"Céad mile fáilte!" to eTouch this month, meaning, "100,000 welcomes!" as the Irish would greet you when visiting their Emerald Isle.
eTouch is principally designed and written for the great big worldwide family of former YWAMers ~ the mission is celebrating the Big Five-O this year. And we love it when other friends 'walk' with us. Peter Jordan, Editor
1. Sheep2Sheep ~ The Perfect Child
2. Profound & Pithy ~ Serenity Prayer
3. Donna's Corner ~ The Next Generations
4. Boutique ~ Letters & Other Stuff
5. Renewal Gatherings ~ Register below for HAWAII
1. Sheep2Sheep ~ The Perfect Child
Last month we looked for the perfect family but our search came up short; there just simply isn't such a thing - at least in my world. But is there a perfect child?
Did you ever see a movie called "The Bad Seed?" It was a long time ago when most films were black and white; it spun the story of a ten year-old girl, blonde and pretty, always stylishly dressed by her doting mother; in short, she was the perfect child. Or so it appeared.
If my memory serves me, this seemingly innocent child, while at a school picnic by a lake, cold-bloodedly knocked out a schoolmate who had won a penmanship medal she coveted, and drowned him in the lake. Was this young monster-disguised-as-a-girl 'a bad seed' because of genetics? Or did she choose her behavior influenced by her family? It's the old question - are we the products of nature or nurture?
Without getting too psychological, pathological or theological, it seems to me that nature and nurture both play a part in what we become. And I think we can pretty much agree that there are no perfect kids. I'm quite sure I've never met one; have you?
Well, I think I've met a near-perfect one . . . I tell you, she's very, very close to faultless. Now, I know that when I tell you who she is, you'll think, "Ahhh, that old guy; he's gone balmy - soft in the head." Maybe you're right. And then again, maybe you're wrong! I have written about Ruthie before; she's the little angel who came into our family's life through adoption. Ruthie, in case you need reminding, carries the Down Syndrome.
The Ruthies of this world are becoming as expendable as used tissues. In the city where we live, children carrying Dr Down's Syndrome are now a rarity, as are others who would have been born with a variety of disabilities. Is our city - or yours - becoming a better place because one day we won't have to encounter people who are 'different?'
Our Ruthie sure is different! (I'm going on as if Donna and I had started a new family! Actually it's our daughter Laurie and husband Pete who have done all the work and fearlessly braved the process of adopting this little one.) Not even 18 months old yet, Ruthie has given so much pleasure to so many people already, that we can only hope she has received as much in return.
And yet, Ruthie almost didn't happen. Her birth mother had had two previous abortions when she conceived Ruthie in her native Taiwan. But Ruthie was spoken for by a pastor and his wife, thus did not receive an 'in-the-womb' execution. Upon birth and the first indication of Down Syndrome, the prospective parents backed off; their loss proved to be our gain. Ruthie was taken in by "The Home of God's Love" near Taipei, and the rest is history.
There is no doubt in my mind that Ruthie and little ones like her, are positives in the ledger of life. Sure, they cost more to care for - in time and in money, in commitment, in energy and in just plain hard work. Not to mention the shunning by people who don't understand. But oh! the rewards of joy and value and love that they can give to anyone who overcomes fear and awkwardness and draws close to them.
There is no perfect child just as there in no 'bad seed.' Even Ruthie, when she misses out on some sleep, has the occasional 'meltdown.' But if there is such a condition as 'near-perfect,' Ruthie would qualify!
Given enough love, any child will respond and grow and have healthy relationships. If you'd like read more about Ruthie, you can find some photos on Pete & Laurie's blog http://petenlaurie.wordpress.com/
OK, OK, I won't talk about Ruthie anymore (at least for a few months). But I would like to sow the 'adoption option' into your thinking (and praying). If you're at the place in life where you really wanted children, but were unable to have your own, please ask the Lord if it would be his will for you to permanently embrace a child who otherwise never know the blessing of family.
To read Ruthie's first story click here
Here's a little excerpt from a book I'm writing in which I deal with the 'adoption option' in my own heart.
"Thoughts and questions stormed around in my head, when all at once I was taken back to the day when I had suddenly and unexpectedly become open to “just look” into adopting a son.
I started to do some calendar-counting from that moment. (Our son) Pete’s birthday was September 3, 1970. We didn’t receive him until mid-November, so working back from September 3 would have put his conception at about mid-December 1969, the very time of my heart-change! Bingo!
This meant that right around the time that Pete was being “formed in his mother’s womb” (Ps 139:13), God had done something in my heart to cause such a radical makeover.
God saw the spark of a new life beginning and immediately chose a family for this tiny pinpoint of potential, of whom even his mother-to-be wasn’t aware! The only barrier was my heart, which had needed to change."
2. Profund & Pithy ~ Alternative Serenity Prayer
Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the people I can, and the wisdom to know it is me!
Dave Andrews, Australia, a YWAMer from way back who has set up an innovative and radical website: www.wecan.be Check it out.
3. The Boutique ~ Letters, We Get Letters (but that's not all)
Letters are posted on our website. To view them click here.
Gone, but remembered
Among the great cloud of witnesses that have gone on ahead of us . . . there are some who have served in YWAM.
We would like to see that they are honored at the big 50th Celebration in Kona Nov 29-Dec 4. In addition, widows, widowers and families who have lost loved ones who have served in the mission, will also be honored.
Would you send us names of those you knew who are deceased, as well as the names & emails of widows, widowers and families who have lost loved ones? firstname.lastname@example.org
While you're at it, send us names and email addresses of anybody who might be interested in celebrating 50 years of YWAM. See below for details of events being planned.
Donna's Corner ~ The Next Generations
It's not about me, it's not about you; it's about the next generation that will follow in our footsteps, as we follow Jesus' footsteps, listening to the Father.
In January I was blessed to speak in the Wollongong, Australia DTS. Before knowing I had accepted the invitation to speak, our oldest granddaughter, Leilani had been praying about doing that DTS. She really felt that was the one she was to do. This being her first time to travel so far alone, we were very happy she had chosen one in the same city our youngest daughter Michelle and her family live, just in case she got lonely. She didn't, and is now on her own adventure with God in Hyderabad, India.
I was speaking in their community meeting during the second week of the school, in the audience was my daughter Michelle, her daughter Rebekah, sons David and Jonathan - and Leilani with her DTS classmates. I started to cry as the Lord reminded me of Psalm 78:1-8; my great-grandfather had prayed this Psalm for the generations that would follow his. Please read it and pray it for your children and your children's children, whether they are children you have given birth to, or are spiritual children that you are holding in your heart.
In many ways, this generation is a "fatherless" generation, until it gets the revelation of who their heavenly Father is. We as God's people must pray for, love and be a model to those who don't have mothers and fathers. Not controlling them, but leading them, and encouraging them and telling them our stories of God's faithfulness.
These are some of the things that were spoken in that Psalm portion.
Oh my people, hear my teaching; listen to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth with parables, I will utter hidden things, things from of old--what we have heard and known, what our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, His power, and the wonders he has done. He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our forefathers to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands. They would not be like their forefathers--a stubborn and rebellious generation, whose hearts were not loyal to God, whose spirits were not faithful to to him.
I want to encourage you, whether you are young, old or in between, to remember the children who are looking to you for your stories of the faithfulness of God. Life isn't easy, but our children need to know God will be faithful. This is one reason God says He hates divorce because of what it speaks to the next generation. When a "spiritual father" is unfaithful, it affects the children he has been a model to almost as much as those he's given birth to. It's not about you and me it's about those who are following in our footsteps as we look to Him.
No matter what your walk has been, it's not too late to make things right. I've often had to ask my children forgiveness and that restores love and trust.
Love & Blessings,
5. Renewal Gatherings ~ Seven - count 'em! - with the Finale in Hawaii
May 31-June 5: GERMANY – YWAM Hurlach, near Munich, with Donna Jordan
Jun 27-Jul 3: NORWAY #1 ARCTIC CIRCLE – Borgen, Land of the midnight sun, with Iain Muir
Jul 18-24: SWEDEN – Falun (northwest of Stockholm) with Donna Jordan
Jul 26-31: NORWAY #2 – YWAM Skjærgårdsheimen (in the South of Norway near Kristiansand) with David Demian (Watchmen for the Nations Canada), and Peter & Donna Jordan.
For this Camp only, contact: Lidvard Andreassen - email@example.com
NOTE: Base housing at YWAM Skjærgårdsheimen is almost full, but we are searching for alternate housing nearby. If you have friends in the neighbourhood who would be willing take in participants, please let Lidvard know. Camp will be open for registration until maximum meeting and meal facilities are reached.
Aug 8-14: FRANCE – YWAM Le-Gault-la-Forêt (east of Paris in the Champagne Region) with Daniel Schaerer
Aug 22-28: SWITZERLAND – Jura Mountains (close to Vallorbe),
with Al & Carolyn Akimoff
For all Camps except Norway #2, go to www.ywamassociates.eu click on ‘Contact’ and email Roy Jones for more info about the Camp you are interested in.
The Family is Gathering . . . in Kona, HAWAII for two great events in two great weeks - before and after American Thanksgiving! Plan on coming for both! (For overseas visitors, Thanksgiving is a traditional family holiday time in the U.S.)
*WEEK 1 ~ Nov 21-25: YWAM Associates International Gathering at the Royal Kona Resort, with several YWAM speakers (next month we should know who they are, but until then, a secret, OK? Darlene Cunningham has indicated she will in all likelihood be with us for a day!)
In addition to a Thanksgiving Luau Feast, we are planning a Sunset Beach Picnic, both events included in the Gathering cost. Click here to register. After registering for the Gathering, you may register directly with the hotel, or find accommodations of your own in Kona.
*WEEK 2 ~ Nov 29-Dec 4: YWAM's final 2010 50th Anniversary Celebration with everybody you can imagine expected to be there! All the info is being posted on www.ywam50.com/kona
NOTE: When registering for our YWAM Associates Gathering Nov 21-25, the same low hotel rates apply for the 'resting' days of Nov 26-28. These rates also apply for the 50th Anniversary Celebration week.
Weeks 1 & 2 must be registered for separately.
And finally . . .
Perhaps some people need to fast from Facebook. Here's a possible solution to this addiction: ask God if he would send you to China where FB is unavailable! (Just kidding.)
Thanks & Many Blessings,
Peter Jordan, Editor
Feel free to use anything from the above, in whole or in part, in any way that will glorify God and advance His Kingdom.
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