*****It is Thanksgiving time again, and I asked my mom if I could use her blog to share what is on my heart.
*****Last year alot of you might remember that with God's help I raised $30,000 for a little orphan girl with Down Syndrome. Her name is Darya and she came home to be with her brand new family last month in Florida! The Fick family! And I love them!
*****Raising that much money for an orphan has put alot of pressure on me. Kind of confusing, right? Well I have spent my days wondering if I can raise the money again this year to save the little girl we are trying to help as our Christmas project. Her name is Carlene and I put her picture at the top of this page. Carlene lives in an orphanage in the Ukraine and she has Down Syndrome. She is 5 years old and I have been afraid to let her down. The truth is I have been afraid to let God down too.
*****My family is doing the same kind of things as last year. We are doing bake sales and babysitting. But this year I have doubted a whole lot. I realized today I am doubting myself and God too. The Bible says God can do anything, but I have been thinking He can't really use me to raise that much money again because last year was a miracle. And if I don't raise the money, then Carlene will end up suffering and it will be partly my fault. I am struggling with putting my faith in God and letting Him be in control....I am sure everyone has struggled with the same thing, or will at some point.
*****Tonight my mom was cooking for Thanksgiving and I tried really hard to explain to her how I am feeling. I have been trying to explain it to her for days, but I just couldn't put it in words. I cried because I couldn't explain my feelings to her. Finally tonight she understood and I think you all need to understand too. It is ok for me to doubt God, because He understands. God is measuring my heart and all He is looking for is people who are willing to have faith. He is in control of Carlene's life and loves her more than we can imagine.
*****I want God to do another miracle and raise $20,000 for Carlene to be adopted. I can't stand to think about her being stuck in an orphanage every day of her life. She is five years old like my sister Hope and has been without a family all those years. Pretty soon she will be put in an institution with different kinds of people who scream all day and are unhappy. They will be strangers to her and she will be very afraid. The workers will probably tie her to her bed and not feed her very much because they are poor. She will be hungry and alone. When I think of Carlene, I think of Hope and how I would feel if that was her in that institution. That is what makes me cry so much. I don't want her to wake up one morning and be in a scary place. I want her to have a family.
*****I am not perfect, no one is, and I have thought that me doubting God would mean the money would not be raised to save Carlene this year. I thought my faith was too weak. But it isn't. God only needs a little bit of faith to do big things, and I am praying he will use this letter to all of you to make your hearts love Carlene like He has mine. Just like He did with Darya last year. And look at Darya's life now. She is the princess in her family and they love her so much. My family is going to visit Darya next month in Florida and I cannot wait to hold her. She is God's miracle girl.
*****More than 1,000 people read my mom's blog every week. If every person who reads this gives $20 then Carlene will have enough money to get a family for Christmas. My family is already going to raise $1,000 from our bake sales and babysitting. If you want to give money this year, just go to: http://reecesrainbow.org/carlene-gypf and do it online:)
*****Matthew 5:16 Let your light shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven. That is what we can all do this Thanksgiving. We can let our lights shine all the way to the Ukraine and save the life of a little girl with Down Syndrome who is waiting on her family to come get her. And God will be glorified.
I love you all even though I don't know you. You all helped save Darya last year and I think we will save Carlene this year. Have you ever really thought about it like that? We are saving lives.