The Battle Plan

Are ya’ll ready for this?  Yesterday was my Battle Cry for Sutter.  Today we’re getting to the Battle Plan.

Sutter has until February to find a family.  He will be turning 16 then and will lose his chance to be adopted.

Let’s not cut it that close folks.

My goal is a family for him by Christmas.  Let’s make this happen.  My Battle Plan includes several strategic moves and I need YOU to be my army and make it happen!  This post will be updated frequently with where we are at in our plan and the progress we make, so keep it bookmarked for future reference!

STRATEGIC MOVE 1: PRAY

God loves Sutter more than I do, more than you do and more than anyone ever could.  The absolute best thing we can do for Sutter is to pray for him.  I need 16 prayer warriors to commit to praying for Sutter until his family is found.  Below is a list of the prayer warriors we have already and the ones we still need!  I am hoping that we can cover this boy and the family who has not found him yet with prayer throughout the day.  If you pick a slot you commit to praying for Sutter at least once every day during the day, preferrably within the time frame listed.  I have two overnight slots available for those night owls, people who wake up frequently at night to pray or friends in other time zones who can cover those hours.  This list will be updated as we get new warriors in!

Morning Warriors (5am-10am)
1. Taken!
2.
3.
4.
5.

Afternoon Warriors (10am-3pm)
6. Taken!
7. Taken!
8. Taken!
9.

Evening Warriors (3pm-10pm)
10. Taken!
11. Taken!
12. Taken!
13.
14.

Overnight Warriors (10pm-5am)
15. Taken!
16.

STRATEGIC MOVE 2: ADVOCATE

Other than praying this is quite possibly the most pivotal part of our strategy.  We must advocate for Sutter or his family may never find him.  I need sixteen people to join me in advocating for this child!  Our mission is to introduce him to as many people as possible as soon as possible.  My strategy for this is Letter Carrying (or as my husband lovingly called it, guerrilla warfare).  I need sixteen (or more!) volunteers to sign up for this task.  I will send you a PDF file letter with Sutter’s picture, story and a way for them to get more information on how to help.  Print off as many as you think you might use, fold them and seal them with a note on the outside for whoever is likely to read it (Ex: “Dear Christmas Shopper” if you are at a store or “Dear Reader” if you leave them in a library).  Place them in strategic places around your town and pray that God would soften the recipient’s heart to pray, advocate, give share or adopt!

We still need THIRTEEN more Letter Carriers!!

STRATEGIC MOVE 3: SHARE

Along with advocating independantly, you can also advocate through sharing.  It’s very easy!  My goal is to have (you guessed it!) 16 shares on each post I write for Sutter through the Christmas season.  I will update this with a list of all my posts for Sutter.  Please share each one and check back regularly to make sure you get them all!  16 shares per post would be FANTASTIC in helping me to get the word out and encouraging some more participation.  Please share on Facebook, Twitter, through email or your own blog and let me know so I can update numbers!  Below I will list all current posts:

1. Battle Cry: Shares so far…. THREE
2. The Battle Plan: Shares so far… SIX

STRATEGIC MOVE 4: GIVE

Yes give!  Giving to Sutter’s tax deductible grant fund does a few great things.  After his family sees him for the first time, one of their first reactions might be “How can we possibly afford to adopt?”  If he has a large grant fund that diminishes some of the fear for the family of taking that leap of faith.  It shows them not only that a part of his adoption has already been paid for but also that there are other people out there that want to see him come home and will likely help along the way.

Second, if we reach our Angel Tree goal of raising $1,000, Sutter will be moved up to the next level of Moving Mountains on the Reece’s Rainbow advocacy site.  This gives him a huge bump in visibility, which could help his family see him!  And last but not least, a larger grant means less time fundraising and the ability for his family to move quickly through the process once they commit.  This is a huge blessing, especially for Sutter who has already spent the first sixteen years of his life alone and has so much time to make up for!

As the Lord leads, please go to this link to make your tax deductible gift to Sutter: http://reecesrainbow.org/52642/sutter

If you give a gift of $35.00 or more, Reece’s Rainbow will send you a lovely ornament for your Christmas tree.  You can see the details for that HERE.

In addition, my husband and I have decided to tithe 10% of all the donations we get from Juri’s Birthday Party Fundraiser to Sutter’s grant from now until the end of the year.  If we meet our fundraising goal we can put an extra $2,000 in Sutter’s account!  Please check it out! 

I have another fundraiser coming up the pipe as well so stay tuned!!

STRATEGIC MOVE 5: ADOPT

We don’t need sixteen… we just need one.  Sutter needs one Mommy and one Daddy.

Sutter could be your son.  God has a family for this boy.  Is it you?

Sutter

 

Battle Cry

I saw a picture on Facebook recently that said “Do for 1 what you wish you could do for 100.”  This rings true for me in this stage of my life.  There is so much ministry to be done, so many hurting people to comfort, so many hungry to feed, so many lonely to bring into families.  People think I am joking when I say that I wish I could  be approved to adopt a dozen children or when I ask people to come to Eastern Europe with me and take home some of the precious ones that are still waiting.

They think I am joking.

Dear friends, neither are these statements a joke nor are they said with frivolity.  The lives of many precious people are hanging in the balance.  This is no joking matter.

I want desperately to save the world, but that is not my vocation.  My vocation is limited to not a hundred, not a dozen but just one.  God has called me to focus on just one.  And so we are.  We have taken this leap of faith and we are racing to the finish line to rescue (Yes.  That is the right word.) our dear boy.  God is stretching us in this process in so many ways, but perhaps one of the most painful is the soft refrain that repeats in my mind “You cannot save them all.”

There are so many I love and so many that I can do nothing but entrust to God’s care.  But that is not true for Juri.  I can do more for him, and I will.  I will fight for the life of this child whom I love as my own dear son.

And there is another boy who this refrain is also not true for.  There is a boy who I can help.

If you do not yet know Sutter, let me introduce you…

Sutter

Isn’t he handsome?  Meet Sutter.  Sutter is easy going and organized.  He is a really smart boy. He enjoys solving puzzles and can solve them really fast.  If you try to fool him, he will say “No” and start to laugh his contagious laugh.  He has a soft heart for the other children in his group and helps out, but sometimes he craves attention and tries to be at the center of it.  Doubtless a small glimpse that we have into his reality, the reality of a child with nothing and no one.  The reality of a child without a mother or a father.  The reality of an orphan.

Sutter has Cerebral palsy, just like our Juri, although his is more severe.  He had several operations as a child, which improved his movement for a time, but after a growth spurt he lost some of his mobility again. He tries to walk with crutches and he gets some physical therapy, but it is not the medical care his body needs.  With the right attention to his needs it is almost certain he would walk again.

But here’s the real crux of the issue.  Sutter has grown up with limbs that don’t cooperate, in a place where no one loves him like a family would love him.  He is living in an adult mental institution for no other reason than his legs don’t work and he doesn’t have access to the medical care that would help him make them work.  None of these, though, are Sutter’s greatest obstacle in life.  He has a far greater hurdle looming in the near future, and he has no power to clear it on his own.  Sutter has a chance at life – real life.  Life in a family, loved, wanted, learning, growing, succeeding… living.

He can do all of these things and do them well, but he can’t do them without you.  Yes YOU.

This is my battle cry.

Sutter needs a family.

Now.  Yesterday even.

This boy is turning sixteen in FEBRUARY of 2014.  He needs a family to commit to him BEFORE HIS BIRTHDAY or he will age out and never be adopted, never know a life outside of institutional walls.

I am fighting for Sutter, and I want you to fight for him too.  We cannot save them all, but we can make a difference for this one.  This one precious child.  This one that God would love to bless a family with.  I am Sutter’s Christmas Warrior.  That means that from now until December 31st it is my job to advocate, to fight, for Sutter.  I have committed to raise $1,000 for Sutter, and more importantly MY goal is to find him a family.  He needs a family.  I can’t be that family, but I can certainly try and find out who is.

This season is marked by thankfulness.  Everyone reading this is fed, clothed, sheltered, privileged.  Our cup is running over with blessing.  This  this Thanksgiving and Christmas, let your cup run over onto those who God has put in your path that are less fortunate.  God has put Sutter in my path, and now in yours.  Help me find his family.

There is a time to weep and to mourn over injustice.

And there is a time to stand up and fight against it.  This is the time to fight… for Sutter.

Come back tomorrow and join me as I lay out the battle plan.

It’s time to fight.

UPDATE: The Battle Plan

Facebook Fast Recap

Alrighty… so how did the Facebook Fast go?  It was not as difficult as I thought it would be.  Maybe twice a day when I would get online I would have two seconds of disappointment at not being able to log in.  No biggie.  I think it’s given us some good positive changes as well.  We have kept Facebook blocked on our computers, so we can only get on if we have the password.  Which means when Jake is at school and I am at home, neither of us can waste time on Facebook!  It has worked well.  I will tell you a bit more about how we do that in a bit.

The second thing that this exercise made me see was that it isn’t just Facebook that wastes my time and distracts me from my duties.  It’s the internet and really, my computer in general.  It is a useful tool, but can very easily turn around and enslave you quietly to its distracting and destructive ways.  But, we need computers in our home, for many reasons.  So we can’t get rid of them.  Instead we need to learn how to ease the temptation to keep them open all day long.  I want to share with you what we have done in our family, as it has been a great blessing to us in the past and I think will prove to be again as we re-institute our boundaries this week.

First of all, we got an internet security system.  I highly recommend this for every family – especially if the internet can be a distraction for you.  Internet security is not just good for protecting you from dangerous or ungodly websites.  It is good for that, but there are other benefits as well.  We use K-9 Web Protection.  This is the best, free internet protection resource available.  We use a dual password, Jake knows the first half, I know the second.  So we both need to put in the password in order to change settings or unblock access.  There are two main ways to use it.

First, you can block websites.  Other than the obvious, we block things like Facebook – the time wasters.  Not that we can never go to these places, but we restrict them to check ourselves, especially during the day when there is work to be done.

Second, you can block time.  We set ours up to block certain times each day.  Most of the day is usually blocked – so we don’t get distracted… One thing I learned from our Facebook Fast is that I can get distracted by much more than just Facebook!  If I only have a few times during the day that are open for internet use, I can’t sit on here all day reading blogs.

Another suggestion I have for other stay-at-home wives and mothers is this – do NOT keep your computer in your living area.  As much as you can keep it anywhere beside the place you sit to relax and spend time as a family.  If the computers stay elsewhere, you can focus on your family.  If you can’t get lost on your computer while enjoying your comfy recliner and instead have to utilize it in the less desirable, squeaky office chair – you are much less likely to abuse it.

And resist the urge to keep it open regularly!  If you aren’t using it, close it or turn it off and walk away.  The more work it is to go back and check things the less you will do it and the more attention you will give to your other vocations.

These are the measures I will be taking myself in the coming week.  I’ll let you know how they go.  Blessings on your weekend!  I know I will be enjoying these precious treasures…

Jake and Kids

Facebook Fast: Day 5

IMG_2660

Time to think… that’s what I’ve had.  Facebook is mind numbing.  That’s why our most difficult time staying away from it has been in the evening.  That’s when we want good, mind numbing brain candy.  And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.  Everyone needs some good brain candy to decompress the day and relax.  The problem is when we indulge in these multiple times throughout the day, as a way of escape from our real life.  We can even do this subconsciously, not realizing we are using it in such a way.  But we must be careful, for that is how addictions begin, without our even knowing.

Now, not everyone who goes on Facebook multiple times a day is an addict.  But are they getting the most out of the life that is right in front of them?  I suppose that could be up for debate.  As for me, I know that my mind has been much busier without the constant mindless stream of status updates from Facebook.  Yes, there are a few good ones now and again, but let’s be honest… you have to scroll through plenty of mindless updates before you find one that’s worth looking into – and even more before you find one that seriously challenges you to think!

Well, perhaps that’s a enough food for thought… I have other things to be doing and other people to be loving.  Have a great weekend!  I will be busy busy.  But I will try to finish updating you on the last two days of our fast.

Facebook Fast: Day 4

Well, I thought it was time to talk about some more of the benefits from this Facebook Fast. I finished a book! I would have finished it anyway… but it would have taken me much longer. And I think I will even get through two books this week. What else is there to do when you are nursing and you don’t have Facebook? Reading is something I definitely need to be doing, but I get a lot less of it done if there are time wasters available on the interwebs.

Blogging! I have been blogging daily! Which is really what I want to be doing… it’s just hard to find the time. But without Facebook? Not so bad I’d say. I’ve also been able to read other blogs. I’ve found posts like this one.  Stories that will break your heart… My passion for saving orphans has never left, but as I readjust my priorities it is being rekindled.  I dare you to read Kori’s Story.  Go on, click on the link and see if God does not move your heart.

What if one of those children in an institution is yours?  What if one of those children being abused and neglected is just waiting for you to find him and bring him home? Perhaps not.  But… what if?  Is it possible?  Even if there is the tiniest possibility that one of these children is yours… wouldn’t it be worth it to make sure?  Wouldn’t it be worth it, just to ask God if you are his mother or father?  Wouldn’t it be worth it to make sure that your child does not have to endure such conditions one day longer than they have to?

Sorry… I know this isn’t exactly Facebook oriented… but in a way it is.  This week has made me start thinking seriously about my priorities in life, and sometimes that involves difficult life changes.  I think it’s important for us to do that.  Scripture tells us that pure religion is to care for the widow and the orphan.  All of us can do something.  What can you do?  Children are dying – dying without knowing the love of a family, and more importantly, dying without knowing the love of Christ.  Let’s check our priorities.

Facebook Fast: Day 3

I guess some days you just don’t get anything done no matter how little you get on Facebook! Having two kids will do that I suppose…

I am not having too much trouble missing Facebook. It’s actually quite liberating. I only had once today where I really wanted to check it, but I got over it pretty quickly. I am finding other ways to waste my time online… adoption blogs… hmm… I think I will need a little bit more than just blocking Facebook to keep myself accountable for my online time.

The internet is a great tool, and the goal is to make sure it STAYS a tool, rather than me being a slave to it. That is what I don’t want! I will do a more detailed update tomorrow. It’s late… and way past my bedtime.

 

Facebook Fast: Day 2

Start Here for Day 1

I have to admit – this hasn’t been as difficult as I thought it would be!  The worst part of the day is the morning and the evening, which is actually very telling and a little sad.  I always feel like I should begin and end my day with Facebook.  I know, pitiful right?  I wake up and I want to make sure nothing new has happened, and I want to double check nothing is going on before I go to sleep.  Ugh…

We have been talking about how to reorient our Facebooking after this short fast, and I think one thing we will have to do is definitely block it in the morning and at night!  Something that fuels the Facebook addiction is “I just want to check one more time…”  That news feed is awful!  You feel the need to constantly keep up with it because – WHAT IF I MISS SOMETHING?!

What you don’t think about is what you’re missing right in front of you, while you’re trying not to miss everything that is so far away.  It’s not that it’s bad or wrong to keep up with friends and family who do not live near you; that’s one of the great blessings of the internet!  But when your day can’t feel complete without that, there’s something a little out of sync.  (It’s called priorities.)

I want other things to be what make my day feel complete.  I want to wake up and feel the urge to pray, to connect with God – not with my cyber world.  I want to go to bed every night and be sure I didn’t miss out on precious family time.  I want to not miss ONE THING while my children grow up.  And you know what?  I think trying so hard not to miss anything in anyone’s life has caused me to miss out on the lives of those closest to me.

It’s time to shift gears and realign my priorities.  Cause they’re just a little out of sync.

Evie and Cross

Facebook Fast: Day 1

 

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So… my very dear husband has convinced me to join him in a week long Facebook Fast, a cybernating of sorts, if you will. I have decided to blog about our experience. How was Day 1? Let me paint you a picture…

Instead of logging onto Facebook as soon as I woke up… I made my dear hubby and I some hot tea to enjoy while we worked.

Instead of checking Facebook when I was done working… I sang a hymn and said morning prayers with my daughter we she woke up.

Instead of checking Facebook after breakfast… I read children’s Catechism books to Evangeline.

Instead of spending more time on Facebook after hubby left for school… I put away the clean laundry and dishes.

Instead of staring at the computer screen… I gazed into my son’s eyes.

Instead of scrolling through my newsfeed… I unpacked a much needed winter clothes box.

And your favorite of all… instead of using my nursing breaks for Facebook updates I wrote this nifty blog post.

In short, we got a lot more of life done and a lot less of living vicariously through my computer screen. At the same time I loved it and I hated it. I will admit – I do feel disconnected; I’m a little worried I’m missing something important. And I have no idea what’s going on in the news… I will expand a bit more tomorrow, but I thought I’d leave a mostly positive note for Day 1. Perhaps it will be motivation to keep going. Have you ever thought of giving up Facebook? I’d love to hear your experiences! Especially since I am currently deprived of my social media outlet…

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