Their goal is for 100 people to start the process to be sent out in 2010 for 2 year terms to reach unreached people.
Their website tracks the folks who are in the process, and you can read their stories and even see videos of some of those who have already been sent out or who are in the process of training.
I just love the following video . . . 2 sisters gripped by the grace of God during their college years are now spending the next 2 years in East Asia, serving the country, the culture, the community that our family has come to love so much.
I've been organizing some older photos lately and have come across some of my very favorite photos ever. Several of them were of Emily when she was just a little one. They were just begging to be scrapped, to be displayed, to be enjoyed.
I mean, come on . . . how cute is she in the pig tails?!
I'm pretty sure this is in my top 3 favorite photos of Emily of all times! Just look at those eyes, those cheeks, those lips!!
Girlfriend has been about fashion since the very beginning. She's 10 now . . . and nothing's changed!
Well, ok . . . somethings have changed . . . she isn't obsessed with Dora anymore. But her obsession with accesorizing . . . still there.
This here interwebby is sure a huge place with lots and lots of great stuff to see and do and check out.
Here are just a few of my favorite things right now:
Crossway is the publisher of the book "Adopted for Life" and they have some amazing, emotional, and inspiring adoption videos to check out here and here and here and here. These aren't videos just for adoptive families . . . everyone should check them out and be amazed by God's redemptive heart and plan!
Emily starts 5th grade tomorrow and Katie Mei starts Kindergarten! Yikes. And yippee. I'll be sending them to school with this adorable and inexpensive teacher gift.
Speaking of school . . . with Katie Mei starting Kindergarten we recognize that we will have new opportunities to share about adoption. Undoubtedly her classmates will wonder why she looks different from her mom and dad and sisters. Surely we will have opportunities to share and educate. This handout looks incredibly helpful to us as adoptive parents with kids in the classroom.
Again, speaking of school . . . our kids will have countless opportunities to tell their friends that they go to church . . . and we hope those conversations about church morph into conversations about Jesus! Here's a great article from Ministry to Children that talks about how we make this so much more difficult for our kids than we need to. In part, the article says:
One way that I’ve encouraged my own kids as well as those in church is
to talk about our faith as if it is something that is to normally be
discussed and talked about with people. One of my recent revelations
when it comes to kids talking about their faith is that they aren’t
really scared to do it; we’re the ones who put the fear in them. We talk
about how it can be scary to talk about faith with friends, we tell
them we don’t have to be afraid, we tell them that they might be made
fun of… We plant these fears in kids; they don’t already have them. It’s
changed how I talk with kids about having faith conversations or about
inviting their friends to church. I talk about it as if it’s the most
normal thing in the world to do, which it actually is. Since doing so,
I’ve heard more stories from parents about their kids talking about
faith with their friends and their kids inviting friends to church.
The other day I wrote about the dangers facing our over-churched kids. In that post I promised to link to the follow-up article, 9 Strategies for Reaching Over-Churched Kids. It's well worth your time to read the entire article.
Just as a teaser . . . here are the 9 strategies . . . but you really should head over and read about each strategy in detail.
1. Empower Them To Teach: If they really know it all, why
not let them assist you in teaching.
2. Teach for Heart Change: Over-churched kids need
transformational learning that can move their attitudes and values.
3. Use Creative Storytelling: The Word of God is the most
amazing document ever created. Do the extra work and make your story
4. Pray for Every Child: Sometimes the deepest problems
require a spiritual solution. Ask God to make a difference for those
5. Teach the Bad News: Over-churched kids need to realize
that they too need a Savior. They need to learn about sin.
6. Model Repentance: With over-churched kids, we can’t
pretend that Christians are always the good guys. They see behind our Sundy
morning smiles and know that we’re not perfect people. When we are honest about
our failings, and confess our sins, it points them to the Gospel.
7. Make It Relevant: Connecting the Bible content with real
life is something we often overlook. So take a few minutes and think about
relevance. Why does this Bible lesson really matter in each child’s life? How
can the truth of this passage help them with the problems they are facing?
8. Go Deeper: Why not flip this challenge around and take
these over-churched kids even deeper into the Bible verse. Let them struggle
with the hard stories in the Bible.
9. Get Them On Mission:
The message of Christianity was not made just for hearing, God wants us to
embrace the mission of Jesus and participate in the new creation now. Too much
learning and not enough doing is always a problem.
I think each strategy mentioned is so important . . . .
creatively teaching the Bible to reach our children's hearts.
Making sure that even our "churched" kids truly understand their sinful heart and need of a Savior.
Offering children the opportunity to share what they have learned and then empowering them to share the life-giving message of Jesus with those around them.
Expecting our kids to go deep and challenging them to struggle through to understand hard things.
Being honest with kids regarding our own struggles and encouraging them to pray for us as we pray for them.
I hope that all of these strategies are employed within our own Children's Ministry . . . I think I'll be sending off an email to all of our teachers soon!
I believe this brief excerpt and the questions below from Francis Chan’s book, “Forgotten God”, force us to think long and hard about our purpose for living, why God has placed us where we live…
“It is true that God may have called you to be exactly where you are. But it’s absolutely vital to grasp that he didn’t call there to settle in and live out your life in comfort and superficial peace. His purposes are not random or arbitrary. If you are still alive on this planet, it’s because he has something for you to do. He placed us on this earth for purposes that he orchestrated long before we were born (Ephesians 2:8-10) Do you believe you exist not for your own pleasure but to help people know the love of Jesus and to come fully alive in him? If so, then that will shape how you live your life in the place where you are.” (90-91)
Do I really believe I exist not for my own pleasure but to help people know the love of Jesus and to come fully alive in him?
Do I really believe I don't need to go all the way to China in order to boldly share the Gospel?
Do I really believe God has placed me here, in Hollister, in this neighborhood, in this church, to help people know the love of Jesus and to come fully alive in him? That I can boldly share Christ and His love with
my neighbor across the street,
with the other moms from school,
with the new family sitting across from me at church?
Lord, help me to live, not for my own pleasures, not for my own comfort, but really live in such a way that others see you and know you!
I'm an avid blog reader . . . I read lots and lots of them . . . every day.
I read adoption blogs, craft blogs, mom blogs, theology blogs, family blogs . . . I'm an equal-opportunity-blog reader!
I actually use Google Reader to manage all of my blog subscriptions. It's the only way for me to stay on top of everything. And let's be serious . . . I don't read every word of every single blog I subscribe to.
But I do check them out every day.
And I do get tons of inspiration.
And I wanted a way to save my favorite ideas and inspirations in one easy to access place. And that place wouldn't be my Bookmark Tab that has about 33 gazillion bookmarks already in!
And then I stumbled across tumblr. It's a great place to store all the things I read and want to remember. I just click a button and the web page I'm reading is stored on my tumblr site. Then, when I've got time to craft, or enjoy extra reading, or need some inspiration, I just head over to my tumblr and easily find what I'm looking for!
So . . . are you ready for a few snapshots of what I've been enjoying on the internet?
Those are just a few examples of the many, many pages of my Firstbrook Finds Tumblr. I encourage you to go check it out. You can even subscribe to the RSS of the tumblr in case you want to keep track of what I'm keeping track of!
And that . . . that was just a simple Sunday Snapshot of what I'm about these days.