Redemption: an adoption story
Editor’s note: Renee is mother to 13 children, adopted and biological, founder of the Orphan Justice Center and also full-time staff at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, Missouri. She believes that in any city where there are believers in Jesus there should not be unwanted children. The mission of our lives is to restore broken and discarded children through adoption, prayer, worship, and the Father’s heart.
September 7, 2012 (Bound4Life.com) - This past Saturday my priceless daughter Telma was married to her amazing groom, Isaac. The theme of my heart throughout the entire day was “Redemption.” I have watched this gorgeous daughter of mine transformed from a broken, hurting little girl, into a woman of God who is full of life and hope. I watched her standing beside her Isaac, who has embraced her with the most beautiful and powerful love, and my heart was full.
If you are not already familiar with Telma’s testimony, I want to share it with you so that you can fully understand the magnitude of the power of God in her life to rescue, redeem and restore.
In Telma’s own words:
“My biological father left, after getting my biological mother pregnant. I was born with severe scoliosis, having a 115 degree curvature of my spine. My mother couldn’t handle the stress of taking care of me. After being passed around to several different people who provided shelter, but were not able to care for a child, I ended up doing whatever it took to survive. Alone and unprotected, I learned how to fight on the streets. Looking back, it’s hard to believe the situations I was in, as I defended myself and searched desperately for food.
The one room house I lived in was often used as a place for people to have sex. I would get paid a soda or a bag of chips to be a lookout while various sex acts were taking place right in front of me. One day I met twin girls who told me about this missionary guy with cool hair that was leading worship in my own language. I felt compelled to go and hear him. As I sat with his wife Renee’, and their family, I found out that they were planning on adopting the twins. To the majority of the Marshallese children, all Americans are rich movie stars and I wanted to be adopted too. Two days later, before the sun came up, I knocked on the door of the apartment that they were staying in and asked if I could play with the twins. Not only did I get to play, but Renee’ welcomed me into the apartment for the remaining week they were there. When they had to leave, I was devastated! Renee’ held my face and wiped my tears, promising to find me the help I needed. I didn’t really think it would happen, but Renee’ kept her promise. Six months later, I was part of Renee’ and Derek’s family. The missionary guy with cool hair and the beautiful mom were now my very own parents.
It took awhile for me to realize that I didn’t have to be in charge of me anymore; there was actually a family that wanted to take care of me. It took a little bit before I was free to be me, free to hope for my future, free to feel loved, secure and blessed. There are so many kids that live on the streets in the Marshall Islands, but God knew me and rescued me through two very loving and Christ-like people. When I was adopted by Derek and Renee’, I began to experience what it was to be loved, cherished and valued. In the past few years, God has given me a greater revelation about who He is, as my friend and my Father. God allowed me to experience His amazing love as a daughter and to experience the joy of being loved.”
Telma and her new “Daddy,” developed a very close relationship. She learned to know and understand what the pure love of a father meant. Derek protected her, nurtured her and taught her all about the love of her Heavenly Father. Telma only had Derek as her “Daddy” for 7 years. He was killed in a car accident 1 and 1/2 months before her 20th birthday. She was on her way (with Youth With A Mission) to Rwanda to work with orphans when I Skyped her to tell her about Derek’s death. After flying back home for Derek’s funeral, despite her great loss and heartache, she returned to Rwanda to complete her outreach to others who desperately needed to hear about the hope of Jesus and his great love for them.
Isaac and Telma chose to get married on August 25th, the day that would have been Derek’s 40th birthday. Telma wanted to honor the memory of her father, who was such a huge part of her restoration. I know without a doubt that Derek is rejoicing in this marriage, and I can just picture the celebration that he was having in Heaven as he watched this beautiful miracle of redemption! Telma and Isaac had a “Celebration/memorial” table in Derek’s honor in the foyer of the wedding venue. Derek’s mom Miriam, baked his favorite cake and Telma had her favorite framed pictures of her with her Daddy, and a letter to him on the table as well.
As we continue to walk through these life-changing moments as a family, it still stings that Derek is not here to be a part of them, celebrating with us, that he wasn’t here to walk his third daughter to marry, down the aisle. It still pains my heart that he was not there for the father-daughter dance, or to celebrate like the wildly amazing man he was, dancing the night away with his children. Oh how the children and I miss him! Derek was such a good father, and all that he poured into his children is reflected in the beauty of their lives. One day, God will wipe away every tear and His justice will reign. I can’t wait for that day to come! God is sovereign, perfect in all his ways and I trust Him to continue the good work that he’s begun, bringing beauty from ashes.
I am still blown away that our incredible Father, handpicked this precious girl to be part of our family. A street kid, forced to defend herself, rescued, adopted, and restored. We literally watched her transform before our very eyes. And now this incredibly strong woman of God is beginning her life as a married woman. I cannot wait to see all the amazing things God has in store for Isaac and Telma as they start their life together!
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Reprinted with permission from Bound4Life.com
Please, enough with the cult of pop stars. Our kids need real heroes.
April 29, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Two things happen each time a significant pop culture figure dies: Christians attempt to dredge up some moderately conservative or traditional thing that figure said at some point during his long career, and mainstream media attempts to convince a society thoroughly bored with such things that the person in question was a ground-breaking radical. The two most recent examples are the androgynous David Bowie—a cringe-worthy and possibly blasphemous video of him dropping to his knees during a rock performance and uttering the Lord’s Prayer circulated just following his death--and the pop star Prince.
I’ve had to suppress my gag reflexes many times as I saw my Facebook newsfeed fill up with memes sporting quotes from Prince about his faith and articles announcing that the musician who “embraced gender fluidity before his time,” according to Slate and “will always be a gay icon” according to The Atlantic, was against gay marriage. Sure, maybe he was. But only a Christian community so shell-shocked by the rapid spread of the rainbow blitzkrieg and the catastrophic erosion of religious liberty would find this remarkable. After all, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton said the same thing barely one election cycle ago. As one obituary celebrating Prince’s paradigm-smashing sexual performances written by Dodai Stewart put it:
Dig, if you will, a picture: The year is 1980. Many states still have sodomy laws. The radio is playing feel-good ear candy like Captain and Tennille and KC and the Sunshine Band. TV hits include the sunny, toothy blond shows Three’s Company and Happy Days. There’s no real word for “gender non-conforming.” But here’s what you see: A man. Clearly a man. Hairy, mostly naked body…a satiny bikini bottom. But those eyes. Rimmed in black, like a fantasy belly dancer. The full, pouty lips of a pin-up girl. Long hair. A tiny, svelte thing. Ethnically ambiguous, radiating lust. What is this? A man. Clearly a man. No. Not just a man. A Prince.
Right. So let’s not get too carried away, shall we? I know Christians are desperate to justify their addictions to the pop culture trash that did so much to sweep away Christian values in the first place and I know that latching on to the occasional stray conservative belief that may manifest itself in pop culture figures makes many feel as if perhaps we are not so weird and countercultural, but this bad habit we have of claiming these figures upon their passing is downright damaging.
After all, parents should be teaching their children about real heroes, titans of the faith who changed the world. Heroes of the early church who stood down tyrants, halted gladiatorial combat, and crusaded against injustice in a world where death was all the rage. These men and women were real rebels who stood for real values. If we want to point our children to people they should emulate, we should be handing them books like Seven Men: And the Secret of Their Greatness by the brilliant writer Eric Metaxas rather than the pop albums Purple Rain or Lovesexy by Prince. If parents spend their time glorifying the predecessors of Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus instead of highlighting heroes like William Wilberforce, they can hardly be surprised when their children choose to emulate the former rather than the latter.
The mainstream media’s adulation of these pop stars is equally irritating. The unspoken truth of these obituaries is that the flamboyant antics of Prince and the rest of the so-called rebellious drag queens populating the rock n’ roll scene have been mainstream for a long time already. Want to see dozens of bizarre body piercings? Weird hairdos? Purple mohawks? Dudes with nail polish? Strange tattoos? Easy. Just go onto any university campus, or any public high school without a dress code. With headphones wedged firmly in their ear canals, they can pump the cleverly commercialized “counterculture” straight into their skulls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
More than that, some of these courageous rebels have actually sued their employers to ensure that they can let their establishment-smashing freak flag fly at work, too. An Edmonton woman with 22 visible body piercings complained that her employer was unfair because apparently she was being discriminated against “based on body modifications.” Yeah! The Man must be told, after all. And if he doesn’t agree, we will lawyer up. I wonder what the shrieking rebels of the early days would think about the snivelling children of the current grievance culture.
So these days, the media’s eulogizing about aging culture warriors who went mainstream a long time ago rings a bit hollow. After all, most rock n’ roll stars these days look tame compared to what shows up in the children’s section at Pride Week. Freaky is normal now. Normal is radical. Welcome to 2016.
When Christians are posting nostalgic tributes to the rebels who helped inoculate their children against the radical views of Christianity in the first place, you know that the victories of the counterculture are complete and Stockholm syndrome has set in.
Target boycott climbs to over 1 million
April 29, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Over 1 million people have signed a pledge to boycott Target over its new policy allowing men to access women’s bathrooms.
The American Family Association’s Boycott Target petition gained traction immediately, reaching the one million mark in only nine days.
“Corporate America must stop bullying people who disagree with the radical left agenda to remake society into their progressive image,” said AFA President Tim Wildmon. “#BoycottTarget has resonated with Americans. Target’s harmful policy poses a danger to women and children; nearly everyone has a mother, wife, daughter or friend who is put in jeopardy by this policy. Predators and voyeurs would take advantage of the policy to prey on those who are vulnerable. And it’s clear now that over one million customers agree.”
Target defended its policy in a statement saying that it believes everyone “deserves to be protected from discrimination, and treated equally” and earlier this week, a Target spokeswoman defended the policy as “inclusive.”
The AFA said that unisex bathrooms are a common-sense alternative to allowing men unfettered access to women’s bathrooms.
“Target should keep separate facilities for men and women, but for the trans community and for those who simply like using the bathroom alone, a single occupancy unisex option should be provided,” the petition says.
The AFA warned that Target’s new policy benefits sexual predators and poses a danger to women and children.
“With Target publicly boasting that men can enter women's bathrooms, where do you think predators are going to go?” the petition asked.
There have been numerous instances of predatory men accessing women’s bathrooms and intimate facilities in the wake of “transgender” bathroom policies allowing them to do so.
“We want to make it very clear that AFA does not believe the transgender community poses this danger to the wider public,” said Wildmon. “Rather, this misguided and reckless policy provides a possible gateway for predators who are out there.”
Amazing new video captures the flash of light the moment life begins
CHICAGO, April 29, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Life begins with a spark – literally.
Researchers at Northwestern University have documented the striking event in a new video that accompanies a study published this week.
At the moment of conception, the egg releases massive amounts of zinc, which creates a spark that can be seen with the aid of a microscope.
“It was remarkable,” said Teresa Woodruff, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University's medical school. “To see the zinc radiate out in a burst from each human egg was breathtaking.”
The research team had noted the zinc sparks before in mice eggs but had never observed the process in human beings.
“All of biology starts at the time of fertilization,” Woodruff said, “yet we know next to nothing about the events that occur in the human.”
One of the researchers, Northwestern chemistry professor Thomas O'Halloran, explained the science behind the process in 2014.
“The egg first has to stockpile zinc and then must release some of the zinc to successfully navigate maturation, fertilization and the start of embryogenesis,” he said. “On cue, at the time of fertilization, we see the egg release thousands of packages, each dumping a million zinc atoms, and then it's quiet.”
“Each egg has four or five of these periodic sparks,” O'Halloran said. “It is beautiful to see, orchestrated much like a symphony.”
Since the amount of zinc in an egg correlates with successful implantation and birth, the Northwestern researchers are highlighting that their research may be used to assist in vitro fertilization.
But that raises concerns given the grave moral issues with IVF, which involves creating numerous embryos that are either killed or frozen. Moral theologians also emphasize that IVF is an injustice even for the children who are born as a result, as they are created in a lab rather than in the union of man and woman.
The study may have far-reaching consequences the research team did not intend, such as strengthening public belief in the longstanding scientific consensus that life begins at the moment of conception/fertilization.
Many of those who saw the Northwestern video said it testifies to the beauty of life and the shallow lies that buttress the argument of abortion-on-demand.
“I saw this, and I was blown away by it,” said Rush Limbaugh on his nationally syndicated radio program Thursday afternoon. “For anybody in the mainstream media to openly admit that life begins at conception” defies arguments that an unborn child is only “tissue mass.”
Researchers released a separate video of the zinc spark taking place in a mammalian egg more than a year ago:
The paper, which is entitled “The Zinc Spark is an Inorganic Signature of Human Egg Activation,” was published by Scientific Reports on April 26.