 1st cousin here after such a long wait.  It's really so special to see your children become parents. 

Lilly with Nonnie

with Papa & Mama and Scott, Rachel & Hannah

and Tanner & Aunt Lindsay

Welcome Lilly Marie Smith

We have a new granddaughter!  It's been a couple of months and I'm sorry I never posted anything then.  Meet Lilly Marie Smith, born on August 14th at about 10:30 a.m.  Mom and dad did a great job getting her here and Dr. Glen Heckman helped them do that.  He is the same doctor that delivered Tanner which makes it that much more special.

Without further ado, here's Miss Lilly -

Our CampLIFE kids

I had the privilege of spending the week with 10 precious little girls from the Kanyama, a compound in Lusaka, the capital city of Zambia.  These little ones ranged in age from 6 to 9.  Out of these girls, 4 would not be attending school because of finances, half of the girls only eat 1 meal a day and all suffer with nightmares every night.  I, along with my Zambian partners, was able to share the gospel several times and 2 accepted Christ.  I don't have any idea if the seed was planted for the other 8, but please pray that they will some day come to know Jesus as their personal Savior.

Kevin had 11 boys, ages 13 to 17.  He had 3 double orphans and 4 not in school because of finances.  Like the girls, many only have 1 meal a day and all suffer with nightmares.  All of Kevin's boys know Christ, either by hearing the gospel and accepting Christ CampLIFE week or they claimed to already know Him. 

Saying goodbye to these children was more difficult than I imagined it would be.  We came home with the task of getting these children sponsored so they would be provided food, medical care and be able to attend a Christian Lifeway school which is sponsored by Family Legacy.  Praise the Lord, 17 of our 21 children were sponsored and overall, Family Legacy had 1,400 children sponsored since this summer.  We are excited to be a part of a ministry that cares for the children of Zambia, the country's future. 

I can't close without sharing a couple of special stories regarding these children.  Our very 1st child sponsored was a young man named Aaron.  He had a very difficult time at camp and struggles with witch doctors and their influences.  He is a double orphan and did not attend school.  He is small and undernourished.  After sharing our experiences with friends, a young couple very dear to us decided to sponsor him.  Why this was so special to us is they had just won a complete entertainment system and decided they would cancel cable and use that money towards Aaron.  They also wanted a boy because they are in great hope that they can be a part of raising a strong, Christian young man.  Aaron is so blessed by having them choose him.

Another story came from a couple we know from church.  We sent out thank yous and pictures of the kids getting shoes that individuals donated toward.  When this couple received their picture, they immediately began praying for Memory, the little girl they had a picture of.  Within days, they had sponsored her and it was so precious to hear how they already loved her and was anxious for their relationship to begin.  They now also sponsor a young man, Paul, who was in real need of them too.  Both of them should begin school at Christian Lifeway school and have food provided for them and their families.  Blessings for 2 more children. 

We've been touched by all that have sponsored one or more of our kids.  I truly believe there will be blessings on both sides of these sponsorships.  We will continue to pray for these children and hope you too will lift them up whenever the thought comes to you. 

And the story doesn't end there!  We are signed up to go again this next summer.  Why don't you join us? 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Meet our Zambian Partners

Kevin and I each had 2 Zambian partners, one was our Evangelist and the other was an Apostle.  They both assisted in translating, teaching the Bible lessons and loving the children.  Our Evangelist specifically helped us when we had one on one time with our children.  During this time, we learn more about each child's home life and prayer needs. Many times they opened up about difficult situations and it gave us the opportunity to share Christ's love and hope.  It also provides information to Family Legacy if it's a severe situation and they need to step in on the child's behalf.  Both of our Evangelists are year round employees for Family Legacy and are both DLs (Discipleship Leaders) at a CRC (Community Resource Center) in the communities surrounding the city of Lusaka.  The CRCs serve as a safe haven for children in their area and many times, it's through the DLs work with the children that orphans or vulnerable children are saved.  They are the ones that determine which children in their area are most in need of attending one of the CampLIFE weeks. 

Please pray for Rachel, Gwen, Gilbert and Bryan as they ministered to the children of their community.  Pray for wisdom and discernment as they work with the children.  Also pray for strength and encouragement as they are surrounded by so much darkness and poverty.

Where our Zambian children live

Well we've been home from Zambia nearly a month now and we're anxiously awaiting the arrival of Taylor and Amanda's baby girl.  Coming home from Zambia has been a little difficult.  I wasn't really ready to talk much about my trip because I when I said something about it, I wanted it to really make an impact.  Well I'm not sure how much of an impact I'm making but talking about Zambia and Family Legacy's work there keeps those children and my experiences in my thoughts daily.  I'm worried about the children we worked with, if they are getting food daily or having nightmares.  Those are everyday occurances for them.  I'm anxious about where we should invest our money there so it benefits the most children.  Today I'll give you a glimpse of where and how the children we worked with live and and the schools they attend if they can afford it.

Specific prayer requests:
     That our children have food on a daily basis
     That our children are safe from the influences of witch doctors
     That our children don't have nightmares
     That our children are remembering the lessons of CampLIFE - that God wants them to seek first the kingdom of God