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I’ve spent some time the last few days thinking about this trip, praying for the people on the team. This trip is different kind of trip where most of my time will be to help in a building program. Use to be involved in these kid of mission but with age comes the growing Knowles getting up on a scuffle after back surgery thinking more about how we can partner alongside that vision.

I realize that one of the reasons this ministry works so well is because you constantly see the fruits of your labor and it encourages more work. The physical need is so great that you cannot help but see it around you, and when you see it with your eyes, it’s much easier to get up and serve. I know that seeing the work come to fruition is not the ultimate goal and should in no way become the purpose for which we work, but it does help us continue in doing good. We must remember always that the work we do is not the ultimate goal, but it is the opportunity we earn with that work, to share the Gospel, that is the ultimate.

However, the hidden needs are just as important for us to pour ourselves into. As are any other needs. And just as it is here, if we are willing to take the time to find those needs, we may earn the right to share from our experience where we have all of our needs met (Phil. 4:19).

But by serving them in the physical need, we earn the opportunity to discover the other needs. And of course, by serving their needs at the surface, it gives us the chance to speak to the greatest need of all: the need for a Savior.

In going, we must learn to be observant. We must pray for the discernment of the Spirit. We must plead with the Lord to give us a sensitivity to His voice in finding the needs of others. Only after we show them that we care will we have the opportunity to explain why we care

1 John 4:19

We love each other because he loved us first.

The Journey

 

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away….. lol

It is four days until Life church mission team joins the Hillcrest Mission group from the AG district office to head off to minister to the kids who are in foster care in Arkansas Hillcrest Christian Home.

Jam. 1:27
Pure and undefiled religion before God the Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their misfortune and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

Bio. on Hillcrest

AGFSA’s beautiful 65-acre campus, located in Hot Springs, Arkansas, is home to both Hillcrest Children’s Home, Highlands Maternity Home & Life Center, Murry Transitional Living Center, and AG Family Services Adoptions. Located on the campus are seven homes for children (Hillcrest Children’s Home), the maternity home and life center, Highlands Chapel and Highlands Cafe, a campus chapel and dining hall, gymnasium, fitness area/running path, outdoor basketball court, indoor swimming pool, the fine arts building, library and computer lab, a mechanics’ garage, the Murry Transitional Living Center, a 24-apartment TLC for post high school age, and a 3,100 square foot playground for children. In addition, you’ll find a fishing pond, therapy barn with miniature horses and goats along with a campfire area for great fun and fellowship.
Serving America’s Abandoned and Neglected Children/Infants since 1944.

I usually try to stay away from orphans because I want to take them all home. But this trip has been truly sent by God.

20 and thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else’s foundation, 21 but as it is written, “Those who have never been told of him will see, and those who have never heard will understand.” Romans 15 :20

This year Life Church tried to join with the missionaries first n Haiti then in Peru and something always happened. So AK here we go. We leave at 2:15 from Jasper and return Friday afternoon. I have had to have 60 texts phone calls asking me about something three times. Last minute paper work and people desiring t-shirts at last min. In addition to this I have to put together the Dodge City Festival on the day before we leave. I am going full tilt right now to get everything together at home at church and with the trip before I take off.

A lot of the people I am taking have never been on a mission field my prayer is their heart will beat with a passion for missions after we are done then infect the whole church with that virus.

I have grave concerns of late on how self centered we have become as the Christian church and how warped our understanding of the great commission is. I hear, “ God has called me to the community and not to another place. I have never been before.” If it was resounding through one person I would not even take notice but is resounding through this new generations of leaders in the church. How did my generation miss teaching the great commission in its entire message to the next generation? Did we just cut out the part of the entire world. The church is not called to the community in which is sits. It is called to the world. Somehow in our presentation we have created a generation that is so self centered in its being it fails to accept the responsibility of the peoples of the world.

The fear in this is if the current generation that is now in charge of the churches if they fail to hold the burden of the world church will stop supporting missions and stop supporting missionaries. The whole world does not know the gospel. I hope by my little trip to change a generation or a little sliver of a generation. God has called me to infect the church.

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere–in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." Acts 1:8

Outreach

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Tomorrow after church I meet with whoever wants to start getting ready for our mission trip in July in Peru helping the Masks to start a new church plant. It has been a long time since I have  served over seas. I would be lying if I said I was not excited. But I find these days I am easily excited about all I’m doing. Life church is going full throttle and I am finding If I don’t keep my schedule well planned the now needs will eat my time up. I am having to remember to put aside times of rest and times that are Jacoby’s and Shawna’s alone void of technology. Ron is so supportive as he watches his wife walk out the door to met with people , work my second job as a chaplain for Market Place or go to another meeting. meeting.

He is working killer hours during the week. He goes to work at 7:00am gets home some times at 9:00pm. He comes in looking like death warmed over. I am a blessed women for a husband who loves God, desires to take care of his family and loves his wife.  Could I ask for more…no! Thirty one years and he still has not grown tired of me. Man I’m blessed!

We both feel  a little fried right now so we have decide that we need time away and fun being a kid without kids. The house by all promises closing happens next week. Walking in the old house empty except memories is still a little overwhelming. Blessing to the new owners.

So we will have a little bit of money and off to Disneyworld just the two of us without kids. Christmas open the present s eat dinner and off we go. SmileSmile

 

Ministry wise I have a big assignment. Start a ministry to the poor, rehab small group, jail ministry, foster care summer camp and a mission trip.  Plus miscellaneous all church outreaches. Some of this I have had a lot of experience , some of this a little experience. All of it is my heart. To reach hurting people with the Love of Christ and the life changing gospel. Wow! So cool! Thank you Lord!

Fun, exciting, boy I’m tired! Mickey Mouse beam me up!  When Pastor Brad appointed me to this my attitude was ok, that might be good. I never really understood how much of this was my calling and hearts desire. Thanks God and Pastor Brad!

Merry Christmas to all of you my friends!

Smile

The middle aged women walks slowing in the room. The night light glows dimly giving a soft glow over the room enough to barely light up the large crib in the corner of the room. As you walk closer to the crib you are shock expecting to see a small cherub faced baby sleeping peacefully, as the music of a toy floats in the air above the crib. Instead, you see the cherub face of a nighteen year old sleeping quietly and the woman brushes the black strains of hair away from Shawna’s face. The women is me and it is good night in the Young household,

Over the years I have heard many names from onlookers who observed our children and our household. “ Saints”, “ self –giving”, “remarkable,” “God sees you and he will reward you.” Anybody that really knows us know we are none of that, just parents trying to raise and disciple children the best way we can.

We are children of God who have claimed to have their Father God’s heart and have seen the world for a second through his eyes. Nothing more nothing less.  People who have denied my children medical treatments, or wheelchairs have even less of flowery things to say about me. I hate fighting for my kids rights but I will not stand for them to denying things to make their lives better.

But on the end of the day we are the blessed ones getting to raise such wonderful kids. I am a blessed woman. I have a God that loves me enough that he taught me to see the world a little differently. I am a blessed women, who God allowed me to meet and marry a man who see the world the same way I do. Yet,  he  has the strength and understanding that I can’t mother all the world’s  forgotten children. So he has the strength to desire the will of God and to tell me no at God’s appointed times in our lives. I have wonderfully imperfect kids that He has allowed me to love, yell at, cry for on my knees in prayer, and have visions for their futures which sees no limitations.

We are joining a new church plant with people young enough they could be my kids. Learning how to talk about ministry with a younger terminology and how to function on staff with blending job talents and responsibilities to form a team.

Middle age is not the time to stop doing something for God. Of course we have been “crazy” most of our lives. We have adopted seven kids, many with special needs. We have literally sold everything we owned except the clothes on our back and moved to Namibia, Africa, only to come home almost two years latter with  two additional kids, then announced we were moving to Alabama.

I say we are blessed. We have crawled into God’s lap and seen the would through his eyes and He changed us forever. Someone recently told me “you are not supposed to birth children in your fifties. Why no? Sarah did it and it turned out pretty good. If birthing ministries and churches is wrong then half on the men and women who listened to the leading of God in their old ages and God worked miracles in their behalf were also wrong. God does not do thing that are ever normal to the word. After all did Mary not give birth and still was a virgin?

I am the bless one who gets the pleasure of living the dream. I am a 52 year old women who has the pleasure of raising remarkable disabled children, with one remarkable husband, who loves God and me. We are selling our old house and have moved to be better positioned so we can help start a church that is targeting a younger group of people I could have given birth too. It’s not us, it’s only because we took a quick peek into the Father;s eyes and we were forever changed.

Thankfulness!

We are born as children and we learn thankfulness for what we get.  We are thankful when we get out of school early, or thankful for the stack of bright presents that are stacked up under the tree. It is always contingent on something pleasurable happening to us.  Not a state of mind, but on a fleeting joy mostly dictated by our emotion, the happenings of the moment.

It has been over a year since Cyndi, Keshon and  Monique went to live with their Savior, Lord and best friend Jesus Christ. I am thankful today because they get to spend forever with the one who brings total healing and restoration . While I rejoice in their new position, I would be lying to say there are not days after days I achingly miss them. A year ago our world came crashing in around us. All I could see and feel was a deafening scream that came deeply from my soul. I had the underline peace that Jesus had them but the weight of my daughters and my first grandson being ripped from my aching arms for a mother feels like you have been dumped in the middle of an ocean then instructed to swim back to land. As months have passed, healing oil has washed over my broken heart I found thankfulness was the only thing left.

So today in the middle of my feasting with my husband and remaining six adult children, Ron and I stopped to place flowers on Cyndi, Monique and Ketone’s graves. I have learned so much this year. I have never been much of a crier. This year has taught me to to cry. This year has taught me how to crawl into my Father’s lap and feel a loving comfort. I have never felt this depth of his love before. The dust is now settling  and  a joyful thankfulness is arising. Thankful that God chose me to love and mother two little girls, born of drug addicted parents, abused by some of their foster parents and labeled unadoptable by social services. God saw two precious children and honored us with the special  position  of serving as their parents and raising them.  What a great joy and honor that God had appointed us to do.

We had the joy to watch very broken children be healed by love. Then grow up to be wonderful young women who loved Jesus with all their hearts.  This Thanksgiving I am very thankful. I am thankful and proud of my all my children and thankful that God in his infinite mercy chose Ron and I to parent some very incredible children and watch them all turn into adults.

Thank you God for my wonderful husband and children!

I wondered why I have been getting so many calls lately. :

How are you?” Referring to emotionally after the death of Cyndi and Keshon. I have been busy. I knew August was next week. The start almost slipped by me. The Calendar has been busy; I was not going to get into this frame of mind until the 22nd. I was talking to one of Cyndi’s friends yesterday who is getting ready to move out of the area to college. Randomly she turned and said, “I still can’t believe she is gone….I still miss her.” All I could think was, random,  why did she say that, because of Cyndi’s birthday just passing?

I get it now it is August. I got a call from Marlon’s Mom (Cyndi’s husband asking how we were? Random I thought! No it is August.

Has it really been a year, so soon?

Are we healed? No

Are we still hurting? Yes

Are we bleeding? No

Are we farther along in the whole process? I think so.

Do we still love God? Yes

Do we still trust him? Yes

Do we understand this? Not Completely

Are we different? Yes

Do we love God? Yes

I do not know how people get through death without Jesus. Our hope, faith and knowledge lay in the truth of seeing the face of Jesus and with that my two beautiful daughters and my Grandson. However, the daily walking through the grief and the honest truth is we miss them more than we could ever fathom.

As we continue to go through the years I do not think this will ever change. But the tears are less, the joys are more and we walking out of this tunnel still staggering but stronger in many ways. We know the God we serve and we know he loves us. He does not bring the tears, he brings comfort and joy.

Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning. … Psalm 126:5b