Thursday, May 26, 2011

"Be the change you wish to see in the world." Gandhi

Matthew 5:9
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

Most people dream of summer all year long, but it is the most difficult time of year for me.  I love it when all schedules are set the weather is not so hot.  I do have to say that so far the nice cool and rainy weather I love!!!When ever we are in the adoption process I tend to worry.  I wish the IRS would send our tax refund, they are holding on to the adoption tax credit due to adopting families!:(  Our home study is almost complete and then we apply to immigration .  I so hope that we will be able to bring two little people home.  We had originally thought just one child, but if a younger than 6 year old that is healthy becomes available we are going to try to bring 2 home.  We know that if this is what God wants the child will become available for us.  So much of life is waiting, waiting, and waiting some more.  My time frame is, "I want it now", and this is not always the best.  His time, not mine.  I know that we had to wait so long for Sneha was because we weren't ready, Elijah needed adjustment time and we needed to move again.  Her needs were far greater than we anticipated as were Elijah's so we needed time to get medical issues taken care of.  People hesitate that now is not the right time to adopt, we don't have enough money , not enough time, nor enough patience.  The good news is that we don't control time.  The key is obedience and trust!  Our Father in heaven will work out the details.  We just need to say "YES" to what he asks of us.  Many say I don't hear the voice of God, how do you know?  Everything we need to live life is one God breathed manuscript-THE HOLY BIBLE.  We read, we pray, and then we act, so the glory goes to God.  He will give us what we need when we are obedient to His will.

There are good days, bad days, and many in between.  It is not because we adopted, it is just life.  No matter if we are busy there is always time  for more.  I still have wasted time in my schedule, it just depends on how I manage my time.  When I look back on the last 4 years we have had hardships, and many joys.  With out our adoption journey's I would have the awesome memories of a life time and the children that go with them.  I never want all my children to leave home and so we adopt to fill our hearts, lives, and home.

James 1:27
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world

Thursday, May 19, 2011

How do we get from point A to point B????

Luke 17:6

He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.

Part 1

In a world full of change sometimes it is hard to keep sight of our goals.    Jobs restructuring, hours changing, and possible in town location changing.  Did I mention that I hate job changes.  I had just recently decided that I would stay at my job and position as long as we are in Sterling.   May I say ugh, it is just like if I plant roses where I live we always move soon there after, although I don't believe in luck.  We are in the process of adopting a little girl fro Ghana and the heat gets turned up.  What is it always about the link between adoption and job changes.  My job isn't ending, just changing:(  We step out to adopt and a series of unfortunate events begin to unravel to test our faith.  Adoption like being pregnant isn't easy, but so worth it.  Both experience have their pros and cons.

I feel there is tiger waiting to pounce if I make the wrong move or turn my back for a second.  (This white tiger is one of many that we saw up close and fed treats to at the Montana State Fair.)

I just need to remember that he is behind bars and can't get me.  This is a tiger in China.  I love tigers especially when they are behind bars or sleeping.
So we are standing at point A wondering how do we get to point B.  I don't even know where point B is.....There in lies the problem.

James 3:17-18

“But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.”

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Thoughts for the day


 After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.
The answer to spread the Gospel lies in India's future it's children.  They have very beautiful child.  These are children from a Christian School in the city and these children are from the slums pictured below.  Many of the parents of these lovely children  are drunks, drug addicts, or prostitutes.  These children were offered the chance of a life time to attend an English school that is Christian and for free. Not all education is free in other countries, so often the ability to succeed and be educated is based on the success of one's family.  The cycle is being broken, slowly but surely.   From the ashes the leaders and life changers will rise up.  The children in the pictures did not crowd in for the pictures, this is how close and crowded the classes are.   We are talking 100 degrees or more with no air conditioning.   We need to appreciate all that we have and take for granted on a daily basis.                                                                                                                                          

My heart is still grieved from our recent trip to India.  There are so many people and they are so isolated in the countryside.  Imagine stepping back in time by 100 years.  I think of the pioneers here in America and how everything was done by hand.  The farming all done by hand, the harvest done by hand, carrying water in jugs, no electricity, no plumbing, no running water, no cars, no refrigerator.  Need milk, just go milk the buffalo and drink as much as you can before it sours in the heat.  Sour buffalo milk cannot even have the taste masked in tea.  How do we effectively spread the healing words of the Gospel when we can't even get to the people.  Then we throw in all the obvious barriers language, culture, lack of trust between cultures, lack of technology,the written Word, and literacy.  The answer is raising up local believers to spread the Word.  We in the white world are not the answer, but hopefully our resources can help across the world.  We can petition our Lord in heaven on behalf of our brothers and sisters in India.  We know the God hears our prayers and we need to keep petition on their behalf until we no longer have breadth of life.  We cannot forget them.

1.Revelation 5:8

And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people.

Friday, May 6, 2011

India pictures 2011

Love from India part 2

 God called on us to approach the thrown of grace for a small group of people in the Mountains. God placed the a small groupd of people of India in the hearts of a small church of believers in north eastern Colorado. My heart would stir when we prayed for a people so unknown and far across the world. Emmanuel Baptist is God’s plan for the people’s of India. I am in awe once a gain to be a part of God’s global plan. With all the miracles and confirmations from heaven above I still tried to back out of the trip India. Lord, I do not have the money to go to India again. Money started to flow to the India mission trip. I give up, Lord please help me to obey with my stubborn heart. I can say I won’t forget, but human nature always takes over.

All I can say is that God answers the prayers of his people!!! My life is living proof of God’s faithfulness. Psalm 115:1 Not to us, O lord, not to us, but to your name be the glory because of your love and faithfulness! India is a very diverse land with many different people groups. I enjoyed seeing a different side of India the ocean and country-side . My plan was for the sky to open as in Acts and for people to be saved. God’s plan was not for the mountain people to even meet at the compound where we stayed, but for us to go to them on their own land and in their own homes. Walking from the jeeps stopping point to the village was out of a movie scene that only God can write. Walking on a dry dirt road between fields growing rice at different stages, watching herders watch their cattle graze, and watching the herder watching his water buffalo so they didn’t destroy the rice paddies that were so carefully tended and planted by hand one by one was amazing.. Seeing holes on the sides of the terraced fields that are filled with rats and cobras in the rainy season frightening. God’s plan for us to come in the hot dry season without snakes and rats, yay!!! A group of people welcomed us to the village with flower garlands. I thought this was only in Hawaii and secretly I had always hoped to be welcomed in this way. To see the villages that we had prayed for brought the dream into a reality. God loves this group of people in India and he is using us to show them. Pastor Sean  spoke to the believers with a local  pastor  translating their words, your words Lord. I will never forget the disbelief and wonder in their faces upon hearing,” That a people that look so different came7,000 miles across the world and have been praying for their salvation for 4 years.. A church in America loves the people of India. “God will not forget the Indian people and he sent us as the strange looking proof. The group that listened out in the open was fairly small, but eyes and ears from others heard and saw. We were even able to pray over the home of the family of the very first Christian wedding to take place. What a life changing experience to be able to hold the hands of the people that we have prayed for. Hands that are so rough and leathery from hard physical labor I was embarrassed by my very soft hands. Rice fields with every single plant placed there by hand . Fields worked by hand, weeded by hand, transplanted by hand, and harvested all by hand. The air so fresh and the land so clean. Mathew 9:37 Then he (Jesus) said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”For years I have wanted to see terraced rice fields up close and to see and have water buffalo milk. These were just a few small items on my list for life. Little did I know that God remembered my small hopes. I went to China and never need see a rice field because we never left the city. I was able to see rice paddies at all stages of growth and close enough to touch. Anyone that knows me knows that coffee and tea can make or break a day. Let me tell you all that Inidan-Chai with buffalo milk is the best. Not my plans, but his and thank you Lord! A life and world so different and so far away yet God weaved our hearts together for eternity. My prayer is that groups from our church will keep visiting the peoples of India and that our prayers for this people would storm heaven.

Revelation 7:9 After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the thrown and in front of the LAMB. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.

Revelation 7:16-17 Never again will they hunger; never again will they thrist. The sun will not beat upon them, nor any scorching heat. For the LAMB at the center of the thrown will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Love from India Part 1-May 2, 2011

Love from India

Psalm 119:105-106

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. I have taken an oath and confirmed it, that I will follow your righteous ways.

As I reflect on this journey I am struck by God’s mercy and grace in my life. I need to start my story in 2007. Four years ago God began a work in my heart for India. I remember when I was a teenager I always dreamed of going to China, but India looked so terrifying. The image that is in my mind is the masses converging on the Ganges to bathe. It looked so crowded and dirty, why would anyone on earth want to go to India. I made up mind then and there as a teenager I would indeed never go to India. God answers our prayers and gives us desires that would other wise never be in our hearts. It began with a little boy in China, God not only answered my prayer to visit China, but gave me a wonderful son who is fully and so wonderfully Chinese. While in the process of waiting to bring Wu, Chong li home God showed me a face in India. The face of girl that he wouldn’t let me forget about. I said, “Ok, Lord I will inquire about this face that you won’t let me forget about. Maybe I am just to pray for her family to come and adopt her.” Next thing we know the agency the little girl in the peach shirt is listed with says if you are serious about your interest in her you must travel to India next month to meet her. She has special needs and has been rejected by other families so you must be sure. Well, if this is what I have to do I will go. God removed my fears and I was prepared to travel alone. God knew that I could take this task on alone and so my mother’s very best friend from childhood said she would take the journey with me. God’s peace was with her and she knew she must go . After my first trip to India my life and heart were at an all time valley. How could I possible provide for a child that will NEVER be independent? I battled in my thoughts and constant prayers to the Author and Perfector of our faith. How could this be you send me to Hades on earth, I can’t even sleep now and I will never be the same again. I closed my eyes to hear car horns and see the toddlers wandering on the side of a busy high way. Children begging on a two foot strip of land between six lanes of traffic. God answered me very simply, but firmly,”If you don’t go get her there is no one else in the entire world that will!” There it is the beginning of my love for India. God planted the seed in my heart and I tried to pull it out many times. He is patient and waits for us to understand.

The last four years for the Arnold family have been full of joy and many hardships. Brent was laid off upon our return from China with Elijah. Step out and the attacks will come, but God always has the best strategy and protects his flock without fail. Brent was able to work at his dream job sending teachers to China for about 10 months while we were waiting for Sneha. Then the unthinkable happened again. Brent’s job was eliminated , two times in two years in the middle of two adoptions. The same day the social worker called to set up our final home study update for Sneha’s adoption. Lord how could we follow your will to India to be cut off, Please Lord save us………Brent needed a miracle, a job within a week to be able to bring Sneha home. Once again we doubt….How could this happen, how can we find a job in a week. WE can’t do anything in a week, but look what God did a week. The creation of everything in a week and I am not sure if he can give Brent a job in a week. Fast forward to Sterling, Colorado this is where we live. This is where God placed our family quite intentionally and provided the impossible job in less than 1 week. As many of you know our Sneha came home in November 2009. After our move to Sterling God sent us to Emmanuel Baptist Church. Of course no secret to our Father that Emmanuel began a journey to India in 2007 as we did.  I am so thankful that God remembered the smallone in a small orphanage hidden away in a city of 15 million.

Romans 3: 10-12

AS it is written: “There is no on righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands and seeks God. All have turned away they have together become worthless; there is not one who does good, not even one.

                                                                      Elijah Chongli

 1 John 5:14-15

"This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.  And if we know that he hears us-whatever we ask-we know that we have what we asked of him."