"I have long dreaded the thought of getting to the end of life and regretting that I allowed my own timidity or other people's expectations to determine the course of my life. I decided that several of my beliefs should determine the course of my life...I believe that the Creator, has an epic script into which my minute presence has been written." - Steve Saint
"God uses men who are weak and feeble enough to lean on him."
Moving - Beyond Pity
He sat motionless on the bare concrete floor at the far end of the room, back against the wall, head between his knees and no clothes to cover him. Ten other children sat, lay or played in the same room but nobody went near him. The shame this 8-year old boy experienced crawled over me as I gazed at him.
What had he done to deserve this? I didn't understand and it frustrated me. I wanted to pick him up and hold him, tell him everything was going to be okay and then DO something about it - but the circumstances wouldn't allow it.
The plight of the orphan- their struggle for life - feels weighty and naturally stirs feelings of sorrow and pity. Unless we act - unless we move from pity to compassion we leave the needy just as we found them. Even if we just sit down next to them, laugh with them, or even cry with them - we offer them some comfort (2 Cor 1:3-4)… but we must move.
Experiences like this moved our family - not to feelings of guilt but to a sense of responsibility. Our hearts hurt for children just like this one. But how do we MOVE beyond the experience of pity? We can start by asking, "Lord, what will I do?" Then we must use the talents entrusted to us as He directs.
Our oldest son, Mason has done just that. Being given a heart to move to and live in Ghana and help the helpless, he has also used his God-given musical abilities to write a song for these hopeless ones to raise awareness. At the request of our friends and partners, Feeding The Orphans (FTO), Mason wrote and recorded "The Cry," and FTO developed the video. You can check it out on You tube by following the link.
Praying - The Need
We will continue to pray for you - for your heart to beat in resonance with the Father's, for your life to manifest His glory, for you to rejoice with Him in His great joy and for you to be broken where His heart breaks.
How can you pray? I'm glad you asked!
Justice for these children and the fatherless like them all around the world (Psa 82:3).
Population: 23.8 Million Orphans: 1.1 Million (UNICEF Data)
We are so grateful for those who have chosen to partner with us! You have helped us reach 87% of our need to move to Ghana. We have also received pledges totaling 75% of our monthly costs.
We are so close and need just a few more pieces of the puzzle to come together. How would you like to be the last piece placed in the puzzle? Please pray about joining us with a monthly pledge.
If you want to partner with our family, you can donate online at World Outreach. Select our name from the drop-down list and donate. Recurring monthly gifts can be setup with online giving. Or you can mail your gift to:
World Outreach Ministries
PO Box B
Marietta, GA 30061
Every Thursday, I have the privilege of teaching several classes at a local homeschool co-op. English is one of my favorite classes to teach. Occasionally, I try to weave writing assignments around forcing the students to think about challenges we face in this world. Last November, I received this paper from Timothy Lumsdaine, a 12 year old sixth grader. He's given me permission to post this on our blog. I hope you are as challenged by his words as I am...
Timothy Lumsdaine Shurley English Writing Assignment
What to do to Help Orphans in Africa
I am writing today about the place for which Mrs. Beebe has a calling. What can I do to help feed Orphans in Africa? I could work at pulling weed’s in my neighbor’s yard to earn some money to send for this purpose. Or, maybe I could ask others to donate and get a jar to put in the center of our family table so the family could see each other giving, and then give more. Last, I could pray every night, not just for God to give them physical food, but to give them spiritual food that could bring them to Christ.
First, I would work really hard in my neighbor’s yard to earn some money to send to the needy in Africa. I can do this because my brothers I and have a lawn care business, And even though it is very small, the three of us get ten to fifteen dollars per hour. There is a neighbor woman with whom the Lord has just blessed us, and we are very glad that we started this business and can grow in the Lord while talking with her.
Next, I would put a jar in the center of the family table for our family to donate. We have done this in the past for other things and my mother has been surprised at how generous our family is. As we see others give, we give ourselves, and I know that my family would still be generous and share what we have. My mother would also double the money after we were finished.
Last and most important I would look to my King for assistance. I would ask God for help feeding those who are in need, physically and spiritually. I would ask my heavenly father for help, because a little money from working at a neighbor’s won’t feed four-point- seven million people. And one hundred dollars will not either, but the Lord who made the universe can, and I know that. He can take breath whenever he needs. And I know that he can feed four-point- seven million people, he does that many times per day. I believe that God is the only one who can do this.
I think that there are definitely many ways to help feed orphans in Africa. We as a class could do much for them, but I believe working in the neighbor’s yard, asking my family for help and asking my heavenly father for help are the three best waits we can help feed orphans in Africa, and that it is a good thing for us to do.
It started with homemade chocolate chip pancakes! And singing Happy Birthday - over and over! he received a birthday phone call from his cousins at 7:00 am, and I've never seen him smile so big!
Franklin made Godwin a homemade car! His first birthday gift. He loved it!
All of the boys enjoyed the Valentines waiting at the table! Happy Valentines Day! You are loved!
Godwin loved receiving Lightning McQueen and Mater from his brothers!
Where should we go for Godwin's birthday? McDonalds playground fits the budget!
A barbershop quartet delivering singing Valentines sang "Let Me Call You Sweetheart" to Godwin for his birthday. It was a gift from God, because they had just stopped at McDonalds for dinner. Thank you for the birthday surprise!
A birthday milkshake hits the spot!
Weston goofing off!
A little brother time... Franklin the tickle monster!
Mason who holds him tight!
Braden introducing Godwin to the "spaceship" up high!
Coming down the slide...
Our evening ended with a special Valentine Birthday dinner. Mom blessed us all with a red and white dinner - spaghetti, strawberry salad, and cherry-o cream pie. Yum! There are so many memories around our table of nine...
Godwin's first birthday candle! You are four sweet boy! We love you!
Godwin loves his Papaw!
And his Grandmama!
A shirt from Grandmama that says it all...
"I like my birthday!" proclaims Godwin several times throughout the day!
It's a blessing to end the day snuggled with Franklin watching a movie. Love it!
Godwin loves being FOUR!
As I tucked him in bed, he asked, "Mom will it be my birthday again tomorrow? I like my birthday!"
"No, sweet son. You have to wait another year, but we will celebrate you many times again between now and then."
Though not the Feast of Unleavened Bread, Godwin's birthday represents so much of God's goodness to our family. We look at this day as a permanent reminder of what the Lord has done through the miracle of adding Godwin as a son to our family.
‘Now this day will be a memorial to you, and you shall celebrate it as a feast to the LORD; throughout your generations you are to celebrate it as a permanent ordinance.
Our life feels like a dream most days. We are constantly amazed by God, then wondering what in the world we are doing, then grieving leaving what we know, then planning what to pack??? It all feels so...uncomfortable!
My friend, Jennifer, who is also planning to serve on the mission field, states it this way:
"Please continue to pray for our family as we navigate this delicate dance of living here but preparing in so many ways to be going as well."
And it is...a dance. A delicate dance.
I've never been a good dancer.
There are days that I feel I am not "doing" this part of it well. I love to be with my family and see the kids play with their cousins, but my mind is filled with tension knowing the goodbye will come all too soon. I long to be with my friends here, but every time I'm with them I think of leaving them and it's hard. Usually, I battle tears on the drive home. I want to know all of the answers to the questions, but Jesus has not unveiled very much yet. I yearn to be in Africa...I long to stay here. I want to live the life Jesus calls me to...I say I don't want to be "comfortable," but life here is..."comfortable." This isn't. It's scary.
My mind bombards me with questions, "Are Reid and I walking in unity? Am I giving the boys what they need? Does Godwin seem happy? What do I need to pack for the bedroom? Bathroom? Kitchen? For Hygiene? First Aid? Entertainment? For school - for four grades and kindergarten? When am I going to make time to see your family and friends? When will I see my two grandmothers? What will I make for dinner tonight? When can I grade the boys' school work? I only have a few more months here... Am I making the memories I should be making? Am I cherishing every moment? Am I trusting God? Do I see His goodness? Am I LIVING COMPLETELY FOR JESUS NOW?"
And that's when the music stops.
"AM I LIVING COMPLETELY FOR JESUS NOW?"
This is the question I'm wrestling with because everything in my life should be ALL ABOUT HIM. Even in this chaos, I can find my peace in him. He is sovereign. He is all sufficient. He is good. He knows the answers to these questions. I don't.
I do know that I want ALL OF ME to reflect ALL OF HIM.
Lord, will you lead me in this delicate dance? Will your arms guide me across the dance floor? I want to follow your steps, and move with you to the tempo of your leading. Please guide me Lord. I need your help.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
We are a family who loves Jesus. We have followed him to the faraway land of Ghana, West Africa. We know He led us here for His purpose - for His name to be great among the nations. (Psalm 46:10) We are here for His glory alone.
By sharing a glimpse into our lives through our posts we give this permanent disclaimer: Nothing written here is to exalt ourselves. We desire for everything we do, say, think, write, or share to be for God's glory alone. We know this life is not about us, and do not ever wish to make it so. We are not trying to share our "experience." We are not trying to pose for pictures. We are not trying to make you think we are doing something we are not. We are broken, imperfect people made complete through the grace of Christ. There is nothing special about us - except the Lord we follow. We want all glory, honor, and praise to go to whom it is due - Jesus.
Sometimes we may write things that are hard to read. It's not our purpose to offend anyone or impose guilt. Life in Ghana is vastly different from life in America. Sometimes when you read about the struggles of your fellow brother, we hope you are propelled to pray. This blog is our avenue to share how God is revealing more of His heart to us. In the process, God allows us to see deeper into our own. It gets ugly sometimes. We are humbled that He has allowed us to be hands and feet of His work. For this, we rejoice in God's boundless grace.
If you accept the terms of this blog - please feel free to read and enjoy. It's not about us.
"But as for me, God forbid that I should boast about anything except for the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. The world has been crucified to me through him, and I have been crucified to the world." - Galatians 6:14
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