Thursday, December 18, 2008

Around New York

Well we've been in New York for a week- and praise God all our kids are now healthy! Thanks for your prayers-- all was looking better after we arrived in Rochester last Thursday night and a good night's sleep did everyone good. For the last week we were based out of Rochester, NY and made trips to Syracuse, Utica, Buffalo and Binghamton. If I said we were doing a lot of driving that would be an understatement. We are doing a LOT of driving. Did I mention several of our kids get car sick easily?
After our performance in Buffalo we made a trip to one of the wonders of the world- Niagara Falls. It was pretty spectacular and also pretty darn cold. We lasted for all of 10 minutes enjoying the beauty of the falls before we dashed back to the car to warm up. For many of the kids it was the first time ever seeing a waterfall, let alone one of the wonders of the world! So great.

Tomorrow we head on to our last stop...Philadelphia. 4 more performances and then we fly out on Tuesday- the group back to Kiev, while I'll be heading home for Christmas with my family.

As you can see I've "re-vamped" my blog a bit. I had a few hours on my hands tonight and figured I'd get creative. I've also given my blog a new title- "beauty from the ashes"-- this reference comes from Isaiah 61, and is a passage I memorized with my small group this fall. It reminds me of who Jesus is - how he is actively restoring beauty to the hurt and the dark places in all of our lives. Perhaps I see that hurt and darkness amplified in these children as I hear their stories, and the evil things their eyes have already seen- and the utter abandonment that they feel. So thus I am drawn back to this passage again tonight, reminding myself of the work Jesus has called me to and the promises he has for the least of these. I pray that Jesus not only provides families, but brings healing to their lives...and the others around me.

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,

and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the LORD
for the display of his splendor.
Isaiah 61:1-3

4 comments:

Debbie said...

It truly is beautiful how the Lord makes beauty from ashes. I love how He has placed you in Ukraine to see Him make beauty in the lives of the children. I pray we can be part of that too--these kids are on our hearts all the time, and we know God wants us to care for them. We're eager to see how...and we can't wait to adopt three of them into our family if it is God's plan!

Natasha said...

Karen - love what you've done with your blog! LOVE the title, too.
Love to all those kids and to you and the care takers! You guys are awesome, to be out on the road with these kids for so long - how wonderful is it for them?!
Love, Natasha

Heidi and Felix said...

Love the new blog page!!! (Of course!?!) Thanks again for yesterday.

Enjoy Christmas with your family. Take it slow!

Heidi

Stoesz family said...

Karen,
We are so blessed to have you as a friend and a partner with UOO. Thank you for all you do for orphans of the world! I think I read somewhere that you might be passing thru Denver on your way back home? If it works out we will make it work to come see you. I am so excited to see God's hand in Ukraine and all our friends adopting! Merry Christmas!
Love,
Stoesz 7