Sunday, August 9, 2009

Albetine Video

This time last year Stephanie, Heath, Hallie and myself were settling into our rooms at Cradle of Love in Arusha, Tanzania. I had no idea of the love and heart break that I would experience during my time there and since leaving. Today I finally purchased a few frames for my favorite photos from my time in Africa. I'll be honest with you though, in the 7 months that I have been home I haven't printed a single photo yet and in fact I haven't even hung up any from my time in the motherland in 07. It's a rare day when I can even bring myself to look at the photos I uploaded to facebook last year.

A friend shared this video with me shortly after my return and It speaks to my soul.
Please watch

"Now that I have seen. I am responsible. Faith without deeds is dead. Now that I have held you in my own arms. I can not let go."

I am still daily wresting with what that means for my life and praying that God would continue to make clear His plans for me.

I know that God is doing something Big in my heart and I also know that you need to press into the things that break your heart not away from them. So I wanted to share this video with you and once again thank you for all the support that afforded me the opportunity to go to Africa in the first place. My life has been forever changed.

If you would like to get involved with a few of the kids that deeply impacted my life please check them out at and your sponsorship could change their lives.

Also hopefully soon if you were to stop by my place you would see the photos of a truly God blessed experience. While it still hurts my heart to look at some of them i think it hurts it more not too.


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Bitter Sweet

The 20 hour flight across the Atlantic is now just a blur. We've been home for over a week enjoying spending time with wonderful friends and family.

In some ways it feels like so long ago and in other ways it feels like yesterday that I was sitting on my bathroom floor trying to decide what I would need during 6 months in Africa. These decisions were much more difficult than one would think. But, didn't take long in rural Africa to realize I didn't even "need" most of the things I decided to take.

As I reflect on my time in Africa, I'm so humbled by the power of the Holy Spirit. He continually kept us safe and provided a constant sense of security in dangerous times and places. I met some of the most wonderful people from all over the world who have impacted my life forever. I must say the Lord truly blessed us during all of our travels. In total we flew on 14 flights, all of which went smoothly with only minor delays and most importantly no luggage overage charges.

Being at home my prayer is that I will cling to the simplicity of life that Africa reveals. It doesn't take long to come back to the 'west' and get caught up in the materialism and fast paced life style. I'm so thankful to have experienced first hand how different life is in developing countries. It's always so amazing to see how happy people are who have so little.

Now my struggle is with what is next...after all I've seen and experienced, how do i know what's next? where does God want me? where do i want to be? I think these are questions that continually pop up in life. We have to be still and listen to His gentle guidance and we'll be exactly where he wants us.

I came across this quote today, which speaks so much truth.
“You go nowhere by accident.
Wherever you go, God is sending you.
Wherever you are, God has put you there.
Christ, who dwells in you has something
He wants you to do through where you are.
Believe this and go in His grace, love, and power.”
Robert Halverson

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

They say there's no place like home....

They say home is where the heart is. Where is home if your heart is broken into multiple pieces? Is it where the biggest piece is? What if the biggest piece shifts on any given day?
I have never been more in love with God, my family and friends. I have also never missed a community, culture and children the way I miss Tanzania. One weeks ago I was flying over the Atlantic Ocean on my way "home". I was greeted with hugs and a venti Starbucks in a holiday cup (something i am not ashamed to admit that i had missed greatly) at the airport by my loving family. But I'm not sure if I'm home.
I began to think that maybe I will feel home when I have some of my winter clothes and I'm not living out of a suitcase. Maybe I will feel home when i have an answer for "So where are you going to be living","When are you going back to Africa" or "Where are you going to work?" But then I thought maybe for once I feel the way that Christ intended for all of us to feel while here on this earth without him. Maybe home isn't where my earthly heart is at all. Maybe home is where my spirit longs to be. Don't get me wrong it would be a lie if I said that I didn't want to live here on this earth until I got to experience marriage or the miracle of birth or the blessing of adoption. I would be lying if I said that I didn't want to first travel the whole earth and see what He created long ago, but maybe like Paul said 2 Corinthians 5:6" Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord."
but the more I read and thought about the verse I realize that he wasn't just saying that to be with God you have to be in Heaven. Maybe he is saying that you can invite God right now into your everyday. Maybe being away from the body and with the Lord is a spiritual experience not physical. My problem with knowing where home is, is that I have made it circumstantial when it should not be. I was right when I said that maybe how I am feeling is how Christ intended for us all to feel while here on this earth without him. The problem isn't that I'm still on the earth. The problem is that my heart is in so many different places and it's not just in one. It's not just in the palm of my heavenly fathers hand and maybe where my spirit longs to be is with him on this earth learning all he still needs to teach me.
2 Corinthian 5:9 "Therefore, we have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him." - May we all find our home in the loving hand of our Father God.
P.S. - Mom the chicken pot pie last night was amazing & I promise to clean up my room before I leave for Atlanta!


Friday, December 19, 2008

Child Haven...12 kids, never a dull moment!

There's always something exciting going on at Child Haven, whether it's an outing or just around the house!

We ventured out to the Jo'burg Botanical Gardens for Christmas Carols. After a picnic, Mama Amy treated everyone to an ice cream cone, YUM-YUM! And a sweet volunteer got us all Santa hats to add to the festivities.
(p.s. I must remind everyone that it's summer here.)

Christmas carols by candlelight! Everyone had their very own candle...Praise God we only had 1 minor incident with fire!

With 12 kids there's always someone to play with! What's better than playing outside...

They love to do various gymnastic tricks around the yard!

Mpho and Asenda having fun jumping on the trampoline!

Andelie, Nosiphewe, Steph, Chantel, Loraine, Mpho, and Bafana. All just hanging out in the yard...have to take a little break after all the running around.

Last week we had some important guests over for a braii (what South African's call grilling out).

Christy and Mpho relaxing while waiting for the yummy food!

Bafana and Thabiso are great helpers with the braii!

The festivities are over outside, now get excited we're watching High School Musical, again....

Baby Haven

Here's a glimpse of Baby Haven. It's a warm welcoming home with beautifully painted walls for the babies to enjoy!

Samuel is such a sweet happy boy! Samuel was born to a 14 year old girl who was raped by her step-father. We hope she will release him for adoption soon so he can be adopted and go live in a stable happy family. He's almost 7 months old and full of life. He can't sit up by himself quite yet, but we think he may start crawling any day! Currently he just rolls where ever he wants to go.

Sweet Baby Esther
Esther will be 4 months old on Christmas Day! She's our 'Little Princess'. Loves to eat and lots of attention, I mean who doesn't right! Esther was born to a 12 year old mother who had been raped by her 15 year old brother. Since she is a product of insect she has had genetic tests, which show she is a healthy miracle with no genetic deformities. Ester is fully adoptable and just needs a loving family!

Gets the best baby award! He is the happiest and most content baby you will ever meet. Oms, as we often call him, unfortunately is HIV positive, but you would never know. He's so healthy and strong, not typical for a positive baby. So we praise God for his health, and pray for a miracle in this sweet boy's life.

Gabriel is now 18 months old. Gabs came to Baby Haven because he was severely abused by his parents. His parents believed he was possessed and took him to a witch doctor to have the "snakes" removed. There his left eye was removed and he was held over fire. At such a young age he has a glass eye and his legs are covered with terrible burn scars. It is hard to process how much this little boy has suffered. Now he's a happy little boy who always has his thumb in his mouth. It's amazing how much he has improved in the 7 or 8 months he been at Baby Haven.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Still looking for the perfect gift?

Or looking for a tax deduction...

This holiday season consider giving to someone you don't know
LinkThere are 40 beautiful babies at Cradle of Love that need your donation. Check out the various ways you could bless them.

Their are 12 kids at Child Haven and 4 Babies at Baby Haven that have been abandoned by their parents. Help make their season brighter!

Support Luo and the amazing work they are doing with Ithemba by providing funds to continue to give children somewhere safe to be this holiday season.

Consider the 1.1 billion people who do not have access to clean drinking water. Charity:Water

We have been so blessed by all of these organizations and believe wholeheartedly in the work that they are doing. Thank you for supporting them as well as us.

Merry Christmas
Christy & Stephanie

Thursday, December 4, 2008


A beautiful tiny country filled with mountains landlocked within South Africa…that’s Lesotho

Heading to Maseru, Lesotho we had no idea what we were getting into. Over the past 5 months we have been working with orphaned/disadvantaged children and babies. Here we worked at St. Angela Cheshire Home for children with disabilities. Most of the children suffered from sever physical disabilities. At first I was worried about what each child could or couldn’t do, but quickly saw they are each extremely self-sufficient. They could get in and out of their wheel chairs, change outfits, bathe, and even wash their own clothes. I was so amazed! It was beautiful to see how much they help each other and laugh and play. It wasn’t long before I didn’t even notice their disabilities, only seeing an amazing young boy or girl.

Here are a couple pictures of the beautiful landscape we viewed while pony trekking (aka horse back riding) in the mountains.

We are now in Johannesburg, South Africa serving at Baby Haven and Child Haven. We have been so blessed to be able to work with amazing organizations, who provide very safe and nice places for us to live.

There are only 4 babies here at Baby Haven, so each of their stories are to come soon!

Thank you all so much for all of your support and prayers, they are felt daily. Without you we would not have this opportunity to serve these beautiful children of God.