Friday, August 22, 2014

Faith and Fellowship Blog Hop

Oh my goodness, we're almost through August!  This summer is just flying by!  I hope you're all celebrating the last days of summer and getting out and about to enjoy the heat while it's still here.

If any of you missed it, I'd love for you to go read my last post.  My youngest brother is trying to build a church for his sister's village in Ethiopia and we'd LOVE your support - both financially and simply through prayer.  Read the post here.

Faith and Fellowship Guidelines

1.  Link up a post (not just the link to your blog) from the week that shares what the Lord's been doing in your life or speaking to you.
2.  Put the button on your blog post or blog so that others can hear about this wonderful group of Godly women.
3.  Visit as many blogs as you're able and get to know your sisters in Christ!
4.  Share this blog hop on social media using #faithandfellowship or pin the button on pinterest.

Simple Moments Stick

Your Host:

Susannah1

Susannah from Simple Moments Stick

If you'd like to cohost in the future, please email Susannah at susannah.kellogg (at) gmail.com


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Proud Doesn't Even Begin to Describe How I'm Feeling

You know when you're so proud of someone your heart could literally just burst out of your chest?  That's how I'm feeling right now.  Last summer a few of my brothers, my mom, and some of their friends travelled to Ethiopia.  They were able to put on a sports camp for some kids, visit their birth villages, and - best of all - track down some of their birth families.

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My youngest brother, Nathanael, who was just going into his Freshman year of high school, had high hopes that he would be able to track down his sister - a wonderful woman about my age - who was too old to be adopted when he and Philip became a part of my family.  Amazingly, he was able to track her down and be reunited with her.  I wish I had pictures of their reunion that I could share with you.  They are the sweetest pictures and you can just see both of their happiness, relief, and love for one another permeating through the picture!  I feel a deep connection with Nathanael's sister, who I have never met, because she and I share this precious boy as our brother.

After that trip, Nathanael's life was radically changed.  He realized how privileged he was to be in America with amazing medical attention, enough (and healthy/clean) food and water, and the opportunity for education.  He knew he needed to do something to use everything he's been fortunate enough to have now and give back to the country he called home for the first seven years of his life and the members of his family and village who were not as fortunate.

Just a few days ago I received a letter in the mail from Nathanael that brought me to tears.  He gave me permission to share it with all of you.

Dear friends and family,

I need your help.  Last summer I spent two and a half weeks in Ethiopia.  My main purpose of that trip was to find my beautiful sister that I never got to say goodbye to before I left Ethiopia for America.  She took care of Philip and me for a while after our parents died from malaria.

Going back seven years later changed my life and how I see every day from the time I wake up to the time I fall asleep.  While in Ethiopia I saw some great things and I also saw some terrible things.  I saw my sister and a bunch of family members and friends that were dear to me before I got adopted.

Although these are some wonderful things I'll never forget there were also some things I didn't enjoy seeing.  I saw many children and adults drinking really dirty water, so dirty you couldn't see through it.  When I first saw this my heart sank because here I am so spoiled drinking the cleanest water in the state of Washington and then there they are drinking this really dirty water.

This has inspired me to build wells and bring cleaner water to the villagers.  I really want to do this.  But then I thought about it for a while and realized that it's going to take a while for me to save their lives because I am still in school and need to have an education for me to be able to build a lot of wells.

While I wait my turn to build wells, I want to start a different project which is to build a church.  Having clean water can save people's lives but also learning about Jesus Christ could also save lives.  Water is for now but the Word of God is forever.

The church I hope to build will be in my village so my people can go there easily.  It will hold about 250 people and the pastor will be an evangelist from our Ethiopian friend's church.  Our friend in Ethiopia said it will cost about $3000 to build the church.

All I'm asking is your prayers that this project will work and pray about if it is something you want to help with by donating.  If you let me know you are interested I will give you updates and some pictures when the church is built.

You are my family and friends here and I have another set of family and friends there.  The difference in our lives is impossible to describe.  But someday we can be together in Heaven forever.

Thank you for your support.

Sincerely, Nathanael

I may be crazy but I would love to see his dream become so much bigger than simply building a church.  I'd love to see him raise money to build multiple churches all over the country.  My family is knows the pastor of a large church in Ethiopia that is preparing Ethiopian men and women to go out into the rural areas of Ethiopia to spread the Gospel.  All they need are funds to live on (only about $300 a year!) and funds to build churches (about $3000 per church).  We in America have plenty of funds to help them out!

Please join me in contributing to my brother's vision.  I'd love to be able to surprise him with as much money as I possibly can to go toward his vision.  Please be praying about what you can do to help.  No, we can't all go overseas and share the Lord but this is an amazing and economical way to spread the Good News of God to a hungry nation.

If you're interested in donating, I've set up a way to give online - through a site that gives 100% of the proceeds to the cause.  I'd be so appreciative if you'd be willing to even give $5 (more would be AWESOME too!) and I know Nathanael would feel beyond blessed by you all!  Nathanael also let me know that he'd love to add you to his mailing list if you were interested in keeping up to date with the process of building the church.  Just comment with your email address and I'll make sure he gets it.

Click HERE to donate

Friday, August 15, 2014

Faith and Fellowship Blog Hop

Ahhh!!!  It's Friday again!  I feel like the weeks are just flying by!  In no time at all we'll be welcoming little Caleb into our lives, Nate will be done with school, and a whole new season of life will begin.  I'd love to hear in the comment section things that you all are looking forward to in the coming weeks.  :-)

I'd also like to invite you, once again, to link up your posts!  This linkup is growing more and more each week and I feel so encouraged and excited by each of you women!  Thanks for being a part of my community!

Faith and Fellowship Guidelines

1.  Link up a post (not just the link to your blog) from the week that shares what the Lord's been doing in your life or speaking to you.
2.  Put the button on your blog post or blog so that others can hear about this wonderful group of Godly women.
3.  Visit as many blogs as you're able and get to know your sisters in Christ!
4.  Share this blog hop on social media using #faithandfellowship or pin the button on pinterest.

Simple Moments Stick

Your Host:

Susannah1

Susannah from Simple Moments Stick

If you'd like to cohost in the future, please email Susannah at susannah.kellogg (at) gmail.com


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Text that Changed My Views

044It started with me receiving an innocent text during the middle of the day - "Hey babe, some coworkers of mine are planning a pool party on Friday.  Can we go?"

Of course I jumped right on my phone and texted back a hearty - "YES!!"  I mean, really, it's been in the 90's here in Portland and I wanted a chance to cool off.

As the day wore on, my answer gradually began to change...  Did I really want to go to a pool party with a bunch of single guys, the girls they invited just to see in bikinis, a VERY few other couples, and my husband?

Doubts and insecurities started plaguing me...

The guys will compare me to the other girls at the party and my growing-a-baby body just can't even come close to comparing.

What about those stretch marks down the back of my thighs.  Do I really want people to be seeing those broadcast?

Speaking of my thighs, along with my hips, they've always been my insecurity.   Both those body parts have only gotten larger while growing the little one in my belly.

I almost picked up my phone to text Nate back and tell him I didn't want to go.  I almost let my insecurities override the fun I knew I would have.  I almost gave in to what I thought others would think of me.

What I forgot was that pregnancy is beautiful!  The little life growing inside me isn't something I should be ashamed of.  It's something I should flaunt and celebrate.

What I forgot was that others can be trusted to view my growing body as the miracle it is.  The others at the party didn't crack jokes about my body - instead they encouraged me and let me know how good I looked.

Mostly, what I forgot was that I need to focus more on how God views me than how others view me.  He created me and is molding my body to raise a child and, regardless of what anyone else might say, He views me as beautiful!  That should be enough for me.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Faith and Fellowship Blog Hop

FRIDAY!!!  I love Fridays so much - it's the start of the weekend (as soon as work is over) AND it's the Faith and Fellowship blog hop!  That means we get to link up our testimonies, prayer requests, giveaways, Bible studies, etc from this past week.  God is SO good!!!  PLEASE make sure you're reading and commenting on at least a few other people's posts so we can all be encouraged by one another!

Faith and Fellowship Guidelines

1.  Link up a post (not just the link to your blog) from the week that shares what the Lord's been doing in your life or speaking to you.
2.  Put the button on your blog post or blog so that others can hear about this wonderful group of Godly women.
3.  Visit as many blogs as you're able and get to know your sisters in Christ!
4.  Share this blog hop on social media using #faithandfellowship or pin the button on pinterest.

Simple Moments Stick

Your Host:

Susannah1

Susannah from Simple Moments Stick

If you'd like to cohost in the future, please email Susannah at susannah.kellogg (at) gmail.com


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