I am so proud of my hunny. While we are in Africa, he will turn 29! On August 5th. Something he wants to do this year is to raise $5,000 to build a well through Charity: Water instead of people give him gifts for his birthday. So, he started a campaign a few weeks ago. He’s already raised over $1,800. This is something he has become VERY passionate about:)If you want, head over there and give $29 to his well – or any other amount for that matter (29 just because that’s how old he’s turning!). I know it would mean a lot to him and to me. Digging deep for people to have LIFE and WATER.

This is part of the email he sent out, just so you can see a little bit about his heart:

I am happy to announce that I am giving up my birthday for clean water. I am trying to raise $5,000 dollars which will go toward drilling a water well for a community that has no clean water. It does not have to be a big gift, $20 dollars will go a long way in giving clean water to 1 person for a lifetime. I have a passion for helping people and especially for people that don’t have clean water. $5K can provide clean water for a community of 250 people, how awesome of a birthday gift is that!!! We can all be apart of this, my birthday is just an excuse to do it. Dig Deep and help change lives!! Here is my website for donating: http://mycharitywater.org/stevobday

God is good and so is the gift of clean water, you will be blessed by giving!

So if you didn’t catch it….go here to give:

just so you can see what a sweetie he is…..
photo by Bend the Light

Would just love to jot down a few things that the Lord really taught me while I was at Op Camp. I love that 4-5 minutes I get to share with good friends when I get home either on the phone or in person & it’s been a week full of “friending” as well as “working”.
It was going to be pretty hard to top what God did in my life at Op Camp last summer, but God is so sweet to me and taught me so many little lessons along the way. He really put it on my heart before I left to pray against the attitude that “I did it better”, “why am I not in charge”, etc and I’m so glad He did. He really reassured me this week that He has a plan and when I got to hear Kate’s (who has my old job) story I was really reassured that God has a plan and it’s perfect. I missed getting to know every single high school counselor but I got to get to know my sweet campers more, which I didn’t get to do last year.
In the end, God showed me that He can use anyone! Anyone who is willing & available He can use. It’s NOT about us, but it’s all about Him. So He really doesn’t need us, he just chooses to use us – and that is pretty powerful!
God broke my heart for these kids. Almost every night this week I got a little emotional thinking about them. what a shift in perspective – to actually spend some time thinking about and focusing on OTHERS instead of me me me. He broke my heart for them. Once you know them they are no longer “those kids” – they are your friends and you want to do anything to help them. This verse kept coming up again and again…
Proverbs 24:12 (the Message)
11-12 Rescue the perishing;

don’t hesitate to step in and help.
If you say, “Hey, that’s none of my business,”
will that get you off the hook?
Someone is watching you closely, you know—
Someone not impressed with weak excuses.

Once our eyes have been open to the hurting, to the things that break Gods heart – we have no excuse not to step in and help them. My prayer is becoming to ask God to send laborers to the Harvest. Matthew 9:37-38 says, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” May your heart be broken for what breaks Gods heart & may you be moved to action!

I’ve been challenged through the “Crazy Love” study I’m doing with my community group girls, to love those who can’t love you back. We talked about this week how lukewarm christians only love those who have something that benefits you. My prayer is that I won’t only love those who can love me back but I will get out of my comfort zone & love those who can’t love me back.

To end this little recap, I just have to say that Op Camp is like family. Even if you haven’t seen some of the people since last summer, you get back to camp and it’s like no time has passed. It’s a very special place to so many people. I just can’t help but think what it must mean to the campers – if it feels like home to me, how much more does it feel like home to them? Some of them say it’s the “best week of their life”.
I’m praying that next year God would send more laborers to Op Camp. It’s a week will change your life.
Ok and for a little humor…..
we dance A LOT at Op Camp!

As most of you know, Stephen & I are going on a trip to Ethiopia & Uganda in just 15 days! We are so excited to go and love on orphans from the continent we have come to love so much (yet have never been!) We will each be packing a 2nd bag that we want to fill with donations. I thought I’d list some of the things below & if you are in Midland and want to help out – you can drop off at my house by Monday, July 25th.

We also want to be able to take cash with us so we can help fulfill needs as they arise at the various orphanages and ministries we are going to. We are going to visit 8 different orphanages/ministries – some we are spending multiple days at. SO,
it’s our goal to get $150 for each orphanage/ministry. So between now & July 29th we need either 8 people to donate $150 or 16 to donate $75 (etc etc). FYI – Visiting Orphans has a very good policy in place to make sure the cash donations goes straight to the ministry.

I wanted to tell you below what supplies we know we will want to bring to various ministries. If you have any of these items & would love to donate them – bring em on! Leave on my porch!

Soccer balls, needles, pumps




jump rope

nail polish (glitter is better!)

clothes (let’s try more for 6-10 year olds – don’t have to be new)

{thanks to the garage sale, we have PLENTY of baby clothes to bring!!!}

t-shirts, shorts, etc (again, boys & girls)


coloring books


writing pens


granola bars (to give the street kids)

Thank you all for fulfilling James 1:27 to help widows & orphans in their distress! May you be greatly blessed because of it!

So the day before I left for Op Camp, we got the exciting news that the USCIS paperwork we’d been waiting for for almost 8 weeks was complete. It was only exciting to us because we knew that was the last thing we were waiting on to get on the WAIT LIST. I tried to capture the hilarious adventure – going to a 24 hour notary – to get all the paperwork complete to get it ready to be sent off before I left for Camp & before Hope’s wedding. When I got to the house after Stephen called to tell me the paper arrived, I can’t pretend we didn’t do a little dance in the kitchen. We were ECSTATIC!
So we were even MORE EXCITED when we got an email from our Gladney caseworker today telling us as of yesterday, July 11, 2011 we are officially on the wait list!

We wanted to thank you all for your continued support, prayers and encouragement. The next 14 months (give or take) will be all about the wait. I know this will be the hardest part for me in this process so far, not being able to do anything but wait. So please think of us & pray for us every time you wear your Camp shirt. We rely on your prayers so much! Thank you for being a part of this big crazy story. We love you all!

Can’t believe we started this on October 18th & here we are finally on the wait list! Oh what a journey it’s been so far;)God is so good!

  • Lauren - how EXCITING!!!!! So happy for you! Praying for you during the wait – it really is the hardest part!ReplyCancel

  • Adam and Julia - i am so happy for you both!! how exciting! I can’t wait to hear your next great news You are both in our prayers!ReplyCancel

  • Christy - Happened across your blog somehow through a trail of blogs. :) Excited for you two and the journey you are on. We just adopted a baby girl domestically in April, our third child but first adoption. It was such a profound and amazing experience, and we were so aware of God with us and so heavily involved in the adoption of our daughter as we flew to get her. We also did not know how we would pay for the adoption…but God moved and worked and amazingly everything is paid for! I’m very excited for all God is doing and will do through you your family!ReplyCancel

  • Mary Beth and Travis - YAY!!! This is awesome news and I’m so EXCITED for you!!!!!!ReplyCancel

Well it’s no big secret that I LOVE the 4th of July. It happens to be my favorite holiday. Yes, if you ask me July 4th vs. Christmas during a friendly game of “this or that” I will have a REALLY hard time answering you. This is the second year in a row I have been at Op Camp.
My twinkie, Miss Bekah & I wore matching patriotic outfits. It was legit.
I love Op Camp that much that I skipped out on the family 4th of July at the lake to be here. But seriously, I love it and I love these kids. Last night after campfire, rather “camp light” thanks to the burn ban – I just sat there looking up at the stars talking to God and thanking Him for this opportunity He has given me. For the way he’s burdened me and broken my heart for these kids. My life will never the same. God will continue to break my heart for them, to burden me to pray for them and to love them even more and more. I am thankful for that. Thankful to be a laborer in the harvest.
I heard something recently (Francis Chan, maybe?) about how once God reveals something to you and then you KNOW, that you can’t ever go back to how you were before. You can’t pretend that you don’t know how God wants to use you or pretend that all the hurt that’s in the world isn’t there.
Please continue to humble me & to show me what you want me to see and to USE me. It’s all for your glory.
{just a pretty picture of Annabeth doing a jig at lunch}