Saturday, April 28, 2012
The Orphan Mile Conference
We had a wonderful time of blessing at the Orphan Mile Conference in PA on April 14, 2012. While driving up there we were in a fender bender within an hour of leaving our home. Praise the Lord there was no serious damage...but what was supposed to be a 9 hour drive turned into 13 hours. This was our first conference without my right arm, Sweet Ellie! We were all feeling her absence and know this is going to be our new normal since she is now working and going to nursing school. We are blessed with 5 amazing little kids who were awesome all the way. Keziah is still bragging about the fact this was the first trip where she did not get car sick and vomit all over herself. She is still so happy about it and even mentioned it again today! As we were driving into the town of DuBois, PA, around midnight, I asked the Lord why he was bringing us to this event all the way from our humble abode in NC. As usual, he answered me within seconds with that soft whisper to my heart saying, "I brought you for one to be rescued!" I started to cry and shared with Jerry what I had heard. When we arrived at the conference the following morning, I was preparing to get on the stage and went for my quiet time with the Lord. I was sitting alone in a beautifully decorated room with a desert theme, feeling very close to Him. I prayed for the Lord to speak another word of confirmation to me that HE did in fact call me to be there for this conference and to give me assurance and confidence to share HIS story. I opened my bible and this is the first thing I saw, "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy." Proverbs 31:8-9 I was amazed yet again, at how he answers me with His word in such a timely and exact manner. I was filled with peace and knew He was the reason I was there. As I shared testimony, I honestly felt like taking off my shoes as I was standing on holy ground. There were many people who shared testimony with me afterwards, that felt the Lord was speaking directly to them relating to what they were going through in their personal walk with Him. It always brings such joy to my heart to hear those words. I just have to share this amazing testimony I received from our last speaking event in March at the YWAM base in Ozark, AR. This is why we do what we do and why the book is being published. The Lord's testimony in our lives is sooooo powerful and life transforming not only for us, but for many who HEAR it! March Letter from Rhonda, Dear Eileen, I had the privilege of hearing you speak Ozark, AR, YWAM base. You made an impact on me that won't soon fade. Thank you for your very transparent testimony of life and leading. I have always held "adoption" as a possibility and so has my husband. I can hardly get my mind around it being a possibility at this stage in our lives. We have a 20 year old college student, a 16 year old in public school and a 14 and 11 year old whom I home school. I have felt incredibly tired for quite a long time....weary and maybe even undeserving of more children. It seemed just as well because I also think of myself as too old too. I had pondered how many years until I had no children to educate and could take on a different roll with them, I could garden, work, whatever. I'm 45 years old. But seeing you, seeing your children, the work I know you do, it made me ponder.................ponder if God could have more for us too? I still don't know. Thinking directly of it makes my head spin. It seems too big for me, it seems too good, too much, too hard, too wonderful.......too late? I know the answer would be that IF God had something more; it is never too late to follow Him and yield to His will. This I would want, but I don't really know what His will is in this. But, I am open, I am thinking and I could see that my husband was wondering as well. I just couldn't bring myself to even dialogue with him about it. I don't want to force it, I would only want God's will, as anyone would who follows Him. April Letter from Rhonda Dear Eileen, I had to tell you that since hearing you speak at YWAM Ozarks, we have been undone, unraveled, and are on the road to adoption of two from, we think, Africa as well. I am still researching agencies, because I am anxious to start, but knowing that HE will lead in all things and all ways on this new path. Forty five years old, 4 kids, and applying to adopt.....wow. It was a "calling out" from God and so here we go! Bless you and your family for taking your story to folks like us. ♥♥ You certainly have described it accurately when saying it is an "Awakening of God's people". For me, it IS an awakening, and a BLINDSIDING and a rescue from the "regular and ordinary" that my heart had been settling into. My heart was for God, church, and family; we care for some of the needs of both of our widowed moms, yet it was also for creating a little Eden in which to reside while my hair continued to turn gray and my kids grow up around me. Now, Eileen, I have been crying daily for over a month! Do you know what I mean? My heart feels like it is growing by leaps even as I type...and it goes even beyond the ones that we hope to bring into our home and family, it is a yearning to do something more for many. I pray for them now, for the children and for the ministries He's shown me, and give what $ that I can, and wait to see what else He might see fit to engage us in. But, already there have been crazy things happening to confirm and to spur us on in this new thing. Many confirmations on the adoptions, too. Many wonderful "YES's"!! Thank you for helping the Lord rescue us from self-preservation, from ordinary, from walking in the ruts. We have broken out of the ruts and no tellin' what that will mean for us. Bless you for writing to me. It was like a sweet whisper from the Lord that he sees me and He is the undercurrent drawing us onward. I've been chatting with an Adoption Agency about their Uganda program...it is still a two year wait. This is hard to swallow. So, we shall see! Many Thanks, Rhonda So, now we wait and SEE what the Lord has prepared for those who heard HIS story in Dubois, PA. We wait with great hope that at least "ONE WILL BE RESCUED!"