Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Rotary Club - McComb, MS

I am positive that I am going to look back on this post one day and laugh. I already find all of this a little funny, but I'm sure it's going to be hysterical one day.

I had the privilege of returning to my hometown of McComb, MS this morning and speaking to a packed conference room about our adoption, the world's orphan crisis and what AAB is doing for orphans and vulnerable children and families in Guatemala. As excited as I was about being able to share all of this, it was not at all easy for me in the beginning.

God has a sense of humor. Or maybe He didn't hear me when I told Him years ago that I would do whatever He wanted me to do...except fly or speak in public. (Kidding....about Him not hearing me...I really did request the other.)

Is it just me or is it a little funny that He decided to call me to a life that includes flying all of the time and now speaking publicly on a regular basis?

It's almost as if He wants us to trust Him or something. ;)

I won't go into details, but take my word for it...the last 2 days have been ugly and at one point last night, I thought I may need to go to the hospital because I was almost convinced I was having a heart attack (and I wasn't even having a full blown panic attack).

But the day went well and I am so happy that I was able to meet new people that are very interested in supporting AAB in a number of ways and was able to spend a few minutes with some people that I have known my entire life, people that watched me grow up and that want to support us however they can. It means so much to me to hear that people are praying for us, but there is something extra special about having someone that has known you since you were child look in your eyes (some with tears in theirs) and tell you that they are praying...and you know they mean it. I was nervous, of course, but nothing is easier to talk about than your passion, so it ended up not being difficult at all. I think my fear of public speaking will be a little easier to deal with from now on. It may never go away, but I will get through it.

We were blessed today to learn of people that would like to travel with us on upcoming trips (from dentists that would like to do another dental clinic to people that would like to work on upcoming building projects). Our first child at Rehoboth Children's Home is now being sponsored. Several people want to help with fundraising in MS, including working with us on an annual golf tournament there in addition to our annual tournament here. Some people would like to collect/donate supplies, others would like to collect monetary donations and several are planning to try to get speaking engagements at other local churches/organizations set up (which we REALLY need since raising awareness about the orphan crisis is just as important as providing orphan care & prevention). And through it all, at the end as person after person came by to shake my hand and ask questions, people were pulling out their wallets and donating money to help purchase Spanish Bible story books and food baskets or for whatever needs we have for upcoming trips. What a blessing!! I have no idea some of the names of people that placed cash on the table in front of me and then quickly walked away, but if you have found your way here, THANK YOU! We also received a large and very unexpected donation from Day Motors today. Saying "thank you" will never be enough and I am still speechless about it. You will never fully know the impact your contribution will have on the lives of people in Guatemala, but you are making a difference!

Ten years ago when we moved away from McComb, I never would have imagined that I would return to do something like this. I was reminded today that the people that live in the place where I was born and spent the first 20 years of my life are among some of the most kind-hearted, generous people that I have ever met.

Special thanks to Mitch Dorr for his constant support of AAB, for arranging today's presentation and for helping in whatever way was needed. Thanks also to Kori and Kevin Murray for creating today's power point presentation, hand outs and for continuously helping us however you can. You know that I could not have done any of this without you. Love y'all! :)

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