SOOO…if you have a bucket list—I think everyone needs “attended an airport home-coming for someone I loved” on it. It is a slice of heaven seeing an orphan no more–a child come into a family…and to HEAR the cheers of friends and family who have held your hand through the process…cried with you when delays happened…and rejoiced with you when you got a step closer! If you have birthed a baby–then you know how AMAZING that moment is! WELL…lemme tell ya! THIS is JUST as amazing!!! JUST as miraculous! And tonight I rang in the New Year welcoming one of my dear friends Melissa’s son home from Uganda! He is FINALLY home!!! I will NEVER forget the MOMENT she told me she had his referral!!! GUESS WHERE I WAS!!! I was on the RUNWAY in Atlanta LEAVING FOR ETHIOPIA to get my son! SOOO…she has waited…and waited…and waited for this day to get here! AND while you might hear fireworks tonight for the New Year…I do believe there must be fireworks in heaven too as the Lord promises to care for the orphan…He says in Psalms He sets the lonely in families…and tonight we got to see them come together!!!!
SOO…add THIS to your bucket list!!! Here’s ANOTHER beautiful home-coming! This is how WE do it…
The Young’s like to dress alike for homecomings:). Not to be cute–but because homecomings are CRAZY and full of excitement…and I have four kids that I don’t want to lose in the crowd! Aren’t they yummy?
THEN we make the drive to the airport…usually requiring a run through the Chic-fil-a drive through…and then another stop because we forgot something in our first run because of our excitement! Then we all run in the airport as if we are late for a flight…we find our friends…and normal people just wait—but we have fun with our friends doing things like this…Laney and Frank were dancing with Mary Taylor because her “twin” is coming home from Uganda. YES…she and Charles Tucker are the SAME age!!!!!
Henry is SO EXCITED to finally have his brother home!!!!!! (Dee was actually in Uganda with Melissa for the first TWO weeks she was there…and they took Henry AND Mary Taylor with them! They all got a little sick so Dee brought Mary Taylor and Henry home when he left in mid-December while Melissa stayed in Uganda with Charles Tucker to complete the adoption. SOOO…these brothers get to meet again! AND this time FOREVER!!!) How precious is THIS…
And that my friends—is how we do it!!! Oh my…it may be months until our next one…but how much fun these moment are!!!!! WHAT a way to ring in the new year!
For those of you following my sister’s journey in Ndola, Zambia…here is an unedited update from her—Day 4. I probably should edit it as I’m not sure the first part was actually for my blog–but I just have to share as I think it really shows the Lord’s heart for these people.
Okay… so I’d be the worst “blogger” because I’m already a little bored with myself BUT figured I’d let you know how today went 🙂
I also think you get to a point on one of these trips where… well, what CAN you say? I’ve got more questions than answers- and the truth is, that may always be the case. I don’t know much but I do know God loves His children and I know His plan is for those of us who can to help those who need it- we REALLY are HIS plan (Matthew 25:31-46). But HOW do we help? I know I can say, “Here I am, Lord- USE ME!”. I can say that. But what does it look like? It looks different for each of us and then when you are ready and willing to help- sometimes the need seems so much bigger than anything you can even get your mind around. I just have to remind myself that GOD IS BIGGER! I can only do what I can- give my offerings as small as they may be over to our God who is a Provider, a Father, a Miracle Worker… and I know He is truly the Father to the Fatherless. I met a boy today who was rescued by Tuli One (a ministry birthed by a precious couple who first came to Zambia with Wiphan)- he is now living in a home and being cared for where as before we was sleeping outside. He was completely alone. An orphan- and NO ONE cared for him. Looking into big brown eyes like those- seeing their smiles; I’m telling you it’s the closest I’ve ever been to truly seeing Jesus. I believe with all of my heart that that is exactly what Jesus meant in those verses in Matthew. WHEN YOU HELPED THEM, YOU HELPED ME. Jesus has never been more alive in me than in Africa. And a piece of my heart will always be here…
SO DAY 4…
Started the day at Sinia center. We had a meeting with Mary, Wiphan’s nurse and learned of all of her (our) needs! They are great but I know God is greater and someone (maybe someone who reads this!) will say THAT’S what I want to do! She needs HIV testing kits, 2 separating screens, an examining table, a desk and lots of meds!
After our meeting, we headed to visit the 2 Tuli One homes. Got lots of pics for Tuli One in America since they were not able to join us on this trip (we miss them!). Met the caregivers and the children they care for. As you walk around in the compound there are dozens and dozens of children who flock to you- wanting to touch you, especially wanting you to take their picture and then show it to them. This NEVER gets old to them. I really think you could stand there all day and do this for them:)
We then headed back to the Castle Lodge and did some actual business (Boo!- Not really). Harris had a budget meeting and I got to spend lots of time with the Wiphan Zambia Board- hearing their needs, concerns and much more that I can share back home. So- Who wants to help me raise some funds for Bemba Bibles??? We need ‘em!!! Or help me get 300 more kids sponsored- They’re waiting!!! And as I mentioned- add to Wiphan’s Medical Clinic!!??
Tomorrow is our last day here and I’m not sure I’ll send an update:) I’ll definitely let you know when we have made it safely to Jo-burg before we board that flight. The flight home is 17 hours. Pray the person sitting next to me is very small. HA! Seriously, pray for safe travels, and always PLEASE continue to pray for Zambia!
WHEW…I’m wearing myself out!!!! Tonight…for Day 7 of the Magi’s Journey we read the final piece of the Magi’s journey from Matthew. They were finally made aware of Herod’s intentions and told to return to their countries by another route. We can guess it was a longer much harder route…can you imagine??? BUT this was God’s way of protecting them!!! Some times a harder route is simply God’s grace and goodness over us. We have to trust Him even in the hard times—that when we are His that He is for us…and if He is for us, then who can be against us? Praying as you journey through 2011 and hard things come–you will remember this part of the Magi’s journey and it’s purpose…and that one day you will see His grade and the purpose of the hard parts too.
MUCH love to you ALL in 2011!!!!! It has been a GLORIOUS year!!! And STINK! I was going to do a fun give away for my 400,000 blog visitor of 2011 and you guys made it roll over today without my realizing it!!! Happy New Year to you all near and far…and wishing EACH of you an amazing year…full of greater trust in your walks with Christ…a year of stepping out in faith…a year of seeing His sweet grace!!!! We have so much to look forward to…and I’m excited to share our joys and fun times with you all once again this year!!!!