Friday, December 2, 2011

A little goes a long way

Oasis Haven staff had known Bryan and Leza for about a year. Newly married, they were one of four couples in their Journey to Adoption course at the beginning of the year.

Leza began volunteering her time in the office a few days a week and Bryan became a regular visitor to the Oasis Haven offices. Through their involvement, Bryan and Leza had heard about a little girl named Khanya. They knew that the Oasis team was praying very hard for an adoptive family for her. They also knew that with her age – seven – and being declared mentally retarded with no clear diagnosis, Khanya had little chance of being adopted and also little chance of realizing her full potential without an adoptive family.

When they came forward and told us that they knew that Khanya was their daughter and that they wanted to adopt her, the Oasis team was overjoyed. Since that day in July, Bryan and Leza steadily prepared for Khanya to come home—sharing with their family and friends, meeting with social workers, preparing her room—creating a home and a brand new life for Khanya. One step in this preparation was to make a special book for Khanya with photos of Bryan and Leza, their house and Khanya’s room, grandparents and extended family members, and special details about themselves. This book would help Khanya to get to know them and to a know little bit of what to expect. The book was beautifully handcrafted with loads of photos and activities for Khanya. On the very last page, Bryan and Leza made a special puzzle so Khanya could count the days until she met her new mommy and daddy.

When “Auntie” Bev gave Khanya the book, she took one look at it and said, “My new family.” As she looked through the pages, she literally glowed with joy and anticipation. This was her family, the one she had been praying for, the one she would be going home to.

These are the kinds of life events that are made possible by the amazing ministry of Oasis Haven. I've just one month left in my Jubilee year, one month left for my Jubilee for Joburg celebration. As the year draws to a close, would you consider one of your year-end giving destinations be the Oasis Haven kids in South Africa? Just look at what can happen when you do! 
Donate US dollars here: 
Oasis Haven US
PO Box 28362
San Diego, CA 92198
WRITE JUBILEE FOR JOBURG in the check memo line. Gifts are tax deductible.

Thanks for making the dreams of little ones of a forever family come true. . .

Friday, August 26, 2011

Everytime I hear this song I have to stop what I am doing and just ponder if I am giving away all the love that I can to a world of lonely and hurting people. And when I think of the little ones at Oasis, I know this is all they want - to be loved by a forever family just for who they are:

Love these words:
"I will love you for you
Not for what you have done or what you will become
I will give you the love
The love that you never knew..."

It's not too late to give a gift of love to the children at Oasis Haven. Address is at right. Children are at right... way across the sea to the right in Johannesburg.

Thanks for partnering with me.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Update from Johannesburg

"Coming home to a pile of clothes specially chosen by “mom” was a big treat for the children in the Oasis Family Homes. The girls modeled and walked the catwalk with all the flair and drama of a Parisian fashion show.

Two-year-old Kamogelo carefully took his new shoes and set them neatly in the cupboard to keep them clean and safe. Phalesa came to school the next day telling his teacher, “Look at the new pants my mommy bought me!"

Unfortunately, the children in our homes do not often get new clothes, especially clothes bought just for them with their tastes and personalities taken into consideration. We are so thankful for the many in-kind donations we receive of gently-used clothing, but there’s something special about something new bought just for you by someone who cares for you and loves you deeply.

Children need moms and dads who know them better than anyone else. Someone who knows their favorite color and the way they like their eggs, their favorite cartoon and whether they are a morning person or a night person, their favorite song and their dreams for the future. Every child belongs in a family who will love them more and know them better than anyone else. It’s one of the reasons we are committed to adoption as the best possible solution to South Africa’s orphan emergency - because every child deserves a family."

Not every person can an adopt an orphan, but everyone can make a difference to an orphan. I am more than halfway through my Jubilee For Joburg campaign. Help me raise $5,000 during my 50th year - my Jubilee. Your gift is tax-deductible.  The address for a US donation is
Oasis Haven US
PO Box 28362
San Diego  CA  92198 
Write Jubilee for Joburg in the memo line!! Thank you for partnering with me.  Together, we can change a life. . .

Friday, May 27, 2011

Called by name

Last Friday at a beautiful wedding, I met a wonderful family of highly creative people. I became fast friends with Laurra Fitzgerald of Coldwater Media, both of us good friends of the groom's family but we had never met before. A sweet twilight fell over our table as we became friends, two artitsts - one a writer and the other a singer/songwriter - who love God, love art, love our kids and husbands, and have a heart for the orphan. It is my pleasure to bring to you this morning this amazing music video of Laurra's song, "You're Not an Orphan."

In spite of the dire circumstances some of the most vulnerable children in the world face, including the little ones at Oasis Haven whom I love so much, none of us are truly orphans. We share a Father who loves us and calls us by name.

You have a father who loves you and holds you close to His heart. . .

I am almost halfway through my Jubilee Year and nowhere near the halfway mark in the $5,000 I want to raise this year - my fiftieth - for the children of Oasis Haven. It is true we all have a Father. But we do not all have a home and a family. Every child deserves that much. Please help me mark my Jubilee with a renewed effort to make it possible for the children of Oasis Haven to be adopted into forever families. The address at right is easy to use, it's right here in the States. And every dollar we send makes a difference.

God bless. . .

Friday, May 13, 2011

Starting the Conversation

Recently an Oasis Haven staff member sat down to tea with one of the housemothers who had just returned from her monthly weekend off. As they chatted, Mary — the housemother—shared the children’s struggle in understanding her and her husband’s need for the weekend of rest and renewal.

Frequently the children tell them “You’re our parents you can’t leave us, who will take care of us? We’re your family, you can’t take a break.” This conversation was a reminder that at the end of the day the most that Oasis Haven can do as an organization is model family. Their houseparents can’t promise the children in their care 24 hours a day and seven days a week. They can’t promise them forever.

This is part of the reason why Oasis Haven believes so strongly in adoption. Every child deserves a family, a family that can promise forever.

In an effort to support our focus on adoption they have added two new board members who are adoptive parents themselves. Dave and Debbie Keehn were the first American parents/family to legally adopt a South African child. Their son is now the youngest of three children. He is a thriving, confident, and amazing three-year-old who has transitioned exceptionally well into his new life in Orange County, CA.

If you would like to know more about adoption, or if you would like to know more about the Keehn family’s journey, please contact Debbie Keehn.

"Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love." — Mother Teresa

Friday, May 6, 2011

At Oasis Haven, their desire for every child is to be part of a loving family forever. As they work toward that on a daily basis, they simultaneously work hard at trying to model the family to every child. This is not an easy task. Being a houseparent is an extremely demanding job, resulting in occasional turnover of staff in this role, which in return has an emotional impact on the children.

Recently it was parents' evening at the school. Lungi was so excited for her new houseparents to attend. She carefully laid all her books out on her desk in the classroom. On top of the pile was a folded letter addressed to “Mom and Dad. The note read:

Dear Mom and Dad
Thank you for coming. I hope you enjoy looking at my books.
I love you so much.
From Lungi

A simple note from a girl to her parents. The underlying message though was evident. Lungi’s houseparents have only been at Oasis Haven a few months, but she already loves them so much. Her deepest desire was evident—to be a normal girl in a family where her parents love her enough to take interest in her school work. This is something most children take for granted but for the children in Oasis Haven homes, this is something they would not have without this over-arching-commitment to family.

Won't you join me on my Jubilee For Joburg journey? In a couple days it will be Mother's Day. Perhaps in honor of your mom or the person who mothered you, you could help support Oasis Haven's goal of giving every orphaned child they meet, a forever home.

Friday, April 29, 2011

‎"The more we give of self, the richer we become in soul; the more we go beyond ourselves in love, the more we become our true selves and our spiritual beauty is more fully revealed." ~ Bishop Richard Chartres, the Royal Wedding, April 29, 2011.