Saturday, November 27, 2010

A grateful heart...

This week was big! So many blessings to count and so many blessings I want to remember each day. Some days I wish I could take more photos or actually take better photos to document the many doings in our lives, the forward motion of our children or the tough days when we wish we could wake up and begin again.   We lead such full lives rich in opportunities and my heart is heavy with gratitude during this week of Thanksgiving. Such a day seems to mean more to me know more than ever!

I am grateful for the friendships my children have.
We took a group of friends rollerskating for Hayden's
10th birthday and had so much fun zooming around to the cheesy music.

My heart is grateful for Grandparents and the presence in the lives of our children!

I am thankful for the ever developing open mind and giving heart I see in my children.
For Hayden's party we asked that those attending consider bringing a gift of new or gently used shoes to share with the more than 300 million people (primarily children) who have no shoes around the world.
This child was totally excited about collecting shoes and forgoing gifts. I love his heart!

On Thanksgiving day Bob said our prayer before dinner and said this, "I am grateful for my three sons and how they have embraced and accepted Ava into our family so generously and graciously." Yes they have been so supportive of her and she has brought more joy than we could have know to our home.

I am thankful for Ethiopia and the many ways being there twice this year has changed my heart!

I am thankful for SPONSORSHIP! WE sponsor this wonderful 
child (who is almost grown up) from Korah and it is the most amazing feeling to know that 
we are giving so that he might have HOPE and feel our LOVE and learn about how GOD LOVES HIM! God is using us to change the life of this child right there in his own Ethiopia.
Change a life just one child at a time!

 I am grateful for a heart that is called to SERVE.
In the bustle of life we often forget that we need to be living to serve one another.
I want to BE THE CHANGE not just hope and pray for change.
Last weekend we were able to serve Thanksgiving dinner to those in great need who live of the streets of our own community. Our children loved it and begged to do it again.
We learned that people are people and that although we all are dealt a different set of circumstances we all desire the same basic need for food, shelter, love, attention, a warm touch or a kind smile.

I am most grateful for FAMILY! 
We shared a simple Thanksgiving together with Bob's Mom and Uncle and my Dad and of course each other. It was a splendid and casual day of games, football, feasting and just being together.
I would be nothing without my family to share it with. 

The Christmas season is now upon us and I am grateful for the birth of a dear babe born in a manager who was sent to bring us grace, mercy, forgiveness and HOPE.
Peace and blessings to you and yours!

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Into Our Arms Forever!

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welcome home ava! from melanie Strobel on Vimeo.

Meeting Ava during our first trip to Ethiopia

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Meeting Ava Ethiopia Trip July 2010 from melanie Strobel on Vimeo.

Korah- Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

During our recent visit to Ethiopia I felt very called to the village of Korah in Addis Ababa Ethiopia. There have been numerous rumblings lately about the tremendous need to help the children of Korah who are growing up in and around the local trash dump. The village was established 75 years ago as a place to send people with leprosy who were said to be cursed. Now there is a 3rd generation of people living in Korah with nearly 100,000 suffering from such things as leprosy, HIV, misc disease and of course malnutrition. There are many children of Korah who have been forced to live and work at the trash dump in hopes of finding food and possible items to sell in Korah's center of town. With the start of the Great Hope Church in Korah and the building of a shelter, along with the ministry of local Sammy Liben and Sumer Yates, there is now a feeding program and a sponsorship program in place to rescue the forgotten children of Korah and send them to boarding school where they can escape the horror of the conditions of living and working in a large trash dump. For more information please visit: or where you can learn more about how you or your organization can help the people and the children of Korah. Please send me a message or email Erin Allen at to request sponsorship information. I will soon be posting the photos of my day recently spent in Korah. I must tell you it was life changing and beyond anything I have ever done to stretch, change and rearrange myself. God helped me to help the people who I met. Much of what I could offer was nothing more than the snap of my camera or a warm touch or an inviting smile. The needs in Korah are beyond our wildest imagination yet God is over Korah and there is already amazing work being done. I invite you to view the following videos to learn more about the beauty and the needs of Korah's people.


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Hannah's Hope Orphanage- Ethiopia

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