28 May 2008

Hannah's Prayer

I wanted to share a little bit about an incredible organization, Hannah’s Prayer (HP) that I am so happy to be a part of.  Three and a half years ago after our first adoption loss I decided to google “Christian infertility.”  We had been trying to conceive for several years with no luck (you can see our full story under the heading “Infertility ~ Our Path to Parenthood” on our website) and had been in the adoption process for a year and a half when I decided to look for support online.  Little did I know that it would take me to this incredible online community of women struggling in the same journey of infertility as well as ladies dealing with miscarriages, loss, adoption, and the list goes on.  I was a little leery as I had never been involved in an online forum before, but I checked through the website and decided to go for it!! 

It has changed my life!!  I jumped right in and got involved in sharing/giving support as well as receiving support in my times of need.

Six months after joining, Jerry & I had a planned trip to the States for a Central & Eastern Europe event which was the same time as a retreat that HP had planned and in the same area!!  I changed my tickets around for me to attend.  Then a day before we were suppose to leave we got a call on a little boy to adopt.  Jerry changed his tickets around to stay and finalize details and allowed me to go on to the retreat and then return right after to come home.  It was a 98% chance for us to get the little boy. I was excited to take this news with me to the retreat!!
But, over the weekend the birthparents changed their minds.  I came home to the news that it was not going to happen.  My HP friends were there to comfort & support me in this loss.
It was also the input of ladies on HP that I began considering and praying about IVF (in-vitro fertilization).  Jerry & I prayed about it and decided to seek this option to get pregnant.  The ladies on HP were there to pray me through and answer my questions about the procedure.
They were also there when a week into the shots (stimulation drugs to produce mass amounts of eggs for the IVF) we got a call on a baby girl to adopt. 
These same ladies saw me through bringing a baby home, egg collection procedure for IVF and transfer 5 days later.
But, it didn’t stop there.  Moms who had struggled with infertility were still around to help me through my pregnancy and my many parenting questions.

Last Fall I was asked to consider becoming a Forum Moderator for HP.  A leadership position that helped take care of the behind the scenes aspects of Hannah’s Prayer.  I was so happy to be asked. 

Even though we have gone on to be parents to 3 children my heart was/is hurting for those still struggling through the pain and isolation of infertility.  I felt that ministering to infertile women as well as educating the world on the pain of this diagnosis was something the Lord was placing on my heart.

And now, in just the last month I was asked and accepted the request to be on the Board of Directors for Hannah’s Prayer.  The Board of Directors is comprised of 9 ladies that oversee the decision making of HP.  I will serve in this role for the next 3 years.  It is such an honor and a fulfillment of a call that has been placed on my heart!

21 May 2008

Marriage GetAway

Back in January when we went to Virginia for our debriefing, upon our return to the States, I was talking to some colleagues.  They began sharing about using personal development money (that our organization graciously gives on each stateside assignment and based on the length of your term) to use for marriage retreats and many other things.  One particular lady spoke of Glen Eyrie (pronounced air-ee).
Glen Eyrie is a castle owned and operated by The Navigators, a mission sending agency.  There are several other building on the grounds including NavPress, training facilities for their missionaries, and much more.  The Navigators own almost 1100 acres of beauty in Colorado Springs!!!  And it is just amazing how they are using these grounds to glorify Christ and take His name around the world!!!
You can read about the history of Glen Eyrie by going here
So, back in February I made our reservation at Glen Eyrie for our Marriage GetAway.  This is not your average retreat!  We are talking about a time to truly focus on each other and your walk with the Lord.  The group is limited to 8 couples.  Here is an idea of the schedule:


    * 3-6 Registration
    * 5:30 Welcome reception
    * 6:00 Dinner by candlelight
    * 7:30 Fireside chat


    * 8:00 Breakfast in bed
    * 10:45 Castle Tour
    * 12:00 Lunch
    * 1:15-6:00 Freetime
    * 6:00 Dinner by candlelight
    * 7:30 Fireside chat


    * 8:00 Breakfast
    * 9:00 Group session
    * 12:00 Lunch
    * 1:15-6:00 Carriage rides and free time
    * 6:00 Dinner by candlelight
    * 7:30 Fireside chat


    * 8:00 Breakfast
    * 9:00 Prayer and share time
    * 12:00 Lunch

Each night there was a gift waiting for us on our turned down bed.  The first night was a picnic blanket. 

On our new blanket, eating away!!

 The second night left on our bed was the book “31 Day of Praise”, written by a Navigator missionary by the name of Ruth Myers.  Wonderful book!!  And the third night was Sparkling Apple Cider!!!  Each one of these gifts was accompanied by chocolate as well as little card with our names and a little message for us!!
Our breakfast in bed was a fun treat!  Eggs, sausage and apple-filled crepes!

Glen Eyrie has a wonderful chef who fixed us gourmet meals each night.  The first night was a scrumptious steak, second night we were served bass, and the third night was pork filled with sausage and cheese!!
As I mentioned before the group was limited to 8 couples.  There was also a returning couple.  One that had attended before and came back to help the leaders, so there were 10 couples total.  Because it was a small group, we grew close in those few days.  In our free time we got to go on a horse drawn carriage.  We rode with Steve & Susan and had a great time with them!!

 We saw a bear about halfway up the mountain on our ride!!  What a treat and not seen often!!

 We also used our free time to hike around the property.  My favorite spot had to be Dorothy Falls.  We had to hike through a narrow canyon, crossing the little river over rocks and tree limbs about 15 times!!  It was well worth it once we reached the falls!!

A little glimpse of our room.

 I was a little sad to leave this beautiful setting and the new friends we made, but I was ready to see the kids!! I will definitely have the life lessons, memories and pictures to remind me of this special time!!
And, if you and your spouse are in need of a getaway, check this out!!  It truly was above and beyond our expectations!!!


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