Two weekends ago, I had the deep pleasure of meeting Dana from Roscommon Acres (as well as her husband and a few of her little ones.) They are ALL lovely, and I threatened (jokingly) to keep Mookie but his sisters declined so I gave in and let him go home with them. ; ) Truly though, I felt God’s presence throughout the whole weekend. It was full of so many blessings and God things.
It was a God-Filled weekend, to be sure.
Dana came to share her family’s mission to fund Tiggy’s House for Tiny Hands International with a group of friends and ladies from my church. I asked her to come so that we could bless them and pray for them and help them accomplish their goal. But I came away from the weekend deeply blessed myself — God is funny that way, isn’t he?
If you haven’t read Dana’s story, it’s not a lighthearted one, but it *is* a testimony full of God’s grace and faithfulness.
About a year and a half ago, Dana and her husband lost their almost 2 year old son in a household accident and through that healing process, God has led them to partner with Tiny Hands International to build a children’s home in Nepal in memory of their son. In the midst of their grief, God has placed the plight of Nepalese orphans rescued from poverty, slavery and and sex trafficking firmly on their hearts. They are now in the process of raising the funds over the next two years and God has amazingly been providing them. As always, through the good times and bad, God is faithful, God is good.
Tiny Hands International has a pretty amazing story, too.
I read about Tiny Hands International on Dana’s blog, the Tiggy’s House site, AND the Tiny Hands site.. and STILL.. I didn’t fully get their mission. I missed it somehow. And let me tell you, I’m impressed. There are so many wonderful things I could tell you about them, about how they’re equipping local Nepalese men and women to be house parents for rescued children, about how their end goal is to be self sufficient and not dependent on American money, about how they are building a “Dream Center”- a property for multiple houses with a school and a medical facility and their own well. It’s a worthy cause, and they have already built two homes for the Dream Center, are building one this year and next, and then they begin on Tiggy’s House. Dana and her family only have two years to raise the funds needed to build Tiggy’s House when it’s time to begin.
At first glance you might think I just had a really fun weekend meeting a bloggy friend while learning about Tiggy’s House but it was so much more than that…
About 5 years ago, I stepped out of a church that was “home” to pursue by faith the possibility of attending church with my husband who had not attended church with us for some time. It was difficult to let that church home go, but I felt God saying that it was time. Change wasn’t immediate, God does things in His own time, doesn’t He? The kids and I attended two churches, about 50% of the time, not really feeling at “home” before the day my husband finally said, “let’s go to church,” taking us to a third church that we attended for about a year and a half. But still, we never really called that church “home,” either. Last October, the “funniest” thing happened.. my husband led us to change churches once again, and led us back to the first church the kids and I attended when we first started our journey in search of God’s will. And THIS time.. something amazing happened.. God gave us a HOME.
And still, we’ve only been attending since the last Sunday of October, about four months. We’re still making friends and building relationships and getting to know each other. And it’s for that reason that when I first offered to host a fundraiser for Dana, I didn’t first go to my church. But again, God is “funny” (or some might say impeccable.) Because as it worked out.. my original plans DIDN’T. And my husband said, “Why don’t you talk to the pastor..?” Long story short, it was perfect, it was such a blessing! God used this fundraiser gathering to not only bless Dana and provide support for Tiggy’s House, but to further knit me together with women in my church. And not only that, but I was blessed to further witness evidence of the changes that have been going on in my husband’s heart. God has really been at work in his heart over the past year, but the past six months or so especially… and it’s really very exciting. These are answers to long-prayed prayers. And as always, God is good, God is faithful, and God is perfect.
I feel like I can truly call Dana my friend now.
I no longer have to call Dana, “a bloggy friend whom I have never met..” and she’s no longer just some stranger that lives in my computer. ; ) I wish I had had more time with her, but perhaps there will be future meetings. My children hope so, too, they got along immediately with hers. (Not to leave her husband out,.. it was great meeting him, too! He said he was shy but I couldn’t tell.) I’m also really glad that I didn’t scare her off by talking too much. (I tried not to overdo it.) = ) But Dana can now vouch for me when I say, “I like to talk to people.” Shy? I am not. I’m more of a “Let’s grab a cup of coffee and sit down and talk and become friends” kind of person.
I can’t imagine everything Dana and her family have been through over the past year and a half.
One of the things about life is that we all face different trials. For some of us, it’s physical sickness. For some of us it is marital or spiritual. There are more, of course. Sometimes we meet friends who share the same trials and we’re able to encourage either other. Sometimes we meet friends with different trials and it serves as a reminder that God is a big God. No matter your trials and hardships.. GOD’S GOT THIS. He is able and faithful to carry you through any trial, through any heartache, through any desert. And God is able to use our trials for our good, not undoing or erasing our trials, but bringing us into a new place out of that – like finding a home church with a husband who didn’t attend church with you for 10 years,.. or birthing Tiggy’s House to both serve Nepalese children in need and stand in memorial of Tiggy.
God IS good. Isn’t He?