Friday, November 29, 2013

As Thanksgiving ends and the Christmas season starts, many people woke up early and braved the cold in order to get the best sales. When the lights come on and the front door opens the store is bombarded with rushing customers, fighting over what they will buy. I know because I used to do that.

This year for me, Black Friday looked a whole lot different.

I went with Carlos to visit his friends. Carlos is one of our newest additions at Village of Hope. Carlos is deaf and mute, and he used to live in a cardboard box. His friends a lot different than yours probably do, and in order to be able to see them, we had to get into the city dump.

I watched as Carlos carried a plate full of turkey and mashed potatoes from the day before. He hadn't wanted to eat, because he was worried about when his friends would get their next meal. His friends rejoiced to see him again.  He excitedly signed to them about his new home and shared his food. Then slowly he looked at the man shivering in the cold, took of his jacket and put it on him, because he knows he is blessed to have a warm place to go back to.

"If you have two shirts, give one to the poor. If you have food, share it with those who are hungry." - Luke 3:11

This Christmas season, join Carlos in making a difference in the life of others. Pass on the blessing. 

If this boy who has nothing can get it, why can't we?

Lord help us not to be afraid to give away what you have given to us.

To give hope this holiday season go to:

Monday, November 18, 2013

Their eyes are filled with uncertainty, hopelessness and despair. They didn't want to come here, but now they don't want to leave.

As I look at eyes of each these precious girls sitting with me around the table and I see that they cling to every word I say.

I read to them Jeremiah 29:11.

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

They had never heard that before.

No one had ever told them that their life has purpose.

They lived in such circumstances that they thought there was no way out. They believed it was ok to be treated like they were- that they deserved it.

I tell them how wrong that is and how precious their lives are. I tell them they are princesses- because their daddy is a king
Its not always easy to look in to the eyes of a child and see all the ugly that there is in this world, but slowly, I am beginning to see that hopelessness replaced with HOPE.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

My life used to be normal...

"Remember when your life used to be normal?" My mom asked me as we quickly got ready at 3:30 in the morning so that we could take a teenage mother and her very sick son to the hospital and then sit on the floor outside the intensive care unit for 13 hours. Ever since then I've been thinking about that a lot. I think there was a time when my life used to be normal, but my whole idea of normal has begun to change. The things I used to think were normal, now seem vain and insignificant.

Instead of sleeping in until noon, I wake up every three hours on the weekend to feed a baby.

Not the thing a normal teenager would do...

Instead of spending my afternoon at sports practices or hanging out with friends, I spend my afternoon praying for children at the hospital whose names I will never know, as they take their last breath.

Surely I once did normal things...

Instead of purchasing my coffee and taking a seat in a pew in the middle of the cool crowd, only to consider myself christian enough until next Sunday, I sit next to the prostitute and worship the Lord in more than one language for the grace He has given us.

I think there was a time when my life was normal....

Instead of going shopping and gossiping with friends, I find myself changing poopy diapers filled with parasites.

Maybe there was a time when my life was normal...

Instead of spending my evenings at the movies, I spent my time talking to the boy who has lived through more than I have ever imagined, telling him that there is hope.

What is normal?

I'm not sure I even know what the term means anymore.

But I have been learning that when your life doesn't look like everyone else's then you're probably doing something right.

"My child, do not walk in the way with them; hold back your foot from their paths" Proverbs 1:15

My life may not be what anyone else would consider normal, but it has become normal to me.