Thursday, October 10, 2013

For thoughtful reading.

I'm still here (and in the states), so much for daily blogging.  I will get back to original content at some point here, but I feel like I am in a point of listening and gathering my thoughts right now.  Going through a major surgery and missing my kids settles gratitude in my heart more and more everyday.  And with this comes a sense of every day being precious and the need to make good and wise decisions about every aspect of my life, including my work in eastern DRC.  So, I'm going to be sharing things I've been reading and I will also continue to share posts written by guests that challenge me and that encourage me in my life and work in eastern DRC (and one is coming up soon!).  And then, when the time is right I will soon start sharing about Reeds of Hope again, the future and our hopes and dreams as we work alongside those in eastern DRC.  I'm looking forward to sharing with you!  Thanks for following along and caring about the children and their families.

Would Jesus be cool with keeping poor kids in orphanages?  This is a guest post shared on the blog: Jamie the very worst missionary and it was shared by the amazing folks running The Abide Family Center in Uganda.  If you have been hanging around my blog the last couple years you know that I have struggled with these issues a lot.  You will know that I strongly believe that Reeds of Hope should be more about helping reunify children with their families and moving them out of the orphanage than keeping them there (even if we are "keeping them there," well).   And even better?  Preventing the family from coming apart in the first place.  Please read this post, it is so challenging and eloquently speaks to the work we want to do in eastern DRC (that we should all be about).  
All over the world we are confusing poverty for families not loving their children- In Haiti, in Cambodia, in Kenya, in Brazil, in Honduras. I’ve spoken to folks working on the ground in all of these countries and the common experience is that not enough is being done to help poor families keep their children.
Nearly every family we have resettled a child to has told us, had support been available to help them keep their child, they would have never put them in an orphanage in the first place.
Poverty can’t be the reason the majority of children are growing up in institutional care. But this is what is happening and this is what needs to change.
Which brings me back to my question- Would Jesus be cool with keeping poor kids in orphanages?
Knowing what we know of who Jesus was, how he engaged with the people he served and worked alongside of and what he advocated for, I think the overwhelming answer would be a big fat “NO”.
Jesus liked messy. He tended to run toward it. We think of the disciples he chose to do ministry with, the stories of the misfits and the outcasts he loved so well. He gravitated toward people that didn’t have their crap together.

Some thoughts on God's sovereignty as we speak of it in adoption.  Again, thought provoking and discussions that need to start happening.  I have hit this same wall that he is discussing in the post when talking about adoption and ethics.  There are some really good questions in this post and some great comments following it.  Definitely worth reading and really considering, because our views on this really do impact our willingness to engage with the issues of ethics and justice in adoption. 

The sovereignty of God–ah, that grand Ace of Spades. In full disclosure, I’ve spent the majority of my Christian life in reformed circles, and if I’m painfully honest, I often still interpret scripture through this lens. Yes, I believe that we are God’s handiwork, that we’ve been created in Christ to do works prepared for us long ago. Yes, I believe that God, in his sovereignty, works all things together for good for those who love him and are called according to his purpose. Here’s something I’ve always thought and never said, though–invoking God’s sovereignty to avoid tough questions is a misapplication of the doctrine.
There are some amazing groups working in Uganda.  I feel like we should never say "it can't be done" because it can and it is being done in Uganda.  Here is one example--
Ugandan's Adopt and their resettlement cases.  See photos and stories here.  

This blog will be sharing a very hard story.  The first part was shared today.   If you have ever visited an orphanage in Kinshasa and walked away horrified and sick at heart, please read this post

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