Friday, January 27, 2012

No Other Name

...My heart will sing
no other Name
Jesus, Jesus
- Hillsong, Forever Reign

These closing words are rehearsed again and again in my mind. Unmatched joy is found in simply hearing His name, Jesus. What other name could a heart sing? Mine has sung other names, and the Father always draws me back to the name my heart is safe to sing from now until forever. How true and pure is the name of Jesus and what His name means in the lives of those who know Him? Doesn’t it make you long for others to hear the name Jesus, to know and believe what the life, death and resurrection of our glorious Savior means? EVERYTHING. Jesus, Emmanuel, GOD WITH US. What do we lack when the Maker of Heaven and Earth has placed His Spirit to dwell within us, to be with us always? In Psalm 103, David describes the love of the Lord being from everlasting to everlasting. I pray, today, you will find great joy in the one name, Jesus, the name you can sing forever and ever. You are His child and His love is yours from everlasting to everlasting.

Psalm 103
Praise the LORD, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the LORD, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
The LORD works righteousness
and justice for all the oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses,
his deeds to the people of Israel:
The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;
for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.
The life of mortals is like grass,
they flourish like a flower of the field;
the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.
But from everlasting to everlasting
the LORD’s love is with those who fear him,

and his righteousness with their children’s children
with those who keep his covenant
and remember to obey his precepts.
The LORD has established his throne in heaven,
and his kingdom rules over all.

Praise the LORD, you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his bidding,
who obey his word.
Praise the LORD, all his heavenly hosts,
you his servants who do his will.
Praise the LORD, all his works
everywhere in his dominion.
Praise the LORD, my soul.

Krisha Yanko, Development and Marketing Coordinator

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

God's Eye Perspective

I know God is in control of all things, but sometimes it is hard for me to submit.  I like having a “to-do” list.  I enjoy the sense of accomplishment when it is complete.  Although I know there are a million things I need to do today, somewhere in the recesses of my mind and heart it is being revealed to me that they are not important. 
God brought me here in His Word this morning:
                "And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work."                                                             2 Corinthians 9:8
                "...Our hope is that, as your faith continues to grow, our area of activity among you will greatly expand, so that we can preach the gospel in the regions beyond you..."                      2 Corinthians 10:15-16
 As you look at that daunting “to-do” list sitting before you, ask yourself which ones will impact the lives around you for eternity.  Sometimes, just putting things in an eternal perspective removes some items from our list.  Do we still have daily responsibilities? Yes. Which do you think matters most to God--if we make it to the post office today, or if we don't make it because we use that time as an opportunity to share the Gospel or minister to a believer in need? To help me keep things in perspective and to remind myself to SLOW down in order to see these opportunities, I am reminded of Psalm 46:10.  It simply says, "Be still, and know that I am  God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."  My prayer for you today is Peace and a God's eye perspective when tackling your "to-do" list today.
Hazel West, Lifeline Village

Monday, January 23, 2012

Enough for Everyone…Exodus 16:16-20

The concept of “having enough” is a hard one to grasp. I can blame it on my consumer-driven American culture, the contagious nature of materialism, or the unceasing sin of self that draws me back to my own need over and over again. Whatever the root, the truth of the matter is that I often wonder if I’ll have enough. Will I have enough time to complete my “to do” list today? Will we have enough funding for all we have planned this year? Do we have enough staff to handle all the tasks that await us each day? Do I have enough gas in my car to make it home? Enough? Enough? Enough!

“Remember the manna”, I can hear my Dad’s voice saying those wise words as I type, “God always provides enough.”  When the Israelites gathered the manna in the wilderness, some gathered more and some gathered less, but whoever gathered much had nothing left over and whoever gathered little had no lack. Everyone had just enough.

Our good God still gives His manna in lots of different ways. One way that He provided for the Israelites in the Old Testament was through the generosity of others. If one family’s crops produced a great harvest and a neighbor’s crops were damaged by storms, the one with much would share with the one who had little so that everyone had enough. Giving was the glue and helped to hold the community together. The same is true today – and we have the joy of seeing it work itself out in the Lifeline family through the process of adoption. One family is called to adopt, another is called to give on behalf of an adoption. God provides for one, for the specific purpose of giving to another, drawing His people into His plan to accomplish His purposes. And everyone has just enough.

Amid grumbling, fear, and the sin of self, He still gives exactly what we need when we need it. He did in the wilderness, He does today, and He will give the future’s manna the same way. Praise Him from whom all blessings flow – and for calling His people to participate in the blessings He provides!

Kate Anderson, Development Director

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Family's View

I consider it a joy and an honor to work with families who pursue adoption and especially from Ukraine.  The process in country can be long and tedious.   I am grateful for families like the Huitt family who have pursued these beautiful children, just as the Lord pursues us, and brought them home.  But more than that, please consider the children who are left behind that also need a forever family.  Adoption and caring for orphans and widows is at the very heart of God.  Let this blog from the Huitt family challenge you and your faith and your call to adoption.
“but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 19:14 ESV
Below you will read the story of the last day of the Huitt's of the adoption journey.

Thank you for reading,
Jana Lombardo, International Social Worker

The Last Day:

 Five weeks ago today, Hannah and I walked into a room in the main building of the orphanage that we’ve come to be so familiar with and met two of the sweetest and wildest little girls that we’ve ever known. Today, the four of us piled into the back seat of Dema’s black car and left there for the last time.
Yesterday, we went to the grocery store and bought a few cakes and some bottles of sparkling apple juice to celebrate Olivia and Sveta’s last day with their friends and classmates. When we got to the orphanage, we met with the director and assistant director to thank them for how much they’ve helped us and to give them a few personal gifts along with a donation to the orphanage. After that, we were off to Olivia’s class for the first round of cake and juice.
We went upstairs and walked down the hall by the windows where Olivia would wait and watch us leave almost everyday. When we walked into the room, Olivia was waiting there along with her half-brother and the other four children that live on their floor. After the assistant director announced that this was Olivia’s last day, her brother bounced up and ran over to Olivia to give her a little stuffed cow as a parting gift. He looked as if he experiencing a mixture joy in giving her the gift and sadness that she about to leave.
It about ripped my heart out. I’m not a very emotional person, but in that moment, I wanted to go out in the hall and cry. Although we’ve had some ups and downs in the process, I can say that overall, I’ve loved our experience over here. But I hated this. We’ve done everything that we can to try and bring this boy back with us, but it’s simply impossible at this time. The fact that we’re leaving him behind is something that has been difficult to deal with and today compounded that feeling by a thousand.
For the rest of the time, we ate cake and talked. Olivia’s friend, Leeza, told her that she would miss her and that she needed to be a good girl. All of them told her how much they would miss her and asked for her to send pictures from America once she arrived.
From there, we grabbed our other cake and headed to the kindergarten to celebrate with Sveta and her friends. When we got there, we were greeted enthusiastically by Sveta and the 12 other little friends that we’ve made over the past 5 five weeks. This little crew has become very close to us, so we were looking forward to spending our last day celebrating with them.
The first part of the party was spent watching a little video of the kids from a dance and talent competition that was held amongst the local orphanages this past summer. Watching Sveta was hilarious. She did a great job. During the video, the other kids started saying, “They’re taking our most talented performer!” which was both funny and sad at the same time.
When the video ended, Sveta’s caregiver gave us a tour of the younger kids facility, which we hadn’t had a chance to do yet. After that, it was back to the primary meeting room for our second round of cake and juice along with some more pictures.
At the end of the party, we went outside for a few pictures with Sveta’s caregiver, who has been and is an amazing woman. Before parting, she knelt down and was telling Sveta how much she was going to miss her and to be a good girl for Mama and Papa. The whole time, she was doing her best to hold back tears but wasn’t doing a very good job. Before leaving, I started to say something and then collectively, we all just lost it. Between Daniel and myself being a little emotional, the translation was rough, but I thanked her for how well she’d done for Sveta up to this point. I also added that some people who are teachers teach as a job and others because they have a gift. She was one with the gift. After collecting ourselves, we said one last goodbye, grabbed Sveta’s hand and walked away.
As I looked back, I shifted my focus from Sveta’s teacher to the window of the kindergarten that had twelve orphan faces pressed against it who were smiling and waving goodbye to their little friend one last time. It’s an image that I’ll have burned in my memory for the rest of my life. Just as we were about to round the corner and pass out of sight, Sveta turned around one last time to wave and say, “Das vi danya (goodbye).
Back at the main building, Hannah and I sat down and signed a stack of papers that needed to be processed for the girls to leave. We met back up with Olivia and gave her the new clothes that we’d bought yesterday. Seeing her leave with Hannah in her worn out shoes and old orphanage clothes that never did fit quite right and then coming back in a brand new set of garments served as yet another reminder to me of the Gospel. The old clothes that were characteristic of the old life are gone and in their place are the new clothes that come with being adopted into a new life.
So with the girls in their new clothes and the paperwork completed, we were ready to go. The only thing that we had left that we wanted to do was to get a picture of both of the girls with their brother. As difficult as it was, we all managed to hold it together while he was there. After snapping a few pictures, I told him that we were going to try and come back to visit him and that we would try to call and send pictures to keep in touch. We don’t want to give him any false hope, but this was our way of saying that at the moment the opportunity arises, we’re coming back.
And with that, we were done. The girls threw their little pink backpacks into the trunk of Dema’s car and as we left, we looked back at the orphanage one last time as we waved and said, “Das vi danya (goodbye).” When we pulled out onto the main road that goes to Don’etsk, Olivia leaned up and asked, “Where are we going now?” Dema just looked in the rearview mirror, smiled, and said,
“We’re going home.”
The Huitt Family

Monday, January 16, 2012

Dr. King's Dream and the Fatherless

As we celebrate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. today we are reminded of how far we have come, but yet how far we still have to go.  Dr. King was a principled man and a deeply devoted follower of Christ who had a simple dream, that the Word of God would be realized and that the Glory of God's reign would be seen on earth as is it is heaven. 

The truth of the matter is that Dr. King’s dream is the echo of scripture and a reiteration of John's prophetic vision in Revelation.  While that fateful day, August 28, 1963, in Washington, D.C. will be entrenched in the annals of American History, and rightfully so, let us not ignore that Dr. Kings message should not become antiquated in secularism, but be praised as a call to seek the Lord of Hosts

John says in Revelation 7:9-10, "After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands and crying out with a loud voice, 'Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!'"

And then the words of our Lord in Matthew 24:14 resounds, "And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come."

Watch how those themes reverberate through these 2 sections from Dr. King’s message:

"I have a dream today! I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of 'interposition' and 'nullification' -- one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers..."

"From every mountainside, let freedom ring. And when this happens, when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: Free at last! Free at last!  Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

Dr. King understood that no matter the inexcusable inequality here on earth and specifically in the segregated South, God's rule and reign would be of all people and that God's adoptive family isn't colorblind, but a beautiful tapestry of skin tones and melanin.

One day we all will bow a knee to our creator, one day we will all praise the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and one day we will truly join hands with brothers and sisters who might not look like us, but are more apart of us than if we were born into the same family. 

In Genesis after the terrible flood that covered the whole face of the land, God told his people to once again be fruitful, multiply, subdue the earth, and go forth making the Glory of God known. It was a fresh new beginning and an opportunity for God-fearing man to make the glory of God known. Instead they collaborate to build a tower that will reach heaven.  They scoff at God's command and the first true undertones of our racist and prejudice heart is discovered.

Genesis 11:4 says, "Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth."

Someone who does not learn from history is doomed to repeat its mistakes.  Let us not fall into the trappings of the past but seek to take God's glory and Gospel to the uttermost parts of the Earth. And how can we see this accomplished, "Adoption!"

How can one follow James 1:27 and experience pure and undefiled religion if they don't embrace the beautiful landscape of all the people God has created? How can one love orphans around the world or foster kids at home if they judge them by the content of their character or the tone of their skin?  To love orphans as God loves orphans, to adopt a child, meams embracing the sanctity of every human life.

To adopt or foster or support those families who do, means throwing away old ideas, mis-conceptions, or prejudice about inter-racial marriage and inter-racial families.  It means that embracing the notion that if you are in Christ you have more in common with the believer in the bush in remote Uganda than with your lost suburban next door neighbor - because you have the same Abba, Daddy, Father.  Our skin may be different hues, but we are all created equal, not because the preamble of the US Constitution says so, but because our God says so.

So on this Martin Luther King Day, will you consider doing something for the fatherless?  Will you consider seeing Dr. King's dream and that of John, while on the isle of Patmos, realized in your family as you seek to adopt, foster, or support someone who is on the journey?  Has the Lord put your family in a place where you could adopt or foster a precious child in need and in so doing meet their biggest dream?  Has the Lord burdened you with his command in James 1:27 to care for orphans in distress?  If so, partner with Lifeline today. Visit to donate to the cause, to apply to adopt, to sign up for a trip through our (Un)Adopted ministry by visiting orphans in need, to apply to be a foster parent for a child in US foster care, to volunteer in one of many ways for the sake of orphans, and ultimately to partner with us as we seek to meet the dream of the fatherless.

"For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the LORD will take me in."  Psalm 27:10

Oh beloved, will you allow God to use you to impact the life of a child? Please do not hesitate to give Lifeline a call because we are here...

On behalf of the orphans and fatherless.
Herbie Newell, Executive Director

Thursday, January 12, 2012

China's Waiting Treasures

Lifeline would like to take this opportunity to stir the hearts of many in the adoption world who are considering the adoption of an older child. Will you join us in in this challenge and spread the word?

These children have been waiting a long time. They are all special focus children. They have been specifically assigned to Lifeline. We have been blessed with the privilege of partnering with the CCCWA (China Center for Children’s Welfare and Adoption) to locate homes for these precious Waiting Children. As a participant in this program with the CCCWA, we are able to advocate for these older children with special needs.

Unique challenges come with adopting an older child with special needs. We realize that! But, they are so worth it! They deserve to have a forever family to call their own!

Please contact us with any questions including questions of transfer possibilities for these children. We are here to help in any way that we can.

Please email Logan Gibbons here or you can reach her at 205-972-8480 or e-mail Lisa Kelly here or by calling her at 785-783-4565 with any questions about these children.

Help us share these children who are waiting with others by "liking" and "sharing" our our "China's Waiting Treasures" Facebook Page HERE.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Legacy of an Adopted Child

Once there were two women who never knew each other
One you do not remember, the other you call Mother

Two different lives shaped to make you one

The first one gave you life, and the second taught you to live it
The first gave you a need for love, the second was there to give it

One gave you a nationality, the other gave you a name
One gave you a talent, the other gave you aim

One gave you emotions, the other calmed your fears
One saw your first sweet smile, the other dried you tears

One made an adoption plan, that was all that she could do
The other prayed for a child, and God led her straight to you.

Now, which of these two women, Are you the product of?
Both, my darling, Both, Just two different types of love.
---- Unknown

I came across this poem of adoption not to long ago. I felt the words were so beautifully written to describe a child’s heritage, both past and present. An adopted child is not solely the product of the birth parents nor the adoptive parents but a combination of the two. No matter the child’s story whether they are adopted domestically or internationally, they will carry with them this heritage. They are a special creation that God has ordained for a special purpose. It is something to be valued and treasured.

Heather Schuck, International Social Worker

Monday, January 9, 2012

Pray for Our Leaders

Just a few days ago, the first primary elections were held to consider who will be running for president in November. I don’t follow politics closely but those elections served as a reminder to me that we as a nation are always in search for strong leadership no matter which political party currently holds office. Most of us have seen people in our lives who have demonstrated what it means to be a strong and true leader. We’ve seen that person who inspires and lovingly serves those whom he or she is leading. Jesus is our model for that type of leadership. One of his most memorable acts of leadership is found in John 13 when Jesus washed his disciples’ feet. Although not everyone in leadership in our lives strives to serve like Jesus, it’s important that we still remember to pray for our leaders.

In 1 Timothy 2: 1-2 Paul writes,
1 I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.

Each of us have people who are in leadership roles in our lives, whether it’s a parent, supervisor, employer, teacher, pastor, or government official. I can’t think of anyone in our nation who doesn’t have someone in leadership over them. So Paul’s urge applies to everyone.

Praying for people we serve with, work for, etc. brings changes in our lives because we continually see them as God’s child whom He loves and desires. I’m also reminded that these men and women need God’s wisdom and direction to make good decisions for the people whom they lead. It’s really interesting to me that as God adds value to our leaders’ lives, He is in turn doing the same for those who follow them. It’s pretty amazing that praying for someone else can have such a great impact.

As a staff, Lifeline employees are praying together daily. We want to spend time talking to God on behalf of our leadership, the children we serve, the families we work with and the leaders of each of our adoption program nations. In 1986 at the National Prayer Breakfast, then President, Ronald Reagan spoke well of our need to be in prayer for our leaders by saying

Let us, young and old, join together… in the first step in humble heartfelt prayer. Let us do so for the love of God and His great goodness, in search of His guidance and the grace of repentance, in seeking His blessings, his Peace and the resting of His kind and holy hand on ourselves, our nation, our friends in defense of freedom, and all mankind, now and always.” Amen.

Gisella Sharp
North Alabama Social Worker

Friday, January 6, 2012


Today SOMEONE is feeling compelled to care for the fatherless
And SOMEONE is heeding the call for needy orphans in distress

As a result, SOMEONE begins to give, begins to serve, begins to go
SOMEONE decides to build an orphanage, sponsor a child, get in the know

SOMEONE realizes that 38,000 orphaned children age out every day
And there is SOMEONE who is screaming out that this is not okay

SOMEONE sees a child's empty future, and feels their lack of hope
SOMEONE knows without life and job skills the orphan can not cope

Seventy percent in crime or prostitution, SOMEONE has a heart break
There is growing desperation, SOMEONE sees an over 10% suicide rate

SOMEONE is restless, in spite of all the efforts, that this problem only grows
SOMEONE is impassioned enough to ruffle a few feathers and step on toes

Finding a strategic solution to orphan care becomes SOMEONE's chief aim
SOMEONE knows there are a 147 million orphans and they're people, not a stain

SOMEONE understands that to reach orphans you have to reach their town
Discipleship in homes, schools, and business, SOMEONE isn't messing around

SOMEONE refuses to settle for welfare, band-aid ministry models that fail
The Gospel transforms the city, because SOMEONE decides to go tell

SOMEONE decides to be the church, to have their actions say I love you
I've decided I'll be that SOMEONE, will you be that SOMEONE too?

Dave Wood, International Director

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Be Present

As I begin this New Year, I can’t help but laugh at the whirlwind the past year has been for me. I spent many months of 2011 raising support, planning, and preparing for a year long trip investing my heart in the Lord. I was scheduled to be traveling alongside a choir of 24 Kenyan children that would be coming to the United States with one mission—to serve our ultimate Father through worship. Their hearts are a vision of purity, confidence, and child-like devotion that so many Christians long for, that I continue to strive for each day.

This trip, that I had so meticulously planned, came to an end after the children’s visas were denied. I came to realize how I had exerted so much energy making the tour fit so perfectly into my plans and yet I had not stopped to grasp something so comforting and relieving to “planners” like myself—the Lord has already created my life plan, it’s not my job to reinvent the wheel. The time I was able to spend with the choir was exactly the scheduled time He had laid out to teach me the beauty He reveals in a period of restful waiting.

I know myself well enough to realize I am always looking for what’s next…..where can I go, what can I do? I’m writing this as a reminder to myself and hopefully to someone else that this year I hope to slow down and be present. As followers of Christ we are so very blessed to live a life in awe of the splendor and beauty He created. Why would we rather get caught up in earthly stress than to enjoy this free gift? I had the opportunity to be present in what the Lord was teaching me through so much change last year and my hope is to do the same in 2012—to stop looking ahead and bask in the time He’s blessed me with right now. Don’t miss what you could be learning around you because you’re so busy trying to plan the future path that has already been laid.

One of my favorite scriptures I’ve focused on over the years is Deuteronomy 33:27, “The eternal God is a dwelling place and underneath are the everlasting arms.” I find such comfort in knowing God is a dwelling place, I live in Him and He lives in me. A dwelling—a home—four walls and a roof around me as protection offered by my Heavenly Father. What’s better? The floor never falls out from under you; His palms are continually under you no matter how low you drop! This is assurance to me, and hopefully you, I have no reason to miss out on the peace and comfort He has to offer—shed away the continual distractions and focus on being present in every moment.

Anna Eidson, Administrative Coordinator