Friday, November 16, 2012

Pro-Life In Action

So many people claim to be pro-life, but what they mean by this can be so different.  I'm not going to get into the nitty gritty of what defines pro-life as far as abortion goes right now, that will be for another post someday.  But I do want to talk about going beyond saying that you are pro-life, whatever that means to you, and doing something about it.

Our family supports our local pregnancy center, both on a monthly basis and yearly, larger contributions.  They are THE place that is making a difference in the battle to save unborn lives.  This is where we can start to make changes in the White House and in our state governments.  Our government is a representation of the people of our land, and in light of recent developments our land needs to repent and return to serving the Lord.  But that can not happen if His people do not head His call to be light in darkness.  The way to abolish wrongful laws is to make them useless.  The way to close down abortion mills is to make them go out of business.  As long as there is a demand for wholesale killing of the unborn, then there will be people in the business of murdering the next generation.  So, please do something!  Support your local pregnancy center, financially and with your time.  Get involved.  Make a difference right where you are!  Make Planned Barrenhood go out of business!

But that is not what this blog post is about. .  I want to share with you what I read this morning in my quiet time - actually I read this yesterday and missed it, but for some reason I felt led to re-read yesterday's readings and I found a gem that I missed:

Psalm 102: 16 - 22:

For the Lord Build up Zion; he appears in His glory; He regards the prayer of the destitute and does not despise their prayer.
Let this be recorded for a generation to come, so that a people yet to be created may praise the Lord:

That He looked down from His holy height; from heaven the Lord looked at the earth,
To hear the groans of the prisoners, to set free those who were doomed to die,
The they may declare in Zion the name of the Lord, and in Jerusalem His praise,
When peoples gather together, and kingdoms, to worship the Lord.

Please do not shut you heart to what I am about to share.  Take a little time, read this post in it's entirety  do not shut down as I have done in the past.

I want to share with you a difference face of being prolife.  That of saving the lives of the born.  Every life has value.  Every life, no matter the circumstances or physical abilities has been spoken into existence by the God of the Universe and He loves each and every one.  We are made in His image, and we should share His love for these, the least.

Let me share with you the images that came to my mind when I read that passage this morning.

I know, it tears your heart out, at least it does mine.  This has been going on for a long time around the world, especially in communist countries.  The children rejected by their parents are put into state run orphanages and locked away from the world.  Until now.  Satan has had a stronghold on these forgotten children, but God has said that His time is up.  The doors have opened to the world, and the deplorable conditions have been exposed.  And His people are on the move.  But not all of His people.  Sweeping changes are happening in some of the orphanages, and many of the changes in these foreign orphanages are being financed by families in the United States!  In one of the worst orphanages in the world, Pleven in Bulgaria, the biggest changes have been made since the conditions there have been exposed and you can read about that HERE!

But even when I read about the amazing changes going on there, my heart cries that it is not enough.  These children need homes and families that love them, a mommy and a daddy of their own!

Many of them have families committed to adopting them, and there are families committed to adopting hundreds of children with special needs languishing in orphanages around the world, but something is slowing down the  So many families want to take these little ones into their homes, but the lack the financial power to do so.  Reece's Rainbow  is a non-profit organization dedicated to getting these little ones into forever families.  Not only do they list children in need of adoption, but once a family commits to adopting they do everything to help facilitate the adoption.  Go there and click on "Sponsor a Family" and you can see hundreds of families who are in the process of adoption and need financial help to do so.  If God isn't calling you to open your home, then please help others who are doing this.

I also highly recommend clicking on the link there for families who have their little ones home already as it is so inspiring to read what a difference this makes in the child's life, but even more the blessing to the families that the child, and the whole process of adoption, has been!

I want to share with you some photos.  First I'll show you some that will break your heart, but will show you the urgency of this situation.. and then some photos of the change adoption can make in the lives of these little ones, and then I'm going to share some of the children who do not have all the time in the world to wait for a family to finally be ready to adopt.  These children are in baby houses (orphanages for children up to a certain age, usually 5 years of age).  When they reach this certain age, they are transferred to the orphanages for children and adults.  These orphanages are usually horrendous.  In some countries the death rate in the first year is over 95%.  Their heads are shaved and they are confined to their beds/cribs most of the day.  I have seen images from these place that will give you nighmares, but I won't go that far...I will only show you a few before and after photos to give you the idea of the harm these places are to these little ones:

This is Sonny,  He is still listed on Reece's Rainbow the last time I checked.  This first photograph was him when he was 4 years old, this photo was up on RR for a long time.  The most recent photo if of him after spending a short amount of time in the "other" orphanage:
This is Teri-Lynne .  I'll give you the good news first - she has been adopted!  But while her adoption was in process, she was transferred out of the baby house.  Her "after" photo was taken just 3 weeks after she had been transferred to the "other" orphanage.  When I saw this I was can such a change happen in only 3 weeks...what unimaginable things could have caused this change.
Now let me show you some before and after photos of children who have been adopted and now have their own mommies and daddies to show them love, to care for them physically, and to redeem their lives:

Meet Amelia.  She was basically starved of everything for the first ELEVEN YEARS of her life.  Then a family came to rescue her.  In just one month she went from this emaciated, baby sized 11 year old, to an adorable little girl!
And then there's Katie.  I introduced you all to her last summer, but it bears repeating.  Katie was 9 years old when she first met her forever mommy, and she only weighed 11 pounds.  Recently, Susanna, Katie's mommy, posted a condensed version of The Story of Katie's Adoption, and I highly recommend reading this!  The before photo is of Susanna the first time she went to see Katie.  Katie smelled bad and looked worse.  You can see that even this loving mother is overwhelmed at Katie's condition.  The after photo is Katie after 9 months with the loving care of her forever family.  And the story continues, as they are adopting another child from the same orphanage - Tommy!  Please go check out their newest adoption adventure, and I was so pleased to see that they have raised over $14,000 towards his adoption already!

Lastly I want to share with you a few children who face being transferred in the next year. These children need to be adopted urgently!  Not being adopted for them will probably mean certain death.

Sawyer has already turned 5, his days in the baby house are numbered:

Archie will be turning 5 next summer:

Angelina will be turning 5 this March:

Abbott turned 5 last May and has already been transferred, (no updated photo available since he was transferred) but he can still be adopted!!!

And there's many, many more - here is a list of children in an orphanage that I know transfers most of their children out around 5 year of age...Children from Region 03.  Any of them born before 2009 are facing transfers or have already been transferred. Help one of these today by sharing their page!

Please, let's keep these children from ending up here, behind an orphanage in Eastern Europe:

Do you know that if Esther was there, she would be facing being transferred within the year?  Can you imagine her never having had a mommy and daddy and siblings to love her?  

My heart is breaking for these children.  I cried out to the Lord this morning with tears that He would move His people to save these little ones before it's too late.  There have been times in the last few months since I started advocating for these precious children that I too have been unable to face it.  I've avoided reading the blog posts, I've shut down as I just couldn't face this tragedy again.  But I have stepped back into the ring and I'm doing what I can to save these lives.  I do not have funds to send their way, but I can tell others about them!

You may be asking yourself, but what should I do.  Your asking the wrong person.  Please take a minute and ask your Lord what He wants you to do.  There are at least three things you can do, and some of them don't even require you to get out of your chair!

1. Advocate - share links of children/families who need help in the adoption process, so that others may see and respond to the needs.  This might be children still waiting for their forever famiiles and listed on Reece's Rainbow, or it might be links to families pages who are in the adoption process.  This could also mean committing to advocating for specific orphans/adoptive families by blogging and posting of FB about them, possible fundraising for them and of course committing to praying for them.  There are many ways you can support these children/families without even spending a dime!  Who knows but that one of your friends on FB or a reader of your blog might be the one that God calls to adopt that child you are advocating for - don't miss out on being the instrument God uses to change the world for that child!

2. Contribute!  Send some of your money their way!  Maybe you can commit to going without something for a while and donating the money you would have spent - here's some ideas - espresso, take-home pizza, DVD rentals, date nights, birthday know, things you do for yourself and your family that are enjoyable, but come at a price tag.  Did you know what if you had 2 espresso stand coffees a week and decided to donate that money instead, it could mean that you could send nearly $400 in a year to an adoptive family?  Many adoptions take a year or more to complete!  I've had customer tell me to send their refund/discount for a sale to the orphans that I advocate for even!

3. Adopt.  I know, I's unthinkable, you don't have that kind of money, your life is already too complicated.  But is God calling you to do this?  What would you be willing to do to save a life?

Lastly, let me remind you of something you might not even have known, or didn't think about while reading about these children.  The Bible says that children are a blessing.  There are no qualifications to this - it doesn't read "healthy children are a blessing", or "biological children are a blessing" it states that CHILDREN are a blessing.  Most of the children at Reece's Rainbow have Down Syndrome, and all children there have some special need.  Any parent of a child with Down Syndrome will tell you that their family has been blessed by having a child with DS.  Parents of children with special needs will tell you that it is not a road they would have chosen, but they are so glad it was chosen for them.  Are you missing out on a blessing?

And let me leave you with this:

James 4:17 - So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.

What are you going to do today for these little ones?

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