loaves and fishes

Have you ever heard someone say, after going through a time of intense suffering, “I wouldn’t change a thing”? My friend Amy told me that, just months after her baby girl, Abigail, died (read her story in this book), and I thought, “Wow. I don’t know if I’d be able to say that.”

These past few months have been hard. NOTHING like losing a child, but the hardest months we’ve ever experienced up to this point. And looking back (even though we haven’t safely arrived at “the other side” yet), I get Amy’s words now.

I wouldn’t change a thing.

The lessons we’ve learned, the strength we’ve gained, the closeness to Jesus = priceless. And I’ll be sharing more about it as I figure out how to wrap my mind around it and get it all into actual words that someone else could read and understand, but here’s a small piece:

We’ve seen Jesus multiply loaves and fishes.

Gabe had to quit his job back in March, and aside from some fits and spurts of getting things done, he’s been largely unable to work due to his anxiety/panic/depression. And we’ve been down to nothing, sitting on a hillside trying to listen to Jesus, tummies growling, wondering how we’re going to survive.

And someone will hand us a paper lunch sack with a couple fish in it. Someone who listened to Jesus and heard him whisper our names in his/her ear. And Jesus will take it and multiply it.

And we’ll have enough.

For today.

And that’s all we need.

I’ve been selling well-loved things around the house that I don’t “need” so we can buy things we do. And God is doing that loaves and fishes thing again. You’da thought we had nothing left to sell/give, but he keeps multiplying it. Turning my trash into other people’s treasure. Blessing all around in ways that don’t make sense.

Exhilarating, I tell ya.

I have two opportunities to share with you today. Small ways you can make an impact as you watch God take your little lunch and multiply it into something awesome.

Opportunity #1:

You’ve heard me go on and on about Punlok Thmey, the amazing Boys’ Center we spent time at when we were in Cambodia. They’re doing amazing work there to share Jesus’ love with little (and big) boys who have been through things no boy should ever, ever have to endure. I have some exciting projects to share with you this fall–ways that we (you and me!) can help them start a lunch program for these kids and other awesome stuff. But for now, this:

You might have heard about the EV71 virus that’s spreading throughout Cambodia, killing children almost exclusively. Just yesterday, officials made the decision to close schools in Cambodia in an attempt to keep the virus from spreading further.

Simple hygiene can keep these kids alive.

From my friend, Yvonne, who oversees the Boys’ Center: “Yes, EV71 has caused schools here in Phnom Penh to close. Adults are not affected in any severity by this disease. Please pray for health for all of the kids in our programs and pray that our efforts to educate our community about health and hygiene would be received well. Please let me know if you’d like to donate $ towards buying soap and new washcloths for families.”

Would you give $5 for soap and washcloths, asking God to multiply it, so that we can help protect more sweet kiddos from this nasty disease?

Just go to Yvonne’s blog, click the donate button, and if you feel like letting me know you donated, leave a comment back here, and I’ll do a little happy dance.

Opportunity #2:

My friend, Melissa, started this amazing ministry, Beautiful Feet Global Outreach. She and I met online, and then in November, she drove 7 hours from Tennessee to hang out with me at an Orphan Care conference being held down the road from my house.

I fell in love with her and what she’s doing for some sweet, precious orphans in Zimbabwe.

She’s heading back to Zim in August, and she has big plans to take a group of 110 kids and adults on a 3-day retreat at a “Rest Camp.” This is something they’ve never experienced before, and it’s something that will be so refreshing and healing and just what they need to keep on going.

And I think about my own girlies at camp right now and the awesome time they’re having. And I know that God is there and that it’s so much easier to meet with him in a place where there are so few distractions and where his creation is all around you on every side.

I want this for these kids in Zimbabwe.

It costs $1934 for 110 people to go on this retreat–$17 per person. Would you give $17 to help one of them get there? Or $5 and ask God to multiply it?

And again, let me know, so I can do a happy dance.

Thank you so much, friends, for letting God use you. Nothing brings me greater joy. Hugs!

16 thoughts on “loaves and fishes

  1. Amanda

    I donated to Yvonne and pray that the soap and washcloths that we take for granted will multiply and be a blessing to the children in Cambodia.

  2. Ali

    I just love you so stinkin’ much. Your heart is bigger than words, and I am so thankful to know you and call you friend. God continues to use you to show me His ways.

  3. Kelly

    I also donated to Yvonne. One, because it’s sickening that disease continues to take lives when the solution is within our grasp. Two, because I respect anyone who is willing to take on Evolving in Monkey Town 🙂

    I pray God continues to provide for your family in miraculous ways.

  4. Melissa Irwin

    Have you ever had goosebumps on your head… the kind that raises the hairs and makes it hurt all over? I have those right now. Thank you, friend… for being the catalyst for the multiplier. I will not fill you will flattery here… just please know that I love you, Gabe the girls and am honored to be walking this walk with people like you! You continue to be a vision of faith that inspires. Love to you all!

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