Friday, April 22, 2011

Bunnies, T-Shirts and Feeding Orphans

Our God truly works in amazing and sometimes, unexpected ways! He can choose to use any circumstance or situation for his ultimate glory. Isn’t it just like God to use the most benign occurrences to do something awesome! This is exactly what happened when we met the O’Learys.

Over a year ago, I found myself riding with my husband and two of our children out to what seemed like the middle of nowhere, to pick up some free rabbits and a hutch that had been advertised on our local homeschool loop. The middle of nowhere turned out to be somewhere near Loudon, TN, about an hour from our house. At the top of a long driveway that seemed to go straight up, we met some very friendly dogs, a couple of cuddly bunnies and the O’Learys. We stayed longer than anticipated enjoying the easy conversation that typically comes when God’s people meet. After loading the rabbits and hutch in our truck we headed home. I remember my husband saying what nice, down to earth people were and what a shame that they lived so far away. We would most likely not see them again.

A few months later on a very cold morning, I was wandering around in a huge yard sale that was happening about 20 minutes from my house. I was paying for an armload of homeschool books when one of the women working there asked if I had picked up some bunnies and a hutch a few months back. It took a few minutes for Kristie O’Leary and I to catch up on the bunny business and then she began to tell me of her families plan to adopt from Ghana. Her story grabbed my heart so much that I found myself reading her blog for about an hour that evening. I reminded my husband about the family and shared the news with him of their pending adoption. I think that was the first time God planted the seed of the possibility of international adoption for our family. I bumped into Kristie again at another yard sale. Again, she recognized me and asked if I had picked up some bunnies. I do so wish that I were better at remembering names and faces.

Recently, we were walking through the Knoxville Zoo and instead of watching the animals, I found myself admiring a family. It was so obvious that this family was one of those precious ones of God’s amazing design; one where he had mixed children born of mother’s body with those born of her heart. A beautiful little girl had just smiled at me as she held her mother’s hand when I heard a voice that seemed familiar say, “Didn’t you come pick up some bunnies?” I nearly cried when I realized I was face to face with the children we had been reading about a few months back.

As we traveled home from the zoo that day I began to feel and share with my husband that these chance meetings were not just coincidence but, divine appointment. That evening we revisited the “From God the Ghana” blog and the new Feeding the Orphans website. We were amazed at what God was doing with this family.
I found Kristie on facebook and just a couple of weeks later, I found myself reading a post of how a mother was moved to purchase Love Orphans t-shirts with the money she would have spent on her family’s Easter clothes. My husband, who had been reading over my shoulder said, “Look’s like it’s t-shirts for us this year!” After talking to our children about the Easter shirt challenge and seeing how excited they were to be able to feed hungry children, God led us to share the challenge with our church youth group and then with our entire church body. We were amazed at the response we got from our church body.

Now here we are, two days before Easter. Two bunnies, a couple of yard sales and 74 t-shirts later, there are lots of orphaned children being fed in Ghana, Africa because of the response of just a few of God’s people in Knoxville, TN.

Through this process, I have learned to look for God in every instant and in every circumstance of every day. When we are willing beyond our abilities, our God is able beyond our limitations.

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