Tuesday, November 1, 2011

November 1st, 2011

Today is one of Dw's and my most favorite days of the year.

Do you know what day it is?

All Saints Day

On this day, in our home, 
we honor those who have gone before 
and left a legacy worth remembering.

People like: 

George Mueller
began orphanages in Bristol, England 
and the greatest man of faith that I have ever read about - 
can't wait to meet him in heaven one day!

Harriet Tubman
gave away her life for those enslaved in the south...
serving as an underground railroad conductor
moving over 300 slaves from the south to the north.
Thomas Garret said of Harriet, "I never met anyone of any color who is more able to hear the voice of  God than Harriet Tubman."
Her story is riveting and she is a hero of heroes in our family.

Thomas Garrett
Courageous man who allowed over 2,700 slaves to spend a few nights hiding in the comfort of his home {many had never slept in a real bed before!} on the route of the Underground Railroad...
2,700!!  
Can you imagine how "convenient" that was?
He's a personal favorite of mine!! This Quaker man who cared more about his fellow mankind enslaved in the south, then the comfort of his home and life.  


Gladys Aylward
brave young missionary who cared for orphans of Ch*na - 
her story is miraculous as she forged the way for little 
orphans at a time where 'white' people were thought of as 
terrifying to many in Ch*na...she later had to settle in 
Taiwan where she founded another orphanage.

Lillian Trasher
ministered in Assiut, Egypt and founded the
 first orphanage ever in Egypt...
growing up in Brunswick, Georgia - her story is a.m.a.z.i.n.g.
She served more than 10,000 orphans in her lifetime.

Amy Carmichael
missionary to India...
serving 55 years without furlough...
and whose quote I love:
"One can give without loving, 
but one cannot love without giving."


So many others that we love and honor for their steadfast love of God and compassion for the precious treasures they were called to minister to.

And although it would be pleasant to end the post there.  

I cannot.  

Because if I ended it there, it would be easy to walk away and say, "Wasn't that nice? What great people we can honor!"

But the older I get, the harder it is for me to remain silent.  It seems that many are searching for truth and courage in the light of so much wishy-washiness.  

So I'm gonna' be real honest here.  While honoring these heroes and others, we are troubled by something.  We have been facing - day in and day out  - 

the street children.  

Begging.  

Starving.  

Bone thin.  

Dirty.  

Torn and ragged clothing. 

 Longing for anything to eat. 

 Emma put this as her status on Facebook last night:
{with her permission I share it with you}

"sitting in Africa thinking about all the money Americans spent on costumes for today -  2.5 billion dollars. And here I walk the streets where there are huddled groups of 5 yr olds begging for food. The man on the road who has no legs and he walks on his hands begging. Oh America its time you wake up. The world is starving and your looking stupid and eating candy. Sick to my stomach in Africa. SO much need but you don't even blink or open your eyes. Shame on us Americans. It's time we woke up!"

Thank you my sweet daughter, Emma, 
for your courage.  
Eighteen years old and you get it already. 
You've walked the streets and you've seen. 

And friends, can you seriously believe it? 

2.5 billion dollars on Hall*ween costumes last night?

2.5 billion dollars
{There is something sooo wrong with that.
Seriously, can you imagine?  2.5 billion dollars!}

Much of the world is starving from famine.

Much of the world does not have clean water.

Most of the world will never even be able to imagine a home in the western world....what it looks like.  The full fridge.   The meals out.  The sporting events.  The ballet.  The opera.  The music lessons.  The toys.  The boats.  The second homes.  
{None of which are bad, but if money is spent on indulging ourselves with no money to help the poor and needy and the orphan.....what are we thinking?}

So I cannot be silent.  

Now in our 7th week here in Uganda, 
I am more passionate than ever. 

 More committed than ever.  

More convinced that the time is now.  

The opportunity will not last.  

We have only a small window to make a difference.  

It may not be the popular path.

But it's the only one I want to take.

I want to strive for the compassion, steadfastness and courage of  Thomas Garrett, Harriet Tubman, Amy Carmichael, Gladys Aylward, George Mueller and the rest.  

Will you join me?

39 Simply Sweet Words:

  1. I have always loved Mother Theresa's quote "It is poverty that a child should die so that you may live as you wish".

    Standing with you.

    Brooke
    www.TheAnnessaFamily.blogspot.com

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  2. This brought me to tears. Thank you.

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  3. Yes! It is sickening to think about the VAST and SO drastically UNFAIR and huge differences in how people are living. If I think about what I would consider to be the worst days of my life, I was still blessed to have every one of my basic needs met as well as to have all the available and undeserved comforts right at my fingertips and still felt sorry for myself. The world is so out of balance it's hard to think about.

    Thank you for this post and for reminding me that we need to do more all the time. We've been finding ways to cut back to sponsor more children and give more which has felt good but it's not enough, not by a long shot. Not when we still live like we do.

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  4. Oh this so hits home!! Emmy, you keep going girl. America does need to wake up!!
    amy in ga

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  5. Please keep preaching it till the whole world hears!!!!

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  6. Linny, I woke up in the middle of the night with you and Emma on my heart and feeling very much burdened for you. I prayed and prayed that God would sustain you during this long time away from the rest of your family. I prayed that God would allow quickened speed in order that you might bring home Sarah Jane and Ruby Grace, even by the end of this week, if it be His will. We don't understand His ways, but we do know what He wants families to be united. I prayed that paperwork would move along in an extraordinarily speedy way and that the powers that be would give approval so that you all could be on your way home.

    Helping to hold you up,
    Jocelyn

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  7. I was thinking something similar to your sweet Emma this morning listing to Christian music...we sing lots of songs declaring the desire to know God better, pray lots of prayers to be closer to God and His desires for our lives, plan and attend retreats and travels to 'get away' and get with God.

    The gal you gave roses to didn't need to do all these things, spend lots of money, etc. to see Jesus - she saw Jesus in you guys.

    Maybe because, unlike the street children you are encountering, we spend less time focused on our mere survival, we have more time to spend crying out to God our perceived injustices in our lives. Wonder how He feels about that?

    I don't even know if that makes sense or not...

    Can't wait to see your family's reaction to little Ruby! :)

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  8. YES! YES! YES! I so long to do more and know God has big plans, his plan just hasn't been to reveal it to me yet, but it's in my heart...I want to do more today though! So much of what you just wrote hits me deep and I find myself saying Amen, over and over...I am with you I am praying for wisdome and guidance and for others to open there eyes..I have a little thing I want to share with you sometime in e-mail too...i was a little discouraged, but this has lit my fire again!
    Been praying for you; can't believe how long you have been there...I know it has to be hard, but God is doing big things. Praying you are all reunited soon!
    Oh and P.S. can I link this post you wrote today?
    Love,
    Carrie
    www.itsgodsgospel.blogspot.com

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  9. I get it. I am awake! I have the same exact feelings. We do not spend a dime on Halloween. No costumes here, no candy, no decor. And this year the money spent on costumes, candy, and decor was almost $7 billion. Yep, heard it on the news this morning. Insane. Sickening. I literally could throw up. Oh and Christmas. Unreal. What is Christmas truly about? Do people even know anymore? There wouldn't be starving children and orphans anymore if people would just WAKE UP!!!! Thank you for having the courage to post it. I say it on my blog put very few people read mine. Hahah!!!Keep Standing tall and proclaiming it REAL!!!!

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  10. I am willing...it is my 40th on Nov. 9th and I told my hubby, "all I want is to go a mission trip to Uganda this year." We will see where God leads!

    I have been busy sewing and am ready to send more stuff to CA for the website!!

    I love seeing your heart here on this blog and pray one day I will get to give you a big old hug in person. Until the here is a virtual one <<<>>>>

    Praying for you, Emma, Ruby and S!!

    Love,
    Shanna

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  11. Okay...had to post...I've been a "stalker" if you will. I have been praying for you and your journey, the children, Karl, travels, etc. Each post touches my heart even more than the previous ones. It gives me hope that your daughter already "gets it" and she is 18. I pray I can teach my kids to get it too. I will continue to pray for you and yours during this life journey. May you and your family continue to bless God while He is so faithful as He is using you to further His kingdom. Definitely a "mountain-moving" God! My new favorite saying. Thank you for opening my eyes :)

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  12. strong post, linny- and i agree wholeheartedly. that is why we left the West 25 years ago and moved our family overseas to the streets where the poor live. God has blessed us here in the midst of this terrible poverty- and we have been able to share it all with those who have nothing. http://www.gentlehands.org is our website to read the testimony of how God changes our lives when we 'GET IT' like emma does. love emma's heart- we have a little emma that we adopted 5 years ago (when we were 56). Blessings as you hang in there in Uganda! good for you for redeeming each day of waiting!

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  13. My husband and oldest son are totally wanting to go over with DW when he goes again to Africa... My hubby is preaching this Sunday, Orphan Sunday and will be showing a video about that same exact thing... how much it would cost us to care for the basic needs of orphans and how much we Americans spend on makeup, TV, sporting events, our pets etc... I could go on and on... it is pretty amazing... Praying for perseverance for you all till you get home!
    Sara

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  14. I so wish so SOOOOO many people I know could read this post. I am sickened by how much people waste on weekly manicures and pedicures and tanning beds and other luxuries for themselves - when so many suffer so. I am sure I am guilty too but mostly for the last many years I have scrabbled to survive as a single adoptive mom who lost her last good job just before leaving for China for my second daughter. I just had to give up sponsorship of our child in Guatemala and it just broke my heart because most people I know blow in a DAY what I cannot scrape together in a month to continue to sponsor Rosa. How can we move our fellow man to help more, do more?

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  15. Love your FB status post Emma, it is SO true. I 100% agree with you both and love you for taking a stand and taking it publicly! Let Jesus break our hearts for the things that break His.

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  16. I'm with ya!:) We are praying as a family NOW as to what more we can do... It's not a "calling" for a few, but a COMMAND for ALL those in Christ Jesus!

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  17. Thank you so much for sharing your heart and truth. What a timely message. I have felt so sickened and see so much lukewarmness when it comes to what God calls us to do. I pray that we will wake up from our slumber, stop indulging ourselves and take care of these needs. I am totally in........we as a family have been totally in and we haven't looked back. So you can count on us. Love you guys . L

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  18. AWESOME post! Thanks for sharing the TRUTH!

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  19. So true!! So true!! May God wake us up and break our hearts with what breaks His heart!Each and every one should ask "what will you have me do, Lord?" How can I make a difference today?? That is the cry of my heart. Let me make a differnce. I pray more and more Christians will wake up and hear the cry of the orphans and the children on the streets. They are everywhere. Not just in Africa. They are also here in America. Lord, help us to do more for you.

    Blessings,
    Melanie

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  20. Love it! We talked about All Hallow's Eve/All Saints Day with our kids too, and gave special honor to George Muller. And yes, we are right with you!

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  21. oh yes, yes, yes!!! Thank you again for your challenge and for being the tough part of a sister in Christ. We need to hear what we need to be doing to OBEY our Father!! This Sunday is Orphan Sunday. There are 6 of us on Sunday morning that will be challenging our church body as we are kicking off a Orphan Ministry. Our church body needs educated and a swift kick in the rear :) We are so excited to see what God will do!! Thank you for your encouragement Linny and sharing the REALITY!!!

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  22. Yes!!! Thank you Linny for sharing with us the reality of what your weeks have shown you. God is moving in the hearts of His children and convicted so many of us for NOT taking care of His little ones. Oh God forgive us! This Sunday is Orphan Sunday, and there are six of us like-hearted Christ-followers who will be standing up on Sunday morning with a challenge to our church body. We have all sat still for way too long! This day will be our kick off for our much needed Orphan Ministry! I can't wait to see what God will do! We are coming little ones, forgive us for being so slow...forgive us!

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  23. When I heard how much money people spend on Halloween I was shocked!!!! How many sweet young children could we save with that money?!?!

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  24. I totally agree, Emma! I was just thinking about this the other day when I saw all the holiday "stuff" in the store. I truly makes me ill to see all the waste and overindulgence. We are a truly blessed family-we do simple gifts for each other and then use the rest of our "gift" money to bless others. It has blessed us FAR more than doing "big" gifts!

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  25. I lllooove this post, you inspire me and keep me pushing to get our girls home, even through the frustration and fear. Thank you. God bless. Hugs

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  26. Let our hearts be burdened and broken for the things that break God's heart. The world needs Christ, and the world needs us that have to give. Great message Linny.

    Hugs from the other side of the world in Indiana - janet and gang

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  27. Oh, my heart. Your heart is beautiful. I would love to start a tradition like that in my family. Are there any books you would recommend so that we can learn all about these amazing people? I am going to do a search and see if I can't find something. We will be going on our first missions trip next June to Nicaragua (our newest adopted 12 year old in tow)..we have been waiting for our oldest to turn 10. But I know there are needs everywhere...we just need to open our eyes to what is right in front of us. Pray that God would open our eyes and hearts and use our hands and feet for His glory, not our own. Thank you for this Linny. You inspire me every day. Love you.

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  28. Wow! I think the same thing every time I see some ridiculous new movie with no redeeming value being advertised (again... I love watching good film... love, love, love stuff like The Blind Side, or the LOTR trilogy). All I can think is "they spent millions of dollars making that (names withheld to protect the guilty!) and I am struggling to find any money to go get my little boy in China, and little kids are starving in other countries." Of course I vote with my cash by not going to the theater to see those types of movies or buying them on DVD, and we do "homemade" Halloween costumes and such, but it is frustrating to see how much waste there is in our society when others have nothing. How easy to forget how very blessed we are and what God wants us to do with that blessing (to whom much is given, much is required).

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  29. Yes. With you. We need eachother - to spur one another on. We/I quickly forget - get lazy. God help us remember, sacrifice and take action!

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  30. I do love to read your blog and I will continue reading it because you are very inspiring. I think you are a great person and HUGE lover of orphans. However, you have spent money on American Girls according to your posts. These are very expensive dolls and accessories. Surely a cheaper doll would be better in keeping with your values. I buy Halloween costumes (cute, not ghoulish). I do not buy American Girls stuff. But I might some day. Who knows? I also give a ton of money to charity and am adopting two kids this year (one domestic and one international). I wish you luck with Ruby Grace. It must be EXHAUSTING. Keep up the great blog, even though I think you got it wrong this one time.

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  31. Yes dear sweet blog friend I will join You! I am so very proud of your Emma! Thank You Sweet Emma! Janet

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  32. Lyn Gould saw "Inn of 6th Happiness" when she was a little little girl, and knew she wanted to work in China. That little whisper from God stayed in her heart until many years later when she took early retirement to go care for dying orphans - in China! She and her husband are founding directors of Butterfly Children's Hospices.
    butterflyhospice.blogspot.com
    So cool how the legacy of Gods people goes on and on.

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  33. Sweet Emma. This brings me to tears. Her courage, and yours is inspiring. Holloween makes me sick on so many levels, but bringing it to light in those words...wow. Thank you for inspiring me. You are in my prayers.

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  34. Scripture for you: Num 6:24-26
    Love & Prayers~Maureen

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  35. Love it! My mom had us celebrate October 31st growing up as Reformation Day (anniversary of Luther's 95 theses) and I think honoring those who have showed that a simple life of service is beautiful and doable deserve to be honored as well.

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It's always good to hear from bloggy friends. Bless you.