I had no idea at the time when my heart was twisting as they walked away to board their plane last January that I would spend the next year aching for them and countless nights waking at odd hours with the urgency to pray for them, unending time with God asking what is His will for our family and these children and carrying a burden for them that most people cannot understand. I am becoming a better human being because God loves these children and because He loves my family and He, in His BIG GOD wisdom, decided we should collide.
But this has been a very hard journey for our family, a working out on many levels- spiritual, physical, mental, emotional, financial, and thus we have sought God and found peace and joy in the pain, discomfort, uncertainty and suffering. During this past year, I have often been reminded of a book my Mom sent to me when I was in college (I was a bit of a prodigal- imagine that! hehehe). The book is called "I Promise I Will Find You", by Heather Patricia Ward, which describes all the great and daring lengths a loving parent will go to to find a missing child. As I have literally ached for these precious kiddos and carried each of them to the feet of Jesus, I have thought that I might just swim the ocean soon to see them one more time. But God had another plan.
This February our family (the entire Smith crew), four break dancers (Mittchel Seabolt, Daniel "Pepper" Bush, Michael Ball, Jalen Esquivias), one missions pastor (Terry Ross) one singer/songwriter (Erica Schmidt) and one special education, ASL, ESL teacher (Melanie Anderson) will travel over to Ukraine to pay the Christmas kids a little visit. I cried as I typed all of those names. GOD IS EXTRAVAGANT! To gather all of those extraordinary people together to go with us to visit our Christmas Kids, all of their friends and the children at two other orphanages in Ukraine this February is proof positive that our God reigns and that He is all about working out the details of James 1:27.
Those of you that followed us here or came to the house know that we made bunkbeds out of recycled pallets for the boys. These got a good bit of attention here on the blog. That has turned into a small project that we hope will fund LOTS of outreach to at-risk orphans and youth. (SEE BELOW) Also, those of you who met the Christmas Kids know that they are break dancers and we danced A LOT while they were here (it kept us all sane!). This has led to the launch of Breakin' Stringz, a local and international break dance outreach to at-risk youth. The Breakin' Stringz program is a good portion of what we will be doing while we are in Ukraine this February along with handing out Valentine packages to the kids in the orphanages and working with their English teachers in order to help them build better ESL programs in their schools.
And that's where YOU come in! We are at the place where we could really use the encouragement and support of our people. It is true that we are not meant to do this life thing alone- people are made for community and to rally together. We really need you! We need you to send your spare change or your end of the year cash, we need your prayers and your encouraging words on the blog and our Facebook pages, when you see us out and about. WE NEED THIS! The Bible says all kinds of stuff about it, statistics back it up, that's what we are going to go pour out in Ukraine and here in Athens when we get back home and that's what we need from our people- and YOU are our people! WE NEED YOU- YOU ARE AS MUCH OF THIS MISSION AS WE ARE AND WE CAN'T GO UNLESS WE ARE SENT BY OUR PEOPLE!!!! So~
- SUPPORT OUR ONLINE AUCTION (Off the chain, cool swag- check it out!)
- TEXT DANCE TO 28594 (tax deductible donation)
- SUPPORT OUR RAZOO FUND (tax deductible donation)
- HELP LAUNCH THE DIY PALLET FURNITURE BIZ for B-BOYS EVERYWHERE (Umm- just check it out below, Indiegogo)
- PRIVATE PRE SALE SHOPPING SPREE AT CAUSE Mission Crafts WITH 15% OFF (call 404-643-3404 for appointment)
- TAX DEDUCTIBLE END OF YEAR DONATION TO: MY HOUSE ATHENS, 1055 PRINCE AVENUE, SUITE 1, ATHENS, GEORGIA 30677.
Call Laura at 404-643-3404 for questions or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR LOVE & SUPPORT! PEACE & LOVE
MERRY, MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU ALL!