Monday, May 30, 2011


Today was Memorial Day in the U.S.A.. The day we celebrate all men and women, living and dead, who have given their lives (either fully or in good portion) to the safety of America as a nation. I am VERY proud to live in a nation where freedom of religious belief is an inalienable right. Where we stand strong together when the chips are down. Our military fights for us with a valor. For that, reason, today we honor them.

But this Memorial Day weekend, I have a new found respect for these courageous men and women. Speaking for the Silent is devoted to speaking for those voices that are being silenced by the governments and mentalities in their home countries (and most of the rest of the world) who say they're not worth it. Not worth the time, or the energy, or the attention. Now don't get us wrong, we have no intentions of overthrowing any governments or anything drastic like that. But what we do hope for is a change of heart. We hope to do it with the words we say and the actions we perform, with outreach, mission trips, etc.

And in a very similar way, Soldiers do the same.

They are speaking out with their valor and their strength, that they believe in freedom for all people, and will fight with rigor until it is a reality. They speak for those silenced by oppressive governments and the evils of terrorism. While I sit behind my computer screen, trying to advance the cause I fight for with mere words, they are out risking their very lives, the possibility of ever seeing the ones they love again, all for Freedom and Equality for all.  Their version of freedom is one that crosses not only nation's borders and special needs, but races, classes, generations, everything.

For this reason today, soldiers, we salute you. You speak for all the unheard voices, the ones that aren't just silenced for a special need or a deformity, but because of so many more things.

Congratulations, U.S. Military, on 300 years of active service to the country you love, a service that transcends all ages, races, and nationalities, to show traits and sentiments hard-beat to find today:

Honor, Valor, Justice, and your end goals, Peace and Freedom.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Just Him and His work

The last two days (no, week, no two weeks, no month, no 5 months, no just life) have been a whirlwind of happening and great events in this world of Orphan Care we at S4TS inhabit.

1st- The Hinz Family has officially come home to the Great States, with two new additions in tow! They arrived home on May 19th, never to face the fear of Orphanage life again!

                  (Two sets of Grandparents, One great aunt, and one great family!)

All I can say is Mission accomplished, thanks to Jesus! To think in a mere 5 month period since I met these precious gems they are home forever and loved beyond (I'm listening to You've Got a Friend in Me. Hence the Buzz reference :D) is just mind-blowing. I feel so blessed to have gotten the chance to talk with them, get to know their family, be a small part of this BIG adventure! And now it has come to a most definitely, undeniably happy ending.

But it doesn't end there. Because two more boys are coming home with their forever families.

Little Kirill. Good grief, is he a sweety. Especially close to the hearts of we here at S4TS, since he's in the same region as Tori's little sister Evan was adopted from. His family was the 1st to appear before this region's judge for a special needs adoption. The first time was NOT a charm in this situation. The judge said no, but Kirill's new parents have some serious grit. They went back again, this time to the supreme court, and accomplished their goal. After nearly two years in the process, we congratulate you, Davis Family (If you're friends with them, please let them know we congratulate them!).

But that is far from all. Because a little boy named Brady, institutionalized in a place devoid of the funds and resources to properly take care of the sweet boys they are charged with by the state, has also passed court. He has been given the handsome name of Jud Denis Hartman.

Right now is just an amazing time to be an advocator, isn't it? God is so good! and more is too come for sure, for His blessings never end!

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Happy Days (Utter Joy)

I have no words. Truly none. To describe the utter joy when I think of what God has done just awes me beyond human limits, makes me realize just how BIG He really is.

In Life and all its endeavors, there are the good days and the bad days. The triumphs and the pitfalls. The times when you can't believe your success and the times when you feel like you're in the desert.

Today would qualify for something more like all of the first things mentioned: A Good day. A triumph. A Great Success.

Because I have prayed and waited for nearly 6 months to see the picture in my head flash across my computer screen:

                           Sonya and A.J.(formerly Dusty), your story is known by many. It has inspired many, especially this one blogger. I met you both, you both stole my heart. You pushed it into a Motion of Mercy that hasn't stopped yet. and thanks to you and your story, I have had the strength and the encouragement to carry S4TS to new heights. You were the 1st babies we really wanted to see come home, and here you are. We will never forget you, but celebrate you. You will be our poster child, but not because you are the Silent, but the ambassadors of them and a happy ending to the story. You have given us hope, you have given me hope. I truly believe that the 5 minutes I saw each of you for was meant to be, and that without you I would not be who I am today. Your family is amazing, cherish them like there's no tomorrow. You are beyond blessed to be a part of them, I am beyond blessed to know them. Your new siblings, I adore. Big Brother Johnny is definitely your protector. He loves you guys to bits. Sonya, something tells me you and Carolyn will be each others BFFs (you'll learn what that means later ;) ). And your parents- where do I even begin. They're amazing. Strong in Love, strong in Faith, you hit the Jackpot. I'm yet to see a soul they know and don't support, and their trust in God is second to none.

"So take this heart of mine, there's no doubt, you're in better hands now."  :)

God Bless you, Hinz Family! You will continue to be in our prayers as you adjust to your beautiful new life.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Motion of Mercy

Back in the middle of February in the Posts "The Ride"- parts I and II, I talked about what finally broke me down about orphans that launched me into where I am today. I could talk for hours, weeks, days about all of the emotions and experiences that I had in Ukraine. You, my faithful readers, know a good chunk of it. But I've never really told the story of how I got to the point where I got Orphan Care.

The School year of 2008-2009 was indeed a tough one for me. That august I had went for the first time to a summer camp called Camp Veritas, which is meant to enrich kids in their Faith and show them the love and glory of God in a one-week span. That 1st year it ever happened and I attended it, me and the other 57 kids there bonded like a family. When we see each other every year since or at other events, we STILL act like a big family. While I'm still not sure whether it was a small compliment or a large contributor, the fact that I would be going to a devout Christian School just a few short minutes away from my house put me even higher on the Spiritual High-o-meter. And the fact that within 24 hours of coming home I learned that school was going to have to close down crushed me. While me and my mom had an awesome year of homeschooling I cherish to this day, the fact that I was so close to attending a great school hung over me the whole year. This wasn't helped at all by the fact that my prayers for a pro-life president that year weren't answered how I had wanted them to be and my family's adoption process for Addisu (my little brother from Ethiopia) wasn't without its times of trial. There were days when I felt numb. I did my schoolwork, watched a British Drama with my Mom at lunch (one of our favorite things to do together), had my meals and went to bed. And then on Sundays I went to church with my family and ran through the motions of my faith. I had went from one pole of the Spiritual High-o-meter ot the other in mere months. But when Addisu came home and he needed some playmates, me and my others siblings fit the bill. And while the renewed sense of purpose he gave me was probably and early sing pointing to Orphan care, at the time I just felt like it meant loving on my new little brother. 

When registrations for Camp came around again that year, I decided I would go again to see my friends and enjoy the week. And maybe if I was lucky I would feel God moving in me. I just said "God, you can show up here and now, or I really don't know where to find You." But that's like saying a professional Baseball player might make a good hit or two when he's got a super-high batting average that shows he can hit 'em out of the park. I quickly remembered that week how we have a God of Wonders who can do all things if we give him the chance to work in us. I felt renewed, refreshed, maybe something close to Reborn. Only I think it was going to Church on Sundays and saying my bedtime prayers with my family that kept me hanging on.

While I had always looked for friends who had an active faith in their lives, I had a real hunger for it now. I was actively looking for faith-related events and friends to go to and hang out with. Doing that brought missionary work more into frame. And as those The ride posts will tell you, that brought me to eventually embrace speaking for those with no voice and doing all in my power to help them.

With all the events of late, the Hinzes being over in country (more on that next post!) and some other exciting events I'm not at disposal to talk about, my days have been full and insane, and I admit it. I don't always get the right sleep. But at the same time, my days are full of meaning. I was thinking about this as I posted something along those lines as my Status on Facebook: I let God heal my wounds and raise me up, and meaning was back in my life. God didn't just call me to orphan care because I needed meaning, but because it showed the motion of mercy. God showed me the Love I don't deserve for nothing in return, now it's my job to show that love to those who do deserve it, and need it, for nothing in return. And its my way of showing the Kingdom that's coming.

So how about you? What's your way of Showing God's motion of mercy towards you? Maybe it's Orphan Ministry. Maybe its mission work. Maybe its scripture study. You'll never know until you let Him in ;)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Loving Them For Who They Are

Despite the fact that the saying "Don't judge a book by its cover" is known by just about every human within the age of reason in the United States and lots of the rest of the world too, I think it can still be put to good use. In the world of marketing, how do things sell? Outside looks. The iPhone 9000 may be the exact same phone as the iPhone 8,999, but if it looks sleeker or thinner or has an extra widget on it, all those people that bought the iPhone last year will go out and buy it again. Consumerism.

I think we deal with people the same way. We look for the thin ones, the good looking ones, the smart ones. The popular ones. Doesn't matter if we have one iota in common with them, if they're popular, we want them to think we're cool too. Popularity, acceptance, call it what you will. It's ok to want it. N body wants to feel left out, its only natural.  But what about the other kids? the ones who are off in the corner alone? Do you reach out to them?

I'm not going to turn this into an anti-bullying speech or something along those lines. But the saying "High School never ends" is true. There are always the cliques, the populars, the trends, the gossip, the rumors, the rejects. In all stages of life, its part of a fallen world.

When some people look at kids with a special need like Down Syndrome or Cerebral Palsey, etc., all they can see is the word "disability" labeled on them. They see the problems they'd face in the real world. That some could never live on their own. And they look away. In shame, in disgust, in shock, whatever. They don't want to see something that's not "perfect-looking" on the outside.

But I think if  most people's insides and outsides matched, the "beautiful" ones in the world's eye would be like the Turkey in Christmas Vacation: It looks nice and juicy on the outside, but when you cut into it its just a bunch of hot air.

It breaks my heart to see some of the challenges these kids are faced with because of their Down Syndrome, or crossed eyes, or whatever. How I wish it would change so people didn't see someone beyond rescuing, but a child in need of love. Just see them for who they are: people with feelings and hearts that need healing and support just like the rest of us. So many times, we let the crossed eyes or the missing limb or some other ailment get in the way of seeing the true beauty in these kids hearts. They are literally happier than most of us are in the happiest day of our lives without a single thing most of us have: A home, an iPod, a laptop, a room, a bed...

A Family.

When I met my little friend Sonya, she was literally just happy to get a smile and hear her name. And holding her hands sent her through the roof for Joy. I literally just had to pop my cheeks to get the overjoyed smile of that picture I got. While she didn't know it, the clothes she was wearing weren't hers. The crib she practically lived in wasn't hers. And while she isn't faced with that fear now, she probably had less than a year before she would face the  imminent death sentence of Institutional Transfer.

Now think if each and every one of us had Sonya's little joy, coupled with the love we know our Father has overflowing from Heaven itself for us, can you imagine the way the world would be?

There are two more little girls facing that fear right now:

Shawna and Lindsay.

Please be praying for them. God has got something big in store with these two girls for sure, I can feel it! Again, once I have the permission from my sources to disclose full info, I will, but for now, pray with what you know and know more is coming ;)

God bless, thank you for praying, and keep spreading the word and SPEAKING FOR THE SILENT!

P.S.- new Child of the Week next week. This week is already almost half-gone and its gonna be nuts for me. Thanks for your understanding!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Guys and Hearts

Orphan Ministry is so much more than merely putting out information and pictures and asking people to move. Orphan Ministry is a calling, something you feel in your heart. It's a Motion of Mercy, a little voice inside you, call it what you will. My point is, Orphan Ministry is something that takes your heart and soul. And that means it is honestly not for everyone. Some of us (myself included sometimes) shy away from pictures of emaciated children dying on the streets in the middle of Uganda. Or graphic depictions of all that has (and in most cases still is) going on in places like Rwanda, Libya, and/or Iran, where war tears everything, form buildings, to families, to legacies, to human beings apart. It is honestly heart-wrenching, and I admit I turn my face away in my own fear and pain sometimes. But that love that encompasses you when you reach out, trying to emulate the love of Christ to those who haven't seen it or don't know about it, is almost like a stronghold that keeps you up so that you can look in the face of tragedy and see good in it. So if we use our talents for God's Glory, I think we'd find that even if it wasn't everyone, a lot of us are called ot mission work and orphan care.

Now I've been exploring this community for close to a year now. I follow blogs, I connect with the authors, etc. And Honestly, I've met some of the best people in the world through it. So its really been a win-win, both for the Orphans who need our help and have reeled in another voice, and for me to find some great people of like mind. And as I've looked around the blogs, I've found we generally fall into two genres, categories, whatever. Insert your word. There's the Adoptors, who are taking the BIG step and adopting these children. They blog as they forge through paperwork, while they travel the country, and what life is like once they're home. Hey, MY family is one of them! And the second category is the Advocators. We who have felt the call to "produce" the former category, so to speak, by praying these kids into the arms of their forever families, sometimes it's tough, most of the time its rewarding. its just awesome. And as I have searched through the latter category, I've found something quite common:

There are a LOT of young girls advocating for these kids!

Now, 1st off, to any of you whom I have just described, HUGE kudos. You are facing facts that most adults wouldn't be able to, and you're DOING something about it! and most of you are only between the ages of 12 and 18! That's AWESOME! And to any other readers of the female gender, you do an amazing job helping orphans too. And you're the EXAMPLE for these girls! Good for you!

And yet, at the same time,

There seems to be an outright shortage of guys in the business!

Now, as I said before, Orphan Ministry is a Spirit thing that people can't just do, they're called to it. It's a call you feel straight down to your heart. And women, as the natural mothers and caretakers God created them to be, just have a much more natural inclination to help a child who's 2 feet long, 20 pounds and 4 years old than a guy, who probably just sees an undernourished little kid whose situation is sad.

But seriously guys, we're the natural Fathers to these kids! We need to STEP UP TO THE MIC!

Now to be fair, there are indeed male bloggers for Orphan ministry I have found. My own Dad is one of them. Mr. Nalle and Mr. Hinz are others. They care and make sure their wives keep them up to date on all the latest happenings in the Reece's Rainbow world. But I want to see more YOUNG GUYS! Like teen guys! Tori is friends with a couple of them. They are so awesome they went down to Peru during their spring break to help set up a celebration of an orphan's worth in an orphanage that houses 900 kids. THAT"s what I'm talking about. Now when I use the term "natural fathers," I don't mean we are necessarily the birth fathers of these kids, and We're DEFINITELY not the adoptive fathers, not at 15 and 16 years old at least ;) But if these girls can be like mothers to these kids, we can be like fathers! A male role model. And no family is complete without a Mom AND a Dad, So in the spiritual Family of the Church, we need to be there!

Girls, this is the one time I'll tell you to badger the tar out of any guys you know who you think would be great advocators, so go out, find 'em, and tell 'em to come back here! And for any guys who are reading this, lets rally together with all our fellow guy pals, show our hearts for these kids and Speak for the Silent as MEN OF GOD !

"I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws."- Ezekiel 36:26-27

Thursday, May 5, 2011

To Whom It May Concern

Within the last 48 hours, our page on Facebook has spiked a whopping 30 new followers! This is a God thing, in total and utter entirety. And I think it no coincidence that the Beatification of Pope John Paul II in the Catholic Church, a man whose heart and mind was devoted to helping those in need in all ways he could. Beatification is one of the first steps to Sainthood. Who knows what this could mean!

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, it truly is a hard thing to believe that a mere whim of my own creation, with the support of a few friends and family members, has blossomed and developed into something as great as this; a ministry that now has approximately 80 combined followers on Facebook and Blogger, not counting those of you generous enough to follow on both. We are speaking for the silent. We have two graduates from our orphans page in a mere four months after launching the website! And a LOT more on their way home. To say the least, I think continuing to "Wait and See" will show us "He's not finished with us yet" (Brandon Heath fans, catch the reference? ;) )

Below I have done an open letter, not only to the followers who have joined in the last 48 hours, but those of you have been here from our 1st post on Blogger and/or Facebook to now.

To all the near and dear followers of Speaking for the Silent, and any other individuals who it may concern,

                        As many of you have seen in the last two days, we have reached a higher and more substantial number than before. We spiked from 41 to 71 in 48 hours. I truly believe this is a miracle, and moreover, a ray of God's light and love shining down on this ministry.

                        For many of you who have joined the site recently, you may not know who we are or where we've come from, aside from the fact we are an orphan ministry trying to do all we can to help those we feel the Lord has put on our hearts. Proverbs 31:8 says "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves." I could go on and quote every verse in the bible that references Orphan Care, and we'd be here for decades. There are certainly a lot! But that one verse says it best for me personally, along with James 1:27, which states "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." This really could summarize my life, as I am one part advocator, one one part culture warrior for God's glory. Those two verses state it plain and simple: orphan ministry is worth it, and its one of the things that God is closest to. I always knew this in my head, but it took a trip to Ukraine, a trip to an orphanage for a little girl my family would bring home. There I was constantly greeted by the sight of these little children, remaining so happy while they had nothing and faced a future of nothingness. And that was when not only those verses, but the story of Jesus telling his Apostles they needed to be like children to enter the kingdom of heaven, really clicked. I got it. I knew I wanted to do something to help, no matter how feeble or insignificant the attempt was, I had to try. So me, my siblings, and our friend Tori Hook got together and started this all up.

                 A couple of times today, I've checked back on this blog just to look at the numbers. It awes me to the core. I am so thankful for each and every one of you, who has spread the word and Spoken for the Silent to, through prayer, word of mouth, or suggesting the page. But please don't let our friendship end with the Like button! please continue to look back, pray for the kids, and donate whatever, whenever you can.

                 Thank you again for your support. We are all greatly appreciative of you and hope that you too, will Speak for the Silent

                 With all our love, thanks, and blessings, both from us and our LORD Jesus Christ, we thank you
                      The Speaking for the Silent Team.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

How His Love Prospers, Endures, and Provides!

So a couple posts back, in a post called "With a Little Trust," I wrote about how trusting God to show his hand in this ministry bit by bit had gotten us to where we are now, and that maybe where we were wasn't so bad. I honestly thought, well mission accomplished. We got Sonya home. We got some people on fire for God and orphans and maybe that was it. Maybe that was god's intended purpose for us. But at the same time, I continued to hope and pray that if things were meant to happen, I would see god's hand in them.

Little did I know what God had in store.

Where do I even begin with all the amazing God events of today? First, I saw that our Followers on the blog had spiked by about 5 or 6 people. Where they came from or how they found us I don't know, but they were there. And it looked like we had gained some new followers on the Facebook page too! We were up around 41 "Likers," as I call them. I put a little post out on my personal Facebook, asking if people would help us reach the 50 Liker goal I hoped for. 50 people would be more than enough, I thought. And then one of my very close friends, who is like a big brother, a mentor, and a confidant to me, took up the hue and cry as I say it and posted something on his Facebook. between the two of us, I thought we had garnered maybe 46 people. Later I checked back again. We had not only reached the 50 person goal, we were at 51!!!!!! And then I checked back 2 minutes before writing this post. And we are now 5 people away (discluding myself) from a full 60 followers!

I sit here tonight, typing away, BEYOND AND UTTERLY AMAZED. Never would I have dreamed in a mere 3 and a half months, I would have over 60 combined followers (not counting those of you kind enough to follow us on both Facebook and Blogger) who are willing to speak for the silent, or at least support those who will. This is GOD, right here, people, and I promise even bigger news is coming in a post very soon.

In the mean time though, please keep praying for our sweet Jonah. I believe that with over 60 combined people praying  for him, he WILL have a family soon. Its a gut thing, but I just have a peace about it. so please pray for all that is going on, and remember, no matter where you are in this world GOD HAS NOT GIVEN UP ON YOU!

Monday, May 2, 2011

A Worthy Sacrifice

When some people hear the word "adoption," they think cost. International travel. They think questions. How could we bring home a child? What emotional baggage could they have? Will they adjust to our family? How could we ever afford it?

All worthy questions indeed. One or two of them are probably true for all of us. COST is an obstacle for just about all of us, I think. And it is an honest-to-goodness worry to wonder what things these precious children have gone through. After all, so many of these government-run orphanages DO have scary secrets no one would dare utter. And they can have adverse affects.

And yet for all of the if's and could be's and fears, I truly believe in my heart and soul that adoption IS STILL WORTH IT. Take our new child of the week, for instance:

Jonah. Good grief I love this kid. He's just so darn cute! And he is on the hairiest of hairy edges close to being transferred. Mrs. Nalle has raised a little over 5 grand for his fund. I link her name to that post not because it has anything to do with her fundraising for him, but because the title, "Abandoned-Aborted," is so true. Jonah was probably abandoned at the hospital he was born, and found to have Apert Syndrome. This syndrome literally just means you have some slight differences in the forming of your skull, face, hands, or feet, that may impair some everyday functions. This does not, however, impair anything cognitively, and the impairments in the way your skull forms can be fixed by modern-day plastic surgery. But it's enough to discredit him in his home country. And I dare to be so bold as to say that the "aborted" part of the title could very easily describe the type of existence he would have at the mental institute he'd go to. Not cared for, or loved, completely unknown to the outside world.

And that is why I'm asking you to pray. And if you can consider adoption as a call from God that you are meant to answer, PLEASE CONSIDER JONAH. It would be such a worthwhile sacrifice to give little Jonah a second shot at life, in a place where his needs and wants could be satisfied and worked with to give him the happiest life he could have. As we continue to lift the children close to transfer to the throne of the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, let us not only remember the families who may be adopting them right now, but the kids who aren't adopted right now. Forward, prayer warriors! The battlefield of child rescue is calling :)