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.