Friends of Orphans and Vulnerable Children

Friends of Orphans and Vulnerable Children
What could be better than an Ethiopian welcome, FOVC style?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

A year ago this weekend...

....we told our small group that we were considering adopting from Ethiopia. We asked them to pray for God's guidance as we sought Him in making this decision.


One of our dear small group friends keeps a journal of our group's prayer requests. It was amazing last night, as he reminded each of us where we were just a year ago. I would have to say we have seen God in action among each of the families in our group over the past year. We saw a family sell a too-small house and move to a lovely family home (and it's a good thing, as they are now expecting their third baby!); another family has experienced the joy (and a few trials) of raising a teen-age daughter and a baby daughter; another family has experienced blessings at work, delightful daughters and the mom's move from part-time to full-time teaching; our own family has covered a lot of ground over the past twelve months, too....And all of this by God's provision and direction.

Thanks, Derek, for marking our moments!

I would like to share a bit about small groups. Our church is called Rocky Mountain Christian Church. It's a big church, and now we have two campuses. I work at the church as the small groups coordinator. We currently have about ninety groups, each with around twelve members. I have the privilege of training leaders and equipping groups, helping new leaders launch new groups, helping folks get connected in groups and more. Here's what our small groups are about:

"Small Groups are a safe place to grow
in relationship with God and others.
RMCC Small Groups 'do life' together through
fellowship, learning, prayer and caring."

My big love for small groups stems from a personal love for small groups...most love is pretty personal, huh? Here's a bit of history: Dave and I have been involved in small groups since we got married. But nearly fourteen years ago, God used small groups at Rocky Mountain Christian Church to change our lives forever. We were new to Colorado, having moved here for Dave to participate in his dream of working for a start-up. He was delighted with his transition from big company guy to start-up guy. On the other hand, I was miserable and lonely. We didn't know anyone here. I had had a good job in Kansas City, but elected not to continue with the company here in Colorado. I thought I would find an entirely new kind of job instead, but what I actually found was that I was pregnant.

Being pregnant was a delight, something we had been hoping for for over a year. But I knew I wanted to stay at home with our kiddo(s), so getting a job wasn't really a good option. I spent much of my days gestating alone and feeling lonely. We had visited several churches, but none of them seemed like "home."

I was so lonely and so afraid to have a baby with no friends and no family nearby. I began to pray that God would give us a "home" by the time our daughter was born. One Sunday, we were driving to another church, and we drove by Rocky Mountain. On the spur of the moment, we decided to pull in and give Rocky Mountain another try (we'd been there before and graded it a "no.")

Well, thank God for second chances. During that service, we met the people who would become our first small group leaders at Rocky Mountain Christian Church. Our lives began to change in every way. I had friends! We had a group of people who we knew, and who knew us. When I developed pregnancy complications, new friends brought us dinners for six weeks. When I was on bedrest, new friends would visit me, bring me books and magazines, pray with us....and just "do life" with us as we waited for our new baby. When I had surgery when Allison was a baby, a new friend came to our house and took care of me, so Baby Allison could be in her own home. Since that season almost fourteen years ago, we have moved to and from Colorado three different times. But we've always been so thrilled to come back to Longmont, and to our family of friends at RMCC.

About three years ago, when our "baby" (that would be Abby) went to first grade, and I found myself with too much time on my hands each day, I decided to return to school and get a master's in social work. No sooner had I applied and was accepted to the University of Denver's (super-expensive) program, did RMCC offer me a job in the small groups ministry.

It was pretty much a no-brainer. God, and all He does in and through small groups, is my heart. So I have had the joy and high calling (for which I am not worthy) to work in the ministry for a few years now. In this super-transient world, small groups are an amazing tool for helping people build community and grow in their faith.

I don't know where our family would be without our small group. Who else would keep our kids on a moment's notice? Or better yet, meet us on I-25 early in the morning to take some of our kids as we raced Amelia to Children's Hospital? Decorate our house as a "welcome home" to Amelia? Love us and pray with us and laugh with us and cry with us? Take us to Estes Park to watch the Fourth of July fireworks? Make time in busy, busy lives to be together each Friday night? Love our kids almost as much as we do?


We love you, dear groupies!

4 comments:

Leah Reeves said...

What a wonderful support system. We could use that, with no family close. I was so great to meet!!! I hope we can again in to near future

Rachael and Jon said...

Hi...my husband and I are adopting a little boy from Ethiopia. I saw the adorable onesie your daughter had on in one of your posts that said, "Just arrived from Ethiopia." I was wondering where you got that from? We'd love to get one! I'm new to the blog world, so I don't know if you can see my blog info or not. my email is RachaelOren@alumni.cedarville.edu our blog is www.theorens.blogspot.com

Derek Weber said...

Lori,

You and your family are a blessing to the church and our family. We are grateful for your friendshp. We are there whenever you need us.

DW

Leah Reeves said...

I see who you are talking about for the adoption T-shirts. I am just sooo busy with Gabre and work I have put the Adopt and Shop site on hold. Once a few of my families are done with their dossier I will get busy working on the site. I think in the next few weeks I will have about 4 families finish their dossier......hurray for them right!!!
I will do an update on my blog soon about the Adopt and Shop site.

Thanks for the free advertisement on such a great little model!