Sep 20, 2010

I hate helping one person at a time

Read this. Really gets you thinking, and praying! This is by Ashley Higgins

i had the privilege of traveling to dublin, ireland last week. my squad-mate andrea made the trek for the second annual world race awakening. there were nearly four-hundred people who came to ireland for the event. current racers, alumni and guests gathered together for four days of worship and teaching. the lord showed up in a mighty way during our time there.

toward the end of our week we had an afternoon free so andrea and i decided to explore the city a bit. we had both been to dublin since our squad launched there just over a year ago. we were wandering around town without much of an agenda. we prayed, rather flippantly, that the Lord would give us a divine appointment.

be careful what you ask for.

as we meandered the temple bar area i noticed a young woman who was wandering aimlessly. she looked lost, confused, tired, needy. i struck up a conversation with her and offered to buy her some food. we walked to a nearby cafe where all she wanted was a smoothie. i tried to get her to eat a muffin or something more substantial, but she insisted that a small drink was plenty. we sat and talked with her as she told us her story.

jackie lives on the streets of dublin. she goes from shelter to shelter every night looking for a place to sleep. she was violently raped ten years ago in an murky alley where she was trying to rest. as a result of this atrocity, jackie refuses to sleep outside. she hadn't slept in four days when we met her last week. she could hardly keep her eyes open she was so exhausted. it was only terror that willed her small, fragile self to stay awake. we tried walking her to a hostel but she could hardly stand up straight, let alone walk the many blocks it would have taken to get her there. as people walked by gawking, jackie began to cry. "why do they look at me like that," she asked as tears streamed down her face. "i would never hurt anyone and i am just as good as they are." "i'm a person, too." i had no words to offer. any christianeese answer i could have mustered up would have done me no good, anyways. there are no answers.

we finally stopped. we sat in the doorway of some hoity-toity business with suited money-makers coming in and out. they didn't have to say anything for their disapproval to speak volumes. we sat with her and prayed. it was a simple prayer. a prayer of protection, hope, and comfort. i gave her all of the cash i had, just ten euro.

and then we walked away. we walked away and made our way to quaint little irish coffee shop where we sipped on our caffeinated beverages of choice. we asked questions and said the 'it's too bad's." we fed ourselves justifications and rationale as we devoured our banana-caramel dessert. we made our way back to the conference and we worshipped our hearts out.

and then normal life just kind of carried on. and we rode a bus and hopped on a plane. and now i'm sitting back in my comfortable bed in my nice, american apartment. i'm in need of nothing, really. i'm surrounded by dozens of jesus-loving people. i have food in my pantry, clean clothes in my closet and money in my wallet. i feel well taken care of. i have a supportive family and network of friends all around the world. i feel safe and secure. i won't lose sleep tonight from fear of being abused.

but somewhere on a dark, irish street corner jackie is sitting.
alone. cold. hungry. tired. terrified. hopeless. depressed. rejected.

and it's just not okay with me. it's not okay with me at all. but i have no answers. i don't know how to fix it. there is no remedy. and i don't want nice christian answers about how i did everything i could and now i just have to trust that the lord will take care of her. there is truth in that, absolutely. but i don't find comfort in those justifications. it's not good enough for me, anymore. i'm not looking for solace or commiseration. i don't want well-intentioned condolences anymore.

because there are millions of jackies in our world. millions.
millions of orphans. millions of women being sold into sexual slavery.
millions of people living in inhumane conditions because of poverty.

and, i know. i have to believe that what i am doing is helping. that licking stamps and stuffing envelopes; reading blogs and projecting numbers is actually changing the world. but today, it's hard to believe that. it's hard and it doesn't seem like enough to sit behind my desk. because i want things to be different. i don't want to feed one hungry person, i want to end hunger. i don't want to bring comfort to just one woman who has be dejected and abused. i want to abolish modern-day slavery and start a jesus revolution beginning with the pimps and sleazy men who prey on the helpless women and children. i don't want to hold one orphan in africa. i don't want there to be orphans in my world at all.

call it idealism. call it naivety. call it impractical, unrealistic, stupid, ridiculous, foolish, crazy, or a waste of time. call if whatever you want.

i'm going to call it kingdom. and i'm going to fight like hell to make it happen.

as much as i hate it most of the time, i'm going to keep loving the one in front of me. i'll keep buying the jackie in my life a smoothie. i'll pray my simple prayers. and i will keep searching and crying and fighting my guts out and asking questions...until the earth looks just like heaven.

because jackie is somewhere in ireland, sleep deprived and void of hope.
and i refuse for that to ever be okay.

Sep 16, 2010

Sept 2010 Rodriguez /Josiah update

I just wanted to give an update on what's been going on with us. We have had some really great things happen and some heart aches as well. Such is life.
1) We have been trying to get caught up financially from all of this craziness of having a sick kiddo, medical bills, hubby trying to catch us up from being out of work for over a year. We REALLY wanted to help bless a dear friend Stacy Richards and her family adopting 4 year old Solomon from China. It was my goal that we'd be able to donate a very huge amount to help them adopt their son form China. Well the Lord knew we would not be able to do it personally. He did however give us the idea to hold a raffle that brought in about $3000 to help them. It is totally the ALL the Lord. That is way more than I would have been able to donate. She is in China RIGHT NOW showing him the LOVE of a mother and father for the FIRST TIME in his life. They are preparing to come home soon. The Lord blessed such feeble efforts and I am rejoicing in His provision. Many of you KNOW how much we are pro-adoption and have wanted to adopt for years. I live vicariously through the experiences of my many amazing adoptive friends. Thanks to the many that prayed and participated. This is an example of how the Lord CAN use you to help orphans even though many of us are struggling financially. We may not all feel led to adopt but we can ALL help regardless of our circumstances. James 1:27 "TRUE religion is looking after orphans and widows and keeping oneself unspotted by the world. " Follow them here if you want to see how the Lord miraculously provided to bring Solomon home.
2) We have attended an Above Rubies retreat FAITHFULLY for years. It is our annual family "thing" that we look forward to. Last year we couldn't go because Josiah was still going to the hospital constantly, my husband Huatzin didn't have a job and we couldn't afford it. I was very disappointed. We hoped to go this year but layoffs began at Huatzin's work and we couldn't justify the money needed to go even if we camped nearby AND brought our own food. The Lord supernaturally provided above and beyond what we could dream or think. Some compassionate and generous person paid for our entire family to attend the whole weekend. I almost didn't accept it as I figured "wow that is too much money." The retreat coordinator informed us that our family wasn't even the largest family they paid for! I am blown away. It was JUST what I didn't know we needed. We were SO blessed and refreshed. We made some great memories. I asked the Lord "is this respite from the past year or the calm before the storm?" He told me just to "trust Him and Be still, and that I don't need to know how every little thing is going to turn out. "

3) Huatzin got laid off. The Lord prepared our hearts for it. At least with construction /new plumbing you sort of KNOW when it is about to happen as the work dwindles. Huatzin is always one of the last to go so he can see when it's coming. I think that is better than being surprised and caught off gaurd. It gives you time to prepeare your heart and lets you kow how to pray. We hope they remember him for the foreman position coming up in a few months. Think of us when you ride the new Little Mermaid ride ( Disneyland) in May. My hubby helped put the plumbing in. This also means that our home-study will probably be put on hold. Must not be His will right now. Not my will but Thine.

4) Josiah has had a cold and began getting bruising. The enemy wanted me thinking he was relapsing. I rebuked him as I feel the Lord has healed my son. One of meanings of Josiah's name is "Whom God has HEALED!" I called today and was told that Josiah's labs were back and his platelets we 145,000!!!! His Hemoglobin, red blood count and white count are fine. He is only 5,000 short from being somewhat NORMAL!!! Can you BELIEVE IT!!!! When we went in last year he only had 8,000 platelets and was in serious danger. Now he is fine. You can look on my blog at the 12 children with his same diagnoses (Aplastic Anemia) ALL of them have had to undergo either Bone Marrow Transplants or Immune Suppressive therapy. God healed Josiah with breastmilk and prayers of many saints around the World!!! You have truly witnessed a MIRACLE!!! Nancy Campbell asked me to write about how nursing helped him. The Lord has SAVED MY SON! Many people prayed that the Lord would show up MIGHTILY on our behalf and He did in a huge way! Yay Jesus! Huatzin is out of work again but last year we had a son that was diagnosed with a serious life threatening blood disorder and our options were bone marrow transplant, or a therapy that can have fatal results. Our present circumstance seems so minor in comparison. I can REJOICE I can PRAISE him because He has made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places, surely I have a delightful inheritance! Bless you, THANK You for sharing in my joy. I can't STOP PRAISING HIM thanking him falling on my face in worship and gratitude!!! In Christ, Alida w5

Psalm 16:5 Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup;
you have made my lot secure.
6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
surely I have a delightful inheritance.

7 I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;
even at night my heart instructs me.
8 I have set the Lord always before me.
Because he is at my right hand,
I will not be shaken.

9 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest secure,
10 because you will not abandon me to the grave, [fn3]
nor will you let your Holy One [fn4] see decay.
11 You have made [fn5] known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

Alida, blessed wife to Huatzin. Mama of 9 y.o twins Canaan & Elijah, Anaiah Grace 6, Josiah Valor 3, Hezekiah (Ki) 1, born at home in water. Awaiting many more by way of adoption.

Sep 15, 2010

What Wondrous Love is this?

This song is a family favorite. Michelle Tumes sings it beautifully. Love, In Jesus, Alida w5

Lyrics from The Hesperian Harp, 1848, by Dr. William Hauser (no. 234)
1. What wondrous love is this,
O my soul! O my soul!
What wondrous love is this, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this
That caused the Lord of bliss
To bear the dreadful curse,
For my soul, for my soul,
To bear the dreadful curse, for my soul.

2. When I was sinking down,
Sinking down, sinking down,
When I was sinking down, sinking down;
When I was sinking down,
Beneath God's righteous frown,
Christ laid aside his crown,
For my soul, for my soul,
Christ laid aside his crown, for my soul.

3. Ye winged seraphs, fly!
Bear the news! bear the news!
Ye winged seraphs fly! bear the news!
Ye winged seraphs fly! bear the news,
Like comets through the sky,
Fill vast eternity
With the news, with the news,
Fill vast eternity with the news!

4. To God, and to the Lamb,
I will sing, I will sing,
To God, and to the Lamb, I will sing;
To God, and to the Lamb,
Unto the great I AM,
While millions join the theme,
I will sing, I will sing,
While millions join the theme, I will sing.

5. Come, friends of Zion's King,
Join the praise, join the praise,
Come, friends of Zion's King, join the praise!
Come, friends of Zion's King,
With hearts and voices sing,
And strike each tuneful string,
In his praise, in his praise,
And strike each tuneful string in his praise.

6. And when from death we're free,
We'll sing on, we'll sing on,
And when from death we're free, we'll sing on;
And when from death we're free,
We'll sing, and joyful be,
And through eternity
We'll sing on, we'll sing on,
And through eternity we'll sing on.

7. Yes, when to that bright world
We arise, we arise,
Yes, when to that bright world we arise—
When to that world we go,
Free from all pain and wo,
We'll join the happy throng,
And sing on, and sing on,
We'll join the happy throng, and sing on.

Sep 11, 2010

What does love look like? Arms wide open

Be sure to click the music off on my playlist so you can hear this beautiful spirit filled song. The little girl seen with Heidi Baker ( Iris Ministries) on 4:25 of this song was found by Heidi as a toddler raped, bleeding, diseased, and abandoned on the side of the road. God used Heidi to rescue, ransom and REDEEM her life and she has joy, love and peace in Jesus! I have the movie about Heidi's ministry if you want to see it! What does love look like? is the question Ive been pondering... Close your eyes, lift your hands and worship Him!
This is how I know what love is.
This is how I know what love is. Love, Alida w5

Arms Open Open by Misty Edwards
"What does love look like? is the question Ive been pondering
What does love look like?
What does love look like? is the question Ive been asking of You
Once believed that love was romance, just a chance
I even thought that love was for the lucky and the beautiful
I once believed that love was a momentary bliss, but love is more than this
All You ever wanted was my attention
All You ever wanted was love from me
All You ever wanted was my affections to sit here at Your feet and tell me
What does love look like? is the question Ive been pondering
What does love look like? If all of life comes down to love then tell me
What does love look like? is the question Ive been pondering
What does love look like?

Then I sat down a little frustrated and confused
Your fire of life comes down to love. And love has to be more than sentiment,
More than selfishness and selfish gain

Then I saw Him there
Hanging on a tree, looking at me
I saw Him there
Hanging on a tree, looking at me
He was looking at me looking at Him, staring through me
I could not escape those beautiful eyes
And I began to weep and weep

He had arms wide open, heart exposed
Arms wide open, He was bleeding, bleeding.
Arms wide open, heart exposed
Arms wide open, He was bleeding, bleeding
Loves definition
Loves definition, was looking at me
Looking at Him. Hanging on a tree
I began to weep and weep and weep and weep
This is how I know what love is.

And as I sat there, weeping, crying, those beautiful eyes
Full of desire and love. And He said to me
You shall love Me..You shall love Me.
With arms wide open, heart exposed
With arms wide open, bleeding, sometimes bleeding
You shall love Me.. You shall love Me..

If anybodys looking for love in all the wrong places
If youve been searching for love, come to Me. Come to me.
Take up your cross. Deny yourself.
Forget your fathers house and run. Run with Me.
Cause you were made for abandon your heart and listen
Cause you were made for Someone greater, Someone bigger, so follow Me.
And youll come alive when you learn to die.
And He said to me

You shall love Me. You shall love Me

With arms wide open, heart exposed
With arms wide open, bleeding, sometimes bleeding"

Sep 10, 2010

How do I say this nicely...

Or perhaps, what I should have titled this "What I SHOULD have said!" Alright I'll just come on out and say it. A raffle takes a good deal of work. Distributing prizes does as well, especially as I am in the middle of preparing my home for homeschooling. If I travel all over all day delivering prizes with my 5 children (including my baby that hates the car and lets every body know it via an often times deafening ear piercing, glass shattering shriek/scream/WAIL) and I get to your door and you look out your window and refuse to open your door because you see a (minority) lady with a Kia full of kids that you don't recognize... I will not stand there at your door answering 20 questions trying to get you to open your door to deliver packages that I've gone out of my way to hand deliver to you and about 10 other people. I will not beg and plead. If you don't answer or don't want to open the door because you want to know who I am, what I am doing, how do I know you, What do I have, where I'm from, who the raffle is for, how I know the person from the raffle is for etc... ALL from your closed door, etc I'm LEAVING. I have dinner to make, children ( 5 of them) that need tending to, and I still have to sit in traffic to get home. It is both insulting and rude to a person that has been busting her behind to help others. (you) Obviously if you are to terrified to open the door your neighborhood is bad enough that I can't just leave your packages there. I will instead drive back home and you will have to descend from on high from your nice little neighborhood to my SANTA ANA mind you, to pick up your prize. :-)

One person was somewhat apologetic. I won't even get into details. I was thinking "Gee I know a few verses I could underline for you." You know the ones about not showing partiality. The ones about The mark of a Christian being their LOVE for others. Jesus said we are to "GO out into the world and make disciples.. I'm thinking that is pretty hard when you don't even open your door to someone based on appearances. What if I was a neighbor needing sugar? What if I needed help and was in danger? What if I was lost? What if I didn't know Christ and saw how this person treated others? Which leads me on my soapbox. I believe that true character is how you are to people that don't go to your church or look like you. It's about how you treat the non english speaking person, the waitress, or the homeless person that greets you, the person who comes to your door with a question (or stuff you may have won from a raffle! :-) True character is who you are when you don't think anyone (or anyone you know, or anyone you work with or attends your church) is around. I then had to explain to my kids (that were helping me deliver prizes as to the reason that people heard us knocking but wouldn't answer the door. AWESOME! Did they think we ( My 9 & 6 year olds) would rob them. Doesn't He own the cattle on a thousand hills? Isn't everything God's.

And what about this verse Hebrews 13:2 " Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it. " OK, Off the soapbox. Most people (almost EVERYONE ) were VERY sweet and appreciative. Only a couple gave me a hard time. Thank you for not making life any harder than it has to be you wonderful saints that were kind and thankful. I appreciate your decency. Alida w5


Sep 6, 2010

Paul, Stacy and Solomon UNITED!

Paul and Stacy were able to hold their little ( 4 year old) Solomon for the first time. I can only IMAGINE how this must feel. I told my children to lay down and close their eyes. I told them to picture in their mind that they live in an orphanage surrounded by many many other children. You belong to the state and not a real family. Imagine that they have NEVER known a mother or fathers touch. That they've never had someone make them a special meal just the way they like it. They've never had someone to tuck them into bed, never had someone pick the up and love on them and cuddle them with kisses when they've skin a knee or are hurt. Never had anyone to comfort them when they are scared or have had a bad dream. Never had anyone tell them I love you son. No one to pray with you and teach you about Jesus. No one reads a special book, sings them a special song, tells them stories, dreams with them, hopes with them. NO ONE to tell you how special you are. At times the sadness and loneliness is so unbearable for your little heart. Deep down you are scared and in survival mode. You always long for a family like other boys ad girls. You hear stories of what it must be like to belong in a family and wonder what it must be like. the orphanage is all you've ever known. You long for something different, something better. How do you feel?

Now imagine that for the first time in your little life, a mama and daddy come for you to bring you into their family. They hug you, kiss you, and LOVE you, and tell you you BELONG! How do you feel? I shared with them that it's the needed of over 150 MILLION orphans. Many of those children will never get to experience the joy, bliss and comfort and peace of mind that Solomon has. The feeling of rest. I asked them never to forget how that felt and to remember as God tell us the orphan. I asked them to never lose their heart for the orphan and to always thing of ways they can help the fatherless and the widow. They prayed that God would help them. I believe He will. Look at these photos. Doesn't Solomon look so peaceful! It's because he he is LOVED. He knows who his daddy is. His earthly father will point him to his Heavenly father.

Look at how he adores his mother. Can you imagine having a mother and father for the FIRST TIME IN YOUR LIFE? This is God's heart for EVERY family. His desire is that all would have a home. Romans 8:14 "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father."
You can stay updated through her blog

Sep 3, 2010

We raised nearly $3,000 for the Richards Family!!!

Go Jesus, we raised around $3,000 helping the Richards family bring Solomon HOME. We I say "WE" I mean each and every one of you that prayed, spread the word, donated or purchased tickets. ALL of you helped a beautiful boy get home to His forever family. You helped rescue an orphan from an institutional setting, a lifetime of loneliness and brought him into a loving, godly family! Praise the Lord, you helped with a mighty work but don't stop now! There is so much more to do. There are 153 MILLION orphans needing help of some kind. Please earnestly pray and see how the Lord would use your life to help the fatherless.

“and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.”
Isaiah 58:10

Sep 2, 2010

Adopting the Waiting Child

This is so good. I just HAVE to repost!
Watch this sweet short video. You'll be glad you did. Then share it with others.

Atheism-Pull the Plug

Unless someone care's

Unless someone care's

Compassion Verse

"Lifehouse Anything Skit"

Our Mighty Arrows

Our Mighty Arrows