Friday, November 07, 2014

Kaziah House

Some of the graduates of the Kaziah program
I have never been to a place like the Kezaiah House.  These precious women, who have been subjected to abuse, exploitation, drugs and trafficking, come here for healing.  I cannot begin to grasp the pain these women have been through.  They are so young; their innocence stolen.  Many of them forced into unspeakable situations that they so desire to escape.

What a blessing to see God's provision of  a rescue plan through the Keziah house. It truly is one of the most hope-filled places I have ever been.  Women found by the director, Yonas, are interviewed to see if they would like to join the program.  They enter the house and are given everything they need: food, shelter, clothing, counseling, and the Gospel.  This is a tough 9 months as several are coming off a horrible and addictive drug in Ethiopia called khat (pronounced chat) that is similar to meth. They endure the pain of withdrawals as there is no access to a medical means to help them come off the drug.  They also have an avalanche of pain and  abuse to work through.  Once they have begun part of the healing process, they also receive an education that will provide them with a job when they leave.  They go to an accredited school for things like cosmetology, restaurant management, and hospitality management.  

Playing games with the Kaziah girls
What a joy to get to spend time with the graduates of this program.  I loved hearing their some of their testimonies.  These women know Jesus and their heart for Him is so precious.  We also enjoyed playing some very fun games with them that they learned while in the program.  These games take you back to being a kid again and are used to build fellowship and provide healing. Another joy was going to visit some of the ladies at their jobs and homes.  They are so proud of the work they have accomplished as they should be!  These women are so beautiful, confident, and restored!  

One thing that struck me the most was their prayer requests.  They asked us to pray for things like husbands and children.  I was surprised that those were still things they wanted.  Really? Marriage? After all they had been through?  God had
visiting one of the ladies at her workplace
done an amazing work.  These women are experiencing a completely changed and hopeful life.  They are out of the terror they were in, they are successful in their jobs, and they have hope for eternity through Jesus.  By God's grace they are also making a change for generations.  Their daughters will see them be successful in jobs that they are proud of, they will see the joy of Jesus in their moms, and they will have a model of what a right relationship with a man looks like.  He makes all things new!

Sena (pictured center) was recently promoted to kitchen manager!

Please pray for the Kaziah House, that God will continue to work in the lives of the women who enter.  Also please pray for funding.  Right now there is a waiting list of 200 women who would like to be a part of the program.  Due to funding they can only take 24 at a time.  Thank you for your prayers for this amazing ministry.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Abenezer's Story

Here is my precious sponsor child, Abenezer

A couple of months before I left to go to Ethiopia, Rocky and I decided we would like to sponsor a child through the ministry Eyes that See.  Since our boys are a little older and understand things more we decided to go with a little boy.  I had seen Abenezer's profile as the featured sponsored child for 10 cent Tuesdays but it had been a few weeks and I figured he already had a sponsor.  When I saw that he was still in need of a sponsor my choice was easy.

There is a lot going on behind the big smile of this handsome 9 year old boy.  Abenezer's father died when he was young and he was living with his mom and grandmother when his mom became very sick from HIV.  So sick, that the left side of her body was paralyzed and she was unable to work.  And 2 months before I was to visit Ethiopia, his mom passed away.  Now Abenezer lives with his grandmother.  She works 6 days a week selling coal.  While she is working so hard, she does not earn enough to provide for the basic things they need.

When I first met Abenezer I felt so much joy to meet this precious little boy we had been praying for for the last few months.  He reminds me so much of my own boys.  He is very active, loves to play ball, and is just very much a little boy.  I loved that about him.  My heart also ached for him.  I told him (through a translator) how my family back in Kentucky is praying for him.  I told him my own boys prayed for him every single night.  I told him how sorry I was that his mother died.  He only looked at me and nodded.  How my heart went out to him.  He didn't cry, I'm not sure why he didn't.  Maybe he had already cried so much over this, maybe it was his way of coping with another tragedy in his life, maybe he felt he just couldn't.  So much hurt for a 9 year old to carry.  And I couldn't help but think of my own little 6 year old boy back home who looked similar and also has had some trauma to carry with him.  I wanted to hug him and rub his back the same way I had Bryson's when he has asked me some hard questions about his past.  But I couldn't, he didn't know me that way and I knew it would be uncomfortable for him as he was shy.

I'm so thankful he is involved in the 10 cent dabo program through Eyes that See.  Before Abenezer was in this program he often missed meals and was unable to attend school. Here he received a meal before school, a meal after school, any medicine he may need, and counseling to deal with these hard things in life.  The workers there that I met, Henok and Zerihun truly love him and all the kids at 10 cent dabo.  I'm so thankful for their hard work along with Yonus and the states team of Eyes that See.  May God show his grace and love to Abenezer through this ministry. What a blessing that our church has partnered with them!!!

While I was there our team was able to put together some money to purchase the kid's notebooks for school.  You should have seen their faces!  The kids and the caretakers (moms, grandmothers, etc) of these precious kiddos were so excited!  Look at that smile!  I also brought him a little care package.  Some coloring books, crayons, snacks, and probably he was most excited about the soccer ball.  One of his friends saw his care package and was in awe of the crayons.  "Ooooh, colors!" he exclaimed.  His genuine awe over a pack of 24 crayons left a big impression on me.

While I was there I was concerned about Abenezer's shoes.  Many of the kids shoes are in fair/poor condition.  Abenezer had on girl's leopard rain boots that had a slit of the back allowing the elements to get in.  They have some rough terrain to walk on and they do a lot of walking there.  I was able to give some money to Henok and asked him if he would purchase some new shoes for him.  Well, I got this precious picture today in my email inbox!!!  What a joy to see him!  He also got a new uniform.  Looks so handsome!

Not a day goes by that I don't think about this sweet boy.  My heart hurts for the pain he has been through.  I am asking God to provide love for him through his Grandmother, and that he might be invested in by some neighbors and friends and especially 10 cent Dabo.  Ultimately I'm praying that Abenezer will come to know the hope of Jesus.  Even meeting these physical needs are temporary compared to an eternity with Jesus.  Jesus provides so much hope in all circumstances. May he know how deep the love of Jesus is for him.  

If you are interested in sponoring a child, please check out Eyes that See or click here.  You will receive a profile of your child and updates.  This ministry is legit.  I have seen first hand and am happy to report every penny you donate is spent on the child!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


It has taken awhile for me to be able to share about my trip to Ethiopia.  The best way to describe my feelings right now is just raw.  It was just an amazing, hard, beautiful, devastating, rock my world kind of trip.  I felt emotions I have never before experienced (I had no idea this was even possible given that anyone who knows me will tell you I'm a pretty emotional person as it :)  We came home about 2 1/2 weeks ago and I have been processing processing processing.  My mind has been on over drive.  The first week I had to literally push it out of my mind so I could function.  Jet lag was a beast and I still needed to be there for my precious children and husband who thanks to my sweet and patient and gifted husband all survived those 10 days with out me so well!

In the last week and a half I have begun to allow myself to feel some of the emotion from the trip.  What does that look like? A whole host of things including holding my sweet Ethiopian child in Cracker Barrel while we both cried.  It has been praying for children by name who are with out parents, it has been asking God for his justice and begging him to let me do something for Him for this beautiful place called Ethiopia.  Lord what can I do? So as I have been reading his Word, praying, asking friends to pray for me, listening for the Lord, I believe there are a few things God wants me to do.  One of those things being to simply share about my experience.  So I would like to share a few blogs over the next few weeks for anyone interested in reading.

Also, someone who truly knows my heart sent this video to me this week.  I believe it shares a glimpse into how I feel after my trip.  I am forever changed and so thankful for God's grace to allow me to go on this trip!
I need Africa

Friday, August 22, 2014

Allergist Appointment

So I took a little break from blogging (about 5/6 years).  But I wanted to share something and a blog seemed the best format compared to a Facebook status.

Yesterday I went to my allergist.  Why is that significant?  Well last summer (2013) I broke out into hives.  It started with a small rash on my wrist and by May had covered my entire body.  I went to an urgent care clinic and was prescribed oral steroids as well as a steroid shot, assuming it was just an allergic reaction to something.  As soon as the steroids ended, my hives came back.  And so was the cycle for the entire summer.  I went to countless doctors including several urgent care doctors, a dermatologist, endocrinologist and allergist.  Every doctor I went to told me they did not know what was causing my hives and that it was likely we would never know.

The hives were tremendously uncomfortable to say the least. When not on the steroids I itched literally EVERYWHERE.  My face would swell including my lips and eyes.  It was very difficult to sleep and I was having a difficult time caring for my children.  When I didn't have hives I was on steroids.  As you probably know, steroids are not very good for your body.  They have serious long term affects as well as short term affects.  Short term affects included weight gain and emotional swings.  Long term affects included muscle and bone deterioration.   My other possible option suggested to help deal with the hives was a low dose chemo.  Every day I was taking allegra (twice), zantac, singulair, claritin, and livocitrin (purified form of zyrtec). But way worse than that were my fears that I would have to live with the hives forever.  I just couldn't fathom that.  I was very very afraid.

At the same time I had this very unique, supernatural sense that this was a trial (a very small trial compared to trials you and others may have been through!) tailor made by the Lord just for me.  Thankfully it was not life threatening, but it very much involved the unknown as well as physical suffering.  At times this suffering felt unbearable.  I truly believe physical suffering is very humbling and in many ways I know God used it in my life for the specific purposes of humbling me and causing me to trust in him.

God used this trial in tremendous ways to build my faith for a very big reason.  God gave me the grace and faith to make it through this exactly when I needed it.  I did not have this faith previously and I'm not even sure I have it now, but God gave me grace to handle each moment.  At times when the itching seemed unbearable, I would say, Ok God.  I just can't keep doing this. HELP!!  And he would provide relief.  Whether it be simply his presence assuring me he was with me, another steroid shot to make me more comfortable, or just the ability to sleep.  God helped me have faith in a time when I was extremely fearful.  I'm not sure I have ever had faith like that before.  It helps me with my anxiety about the future because I can look back and see how God gave me the grace only when I needed it.  It wasn't something I could store up.  Just like the Israelites who had to rely on manna for each day, I too had to trust that God would provide for each moment.  And he did.

That summer I helped lead a 4 year old class for our church's VBS.  The theme was "Facing fears, trusting God."  I cannot tell you how many times I cried through some of those precious VBS songs and felt so encouraged by the Bible stories about Paul and testimonies of others who had trusted the Lord. I am welling up with tears now just thinking back on that time.  I truly felt God had designed that summer's VBS just to help and encourage me.

I am so glad God helped me walk by faith through this trial even when I did not know the outcome.  It is easy to be discouraged when there are no answers.  But deep in my heart I knew the answer, at least for a time, was that God wanted to use this to build my faith in him.  There were times when I was faithless and even thoughts of the end seemed better to me, but even in those times God was faithful.

In the end, the Lord graciously provided relief to my hives.  After multiple tests and countless doctors, the good people at Family Allergy and Asthma discovered I had developed a severe allergy to grass.  I began shots last August and after a year of weekly shots I have not had a single hive!!  I went to my appointment yesterday and was cleared to begin shots every other week now.  I'm off virtually all other medication.  I am thankful for God's graciousness in allowing me to be relieved of my hives.  But please know I write this to document his graciousness and goodness in the middle of my trial.  He is always good.  Our pastor at Ninth and O often talks about speaking a good word for Jesus.  I just really want to do that most of all.  Please read this and know how good, sweet, loving and caring Jesus is.  He can help you through whatever you are facing.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


While I enjoyed working on this blog once upon a time, as you can see we don't really keep it up anymore. Instead we have created an active blog to help families who are interested in orphan care. If you would like to check it out please visit us at

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

2 More Clarks

Rocky and I are very proud to announce we will soon have 2 new additions to the family. We began the adoption process in January and are hoping to soon have a picture of our son from Ethiopia. (Please see videos below) We hope that by this fall we will be able to travel to Africa to get him. I have always wanted to adopt. I am so thankful that God chooses to adopt us into his family when we trust in Jesus Christ and I feel the adoption of a child into a family is a beautiful picture of this. When Rocky and I began to pursue pregnancy, a short time after we decided to also pursue adoption. After thinking long and hard, we chose Ethiopia. Why? There are currently 4 to 5 million orphans in Ethiopia. By 2012 50 percent of children will be orphans. This is a huge crises and because we are able, we wanted to give a home to a child with parents who will love him so much.
We also are excited to announce that in addition to blessing us with a child through adoption, after about a year of pursuing pregnancy God in his perfect timing has blessed us with a biological child. We are 6 wks. pregnant. Above is a picture taken today of our little peanut. (He/she is the little thing that looks like a cocoon)
Please pray for us as we have a very exciting journey ahead :)

When Love Takes You In - Steven Curtis Chapman

Yesus on the Streets

I hope this video will touch your heart as it did ours.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Much to be thankful for

This thanksgiving was spent with close friends. Unfortunately we could not go home to be with family because of Rocky's job, however we did have fun with our friends here in Louisville. I cooked a whole turkey for the 1st time by myself. It's a good thing I went to Chef Pam's seminar on turkey roasting or I would have been clueless. We all had fun eating the usual thanksgiving treats and then we watched Elf the movie while we looked through the adds for black Friday. Here are some pics:

Hope Rogers was very haute couture in this beautiful red velvet dress by Vera Wang and Brilliant Bow by Stephanie Rogers

Even Peter Parker came to our Thanksgiving dinner

Rockstar was a little sleepy from work at UPS

have you ever turned a desk into a buffett table?

desk 2 was for dessert :)

Stephanie and Laura get some yummy turkey

Claire Zetterberg loved the pumpkin pie

Isn't my husband great?
I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving. I know we did and we have much to be thankful for.