Friday, June 6, 2014

Ramblings Before Guatemala

As most of you know, our family (part of us anyway) are heading to Guatemala tomorrow.  10 years to the month from the first time we went.  Our family has to share a devotional Monday night and I was collecting some thoughts, trying to put them together in a way that made sense.  In a way that would portray the weight of what this trip means to us.  It's not a vacation.  It's not just taking our son back to his roots.  It's about establishing a relationship with real people in another country.  Establishing bonds that will stand the test of time.  These folks are our family, part of His family.  Just thought I'd share some of my thoughts about the adventure.


I first came across Village of Hope (click on the link to see how you can help VOH and to view a short video) on Facebook. I don’t even remember how, but when I read Amy’s blog and saw the Block’s heart for missions, families and Guatemala I knew we had to be a part of what God was doing. I immediately jumped on board as a monthly sponsor to the Block’s themselves and gave several different times towards building the new duplex at VOH. I truly believe in what VOH stands for: orphans, special needs and keeping families together. This is something our family can do for the Kingdom that is already in place and seems to be working. We can be a part of touching these kids lives, here is a place we can truly make a difference.

 

Before our trip, I kept seeing blog posts from various authors regarding short-term mission trips. There were pro’s and con’s tossed around and even the question if short-term mission trips were a good idea. They were all spot on and didn't discourage taking STM trips.  But each one advised participants to search your heart and the reasons for taking the trip.  Are you going out of guilt?  For a sense of adventure?  To do good works in hopes it'll amp up your score card in heaven?  I read each one and was convicted each time of my (our) reasoning for coming to serve with Village of Hope in Guatemala.

 

My intentions for going to Guatemala are two-fold. First is to be the hands/feet of Jesus and to serve the Block’s and the kids/mama’s at VOH in any way possible. Whether it be by painting a wall or a kind word spoken. Second, is to show our son the place in which he was born. His ‘home country’ as he likes to call it. It is a beautiful place, with lovely people who need to know the love of Jesus. We can give back to the place that gave us so much. When you feel a pull to do something, that God is calling you to go somewhere- you go! Obedience is the key. I know God called us here because we could not have afforded to make this trip this year. We had a family member offer to pay our way. Who could say no to that? We never expected that to happen. It was God.  For those who know me, know my fear of flying.  I KNOW Satan has used this to his advantage.  Thus far, it has kept me from going and doing some things I know God called me to do.  NO MORE.  I say "get thee behind me Satan, you have NO place in this child of God".  If people can face the horrendous things they do each day with grace and poise, then surely I can get on an airplane for a 58 minute + 3hr 15 min flight (OK, so maybe I'm still a wee bit obsessed with the flying thing, but I am getting on the plane so that's facing my fear, right?)

Some of the posts I've read talked about how the missionaries would come and serve a few days, focusing on the task at hand and forget about the people who they were there to minister to.  I don’t want to serve VOH and be a burden. I want to leave there knowing what our family did contributed to the future of VOH. I want to return to this same place next year and bring 10 people with me. I want to invest in the lives of these kids. I want to help these mother’s keep their babies, to have a home, to get off the streets.

Out of the abundance He has blessed my family with, I know we are called to give back. Our excess, we have to use for His glory. How can I face Him when I die if I don’t? What if asks me why I didn’t give $1,000 for _______ to have a home for her and her son instead of going to Disney World? How can I go home to my comfortable life and not feel compelled to help His people in any way I can?  Thank God for his merciful grace as I've spent carelessly what He's entrusted to me.  I should've been investing in the lives of others, not myself, nor my home. 

I challenge you to consider the reason God brought you to Guatemala. Was it out of guilt? Curiosity? To earn your way to heaven? I pray for each of us that our reason is because He called us here and we obeyed.

So there ya go...a mixed up tirade about airplanes, helping the least of these and grace.  Jon's going to wish I'd never bought the book Hope Lives:  A Journey of Restoration and Rhinestone Jesus is waiting for me in my backpack. 

"God has a reason for placing me exactly when and where He did...God has been planning and planning, placing me just so, giving me exactly what He has, that I might find Him and that I might do the good He has prepared in advance for me. What exactly that is, I'm not sure yet. But I'm convinced there's something."
From Hope Lives: A Journey of Restoration by Amber Van Schooneveld

Monday, June 24, 2013

James 127 Project



You've still got time to get involved.  We're kicking things off Friday morning around 8:30.  We'll be back at it again Saturday at 8:30.  The goal is to have the bathroom ripped out and new flooring, plumbing and at least the toilet in by Saturday night.  Those of you who know Jon knows this goal will be attained before he goes to bed Saturday.  If you want to participate, meet at 301 Alewine Road Belton, SC 29627 (Jon and Allison's home) by 8:30 either day and we'll travel about 1/2 mile to the project site.
If you want to donate $$$, it can be sent to the above address or if you want to make a tax-detuctible donation money can be sent to:  3000 Midway Road Anderson, SC 29621 *designate James 127 Project*
This project will benefit a widow in our Wright School/Craytonville Community.  There is definitely seeds to be planted, both literally and spiritually.  Please consider joining us as reach out to this sweet lady with the love of Jesus. 
There is only so much room in the bathroom, although hands will be needed to move material as it's being removed.  All additional helpers will be put on landscape duty :)  There is plenty to do! 
We'll supply water, Gatorade, and lunch both days.

Here's the back story on how this project came to be...
Jon and I had just gotten back Wed. morning from serving in Moore OK with Samritan's Purse.  Our neighbor (who just lost her husband in Feb. after a prolonged illness) pulled up in the yard and Jon went out to meet her.  She asked if he'd come look at her home to see if he thought he could do anything to make it livable so she could stay there.  He goes and what he finds is way more than he expected...
 Shower, can't be used
 Toilets useable, but no power in bathroom
This is the bathroom open to outside
 
So...coming from OK working with folks to clean up their homes which had been decimated by an act of God to seeing this widow's living situation that we could actually fix for her--well, it was a no-brainer.  Jon told her not to worry, he'd get it done. For free.  Free.
I don't know about you, but we don't have $2000 sitting around.  But we both know this was our "one" God had put in our path, the "one" we were supposed to help.  We can't help every single person in the world that has a need, but we can do something for just "one".
As we mentioned the project to others, they jumped on board to help.  People have donated time, talents and money.  We are halfway (I think) to our goal of $2000.  Any $$ we collect over what the cost of the remodel is will go directly to the homeowner to use for groceries or other needs.  Did I mention this lady has no job and gets no income from her deceased husband (no SS)?!
Again, if you have questions as to who the homeowner is contact me directly via Facebook or at amorriso25@yahoo.com and I'll give you the info.  I asked her permission to share about the project without using her address or name.
Join us, it's going to be awesome!!



Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Morrison Clan Update

To say that this year has flown by is an understatement.  It seems like only yesterday we were agonizing over sending our Sam to K5 in the "real world".  Just this past week, he graduated and even stood on stage doing some pretty cool surfing moves to the Beach Boys...

Sam is on the bottom left



We cannot begin to express how proud we are of his accomplishments this school year- he far surpassed what we expected! 


Our Zach sailed through 3rd grade with ease, earning the A/B Honor Roll for the year and the opportunity to attend Zoo Camp this summer.  He is beyond excited.  We are also hoping to soon be planning a mission trip to his home country of Guatemala.  He is developing a heart to serve others and we are seeking avenues in which to encourage him to live out his faith!

And Charlie...let's just say he's 2 and everybody knows it!  Love, love, love this sweet boy who entered this world on his own time and still rules it as such.  He completed his first year of WEE school.  He refuses to use the potty, so he may not see WEE school next year (he has to be potty trained to attend 3 year old class).  He loves candy, ice cream and his Daddy.  I can't imagine life without all he brings to our family.

I've just completed my first year as a Part-time School Nurse at the boys school and I loved it.  We are blessed to be apart of a small school with such sweet, good mannered children.  The staff is great!  I'm glad I stepped out in faith and I plan to continue working there next year. 
Jon is busy as ever, which is great!  It's an answer to prayer as I cut back on my work/income.  He has also started doing Street Ministry with a local non-profit group.  So thankful to do life with such an awesome hubby...
 
 
 
Since I actually have time this summer, I'm hoping to get back into blogging more.  We are looking at some challenges coming up and I know I can use some encouragement from the Word!
Sam will be having extensive hip surgery at Shriners Hospital Aug. 20.  This will entail a very long, hard recovery.  I plan to blog our way through this experience in hopes to encourage others along the way...

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Act It Out

Actions speak louder than words. You must act out your faith. Faith without works is dead.

These are some of the sayings I have been seeing over and over in my devotional time lately. One reason for this may be the fact our ladies group at church is doing the James study on Sunday evenings. Maybe I’m more prone to pick up on these sayings when I see them becasue of the subject matter I’ve been studying. Or maybe, in His Providence, God is nudging me (again) to chew on these words.

I can talk about Jesus and church until I am blue in the face, but if I don’t back up my words with actions-what good is it? If I don’t show kindness to a stranger or care for those in need, what example of Jesus am I setting for the world? Am I just giving Him lip-service or am I putting it all out there and giving heart-service?

Don’t get me wrong, talking about our faith is important. Sharing Jesus with those who need to hear about His grace is life-changing. But that’s not all He had in mind for believer’s to do. Did Jesus just hang out with the ‘church crowd’ everywhere He went? NO! He went to the least of them, the down-trodden, the needy. If we are to be like Him, we must do the same. We must get out there and BE the church, not just be WITH the church.

I read this today: ”Saying ‘I Love You’ can put a smile on someone’s face. Showing you love them can change their life.” Enough said!

Thank You Jesus for your Word and how it speaks to us. Thanks for the gentle reminder that our faith is not just in our words, but in how we act it out. Help me to be Your hands and feet on this earth. Give me a desire to go where You send me and to be the follower You have in mind for me to be.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Monday Musings...

Have you ever had a mommy-moment when you wanted to go all Chuck Norris on someone else's kid?  When you want to grab them up and shake some sense in them? 
Be honest....sure you have.  It's the mama bear instinct in all of us to protect our cubs from harm, whether physical or verbal. 
I had one of those moments this weekend.  I don't even think it was a true scenario, but one made up in an over-tired mind.  Sweet Sam told me on the way home from church that 2 people in his class made fun of him.  <gasp>
This is our Sam who has Cerebral Palsy.  He fights everyday for a sense of normalcy he will never have this side of heaven.  How dare some 'normal' kid pick on my baby!!
After having the thoughts of how many ways can I hurt this child go through my mind, I ask him what they said.  He responds with, "Well, Kid A rubs my head and calls me Sam the Man."  OK-I think that's cute.  This kid see's Sam is different and is reaching out in a way they understand.  But "Kid B don't understand why I walk so crooked."  STOP MY HEART
What do you say to that?  It's unfair, I'm sorry, I'd cut my legs off if it would help yours, God made you special just the way you are, it stinks, but we're making the best of it...
I'm not sure where this came from...I don't think Kid B has said anything to Sam on purpose.  Maybe they asked the teacher or Sam himself why he walks the way he does.  Kids are curious.  When they see something they don't understand they usually ask-most of the time not in the best way!
Our school is very supportive of Sam in so many ways.  The kids are great, helpful, encouraging...this gives me hope for Sam as he grows up in a 'normal' world.
It's times like this I have to remind myself God is bigger than our circumstances.  He IS.  He could heal Sam if He wanted to.  He can also leave Sam just as He is in order to bring glory to Himself.  It's not my place to figure out His plan.  My job is to walk by faith the journey He has set before us... and that's what we'll do, one crooked step at a time.

It has taken 5 years, but Sam can do the playground
"all by myself"