But I wasn't there to take in the sights. No, I was in Minneapolis at a conference....a summit of people whose hearts run parallel to God's when it comes to orphans. Their website describes the summit as "the unparalleled hub of orphan ministry partnership, networking and inspiration for service." I agree.
I have aspirations (as the Lord leads, wills and allows) to start an orphan care ministry (encompassing adoption, foster care, and global orphan care) at my church. So they kindly sent me there to see what I could learn. I certainly did learn a lot....right now it feels like too much....overwhelming. I need to pray, pray, pray and sort through it all...trying to discern what recommendations to make to my church.
Today I bring thanks to Him for breaking my heart down the same fault lines as His. For opening my eyes to the fact that adoption is not (solely) about rescuing a child but identifying with the love that God showed when He sent His Son to rescue us. We are all adoptees!
"In love He predestined us for adoption
as sons through Jesus Christ,
according to the purpose of His will,
to the praise of His glorious grace,
with which He has blessed us in the Beloved."
So as I type these out every Monday, I add to His endless gifts list here....
#198. she is known (begging your grace for fuzzy photos!)
#199. children's hope chest that is radically and fervently fighting on behalf of trafficked children and the fatherless
#200. tom davis and his passion, words, and life example
#201. being surrounded by the body of Christ....brothers and sisters!
#202. like this sweet soul I met during lunch
#203. hope for the orphan
#204: safe families for children!
#205. this Christ-following man whose words are used by God to grip my heart EVERY SINGLE TIME I hear or read them
#206. this vision to engage youth in living outside of themselves for the glory of God and the benefit of orphans
#207. this couple...transparent in their grief, clinging to Hope, praising in the midst, sharing their journey, pointing people to Christ
#208. a husband's tender care of still-grieving but hopeful wife who shared her story with us
#209. his songs that break my heart yet light it on fire with the hope of Heaven
#210. show hope!!!
#211. He brought me safely home
#212. to these four gifts here
#213. a friend and a grandma more than willing to step-in to watch the kids until daddy got home....enabling me to go!
#214. having an exasperated but good laugh over Lucy's being dropped off shoeless at said friend's house and her going to Bible study with bare piggies!
#215. children running to greet me at the airport
#216. i am loved