Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Children Without Birthdays

     My childhood was lived with one major reference point. My young life was lived by the standard one day set for me. It was the best day every year. It was the first date I memorized. It told me how I should act, and how I should live in relation to other children and their own spacial date. I counted down from it and up to it. As soon as the day passed I started looking forward and planning for next year’s special date. 
     It was, of course, my birthday. I, like most children, lived life by birthdays. They told me which children were older, and which were younger. My birthdays were markers for things I could and could not do. When I turned a certain age I had certain privileges and responsibilities I didn't have before. My birthday was always the best day of the year. It was a day I was celebrated. It was a day I was reward for being born. For being alive. Celebrating a child’s birthday makes them feel so valued. So loved. Celebrating a child’s birthday tells them their life matters. Their existence is important. There are no happier creatures on earth than children on their birthdays. 

     Which is why, of all the things I’ve seen in India, and all the tragedies I’ve witnessed working with slum children, one of the most inexplicably heartbreaking things I’ve learned about the children’s lives is that almost all of them do not know their birthday, or even their age. At first I couldn’t figure out why it bothered me so much. Of all the poverty, diseases, tragedies, and abuses they have lived through, why did the absence of a recorded birthday step on my heart?
     But imagine growing up with parents who didn’t value you enough to even record the day you were born. It means the beginning of these children’s life wasn’t even significant to their parents. That the day they took their first breath was no more special or sacred than any other day in their slow and tragic trek through life. But in all honesty, and to be fair, their parents don’t know their own birthdays either. They don’t know the current date, and lots of them don’t even know the year. Why does it matter when every day is the same as the one before? 

     But these children without birthdays do matter. They are special. And unique. And valued. They are precious. And they are beautiful. God formed them. He created them. He knows them. He loves them. He yearns for them. They are more than just sad statistics. They are more than the sum of their needs, or their problems. They are more than their circumstances. They are people. And their lives are sacred. 

     The idea of children without birthdays may seem foreign, or tragic, or even difficult to comprehend to you in the West. But we, as Americans, have our own children without birthdays.    
    Nearly 60 million of them. Children who are not valued. Children whose lives are not viewed as sacred, but seen as a burden on society. Children seen only as a problem. Children who are unwanted, unvalued, unplanned. Children who people say would be better off unborn. Better off without a birthday. 

     And so we, as a nation, legally protect the “right” of Doctors to rip these children from their mother’s womb, dismembered and desecrated, because they were not wanted. 

      There are people who believe it’s better this way. Better to stop a life before it gets in the way of someone else’s. People who says it’s better than for them to grow up with needs or in poverty.

      It’s not true. Every person has rights. Every person deserves a chance. My student Guma doesn’t know how old she is, what day she was born, or for certain who her father is, but that doesn’t mean she is not precious. It doesn’t mean it would be better if she never existed. She is learning english and how to clean houses so she can have a fighting chance to escape the Jangpura district slum. And she deserves that chance. Pursuit of happiness is a basic human right. People deserve the chance to fight for happiness. They deserve the chance to rise out of their circumstances. To overcome their weaknesses, and find joy amidst whatever lifestyle they are born into. 

     There’s a line from a Dirty Guv’nahs song that says “I believe in right and wrong. I believe that no one is born to lose.” And it’s true, but what about the people who don’t get to be born at all? 
     The 60 million innocent victims of American abortion aren’t just babies. We haven’t only killed babies, we’ve killed the adults they would’ve become. We’ve killed doctors, and statesmen, and artists, actors, writers, and musicians. We’ve killed architects, we’ve killed philanthropists, we’ve killed teachers, and missionaries, and mothers and fathers. Maybe we’ve killed the future President, or the next great American novelist, or the person who would cure cancer. We denied them the right to live. To make choices. To pursue happiness, even if their circumstances made it difficult.  We didn’t just stop babies from being born, we stopped the from growing up.We stopped them from having birthdays. 

      Every person deserve a chance at life. Every person deserves the chance to face the world. Every child deserves to be remembered. Every life is valuable and sacred. Whether they are a child dreaming the way out of a New Delhi slum, or in the womb of a mother who didn’t ask for them, every child deserves a birthday. 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Rend My Heart

This city breaks my heart a thousand ways to Sunday. It’s broken when I see little boys acting out a skit of the Good Samaritan, and knowing all too well what a beating looks like. And when a beautiful teenage girl asks me which brand of whitening cream I use, because society has taught her to despise the color of her own skin. And when people make long barefoot pilgrimages to the temple of the God of death carrying their sick child, so they can pray He will spare them. And when children tap on my car window, intentionally maimed to be more lucrative at begging.  And when impoverished, painfully malnourished people give their last bit of food to a sacred cow for good Karma. And every morning when I hear my neighbor’s emotional prayers sung to a God with no ears. And when the sun begins to set and the homeless begin bedding down on sidewalks and street corners, frail old men, young mothers with small children, and everyone in between. How many times will I have to see the inside of a slum before it becomes normal

I worry that it’s going to take away a piece of me. I worry about my heart being hardened. Because I don’t ever want to get used to this, but I worry there’s only so many times the same things break your heart before eventually it just gets hard. 

I was riding in the car with two girls, one a native of Delhi and the other a foreigner like me. When we stopped at a red light we heard the all too familiar tapping and saw a little boy about six motioning for us to give him money.  “Is it hard to drive with kids like that in the streets?” My foreign friend asked the native. “What kid?” was her only reply.  She had been around tragedy her whole life, and so she simply stopped seeing it

“I wonder how many people I’ve looked at all my life and never seen.” -John Steinbeck 

In this vastly over-populated city, I don’t ever want to reach the point where I look at people and stop seeing human beings.I don’t ever want to reach the point where I look at needy people and all I see is their needs. I want to see the image of God in people. Even if they’re poor. Even if they’re ugly, or mean, or sick, or dirty, or different than me. I want to love them like God loves us; in spite of our brokenness. I want to be soft. I want to be naive. I want to be different than the cold, hard, survivalists this city breeds. I don’t ever want to withhold love from someone because I’m afraid of getting my heart broken. I don’t ever want to be afraid of becoming attached to someone or too involved in their life or their problems. I want to love people and not  be afraid to getting my hands dirty. 
I want to give, live, and thrive. I want to love people, and I want to never stop. 

“How can you love ignorant, brutish people whom you don’t even know? Can anyone love filth and squalor? Or lice and rats? Who can love aching weariness and carry on working in spite of it? One cannot love these things. One can only love God, and through His Grace come to love His people.” -Sister Monica Jone, The Midwife by Jennifer Worth 

It’s the Lord who gives me love. It’s the Lord who soften my heart to the breaking point with compassion. The things that break my heart are the very same things that break His. God holds my heart, and if he uses this city to break it, it’s only because He’s going to stitch it back together again into a better shape than before

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Love, Courage, and Germs

“There is plenty on this earth to suit our needs. There will never, ever be enough to satisfy our greed. Weigh this heavy on me now till I can hardly breath. Love through me. I’ve never gone a day without a meal because I couldn’t afford it. Or stood on a corner and begged for pennies holdin’ out a sign. Well call me blessed, but it sure does feel pathetic when children around the world are hungry now. So would I give up pillows and cable, clothing and candy, if a boy could rest his tired bones? Would I lay down making all this money, just to have my milk and honey, if my fellow man could get the chance to watch his children grow. There is plenty on this earth to suit our needs. But there never ever be enough to satisfy our greed. Weigh this heavy on me now till I can hardly breath, love through me. Love through me. I feel in the right, self justified. Giving coins away. But what about the time I considered mine not tomorrow but right now, today.  Clothe the naked, feed the hungry, welcome strangers. Get up and open your eyes. So would I give up  pillows and cable, clothing and candy, if a girl could have some more to eat. Would I lay down making all this money, just to have my milk and honey, if my fellow man could get the chance to hear about the king? There is plenty on this earth to suit our needs, But there will never ever be enough to satisfy our greed. Weigh this heavy on me now till  can hardly breath, love through me. Love through me. And help us see, our eyes are weak. Help us, please, love through me. Love through me.

It’s easy to care, but its hard to do something about it. It’s easy to look at pictures of scrawny brown kids sitting in dusty poverty on your laptop, and shed a sympathetic tear; but it’s also easy to move to your next search window and finish your $4 coffee. It’s easy to feel inspired looking at an uplifting quote overlaid on a picture of a sunset; but it’s also easy to keep scrolling through your Facebook feed for another half hour. It’s easy to feel discouraged about the number of displaced children in your community, it’s hard to actually give the effort to make a difference in the life of one of them. It’s hard to let things change you. To not only make you feel inspired, but to be inspired to action. It’s messy to care enough about people to do something to help them. 

Whenever I get home from working at a charity school in a New Delhi slum I feel filthy in a way I’ve never known before. The children are so dirty. And the more they love you, the dirtier they make you. The more the rub up on you, give your cheeks sloppy kisses, sit on your lap, hold your hand, stroke your hair, the more they share their filth with you. The more we love each other, the filthier we get. But it’s like that to love needy people. It’s messy. It’s complicated. It’s easy to say let the little children come to me, until you’re being nuzzled by one with open infectious sores, matted eyes, and lice. 
People are messy. And the needier they are, the messier they are. And way too many times we let that scare us away. We’re afraid to get entangled in other people’s problems, frightened by the possibility that God might call us to something uncomfortable. He might ask us to give up just a little too much. So we shut our eyes. We give our ten percent every sunday afternoon and we self-justify to smooth our ruffled conscience. We make the best excuses. 
Why are we so scared to follow a call to give like crazy and love even when it gets messy? There’s a whole world out there of people who need to be loved and adventures that need to be had. The call of a radical life should be exciting and, yes a little bit scary, but all the best things in life are. God doesn’t want His people stagnant, clean, and comfortable. The other day in a bible study I was trying to explain to a guy who was just learning English what David meant when he said he was a sojourner. After a bit of explaining His eyes lit up a bit with understanding and he said “Oh you mean a Nomad.” We’re called to be sojourners. Nomads. Hopeless wonders on the earth. Because it’s not our home. Our houses aren’t our home. Our stuff isn’t our stuff. Our money isn’t our treasure. All of that is waiting in heaven. All we have now is what God has loaned us for a bit to see what good we can do with it for the little while we’re here. 
But that’s not how we treat it. 

The average American spends roughly around $850 on soda, $1,100 on coffee, $348 cable, $408 on tobacco, $300 on jewelry, $1,452 on clothes in a year. In 2013 the average American high schooler spent $1,139 on prom. And yet we pour a bit of water on our heads in the middle of summer to avoid giving money to charity and feel like we’ve actually done something. We click share on a video or news article and pat ourselves on the back. Good for us. If only they awarded Nobel Peace prizes for slacktivism. 
How much do you do? Really?

“I do not believe one can settle how much we ought to give. I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare. In other words, if our expenditure on comforts, luxuries, amusements, etc, is up to the standard common among those with the same income as our own, we are probably giving away too little. If our charities do not at all pinch or hamper us, I should say they are too small. There ought to be things we should like to do and cannot do because our charitable expenditure excludes them.” ~C.S. Lewis 
Do you ever find yourself saying, I would buy X, but i’ve given away too much money to be able to afford it now. Do you have to turn down a social event, vacation, or outing, cause you’v made a commitment to give your time to a worthier cause? Modern American society lives in an abundance that I can only describe as embarrassing. We are one of the most abundant, wealthy, and prosperous nations in the history of the world. And what's more we claim to be a Christian Nation. But really, what do we, as a society, actually do to make the world a better place? 
"If this is going to be a Christian Nation that doesn't help the poor, either we've got to pretend that Jesus was just as selfish as we are, or we've got to acknowledge that He commanded us to love the poor and serve the needy without condition, and then just admit that we don't want to do it." ~ Stephen Colbert
“Then Jesus said to His host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the Righteous” Luke 14:12-13
That poor, lame, crippled, blind guy isn’t exactly the most fun dinner guest.That homeless man on the corner, that socially disordered pre-teen at the children’s home, and the single mom from a trailer park aren’t exactly going to look so great at your brunch. The Africans dying of Ebola, and the member’s of Christ’s body being slaughtered in North Korea, the middle east, and Africa sure can’t do a whole lot for you in return. 

“It’s not that we don’t know or we’re not shown the proof of poverty. its not that we don’t have the tools to go to break this yoke of slavery. We quit because it’s not an easy fix, and then forget that they are even there. We forget to care.2

Sure you feel sorry for these people. You wouldn’t be human if you didn’t. But they and the millions of others just like them need more than your compassion. They need more than the pity of an elite caste thousands of miles away. They need food. They need clothes. They need books. They need clean water and schools.They need teachers and doctors and nurses. They need mommies and daddies. They need people to be willing to give more than menial monthly check to a handful of organizations. Will you help them? Will you actually sacrifice something to give more to them than you previously thought you could? Will you give them a month, a summer break, a semester or even a year? Will you buy a plane ticket for someone who will? Will you take them into your home, call them son or daughter, adopting them as God adopted you? Will you give until you’re uncomfortable, so they can live life a little less miserable? Will you give up coffee or cable, so that they can have water and an education? Will you be willing to get dirty, to show them the love of the one who can make them clean? 

Will you be humble enough to actually do something? To follow the footsteps of Jesus, breaking molds and conventions, to love the people who most need it? To not just be inspired, but inspired to action?

1 Jenny And Tyler, Love Through Me
2 Jenny And Tyler, Faint Not 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Month One: Grace amidst the darkness


Want to hear something crazy? I've been in New Delhi for a month. A full month. It's gone by so fast. It's easy to slip into a routine, work hard, play hard, and forget that what's become your everyday hustle is something you only dreamed about months before. What I do now everyday are things that were totally alien to me not that long ago. It's easy to accept a routine and forget what it took to get you there. And it's not until I stop and talk to friends and family back home that I realize just how "foreign" this place is; and how crazy it is that I'm even here at all. And then that made me think, "how foreign and crazy would my daily routine back in the states be to the people over here." I pictured myself telling a slum child what was my "normal."

I wake up to begrudgingly to an alarm from my smartphone. My room is air-conditioned in summer and heated in winter. After I wake up I open a fully stocked fridge to make a huge breakfast my family will sit around the table and enjoy together. Then I take a hot shower. I use soap, shampoo, and conditioner. I brush my teeth and I leave the water running. I blow dry my hair, and if I'm gong somewhere special I might even use a curling iron. Already I've used more electricity than they'll use in a month and it's not even 10am.  I bet that kid wouldn't even believe me. It's a fairy tale, they would tell themselves. They live in a one room shack in the middle of a garbage dump. They eat one meal a day, if they're lucky. The own one set of clothes and share a water source with the whole community. They've never seen the inside of a restaurant or even a bathroom. If they are able bodied they work sun up to sun down scavenging the garbage dump. If they are too young, too old, or too crippled to do that, they beg for money on the busy street, dashing away when the light turns green. I've been here a month and I have never seen someone give anything to a beggar.

They are filthy. They are wild. They are ignorant. They are sick. They are selfish.
And they are beautiful.  They are loving. They are energetic, and spastic, and affectionate. They come with diseases. They come with infections. They come with blackened eyes and matted hair itching with lice. They come for love. They come for Jesus.

It's easy to see the result of the fall in a New Delhi slum. It's easy to see the depravity of man, and the hardening of mankind's hearts.
But if you look for it, you can also see the image of God too.
I can see it when Guma gives her last bit of food to her baby sister, La Lita. I can see it when Karen comes bursting in the door strutting with pride because he got a pair of pants. He's a seven year old boy and he's thrilled because he got a change of clothes. I can see it in the wonder and acceptance in their eyes when the stroke my fair skin with curiosity and try to wipe away my freckles. I can see it in their gratitude. I can see it in their openness. And I can see it in their joy.

They do manual labour in a garbage heap in 115 degree weather with 80% humidity. But every Friday night they come together and they worship Jesus. They sing, and smile, and clap their hands. And then they sit and listen to the wondrous story of Jesus.

Here's the beauty of God's Grace: it called me out of an upper-midde class home in Walnut Ridge Arkansas, and it calls them from a garbage dump in New Delhi. God offered His marvelous Grace to me, just as He offered it to them, and offers it to you.
There is no difference. 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Guess what?

Days one and two

     Guess what? I’m in Delhi. Surprised? Yeah, me too. 

     Sometimes God doesn’t give us a plan, or a schedule. But just because we can’t always see the path doesn't mean there isn’t one. I reapplied for a visa, got it super quickly, raised enough money for my ticket, and booked a flight all in just a few weeks. If God wants you somewhere, He’ll see to it you’re able to go. Maybe not the way you imagined, or in the timing you thought was best, but if you trust the Lord and not yourself, he’ll direct your paths. 

     Day one was an adventure. It got off to an adrenaline filled start with a concern at the last minute that i might not have all the paper work necessary to fly. Apparently back in mom’s day, one had to have a birth certificate copy to fly internationally.  I sat in the back seat of the families suburban and prayed that I would have everything I needed. And also resigned myself to the fact that if anything stopped me from getting on that flight, then probably it just wasn't supposed to happen. It was now or never. And of course it all blew over and was a false alarm. I said my goodbyes and was on my way.

     My only layover was in Newark, New Jersey. Let me tell you, that airport is ratchet. Total sketchville. Crowded and dirty and poorly laid out. I felt like i was in the ghetto, not an airport. So I sat in one of the restaurants eating what will be my last Cheeseburger for a while (they worship cows over here, as opposed to america where we worship T-bone steaks) and the guy at the table next to me was practicing his english. Awe, maybe I could welcome him to America give him a few pointers. His next phrase he practiced: “Are you at least 18 years or older?’ yeah, maybe I’ll just leave him to it…
Traveling alone is a little scary, I felt completely vulnerable for my whole 24 hour trip. And it didn't help the fact that the guy setting next to me on the plane watched Prisoners ( a movie about child kidnapping) at least two if not three times in a row. yeesh. 

     But I landed safely, picked up my baggage, went through immigration and customs, and didn’t even get kidnapped or anything. 

     So that’s the story of how I got to India, and this crazy, beautiful, dirty, crowded, noisy, exotic city called New Delhi. 

     Here’s a thing about indian people. Concepts like privacy, curtesy, and person space, are pretty much nonexistent here. They stand uncomfortably close to you, ask you personal questions, cut in front of you in line, and reach out and stroke your hair when they think you are sleeping on the plane. Being raised in the American South, all that takes a little getting used to. 
But it’s amazing here. It’s hot and the air is thick with humidity and the smell of curry in the day and jasmine in the night. 

     The family I am staying with are some of the most sweet, unassuming, hospitable and all around Christ like people I have ever met. I am so so glad the Lord lead me to them, and I know this will be a tremendous adventure. 


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

This Too is from Him

The Story
     Have you ever had your worst nightmares come true in exact order? Ever had a small nagging worry that you just brushed off and tried to quiet until you came to a point you couldn't ignore it any more? Ever had your best laid plans crumble and fall like well lined dominoes? 
      As many of you know, I’m “supposed” to be in India right now. But I’m not. So here’s the whole, long, messy story. 
     An American Citizen must obtain a Visa before entering India. No big deal. They purportedly hand out six months tourist visas like they just became legal. Just alot five to ten business days for processing. So the first of the month I filled out a veritable mountain of paper work. and shipped it off to a company outsourced by the India Consulate to handle this type of thing. I was planning on spending five months in New Delhi, and a Visa expires exactly six months from the day it’s granted. So I mailed mine in a little less than a month from my planned departure date. But here’s the kicker. They always tell you not to book any tickets or reservations until you have your visa in hand. But I (always overly self-confident and seeking to drive a bargain) was watching flights and waiting for a dip in prices. And when the opportunity came, I seized it. I booked a ticket with out a visa. Little rebel me. And I “saved” a pretty penny doing it. 
     Fast forward a few weeks, and the company was still “processing” my application. Now I’m getting a little antsy. I send an email, just to check on things and to still the doubt in the back of my mind. I didn't really think anything could stop me from going. After all I was supposed to go. I knew. I was sure that God wanted me to go to India and serve those little girls in a big city. That was my calling, and I never for a second doubted it. The closer it came to my departure date the more frantic I became. I prayed more for that Visa than I have probably prayed for anything in my life, I’m ashamed to say. I was worried sick. I couldn't eat, I couldn't sleep. I called the company. Spent hours upon hours on hold with them every day for more than a week, never to speak to an actual person. They never even responded to any of my emails. 
     All this time I have been checking the tracking number on my return package. Then a couple days before my flight leaves I see it! They’ve shipped it. Finally. So this was a little scary, the package was supposed to arrive the morning before I leave. But I trusted God to take care of that. It would be my miracle. Crazy, stressful, and incredibly nerve-wracking. But He could do it. And it’d sure make a good story.
     Thursday morning my dad’s buddy who’s a postman (hurray for small town connections) called dad and said the package dad asked him to look out for had come in. It was my miracle. God delivered it on time. So dad and I drive down to the post office. I’m so excited. I’m going to India. The reality starts sinking in now. In a few hours I’ll be on a flight from Little Rock to Chicago to London (!) to New Delhi. I’m going on an adventure. 
     Except I’m not. Not today. When I opened the envelope I didn't bother reading any of the papers at the bottom. I went straight for my Passport to find the Visa Stamped on the back page. And it wasn’t there. I dumped all the paper work out on the Post Office counter. It was still all there. My application, and all my paper work. I found it. A little slip of paper “explaining” the situation. The company curtly informed me that their contract with the Embassy had expired as of two days ago and that I should reapply with whichever new company the Embassy chooses next. 
     And that was it. One piece of paper. a few sentences on an official letter head, and no five month trip taking care of children in New Delhi. I gathered up all the papers and climbed into my dad’s truck. Numb. in shock. Ashamed. I couldn't even make eye contact with my own father because I was embarrassed. I should have sent in the application sooner. I shouldn't have booked the ticket until I was sure. I blamed myself. I blamed God. Why did it happen like this? Why would He line everything up perfectly for this trip. Give me so much assurance that it was His Will, only to pull the rug out from under me at the last minute? I didn't understand any of it. Except that I was so disappointed it physically hurt. 
     I called Embassies, Airlines, Government officials, and Missionaries. I couldn’t let it go. This wasn’t supposed to happen. I was supposed to go. I knew it. Why would God close a door He spent months leading me to? 

The Lesson
      Here’s the thing about God’s Will. It’s God’s. Not ours. His ways are not our way and His thoughts are not our thoughts. God is sovereign. He’s in control. He knows what will happen and why. And He works it all out for the good of those who love Him and have been called according to His purpose. Do you know what that means?
      Everything that happens to me is the best possible thing that could happen to me.
Whether I wanted it or not, whether I planned it or not, whether it’s hard or not. Its what’s best. It’s His plan. And I praise Him. I praise Him with a visa or without one. on a Mission trip to an exotic country or in my bedroom typing out a blog post. A.W Tozer said “Outside the Will of God there is nothing I want. Inside the Will of God there is nothing I fear.” Yes, I am disappointed. Of course I am. And there’s nothing wrong with that. I’m also confused. and sad. I’m heartbroken. But I know that there was a reason I wasn’t supposed to board that particular plan on that particular day. Maybe I’ll never know what that reason was. But I don't have to. Faith is being certain of things unseen. I am certain that this too is from Him. And no matter how hard it gets, He is still good. 

The Plan
So now what? What do you do when a door gets slammed in your face just as you were about to walk through it? Well I go back to square one. I prayed for God to direct my paths before India, and I prayed for Him to direct my paths as a plane was taking off for India without me on it. I’m back at square one. A few days after all of this happened I was on the phone with a Missions coordinator choking back tears. I asked Him whether or not i should still try to go to India. I dint know. I knew I still wanted to.  I asked Him how to tell the difference between God saying “No” and God saying “Not yet.” He asked me a few questions about the situation and one of them was 
“Do the Missionaries there still want you, Abigail.” 
“Will they still need you by the time you can plan and execute a second trip.”
“Were you sure it was right before you planned to go.”
“Are you sure you want to go for the right reasons? To serve, and work, and not just to have an adventure?” 
He told me no one could make this decision for me. That it was between me and God. we prayed again, said goodbye, and he hung up the phone. 
And Peace washed over me. I knew. I knew I was still supposed to go. 
     When I told mom that I believed I was still supposed to go she said “Well we’ll just have to pray that if God wants you to go He will give you a way to, financially.” 
that night I was praying for God to move this mountain of the cost of a plane ticket (which had doubled in price since I bought the first one.)
So I asked God to move a mountain. And he handed me a shovel. 
God’s plan is what’s best. Not what’s easiest. So for the next month I am going to be working to earn the money necessary. 
     I am going to need God’s Grace, and you help. If you would like to support me in this, there is several ways you can do so. I will be having a garage sale this weekend, I’d love for you to come out and see if there’s anything you’d like to purchase. It’s Thursday through saturday next to my dad’s office on Abbey Road in Walnut Ridge. I will also be offering swimming lessons and horse riding lessons. Please contact me if there is anyway I can serve you! 

   In short. Plans change. People fall. Life is hard. God is still good.