Saturday, February 19, 2011

Going where He leads

A little over 5 years ago Todd and I stood outside Eagles Nest orphanage in Solola, Guatemala, looked each other in the eyes and said “one day we would love to come back and serve full time."

Now as you all know, a lot can happen in 5 years... time goes by, we change, we grow, the days pass by and life gets in the way.

But God.

Through a series of events over these past several weeks God has been working and redirecting our path back to a place where it all started. A place where God first revealed His plans... only at the time we didn’t realize how serious He was. He began to lead us back to the place where we first said, yes Lord, all those years ago. To a place where we are honored to one day soon call our new home.

For those of you who know me in real life- know how much I love Eagles Nest orphanage and the families who have put their hearts and souls into the lives they have touched through their ministry there. Larry and Claire Boggs have been serving in Guatemala since 1978- their hearts for the people in Guatemala and the work they have done is amazing. Their daughter Felis Patlan, her husband Pedro and their three beautiful children have returned to Guatemala to serve along side Felis’s parents. For years now we have called them our friends and now and we are thrilled to announce we have been given the privilege of being a part of their team. The Radford family also serves at Eagles Nest and we are thrilled to now have the opportunity to meet them.

There are so many reasons why I love Eagles Nest. I love the beauty, I love the fact that it is the place where I first met our daughter Mya, I love that they serve 60+ children each day there through the Manna feeding program, I love that they serve over 124 children a day there at the New Day Christian school and that there is a sports ministry as well. I love that there are apartments there for mission teams to stay when they come serve there. I love that is reeks Jesus- which is exactly what we longed for.

But most of all, I love that it is a safe haven for children like J and E.

I love that Eagles Nest is a place where these children have had the opportunity to grow and thrive and learn about the love of Jesus. Because you see, J and E are children just like yours and mine. They are precious to the Lord and they matter in this world. They have dreams and talents and now- because of Eagles Nest- they have hope.

J and E moved into Eagles Nest in June of 2010 as a court rescue situation. J and E had both been abused by their mother and step father. J was born tongue tied and is partially deaf. Their biological father died several years ago leaving them with a mother who loved alcohol and drugs more than her children. When J and E would misbehave, as all children do, as a form of punishment their mother and step father would leave them outside to sleep in the rain with no shelter. I cannot imagine what must have gone through their little heads. I cannot imagine how lost and alone they must have felt at that time in their lives.

And due to that kind of upbringing, when J and E first came to Eagles Nest orphanage they had many, many scars-they were hurting and they were afraid. They had become hardened to the world and those in it- as a form of survival. Their scars would, of course, effect their ability to have a healthy relationship with others and effect their ability to love. Yet over these past several months of living in the safety of Eagles Nest orphanage something inside of these precious children has started to change.

They found hope.

They are in a place where they know they are safe and they are experiencing the love of Jesus first hand. There is a light now in their eyes because they now realize they are precious to the Lord- and they have worth. For those of you who have heard the saying Jesus heals- J and E are the perfect example of this.

Yet for J her healing doesn’t stop at a spiritual level. Recently some of the missionaries at Eagles nest took J to have her tongue clipped. Through the ability to now move her tongue there is hope that J will be able to communicate easier and be able to grow and thrive.

Healing. Hope. Restoration.

Only God.

Todd and I are so thankful for the staff at Eagles Nest and we are overjoyed that we have been given the privilege of working alongside of them serving the children in Guatemala. We would love for you too to become invested in the lives of children like J and E. We would love to have you partner with us to help bring Jesus to the children in Guatemala. I heard a speaker once say “There is one thing worse than being lost… being lost and having no one look for you.” We are going so that we may look for them. We are going so that we may bring them hope. We are going so that they will know they are worth being found. We are going so that we may bring them Jesus. We are going because they matter.

"If a man has 100 sheep, but one of the sheep becomes lost, then the man will leave the other 99 sheep on the hill. He will go to look for the lost sheep. Right? And if the man finds the lost sheep, the man is happier about that one sheep than about the 99 sheep that were never lost. I tell you the truth. In the same way, your Father in heaven does not want any of these little children to be lost." Matthew 18:12-14

If one lost soul is important to God, then one lost soul should be important to us too.

Many of you have asked if I will continue to blog when we are in Guatemala. Absolutely. I can not wait to show you all the ways the Lord is working in these children’s lives. I cannot wait to show you how much He cares- not only about working in their lives- but working in YOURS as well. There are so many ways for you to become involved- whether through sponsoring a child, going on a mission trip, sponsoring a missionary, advocating or prayer support. We would love for you to be a part of this journey with us. Our going isn’t just about our family- it’s about the body of Christ coming together and doing what He has called us all to do- some as goers and some as senders.

We would love to have you on the Eagles Nest team in whatever way the Lord leads you. Would you consider praying about how God might use you?

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Courtney Kay said...

I cannot wait to someday serve full time in an orphange!

Krista said...

I will be praying for you, and I would love to come on a mission trip with my family some day.
It is a hearts desire of mine.
If you could pray for me and my health --that physically I will be able to . Thank you .

Dardi said...

I love you. That's it. :o)

We Are Family said...

Beautiful post.

Kelly said...

I was just wondering, when is your family leaving for Guatemala? Your whole family is a huge encouragement to me. I'll be praying for you as you make this transition.

trustandobey said...

Wow! Amazing post and story of those 2 beautiful children. What do you think about Guatemalan adoptions? Any idea if these children and others like them will be able to be adopted one day? I would love to go back for another another Guatemalan child but don't know what Guatemala is doing to get things back on track.

Molly said...

AHHH!! I'm so excited for you!!! God has used Eagle's Nest to turn my world, my life, my heart upside down. It is truly my home away from home, and the children have a piece of my heart that I will never get back. One of my dreams is to one day live there with my future husband and children as well.
Many blessings as you venture out on this journey God has for you...and maybe one day I will see you in Solola, Guatemala!
In Christ,

Pedro and Felis Patlan said...

We are so excited for you to get here and work alongside our family and all our kids here! Really excited to see what God has done, is doing and will do in your family's lives! Hurry up and get here will ya? ;-)

Love you guys! Praying for all your support to come in!

Unknown said...

What beautiful children, praise God for providing a home and love for these precious souls.
I've never heard of Eagles Nest but what a blessing it is for these children.
Our daughter is from Guatemala and a piece of my heart is there. I would love the opportunity to serve there one day, even adopt from there again.
Looking forward to following your journey.

Unknown said...

How I love this!!!

SO many times in the last year we have said, "but God!"

and hear we are, fresh into the foster parenting journey.

Thank you for being such an advocate of advocating for God's most precious...the little ones without a voice.

Teresa said...

Amy, I went on my very first overseas mission trip to Eagle's Nest three and a half years ago! At least two families at our church have adopted from there. Reading your story brought back in great detail the work we were able to do there and the joy of holding babies and playing and reading books in my very limited Spanish and seeing the GREAT BIG SMILES on the childrens' faces as we ministered alongside the Mama's there! I can't wait to continue to read what the Lord is going to do through your family in Guatemala.

Anonymous said...

I figured out today why I was directed to your blog a few weeks ago. I am Mom of nine, 6 adopted through foster care, ages 16-33. I am still a "full time mom" and sometimes it is overwhelming; worse than when they were all little. You have helped me appreciate the fact that I am still their mom. Thank you!!!

hello somebody said...

We were there the day they arrived at EN. We just wanted to wrap them in our arms and never let go. They looked so scared and frightened but full of hope.
I am excited that you will be at EN!! Can't wait to go back :)

Kim said...

How exciting! I am just getting caught up on your BIG announcement.
What is your timing like?
We know that blessings follow obedience. Cannot wait to see all that God has in store for your beautiful family. Trust that He will use you all in a Mighty way!
Love & Blessings from Hong Kong,

The gFamily said...

We love Larry and Claire! I am so glad that you are going to be serving with them at Eagle's Nest!

--Gerald and Gretchen Stanley

his, mine and ours said...

Call me selfish, but I am beyond excited that you are going to continue to blog! I can't wait to see how God works in the lives your family will touch. :) Prayers going up daily!!!!

Marie said...

My friend Lou sent me this link. What y'all do is amazing! I say that with great admiration. You have a big and wonderful heart but I know I'm not the first to tell you that! You have and are helping so many children. May God be with you and your family thru out all your travels with helping all the less fortunate.

Marie said...

You & your family are amazing! What you do makes such a difference in so many lives. I have great admiration for you. you help ao many people not just children. May Gods hands be over all of you thru all of your travels.