Tuesday, May 22

a chance to GO.

Many of you know God birthed a deep love for Ethiopia in my heart in the summer of 2010.  As result of that love, a passion for caring for the orphan and serving the least of these in Ethiopia became a dream of mine. God has been so faithful over the last 2 years of our adoption process, and has shown us just how big He is and that He is true to the promises He gives us.

As you may know, Phillip and I have traveled to Ethiopia twice in the last 7 months.  The first time was in November when we went to court to officially become the parents of our beautiful Emerson. Then again in January, when we brought her home to her forever family.  During each trip while we were in Ethiopia, I felt a stirring that I needed to do more & more specifically that there was something there for me. Something that God needed me to do, and something that God needed to do in me.  God placed a deep love and compassion for the people in my heart. It wasn’t something I could do, it was something God was doing and continues to do in me.  I have a deep desire to minister to, love and feed into the lives of God’s precious children everywhere but more specifically, His children in Ethiopia. 

In Matthew 25:35-40 Christ says “For when I hungry you gave me something to eat, when I was thirsty you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” “ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go visit you?” The king will reply, “truly, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”  God tells us several times that we are to care for the least of these, to care for oppressed, to visit the widows and the orphans in their distress. I have an opportunity to do just that, to experience a dream I have longed to fulfill. To go back to the place that has stolen my heart and captured my attention, a place that I miss and long for.

June 9th – June 19th our church, Mid Cities Community Church, is taking a team of 16 people to Ethiopia. The team will be serving alongside Project 61 in Korah Ethiopia, a community that is located just outside of Addis Ababa (the capital city of Ethiopia). Korah is one of the poorest of the poor communities in Ethiopia, a leper colony that houses 75K+ people who are considered to be the outcasts of society.  In Korah, people live in houses made of corrugated metal, left over lumber, plastic, mud and other such materials. Their dirt floors are covered with nothing more than a woven plastic-like material if anything at all.  Most of these homes are no bigger then a 12x12 room and usually houses a family of 6 or even a couple of families.  The people of Korah also suffer from many sicknesses such as Leprosy, Tuberculosis, Hepatitis and much more.  There are 4 generations of families living in Korah, babies, children, widows, fathers, sons, daughters and grandparents.  For some of them, their sole survival comes from digging in the dump; this is the main source of food for many.  These people know the magnitude of their distress yet they have a deep devotion to the Father.  Some know Jesus and cling to the hope that He brings and restoration that comes from the Father.

As Ravi Zacharias said “those of us who are believers are God’s hands in benevolence, to lighten the burdens and pains of this world and if we don’t do that we are not being Godly in our lives.”  I want to be godly in my life.

My husband, Phillip, was originally signed on for this trip. He was the one who was going to be the hands and feet of God and help in bringing the hope of Jesus and help lighten the burden of our brothers and sisters in Korah. However in this last week God has been moving and making things happen to where I can go in his place.  I am beyond thrilled. My heart is overjoyed to finally be in this community and to be serving the people who have stolen my heart. 

I tell you all of this to ask for your support.  The purpose of this mission trip is to simply be the hands and feet of Christ and share his love and to support Project 61. We plan to do this by caring for those affected by their extreme poverty, Leprosy, HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and many of who are widows and orphans. There is also an opportunity to help make improvements on the shelter there in Korah for the children who are homeless and sleep in the trash dump.  

The cost of this trip is $3,000. I have missed all early deadlines due to my late joining of the team therefor; I owe it all up front. (Due by June 1st) These funds cover travel, accommodations, food and a portion will also cover meeting some basic needs once we are in Korah such as, clothes, personal hygiene products, medicines etc.  Please note that all financial gifts are tax deductible. If you feel led to partner with me financially simply write your check or money order payable to Mid-Cities Community Church. Do not put my name anywhere on the check as this eliminates the tax-deductible eligibility.  There is a small instruction card attached that insures we receive your gift properly and allows Mid-Cities to credit your gift to the right account. Please make sure to use this card when sending in any gift. Please mail your decision card and/or payment to Mid-Cities Community Church, 8700 W. Hwy 191 Midland TX, 79707. Or you can visit www.midcities.org and create an account or log in to donate online. You can designate you donation to Missions.

Most importantly, beyond all things, we and I would value your prayers. We believe and have great faith that the Lord will do great things on this trip and we are preparing for it.  Also I would appreciate your prayers, as I will be leaving our 3 littles at home with Phillip for 10 days. Pray for him as well ;) Pray that their little hearts will be protected and that God, who comforts, will comfort them when they feel little spouts of sadness that I am away. Especially Emerson. I am standing on faith that the same God who protected her heart all those months while we were apart will protect her heart again. Pray that the enemy will have no room to mess with her mind and that all the progress we have made since bringing her home will not be damaged and that when I return home from Africa we will pick up where we left off.  Pray for the health of our entire team during travel and once we are on ground, pray for opportunities to bring people to the Father, pray that all the logistical plans for the trip will run smoothly and that this mission will be blessed beyond measure.  If you would like to be added to our prayer team list, please respond with “prayer team” in the subject line.  (my email is jennaknight(at)gmail(dot)com)

Thank you for your love and your support. None of this would be possible with out a support system here at home. You are a very vital and important part of this mission. I will leave you with this...

 “Sometimes I would like to ask God, why He allows poverty, famine and injustice in the world, when He could do something about it…but I’m afraid He might ask me the same question.”  

This is the video that the team made. Isn't it great?! Notice the cute bald guy with the green sweater... Thats my hottie husband! Picture me in his role. ;) 

Wednesday, May 16

Messy House. Messy Car. Messy Heart.

 Ok. I need a game plan. A plan to get out of this funk I have gotten myself into. I am disorganized. I am messier then ever. (I HATE being disorganized and messy) I am tired and easily distracted. I feel like lately time has controlled me rather then me controlling it. Time is working against me and not with me. I have failed in so many areas in my role of wife and mom. Why? Because my own selfish desires have got in the way. I have a serious case of "I don't want to's" and "I'd rather do this or that's" It's frustrating and I am drowning in it. What has been going on in my head lately would drive anyone to insanity. I am far beyond the insanity level. I don't even know what I am. I just need a break. I need to...

Refocus. Regroup. Rethink. Rearrange. Retreat. Repent. Rejoice. and Repeat.

I guess its safe to say I have a messy heart. You know the saying...

Messy house. Messy car. Messy heart.

That's me. In a nut shell. My heart has been messy and it has seeped into all the other areas of my life. I am fed up. I am tired of it. It has to change. Here are a few things I have flat failed at lately:

  • Quiet time
  • Laundry
  • Submission
  • Keeping my house clean and organized
  • Keeping my car clean
  • Keeping my yard clean
  • Making all the beds everyday (Something I ALWAYS do!)
  • Brushing my kids teeth (I have probably only brushed teeth 3 times in the last MONTH OH-MY-GOODNESS did I just admit that out loud??!!)
  • Being intentional about my friendships
  • Completing commitments I make
  • Most importantly after Quiet time with the Lord.... Submission to my husband. 

I am doing the James study by Beth Moore but not with a group. I am doing it on my own, which is kinda boring. When my friends started it I was in Ethiopia bringing Emme home and that was just a season where I couldn't leave her or leave at night to go to a study. It was a season of putting a bubble around our family and really zoning in on the kids. I miss that season of a tight bubble. Anyway... the James study is rocking my world. Though it has taken me since the end of January to get to Week 4 day 2. REALLY?! Whats the deal with that? Again. Its just lack of discipline, desire, accountability and distraction. All my own fault. This week I have really tried to focus and push through these strong feelings of complacency and frustration. It's hard. It is a crazy inward battle. I am struggling to find my balance and my motivation and my focus. When I get in that time with the Lord my whole world is a much better and brighter place. I wonder why?! HA! Each day I start my lesson excited and ready to learn, grow and be stretched but about 3/4 of the way through it I find myself getting antsy and wanting to check my email, the time, Facebook, Pinterest or whatever weird random thing comes to mind. I begin to wander and loose site. When I give in, and I often do, I find that the rest of my day I feel distracted and glued to something that has no meaning or positive influence in my life, in that moment. My time is then robbed from me by something so trivial. I told you, I am funky, I am a mess. :)

My laundry is outta control, It is driving me crazy. I have piles that have been sitting in the same place for over a week. I am sure Phillip is about to loose his mind but he has been surprisingly gracious. We are literally living out of the laundry room. Not our closet. None of us. All five of our clothes are still piled in the laundry room with more that is waiting to be added to it. Death by laundry! Seriously.

Let me just give you a peak into my home......
Today, I will refocus. Get a game plan to get this messy life cleaned up and back to normal. I will re prioritize my time. Gain control back and Trust in the Lord that he will give me the strength and determination to get through this daunting funk.

God's grace is sufficient! I love what Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 12:9 ...

 But her said to me, " My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefor I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, so that Christ's power may rest on me. 

His grace IS sufficient for me. I want Christ's power to rest on me. Even if it means giving me the power to simply clean my house, be a better mom, to have discipline in my relationship with God and be a better wife.  His power will be made perfect in my weakness. 

So here I go...

Ready. Get set. GO!!!!!

Tuesday, May 15

end of 40days.

Just realized I never posted this!! I have so many drafts that I need to post!! AHH!!! So behind and hating it!!! ;)

My 40days of water with blood:water ended on April 7th.
I am so thankful for those 40days.
I learned so much about myself.
I have learned things that were really hard to admit and things that I am ashamed I am.
Those 40days have been so much more than just 40days of not drinking anything but water.
I thought thats all it was but, it wasn't. I have learned and I have grown.

I am a cheater and I fail. I negotiate with God and with myself. I sneak, in secret, and then I feel guilty and ridiculous. What's funny about cheating in secret is that there really is no secret. God sees and knows all.
When I started I felt committed but half way through realized it was a commitment with holes.
A weak commitment.
I am not a strong committer.
Oh how I want to be.
I have weaknesses and discipline is one of them.
It showed during this mission.  I fail God daily with my lack of discipline. It is nauseating. Why am I such a slacker? Why is daily discipline...whether is be quiet time, duties around the house, saving money, exercising,  eating right or just drinking water for 40days so hard for me?

After those first couple of weeks and being challenged by my husband and encouraged by friends, I stepped it up. Having discipline is something that God wants to instill in me and he was teaching it to me through this mission.
But was I really willing to be taught? Was I really willing for him to change something in me?
I want that Godly discipline. The discipline that is hard to obtain. I want to go through the hard to get it. When I get it. I want it to stick and I want it to rub off on the rest of my family. Especially my children.

One of the fruits that the Holy Spirit bears is self-control which to me goes hand in hand with discipline. You can't control yourself without discipline.

If I walk with Christ and if I am lead daily by the Holy Spirit I must live in all of the fruits he has to offer. Love. Joy. Peace. Patience. Kindness. Goodness. Faithfulness. Gentleness. Self-control. 

Not just some of them. All of them. So I put my game in gear and recommitted. This time sealing those holes. Having self-control. It was hard. I slipped a couple of times but this time with a repentant heart and a heart willing to be taught. I finished it. I completed the 40days. It was HARD. I couldn't have done it with out Wynne. She joined me in this mission. Thank you for supporting me and challenging me friend!! 
I need to tally up how many drinks I gave up. I am sure it is a lot. It was hard to keep track each time. I did really well of keeping track the first couple of weeks so I will just take that number and add it to the other days. I am pretty consistent with what I drink each day. I know what I like and I stick to it. :)

It has been really great waking up to coffee each morning. I am really thankful for Coffee and the sweet smell it fills my house with each morning. What a gift from the Lord. 

I ended my 40days with a new appreciation for my free clean water that I can get from my kitchen sink. My family and friends give me a hard time about not having drinks in my fridge but it ok. If you come over thirsty you can bet I'll have a nice glass of free, clean ice water straight from my sink waiting for you. There are so many who suffer from terrible diseases because of the lack of water and the parasites that live in the water they do have. I don't suffer. I am just picky. I am thankful that this 40days has retrained the way I think about my sink water.

I hope I have what it takes to do the mission again. In the meantime, I will enjoy my coffee, iced tea with lime and my occasional glass of red wine.