Saturday, April 17, 2010

Time for a little change!

So as you can see my blog has had a little make-over! I decided it was time for a little re-vamping of the blog to keep it interesting and so I got some help from Summer- who did a fabulous job don't you think?! (Thanks Summer!)

The top left picture is an old one...actually 4 years old to be exact! As I was thinking of- and searching for a picture for the header-to sum up what my life is about in Ukraine, this is the picture that I kept coming back to-- a picture that has been dear to me ever since it was taken. It's a picture that often reminds me of the initial calling that God gave me for the orphans in this country-and not only a reminder of that calling- but of God's faithfulness to provide and answer prayers.

The little girl in the picture was named Ira. I met her in the fall of 2004 at the Berdyansk orphanage in southern Ukraine. It was my first time in a large state run institution and I had only been in Ukraine 1 month- still wondering what in the world I was doing here and how on earth I could ever be of use?! But it was on that unexpected little trip that God changed the course of my future.

Through a group of 12-year-old girls, he gave me a new vision- a heart for the fatherless, for adoption and a desire to encourage and support families on their adoption journey. Ira was the first little girl I met that weekend-- at the time she was only 11 years old. She took my hand, and as a result she won my heart. When I returned to Kiev after the few days spent with Ira and her friends I odly discovered a picture of the same little girl- in the trash can in the place where I was living. I still to this day have no idea how that picture got there. It is beyond explanation. But I knew in that moment that I would commit to pray for Ira and pray that a family would come for her. So I taped that little picture into the front of my Bible. I didn't even know if she was available for adoption- I just desperately wanted her to have a family.

Two years later God answered that prayer and an amazing Christian family came to adopt Erin. I still stand in awe of God's all the details!! So the picture I chose for the blog is a reminder of that faithfulness. A reminder that this work is not in vain...that the Lord does hear, he does answer....and he truly does restore beauty from where ashes remained.

2 weeks ago I had the joy of being reunited with Erin here in Kiev! On a mission trip with her family and ministry partners, she returned to Ukraine for the first time since her adoption. As you can see, she's grown a bit since the last time we were together in Ukraine! Now a beautiful young woman. It still amazes me the way that our God weaves stories together. The way he uses his children to be apart of his work and the way he blesses us with the ability to see the realization of answered prayers.

So the picture is a reminder that I need to keep praying. Because honestly I can often forget. Or maybe it isn't that I forget- maybe I am just tempted to give up. When I feel like nothing is changing or I'm not seeing breakthroughs- it's easier to give up.

But then I remember little Ira. And I'm reminded that she is now Erin. And that gives me hope and challenges me to keep praying for the other kids I meet along the way.


Ashley said...

Great story, Karen! So encouraging.

Iryna said...

haha I am in 3 of your pictures in the blog I feel popular haha!!!!! I like the picture of you and me and the skin color church but the other one not so much!!!

Evie's Story said...

What a precious story. God in so many details over the years! What a sweet, sweet girl who must be SO blessed to have you in her life!

I LOVE the facelift. Nice! Summer does beautiful work, doesnt she? It looks very you!!!

did I see a facebook picture that you had SNOW there?
I wont rub it in, but we were in the lake this weekend:-)
Miss and love ya girl!

MamaPoRuski said...

Beautiful! The story and the blog update. Praying for you today to have further effectiveness in your work for God's kingdom!

Natasha said...

Hey there sis! I read most of your blogs from work (through Google Reader) so I can't comment since I can't get onto blogger.
Just saw the new look - VERY NICE!!! And as always - LOVE what you do and love Iryna's story. Sure gives me hope for my little fiery princess. :) I just told her tonight that we're going out tomorrow night, to celebrate her 1st Birthday. I could tell she was VERY excited but didn't want to show it - ya know, she's all grown up now, so showing excitement would be very embarrassing. :) I'll even bring a gift for her. :)

Love you... I've got so much going on, but I hope to catch up with you after your big weekend!!!


kkrombein said...

Very encouraging--thanks for sharing. We're praying too. :)