Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Lesson From the Birds

As we enter yet another week of being jobless, I continue to have an unexplainable peace that only God can provide. But, in all honesty, as the days and weeks go by, the gnawing sense of "What are we going to do?" creeps in slowly.

Joe flew to the east coast for an interview this week - and the opportunity is not exactly anything we had ever thought of! Maybe we would have thought of this particular location when it was just Joe and I - and maybe a few of our kids. But, I simply struggle thinking of raising 6 children there.

Other opportunities are not moving our our speed - or more like MY speed. I make decisions quickly and go for it. Nothing is moving quite that way. There are a lot of phone conversations, emails back and forth, but nothing yet that has said, "We want you here and here is the offer."

Bear with me as I make a detour...I was talking with my mom this morning and we were comparing our baby robin experiences. My mom told me that soon after the babies leave the nest, she watches her baby robins follow their momma around, chirping loudly and waiting for momma to feed them. The babies hop behind momma learning how to get a worm for themselves and before long, they babies are off on their own.

I didn't see that with my baby robins. Suddenly, ours were just out of the safety of their nest. I sent the kids outside to look for them, hoping they hadn't fallen out of the nest. When there was no sign of them, we assumed they were off on their own. I missed this part that my mom told me about - never seeing them hop around the yard following their momma. So, this morning, I worried again about these fragile, innocent little birds.

But, as I sat down at my computer to write, I looked out my window and saw one of my babies! I know, you are probably thinking all robins look alike, so how could I possibly know one of the babies! Well, one of the baby robins had this distinct white streak right on the top of his head. And I as I recognized my baby, I saw him hopping around on the ground looking for a worm. His chest is not quite orange yet - and he was following another robin around the yard. I couldn't believe it! I was seeing exactly what I thought I had missed.

God has been using the birds to teach Joe and I through this time. God keeps reminding Joe, "I take care of the birds, I am going to take care of you." Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Matthew 6:26. For Joe, he is reminded of this verse each and every morning as the birds begin their singing around 4:30am. What used to be an annoying wake up call has become a love song from our Father reminding us that God is still watching over us. When we hear the robins sing, an instant peace settles over both Joe and I as we know that our Father in heaven loves us. And then we smile at each other. No words need to be spoken.

As I watched my baby robin hopping around the yard, doing just fine, it was a reminder of how God provides for each and every bird. He is watching over our family, finding us more valuable than the birds, and so He will take care of us.

Our daily battle is to put our trust and our hope in God, knowing He will provide.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

His Great Name

I first heard this song in a tiny, tiny Baptist church in Waverly, Ohio. It was done by a high school girl with a young worship band, but the words pierced my heart.

We heard it on the radio a few days ago and Lincoln yelled from the back of the car, "This is the song we heard at Grandma and Grandad's church!" Obviously, the song spoke to my youngest son as well.

There is one line that says, "The fatherless, they find their rest at the sound of your great name." And as I hear this, I am reminded of how peacefully Anna will sleep in my arms when I begin to sing to her. I sing songs that glorify the Lord, and speak the name of Jesus into her heart, and she always falls peacefully asleep. She has found REST at the sound of Jesus' NAME. A child who had no peace for so can a child who has NO ONE in the world sleep peacefully? Now, she has found rest.

Monday, June 27, 2011

No TV Summer

We are doing it again :)

We did this for three consecutive summers before we adopted George. Now, we are back!

Hip-hip-hooray! We are swimming like crazy, playing badminton and golf with our neighbors, taking long walks, coloring pages upon pages of coloring books, and reading long chapter books out loud.

Last night, Joe and I and our teenage neighbor decided to have a tee-off. We each had 3 golf balls and picked various targets in between our yards that we would target. The closest to the designated target won. The 6 kids gathered behind us and very politely clapped after each good swing. It made me giggle each and every time! And...I won the first round! In fact, all three of us won a round and so we had to have a face-0ff - winner of the final round would "win" bragging rights. Needless to say, this momma didn't win :( In fact, I have been beaten now two nights in a row by our teenage neighbor (Sunday night, he challenged me to a badminton game, beating me by 2)!

The hardest part will be listening to the Brewers on the radio...don't tell the kids, but we kept our TV hooked up in our bedroom just in case we want to catch an inning or two.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Safe Families Update

It has been a long year. It was about this time last summer that I sat in the Mission Cafe meeting with people from the Safe Families national office, talking to them about running Safe Families in Wisconsin. I left that meeting so excited, already planning to talk with various pastors and ministry leaders who I thought would love to hear about this ministry of compassion.

The first road block came in the fall. We met with the state department of Children and Family Services. It was a crowded room in a Senator's office in Madison. Madison's Safe Families filled the room with their people. The national director of SF was there...and I joined the group, taking the last available seat. The head of DCFS looked right at us and said, "You have hit a wall. There is no way you can function in Wisconsin because of the law." His posture and attitude told us this was the end of the road. Period. We left discouraged to say the least.

Soon after that, I met Cherish who needed help. I decided to place her kids and someone from Safe Families Madison called DCFS on me and reported me. This was the first time I experienced the provision of God. Nothing happened. Not even a slap on the wrist. I want to believe that when DCFS called the local sheriff's department to have me arrested, the officer replied, "You want me to do what? Arrest a woman who helped a homeless, jobless pregnant mom find a safe home for her boys to stay while she is looking for a job and a home? Yea...right!"

Elections come in November and the political climate in Wisconsin drastically changed. A freshman Assembly man was voted in and a good friend of his told him about how I had almost been in trouble for helping a mom. He called me to set up a meeting. We met in December - I remember it was a really cold, snowy day and I totally wanted to cancel the meeting and not drive into Milwaukee. But, this was a God-ordained appointment. This Assemblyman said, "I like this ministry. I want to write a bill that changes the law. Are you with me?"

And our legislative battle began. January found us knocking on every single legislators door, telling them about Safe Families and the law we were proposing that would give parents rights they had been denied for decades in Wisconsin. I even met with the Lt. Governor who put her name on the legislation, something that hasn't happened in over 28 years.

Then, the budget repair bill hit. Tens of thousands of people stormed the capitol protesting the governor's plan. National media attention fell on our state, Senators fled to IL, and tensions between the parties hit an all time high. And our little bi-partisan bill fell into the background. I was told to just wait it out.

I begged all my friends in Wisconsin to call their Assembly representatives. Ask them to bring our bill to a vote. In March, we got our committee public hearing in the Assembly. I sat and listened as dramatic Assemblywomen cried out that this bill would allow drug dealers to hand their babies to the pizza delivery man. Thankfully, more logical heads prevailed and we made it through the committee phase and to the floor for a vote. There was a bit of histrionics - including an Assemblyman who actually said that this bill would open up the door to children being abused all over Wisconsin (with enemas and studded belts), but our little bill passed overwhelmingly.

On to the Senate is April. Where it sat...and sat..and sat. We finally got a public hearing in a committee the last Wednesday of the month of May. The testimony of a woman from IL who had used Safe Families to care for her child while she attended drug rehab brought tears to Senator's eyes. The all agreed, Wisconsin would benefit greatly from a ministry like Safe Families.

But then, the Native American lobby started fighting. They want to protect their heritage and culture and were upset at the thought of a non-NA family caring for a NA child. They were willing to "throw the baby out with the bath water", killing the whole bill to protect their children from bonding with a non-NA family. Things looked bleak as this very powerful lobby was bound and determined to kill our little bill. I called for prayer! We prayed our way through a meeting between our Assemblyman and the lobby group. Again...God won and the lobby group backed down (pretty much un-heard of around here!). We were back on track.

Now the committee still needed to vote, so another call to the troops to make phone calls and emails urging the committee to make the vote. They scheduled the vote and it took less than 3 minutes for the committee to unanimously vote in favor of our little bill.

Next is the full Senate vote. But here, we are stalled. So, today I met with the Senate Majority Leader to urge him to bring our little bill to the floor for a vote.

"But, we are focused on the recall elections." (Referring to the 9 Senators that face recalls this summer - back to the budget repair mess).

I know, but there are a few other bills out there that could really use a vote BEFORE the recall elections.

"I don't want to make any over ambitious promises to you."

I know, but you have bi-partisan support. Your conservative base (hint, hint) are all in favor of this bill and are waiting for you to bring this to a vote.

"OK - this is now on my radar screen. But, I can't promise you anything."

So, here I sit after spending 5 minutes with the man who can either bring Safe Families to a vote or put it back in the pile of "To Do" things. He gave me 5 minutes to share the vision of Safe Families, to share that this has bi-partisan support, that there are families waiting! And he didn't tell me anything.

As the rain comes down out my window, I am reminded that God's got this. His timing is perfect, and He is sovereign, sitting on His throne over all of this. I have done all I can do and now I lay my trust completely in God's hands to see what will happen. We will continue to pray and continue to hope.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

So...Here it Goes

So much has been going on in our lives and I have failed to sit down and write about it. Maybe that is because we didn't want to air it all out there, or cause anyone to worry. Maybe it is because I didn't want to face it...and when I write things out, they seem so real.

We are jobless.

We have closed our business.

We are confused.

God so clearly led us to this place in our lives - He put us on a trajectory that included simplifying our lives drastically and impressing upon our hearts the desire to live a missional life. Living this way, I "get" poverty. And I long to serve those who are in poverty. Living this way, I trust in the Lord - not in a bank account or a 401K. Living this way, our family has grown so close to each other.

And now...I don't know if we are going to continue living this way.

We love living this way. We don't want to change.

But, there are no jobs here. So far.

We are not sure what lies ahead for our family.

We DO know that God is WITH US! And we are offering Him everything we are. We are saying YES before we even know where He is sending us. We are in a posture of gratitude - for all that God has taught us over the past few years. We are so thankful for the lessons we have learned and the ways in which we have been changed. We love our lives now.

So, the adventure continues with us! And the world is open to wherever God wants to send us and how He wants to use us.

Exciting stuff!

The American Dream

This morning, I was at an orphan alliance and we began discussing who should adopt, why they should adopt, who shouldn't adopt, why the church needs to work on the preservation of families...all interesting, thought provoking stuff! Then, I watched this video and it made me think even more. Unfortunately, I think some Christians are making adoption sound so simple. And the reality is that adoption is HARD and needs to be done WITH CHRIST.

So..I don't know if YOU should adopt...but maybe watch this video and start the process of thinking if God is asking something more of you. Click here.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day

I love my dad. And I love my husband. Happy's Father's Day to both of you

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Take Heart

John 16:33 "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

One of the reasons Hillsong United means so much to me is the way their worship music ministered to my heart a few months ago. Was it really only a few months ago that I was desperate for God to MOVE in my bring healing to redeem the awful atmosphere in our home? was only a few months ago that the peak of despair grabbed hold of my heart and threatened to pull me under. I was asking people for help, begging for prayer, and willing to do anything to bring peace to my heart and my home.

It was so dark, I didn't think I would ever see the light. And then...I bought the new Hillsong United CD. And I listened. And the first song urged me to take heart.

Jesus told us, this life would have trouble. Right then and there, I was battling so much brokenness. I was drowning in shame and fear and heartache. And as the chorus built, the words, "He has overcome" were banging through my head. Everything I was feeling...Jesus has already overcome it all! It was time for me to accept that...believe it...and live in the justice and strength and refuge of my mighty Savior who has OVERCOME the world!

Jesus has conquered my son's brokenness. Jesus has conquered my selfish love. Jesus has conquered my family's heart ache. Jesus has conquered George's inability to love me. He has overcome!

There is a light
It burns brighter than the sun
He steals the night
And casts no shadow
There is hope
Should oceans rise and mountains fall
He never fails

So take heart
Let His love lead us through the night
Hold on to hope
And take courage again

In death by love
The fallen world was overcome
He wears the scars of our freedom
In His Name
All our fears are swept away
He never fails

All our troubles
And all our tears
God our hope
He has overcome

All our failure
And all our fear
God our love
He has overcome

All our heartache
And all our pain
God our healer
He has overcome

All our burdens
And all our shame
God our freedom
He has overcome

All our troubles
And all our tears
God our hope
He has overcome

All our failures
And all our fear
God our love
He has overcome

God our justice
God our grace
God our freedom
He has overcome

God our refuge
God our strength
God is with us
He has overcome

Hillsong United

We took our oldest three kids to Hillsong United. It was amazing...indescribable. The best part was seeing my children worshiping the Lord, hands raised and tears streaming down their cheeks. This was my favorite part of the the whole thing to get a taste of our night of worship.

Monday, June 13, 2011

New Harry

Harry. My complicated one. The one that challenges my mind. The one that challenges my trust in God. He is fiercely independent, knows what he wants in life and wants to get it. He is also lazy - not a good quality for an independent child.

He is intelligent beyond his years. Sensitive above most middle school boys. Insightful and in tune to issues such as justice, compassion and righteousness. And he questioned his faith in God greatly.

He was NOT content to "be a Christian because Mom and Dad are Christians". I know it is odd for a 6 year old to come out of Sunday School angry, asking things like "How does my teacher KNOW the Bible is the word of God?" and "Why do Christians walk around our church not acting like Christians?" He asked complicated things like, "What if scientific evidence doesn't completely point to evolution, how can I say that was the way the world came to be?" or "Dinosaurs are the coolest thing ever! Why did God want them extinct? Did they co-habitate with people?"

Harry was tormented nightly be horrible dreams. He could never shut off his brain enough to relax and go to sleep. He walks around with dark circles under his eyes and he often steals away to a quiet place to simply contemplate life.

Joe and I prayed over this little boy fervently. We prayed for his spiritual health and we prayed that God would someday use his brilliant mind for His glory. We prayed for protection, especially at night.

We prayed that family would accept him and not make him feel that he is different. And God blessed Joe and I with visions of Harry as we dreamed. He also has spoken to men in my family about how special Harry is.

But, we never knew if this day would come. When Joe and Eleanor chose to be baptized, Harry scoffed a bit and said, "No one is going to tell me when I will do this. I don't know if I will ever be baptized." Joe and I waited.

And then, Harry being Harry, turned in a form at church saying he wanted to be baptized. He didn't talk to us...he didn't ask us..he did it all on his own. He didn't want to attend the "kid class", instead, he entered a room of adults to learn and study believer's baptism. He wrote his testimony on his own, not asking for any help or advice and he reluctantly gave it to me to turn in for him. I promised him I would not put on my "teacher's hat" and try to edit it.

Sunday came and Harry packed his bag, walked to the appropriate room on his own and then began his journey to the pond. What a beautiful day! Sunny skies. Temperatures in the 60s (yes, cold for JUNE!!), and hundreds of members sat on the grassy hill to watch 63 people proclaim their faith in Jesus.

We heard amazing testimonies of adults finally sick of the selfish life they had been living, college students who had made really bad choices, former drug addicts who were ready to be born again, and beautiful people with disabilities who have immense joy in knowing their Lord and Savior!

Harry was number 61. We waited a LONG time to hear his story and watch him be baptized. The speaker began reading his testimony and he shared how he finally chose to believe on the way home from the Dollar Store after talking with me. Funny, I don't remember that conversation - we had so many spiritual conversations in the car! He said that he had so many questions, but he finally decided to JUST BELIEVE. Everyone giggled at the Dollar Store part. And then, the reader went on sharing Harry's words. "On that day, I felt as if an anvil had been lifted off my shoulders and I started calling myself New Harry." The crowd laughed and some cheered.

He walked into the water and the elder said, "New you believe Jesus is your Lord and Savior?" Harry emphatically answered, "Yes."

He went down into the water, and came up (sputtering a bit - and obviously shocked by the cold water!). The crowd cheered loudly! There were some hoots from dear friends of ours and Eleanor and I screamed! Joe was down by the pond ready to wrap his son, New Harry, into a beach towel. They hugged and Harry came to sit next to us, shivering, but smiling from ear to ear.

After it was over, and Harry had dried off and changed his clothes, he said, to me, "Mom...I am so happy. I can't explain it...I am just so, so happy!"

I told him that was JOY. And God is looking down on his son and saying, "I am pleased with you, New Harry."

Thursday, June 9, 2011

End of Another School Year

I just have to brag a little....the kids had amazing years! All three who are in school came home today with several awards. They all received a special award for having straight As all year. My two girls also had perfect attendance! Eleanor received the President's Award for her excellence in school, Harry finally made Student of the Month (which he really wanted) and Isabel received a Superlative in Music Award.

I especially enjoyed reading the signatures in Eleanor's yearbook. I can't even tell you how many 14 year old kids commented on how Eleanor had "changed their lives". It seems that being a light in a crazy place like middle school REALLY does make a difference! On Monday night, the choirs had their final concert and Eleanor very casually said, "I am saying a few words during our final song."

Let me tell you...she had this momma sobbing. I am not kidding, I was sobbing - almost making that awful noise when the cry comes from your gut. This kiddo did not just say a few words...she grabbed the microphone with confidence, strutted her way around the stage and even shouted at the end "Once a panther, always a panther!" to the squeals of sixth, seventh and eighth graders crammed in a sweaty gym. Where did this amazing young woman come from?

Harry has had a tough year. He has faced ruthless bullying. All because he skipped a grade. The crazy thing is he was totally accepted in the beginning of the year as the "new kid". But when kids found out he skipped a grade, he suddenly became the target. Some kids actually said things like, "What are you? Stupid?" I wanted to say, "Uh...what are YOU? Stupid!" The momma bear in me really got angry as I had to watch my boy silently suffer. He DID stand up to a bully one day - confronted him and said he would beat the kid up if he said another word. The next day, Harry was known as the "kid who wanted to beat up an innocent kid". Middle schoolers stink! We kept telling Harry that his worth is not found in the kids at school and this would make him stronger. It was very hard to send him off to school each day knowing what he was facing. Joe and I committed to prayer. We prayed every morning that the bullies would turn their attention away from Harry. Praise God - the last month of school was good! He made some good friends who were sorry the listened to the bullies. Thank you, Lord, the year is over!

Isabel, well..could not be more opposite than Harry! She was Miss Popular! We had a slide show of her year and that kid was in almost every picture! Our little ones are being transferred to another school next year and so she had to say goodbye to her friends. Oh, so many tears! She is a shinning light wherever she goes. I will write tomorrow about the book she wrote! Here's a hint...she wrote about flying to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to feed children with HIV. Now what 3rd grader writes a book about that?

Anna and Lincoln giggled all day thinking about going to school next year as they listened to their brother and sisters tell their stories. George is anxious to get back to school and start making better choices. We have worked so, so hard these last few months. There are days I battle between thinking he has a learning disability and he just hasn't caught up yet. I just can't determine if he will ever be able to learn at the rate my other children can and do. He struggles! And he doesn't understand yet, that learning is a life-long thing! He often says, "I can't wait to stop learning." We tell him often that Momma and Daddy love learning - we read to him, in front of him, we teach our children constantly - but he still doesn't see the value in learning. Is that an Ethiopia thing? Or does he simply not have the ability to go past a certain level of cognitive functioning?

As I just tucked them all into bed, they all smiled and shared that it indeed was a good year. Selfishly, I am happy they are home for the summer. Aquatic we come (if we could only get out of the 60s!)

Happy Summer!!!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Which Daughter is More Beauiful?


Which daughter is more beautiful?

The one with the pale white skin, blond hair and blue eyes? Or the one with rich, dark brown skin, meticulous braids and brown eyes?


I believe most people make a choice as soon as they see my daughters together. One is considered beautiful. The other is considered...well...less than.

I play volleyball every Tuesday night at a complex in Watertown that has 8 sand courts. Over 100 women pour into the complex each Tuesday night ready to play a competitive game or two. There is a playground adjacent to the courts where many children play while their moms sweat it out on the sand. My children look forward to the scene each week.

But last night, something happened.

Isabel and Anna were playing happily when a little girl of about 5 years old asked Isabel to play.

She asked, "Will you play with me?"

Isabel answered, "Sure. And this is Anna. We can all play together."

"Ewwww. She is black, I don't want to play with her."

Shocked, my two daughter stood there speechless as the little girl then ran away.

Now I know why my kids came to sit court side for most of the evening.

I now this happens all the time. George has been called names and he has been stared at and he has been pointed at. And every time, I get angry! Now, Anna is facing it.

We tell our children all the time how incredibly beautiful their skin is. And in all honesty...I wish I had George's skin! He doesn't get red, bumpy mosquito bites. He doesn't get red and blotchy when he is hot. His skin is buttery smooth to the touch and he has natural defenses against getting sun burned. We have talked to our "white" children (come on...are they really WHITE?) about how they should view other people by ONLY their character - not their skin color. My older two have been called "cool" by the African American kids at the middle school because they never make a big deal about skin color. And.. they have even talked about someday maybe dating or marrying someone of a different race or color (when the time is right).

I hate racism.

Racism took a beautiful little girl and made her too ugly to play with. Racism causes neighbors to buckle when they have to touch my children. Racism puts up a wall around our family when we walk into a restaurant.

Parents....please teach your children! Please teach them to be a voice on the playground or on the bus or in the school that sticks up for my children. It is not enough to not say something mean. What we need more of is children (yes children!) who will say, "Stop! You are being so stupid!" to the little girl who says she can't play with a girl because she is black. If more kids stood up to the kids who say crappy things, maybe they'll stop saying the crappy things.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Inspiring Katie

It's been a while since I reminded you to read Katie's blog...It is worth a reminder and a visit. Enjoy, be inspired and be moved to action. Click here.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Honeymoon is Over

I love honeymoons - or at least the thought of them. We didn't go on one, but the thought of everything being happy sunshine and unicorns is pretty wonderful.

Anna has been home for 5 weeks and we have 4 weeks of happy sunshine and unicorns. We knew it was a honeymoon period and we knew it would wear off and I am happy to report, the honeymoon is over.

Happy, you ask? Yes! It is so much better when adoptive families start the real work of being a family. It is better when the child starts showing her true personality and quirks and colors. That means she is starting to trust us...and it means we can start truly parenting her.

Anna hasn't been parented much - that is obvious. Initially, when we would discipline her, she would crumple to the floor and cry for hours. She was so hurt - and I am sure she was scared that the discipline meant we would be sending her away. I think she is starting to understand that we are totally committed to her. We tell her every day that she is our daughter forever. After each discipline moment, we tell her again and again how much we love her and how she always going to be with us.

So, what does Anna do that requires discipline? Mainly, she doesn't listen. And I am not sure how different that is from most 5 year olds, right? Anna has a hard time doing something the first time we tell her to do something. She listens after the 3rd or 4th time which doesn't fly in our family - we talk a lot about "First Time Obedience" (not very popular with our kids, but we stick with it!). So, Anna gets "in trouble" for not practicing first time obedience. Again...nothing out of the ordinary for a 5 year old!

Anna also wets her pants...every day. me, this is not unusually considering the circumstances around when she wets her pants. She is always outside playing with her siblings, she is always having fun, and she is always on her way to the bathroom when it happens. To me..nothing alarming here...just teaching her that she needs to go potty BEFORE it is too late. I know she doesn't want to go inside and miss out on the fun. Many of my kids are done this.

But...she lights up a room with her smile. Her beauty is incomparable. Her laugh is infectious. And she loves without hesitation.

The honeymoon is over...and I am so glad it is!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A Placement....Sorta

About a week ago I got a call from the National Immigrant Justice Center in Chicago - as the name and number flashed across my cell phone, I have to admit I wondered if I was suddenly in trouble with one of my African babies.

No, it was a woman who had just rescued two kids from human trafficking who had heard about Safe Families and wondered if we could talk. After a long undercover investigation, the NIJC had rescued a 20 year old girl and a 16 year old boy who were originally from India. For the past two years, they had been "living" on the east side of Milwaukee as slaves. The girl was forced to work 17 hour days, and then regularly beaten. Food was often with-held from both of them. They never had even a dime in their pocket. The perpetrator kept complete control over the kids for over 2 years as they lived in fear and despair.

Now, they are free. But where do they go?

Safe Families!

Because of the ages of the kids and because the federal government is involved, we did not need to worry about the state law in Wisconsin that says no one can help a child except the state social system. The FBI said, "Place the kids!" So...I found a family.

And this is how God works well ahead of us! The family that opened their home has kids the same ages! The family that opened their home has done mission work in India! The SF mom emailed me Monday night saying that as she was writing the email, she could hear all four of her "kids" laughing and talking in their rooms. Many tears have been shed - tears of joy and gratitude. The kids attended youth group on Sunday night and were amazed at what they were hearing and seeing.

THIS IS Christian hospitality! This is the church stepping up to do what is right and just!