Friday, December 18, 2009

life....



My life has been...
Attacked but protected by HIM.
Tempted but purified by HIM.
Sick but Healed by HIM.
Oppressed but raised up by HIM.
Broken but Mended by HIM.
Sad but replaced with Joy by HIM.
Empty but now full because of HIM.
Lost but held in HIM.
Invisible but ignited by HIM.
Unappreciated but permeated by HIM.
Limited but released by HIM.
Hopeless but fulfilled by HIM.
Selfish but selfless because of HIM.
Weak but empowered by HIM.
Heartless but made whole by HIM.
Dying but life breathed by HIM.
Sinful but forgiven by HIM.
Angry but broken by HIM.
Proud but weep because of HIM.
Strong but vulnerable by HIM.
Unique and wonderfully made because and by HIM.
-Jenna Howard

Monday, August 10, 2009

23rd adoption day

This past Saturday was my 23rd adoption day.
Although I thank God for his perfect plan and divine intervention in my life and sacrifice He made, there are two things that are a reminder from Him of just how much He loves me and has guided my life from the beginning.

I am blessed that although most people celebrate their birth and life in one day I have the reminder on 2 different days. I thank my birthmother for not aborting me when it could have been easily done and not a thought afterwards. For that, I am thankful- I am thankful for birth. (to see my birthmothers letter to me go here: http://jennamariehoward.blogspot.com/2008/08/letter-of-comfort.html )

My second reminder is my adoption day. In my opinion adoption is a physical resemblance, through the adoptive parents, of Christ’s forgiveness and conquering of sin. Although I was made through a sinful act God made it beautiful, whole, and washed clean. With a grateful heart I say thank you to my mom and dad- thank you for life.

Thank you then
Thank you now
Thank you tomorrow
Thank you forever.

Thank you for love
Thank you for life
Thank you for kindness
Thank you for compassion.

Thank you for hardship
Thank you for lessons
Thank you for examples
Thank you for leadership.

Thank you for passion
Thank you for belief
Thank you for correction
Thank you for support.

Thank you for hugs
Thank you for laughter
Thank you for tears
Thank you for comfort.

Thank you God
Thank you Dad
Thank you Mom
Thank you, for me.

Although World Orphans does not facilitate International Adoptions there is a way in which you can help the parentless children of this world. World Orphans offer’s the ability to Help Churches (Christ’s Body) rescue and care for orphans. Is that not a powerful image of the hands and feet of Christ reaching out and pulling the abandoned, broken, and lost children into His adoptive embrace and care for them? Is that not what you do every night when you come home and your children run to you? Is that not what we are called to do? As an adopted child I say there is no feeling better than the feeling of warmth, care, and a knowing of belonging- adoption into God’s warm embrace. For 44$ you can help achieve this. To find out more click here (https://worldorphans.com/eComm/store/worldorphans_listItems.asp?idCategory=58 )

Friday, July 31, 2009

A Search Made a Child Saved?


A Search Made a Child Saved?

As we all know the economy has not been our best friend within the past year and does not look to make a comeback for a while. Depressing, I know. I sympathize with the families, friends, and individuals who have been led to World Orphans website and have sat there frustrated that their lack of finances are not allowing them to give to such a wonderful God blessed organization. I know of several friends who have teared up when they say “I just want to help but I cannot help out financially, I’m sorry”.

BUT now you can by just a click of your finger!

*The nonprofit agencies kicked off the GoodSearch fund-raiser last month. GoodSearch is an Internet search engine that donates a penny (or more) for each search to charities chosen by its users.*

This is a unique opportunity for ANYONE to get involved and give without changing any routine, spending extra time or having to cringe when you think about finances (well, at least not anymore than you have already). For every search 1 penny (NOT YOUR OWN but you earned it) will be donated to the World Orphans Cause. That is your contribution to World Orphans. This doesn’t cost you anything but the time you will already be spending on the computer. This is great for EVERY SINGLE PERSON- teens, college kids, adults, business’ who desire to help.

There are 3 ways in which you can help out.

OPTION 1: FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE FACEBOOKS

OPTION 2: GENERAL WEB SEARCHERS

OPTION 3: GREAT FOR LADIES or ONLINE SHOPPERS

OPTION 1: FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE FACEBOOKS

If you are a fanatic facebooker or someone who likes to get on every once in a while, this option is great for you!

STEP 1: If you have a facebook click this link first (http://apps.facebook.com/causes/1901 ) and make sure you are a part of the World Orphans cause.

STEP 2: Click this link, (http://apps.facebook.com/causes/toolbar/1901?flow=join) download it, and use this for any search once it is on your browser.


OPTION 2: GENERAL WEB SEARCHERS


If you are constantly looking things up for work or just in general like to surf the web this option is perfect for you!


( http://www.goodsearch.com/default.aspx?msg=0 )- The search engine with a unique social mission. It's powered by Yahoo!, so you get great search results, and each time you search, GoodSearch makes a donation to your cause!

TO BROWSE OR SEARCH:

STEP 1: clicked on the link above

STEP 2: there will be a section in the middle of the page that says “WHO DO YOU SUPPORT?”

STEP 3: type in WORLD ORPHANS

STEP 4: Click “Verify” to the right of where you typed World Orphans

STEP 5: Find our Name “WORLD ORPHANS (CASTLE ROCK, CO)

STEP 6 !!! NOW START YOUR SEACHERING OR BROWSING!!!

**FOR PEOPLE WHO SEARCH OR BROWSE A LOT YOU HAVE THE OPTION OF DOWNLOADING THE GOODSEARCH ON YOUR INTERNET PROGRAM:**

STEP 1: click on the link above

Step 2: right below the “WHO DO YOU SUPPORT?” you will see the 2 prompts that say

Get the GoodSearch toolbar or add us to your search box”

Make GoodSearch your homepage

STEP 3: Follow the instructions and you will be all set up for automatic searches that allow you to use your time wisely and financially effective.


OPTION 3: GREAT FOR LADIES or ONLINE SHOPPERS

IF you are like me and love a bargain and are constantly searching for places that have discounts, coupons or better deals online than in store this is SHOPTASTIC!

(http://www.goodsearch.com/goodshop.aspx )- The new online marketplace that donates A PERCENTAGE of your purchase to the nonprofit or school of your choice. You can choose from hundreds of popular merchants and the experience of shopping through GoodShop is exactly the same as going to the retailer's websites directly.

STEP 1: clicked on the link above

STEP 2: there will be a section in the middle of the page that says “WHO DO YOU SUPPORT?”

STEP 3: type in WORLD ORPHANS

STEP 4: Click “Verify” to the right of where you typed World Orphans

STEP 5: Find our Name “WORLD ORPHANS (CASTLE ROCK, CO)

STEP 6 !!! NOW START YOUR SHOPPING!!!


SOME FACTS YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW

*According to GoodSearch Internet search engines generated $6 billion last year in revenue from advertisers who pay a fee each time users click on links to their Web sites*

-The average Internet user spends close to 3 hours per day online. This exceeds the time that an average respondent spends watching TV, which is about 1.7 hours per day.

-The Internet is, perhaps more than anything else, a means of communication – about 57% of the time on the Internet is spent on email, instant messaging, or at chat rooms. However, unlike the phone, the Internet enables a wide range of activities beyond communication. The remaining 43% of time on the Internet – that is, the time online that is not spent on some type of communication – is spent playing games (20.3% of the 43%, or about 8.7% of the total), surfing (15% of the 43%), shopping (10% of the 43%), among a wide variety of other things.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Update


Hello to All,
I hope this letter finds you all well and enjoying the beautiful summer days. The weather here in Colorado has stayed relatively calm compared to last year at this time with tornadoes swirling around. I think we may have hit 100F a couple days this summer and I thank God for no more.

Life has continued to move on and I am trying to stay up with everything going on. My dad is currently in Ghana Africa serving at one of the many medical outreaches he does each year. My mother is hard working as always and has returned from Israel several months ago and is back and running with all of her church and prayer ministry. Julie is currently engaged and trying to find a job. Dusty is fighting fires again this summer and has had a relatively calm summer. And I am here in Colorado learning to adjust to this new chapter in my life.

These past months have been very rough and challenging for me. As some of you know I am no longer engaged. God has really been working on my heart in my personal life and has continued to bless my ministry with World Orphans. It is encouraging to know that my place is here with World Orphans and God confirms it daily. I have recently been promoted to the Director of Communications. This will allow me to help steady and keep the office in one piece while the rest of the staff is traveling as well as maintain and develop our donor and public relations campaigns. I will be overseeing and working with 3 people in our communications and design departments and am excited to get started. It has challenged me and continues to be a rewarding task to do. Terryll, our admin here at the office, is on a 3 week trip in China and I have been doing her job and mine for the past weeks. Needless to say I will be glad when she is back but I have gained more knowledge about the workings here at the office.

As for my personal life, I have labeled this life’s chapter as “Alone and Learning to Love it”. I have finally been able to make some new friends, reacquaint with some past friends and begin to enjoy where I am at in my life. God has been good and has continued to prune me where needed and water where I need growth. He has used a counselor to really help me identify where I am at in life and where I want to be. But mostly I have learned that being without a romantic relationship (i.e. ALONE) is ok and that this time in my life is for me and my first love- Jesus Christ.

My one bump in the road has been my financial needs. I have raised about 6 months worth of funds and it is already the 7th month of the year. I have such wonderful supporters and the encouragement I feel from them is part of what drives me to continue to have faith the Lord will provide. I love to hear about what God is doing in my friends and supporter’s life and how I might be able to offer my support and encouragement. Please do not hesitate to do this.

I do hope that each of you will continue to pray for me and pray about becoming a part of my financial support team. I know God has tasked me with a mighty work and I need your help to accomplish this. I would also love a chance to share more about World Orphans if you feel more called to give towards World Orphans instead of my individual needs. If you want me to come into town and speak with you and some friends, just ask. If you want me to come pray with you, just ask. I pray blessing upon all of you and may God continue to protect and bring you and your families closer to him this summer.

Serving God By Serving His Children,
Jenna M. Howard

- Director of Communications
Jennah@worldorphans.org
www.Worldorphans.org
Office: 720-362-4881
www.JennaMarieHoward.com
"Serving God by Serving His Children"

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I am blooming faith...

I can see the flower upon which my life grows, blooming into a rose.

See the hope of the petals.
I see leaves of courage in the strength
As long as I am, I will be.
This flower will never wilt or die.
As my life grows back, I shall become strong.
I shall become only dependent on one.
That one, will be me in Thee.
I will raise with my petals high.
My life as a flower will bloom and prosper as I grow.
I may not be the pick of the patch, but I am just as beautiful and needed as the rest.


I will stand as one, but not a lonely soul.
The tears will be far from my smile.
I am a blooming faith...

The Road Less Traveled

The Road Less Traveled
How often we must bear the challenges of life;
The endless roller coaster between happiness and sorrow;
The constant ups and downs of daily strife.
And always the question remains .... why?

Life is not an easy road for most;

It twists and turns with many forks in the road,
Although always, and inevitably, we are given a choice ...

Do we turn to the right ... or the left?
Do we take the high road ... or the low road?
Do we take the easy path ... or the difficult one?


Decisions are not easy for those struggling for direction ...
And sometimes the many choices and signs become overwhelming.

While standing at a crossroads in life,
The urge is to take the most comfortable path;
The road with least resistance ...
The shortest or most traveled route.

And yet, if we've been down that comfortable road before;
Have gleaned its lessons in life, and learned from our experiences;

Do we yet again follow the known?

Or does our destiny lie in another direction?

The fear of the road less traveled is tangible and all too real;
It manifests itself in many ways,
And tends to cloud the issues that might otherwise be clear.

It is in these times of confusion,

That we must seek peace and solitude;

Time to contemplate on our life,
Our experiences and our choices past;
Time to look back, and reflect on what we have learned
Without fear or confusion.

For only each of us knows our own personal thoughts;
Our unique past and personal history;

The experiences that brought us to the crossroads we now face.

We can always learn a small degree from others experiences,
And yet ... no one person can walk in our shoes,
Other
s know not, the trials and tribulations faced in private ...

For each is individual ... unique ... and personal.

And that is why ... while standing at a crossroads,
Only "we" can formulate the decision for ourselves;
The true direction that lies within;
The choices we must deliberate on with clarity and wisdom.

For it is only through personal reflection,
That we can now, with the Help of the one above choose our destiny;

... Our next adventure;
... And the future we will embrace.

by unknown

DEFINE: Home: place where something began and flourished; an environment offering affection and security; relating to or being where one lives or where one's roots are...

I was able to venture home to see my family and friends for the 4th of July. That weekend was met with some unexpected surprises as well as expected fellowship and family time.
I love getting together with my family. My mom’s side was the only crew that came for this Fourth of July.

It was a joy to see my first and beautiful pregnant cousin Beth and her husband Philip. They are such a wonderful caring and fun part of our family. I cannot wait to see one of the newest member in our family and see both Philip and Beth love that child with all their heart.
I finally met Chris briefly and although I would have liked to have spent more time with the two of them I am impressed by my sister’s maturity. I do hope whatever the future holds that God’s grabs hold of their heart and never lets go. She has been job searching and enjoying her summer.
My poppa was there smiling and always waiting to give me a hug and kiss and ask me “haw ya doing sugar doll”. For someone in their 90’s you would never have guessed it.

My Aunt Candy and Uncle Bill have always had a special place in my heart. At times they remind me of two parts of myself. My Uncle Bill’s competitive-push-you-to-do-your-best attitude and his words of wisdom are always mixed with some type of military metaphor and loving sarcasm. And my Aunt Candy is part of my back bone. Her loving, spirit-filled words and classy demeanor have always struck me with and idea that I could be that person someday. She knows when exactly to send me words of encouragement and thoughts that I myself am struggling to put into words. Both are a complete joy to be around and was happy to have seen them.

I must say within the past months I have really begun to see and connect with my Aunt Terry and Uncle Danny. My Aunt Terry is so devoted to always helping out. Her service attitude has been an inspiration to me. My Uncle Danny is always a man of few words but when they are said they are precise and pointed. I know that whatever comes from him is thought out, and prayed over. They have always been key players in my life and yet when I started to become a part of the World Orphans ministry I was really able to appreciate more the task of support based ministry that they have lived for so long. It truly is a lifelong calling that has driven them and where I am beginning to follow.

Although Dusty was not able to join us in the festivities and let chaos reign we thought of him often, asking for big but safe fires. :) His girlfriend Rachel was able to join us and talking with her is like talking with a longtime friend. She has such a bubbly contagious sense of humor that you cannot help but enjoy being around her.

I cannot leave out my parents. Going home is not just to a warm house, good food and relaxing environment. Going home is when I walk out of the airport and see my mom and sister waiting for me at 10:00pm at times. Being home is when I walk in the door and I see my dad in his work clothes focused on the task at hand and then glances up to see and shock is written on his face. Every time I see my dad he is always shocked to see me home and then wraps me up in a big bear hug. Sitting with him and talking about life, dreams, goals, work and knowing I can just talk for hours and he will never once think about doing anything but sitting with me. My dad used to tell me that he would pinch me when I was a baby because he loved how my tears would make my eyes sparkle. Now, the tears come from just seeing him and being so proud of what he does. Sparkling with excitement of hearing how his last trip went, enthused when he asked me to help him package up medical supplies to take on his next trip, rolling my eyes at times when he tells me I need to go back to school, laughing as he plays the wii, or sparkling with satisfaction that I showed him something new to do on the computer.

Then there is my mom. My mom is a piece of my heart and life, without her the void would be unbearable. There are times when we can talk for hours or 5 minutes and I know that things will be ok. I am so proud of her and her on fire spirit for helping others. I love to pray and so does she. When she prays I feel an instant knowing that she is talking directly God, our Father. I love when she offers to make me food and I sit in the kitchen and chat about any and everything. Whatever the past, present, and future has or will be my mom will always have a special part in it.

I just love how God designed me for my parents. That truly is a miracle when you consider that I am not biologically theirs or even related to my other siblings and family members. Yet they love me, support me, and I love them and support them. I revel in the fact that they are my friends and family.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Bitter-sweet weekend


It is with a tearful smile that I am pleased to announce my sweet little sister’s engagement. Her fiancĂ©, Chris, has captured her heart and are moving swiftly along. Although I have not met him yet my parents and family have had nothing but sweet and positive things to say about him and the maturity they are seeing in my sister. Chris is an airplane mechanic. His job is taking him and eventually my sister to Savoy, Illinois this week.

As some of you may know this news came at a time in which I myself, was dealing with some personal issues and I must admit I was not totally comfortable with having never met my sister’s soon to be husband and even perhaps the first meeting he would already be her husband.

I had talked with her this weekend and she admitted to me that she was afraid and nervous to tell me she was getting married. I was hurt a little but I then realized she was nervous mainly because she did not want to hurt me. How SELFLESS is that!? That she would keep her joy and excitement at bay because of what I was going through. Julie and Chris have known each other a short time but feel this is what they truly want. Originally they were going to be going to the justice of the peace TODAY and getting married and moving to Illinois later this week. My heart was torn because felt things were greatly rushed. We talked a while and I just shared my heart that I felt that rushing into things can be detrimental to something that should be cherished for a lifetime. We ended the conversation with love and affection and her promising to talk things over with Chris. I hit my knees and prayed that God would spare her the hurt and anguish of a wrong relationship and give her nothing but growth and happiness with her love.

I talked with my dad who has been in Missouri this past 10 days and it broke my heart to hear his heart and his love for Julie, in wanting what was best for her, when he said: “I left 10 days ago with an unengaged daughter and I am coming home to an engaged and almost married daughter. I’ve given it to God and He will lead.” My mom and I talked this weekend as well and she encouraged me to pray and to love Julie and learn to love Chris. She said “Give it to God. That is what your father and I are doing”.

WELL, I received a text message yesterday:

Julie: We decided to wait. He is going up there (Illinois) by himself for right now so he can get settled and get some money and stuff. It’s going to be hard but that’s how it’s going to be. We will be getting married in a couple of months- late July or early August. (YEAY God is so Good!! )

A few Texts later

Julie: I just kept thinking “why am I doing this so fast?” I asked myself “would Jen do this?” I said “No, she wouldn’t”. Thank you Jenna, I appreciate you with all my heart and I love you with every inch of my heart.”

I was humbled and brought to tears as I read those words. Julie, my soft hearted giver, the one who would give her left arm for just about anyone, still thinks about what I would do in situations even from miles away. It took my breath away that she still looks up to me, she still sees what I do in life, and she sees me as someone to follow. Humbled doesn’t even come close to what I feel when I realize that my desire to impact one, just one, abandoned/orphaned child’s life has been in front of my face this whole time. Never once did I recognize that my family is the model for continuum of care- Taking children, who were not wanted, rejected due to different situations, and placed into a family style home with the church as their accountability, loving parents teaching us and bringing us up in our own community to serve God and reaching out now to that same community.

And now, we are looking to add one more to our quirky bunch. As you pray I ask if you would lift up my family as many changes are going on. Specifically for my sister and Chris as they embark on a wonderful journey, my parents as they cope with letting their little one go, my brother as he fights fires again this summer, and for my personal support both financially, emotionally and physically.

Ps. 18:6 But in my distress I cried out to the Lord; yes, I prayed to my God for help. He heard me from his sanctuary; my cry to Him reached His ears.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Do you...



Do you desire to assist the poor and crush poverty?

Rescue orphans.
Do you wish to combat HIV/AIDS and other heinous diseases?

Rescue orphans.
Do you hope to prevent pedophiles from abusing young children?
Rescue orphans.



Do you want to stamp out prostitution?

Rescue orphans.
Do you yearn for the end of drug dealing and addiction?
Rescue orphans.
Do you crave to uphold the worth and significance of women?
Rescue orphans.

Do you long to stop violent extremism and the placement of children into radical schools?
Rescue orphans.
Do you dream to crush illiteracy?
Rescue orphans.
Do you aspire to eliminate child labor?
Rescue orphans.
Do you seek to eradicate the recruitment of child soldiers and atrocities they are forced to commit?
Rescue orphans.
-
Taken from: https://worldorphans.com/problem/mega.htm

Want to rescue orphans but don't know how to do it? World Orphans is eagerly waiting to share, show, and succeed in helping you. The issue is clear. The need is great. We are waiting on you. Together we are able to reach E3: Each Church; Each Child; Each Community

Find out how now by:
Visiting our Website for information and upcoming trips: www.worldorphans.com
Calling our toll free number to ask more questions: 888-ORPHANS (677-4267)
Email us to find out more: info@worldorphans.org or Jennah@worldorphans.org
Browse President's and other employee blogs: see side bar for links

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

plagued...


Something has plagued my mind in the recent weeks as I see God's hand move in my life.

Has life always been complicated but by being in the so called "rat race" our eyes have been blinded to the truth? That truth being there more to life than making money, going to church, and doing daily duties that you feel completes your life-having the ME syndrome. Are we so wrapped up in what WE do that the minute WE stop, our emotions are solely focused on how WE feel and what WE want? Are we that self focused on making a living or getting enough money that we don’t realize we have become a different person?

As a Christian it is so hard for me to understand the ME concept so many have but as I look at the past years I have realized I have fallen into that category. Not only have I been self absorbed in my walk (asking God for things and not stopping actually listen to Him) but I have allowed myself to fall into a pit of uncertainty. Will I have enough money to pay bills? Will I meet all expectations in my new job? Will I make friends? What if i Screw up this relationship? What happens if someone at home gets sick and I’m not there? What if I can’t...? STOP!!!! Stop, I tell myself. All of those questions have one thing in common...the word "I". I am no longer just me. I am no longer my own ruler or for that matter the only one on this planet! So why must I refer to me as being the only one in this world? There are thousands to millions of children gasping for breath as they run and hide from abuse, slavery, or children who cry because there is no one to turn to, no hope for tomorrow. And here I am selfish, vain, seeking my own satisfaction and personal gain when I have EVERYTHING I need-Jesus Christ. There are times when I am flabbergasted by how self absorbed we (myself included) are now. I CAN eat; I CAN walk down the street and not be filled with terror. I have money, clothes, a home, love and most importantly knowing Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior. BUT I also have those things to give! The Bible tells us:

Acts 20:35 “In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive. “

With this said I do not think Jesus meant give because it will make you feel good. That places you right back in the center of you own little word and in the "me me me" scenario once again. But when you give, give in Christ. I have never felt more satisfied than when I gave for Christ and He used little ol’ me as a tool, a messenger of God’s love. Selfless giving…not In hopes you’ll get something back.

My confusion stems from the idea of why is it so hard for people to grasp these 2 concepts
1.) it is not all about them
2.) why is it so hard for people to give selflessly?
These questions I have pondered because I myself fall into the category of this. I weep at the thought of Jesus nailed to the Cross taking our sins and my selfish “me” syndrome upon Himself. Our lives would not even be of consequence if Jesus said “you know what, this stinks. I didn’t do anything wrong. I don’t like doing any of this. It’s not MY problem. I’M perfect. I want to go home. This isn’t fair. I had to leave MY home and MY Throne and
MY shoes and walk around teaching people who don’t even care about ME.” And just got off the cross and went home. But he didn’t. He gave…selflessly.

Jesus told us to walk in the likeness of Him. How is it then, that Jesus ,out of selfless unconditional love, took it upon Himself and gave His life- the only way for us to heaven,-and we can’t even give anything -a meal, a smile, 10 dollars, or even stop to say a prayer-to help those who need Him the most? I do not say this as a person who is being preachy or above this. I’m telling myself as well that we were not put on this earth to live day by day in a self absorbed or self centered lifestyle. We were placed on this earth to give glory to God and bring aid to those who have not found Him but are searching for someone to take time to share His love. Give…Give in God’s glory.

Won’t you give? Why haven’t you? Is now your time to hang up yourself? Fling it at the cross and say” no more will I walk in me but will walk in Christ.”


Are you pondering how to give? you have the desire but no direction? i would encourage you to visit www.worldorphans.org and find out how you can give.


Pray for me as I pray for you in hope that Christ will continue to be real in our lives.