**october 21 from 4-7pm. mark your calendars. it’s going to be good.**

if the story had ended there, it would have been like a priceless vase smashed into a million tiny shards with no one left to clean it up.  we were simply too weak and empty to gather the once-beautiful pieces, and we certainly didn’t know how they could ever be put back together again.  but thankfully we didn’t have to have all the answers…Someone else did.

from my journal on august 17, 2010…
on friday when we got the phone call that judah had died that morning, the forceful weight of grief came crushing down on us. and i didn’t just do the weeping thing. i did the lay-on-the-floor-in-a-fetal-position-sobbing-so-hard-that-i-could-barely-breathe thing.

it wasn’t pretty.

but i just couldn’t escape that still, quiet voice that kept reminding me of the very purpose for which we had named our precious baby. judah – “to praise”. i suppose it’s one of the mysteries of the LORD, but josh and i felt that judah’s death could wreck our hearts while simultaneously provide us with a beautiful opportunity to praise GOD for his goodness, mercy, and love. through the pain, we clung desperately to isaiah 55:8-11:

“for my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: it will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what i desire and achieve the purpose for which i sent it.”

we knew that GOD had a larger purpose in what was happening — we just didn’t know what it was, and we surely didn’t know how to get there. so we prayed…

we prayed for the LORD to extend judah’s influence far beyond the six weeks he lived on earth. we asked him to give us clear direction on how we should move ahead. but most importantly, we prayed that through his grace, we could affect significant change in judah’s name — for GOD’s glory.

the very same day that i wrote that, a representative from an organization we’ve loved and worked with for a long time contacted us with some incredible news. compassion international had heard about judah’s story, and they decided to set a plan in motion that would help us change – and save – lives for years and years to come by connecting our family with a child survival program that exists to provide support to impoverished mothers and babies just like judah.

but the news that day only got better from there…
the child survival program that they’re setting us up with is in addis ababa, ethiopia!!!! addis is the capital of ethiopia, it’s where we’ll travel to to pick up a little guy when that time comes, but most importantly, it’s where judah died and is now buried. i can’t think of a better place in this whole world for our gifts to go!

we’re praying that because of judah’s death and the loving donations from friends, family, and those we haven’t even met yet, countless other infants and children will run, laugh, and play in addis rather than die there.

you may know that many months later we did, in fact, travel twice to addis ababa, ethiopia to complete legal proceedings and to bring micah home.  you may have even read about and seen the faces of the very women and children that we, along with so many of our family and friends, were now loving and supporting.

but what you DON’T know is what’s happening on sunday, october 21 from 4:00-7:00 pm.  it’s big, it’s good, and i hope you’ll be a part.

come back tomorrow… :-)


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