Monday, April 30, 2012

Your Works Are Wonderful

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well" 
Psalm 139:13-14

Today I am doing something different.  I am opening up my blog for a guest post.  After being contacted by Heather and hearing her story I realized we all have something we are passionate about.  Sometimes our passion is born out  of situations we would rather not have experienced however Gods ways are higher than our ways. He truly can take stuff like cancer or infertility and bring goodness out of it to further His kingdom by bringing hope and healing to a broken world.  

Welcome Heather!

Optimism Helped Save My Life

As an optimist I am well aware of the fact that I am always wearing rose-colored glasses. I found my optimism to be more useful than ever when I was 36 and diagnosed with life-threatening cancer. To top it off, I had just given birth 3-1/2 months earlier.

On November 21, 2005, I was diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma. I could never have expected this diagnosis, especially when I felt that I was supposed to be having the time of my life with my new addition. I heard those words, “You have cancer.” I knew that I had choices; I could give up or I could face the diagnosis head on. I made my choice there, to put on my rose-colored glasses and fight so that I could raise my little girl.

I was referred to one of the leading mesothelioma doctors who truly gave me the hope that I would beat cancer. I gave the tumor, on my lung, a nickname – Punxsutawney Phil. I chose this name because I had my tumor removed on Groundhog’s Day in 2006. We gave that holiday a nickname too – Lungleavin Day. Every year we celebrate to remember that it is possible to conquer fear and see the good come from bad celebrations if we maintain hope and continue fighting.

If I was never diagnosed with cancer, there are so many amazing, strong and passionate people I would never have met. These people are tough. I call them mesothelioma warriors because they are committed to spawning awareness to this disease that most people know very little about. I am also proud to call them my friends. Anybody can become affected by mesothelioma; wives, husbands, sons, daughters and parents are affected. If not for my battle with cancer I would not know them.

Cancer is a double-edged sword in that it is the worst thing that has happened to me but it has left me changed for the better. I chose to see this dreadful situation as something I could bring light to, a situation that I would approach with no fear. I refused to give up the hope that I would survive. I feel that my life has so much more purpose now. I want to continue doing whatever I can to help others still fighting their battles.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Come to Me, April 27th

"Come to Me with empty hands and an open heart, ready to receive abundant blessings. I know the depth and breadth of your neediness. Your life-path has been difficult, draining you of strength. Come to Me for nurture.  Let Me fill you up with My presence: I in you, and you in Me.   My power flows most freely into weak ones aware of their need for Me. Faltering steps of dependence are not lack of faith; they are links to My presence."  John 17:20-23; Isaiah 40:29-31

So much to say and not sure where to start.... I love the sentence that says "come to Me for nurture".  I believe it is true that when we are weak God is strong.  Oh, how I need to rest in you Lord right now.  These last 2 months have been packed full.  We've cried and rejoiced all the while knowing it is YOU Lord directing our steps and going before us.

Thank you for your faithfulness and love for us.  Our hope remains steadfast in you.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Adoption Fundraising Update

We have paid $6500 out of pocket prior to any fundraising.  We currently have raised $5239.00 since starting our fundraising efforts.  Thank-you to all of you for helping us get to this point.  

We have a couple of great things to share with you.  The first is that Lifesong has given us a $3000 matching grant.  What that means is for every dollar that is donated to us, Lifesong will match that amount up to $3000. If you'd like to double your donation, please send a check to:

Lifesong for Orphans
Att: Davis/2725
PO Box 40
Gridley, IL   61744

The other good news is that we are only $761 away from giving away the first HD HERO camera.  I'm really excited about seeing who is going to win it.  Not very many people have registered to follow our blog though, so that increases the chances for those of you that are following our blog.

For those of you that are on the fence about donating, please watch this little video clip.  It gives you a brief look into Ethiopia and the orphans that are there.  You can make a difference for at least two of these amazing children.

Do you feel like you can't help enough, so why help.  Here is a little math for you.  An average business person has approx 2000 people in there database.  So here is my challenge for you.  I've asked my database to donate $5-$10 one time.  If you do the same with your database, friends, family, etc... We will have no problem meeting our goal and you will have made a difference!!  We appreciate all donations, small and big.  

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

One more blessing

Dear Family and Friends,

We are the recipients of a $3,000 matching grant from Lifesong for Orphans.  Every dollar donated will be matched dollar for dollar.  100% of the funds will go directly to help cover our adoption expenses.  

"A father of the fatherless...God setteth the solitary in families... " Psalms 68:5-6

Most of you know the desire that we feel God put into our hearts for building our family through adoption. We have been incredibly blessed already with Emily and we cannot wait to grow our family again.  We are adopting two little girls from Ethiopia, we have accepted their referral and hope to travel this summer before the court closures in August.  The girls are ages 7 and 4.  As a family we've been excitedly praying for them and getting our home ready.

Did you know it is estimated less than 10% of all orphan children are adopted into evangelical Christian families? According to current estimates, if only 10% more Christians in America would adopt, it would be equivalent to providing homes for all the orphans in Eastern Europe (1.5 million), Latin America (400,000) and the US foster care system (150,000).

Some of you are probably wondering what has prompted us to adopt.  Well, primarily, we've felt so clearly directed by God to adopt that we want to obey Him, and we also desire to give our soon to be orphaned daughters a family.   God desires for orphans of all nations to be loved, cared for and adopted into Christian families - ultimately so they can become saved, and be adopted into His eternal family through Jesus Christ! There are so many things God has used to prick our hearts and move us to adopt, here are a few:

Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will - Ephesians 1:5

Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this,, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction... James 1:27

A mission trip to Guatemala in 2007 where the Lord spoke into Ricks heart about going to Africa

The biggest challenge for us is not opening our hearts and home to more children, but it is the funding of finances to make this happen.  We estimate our total cost for adoption fees, document preparation, home study, airfare, travel, etc to be $ $25, 000-$30,000 - that's certainly money we don't have, but we know God is faithful and is leading us to trust Him.  By Gods grace we've been able to pay the initial $6,500. 

Honestly, it's a little difficult (because of our pride) to make our needs known to the Body of Christ around us, but we also know it's very Biblical to do so.  We appreciate your friendship very much and would like you to pray and consider helping us in our adoption.  There are two ways you can help:

1. Prayer - Please pray God would tenderly care for our girls in Ethiopia until we are able to bring them home, that God would prepare Emily for the upcoming changes to our family, and that God will give us wisdom, discernment, and insight as we raise our girls to know Jesus Christ.  Please join us in praying for our girls birth moms salvation as she is not expected to live much longer.

2. Financial support - Will you please consider making a tax deductible donation to help us pay for the remaining $16,000 in adoption expenses, to bring our daughters home?

If you would like to be a part of God bringing our girls to Himself through our family, you can send your tax deductible gift between now and May 21st to the address below.  Lifesong is a trusted organization administering the funds on our girls behalf, and will pay adoption expenses out of the funds received.

1. Please make checks payable to: Lifesong.  In the memo section of your check please notate Davis #2725 (*Note: In following IRS guidelines, your donation is to Lifesong which retains full discretion and control over its use.)

2. Mail checks to: 
Lifesong for Orphans
Att: Davis/2725
PO Box 40
Gridley, IL   61744

Thank you for investing in the Kingdom through prayer and finances - it will be an investment with an eternal reward! ( Matt 6:20) We'll give you an update with a picture and details as we receive them.  Please pray this entire process will glorify God and fulfill His purposes!

In Christ,
Rick, Connie and Emily