Lilypie Angel and Memorial tickers

Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie Angel and Memorial tickers

Monday, January 27, 2014

The Well Project is Alive and Well!

A dear friend sent me a photo today of a bubbling brook and peaceful rushing waters.  She texted me “as I watched the crisp fresh water bubbling from that spring it reminded me of Makiah, and I grasped my necklace of her Living Water Well that I wear 99.9% of the time.  It made me smile as I remembered all the sweet little girls that are now able to go to school and live somewhat normal lives because of Makiah’s dream.  This photo makes me happy and helps me to remember her beauty.  It has no filter or editing, simply God’s creation in all its splendor.”  

Tears sprang to my eyes.  Happy tears that Makiah still comes to my friend’s mind.  Joy that the money Makiah gave from her piggy bank shortly before her death to help build a well at church has multiplied into many wells.  And amazement that this text came today, when today was the day I planned to blog about all the new wells!

Yes there are more!  There are eleven wells in all now!  Saturday I gathered all the well pictures and info that had been shuffled around in the move and prepared to write but nap time was too short.  Yesterday I had a sick child and a mega headache, so this morning when I got the text I knew this was well writing day!  If you are new to the blog, you can read the original well story HERE.   Let’s hope my children sleep long…

In the scorching African sun, 500 high school students attended the well dedication in a village in Ghana.  The new well meant the children’s school would no longer have to collect rainwater as their main source of water, and in the dry season they would not have to miss class anymore to make treks outside the village in search of water.  It also meant that all 500 heard a clear presentation of the gospel, and 50 students made decisions to serve the Lord!        

              Rev. John Lawertey is the Headmaster of the School.  The prayer of dedication for the well.

In Manzibomvu, South Africa a village of 60 people who desperately collected rainwater before,  gave thanks to God for their new well.  These two wells have something in common.   The money for them was raised entirely by a preschool class at Oak Crest Baptist Church in Greenville, South Carolina in Makiah’s memory!  And they have already sent in the $1800 for a third well and are almost finished raising the money for a fourth!  Can we make a difference in this world?  Can a child?  Can we impact eternity?  This group of little ones and their amazing leaders and my mother-n-law who shared Makiah’s story with them have shown us that we can! 

In Viswanadhapally, India 500 people are benefiting from the well that many of you, my friends and family, and my dad’s coworkers built.  A local pastor shared the gospel of hope and explained how the Lord Jesus is the only one who can quench the spiritual thirst we all have.  He prayed with several villagers to receive Christ.  One lady told a worker that her family suffers from skin infections because they previously could not get enough water to bathe or wash their clothes in.  She said the well has brought great relief not only to her family but also to the others in her village.  We can be the bringers of relief for them!

In Erukalawada, India most of the people walk barefoot in the hot sun for miles every day to secure a bare minimum of water.  The water they normally get is highly contaminated and many suffer from, gastroenteritis and other water borne diseases.  Today, Jyothi, a 27 year old resident of the village, is thankful that she can spend more time with her family instead of waiting for hours to catch water dripping from a pipe that passes by the village.  “Thank you for this wonderful gift!”  she exclaimed to a worker.  Her words are a reflection of the hope brought to 500 villagers because of many of you!!!   We can be the bringers of hope!

And friends, we do not know how many days we will have that opportunity.  Cameron’s mom was sharing Makiah’s story with a sweet couple, the Bryants, that have known him all his life.  They knew of Makiah’s death but not the Well Project.  Their hearts were so moved that they wrote a check to fund an entire well.  They took their earthly wealth and spent it on an eternal investment.   And the people of a South African village, Esipahleni, were changed because of their generosity.  Little did this couple  know that almost exactly one year later, Mr. James Bryant would meet Jesus face to face and have a chance to lay that heavenly crown at His master’s feet.  

Our life is but a breath the bible says.  It is like the grass of the field that fades away, but the Word of God stands forever.  When we are Jesus with skin on, we take our perishable lives and sow them into something incorruptible.   We trade our pennies for His treasure.  Thank you for turning my Makiah’s pennies into treasure that will last!  I will so enjoy the day I get to introduce you to her and we are able to meet those face to face who have been changed!  May we sow our pennies wisely until that day!

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven…”  Mathew 6:19-20

Only $1800 builds a well.  Tax deductible donations to the Well Project can be made by mailing a check to:

Operation Blessing International
Attn: Christine Coughlin, CSB 322
977 Centerville Turnpike
Virginia Beach, VA 23463

*Mark your gift clearly on the check for Makiah King and it will be credited to her account.

Thank you for making her life count over and over again!
"Come follow me, and I will make you fisher's of men." -Jesus  in  Mathew 4:19

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Experience is a Powerful Teacher

This blog has been about sharing my journey.  Being vulnerable.  There was a time when I needed to scream my pain to the world.  Not so much now.  I tend to find myself wanting to wait to write about things until they are resolved.  Perfect.  Or at least not so messy.  But the truth is we all wade through messy in one way or another.  And sometimes we might need to know we are not alone in our uncertainty.

So here is a peek at my messiness… and the reason why I have been tired and nauseated and slower to blog than I should be!

There is only one color that every pregnant woman dreads, even if secretly.  And one  Tuesday night a few weeks ago it showed up out of no where.  We were eight weeks pregnant and had just seen the newbie (yes, baby number 5!!)  on ultrasound for the first time a few days before.  Every thing had seemed perfect.  But now it seemed almost certain I was miscarrying.  I called the doctor, and he said to come in for an ultrasound in the morning.   The long night of waiting began. 

And wrestling.  I was so disappointed.  I wanted to hope but how do you pray for life when you have lost a precious life before?  The words just seemed to be blown away by the painful wind of past memories.  Experience is a powerful teacher.  Prayers of great faith have not been my strong point since that October when she was taken from us.  Three years, three weeks, and three days ago.  God didn't save my Makiah.  
Most of the night I could not muster even the smallest seed of faith.  Somewhere in the dark of the morning my mind landed on pieces of a verse… God gives life to the dead and calls those things that are not as though they were.  And the smallest knowing started growing in my heart of how I needed to pray.

The next morning on the way to the doctor’s office Cameron told me he had gotten a text message from an old friend of his at about 3:00 am that day.  This man didn’t know anything about our situation or even that we were expecting a baby.  Here is what he sent Cameron…

“I think this  is for you. “Disappointment is not just a sad, emotional state of mind; it actually can sever our hearts from faith. It is the enemy’s work. Demonically manipulated disappointment can actually “dis-appoint” a person from God’s destiny for their lives.  When someone is disappointed, he or she is cut off from a scheduled appointment with destiny. The appointment remains in the heart of God, but the individual cannot connect with it because the offense filled his or her soul with unbelief. As a result, the person becomes dis-appointed.   Beloved, are you carrying disappointment in your heart? Renounce it. Forgive those who have disappointed you. Pluck out of your spirit the paralyzing sting of disappointment! Today the Spirit of God has come to release you from the effect of this attack. He sent me to tell you, “Your appointment with your destiny is still set.”

Holy Spirit, I confess that disappointment has crept into my soul. I forgive those who have disappointed me, and I release them back to You. I also forgive myself for accepting disappointment. I renounce unbelief and submit again to Your call on my life. Lord, prepare me again to move into the future You have appointed for my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Excerpt From: Frangipane, Francis. “This Day We Fight!.” Baker Publishing Group, 2010-06-28. iBooks.”

When I read this on his phone, the hot tears wouldn’t stop.  This was for us! For me!  I sat amazed that God would use this man that I have never met to speak so clearly to my heart.  This was my battle.   Faith welled up.  Not so much of the outcome, but that God still loves me no matter what the ultrasound would show.  We cried and prayed that even if this resulted in more disappointment, that we would not let it “dis-appoint” us from what God has designed us for.

As I sit here typing tonight, I am now twelve weeks pregnant!  You can just imagine how I cried with joy when that ultrasound showed a little heart beating still.  And the ultrasound I had yesterday showed a wiggly baby with limbs moving and rolling and even little fingers already!  The complication, a sub chorionic bleed adjacent to the placenta, is beginning to show signs of resolving.  I was hoping by now it would be perfectly healed, but I guess I need to be stretched a bit more.  I am setting my faith on meeting this little one next summer and choosing to say; “the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us… but even if he does not, we want you to know… that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”
(from Daniel 3: 17-18 when his three friends were about to be tossed into a fiery furnace for not worshiping the king’s idol). 

Experience is a powerful teacher.  But it is not always truth.  The word is Truth.   Jesus is Truth.   And the truth card must beat the experience card every time.  God is faithful.  Period.  And He is more powerful than my experience.

Well, now this is Happy New Year...