Friday, December 30, 2011

Update about Katie

Okay, so I got off the phone with Katie a while ago and I wanted to let you all know what is going on. Katie quit! She quit her "job". At first I was upset!! Not AT her, but just about the situation. Then, I felt proud of her. Proud that she did what was right for her and her family. So, she is moving to live with her husband's family and her little girl. Her husband has to stay in southern China to continue working at the factory. :( That is sad. But at least she will be with YueYue again, and she won't have to work anymore. She won't be living on the street, as I had feared. She will be at her in-law's home. They are poor farmers, so I know it won't be the "lap of luxury", but that is fine. I am just so thankful she will be with her little girl and in a home. :) Katie is worried about how they will make it financially. She doesn't know if they will have enough money. She doesn't know what will happen in the future. If you could continue to pray for her, it would be really appreciated. I don't know what the coming weeks and months will look like for her. Also, if anyone wants a good place to donate a little money, sending ANY to Katie would go a LONG way. Thank you all for everything! Have a fantastic day!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Merry Christmas to All!

Hello Friends and Followers! I hope you had a very Merry Christmas!! I had some friends who did AMAZING service over the holiday...from serving the homeless, to going to Africa, to moving in with family to help with a sick loved one, to buying a special gift for a friend. What did YOU do this season to look outside yourself? Did you bring a dessert to a church Christmas party? Did you give a special gift to someone you love? Did you do a service project for someone in need? Post a comment here and let us know. We LOOOVE to hear what everyone is doing to serve others! Me? I loved on my little boy and gave him a happy Christmas. :) I am so excited about everything happening with Sixteen Small Stones! For right now, I am calling out for PRAYERS and/or POSITIVE THOUGHTS! The first thing is for something AMAZING. It is something that would help NOT ONLY SIXTEEN SMALL STONES, but would help HUNDREDS of organizations that help people! Could you imagine?! An amazing way for ONE person to touch THOUSANDS (not exaggerating here) of lives. (Doesn't it give you a "warm fuzzy" inside?! It does me!) So, please, please, PLEASE pray and/or send up positive thoughts that this will all work out. I know you all want to know WHAT it is, but I can't tell you right now :(. But not to worry! It isn't some big SECRET...just something private that you will get to hear about soon enough. :) Okay, the next thing...remember Katie? And her sweet husband and daughter? I received an email from her today, and she sounded pretty upset. It was a really short email so there wasn't much info, but from what I gather, Katie has lost her job at the factory. Now, even though she only made pennies a day, it was at least keeping her from having to live on the street. Now I don't know what will happen. In China, you can't just go in to some place and apply for a job. Even in the wonderful country of America it is hard to find work. In China? Almost impossible. (Which is why she was working in a "sweat shop" in the first place.) Anyway, Katie asked in her email that I call her tomorrow, so I will do that and update you all. In the meantime, prayers and positive thoughts would be really appreciated. Thank you all for following Sixteen Small Stones! We hope you had a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS! And have a HAPPY NEW YEAR! :D :D

Friday, November 4, 2011

National Adoption Month...YIPPEE!!!!

OH MY GOODNESS! I almost forgot!! November is NATIONAL ADOPTION MONTH! I LOOOOVE IT! Has your life been touched by adoption? Tell me your story! I LOOOOVE adoption stories! :)

Thankful!

So, I have seen people on facebook doing a fun thing for November: Telling one thing a day for which they are thankful! I think it is a great idea. I like hearing what others are thankful for because it reminds me to be thankful for it, too. I want to participate, so that I can pay attention each day to something for which I am thankful. SO...I am starting four days late, so I will tell four things today for which I am thankful. 1. Taiger 2. My sewing machine 3. My family 4. My bed What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

SPONSOR CLOTHES FOR YUE YUE!!

I went to Target, and I went crazy. REALLY crazy. :) FINALLY, an excuse to buy all those darling GIRL CLOTHES! Pink, lace, bows, glitter...Heaven. Puffy, frilly, HEAVEN. So, what was my excuse? Katie's darling little girl, YueYue. As I said before, YueYue is in need of some warm clothes. (I remember how cold it is in JingMen! Maybe that is why I feel such a need to send her some warm clothes!) Needless to say, I don't have any hand-me-down girl's clothes, and I think this sweet little princess deserves some lace and frill in her wardrobe, rather than Taiger's old BOY clothes. So, I bit the bullet, took my savings money and went to Target. And can I just say, spending money for others (ESPECIALLY when that person is a sweet little girl who desperately NEEDS some warm clothes) is so much more satisfying and FUN than spending money on yourself?! Now, since I am poor, I am doing a fun little fundraiser. You can look at all these CUUUUTE clothes I bought, and you can SPONSOR and outfit for YueYue! And the best part? YOU get to pick the price! Want to sponsor the cute little D*ORA outfit (did you see the sewn-on tutu?! Come on! How CUTE is that?!)? You can sponsor it for WHATEVER amount of money you have! Have $5.00 to donate? Sponsor WHATEVER outfit you want for those five bucks! YOU choose the item, YOU choose the price! Fun, huh?! I thought so, too! :) So, here are the pictures. Use the Paypal "DONATE" button on the sidebar and in the "comment" section of your payment, tell me what outfit you want to sponsor! Thank you so much, and happy "shopping"! :D

Darling pink and grey DISNEY PRINCESS outfit, with glitter stripped grey pants. (You can sponsor homemade hairbow separately.)

Check out these bunched, puffy sleeves! PERFECT for a REAL PRINCESS!

HOMEMADE PINK TULLE HAIRBOWS WITH CURLY GREEN RIBBON.

Here are all three "PRINCESS" outfits lined up. On the right, you see this sweet D*ORA the Explorer outfit. Notice the frilly cuteness on top! The matching stretch pants have a pattern of grey and dark pink ballet slippers and pretty little curley-ques. Thepink tulle tutu is attached to the pants.
The hairbow sitting on the shoulder can be sponsored separately! It is made of puffy tulle and curled pink GLITTER ribbon.
Here are TWO pair of SNUGLY, CARTER'S brand "feetey" pajamas. These are so soft and cozy, and sure to keep YueYue warm at night.
This Sleeping Beauty shirt is for a real princess for SURE! Every princess needs a special fairy, and this one comes with a "real" diamond holding her hat on! What more could a girl ever want? This darling top matches the glitter grey pants that come with the Disney Princess top, OR the tutu attached pink pants that come with the D*ORA top.
Here we have THREE snugly sweatshirts! HANES brand ensures comfort and durability. Each shirt has a GLITTERY image on front, either a butterfly, flower or heart. PERFECT for a little girl on a cold wintry day. Each shirt matches BOTH pair of sweatpants, one pair plain baby pink, the other grey with pink and purple flowers, hearts and butterflies.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Update on Katie

I talked to Katie yesterday. She was full of kindness and being polite, and finally I just told her, "Katie, I don't know about Chinese etiquette, or how to be polite and gracious according to Chinese customs.. I want you just to tell me straight what you need." So, she set aside her "politeness" and admitted what she needed: warm clothes for her little girl. So, yesterday afternoon I went to Target and blew through all of my savings buying little YueYue some warm clothes. :) And I couldn't think of a better way to spend my money. (I had talked to Taiger before hand and explained Katie needed some warm clothes for YueYue. I asked him how he would feel if we used our money for some warm clothes for YueYue rather than saving it for fun things for us. He remembers Katie and her house and insisted we use our savings to help Katie and YueYue. I LOVE Taiger's heart!) I KNOW for a FACT that Katie and her husband need some warm clothes, too, but she was more concerned for YueYue. HOWEVER, if anyone has some warm women's or men's clothing, I would love to send some to Katie and her husband, too. So, if you feel like you want to help Katie and her family, there are four ways: First: PRAY!! Katie could use all the prayers she can get! She does not know anything about God or Jesus, so she cannot pray for herself. Any prayers sent up for her would be greatly appreciated. Second: You can donate MONEY. I will be donating money monthly to them. Third: You can donate MONEY to cover the cost of SHIPPING clothes to them. Fourth: You can donate CLOTHES for their family. THANK YOU, ALL! And let me know if you are interested in helping in ANY way. :) Thank you.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Please.

This is for EVERYONE out there who loves a child. To all the parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends. To the teachers and the social workers. To the loving neighbors, the doctors and nurses. And this is to all the MOTHERS out there. Imagine the child you love. The child of your heart. Imagine the child that is your world. That makes you laugh when she laughs. And when she cries, you think your heart will break in two. Imagine those hugs. Imagine how some days you wish you could take a break, but other days, you wish she would never grow up. Imagine holding her hand. Imagine when she looks in your eyes. Imagine when she falls asleep in your arms, or cries for you at night, or hugs you first thing in the morning. Imagine that you missed all those days. All that all those cuddly hugs will never be yours. Imagine that you are only able to see that little child once (ONCE!) each year. For only a few days each year you get to hold her soft hand. For only a few days each year you get to stroke that hair. Imagine knowing each day that she misses you, and that someone else is caring for her. You know how you treasure each of those little kisses on the cheek because you know they will be gone all too soon? Imagine if you only got to experience that a few times because the next time you see her, she will be all grown up and won't want to give you those wet kisses on the cheek any more. Imagine someone else seeing her off on her first day of school. Imagine someone else holding her when she is feeling sick. Imagine someone else teaching her the words to her favourite song, or showing her the way the sun shines through the clouds at sunset. Imagine missing all of that! Now, imagine this is the story, the REAL LIFE story, of someone you know, and love, and who has served you tirelessly, and has given you so much and helped you so much and loved you so much, and made you smile when you were feeling your most sad, and was your best friend when you were most alone. Would you FIGHT for this mother to be back with her child? Katie is the friend that gave me everything when I needed her. Now, it is MY turn to help HER. For five. long. years. she has been away from her daughter. I can't do this on my own. Please help me reunite Katie and YueYue. YueYue needs her mommy in her life, and Katie needs her daughter in her arms. Will you help me? Please.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Katie

I have written and erased this blog so many times. I just don't know how to say what I am feeling and thinking. Please bear with me as I try. I have a good friend in China. She has been my friend for over 10 years! I call her my "sister", because I care about her that much. Lately, I had a feeling she needed my help. I couldn't call her from my house phone, but I felt desperate to contact her. While I was in China this last time, I went to visit her. Her life was terrible when I lived in China, but it is just as bad (if not worse!) than it was when we first met. I cannot tell you her whole story here, nor can I adequately express how much I love this girl. I know you would love her, too, if you met her. She is kind and loving and giving. She has nothing. She is poor. Really, honestly poor. But she is happy all the time, and would give you anything she has, even if it is her only treasure with no hope of ever again buying something so wonderful. I have seen her give away her shirt when she only had one other. She would sacrifice her life for someone she loves. She may live in a country where Christianity is not recognized, but she is one of the most Christ-like people I know. When I saw her, she was in a dire situation. She and her husband were working at a factory in Southern China, and were living in the factory compound. The two of them shared the bottom bunk of a bunk bed, in a cold, cement room with seven other beds. Their bed, with only a piece of plywood where a mattress aught to be, was their only space in the room, so all of their belongings are kept on the bed. They have no warm running water. They have no washer to clean their clothes. They clean themselves with a hose. But the worst part of their lives is that they have a 5 year old daughter who lives far away with her grandmother. Katie and her husband work seven days a week with very (VERY!) little pay, and so can only manage to go visit their daughter once a year, and that only if they have managed to save enough money over the year for the train tickets (about $15.00 each). Katie and her husband love their little girl so much! They long to be with her. They are trying to save enough money to move to the city where she lives. They wish to open a shop there so they can work and afford to live near their daughter. Can you imagine having a 5 year old daughter you have only seen a handful of times? And yet they love her with all their hearts. When Taiger and I visited them, they held Taiger and snuggled him and bought him little candies with the last of their money, and they loved on him, and all the while they talked and talked of their little girl who was the same age, and I could see in their pained eyes that their arms longed to hold her and kiss her and be with her. A few days ago, I figured out how to call Katie from skype. It was such a blessing to talk to her. To hear her voice. I told her I have some money to send her, and she cried. I told her I want to help her get the money to move north to be with her daughter and she cried. She is desperate. So, dear friends, I am here to ask for your help for Katie. I am here to be her advocate. I am here to be her voice. I am here to speak for one who cannot speak for herself. I am here to BEG for your help. Katie is saving every tiny bit of money she gets so she can have enough to move and live with her daughter. But she cannot do it alone. She is trying! She is really, really trying. But I know on her salary, she will never make it. SO...lets help. Lets all help get Katie and her husband back with their little girl. Will you please help? Please??

Thursday, August 18, 2011

My Road Paved With Good Intentions

I forget that while I walk down my road paved with good intentions, that someone is waiting for me. That someone is counting on me. That someone is suffering as they wait for me. That someone is DYING waiting for me. How long will I make them wait? I don't like to look left or right as I walk along. My road is smooth and nice. Look HERE. Where is the Good Samaritan? Who will be the Good Samaritan on my road? Because it looks like I am not stoppin' to help.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Prayers Lately

There are some things I have been praying for lately, and I just wanted to share a few of them. Some things are personal, but some things need to be shared! Have any of you been reading the blog about sweet baby boy TRIPP? I love him so much and have been praying hard lately for him. If you haven't heard about this amazing little man, go HERE and read all about him. He is a fighter, he is a miracle, he is my example. I LOVE TRIPP! I have posted on facebook a few times links to THIS blog. I still remember when I first learned about Sudan and what was happening there. It is what first opened my eyes to the horrors that are taking place around the world, the injustice, the INHUMANITY! It was learning about the Sudan that I first learned about REAL apathy. Please read THIS blog and join me in praying even harder for the people in Darfur. Some posts, like THIS one, are so powerful, yet contain graphic images, so make sure you are reading them ALONE and not with little kids hanging over your shoulder. THIS family is amazing. They have adopted so many children, been on many mission trips, and are in the process of adopting two more kids. I know there is more to serving and loving than adopting and serving missions abroad, but for some reason, people who do those things really catch my attention. Anyway, the older daughter was dating this guy and he was going to pick her up for church and he got in a motorcycle wreck. I was DEVASTATED for them and have, for some reason, felt compelled to pray and pray for Karl. Isn't it funny how we can feel connected to people we have only "met" in the blog world? People for whom we can feel so deeply, and yet they may have no idea we exist? Well, anyway, if you want to read about this family, go HERE. This is another AMAZING family with a heart for orphans. They absolutely AMAZE me. Their son has been in the hospital and I am praying so hard for this sweet little boy. Read about him HERE. Those are a few of the prayers on my heart. What are you praying for these days? Won't you share, so we can join our prayers with yours?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Hey there, I'm Brytt! You want to read this post, I promise.

Hi! I am a member of Sixteen Small Stones and am also sister to that awesome girl, Breclyn. I'm that girl that has some good ideas, but never really knows how to follow through with them. You've heard of me, I know you have.
So, I recently learned of this sweet little Girl and her amazing Story.
What a precious selfless act for someone, ESPECIALLY a young girl, to do. Her parents must be so proud and I'm sure Rachael is as well. For Her 9th birthday, all that Rachael wanted, was to raise $300.00 to fund clean drinking water projects in developing nations.
An 8 year old wanted this.
Rachael made a very selfless decision in Heaven. She knew that She would come to this earth to help, to love, to teach, and to be an example, all in a short time.Last month Rachael was injured in an accident and was in critical condition. A few days later, She was taken off of life support and went back home to heaven, leaving such an amazing legacy behind. This precious girl had a goal, it was to raise $300.00. She has raised $758,386 and counting. She is in Heaven, and I know She is smiling. Because of Rachael and her wonderful heart, over 37,919 people have been served. Rachael has saved so many people and has taught us all so much. Rachael is an example to us. It is never to late to serve. It is never to late to love. It is never to late to just act. What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world, remains and is immortal. ~anonymous donor. Please Donate to Rachael's Charity if you can. If you cannot, please pray for the people who are in need of clean water and help all over the world, and please be sure to pray for Rachael's family. This is the a link to Rachael's charity. Please go read it. http://mycharitywater.org/rachels9thbirthday *************
Sixteen Small Stones is a group of Volunteers that through small steps and small acts, are helping people all over the world. Rachael's story teaches us that it is never too late to act. Sixteen Small Stones wants to help many people all over the world, but without your actions, your help, it is very difficult.
Matthew 18:4 "Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven."
************
And don't worry, I am still working on that "special surprise" Breclyn mentioned in the last post. I received some very sad and devastating news, and because of this, I am holding off on announcing anything until I get further information. But please remember SSS and every single person helping with us and those we are trying to help, in your prayers. With everyone's help, we can serve.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

New Projects!!

As you all know, for a while (like, TWO MONTHS!), I have been thinking it is time for some Fuzzi Bunz around here :). Operation: Fuzzi Bunz was so wonderful last year that I really wanted to make it an annual project. I kept thinking, "I NEED to have another OPERATION: Fuzzi Bunz!" I had this feeling like some little buns needed some cozy covering. However, each time I thought, "Okay, I am going to announce the start of Operation: FB", I would have this feeling to wait. I couldn't figure out why, but I waited. I had a feeling there would be SOME diaper project, but I wasn't quite spot-on with Fuzzi Bunz. Just THIS WEEK, board member Bryttan (who also happens to be my lovely sister! HI, BRYTTAN!) found about about some very special kids with a VERY specific and desperate need. I will let her tell the story, but I wanted to give you a little "teaser" that something exciting is coming up! We are always discussing projects around here. Many are brought to the table each month, but VERY FEW are put in to motion. It is sad, really. Very sad. We know of many places that could use our help. My first reaction when I hear of a need is to say, "YES! We will do it!" But I don't want to make promises I can't keep. It breaks my heart, but I think it is worse to say SSS will fulfill a need and then not. Why don't we do them all? It all comes down to finances. Money...some say it's the "root of all evil". Sometimes, I feel like it is the root of all apparent apathy. Soooo...I just want to say that if you have been thinking to yourself, "Gosh, I have so many thousands of extra dollars taking up space in my wallet. =SIGH= I surely do wish I knew what to do with it!" we surely would be happy to spend it in a good way for you. :) And please remember, NO donations is "too small". I am serious!!!!!! Anyway, we have a couple (or maybe three?) projects on the table now that we might decided to work on, and we will certainly need your help and prayers! Are you ready for some fun? :) I know I am! Bring on the diapers! OOOPS! I almost spoiled the surprise!! :) OH! One last thing!!!!! And this is ONLY for adults! Please consider checking out THIS blog. It is a bit graphic, but can be eye-opening. If you are unable to look at this blog, will you please consider praying for the people of Sudan anyway, if you aren't already? Thanks. :)

Here is a little picture of some "Fuzzi Bunz" recipients from last year's project. :) SO CUTE, don't you think?! (Photo courtesy of Serving His Children . PHOTO COPYRIGHTED! )

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Father's Day Silence

I didn't post on Father's Day. There was so much I wanted to say, but I am not good with words sometimes, and I couldn't figure out how to put in to words what I wanted to say. And I still can't. I can feel it in my heart, but it isn't coming out right. It has something to do with God being our first Father. It has to do with the amazing miracle of fatherly love from our Earthly fathers. It has to do with the fact that some kids have moms and not dads on this earth, but we ALL have a Father In Heaven, and how I WISH so badly I could preach that truth to EVERYONE! It has something to do with being a father to the fatherless, and the roll men play in our lives, and the way God has asked men to step forward, fathers to step forward and be fathers to the fatherless. It is a noble calling of God to be a father, a sacred calling. But I couldn't make sense of it all, so I didn't say anything. Can YOU see...no, can you FEEL how this somehow fits together for Father's Day?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Carpet!!

MORE CARPET! Some really NICE pieces of carpet are out of stock now down here at the carpet store...so my boss is sending me home with the samples! The one style is SO soft and squishy. It is one of my favourites. I have no idea if/how I will ever get all these carpet samples to China to use in the SSS orphanage, but if we are meant to have them there, God will figure out a way. :) (I would love to post pictures. You will just have to use your imagination:). )

Saturday, June 4, 2011

.

We are preparing for a major PARTY at our house! Lots of cleaning an chaos. In the midst of it all, I brought T. down to our room to have his nap and sat down to check facebook and blogs while I have a quiet moment. I read EXILE'S blog post earlier. It moved me. Shifted me. Shook me. Now, I just read THIS blog post. I felt like the ground had been pulled from under my feet. The foundation of the world moved, the earth groaning under the weight of this event. My heart started pounding and my legs became hot, the natural reactions, I later realized, of the body when in "flight or fight" mode. My body was naturally preparing to run. To run away from what I was reading! To run away from the horror before me. TO RUN! But I am human, and in that moment I had a choice between, well, "fight or flight". I chose fight. I chose to stay. I chose to read and have my eyes open so I can FIGHT for these children. To FIGHT for childhood that was robbed. To FIGHT for mental stability that was shattered. To FIGHT for God to intercede for these children. I read their horrific story...only "horrific" doesn't even begin to describe it. There are no words, simply no words, in the English language to describe it. I read their story and raised my heart in prayer to God. Pleading. Begging. For what, I didn't know for sure. For healing? For their lives to somehow to go back to how they were? For the fear and horror to stop? I didn't know WHAT to pray for...so, I prayed just for HIM! It is only through HIM that anything changing and positive can take place inside these traumatized, demoralized, horrified and petrified children. There is no way...NO. WAY. that anyone could come away from that, except through the blood of Christ. So, I prayed for Him. Because that is all I knew to pray for.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Troop Tribute

Today is Memorial Day here in the United States of America.  It is a day to remember all those who have gone before us.  I think there is a particular focus on members of our Armed Forces who have given their time, talent, bodies, families, health and lives to the defense of our country and the world.

Brave men and women everywhere have taken up the cause ever since the Revolutionary War and I am grateful for their sacrifice.  Part of the Armed Forces is the National Guard.  Just as the deployed, active duty troops have been busy so has the National Guard.  They have been helping and assisting people within the United States in times of disasters.

As many of us recall we have had tornadoes, massive flooding, severe snow storms and soon hurricanes will be coming.  I personally have just learned that farm land in Idaho is flooded from the Snake River with only more flooding expected from the massive amounts of snow still left to run off.  This means wheat, barley, and potatoes all will be effect by too much water and erosion.  Those poor farmers.

The say thing has happened all up and down the Mississippi River even to families who aren't farmers.  Tornadoes have ripped up homes and lives all across the south and Midwest.  Many lives are being effected.

This memorial day remember and honor your ancestors and what they have done for you.  Remember and honor the active duty and deployed troops for what they are doing today.  Remember and honor the National Guard who comes to give in service every time there is a need.  They are swift and efficient and a tremendous help to the communities they serve in.

This memorial try to not only remember and honor but also contribute.  Contribute with giving time, effort, support, donations to those who need it all over the United States.
-Blake A.

Friday, May 27, 2011

New Voices

SO, this is fun! I have gotten all computer savvy and learned how to add people as contributors on this blog! So...I added ALL five of Sixteen Small Stones' board members! YIPPEE! So check back soon and see who writes next!!
Here is a little picture to brighten your day. :) (Gosh, I miss these little babies!)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

BEGGING

Okay, so I follow the blog of a family with a son with a skin disorder known as "EB" (sorry, I don't remember the long name...and it IS long ;)!) They are a wonderful family, and they take such good care of their little boy. Caring for a child with this disorder is HARD, HARD, HARD! Well, this family blogged about a family who has a daughter with EB (they also have NINE other kids, without EB) and they want to adopt these two brothers who also have EB! What an amazing family! Anyway, they have raised a lot of money, but they are still short about $35,000.00. Their paperwork has been approved. They adoption has been approved. They have EVERYTHING they need to go scoop up these little boys and bring them HOME! All they need is the rest of the money. Could you help? Do you have five dollars you could spare? Please click HERE to read more. Let's help get these boys HOME!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Whom The Lord Calls, He Qualifies.

There are so many things racing through my mind that I want to write about! So, I will just share what I am thinking. First of all, WHAT THE HECK?! Okay, so my first goal, YEEEEEAAAAARS ago, was to open an orphan home in China. That is what I was doing. The End. Then, I found out that the only way to start an orphan home in China is to open a special home that takes special needs children out of the local orphanages and provides them with a home and the medical attention they need. HOW OVERWHELMING IS THAT?!?!?!? I knew I could NOT do that. I wondered why God had put it in my heart to open an orphan home if I couldn't (well, not the way _I_ had wanted!). BUT...I always had faith that God had a plan. Well, I soon found out about these amazing food programs in Africa and thought how wonderful it would be to start one in China. I told myself that this is what God wanted me to do instead of an orphan home. This I could handle. This I could do. And I really felt good about opening a food program. There are so many children on the streets with no food. It breaks my heart. I wanted to do this! And it was something I could handle. This last trip to China, I had gone with the thought that I would look in to opening a food program (where we feed the people who live on the streets). HOWEVER...I lived in an area where that was not a huge need. HOWEVER, I knew that in the city where I had first planned to open my orphanage, there is a HUGE need for a food program. So, I would start the food program in that city. I kept trying to think of the food program, how to run it, where, etc. And do you know what happened? God lead Taiger and I to the local orphanage, where He opened doors and made it possible for us to spend time loving on the kids there.
And wouldn't you know it, most of the children there were special needs! I FREAKED OUT! I thought, "I can't come here and volunteer with these kids! This is NOT for me!" After my first afternoon at the orphanage, I was SO discouraged! I just didn't think I could handle helping children with special needs. That just wasn't something I could do. So...do you know what I did? I went back. Yup. If God opened the door, I better be walking through it. I was disheartened, though, and discouraged. I didn't think helping special needs orphans was something I could do. Well, God had other plans. God did not berate me, or belittle me, or get angry at me that I was unsure. Instead, He lead me to that orphanage and do you know what? I fell in LOVE with those children! Taiger and I held them. We fed them. We played with them. We loved them. And do you know what? They loved us back. That experience changed my life! I always said, "Whom the Lord calls, He qualifies!" I had been called, and I went from being so set against the idea of caring for special needs children, to wanting to adopt them all and bring them home! He didn't only soften my heart, He changed it completely! He called me, and He qualified me!
So...last week. I am in America. I have been wondering what to do. I want to build my orphan home. I can do this! I can care for special needs children! I DO have it in me! God has qualified me, changed my heart. BUT...what about a food program? What about the children on the streets who are starving? What about the kids who get kicked out of the orphanage when they are 12 and are forced to starve on the streets? Can I just ignore them? I had planned to start a food program, and had felt that there was a great need for it! What do I do now? Which do I do?! People ask me about Sixteen Small Stones. I used to tell them we were opening an orphan home in China. Then, I started telling people we are starting a food program in China. Lately, I have been avoiding the question, and when it comes up, I randomly say one or the other. Because I did. not. know! I was waiting for God to show me which to do. And then, last week happened. Someone asked about Sixteen Small Stones, and without thinking I said, "We are opening an orphan home in China and starting a food program there to feed the people on the street." WHAT?!??!?!?!? Where did that even come from?! The words fell out of my mouth just as if they had been wanting to come out all along. It was so natural and it felt like cool, refreshing water on my lips on a hot day. WHAT?!??!?!?!?! That is what I was thinking! I laugh now, because I realize, maybe that was God's plan all along. So, there it is. Sixteen Small Stones is possibly opening an orphan home AND a food program to feed the people on the streets. (Don't you love how I still say "possibly"? I am so slow to follow. So slow to take up my cross and follow Him and His plan.) HOW?!?!??! I have been thinking that, too. But I remember a God who changed a girl's heart and qualified her to love children with special needs. If He can do that, He can provide the money and manpower. I just keep praying.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Carpet=Miracle

What's coming next? Why does that always seem to be the question in my mind. What comes next? Come on! I want to know! It is like a dormant volcano is inside of me. Rumbling. Turning. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. Does the volcano know when it will eurupt? Can it sense that something is changing? Does it feel when the pressure changes from constant and mild, to the point of exploding? Dormant. Waiting. But not still. Sixteen Small Stones is waiting. Waiting. But not still. Where have I seen God's hand these last few days, as It moves mountains for Sixteen Small Stones? Let me tell you. I work at a carpet store. I mentioned to my boss (the store owner) that I will be building an orphanage and would be so very thankful if they could donate any carpet samples that are out of date. I want to use them for story times. The floors in our orphanage will be like floors almost everywhere in China...tile! I love it because it is easy to clean...but for story time, little bums need a soft place to rest. :) (Also, using carpet samples helps kids know where to sit! :) ) Aside from that, can you imagine the OTHER uses of these carpet samples? Think of the little girl in the orphanage in HaiNan where Taig and I went. She was unable to sit and lay on her back day in and day out. Think if she had a soft piece of cosy carpet to lay on?! Think of the little boy at the same prphanage who was blind. Imagine giving him a soft piece of carpet to sit on and feel with his hands, and the backs of his legs, and to tickle his tiny toes! New sensory input! I remember when Taiger was learning to crawl. We had hardwood floors, and it was so hard when he tumbled forward as he tested his new mode of transportation. Think if we had several carpet pieces to move around and make a space for little ones to crawl on...especially one that could be moved when other activities called for hard floor! Of course, I didn't tell all of this to my busy boss as I desperately and shyly approached her with my request. Her reply? She handed me two samples to take! I was overjoyed and so thankful! Today when I showed up for work, she had FOUR MORE samples for me!! I thanked her and told her, "You are going to have our orphanage carpeted before we even have it built!" Her reply? "I hope so!" Tell me it isn't a miracle. CARPET! Thank you, Heavenly Father!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Updates All Around

It has been a long time since I last posted, and for that I am sorry...as usual. I promise someday I will be better about blogging. :) For now, thank you all for being patient! This week, I had the chance to attend a "business meeting" of sorts in California. Although it was fun to be in California, the BEST part was spending time with such amazing people! Imagine, if you can, spending nine hours a day for three days in a row with people who LOVE to serve, who have HUGE faith, who love others, who are kind, who are giving, who treat you as the dearest of friends even though you only just met? That is what I got to do. It was uplifting to say the least, and I feel I created lasting bonds that will stand the test of time, even though those three short days are the only time I have ever spent with most of those people. Amazing. Sharing what the meeting was all about will come later, but I do want to share that Sixteen Small Stones MAY be able to bennifit monitarily from the hard work of everyone in that room during those three days, and I am so thankful to each one of them for that. We have some amazing things coming up, and I can't wait to get you all involved in the fun! Stay tuned!! :) Mr. D. is coming home from Japan later next week. He has been working his tail end off there and has had little time to email. However, he HAS taken time to send a few notes back, and reports that all is well. We can't wait to have him back to find out how everything went! SOOOoooooooo....Anyone ready for some Fuzzi Bunz? Just askin'. ;)

Monday, April 25, 2011

EXCITING NEWS!!

First of all, I am so sorry I haven't written in SOOOO LONG!
Okay, moving right along....
BIG NEWS!!!!!! This is SO EXCITING! I have been waiting and waiting for the chance to post this good news. God is so good to bless us with this unique chance to serve!!!!!
There is a man, Mr. D, who is part of our Sixteen Small Stones team. (He is a really important part, actually. We really love Mr. D!)
Anyway, guess where Mr. D is RIGHT NOW?
Driving to Salt Lake.
Guess why?
To catch an airplane!
Want to know where Mr. D is heading?
JAPAN!
It has been on Mr. D's heart ever since the earthquake hit Japan to go there and serve. Finally, he is able to go. He is so excited, and we are so excited for him!
Mr. D is a loving, caring, Godly man. He is Christ-like, gentile and kind. He is just the man to go over and serve the people in Japan. He is wise and knowledgable, and I am sure he is going to do great good while he is in Japan.
If you wanted to donate money for Japan but haven't yet, now would be a good time!! You can donate using the "PAYPAL" button on the left sidebar on this blog, or you can mail a check to the address on the left sidebar on this blog.
If the money tree in your backyard hasn't quite yet grown this year's crops (mine hasn't in YEARS! ;) ), you don't have to be left out!! Mr. D would really appreciate any prayers you have time to offer up for him. He could use prayers for God to guide him to those he can serve, prayers for his safety, his health, etc. Mr. D has experienced some physical ailments as of late, and prayers that he will be able to find rest at night and strength by day would also be appreciated. :) His wife is going to be missing him like CRAZY, too, and WORRYING about him, so prayers for her would be great as well. :)
Mr. D may or may not have internet access while in Japan (see why his wife and family will be fretting?!), but I will post with updates if I hear anything. Also, he promised to bring home a picture or two, so check back for pictures.
Thank you all for your support!
Thank you, Mr. D! We love you!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

One Day Without Shoes!

Remember these?
(Hello, good lookin'!)
Remember these?
Or these?
Or these?
Well, they are coming back!
APRIL 5 is Tom's One Day Without Shoes day. Will you join us?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Thoughts on Japan, and OPERATION: $3.11

I have been overwhelmed with the events unfolding in Japan. We watch the news for hours each night. It is hard to accept as real. It seems like I am watching a movie, or something from another world, or at least from another time. As I sit in my home, comfortable, safe, warm, with my family around me, I wonder, "Why not me?" How have I somehow been lucky enough to avoid such pain, such an horrific experience. How? Why? I watch the scenes play out on the tv of the water flowing in to the towns and villages, swallowing people, homes, pushing devastation before its wave. "God, why not ME? Why? How have I managed to escape? How?" I love hearing the stories of survival, of humanity at its best as people pull others from the water, the stories of the aid workers. I love seeing the Japanese people working together, carrying the old on their backs away from the devastation. I love the way there has been no looting. The way people wait in line for basic necessities without fighting, stampeding, hurting one another. I saw a picture as a soldier stood and prayed with a woman. It stopped my breath. It was indescribably beautiful. It was heartbreaking. It was raw. It was seeing Christ's hands and feet on Earth. Anyway, those are my feelings on these tragic and unbelievable events. Please join us as we continue to pray for the people in Japan. One of our amazing team members, Blake, came up with a fantastic idea to raise money to send to help Japan and he invited us to be a part of it! In memory of the day of the earthquake and tsunamis, March 11, Blake is asking everyone he knows to donate $3.11 So, thanks to Blake (and his great ideas), Sixteen Small Stones has launched OPERATION: $3.11. You can mail donations to the address posted on the left side of this page, or you can donate via paypal by clicking the paypal button, also on the left sidebar. I am certain many of you have sent money to Japan, or are praying for Japan, and I am awed at the kindness of everyone pulling together in love and concern for Japan. You are all wonderful, caring people, serving the children of God and setting a beautiful example to me of service. Please comment and share your thoughts on what is happening in Japan. I would love to hear your perspectives. Love you all!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Operation: LOVE Round 1: ACCOMPLISHED!

Round One of Operation: LOVE is complete! Our first set of Valentines (the ones for Africa)have been sent! What a miracle! Both times we have done this project, I have thought, "This is a miracle!" It is quite an undertaking to get people to donate valentines. When they do, I think, "This is a miracle!" It is quite an undertaking to organize all of the valentines. When I see them organized, I think, "This is a miracle!" It is quite an undertaking to get them boxed up and to the post office. When I do, I think, "This is a miracle!" I never think I will have enough money to mail the valentines, and each time I somehow have just enough. When that happens, I think, "This is a miracle!" Yep, every single step of Operation: LOVE is a miracle. So, will we be doing Operation: Love next year? YOU BET! To witness that many miracles? Why would I choose NOT to see God's hand? In the story of the Brother of Jared, God lit the sixteen small stones (yes, this organization's namesake of sorts). The Brother of Jard did a LOT of work and in the end, after all of his hard work, there is a MIRACLE to bring all of his work to fruition. The Brother of Jared saw the finger of God. And I did, too. Thank you to EVERYONE who donated! In this picture: The white envelopes have heart-shaped puzzles in them. (Thank you Annelise!). The ones in front have pictures of Christ with the children. (Thank you, Cindy, and her Young Women's group!) The red envelopes have a little valentine and a note to the young women working with the orphans. (These were three cards left over from last year's Operation: LOVE. Unfortunately, I was much less organized last year, as you may all recall, and now I don't remember who donated those cards last year. So, whoever you are, THANK YOU, and if you see this post, PLEASE leave a comment so I remember who donated these! THANK YOU, and I am SO SORRY!)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentines!!

What did Sixteen Small Stones do to get ready to celebrate Valentine's Day? We made VALENTINES!!!! We have enough Valentines to send to Africa, but didn't have all that we needed for China. So, we set to work! This was an especially meaningful project for Taiger and me, as we know the very children who will be receiving these Valentines. I tried not to focus on that with Taiger, as I didn't want to "play favourites" with this project by seeming more excited to send Valentines to the kids we know in China than to the children in Africa, who are just as important and need love just as much. However, as we sat on the floor making Valentines, Taiger was especially quiet and deep in concentration as he was making his Valentine. I thought maybe he was making one to send to his cousins or maybe give to Uncle B (making Valentines isn't all work and no play, after all!). So, I asked him who he was making his Valentine for. His voice was full of love and was so gentile when he said, "I am making this for my one little friend in the orphanage. The one who used to play with my hair and walk with me." I almost burst in to tears. He not only remembers that special little boy, but loves him, and was making a Valentine especially for him. It made my heart break and made it soar at the same time. I am so proud of Taiger, and I am so in awe at how Christ-like he is. He loves unconditionally and is so accepting. That little boy at the orphanage just loved Taiger. Whenever Taiger would enter the room where that little boy was, that sweetheart would run over and grab hold of Taiger and not let go. Sometimes, the boy was a little rough (side effects of growing up in an institution, I suppose), and sometimes he even would accidentally hurt Taiger. But Taiger never raised his voice, never tried to get away from the little boy. Taiger was always gentile and understanding in return. I was constantly amazed at the patience and love Taiger showed to that little boy. When we were at the orphanage, Taiger was always helpful and loving to the children. If a child was crying, Taiger would go comfort him. If a child was playing by himself, Taiger would go be his companion. He helped feed the children and care for the children with more patience and love than many adults would be able to. Seeing Taiger make that Valentine for that little boy reminded me of something Christ would do. He would not just make a bunch of Valentines and send them off. He would think of each specific child. Make each Valentine as beautiful and special as He could. He would personalize it and make it according to what they child would like. Taiger made this special Valentine just the way he thought that little boy would want it. It was fun to make Valentines for the children, and I am so thankful to everyone who helped make them.
We have some Valentines that people have given us and we are still organizing them and getting them ready to send off! Stay tuned for more pictures!!
WE STILL NEED MORE VALENTINES! So, if you are still planning to send some, there is still time! We are accepting donations until March 1! Also, we are in GREAT NEED of funds to mail the Valentines. If you want to donate to help cover the cost of shipping, please let me know. THANK YOU, ALL! We hope you had a wonderful Valentine's Day full of love! :)

Friday, February 11, 2011

What Am I Going To Do?

There is so much to DO! Okay, okay, there is a house to clean, laundry to wash, dishes to wash, homework (oh shoot! I have SOMETHING due today...what is it?!). But I am not talking about that. Yes, it is important to do those things, and I DO complete these tasks. Some women are "SUPER GALS"! They do all these things and MORE, and they are amazing! I want to be like you someday (BRYTTAN, just to name one!). However, right now, I have this little problem. I think of those things as things that need to be "done", not as things that need to be engaged in. I want to ENGAGE with Taiger. I don't want to ENGAGE with dishes! There is something else on my mind lately (always). Something kind of bugging me, actually. You know when you have something REALLY important to do (not like homework, that is not at all important... HA! That was a joke!) and it almost WEIGHS on you? Something someone is COUNTING on you to accomplish? I feel that lately. I feel that responsibility. The only problem is, I don't really know what it is I am supposed to do! Frustrating, right? I know! The problem is, I feel like if I look inside myself, I will know what it is I am supposed to do. I know what it is about. ORPHANS. It makes sense it is weighing on me. I mean, God Himself has commanded us to care for the orphan. I read someone's blog the other day and they were saying how people always tell her, "If GOD asked me to adopt, I would". She was saying how aggravated she is with people who say that because God, for one, doesn't have to tell us the obvious! And for two, God HAS asked all of us to adopt! It is like saying, "If God asked me to go to church, I would." GIVE ME A BREAK! He has commanded us to keep the Sabbath day holy! What more do you want?! Lightening to strike YOUR house to make it more personal?! I feel the same way about caring for orphans. God has said that PURE religion is to care for the orphaned and widowed. God has asked us to care for the orphan. Does He really need to come right out and say MY name? No. I know what He wants. Okay, enough with THAT little rant. Anyway, so I know I am supposed to care for orphans...but HOW?! That is where I am right now. I cannot adopt because I don't have the money to pass a home-study. I am working on that. It is my goal! In the meantime, what more should I be doing to follow God's word? There is so much to DO, while I sit here wondering what to do! There are children on the street DYING while I ask myself, "Hmmmm...what should I do?" GET UP AND FEED THE MASSES, for goodness sake! It isn't rocket science! But it kind of is. For me. Where do I go? How do I get there? What do I do, really? Set up a food program? Open a foster home? I look at Katie Davis (Amazima Ministries) and Renee Bach (Serving His Children). They had NO IDEA what they were going to do! They just felt God's call to GO TO AFRICA, and they went. They had no plan. They didn't know what they would be doing there. They just obeyed God and WENT! I see people doing that all the time when it comes to serving orphans. My parents knew they were supposed to adopt, so they jumped! They didn't ask, "How will we pay for it? Where are we supposed to adopt from?" They just obeyed when God called. People do it all the time. Why can't I? Do I lack the faith that GOD will come forward and set my path? Do I think that I will follow His call somewhere and He will walk away and leave me in some country with no direction? I guess so. I worry I will get to, say, China. And just stand there and not know what to do. After 5 months, I will turn around and come home, confused about why I ever left and wondering if I had REALLY heard God's voice asking me to go. The comfort is, if I am answering His call to serve orphans, it is enough. Even if I fail, I have tried to do what God asked. I always think of the scripture, "I will not leave you orphans, I will come to you." God is with the orphan. He is already there, loving them, comforting them. But He needs us to be His hands and feet. To bring the food He will provide. To bring the clothes He will provide. To build the shelters He will provide. He will provide the money, the time, the patience, the food, the shelter. His Grace is sufficient. All I have to do is ACT! So, what am I going to do?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT!!!!!!!

I am a half hour late leaving Utah for Idaho, so this is going to be quick! There is someone leaving from America to go to Africa and visit Gabi (Racham Ministries). Gabi had told me if I would mail the Valentines to her address in Africa she would make sure all of the various homes got the valentines for their kids. Well, now that this girl is going to Africa, we can save money on shipping and mail the valentines to this girl in America and she will bring the valentines with her to Gabi in Africa (OH MY GOSH! Does that explanation even make any sense?!) So, if you have Valentines to send to AFRICA, PLEASE try and have them to Sixteen Small Stones BY February 20! I know, I know...that doesn't leave much time. And if you really can't get them here before then, we will just pay to ship them to Africa. But let's TRY to get all of the Africa Valentines in time to send with this sweet girl. THANK YOU, ALL! (If you are planning to send Valentines for CHINA, the deadline is still MARCH 1st.)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Leaving the 99 to find the ONE

WONDERFUL NEWS! We only need one HUNDRED valentines to send to China, NOT one THOUSAND!
Okay, so even though this news is such a relief, I had a hard time feeling "happy" about it. I wanted to pray and thank God that we only had to provide one hundred valentines, but it didn't feel right. I wanted valentines to be provided, I did NOT want to "get out of the work". I feel like when a little kid is whining about cleaning their room and their Mom says in a soft voice, "Okay, don't do it. _I_ will." You feel even WORSE! You don't want THEM to have to do it! I feel like there are so many orphans (an estimated 140 million, actually) and giving out 1000 valentines was a big deal! It was a way to reach out to so many and show them that they are loved.
At the same time, I also have a different take on this situation. There are big orphanages in China that many people know about, from which many children are adopted. Foreigners set up foster homes for the children in these orphanages, and when a child needs a surgery, the foreigners have the connections needed to obtain financial aid to cover surgery costs. On the other hand, Hainan is a small island in the middle of Nowhere-South-China-Sea. The orphanage is not fancy and they don't receive much help. They don't have a bunch of fancy equipment or a bunch of financial sponsors covering the cost of the children's food, daily life and medical needs.
But GOD knows them, and Jesus knows them, just as much as they know the children in the larger institutions. And He will leave the ninety and nine to go find the one.
In this project, we are serving the one.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

1,000

One thousand valentines. ONE. THOUSAND. That is all that is on my mind right now. We have all of the valentines to send to Africa covered. People have said they will donate and we have enough to send to Africa. But what about China? 1,000 valentines. Why do I allow my faith to waver?

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Valentines to go to China!!

SO EXCITING!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I just heard back from the communications directer at Half The Sky Foundation! They have a program at the orphanage in Hainan where Taiger and I volunteered. I had emailed them to confirm an "okay" about sending valentines to the orphans there. She said she thought it was, and I quote, "a lovely idea"! Can you believe that?! "LOVELY"! I was so worried they would say we could not send them for one reason or another (and I would have completely understood that! I mean, what if someone sent valentines that could somehow harm the children....I don't know what kind of valentine that would be, but I am just saying!), but no! She thinks it is a good idea!
So...what does all this mean? It means something so amazing and overwhelming and HUGE! It means that in just over one month's time, we need to collect (are you ready for this?)
ONE THOUSAND more valentines.
I am not kidding, people. One. Thousand.
Just take a breath for a second.
You good?
Okay.
Because this is the truly amazing part. The part that will make your knees go all soft and your heart turn to jell-o.
This also means that GOD loves those children. He knows them. They are HIS children. He knows each of their names. He knows that one likes noodles while another likes rice. He knows that one likes to play with the doll while the other likes the ball. He knows the one that cried yesterday. He knows the one that laughed today. He. KNOWS. them. AND? HE LOVES THEM. He loves them SO MUCH that he would send US to send them cards of love! He loves them so much that he would inspire the directer of communications at Half The Sky to allow us to send valentines to the children. He loves them so much that I can have faith that 1,000 valentines will will be provided.
This is a picture of the front of the orphanage in Hanan!
(Taking pictures inside the orphanage, or of the children, was --understandably-- not allowed.)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Operation: LOVE

I try and find one good picture to use for each of our projects. I was looking at a lot of pictures to use for Opearion: Love (sending valentines/cards to orphans around the world). Many of the pictures I considered using were just beautiful and would have worked well...but I really felt like I should keep searching. I wanted to use one that really symbolized LOVE. I found among some of GABI DICKENSON's photos, images where kids were hugging each other and thought, "That is PERFECT for Operation: LOVE!"...but then I would change my mind. I saw some of people loving on orphans and thought THOSE would be perfect...but something just wasn't right. SO, I totally did a dorky thing and I "googled" images of Chinese orphans. I know. Lame. BUT... I came across this picture. The second I glimpsed it, it took my heart away. I clicked on it and read the story:
A man in rural China worked as a scavenger. He was quite old for the job, and should have retired. In China (as everywhere, I would assume), scavenger workers don't have a lot...they don't have a lot of money, food, clothes, a lot of space in a house. One day, he was out working and he saw a group of people all gathered around something. He was curious and went to see at what it was they were all gazing. He worked his way through the crowd and saw in the middle of the group a small baby wrapped in a thin sheet. The man was so sad that no one was doing anything to help the baby. They were just looking. Well, this kind old man, I imagine with calloused and wrinkled hands, lifted the small baby. The man said the infant was frozen stiff. He brought the small bundle home and he and his wife wrapped the little girl in a burlap bag and fed her soup broth. Soon, she warmed up enough to move. The wife felt sad for the girl and said she pitied her. She said that no one else wanted to touch the baby. "She is human", the wife expressed, something I think many people forget about orphans.
The years have passed and the man is now more than 80 years old. That first little girl he brought home was not the last. Over the years, he has taken in all of the abandoned children he has found and now cares for over 40 little ones. Everyone knows where to send abandoned children, and even the local law enforcement knows to bring abandoned babies or children to this man and his wife to care for.
This story absolutely broke my heart...and healed it at the same time. This man who had NOTHING, sacrificed EVERYTHING for that little girl. This man has a deep sympathy and a Christ-like love for his fellow-man. He does not judge those abandoned, or think they are less than him! He and his wife see them as deserving children. And although Christianity is illegal in China, this man is the greatest example of how to live a Christ-like life.
So, I chose this picture. It SCREAMS "love" to my heart. The picture is of one of the children he has taken in. You can see the boy is holding and LAYING IN the hands of this kind old man. It is so touching and so powerful!
May we all love as he does! Let us all perform this small act of sending a valentine so we can be like this man and show love for those so starving for it.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Short Update

I can't sleep, so I decided to post! Our great friend, and someone who has really helped SSS so very much, delivered her valentines/cards to us today! They are beautiful, each with a picture of Christ (so we know they are going to Africa, not China). THANK YOU, C! Many people have said they would donate valentines. Each told me how many they could provide, and guess what the total is? 225! I kid you not! We serve such a GREAT God! Thank you to everyone who is donating valentines! If you still want to donate some, don't hesitate! We still need MANY more! Please continue to pray that the orphanage in China (where T and I spent time with the children) will allow us to send some valentines to the children there. I know it would mean so much to T, as he really misses the children there, and he loves them so much. I admit, I, too, miss those little munchkins. I became especially close to one little girl and I really miss her hugs and her laugh. Unfortunately, they would not allow us to take pictures of the children, so I can't share her picture with you. However, her face is imprinted on my heart, and I will forever be able to see her smiling face in my mind. Is it time to go back to China yet? :)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Three New Projects!

It has been a crazy few months! It has been overwhelming going through the, what I call, "Reverse Culture Shock". That is the shock of going from China to America. Going from typhoons to temperate weather. Going from cement floors and walls, to carpet and wallpaper. Going from random power outages, to consistent electricity. Going from shower over the bathroom floor to a bathtub and lots of hot water and a "western" bathroom. It is that panic that comes from having TOO much, and not being able to forget the life you have lived, and, even harder, the things you have seen. Having Reverse Culture Shock, severe jet-lag and Christmas all within the same month has been a bit hard to come through. I have appreciated the patience of my family and friends as Taiger and I have "gotten back in to the swing of things". With the settling of the chaos we have been able to reflect on our time in China. Taiger is really starting to miss China, and we can't wait for the day when we can go back. In the meantime, we will occasionally share stories on our other blog, manygrandadventures.blogspot.com, of our adventures there. We hope you will stop by our other blog and enjoy hearing our stories and seeing our pictures. Now that we are back and things are calming down, we have all decided it is time to get Sixteen Small Stones started with some new projects for 2011! We are really jumping in with both feet and have a few new projects already underway! To kick things off, we are having our annual OPERATION: LOVE, sending valentines to orphans around the world! We hope you will want to be a part of this project by making (or purchasing) valentines and sending them to SSS. We will collect all of the valentines and send them off! Let us know if you are interested in helping with this project! The deadline for sending in your valentines is March 1, so get out the glue and glitter and get going with the fun! We are also raising money to purchase beds for some very special little girls in Africa (Racham Ministries, Uganda, andthenloveon.blogspot.com). (Don't forget! Even ONE dollar helps...and you can donate via Paypal using the button on the left hand side of this blog!) OPERATION: Fuzzi Bunz is returning from last year for an encore run! Thanks to two very generous women, we had great success with this project last year, and we hope this year is just as successful. Many children were greatly blessed with these cozy, cloth diapers, and we hope to bless many more little ones this year! If you are at all interested in helping with any of these projects, please let us know! We would love to have any help with these fun projects! We also are so very thankful for anyone who feels so compelled to donate money, diapers, valentines, time, prayers or love! :) Thank you all so very much!!