Thursday, July 31, 2008

Solomons Recent Letter & Update

Hello My Dear Mom,

Mom, I am so sorry what happend to your father. Don't worry he will be alright soon. God have his own plan when he did somethig. If you are walking by faith you will get whatever you need. I learnt this from you.

Mom, I don't forget the day that we met together. By nature I am shy but in that day I don't know where I got strength. I talked with you many things. When you kised me and told me everything was very special for me. because no one treated me like that. that is why I am amazed. I don't know if Ellie remember this or not but I told to her "Oh! your mom is a good mother". Yes, I was right. You are a good mom. I am proud by you mom and thanks God to gave me you. Mom when I think of you tears come to my eyes. You know why? because I LOVE YOU VERY MUCH!!!!!!.

I have winter break right now. So, I spend my time by studying what I learn the past year. I told to Ryan your message. He also say to you Hi and he will email for you soon.

Mom, I have only one year to say to Kolfe. I will graduate next year. Then I will leave from Kolfe. This time I am thinking how can I live outside with the society? What can I do? I am fear because it is new life for me. I don't know how you can help me but I need your help. I told you before no one beside me except you that why I raised this question for you. I need some clothes. Our campus have a shortage of budget to buy clothes because of higher inflation crisis. I have clothes that you sent for me but I need trousers and shoes.

Mom, I love you and pray for you. I miss you very much. I am very happy because of God brought you in my life. i hope for you Love, Peace and long life for you my dear mom.


We are researching and I am praying with everything in me to bring Solomon here as an exchange student. We are in the infant stages of research and I have sent emails and put the fleece out. Last night I was up till 3:a.m. working on this and during my quiet time today I surrendered to Lord saying "LORD you have to do this because we can't. We can't afford to pay for his expenses and college tuition as well. WE need a miracle Lord and only you can make this happen. Then today out of the clear blue someone sent this email.


I was wondering if you could tell me what you know about why Solomon cannot come to the US. My husband is a college professor and is trying to put together some type of program to educate the older orphans of Ethiopia. The college he teaches at has offered a scholarship for 4 or 5 boys to come and take courses. We would like to know if it's possible to bring these boys here.
Of course, the other alternative is to set up some sort of education system specifically for them in Ethiopia.
We just want to explore all of the possibilities.

WOW WOW WOW!!! This is from someone that I have not emailed!!! Please Please Please join us in prayer and ask GOD for a MIRACLE to bring Solomon and possibly Habtamu as well as exchange students. This is all new territory for me, I don't know anything about this but I am going to do everything in my power to ask God for this opportunity for Solomon and Habtamu.

Monday, July 28, 2008


While I was preparing for the first time to be all alone with our five Little's for two weeks, I was planning to call and schedule some friends to come and help. There have been so many great friends who have told me to just call on them when we need help. So, I have a little list. Jerry kept asking me who I was going to schedule while he and Jonathan were in Colorado and Ellie was in China. But, every time I tried to plan it I just had no peace about calling anyone. I thought I was just too busy and would eventually get it scheduled but, every time I tried, I just had no peace about it. As I was praying one night, it was as if the Lord said He wanted me to do this alone, just with HIM, that HE had something HE wanted to teach me in this! I felt like I was to just take one day at a time, pray for everything I needed and to stay home and enjoy these precious children. I have to admit I was very scared!! I haven't been all alone with 5 children under five for two weeks in my entire life. Not only taking care of the kids, but doing all the chores, cooking, shopping and even taking out the huge heavy trash cans every week...we make a lot of trash and they are very heavy!! So, I prayed for strength, patience, good health, rest and most of all to be a blessing to these kids and not a screaming, stressed out nightmare. I had a fear that I was going to be so stressed out and exhausted that I would loose it. But as usual, I was wrong and worried for no reason. Why don't I trust in HIM more??? He always proves himself to be faithful!!

I am amazed at how well the two weeks went. I felt strangely calm and peaceful and I intentionally made time to sit and play with them, talk with them, listen to them and really enjoy them. When everyone is home, there is a lot more noise, stress and business. It is difficult to just focus on them because I have so many other people needing something from me, or just having many other interruptions. I was very relaxed and we really had a lot of fun. We worked on the alphabet, writing, art projects, play-doh, music time, dancing, singing, ate out under the tent on our back deck, played in the rain, watched movies, read and walked and rode bikes. Every night when I put them all down, I was exhausted, but I was sincerely shocked that the day when so well and I THANKED GOD! Each day I was so surprised because I fully expected the following day couldn't go so well again.

One morning I woke up to the boys shaking me saying; "MAMA, come on, we have a surprise for you, come quick." I opened my eyes to see that the three little men were already dressed in their matching outfits. The twinettes were still asleep. They held my hand and walked me down the hallway to show off that their beds were already made and their room was spotless. Then it was downstairs to the kitchen where they had worked as a team, to make breakfast!! They had the table set with bowls full of cereal and milk already in it, napkins, cups, spoons and even a can of peaches. Jeremiah said; "Look Mama, I even put out the peaches cause we have to feed our bodies good stuff too, right". I stood there in shock! They have never done anything like this before. The twins have seen Jerry and the older kids do breakfast and surprise me on special occasions but, never have they done anything like this on their own and without adult supervision. The three of them, James & Jeremiah 5 yrs old now, and Josiah only 3 yrs. old, stood there looking at me so proud and happy waiting for me to sit down and eat with them. As I did, my eyes filled with tears and my heart filled with love and joy as it seemed like I heard a whisper from the Lord saying "SEE I DIDN'T GIVE YOU MORE THAN YOU CAN HANDLE!!" I sat with the boys eating soggy cheerios and choking on my tears. I THANKED MY GOD" for radically changing my world when HE told me to step out in faith and rescue these orphans. HE clearly told us to pursue adoption and when I think back at how we struggled with fear of the unknown on this journey I am so ashamed. HE knew all along that HE had these blessings in store for me and I am so grateful. In the words of Kay Warren, I have been "GLORIOUSLY RUINED" for the plight of the orphan and I shudder to think of what my life would be like if I didn't have these precious children. I no longer have fear or anxiety about being alone with my 5 Littles. They are absolutely amazing children!! I have yet again entered into a deeper level of understanding, peace, love and faith as a result of this wonderful experience.

PSALM 61-1&2


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Please Pray for Jerry

As some of you may remember, Jerry took Jonathan on a whitewater rafting trip for his graduation gift several weeks ago. On the last day of the trip Jerry's back started hurting real bad. As it turns out he has several and herniated/buldging disks and he can't walk. He missed a week of work and then he had to go to CA, NV and AZ to do his trade shows. He said if he didn't go he would lose his job. Since he is not able to walk and he is in a wheel chair and a lot of pain, Jonathan had to go with him to be is physical labor to set up the booths, to be is feet, wheeling him all around and to be his driver. We are so grateful for Jonathan! It turned out that the show in CA would not even let him in because he is under 21 years old. So, he delivered Jerry to the door and the security guard took him to the booth. Fortunately there were other people from his company at this show that were able to help him there as well. Jonathan had to pick him up for lunch and then at the end of the day. Fortunately, I sent him with some great reading material just in case he got bored or had time on his hands. The show in Lake Tahoe, Nevada went better as they let him in. Good thing because he is alone on this one and the next show in Pheonix, AZ. They fly out to that one on Friday. Please, Please pray for healing for Jerry and safety for both of them on their travels. Also that the Lord would be very real and His purposes revealed in all of the this, that HE would be glorified.

Oh, of course, something always happens when Jerry is out of town. The water pump in my van broke today to the tune of $450. A filling in my tooth broke and now we have a dental bill as well. It really seems like ever since we got home from Ethiopia we are experiencing a lot of trials that are keeping me on my knees. Also, Daddy is not doing well again. We were in the ER last week with severe bleeding and he is very, very weak. Tomorrow we go for a CAT scan to see what caused the bleeding. They are suspecting the possible return of his prostate cancer. Please pray for him too!
Ellie and I are holding down the fort caring for these precious little men and princesses. Keziah got out of her crib two times today. She is only 17 months old and she is too small for a toddler bed. What am I going to do now??? This has never happened so early to me before??

But to end on a positive note, we have a new niece. My brother & sister in law are now also grandparents.... to Allison Olivia ....Congratulations to Lauren and Ben and the proud grandparents and great grandparents!! Mom and Dad mentioned tonight that their two youngest children are now grandparents. How surreal is that!! It's so weird to be a grandma and mommy of 5 children under 5 yrs. I never imagined my life would be like this???

Saturday, July 19, 2008

July 4th Celebration

Every year our town puts on a children's parade. For the last 12 years this has been a family tradition for us. This past year has been the most miraculous for us with FOUR new additions to our family! Poor Papa was sitting this year out with a bad back. Please continue to pray for him, he is still out of commission.

Our Grandson Vaden Elliot

Monday, July 14, 2008

Popo turns 75 Years Old

So Thursday, June 26th was my dad’s 75th birthday! My two sisters and brother drove up from Florida to surprise him and celebrate. He was so surprised. Melissa snapped some family photos of my parents and their four children: Linda, Debbie, Eileen, and Chuck. It has been years since we were all together. It was a very nice weekend and Special day for Daddy!!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Chapmans Update - TV Appearances in August

I just wanted to share some news about the Chapman family and how the Lord is using them for HIS glory through this tragedy in their lives. Please mark your calendars and watch them on the following programs. Please keep them in your prayers!

Chapmans to appear on Larry King Live, August 7th for entire hour!

Now able to confirm that Steven and Mary Beth, and possibly the Chapman children, will be appearing on Larry King Live on August 7th. They will be guests for the full hour. This iconic journalist's interview show is seen nationally and internationally by between 1 and 2 million nightly on CNN, the Cable News Network.

Good Morning America, August 4th

We've just confirmed that Steven and Mary Beth, and potentially the Chapman children, will appear on Good Morning America the week of August 4th.
Seen nationally, ABC's morning tradition, Good Morning America began airing in 1975 and reaches a huge audience of approximately 8 to 10 million each morning.

People Magazine August 8th

They just completed an interview with people magazine on July 14. This is also the "GOTCHA DAY" of Maria. They had their first photo shoot without her. This was a very hard day for them but they trust in Lord and lean on HIM!

Let the redemption of this tragedy begin. : )

Well, at least the beginning of redemption through their first appearance in the media anyway : )

Steven, Will & Caleb are back on the road performing and getting back to the routine. They are doing well and recieving standing ovations at every event. Steven is releasing a new single, a new verse added to this song and it will be sent out to the radio world per this info from their blog.

Good news blog friends. I think you'll like this. I'm now able to confirm that "Yours" (new verse) will be digitally available through all major Digital Service Providers by August 11, 2008. * Song goes to radio for airplay adds on August 1st or 8th.

There is legal being worked through at the label as we speak, but I can say this much, that all of the royalties Steven receives from "Yours" (new verse) will be donated to Maria's Miracle Fund at Shaohannah's Hope. The lyric does say it's all "Yours." :) +

* There is a possibility that the song will be available beginning August 4, 2008. Label is trying! Attached art tentative.

+ By the way you crazy generous people, did you know the Maria's Miracle fund has now topped $610,000?!?!?! We're so grateful! What a wonderful tribute!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Jonathan's Graduation Celebration

(Tesoro Photography is our daughter Melissa's company)

On June 7, 2008 we held the Lighthouse Christian Home school Association Graduation Ceremony Class of 2008. We had 20 graduates this year, several of whom we have home schooled with for the past 13 years. Jonathan is the first graduate of Mestas Christian Academy and in addition to his high school studies, he has attended Vance Granville Community College as a dual enrolled student for his Jr. and Sr. years. He has also been a Jr. Firefighter for two years, and successfully completed his EMT certification. He is in the hiring process at the time of this writing for the Wake Forest Fire Dept. It has been our privilege and honor to have spent these past 13 years "Doing everything together"! It has been an absolute joy, honor and pleasure to have had this amazing experience of living, loving and learning together. We are so grateful the Lord called us into this abundant life of homeschooling! We have accomplished much through hard work and lots of prayer, and we have so many wonderful memories.

It was also Jonathan's 18th birthday this month and we wanted to give him a very special gift for these two milestone events. So, we decided to send him and Jerry on a Father/Son retreat with Focus on the Family's Breakaway Adventure in Colorado Springs. He has always wanted to go whitewater rafting since his dad went several times but he was too young to join him. This was his first whitewater rafting trip, but as he said, not his last! This was a great time of bonding and fellowship for the both of them. They have added more wonderful memories and stories to share, as well as some new friendships with other fathers and sons from around the country. There were 200 attendees on this trip and they were absolutely blessed and honored to have been a part of it. They highly recommend this for other fathers to take their sons on. Here are just a few photos of this great adventure.

Jonathan is on the left front seat and Jerry is on the right. This was an awesome week long adventure at the Horn Creek Retreat Center in Westcliffe, Co. They did two days of rafting, went hiking and climbed on a high ropes course in addition to worship services and various speakers in the evening. They had a wonderful time!

However, on the last day Jerry started to experience lower back pain. He had difficulty carrying his back pack and luggage so Jonathan had to take over. Since arriving home, he has gotten progressively worse and we wound up in the ER. He is suffering from a bulging disk in his back causing pain and numbness in his feet and legs, swelling, and he can hardly walk and he is really hurting. Please pray for his speedy and full recovery and for the Dr's to have wisdom and discernment in his treatments. He has to go to CA to work this coming Sunday and Jonathan will be joining him to help carry his belongings and set up his trade show booth. This is a perfect example of one of my mom's favorite sayings; "No good deed ever goes unpunished"!

Ellie is Home Safe and Sound

Praise God Ellie is home safely and had a amazingly blessed trip to China. She has lots of photos and stories. She is so very grateful the Lord allowed her to experience this journey. They are already planning a reunion in TN with the girls that attended this missions trip. They were blessed to be with the precious children at the blind orphanage and several others. They held a Christmas in July celebration for them, played with them, held and loved on them. These children don't get many visitors so they were so excited to be loved on by these American young ladies, 14 in all and Ellie was the youngest! . Check out her blog where she will journal more about it.