Saturday, May 2, 2009

Christian Alliance of Orphans Summit, Dallas Texas

I guess I didn't realize that I would really not be anywhere near a computer all week !! Wednesday at noon time I headed out for Dallas Texas for the 5th CHRISTIAN ALLIANCE for ORPHANS Summit, a two day conference full of wonderful speakers, informative break-out sessions, wonderful praise and worship music and even more superlative fellowship!!!!!!!!!!! is the link for the organization's web site if you'd like to go take a look. This group is one committed to advocating for orphans and for connecting The Church to resources it needs "to care for orphans...through adoption, domestic foster care, and international orphan care" and is comprised of various agencies and foundations all focused on orphans, either by way of making needs known, teaching how to get involved on a number of levels as an advocate, and even as those who help families to finance portions of their adoption costs, as well as "we folks" who have a passion for seeing God "set the solitary in families" as adoptive parents and advocates and sharers of our was an amazing gathering of people from all over the United States and the world!! One of the speakers was a young man who was adopted as a teenager from Liberia. His testimony was such a blessing! Another lay speaker was a young woman who was raised in US foster care and is now active in advocating for Foster care as part of the Foster Care Alumni Association. Pastor Tony Evans was the closing night key note speaker, with a variety of other dynamic speakers in the main sessions and the many break-out sessions offered over the course of the two days . I will be processing for a long time to come, information from my notes and the copies of sessions which I purchased!
In addition to all that wonderful activity and knowledge gathering was the super experience of getting to meet several dear sisters in the Lord whom I've been "internet friends" with for several years as part of an online prayer and praise and fellowship group. What a treat to get to pick up, at the airport, two sisters I had never met face to face until Wednesday night!! (much more about that in another post!!!) Next day I got to meet HollyAnn who is our Addy's Hope agency owner (and her dh, John too) as well as the US staff of Beacon House, whose organization we thought we would be adopting in Ghana from......but not............. I got to see other people meet face to face, those with whom they had only ever communicated by internet or telephone for years as well. There were some extremely precious meetings and reunions which blessed me to just be a bystander to!!! A treat was that Emily Chapman Richards, daughter of Steven Curtis Chapman, was a break-out session speaker and my friends Kari, Mandy and I got to eat lunch with Emily, pray with her and get to know her personally just a bit. (She is also a very good speaker and representative for Show Hope, the Chapmans' fund raiser organization and orphan advocacy group) Because Kari knew Jo Jo, the young woman who spoke about life in Foster Care, we got to know her a bit as well................the stories go on and on!!!!!
What was the ONE thing that impressed me most, that God spoke to me about most deeply? I think it was probably the statement that "the adoption culture is NOT a ministry program but an arena for spiritual warfare" and that we meet Jesus in face of His most desperate disguise when we see the face of the orphan." My favorite session????????????? A theology based session actually; entitled "Orphan Care, Adoption, and God's Story of Redemption" which could also be called Restoring Shalom"... defined as the webbing together of God, humans, and all creation in justice, fullfillment and delight ... the way things OUGHT TO BE.
Not feel good stuff to be sure: challenging and convicting, and much to be pondered for a long time!!


Blessed Mom of 8 said...

WOW! Sounds great!

Praising God for the wonderful trip you had and all the divine moments He presented you with!

Can't wait to hear more!

I miss you and love you,

love2bmom said...

Wow, sounds like a wonderful opportunity, and just what you needed! Wish I could've met you there!

Love ya,