Tag Archives: WorldVision

Adelaide Walks For Water

In honor of Adelaide’s 2nd wheelchair anniversary and International Women’s Day, we are participating in our very first family 6k! 

On May 6th, Adelaide will lead the way in her wheelchair while our entire family walks 6k to raise money and awareness for children all over the world who walk 6k everyday to find dirty, unsafe water. 

Adelaide wants you to join us! You can sign up to walk/run/push a stroller or wheelchair for 6k wherever you are in the world! You can donate toward our fundraising goal! You can commit to praying for the children whose lives will be changed by this walk! 

Have a blessed Wednesday! 

Team Adelaide 

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Darling, Dapper, or Both?

It’s March. We’re nearing what should’ve been the twins’ gender reveal party.

I had several dreams that they were a boy and girl. I had dreams about tandem nursing them. Tandem wearing them. Washing their tiny cloth diapers. And even dreams about homeschooling them. On the last Thursday in January, I had my final dream about them. I had a nightmare that I lost them. That they died. Then, my nightmare came true. Less than a week later.

But I had already bought the most precious sleepers for their Darling, Dapper, or Both? party.

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My Pinterest board was full of foxes, monocles, skunks, hairbows, bunnies, bowties, and deer. Their woodland creatures gender reveal party had been coming together splendidly. We had contacted a college friend (former neighbor and all-around sweetest person in the world) to make desserts. One of my best friends was going to help decorate. It was going to be a lovely party with our family and friends.

But I packed up the sleepers the first Thursday in February. Along with all their tiny diapers. And my nursing tops. And anything that would’ve been used by them. I’ve no idea if we will ever open these containers again or pass them on.

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And I haven’t been brave enough to delete that idea board. Or any Pinterest board about my 4th pregnancy.

It’s March, and I’ve decided that I’m still going to celebrate Laurence and Flannery’s milestones. It’s part of my healing. This is the most grief I have ever known. But I need to keep moving through it.

No matter what we would’ve learned from that ultrasound, girls or boys or one of each, we live in a place that is safe for both genders to attend school. It’s not a matter of if our kids will attend school, just where. My children can learn at home, at one of our local public schools, at a local private school, or a combination of the three. We get to choose how our boys and girls are educated. Much of the world doesn’t get that choice. And girls have the least options. Many times, girls are not able to attend school at all.

So we bought a bike for a girl.

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Many more girls would be able to attend school if walking was replaced with a quicker, less dangerous option. Or if the roundtrip travel time didn’t cut so much into other obligations: work, childcare, chores.

This bike will provide safety on the way to and from classes. She can also better manage her time, which means more opportunities. And more education, safety, and opportunities decrease her chances of becoming a sex slave.

I couldn’t think of a better way to memorialize our children’s gender celebration than to love on somebody with a bicycle. Two wheels. In honor of two babies.

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Buy A House In 12 Months With Cash

Exactly one year from today, I will be buying a furnished house. With cash. It’s a God-sized dream. I haven’t taken it on lightly. I don’t even know how it’s going to happen. I just know that it’s been burning in my spirit for more than 12 months now. And it is going to happen 12 months from today. 

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“Desperate poverty in Mongolia leaves many families suffering in cold, makeshift huts. Winter can be deadly, with fierce winds and temperatures of 50 degrees below.

You can protect children with a ger—constructed of durable, felt-lined canvas stretched over a wooden frame and floor to withstand severe weather. Your gift also includes furniture such as a bed, storage chest, table, and stools.” WorldVision

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Because He Gets Clean Water

Our refrigerator is peppered with photos of children we may never meet. We have a basket full of letters and cards. A scrapbook waiting to be filled with drawings from far off places.

And when I am so focused on myself. What am I supposed to be doing with my life? I know I mother. I’m utterly in love with my role as mom. But the Enemy has been swooping in. “You should be doing more.”

And he’s wrong. Of course. But then I also feel the tug, that there’s more than laundry piles and cleaning the same diapers three times a week. And I’m right. Because that loving tug to be God’s hands and feet. That’s the good stuff. That’s worth listening to.

Our newest sponsored child is in an Indian community just starting down the sponsorship path. Everything is brand new to him.

Today, he thanked us for the clean water they are now drinking. And a mosquito net. And a trip to the doctor. And for getting to walk to school. And for soap and toothpaste. And for a birthday kiss from his mom.

And this isn’t a bragtable moment. Please don’t ever think that. We just have money taken from our account every month and we send letters and stickers and drawings and photos. The team in India is working round the clock to bring education and resources to impoverished children and their communities. So I pull them up to the table and beg you to pray for them. And for our children’s teams in Ghana, Malawi, and Burkina Faso.

But I opened the envelope in my air conditioned van. In my clean clothes.  And the Holy Spirit whispered, “See. You are doing it. You don’t always get to see it. When you shop yard sales, and buy marked down protein, and use what you have when you could go buy new…you’re mothering well. And it frees up my resources to help other mothers. They give their children birthday kisses and are thankful for another year.”

This Monday is different. I’m washing the pee sheets again. Still wondering where all my dreams fit in. But I have this realization that God is using me beyond these small walls.

Yes, I raise my children to follow after Him. I plant seeds. Row after row. But He never called me to focus all of me on these three blessings. He doesn’t call me to put on blinders and spend eighteen years just on the ones I physically tuck into bed.

As we pray each night for our friends just waking up, my children learn that they aren’t the Sun. And my children need to learn that they are my treasures. But treasures in clay pots. From dirt. With the breath of God breathed into magnificently designed bodies. Their hands and feet called to be His. Alive for a reason.

I love them. These three little Ballews. But I can’t let them grow up thinking they are my all in all and my focus every waking moment and that I live to wash their socks. They need to grow up knowing that I want more for them than believing the American lie that they are entitled to everything they see. Including a mom who spends all her minutes fawning over them and teaching them what she has learned in her slightly longer life.

So the answer to my question is complicated. My purpose is pointing these children to Jesus and loving them well. But that doesn’t mean I stop doing. Dreaming, creating, following the stirrings in my spirit. Those butterfly moments.

And because he gets clean water, I’ll keep doing what I’m doing now. Still questioning which turns to take, but knowing that all of it is fitting into this mommy’s life puzzle. The bottle-washing pieces joining with the goat-buying pieces. Perfectly snapping together. And showing my kids that they fit into my life’s purpose, but are complemented by pieces of my story we only see in snapshots.

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Five Minute Friday | Send

It’s time again for five minutes of unedited writing. This one is hard to write. So many tears.

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Timer is set.

We got a letter today. One of our four sponsored children was released from the program. We have been sending gifts, letters, photos, and unspoken prayers to a little boy sharing our son’s birthday. Two boys on opposite sides of the Earth. The letter from WorldVision explained that our 5-year-old Indian sweetheart is now financially stable. After 3 years under our sponsorship, his parents have managed to actually get out of poverty. Sobs. I couldn’t stop. I was rejoicing and grieving with the same tears. My stomach was heavy and full of butterflies. This little boy who stole our hearts one night on a computer screen is now healthy, stable, and succeeding. He learned to wash his hands, brush his teeth, play with others. Through the local team, we gave him books, clothes, food, animals, solar lanterns, blankets, medicine, a water pump, school supplies, and mosquito nets. We sent him countless toys and random sticker sheets from his Missouri counterpart. We sent birthday parties in five separate envelopes. He sent his handprint. Drawings. Scribbles. Thank yous. Thanked us for meat at dinner. But I am the one who is full of thanks. I am so thankful that God sent him into our lives. Our paths crossed in the middle of my night and his day. I saw him on a bright monitor and knew he was ours. But he never was ours forever and ever. Just for a season. We have prayed for him more than 3000 times and we will continue to pray for him until Jesus returns. And now I need to explain to my Graham that Dishan is happy and healthy and well, and we have a new little boy…just a toddler…who has been sent to us. We will send him gifts and letters and photos, but he will send me a constant reminder through his little handprints that God wants us to be His hands and feet in a world where $35 a month can change the entire course of a child’s life. A child who becomes a part of you.

Time’s up.

Please join me at katemotaung.com

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Throwback Thursday and an Update {Pray for Lillian Grace}

Something new on this Throwback Thursday. Here is a post from 5 months ago. Plus an update. Be blessed and please continue to pray for Lillian Grace. Oh, and be sure to grab some kleenex when you watch the video update at the end. Tears of joy will flow.

 

Wearing Purple and Praying for Lillian Grace {aka loving someone you have never met…}

August 8, 2013

“It is possible to love someone you have never met.”

A mommy seeing those two pink lines and then feeling her unborn baby’s first flutters and kicks and hiccups knows this is true. A mommy receiving word that referrals have been accepted and judges are ruling and tickets have been purchased to fly halfway across the globe to hold her baby for the first time knows this is true. A sponsor who receives that first informational packet from WorldVision or Compassion International and gets that first letter from her sponsored child now receiving education and food and clean water knows this is true.

And our family knows this is true of Lillian Grace.

We have never met Lillian in person. But we love her.

Lillian is a 19-month-old from our polymicrogyria support group.

Today, she needs our prayers.

Here is a note from her parents, Neal & Sandra Salerno:

 

On August 8th my 19 month old daughter Lillian will undergo a very invasive operation called a hemispherectomy of the brain. The doctors will disconnect her entire right hemisphere of her brain and remove parts as well. This is in effort to STOP the hundreds of seizures that she has daily. I ask that you wear purple on this day in her honor (for epilepsy awareness)…and say a prayer and/or send positive thoughts to her, our family, and her surgical team! You may read more about Lillian at www.polymicrogyria.blogspot.com

Thank you very much for your interest in our daughter Lillian Grace. I wanted to let you know how much it means to our family. The support that we have received from family, friends, and our church is amazing.

Here is a quick overview of what is happening to our 19 month old baby. About 10 months ago we learned Lillian had a condition called polymicrogyria. Gyria are the folds in your brain. Her brain formed with a lot of little folds rather than the big deep folds normal brains have. We are blessed in the fact that it only occurred on one side of the brain (the right side). The left side appears to be normal.

Due to this condition, she has limited mobility of her body on the left side, like a stroke victim. But more difficult is that due to the formation of the brain, she has brain waves that do not fire properly. In other words seizures. Most of them are subclinical, so you can’t see them, but she has 15-20 every hour (~300 per day). Drugs have not been able to stop them which is the issue, because it prevents her from developing and slowly begins to affect the good side of the brain. Untreated, she would eventually succumb to those seizures.

After much consultation and prayer we decide the only chance she has is risky surgery. So on Thursday, Aug 8th she will have a radical surgery called a hemispherectomy. During this procedure the doctors will disconnect/remove the entire right side of her brain. It will be an 8-12 hour procedure at Texas Children’s Hospital here in Houston.

Our hope is that this will allow her to lead a fairly normal life. Despite all of her issues, she wakes up every day with a smile. She amazes doctors with what she can do (eat, crawl, stand, and interact) despite what the MRIs show as the condition of her brain. She truly is God’s little miracle to us.

We can’t express how much your prayers for her mean to us.

Neal and Sandra Salerno

 

So, today we are wearing purple and praying for Lillian Grace. And we invite you to join us here on Facebook.

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January 30th, 2014

Here is a video update from Lillian’s mama. {love}

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Wordless Wednesday {mail}

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‘Rocketship’ care package for our sponsor child in India. We sponsor him through WorldVision.

{Graham even included a story he ‘wrote’ about a rocketship.  I love those letters!}

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Letter and paper dolls for our sponsor child in Ghana. We sponsor her through Compassion.

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A little care package for Aunt Stephenie. She is getting her Masters at CIU.

{This little work of art is called ‘I LOVE PENS!’}

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