Monday, March 8, 2010

Devastating News From Close Friends in Morocco

This time last year, we were just moments away from a week long service trip to Morocco. We were called there to help serve the seven foster couples, collectively raising thirty three children. I think I speak for us all when I say that this trip transformed our lives in some way, shape or form if not turn it on its head. The faith of these parents is unlike any I have ever witnessed; faith in the Lord's direction, calling and according provision. I, like many others, was challenged and stretched by their blatant obedience to the call of the Lord.

Today, almost one year later, the Moroccan government, Muslim by law, raided and evacuated all foreign occupants, leaving thirty three children, alone, once again in their short lives. We ask that you join us in ceaseless prayer and fasting for the these children, for the hearts of those involved in the Moroccan government, for the families and parents so quickly uprooted from their lives. Spread the word! Tell what authorities you can get a hold of, write to the press, make a ruckus and continue to lift up these needs to our Father in heaven.

Attached is the most recent press release, please check back here for constant updates and reports.


On Monday, March 8th, Moroccan authorities raided Village of Hope (VOH), a children’s home in the Middle Atlas mountains of Morocco, originally founded by two Americans in 1957 as a home for orphaned children. The authorities arrived during the school day, entered the classrooms and told the adopted children their parents are being told to leave the country and will be leaving the children behind.

In the ensuing chaos, officials told the parents at VOH that they are being expelled from the country because they have been talking to their children about Christianity.

In 2002, the Village of Hope registered with the Moroccan government as an official Christian organization and received permission to talk about Christianity to the children in their care. Under the Moroccan government, it is illegal for anyone to talk about their Christian faith without first being asked. In the case of these parents, they had gotten permission to do so from the government.

As the secret police raided VOH, children cried out hysterically for their parents who were being forced to board a bus to the airport 30 minutes after receiving this news. The authorities are not allowing the parents to take any of the children with them which leaves behind 33 children who were in their care.

The staff at Village of Hope had moved there to dedicate their lives to adopting unwanted and orphaned children. In Morocco, it is only legal for Muslims to adopt children so the parents were acting as “foster parents” but in actuality the children considered them to be their parents.

The staff were told this directive came from the new Minister of Justice for Morocco, Mohammed Naciri.

In Christ,

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Snow Days

So Yesterday was a snow day for the kids and for a few of us.
I think snow days for us are what God had in mind when He asked us to practice Sabbath.
For crazy New Yorkers, for stressed out students and members of the workforce, forcing oneself to take a Sabbath, a REAL Sabbath is near to impossible.
But Yesterday? Yesterday was magic. Yesterday was beauty at it's finest.
Yesterday was one of those days where you've penciled every little detail into your planner and then God throws your plans out of the window with a wonderful Blizzard leaving you guilt free and awe struck.
Yesterday God said "Go play in the snow, you need it". "Rest, you need it" "Spend time with the children, you need it - to see what happy is, to see what carefree is, to see what trust is."
God said "Seek first my kingdom and my rightousness and these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of it's own" Matthew 6: 33-34
Some of you know that I have been stressed out lately - anxious, almost losing my mind.
Yesterday I felt good for the first time in a long time. Last night, I slept better than I've slept in months.

That was the first miracle the snow day brought.

The second miracle was that for the 1st time, ever, I saw people from this neighboorhood act like kids again. I saw teenagers that stopped pretending they were 'hard', that put their walls down for a few hours because little flakes of frozen water and air were falling from the sky.
I saw grown men scream and laugh as they boarded down the hill.
I saw 13 year olds ACT 13 for once.
Yes, there were some whining children, Both Kiwi and Justin were pretty sure they had frost bite.
Yes there were injuries, Mani's lip was bleading at some point.
But all of it was funny, and all of it was sweet and all of it was happy, because yesterday?
Well, yesterday was a day of God.
It was a day of childlike faith.
It was a day of sledding down.
It was a day of letting go.
It was a snow day.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Count Every Day A Blessing

Today, as I was asked to recount my story and how I ended up here, at 321 Beekman Avenue, I couldn't help but marvel at the sovereignty of our Lord. He is so great, so mighty, so all-knowing. He has brought me here and blessed me beyond my wildest dreams and has consequentially shifted my life plans, goals and ambitions. As I struggled to explain the many ways that God has shaped me since moving here, I couldn't help but to come back to the reality that I feel God here, that somehow, He has made himself tangible--in this house, on this block, in these people.

Tonight, as Sara and I sat around a table cloth with girls dressed in princess outfits, sipping tea, I thought that this must indeed be the Kingdom of Heaven. We spoke of our princes back home and our unicorns waiting downstairs, of our shining castles and expensive dresses. As I mentioned the later ballroom dancing that was to take place, Nyah exclaimed "How does it get better than this?!" I simply thought, "It doesn't." It doesn't get better than a weekend full of tea parties and dance parties, sleepovers and home visits. We look forward to the next few days as prayers continue to be answered, as boys sleepover in Harlem with admirable men serving as role models in their daily lives. We look forward to the girls slumbering here, in our castle, with equally admirable women of Christ, and to Kelly headed to Harleysville for a second time.

And while I'm excited about the headway we're making here, the development of our friendships and relationships and ever eager to expand and do more, I am too often grounded by compromise--of money and time and everything in between. I ask you to join us in praying for continued expansion, for a re-establishing a commitment to schedule within our house and community and for continued enthusiasm. I ask that you pray against such compromise of our hearts, of God's will both here and around the world. Furthermore, I ask you to continue to pray for our neighborhood, for the most recent victims of violence, for the police that have re-established their presence and for the disadvantages that our friends are faced with daily.

Finally, I encourage you to find the little girls in your life, to accompany them on an extravagant tea party of your very own and to learn, in the process, everything you've ever needed to know.

Grace and peace,

Friday, January 1, 2010

Check What Our Friends Are Doing!

Happy New Year Everyone!

In the spirit of making resolutions (which I always thought was silly but now am seeing as a chance to set goals for myself especially in my relationship with God and to the world that I actually can try to keep!) I wanted to share something that our super cool friends Whitney and Allie are doing.

They both moved to the city this last May and have quickly become dear friends of ours and these ladies are literally some of my favorites, if I didn't live with the best roommates ever already I'd want it to be these girls. BUT, this is what they're doing: they aren't buying nay new clothes for a whole year! And these girls arent jeans and a t-shirt girls or anything like that, they are for sure the best dressed girls I know, Allie is even starting an internship at Manolo Blahnik! So check out their website and be inspired! (Click the title of this post to link to their site.)