5.10.2016

Orphan Care + Eastmans = the Grace of God!

A couple of months ago the Lord started a wonderful chain of events in our family.

Link #1   He convicted us about the way we spend our time. We were not doing anything 'wrong' but we were also not using our free time and energy for the Kingdom. At best we were being selfish, at worst we were completely wasting the hours that could have been used to serve others.
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Link #2   We received our quarterly missions letter with an update about the missionary we support in India and details of a new ministry that serves lepers by cooking for them, bathing them, and cleaning their wounds. I was BLOWN AWAY. "What did OUR family do today, Lord?" Intense conviction followed.
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Link #3   I met a dear friend at the beach who needed love, understanding, and support to help her endure the trials of caring for the orphans she and her husband rescued. Conviction: I needed to be a better friend and live out the "one another's of Scripture" for her family.
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Link #4   We started the adventure of Respite Care for the same family - and fell in love with the children and the ministry the first day. Convictions: None! Just peace. We knew it was where God wanted us.
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Link #5   We watched The Drop Box and sat in stunned and tearful silence while the credits rolled.
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Link #6    Dennis' presentation research for Cambodia and Lebanon drove him deeper into the world of child abuse, special needs students, and families who have been isolated and suffering without support. Words failed us as we watched videos, read articles, and talked about the overwhelming need to protect the "weak and oppressed" as Scripture commands.
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Link #7   When Dennis was in Lebanon I investigated foster care options for our family and sent him an e-mail which included a foster link and one word, "Interested?" His response:
Michelle,
On April 15, 1968, I was adopted because someone else spoke for me when I could not speak for myself.
Now, we have the opportunity to serve those in need.
Let's do it.
I love you.
D
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Link #8   We discovered we do not qualify for foster care because we have six children living in our home - BUT - the Lord provided another way our family can "visit orphans in their distress."
While Dennis was still in Lebanon I sent an e-mail to our Family Pastor asking if he would consider me as a candidate to coordinate our newly-formed Orphan Care ministry.
He responded, "Yes!"
It was made official on May 9th. I am now the Orphan Care Coordinator at our church, and I am so excited I can hardly contain my enthusiasm!
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Link #9   We agreed to do this as a family. Every Eastman will be involved. We have been praying and waiting and waiting and praying for a way to serve together, and now, the Lord has given us a way to serve Him and the church - as a family. Thank You, Lord!
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Link #10  We have no idea! 

Only the Lord knows how He will continue to fashion the chain of Orphan Care He created for our family, so for now, we will follow where He leads and seek to serve, love, support, listen to, and care for fost/adopt families in the days ahead.

Thank You, Lord, for always being at work in the lives of Your children! If we spent a year making plans, they would never look the way Yours do because ours are finite and Yours - are perfect.

And thank You for these three precious children. 
Henry.
Grace.
Toby.
Our personal, living Ebeneezer stones that will always remind us of Your work in our family.
You planted a seed in our hearts when You showed us the reality of the countless babies and children who need to be defended and rescued, and then produced the fruit by giving us the joy of ministering to these three sweet children who have already been rescued by parents who willingly and faithfully obeyed the call to "Defend the weak and the fatherless;
uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.
Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.'" Psalm 82
May we be faithful as we seek to minister to the families who are standing in the gap to fight for the hearts, minds, and souls of children every day, knowing the battle they fight is a spiritual one. Children are precious to You, Father. Please protect every child who cannot defend himself ... every child who does not have a voice ... and raise up more families who are willing to step in the gap, get messy, and rescue those who need safety, security, and an opportunity to hear the name of Jesus - every day.
They need YOU, Lord. They NEED You. Please - let them find You!

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