That's right, you heard correctly! In the summer of 2017, Charles and I (Ally) will be quitting our jobs, packing our bags, and leaving on a jet plane to Freetown, Sierra Leone.
We want to take this opportunity to share with our friends, family, supporters, and maybe strangers what lead us to this decision and ask for your help to jump on board.
I'll will be writing this post, but in the future you will have many opportunities to hear from Charles as well.
I'll do my best to be thorough but brief about the story that lead us here. By October of 2015 Charles and I had been married 7 months. We both felt the Lord really leading us to take a trip to Freetown, SL with a nonprofit based out of Spring Hill, TN called The Raining Season. Several families, whom I lived with, in college were adopting or sponsoring kids through this program. I knew the Lord wanted us to go meet our extended family; their kiddos. The families I lived with in college showed me a lot about marriage, as well as commitment to church and family, and I felt very strongly that Charles and I should go that summer to meet the kids being sponsored by our friends. Soon after that, the Lord showed us through a series of very cool and divine dreams and interactions that we were supposed to start sponsoring a set of triplets. We worked on carving out some room in our budget and began to take on the responsibility to sponsor them. Charles and I take that task very seriously. Every family may view it differently, but when we began sponsoring S, M, and A we took on the responsibility of advocating and interceding for their souls. We love them like they are our own family and are thankful that the Lord is allowing us to visit, laugh, play, and dream together. Their laughter and light have brought healing to my soul on the darkest of days. I know that it is not them who are blessed by us, but truly the other way around.
We traveled to meet our sponsor 'littles' as I call them, in June of 2015. I remember coming home from that trip and just looking at Charles and saying, "hey, what if we moved to Sierra Leone?" I thought I knew what his response would be. I had always wanted to live overseas and saw myself living and working in that capacity but Charles never really had. We talked about it a lot in our relationship but ultimately promised each other and the Lord we would not attempt to go ahead on His plans but be active listeners to the Lord following His response for our lives. Charles response to that questions was one I didn't expect. He said a simple, "I could see that, we should put it on the table." The Lord let us both return to Sierra Leone throughout the year and we began to feel that call coming from a whisper in the backs of our heads to the Lord clearly saying, "this is the way, walk in it."
Over a series of months we have seen our motivations move from us as a nuclear family wanting to be united, to grasping the significance of EVERY child having the opportunity to have a family. When the Lord makes His calling clear, He makes His path clear too, and we've seen that through this opportunity to partner with TRS and The Roots Project. TRS is an INCREDIBLE organization and one we are humbled and honored to get to partner with. Charles will be going to work with a new program called The Roots Project (click on the link and watch that video, its worth your time!) and I'll be jumping on board to assist around The Covering (the 24/7 childcare center)! We are so excited to be coming alongside of the work the Lord is already doing in Freetown. We know those kiddos are already in the most capable of hands and are excited to be joining forces with some of the most beautiful people we know to help see kids join families in the country of Sierra Leone and beyond.
Our ultimate prayer is that, through adoption, these kiddos will see the work Christ has done on the cross to allow us to be family with Him.
Our prayer for these kids is that of Isaiah 61:
1 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives,and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; 2 to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor,and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; 3 to grant to those who mourn in Zion—to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,the oil of gladness instead of mourning,the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness,the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified. 4 They shall build up the ancient ruins;they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities,the devastation of many generations. 5 Strangers shall stand and tend your flocks;foreigners shall be your plowmen and vinedressers; 6 but you shall be called the priests of the Lord;they shall speak of you as the ministers of our God;you shall eat the wealth of the nations,and in their glory you shall boast. 7 Instead of your shame there shall be a double portion; instead of dishonor they shall rejoice in their lot;therefore in their land they shall possess a double portion;they shall have everlasting joy. 8 For I the Lord love justice; I hate robbery and wrong;I will faithfully give them their recompense,and I will make an everlasting covenant with them. 9 Their offspring shall be known among the nations,and their descendants in the midst of the peoples; all who see them shall acknowledge them,that they are an offspring the Lord has blessed. 10 I will greatly rejoice in the Lord my soul shall exult in my God,for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation;he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress,and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. 11 For as the earth brings forth its sprouts, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to sprout up, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to sprout up before all the nations.
The heart cry of Charles and I is to see these kids as who they are, in the eyes of God, as oaks of righteousness planted so that the Lord can be glorified! We long to see their chains of past shame fall off and see them leading the change for Christ in Freetown, SL.
We are so grateful to be able to partner and get behind the vision The Raining Season set forth in The Roots Project and have the support of our local church, City Fellowship. We hope you too would consider joining us in this journey! If you want to join us in financial support click on the Take Action button and it will lead you to the proper steps. If you can help us through partnering in prayer or just want to be updated on the work in Freetown please leave your email in the comments below!