Friday, June 27, 2008

Firework blessings begin

Today we had the privilege of setting up our fireworks tents. I (amber) am in Lake Stevens and Andrew in Black Diamond. I am shocked that I can say that it is a privilege. The craziness of the past few weeks should lead me to feel burdened and drained but instead Christ is alive in me. As I drove home tonight I felt overwhelmed by His goodness. We had an amazing day working together to accomplish something that many have said is ridiculous. My great friend Jennifer helped me unpack a semi-truck worth of fireworks. I was in chaocos and YL clothing...she was wearing dress clothes and pointy shoes. The truck driver looked at us and said "where is the rest of your help?". Well, we were it. We managed to unload in less than an hour and still were having fun. Then Shaunna showed up to help us make a plan. Her expertise helped us greatly. I just adore her and love hearing how Christ is working in her life. Josh, from our community group, showed up next and did the manly work of moving things we deemed too heavy. He was so fun and encouraging, never complaining and quite hilarious. To top it all off, Tom Applegate arrived to sleep in the tent, on the grass, and with bright lights on. Good Luck tonight, Tom. We worked our tails off for 10 hours straight (except the mandatory coffee break) and all left smiling and full of joy. I can say I truly understand the joy of community. I don't how to exactly express my joy. I wish the fullness of my heart could be written down. I cannot wait to see this week ..."together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ"(Ephesians 3:18 NIV). We will keep you posted.
Also, we cannot open until Monday due to permit regulations within the city. Bummer. Keep us in you prayers.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

either God's setting us up to see miracles, or we're idiots.

In the matter of about 3 weeks we're organizing people & resources around two fireworks stand fundraisers -both of which are about an hour away from us & most everyone we know.

The Beginning

It's interesting to look back on life & see when seeds were planted isn't it?
What began as my conversation with a cute girl in the 5th Ashton dorms turned into a life-long commitment to her as husband. And, what was an exciting addition to our 1 year anniversary trip to Paris became the reason you're reading this exciting addition to the blogosphere. That trip is where this story begins....

While my brother & his family were living in Mozambique Amber & I decided, "Heck, we're already going to the other side of the globe. Let's hop down to Africa and visit them too." While there we had the privilege of joining them on a trip to an orphanage -they were hoping to adopt. I will confess that I was not nearly as moved as I should have been. Children clamoring to be held, protruding bellies, little boys & girls without mommies or daddies there to comfort & celebrate them ...all should have left me weeping for years. Difficult to see? Yes. But I allowed the impact to fade. Months after we waved goodbye they adopted a beautiful girl who is now our beloved niece, Malena. (They have since moved back to Tacoma.) Meanwhile, Amber & I moved all over the Seattle area & had two wonderful children. From then until recently the thought of adopting remained a wonderful idea -akin to dedicating ourselves to mission work or having 12 kids. You know, the amazing things that other people do.
The sprout has surfaced.
Soon after the apple dropped on '08, a single thought began to crescendo within our conversations: “What if we really did adopt?” It of course stirred up a million others, “Could we just… you know, do that?! How would we afford it? Maybe we should move to a bigger home first. We need a minivan to hold more kids. If we get a minivan how can we afford to move?! Well, honey, why move to a bigger home if we can’t get the minivan? Which agency should we use? What about our jobs? …What color minivan?” Most of our hyperventilating proved fruitless.

God planted the seed & He is growing it…
What has proven lasting and powerful has been our time on our knees. We have prayed often for God’s help, encouragement & provision. He has been so faithful. God has done many things to snuff the idea that we are doing something great. (The story of our whole fireworks fundraiser fiasco is too long to tell here. The ordeal has had us dependant on Him & seeing his faithfulness daily.) It is amazing to be about the tasks that will eventually be so meaningful. We will some day hold a child (our child!) in our arms because of the resources & wonderful people He is providing today.