Friday, February 10, 2012

Bear Each Others Burdens

I don't know about you, but I'm all for becoming a more humble church and Spirit-receptive church... who is with me on this?!?!?!?



Russell Moore from Christian Alliance for Orphans on Vimeo.

Also, while you're here... take a look at THIS blog posting and give me your thoughts. Do you think it's ok to ask that question? If so, how would you ask it appropriately? And if not, why?

Blessings!
Christi

Monday, February 6, 2012

KINDLE FIRE WINNER!!! and part 1

We were going to keep you in suspense by putting the winner at the end of this posting, then we realized you'd just scroll down and skip the rest of the post anyway, right?!?!? That's what we'd do! :)

ALL of these items were donated making this giveaway so special to us! Not only were we able to launch our support raising efforts and share about Dan's new music ministry, but God used this giveaway to reach out to believers and non-believers and let us share our story, giving HIM all the glory!

AND THE WINNER IS...
MARIE STORK
I just about cried when I saw Marie's name come up on the random.org site that we used to draw for the winner. You see, we DON'T EVEN KNOW MARIE! That's the beautiful thing about God - HE calls the Body of Christ to work together for HIS GLORY! Marie has a heart for orphan care and missions and came to our blog through a mutual friend... as we prayed before we drew the name, we were overwhelmed at the list of people that supported us during this giveaway! THANK YOU STORK FAMILY for sharing our story, for your amazing generosity, and for being the hands and feet of Jesus! 

We want to thank all of you for the outpouring of love and generosity that you have showered on us! It is amazing to see God at work carrying out HIS plan for our lives!

Over the next few weeks we will be sharing more of our story and how God has burdened our hearts for the orphan, the oppressed, and forgotten.

Part One: 
Christi goes to the Dominican Republic!


In 2003, while dating, Dan & Christi's eyes were opened to the plight of the orphan. God used the trip that Christi took to the Dominican Republic to change our hearts forever! 


About six months prior, I, Christi had been introduced to Jesus Christ for the first time in my life. As I started a relationship with HIM and dug into HIS Word, I began to see that He had different plans for my life. I had been studying at the University of Illinois and was feeling this conflict in my heart. God made it clear that my time at the U of I would soon be coming to a close and that He had plans far better than anything I had imagined


I was soon introduced to an opportunity to serve overseas for about 4 weeks that coming summer. While I had no idea how this would happen financially, God pulled together the pieces and I left on a plane for the Dominican Republic that June. Keep in mind that I had NEVER flown before, I had NEVER left my family for that long, I was SCARED to leave Dan, and I was going to be serving with 30 other teens that I had never met! 


What happened over the next 4 weeks completely rocked my world! 


I knew there were orphans in the world... 
I knew there were widows... 
I knew there were poor...
I knew there were many injustices.... 
BUT I had NEVER been face to face with what I was about to experience. 


I spent the next 4 weeks reaching out to a village that was filled with witchcraft...
A village where the 'workers' that came in to harvest the surrounding sugar cane fields raped all of the young girls...
a village where children were raising children...
a village where most of the people were walking around naked from lack of clothing...
a village where the children had bloated bellies from lack of food...
a surrounding garbage dump full of HOMES... 
families searching for food each day...
children NOT in school...
children NOT being cared for... 
the look of despair was on the faces of all...
and people that had NEVER heard the TRUTH of Jesus Christ... 


Many faces and stories stand out in my mind, but God used this ONE child to grip my heart forever!
Little Desli was always naked... running around the village by himself most of the time... looking for someone to love him. 


As the end of our time approached, I felt myself trying to put up walls and detach from the people we'd been serving. The last day of leaving the village on the back of a rickety old truck, down an old dirt road, Desli was RIPPED from my arms, and we both cried as that little blue truck pulled away. I cried out to the Lord and made a promise to never forget that sweet boy! 


For days and weeks and months I would cry myself to sleep wondering if anyone was taking care of him, if anyone was feeding him, and what would happen to all those precious lives! 


I returned to the US, a 19-year old girl, not completely understanding HOW in the world to process all that I had just experienced. As I poured out my heart to those I loved, I soon realized that it was mostly MY WORLD that had been changed during that month! 


Through much prayer and seeking the wisdom of my pastor, I shared my deep desire to serve overseas as a full-time missionary and maybe adopt one day with my amazing boyfriend, Dan. We both knew that God was calling us to a life together and that we would soon be married, but Dan did not share this desire. I remember the words being something along the lines of, "that's great babe, but I'm a sender, NOT a go-er"... and he meant NEVER! However, my wise (future) hubby made a commitment that he would pray for these children by name, that he would listen to my stories, help me process all that I had been through, and be supportive of whatever God called me us to... just as long as it wasn't full time mission work! 


Stay tuned for part two!