Thursday, December 29, 2011

2011 Coming to a Closure!!

Wow! What an amazing year!!! I can not believe that it is a few days away from saying good-bye to 2011!!  In some ways, I am sooo happy to say good bye, but other ways we reflect on and wonder if we should have done differently. We will continue to keep our heads up and say bring it on 2012! What a fabulous CHRIST mas we had!! We had lots of fun parties to go to and family gatherings to attend, we baked lots of goodies and made some homemade ornaments and gifts. The kiddos received way too much stuff and I am to blame for most of it!! Through it all they were very appreciative and knew that Jesus was the real reason!! We discussed many times what it is going to be like next year with a new sibling and the joy he or she will bring!! We will keep our traditions and add lots of new ones! Boy are we excited to share the love of Jesus and his birthday with our new China baby!

God is so good!!! The month of December was a great month for Sow To China!! We have raised our next goal of around $5600.00 to pay our next two payments and our dossier payment. I know that you have to be thinking, "They have got to be getting close to their overall goal???" Well, our next goal amount is not determined just yet because we will be taking Carson and Hailey with us to China to meet their sibling and we are not sure of the expenses for them just yet. We can say that we are half way there!! About 8 months ago we were wondering how in the world are we going to get the money to make the agency payments? Guess what, God provided and they are all accounting for!! Hallelujah!!! Thanks to everyone that contributed and prayed for us!! The next goals will be based on in country expenses while in China which consist of flights, travel, hotel, official fees, visit to orphanage, etc.... We have no doubt that God will continue to provide. We have come this far with his hand and have continued to be faithful and trust in him. We don't deserve the joy that we are receiving from this journey, but knowing he is getting the glory for this, we will take the joy all day long!!

 In the past few days of being on Christmas vacation with my family, we have played with new toys, games, passed around the tummy bug and finally taken all the Christmas decorations down.
While packing up some of the ornaments that were made this year, a china doll ornament, china ornament and a cross that was made for me by a sweet friend, Averie, that is Hailey's friend, I read a letter that Averie attached with the cross. She is 8 years old and has a heart for Jesus!!! I received a text from her mom one Sunday morning asking if we were going to be in church and I replied back, yes, we would be there. She explained Averie had something for me. Shocked, I definitely wanted to find out what she had for me?? Her attached letter read...

Dear Mrs. Julie,
The reason I made the cross is because you are always doing fundraisers and making stuff for other people. So, I decided to make you something.  You know, because no one makes you anything. If you don't like it, you don't like it. But, I hope you like it.

What an angel she is!! Of course, I loved the cross and it will be placed in our baby's room! More than anything, I love her heart and her love to give to people!! She brought tears to my face and I realized, I hope Jesus feels this way with me!! I hope he understands that we are doing this for him and not for us!! I hope that he has happy tears for us!! We believe in him and we believe in his sacrifice for us!! What can we do for him? What is most important to him? Is it the one more toy that my kids had to have just because? Absolutely not, it is shining for him and living for him, it is spreading his word!! This sweet orphan that we are going to  rescue will love him and know him, just as he wants us to teach he or she and others! There are no orphans of God!! We are all his children and we will always need his love!!

I have had some time to think about what will be the next fundraisers??? Oh my, not sure yet! We have applied for a few grants, but your not always guaranteed, but we will prayed for and considered. I am sure some handmade items will be coming out soon for the Spring holidays and our Sow To China shirt will be posted soon along with other fundraising t-shirts!! We will be praying for God to lead us to where we need to go and what we need to do to gain a few more steps closer to our China baby!!!

Thank you all so much for all your prayers!! We appreciate it so much and love you all dearly!!

God Bless you all and I hope and pray that 2012 will be a blessed year and you will live for Christ!! Believe me, you will not be disappointed, but filled with so much joy that it will send you on a fabulous journey!! Remember what he did for us.....

Blessings and Love,


Hope Ethiopia: 100

What an amazing story witnessing God's hand at work!!! This is the latest post from Lifesong for Orphans! What an amazing organization they are and the things that they do for orphans are quite amazing!!

Do you remember that Hope Ethiopia:100 challenge we gave you? The one where YOU all completely exceeded our goals
And that one phone call where an AMAZING donor committed to match ALL donations (up to $130,000) to Lifesong Ethiopia through the end of 2011?
Well, we found out about that donor on November 17th! That's 45 days to raise $130,000... which made this goal seem next to impossible... in OUR eyes! However, as you all know... GOD had different plans for THESE kids -

and these kids -
Plans that we could never had imagined... plans to give them hope and a future! 
Thanks to an AMAZING TEAM of individuals and their fundraising efforts, coupled with the provision of our Lord, THE MATCH HAS BEEN MET! Did you hear me? All ONE HUNDRED THIRTY THOUSAND DOLLARS has been donated for the children at the Adami Tulu and Ziway, Ethiopia schools! 
We stand in complete awe of our MIGHTY Jehovah Jireh! 
Thank you fundraising team for your efforts, for the way you never stop advocating for these children, and for our faith in our Lord God Almighty to provide for ALL of their needs! 
Thank you donors who stepped up to the challenge and did not let the dollar amount get in the way... but trusted that EVERY one of your dollars mattered! 
Thank you to all of you who advocated for these children, pray for them, and have invested in their lives... it will surely be an invest with an eternal reward! 
Check the Adami Tulu site often to learn more about The Project, the fundraising priorities, and what's in store for 2012! 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Its been a whole month!

I can not believe that it has been a whole month since I last updated our blog! I guess you can tell that I have not been twiddling my fingers. Well, we had the last 3 fundraisers for the year. We had 1 at Sirote and Permutt, my mother n law's office, and it was a great success!! We raised over $800.00 and are still delivering orders!! We appreciate her very much to take the time to help us get it set up and sell the handmade items while I was at work. Everyone was so sweet and thoughtful and complimented us on all that we had made. God is so good and has blessed me with a crafty side and I am so thankful for it!! It has been alot of fun and just knowing that a little piece of what we have made has gone into so many homes and given as gifts to so many. I pray that the blessings that we received from making it all carries on and it taken by each recipient. The next fundraisers were lots of fun, both were at friends homes and we raised close to $800.00 at both combined. God is so good!! I thank Christy Sparks for allowing us to come into her home and set up. What a fun Shopping Palooza it was! I am so thankful for Christy and her sweet family!! Just to be with friends and praise Jesus for what he has given us and just knowing it was a "God Thing" that we all made it back to another show together was fabulous!! Candi Boissel was there selling Thirty One and she had a great turn out!! I am so thankful for her and her friendship. It is funny how we have met so many people through this journey and some have just touched our hearts in so many ways!! I just think the world of her and I feel like I have known her for years!! Thanks to my mom as well for coming to the party and sitting with me! And thanks for delivering orders after the party!!
The fundraisers for 2011 have come to a fabulous end! We are so blessed and thank Jesus everyday for entrusting us with this journey! We continue to ask for guidance and for him to be the pilot, because we can try and take over, but it will not be the same as how God wants it to be!! PTL!! We have raised enough money to take care of our next payment to the agency and the payment for our dossier to be mailed to China. Oh my, that is a huge relief and a huge praise!!!

So, what's next? Where do we go from here? Well, during the fundraising period, we have been compiling more documents together to be added to our dossier. We have been to the Immigration Department here in Birmingham and had our finger prints done, which was painless and done within 15 minutes!! We have applied for 2 grants so far to Lifesong and Show Hope. We pray that these go through and we get some guidance from those. We have about a 1 month 1/2 left to wait on our approval from Immigration. When we get our approval from Immigration, our dossier will be complete and mailed to China! After about 2 to 3 weeks after China receives, reviews and logs us in to China, we will receive a log in date. When we get the log in date, shortly after, we will hopefully begin the matching process!! Woohoo! So far everything is right on track, we hope that it stays on track, however, if we do come across a road block, we pray that God will continue to let his light shine through us and we continue to build our faith in Him!!

This is just a little note that I shared on Facebook this morning...
Last night Steve and I were discussing that our house is not decorated like it usually is every year, one tree has nothing but lights on it and all of our fun decorations to sit out are still in boxes in the attic, our outdoor decorations are not out, a wreath fell off the window and still sitting on the ground, we have not mailed out Christmas cards just yet, however, the work and time that so many have put into making all those fabulous handmade crafts has paid off!! It does not bother us not to have ornaments on one tree or a decoration not on that step, because next year, we will have another precious angel to celebrate the real reason of Christmas, Jesus Christ!! With that said, we have made our next goal and are a step closer to bringing home our China baby!! Without him, nothing is impossible!! We want to thank everyone that has had their hand in our journey thus far and also thank everyone for the prayers!!

Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always. Psalm 105:1,4

We wish everyone a very Merry Christmas! Just remember the reason for Christmas, it is not about how many lights you can get up or how many tree's have all the ornaments or just how many presents you expect to get, it is about our one and only Saviour, Jesus Christ and what you can give back!! Please continue to keep us and our journey in your prayers! This time next year we will be celebrating the birth of Jesus with a precious little one and there will be one less!!

Praise to be the Lord!!

Blessings and Love!!