When I feed the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor are hungry, they call me a communist. — Dom Helder Camara
We have been enjoying 2 snow days here, with lots of good family time together which has been great for all of us. We had originally planned a 2 week trip to Africa to bring Elijah home, then I would take 4 weeks off to be with Emilia and Elijah together, but as it worked out, we were in africa 4 week and only home for 2 before we started having to leave the kids with a baby sitter 2 days a week.
I am happy to report, health wise, Elijah is doing great. He is starting to use his blossoming vocabulary to string 2 words together, as in "No Janey" (the dog) and "thank you" and night night. His first eye tooth also came in (he already has 12 other teeth though!) He goes potty pretty much every time we sit him on it too, but doesn't tell us when he has t ogo. He has fit in beautifully with the family and is gentle and sweet. Our perfect daughter, however, has been having some major sharing issues. Sibling rivalry has reared its ugly head. I think it will take time, and probably be a life long age old struggle, but ultimatley we hope they are loving brother and sister. She had done cute things with him though like feed him, help bathe and change his diapers, and hold his hand while walking. Elijah hates snow and cold however. I can't blame him, coming from a perpetual garden-like climate!
We hope he learns to love snow like we do, over time. We will keep you updated on his progress, but so far it's been absoultely mind boggeling, praise God!
One thing I do want to post about is the "Journey to Elijah" It was so much more than the adoption of our son. It was an eye opening, life changing journet. It centers on the issues of blessings, wealth, giving, and yes, sharing.
Our friend in Rwanda, Pastor Peter, said that he felt God told him if he were ever able to preach to Americans he should preach that we (americans) should pray to God in repentance, and pray for forgivness, instead of praying for blessings. I thought about this for awhile, and realised how many Sunday sermons center are on praying for financial freedom, praying for God to bless us, praying for this that and the other thing. I feel God wanted me to share this message too. Going to Africa was like no place I have ever been. We met educated, wonderful friends who would be right at home at our neighborhood block party or chatting at the office cooler at work, then to hear them explain how 2$ a day is a good salary, but 3$ is even better, and to hear about teachers making 20$ a month-- it just struck to the heart of me. I realized how people living in industrialzed nations (not just america) have riches beyond imagination for a huge portion of the world, and even throughout human history. And what do we do? We pray to God for more. More. More.
I imaginged God manning the phone banks at the huge prayer hot line in heaven, and a prayer comes in from America- Dear God, this financial meltdown has really hurt our family. The bills are piling up, our 401k has dropped, the mortgage is late, our credit score is dropping, the bills are mounting, we may have to sell the second car and downsize the house... God says, wait a second, I have a call-waiting-- hold that prayer- But you know how sometimes when the operator puts you on hold, you can hear what's going on in the background? Well, you over hear another prayer... Someone in the Kiburu slum in Africa- a widow-- Dear God, as you know my husband died from AIDS last year and now I am not long for this world. This isn't about me though, God, my 3 yr old is near death with diarrhea. I have no money for a doctor and no way to get there. The water we drink comes from the river where raw sewer runs in,our house is a few pieces of sheet metal with no electric or heat or floors or glass in the windows... please God, I just pray you just spare the life of my child. Amen. Now God turns back to you- Sorry for the interruption, what were you saying?
You are silent. Then you say, Lord, thank you for the riches I have which are beyond imagination for so much of the world. Please open my eyes to them, let me see the blessing you have given me and be grateful for food, for medications, for clothes, for electic, for clean water, indoor plumbing, for healthy kids, for a heater when it snows, for shoes for our feet, for our educations, for our families, for your Son Jesus. You have blessed me and my family unto the 7th generation. We are so grateful for you God, and the wealth you have showered upon us. Forgive us of our sins. Please God, use me to do your will. Use me as your hands, your feet. Open my eyes to suffering in the world and show me the way to help my brothers and sisters. Then you say, "Amen". To whom much is given, much is expected. Let us not lose sight of the big picture. We live in the big picture, after all, not in our little corner of it. Forgive me my sins, Father, and use me and my house to serve the Lord.