Saturday, December 6, 2008
Shaohannah's Hope Fundraiser
On November 15, 2008 we attended the Shaohannah's Hope fundraising dinner. It was a weekend of fellowship and blessing as we heard about the work that Shaohannah's Hope is doing and has planned for the future.
These are the ladies that all went to China with Ellie this summer. They have bonded in such a special way and spent this entire weekend working and serving.
We were invited to share our adoption testimony. The theme was based on the story of 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish in Matthew 14. The Lord multiplied this to feed more than 5000. Well, when Shaohannah's Hope gave us a grant to bring home 3 precious children, none of us had any idea how much more the Lord was about to do in us and through us. Here is a list of what the Lord has done so far:
1. Three precious children are now in a forever family that loves and adores them.
2. Their birthmother has professed a new found faith in the Lord Jesus after hearing our testimony of how HE miraculously and intentionally brought us together for such a time as this. We spent Thanksgiving Day 2007 with her and shared the gospel that she lovingly received.
3. The Kolfe Boys Orphanage radically changed our lives. We now have another unofficially adopted son who we minister to and he loves the Lord. Our blog and speaking engagements have turned into a ministry that has helped raise $50K plus that has been used to make repairs at the facility as well as support some of the boys’ education costs.
4. 10 families so far, have communicated to us that as a direct result of our journey and testimony, they too are stepping out in faith to adopt. This makes a total of 13 more children being adopted, with some getting 2 children.
5. Ellie went to China with Show Hope and served the precious children there. After these two trips, she now has a passion and vision for her life being dedicated to the orphan crisis.
6. We have been introduced and networked with many new friends and organizations that have all been called into to the world of orphan care ministry.
7. We have been "GLORIOUSLY RUINED" and our passion and vision for our lives is to be dedicated to the orphan crisis in the world. We are on page one, chapter one of this new journey!
8. I HAVE HEARD OF YOU BY THE HEARING OF THE EAR, BUT NOW MY EYES SEE YOU! JOB 42:5 Our faith, and many who have witnessed along the way, has been magnified by SEEING GOD at work so intentionally and so clearly through this adoption journey. WE are forever changed and forever grateful!
Emily (Chapman) Richards was the Keynote speaker on Friday night. She was absolutely amazing. She very eloquently shared how the Lord has taken her to a new place of compassion and understanding for the orphans and the lost people of this world. Having personally experienced the loss of her baby sister Maria, she understands what loss really is. This personal experience of such heart-wrenching pain and terrible grief has given her a new perspective and deeper understanding of what these children are experiencing having lost their entire families.
All of the centerpieces and decorations for the weekend events were Maria's personal artwork.
Steven, Mary Beth and our family huggin and lovin each other. What a blessing to have been brought together into this ministry work for the Kingdom for such a time as this!
Jeremiah having a good time!
A major miracle in our adoption testimony is how the LORD allowed the adoption tax credit for the twins’ adoption in 2003, to be hidden from us until when we began this adoption journey in 2007. He miraculously revealed it just a few weeks before the expiration date to claim it. Isn't that just like HIM to show HIMSELF so clearly?...only HE can get the glory in how this whole thing happened.
Well, what are the odds that the very person who authored this law, (along with several other people she adds)that was approved in 2001, would be in the front row while we shared this amazing testimony. Sarah Gesiriech and a team of other wonderful people, worked endless hours to write this tax credit. When she was introduced to me I literally wrapped my arms around her neck, squeezed tight and burst into tears! I could not let go of her for several minutes because I was completely overcome with gratitude and love for this women who is also partially responsible for us having our precious babies!!
She told me that President Bush insisted this law be passed because he really believes it will help more children get adopted. Sarah was also a personal assistant to Mrs. Laura Bush. She was so moved and blessed to hear our testimony because this was the first time she had ever heard of how this credit had been such a blessing and helping 3 children get adopted. The "Special Needs" adoption tax credit from our twin boys, was used to pay for the adoption of our son and his twinette sisters! How wonderful is that!! DO YOU SEE GOD?? How personal and detailed is HE to orchestrate this meeting and Sarah being able to hear how HE used her and blessed the fruit of her hands!
Melanie Hall, Natalie, Me and Kerry Hasenbalg
More Sisters in the Hood of Orphan Care Ministry...what a blessing to make new friends!
Mr. Chuck Colson was the keynote speaker for Saturday night. He and Stephen have been very close friends for many years. His topic was on humility and he shared how much he respects and loves SCC because he is a man who humbly walks with God. He talked about how many people in the entertainment industry get puffed up and will walk away from the Lord. But Steven and MaryBeth are two of the most real and humble people you can meet. He also shared about how we are servants and here to do the Lord’s work. SH is all about doing the Lord’s work!
He also shared this funny story.
Chuck and his wife were on vacation in Maine one summer. They decided to go to a matinee movie one day. It was a small theatre and only a handful of people were inside. As he and his wife walked into the theater, everyone started to applaud. He graciously bowed and waved at everyone and took his seat. He leaned over to the man next to him and said; "Wow, I didn't think anyone would recognize me here. That was very nice of you." The man replied "Who are you?" Why I'm Chuck Colson, didn't you hear the applause? The man replied, "We were clapping because they told us the movie couldn't start until two more people came in. They can only turn it on if they sell a certain number of tickets. When the two of you came in, they were finally able to start the show."
Ellie spent the entire weekend working with the Shaohannah's Hope staff and volunteers. She is such a blessing and she is "Ellie Marie, as cute as can be".
SCC singing "Every Child in Africa is Yours.."
Uncle Dave Trask and our grandson, Vaden Elliot
Mary Beth Chapman shared for the first time publicly, how she is doing since the loss of Maria. She was absolutely amazing as Steven stood by her side for encouragement and support. She shared how she has gone through many phases of confusion, anger, grief etc. She has been asking the LORD many questions. Why Lord? Were you really there in the car with Will Franklin when you took our Maria? Was this really necessary? Why now, Why this way??
As she humbly sat before the Lord asking for answers he took her to the book of Job. He told her that Satan did not find Job on his own. The Lord said, "Have you considered my servant Job?" The Lord had chosen Job for the suffering, his cross to bear in his life to bring glory and honor the LORD. The Lord provided Job with everything he needed to go through these trials. She realized the Lord has also chosen the Chapman family for this trial, this time of suffering. She can rest in the truth that Maria is safe in the arms of JESUS, but the pain and grief she is personally experiencing, makes her ache and yearn for Jesus to come back today and take us all into Heaven. Where the pain will be gone. But since we don't know when that day will come, she prays earnestly that she and the Chapmans will walk this road, through this valley in a way that will bring honor and glory to the King, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. She asks that everyone please continue to lift them up in prayer because they know the prayers from the saints have been the foundation of their ability to make it thru thus far. She closed with the same verse the Lord has given me...I have heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eyes SEE you. Job 42:5
This young lady Melody, went to an SCC concert and heard Steven talk about orphan care and ask the audience for help. She went home and started talking to her mom about how she can help. She also talked with her Grandma who suggested she have a bake sale. Well this little lady has been baking pies and selling them to raise money for Shaohannah's Hope. She has raised over $700 and she delivered it to a concert all in coins and cash, just the way she earned it. She now has a passion to care for orphans.
The decorations were absolutely beautiful all weekend at every event. There were approximately 400 people at the dinner Saturday night.
Scott Hasenbalg and all of the staff worked very hard to put on this fundraiser weekend and it was very evident that they all walk in humility and are seeking the Lord's wisdom and discernment for how Shaohannah's Hope proceeds and handles the funds that are entrusted to them. They regretfully announced that each month they receive over 100 requests for grants but are only able to give about 35 per month. Please spread the word and pray about supporting this wonderful ministry. Their prayer is to never turn down a grant request.
And finally, this is our grandson Vaden Elliot who very cleverly announced to us that he is going to be a big brother. Melissa and Randy are expecting our second grandchild...due in June 2009. What a blessing...Thank you Lord!