The caring women of Nicaraguan touched my heart when I visited there last summer. I’m traveling back today to help some of the village women. I’m going with several awesome teachers from my church who will teach about marriage, parenting and serving. I plan to give my testimony, about my search for someone to care and how I found God’s overwhelming love. I hope to show how God can pull us through the hard times. Actually, any time I get an opportunity to share that He is a wonderful, awesome Father and loves us very much, I am a happy girl. Please pray for us.
Psalm 89:1 I will sing of the Lord’s great love forever.
You are loved, kathryn
Several hundred students from Nepal attend the University of Central Oklahoma. Rosemary, a Nepalese student, has come to our home Bible studies and attended our church, Henderson Hills Baptist Church, since she arrived last year. She is majoring in nursing. This sweet girl is very quiet and has become very dear to me.
Rosemary’s father is the pastor of an independent Baptist church in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. When the first earthquake hit Nepal, Rosemary couldn’t reach her parents. Very worried, she kept trying. Finally, hours later, her call got through. Her father was ministering at one of the four village churches where he also preaches. It took him two hours to walk back home through the debris.
Her parents and sister, who live at the church, are okay. With houses fallen down around them and fearful of aftershocks, they moved outdoors to the churchyard where they sleep and eat.
Church members began to show up at the churchyard, homeless, with their houses gone or uninhabitable. One church member, a young girl, died in the earthquake. Many church families came to the church for a place to get food, to sleep in the church yard, and for safety.
Rosemary’s parents began to help the people living on the church grounds. Food prices have skyrocketed, and most jobs are gone. Rosemary and friends collected a little money to send for the emergency need, but it will take a long time for Nepal to recover.
Through the aftershocks, the church walls cracked more. Now it’s too damaged to repair and too dangerous to inhabit. The church will have to be torn down and rebuilt. One of the four village churches where her father ministers was destroyed, the one in Tuper.
Rosemary’s family still lives in the church yard because they cannot move back into the church. With no place to go, they need shelter soon because the rainy season will begin around the end of June.
My heart goes out to Nepal, to this church, and to Rosemary’s family. Does anyone know what we can do to help encourage and rebuild this fellow Nepalese community of believers?
“The House” near the University of Central Oklahoma on Hurd Street is open for college students to gather, eat and fellowship together. Some generous people from Henderson Hills Baptist Church donated the funds to expand “The House.”
In between the old building where girls live upstairs, and the garage apartments where guys live used to be an empty lot, where we had parties, music fests, and outdoor movies! The old house now opens up into the new building, which expanded the living area downstairs. Three new bedrooms and bath are upstairs.
Whoever planned this, did a great job. God is good. The new area of The House has been full of students from the first day it opened!
Should children be removed from their culture, adopted, and taken to another country, thereby losing their heritage? I recently encountered this question and wanted to add my tidbit, because, certainly, there are plus and minuses.
I lived in an orphanage in South Korea when I was twenty-one and adopted two baby girls. In the 1970’s I brought them back to Oklahoma, USA, where they grew up.
My daughters lost the ability to speak (or write) their native language; even if they learned it, they would have an accent. They never heard the stories that cultures pass down to the next generation; and they lost their history, their biological families, and a proud devotion to their country. They lost the taste for their native food – although it was acquired, it won’t be eaten on a daily basis. They lost so much. So, the question is: should we uproot children and take them away from their bloodlines?
Let’s look at the other side. What did the children gain?
Mixed race children were not accepted in Korea, so some children would be outcasts. Ten girls were abandoned to every boy, leaving many abandoned girls. Many of the abandoned boys were handicapped in some way. Adoption was not accepted in Korean culture. Admittedly, the culture should be changed, but at that time, South Korea was unable to take care of all the children being abandoned. Simply put, the orphanages were full. And the same can be true of babies in other cultures at different times throughout their history. Nations go through difficult days when they can’t care for their own. Should we ignore that?
So, should a child be left to grow up in an orphanage, or placed with a family who will treat them as their own? You know my opinion. I adopted the babies, rather than leave them to lie on the floor and cry without parents around them. For me, it was not a choice I considered. Babies in need touched my maternal instinct and I responded without considering what they were losing. I only knew that they needed love. Would it have been right to close my heart, neglect the innocent ones, and walk away from sorrow and suffering when I could do something? Would Christ like that response? My only regret is that I could not adopt more babies at the time, because I tried.
I agree that every effort should be made to tell adopted children their story, introduce them to their native culture, help them learn the language if possible (for us it was not), and teach them to be secure with the beautiful way God made them. But if the question is whether to bring a child home to love him, or let him languish in an orphanage, then I have no alternative but to love them.
Korean culture came to my house in a big way – through my adopted daughters. My daughters are from Ilmagwon orphanage in Gunsan, Korea, which is far from Seoul. They were babies when I adopted them and I lived at the small orphanage for a few months. My daughters and I traveled back to Korea in 2012 for the first time in about 40 years. It was an amazing trip.
Now the most exciting news– after my daughters and I traveled to Korea I blogged about it and several adoptees from Ilmagwon contacted me through my blog. Sixteen Ilmagwon adoptees from the 1970’s and 80’s have connected. Sixteen! That is such sweet news after not being in contact for years. Every time we find another lost sister, my heart is blessed. The girls live all over the U.S., from Florida to New York to California.
I feel like the godparent of these precious ones, some of whom lived in the orphanage the same time I did. A few girls got together in June 2014 for the first time. Rick Matthews, a GI who lived there and adopted a Korean baby too, came with his wife from Kansas.
We turned my house into a mini-Korean gajeong. We lowered the dining room table so we could sit on the floor. We tried on gorgeous hanbok dresses, watched an excellent tae kwon do performance (one of my Korean grandsons is a black belt) and catered in the most delicious Korea bulgogi and kimchi we could find. Then to top it off, we made homemade bimbops!
All in all, it was a success and a whole lot of fun. I hope more of the Ilmagwon girls get to come next time!