Friday, March 23, 2012

We Cannot Comprehend

Yesterday was a great day for our Mulligan Stew Fundraiser. After a long day of travel from Virginia to South Carolina, it was a real blessing to pull up my email and see all of the generous, heartfelt donations that came in while I was on the road.

Organizing this fundraiser has enabled me to learn a lot about the children from Katie's former orphanage and the families who have committed to rescuing them. Today, I'm going to share some of the stories that I've learned from these God-honoring families.


This is Lina: somber, quiet little Lina, who has spent nearly every minute of her last year staring through the bars of the small white crib that forms her prison cell. There are six other cribs in Lina's small, drab-walled room, six more prison cells for six more abandoned children. Seven Unbeloved children isolated in seven white cribs - never held, never cradled, never rocked, never kissed. Never.

Lina's new mom, Stephanie, had heard the stories before she met Lina.  She knew that Lina was in a bad place. She knew that, like Katie, Lina had spent time on the "death floor" - the upper floor where children received the bare minimum of care. She knew that even though Lina was nearly 5 years old, she would not be much bigger than a newborn.


Stephanie knew all of this because had already adopted two other special needs treasures, one of them from an orphanage like Katie's.  Since Stephanie had been around this block before, she thought she knew what to expect when she crossed the ocean to meet her new daughter Lina for the first time.

And yet, despite all of Stephanie's knowledge and experience, she was still stunned when she actually saw Lina for the first time.  Lina's tiny frame; the raw, purple sores on her bottom; the painful swelling of her little feet and hands; her clammy, fevered body; the fact that, at 5 years of age, Lina was still too frail to hold herself upright - who wouldn't be stunned?

During her first visit, Stephanie sat in that drab, seven-cribbed room for a week while she held her new daughter.  Stephanie spent much of that week bringing the love of Jesus into that dark place by singing Christian children's songs like "This Little Light of Mine."  Each time Stephanie sang, all of the other children stopped whimpering and crying so that they could listen.  Imagine the blessing of singing to seven desperately needy babies, all of them hushing themselves so that they can hear songs about Jesus.  As she sang, Stephanie also prayed: That God would help Lina survive in that hell for a few more months, until the law allowed her Mama to come back and take her home. That God would send families to rescue the other six babies.


Keith's Papa, too, was stunned at the sight of his frail son lying all alone in his tiny crib.  Isolated, untouched and Unbeloved, completely cut off from all human contact.  Nearly five years old, yet still wearing clothes sized for an 18-month old.  Like Lina, Keith was too weak to hold himself up upright without a prop. Like Lina, Keith had raw, purple, unimaginably painful sores from constantly lying in his own waste.

Annie was so tentative and scared when her Mama went to meet her that she couldn't bear to be held for more than a few minutes at a time.  Annie simply had no idea how to respond to her Mama's gentle arms - experience had taught her to expect only pain when someone picked her up.  Only occasionally did Annie giggle, and only once did she stretch her tiny fingers up to touch her Mama's face.

Almost none of us can comprehend the world where Lina, Keith, Annie and the other children from Katie's former orphanage live.  We cannot comprehend a world without toys, without stimulation of any kind.  We cannot comprehend the damage that the absence of stimulation does to these poor babies - how very much they lose by spending their formative years in a place like that. We cannot comprehend why a building that is well supplied with toys and therapy rooms would confine some of its children to lying-down rooms.

Nor can we comprehend the level of neglect in a world where children are rationed one or two diapers per day, and spend most of every day lying in their own waste. A world where the only food is a thin gruel that resembles cottage cheese, poured into a bottle and fed through a large nipple.  A world where on Sundays, there is no food at all because there aren't enough caretakers to feed the children.

Nor can we comprehend the kind of corruption that would allow someone to take government money that was intended to care for orphans and use it to line his pockets instead.

Nor can we comprehend caretakers who carry tiny, skeletal babes by their wrists, dangling them carelessly until their malnourished arms break. We cannot comprehend caretakers who ignore those babies' cries of pain.  We are horrified to think that those babies have to endure the terrible pain of broken bones with no one to comfort them or care for them. We are grieved beyond words to think that some of those poor babies died all alone in those cribs - never held, never loved, never kissed, never cradled.

Thankfully, change is coming into that orphanage.  Now that the corruption has been exposed, those careless caretakers have been fired.  Medical teams have visited, and the children are receiving better care. When Shelly Burman and Linda Duncan visited the orphanage to meet Lilianna, Pam, Butler, Kelton and Teagan just a few weeks ago, the atmosphere there was most definitely different.  Unlike Lina's Mama, who was confined to a single room, Shelly and Linda were free to move all around the orphanage and minister to children on every floor - laying their hands on them, praying over them, caring for them.

It is going to take time; healing 240 sick children is no small task.  But God is moving.  And because He is moving, we have the opportunity to bless eleven families from our Mulligan Stew Giveaway who are rescuing 16 of these formerly abandoned treasures.  Eight of these families need financial help.  ALL ELEVEN NEED OUR PRAYERS!

They are the reason we're standing here stirring this stewpot: These 16 treasures who have already suffered far too long.  It is for them that we give, for them that we sacrifice, for them that we pray, for them that we cry. It is for them that we fight, so that money won't be the barrier that stands in the way of their rescue.


So far, we have raised $17,516.28 for our Mulligan Stew...
263 people have donated!


Our 'unspoken' goal for each family below is to raise at least $2,000.00 for their grant accounts.
You can help them by following these links and donating here (pictures below):

The Unroe family - $902.00 raised
The Archer family - $1794.20
 The Carpenter family - $559.00 raised 
The Burman family - $610.00 raised
The Menges family  - $1425.00 raised
 The Duncan family - $515.00 raised
The Booth family - $510.00 raised 
The Brown family - $737.00 raised


 We are trying to raise $1,000.00 for each of these loves (pictures below)!!

Harmony - $514.00
Laurel -  $665.80
 Igor -$676.50
Emmitt -  $788.50
Heath - $482.14
 Hanson - $535.50
 Jack - $698.50
Victoria - $1551.25 

Read HERE  and HERE for more on the Heim family
$35,000.00 needed
$5752.46 raised 


                          Laurel                                     Harmony                                           Jack 
 $10,779.81-- SHE NEEDS A FAMILY!       $714.00-- SHE NEEDS A FAMILY        $5001.60 in his grant account
                  $665.80 raised                               $514.00 raised                                $698.50 raised

                    Victoria                                                  Igor                                      Emmitt
$1670.00 in her grant account            $1058.70 in his grant account      $1272.50 in his grant account
$1551.25 raised                                      $676.50 raised                         $788.50 raised

Heath                                                            Hanson
                      $4865.44 in his grant account                             $722.50 in his grant account
                                  $482.14 raised                                                $535.50 raised


Please PRAY for these families and these children.  Many are in desperate condition!

 Keith (4)                                                                    Makayla (10)
 The Unroe family blog                                                        Booth family blog  
  $11,000 needed                                                            $17,000 needed
                                $902.00 raised                                                               $510.00 raised
         They are adopting Keith as well as 4 other
            children from other institutions. 
The Sousa family is also adopting one more little guy from another orphanage.
$3,000.00 needed
$737.00 raised
They are bringing home all three of these sweet boys!
$13,000 needed
$1794.20 raised

Find the instructions for donating to the Carpenter family on their sidebar.
$2,800.00 needed
     $559.00 raised                     

Kelton and Teagan are listed as Steven and Tommy on their Reece's Rainbow accounts.
$2,000.00 needed
$610.00 raised

Ian (2-1/2)                                                                  Kolina (9)
                             Menges family blog                                                   Duncan family blog
                             $10,000 needed                                                       $8,000.00 needed
                                                                                                 They are also adopting another girl.
                               $1425.00 raised                                                            $555.00 raised

                   BABY N (3)                              Samantha (7)                                     Annie (5)
  Fully Funded PLEASE PRAY!!        Fully Funded PLEASE PRAY!!       Fully Funded PLEASE PRAY!!
ALL THREE OF THESE LOVES desperately need our prayers!!  They are tiny and weak.
(no picture)                             

 Our Lost Boys

You can donate to the Lost Boys through Harvest International.  Click on THIS LINK and designate your gift to Alyona and Slavik for the Lost Boys.  All donations to Harvest International are Tax Deductible.

CLICK HERE to go to the Lost Boys Boutique and support the Lost Boys while you shop.
100% of the proceeds support the Lost Boys.
$349.00 raised


Raised $523.00


Since the idea for this Mulligan Stew Giveaway began with 17-year-old Maria's desire to have a family above all else....

You can enter our giveaway just by making a tax-deductible donation to Maria (Masha) and her siblings (Heim family).  I'll leave the amount of your donation between you and the Lord.  They need $35,000 to adopt all four children.

That's it.  One donation to Maria puts your name in our giveaway, with a chance to win one of 90 great prizes.  To see pictures of ALL these prizes (prepare to be overwhelmed), click THE MULLIGAN STEW LINK HERE.

After that, we'd like you to choose one, two or several more children and families from the list below that you feel led to help.  The number of donations, and the amounts, are totally up to you.  On our sidebar we have a simple point system based on your donations.  Those who share on Facebook, Twitter and their blogs receive entries as well.

When our Mulligan Stew Giveaway ends, we'll choose a winner for each prize by drawing random numbers from The more entries there are beside your name, the more chances you'll have to win something great!

  • Use the links to go to the sites where these wonderful adoptive families and children are receiving donations. Follow the directions there to make your generous donations.
  • THEN, come back to this blog and leave a comment to let me know two things: (1) that you donated to Maria (Heim family), and (2) the total amount that you donated to ALL of the children and families that you chose to help.  Because I always moderate my comments, I will be able to keep this information private.
  • If you prefer not to leave a comment, you can e-mail me at
  • None of the money that you donate will flow through our hands; it will all go directly to the people who need it.
  • This Giveaway will end on March 31.

"A Common Stew for an Uncommonly Good Cause!"


  1. SO thankful to know that God is working in this orphanage and prayerfully in the whole country.

  2. Donated again today - $10 total, $5 to the Booth family for Makayla's birthday, and $5 to the Duncan family in honor of Coleen. Also shared on my blog, facebook and twitter. Let me know if you need any more info. I feel like I suck at this whole participating in giveaway thing.

  3. oh, and I pinterested the Mulligan Stew button! :)

  4. Had to find some money in the budget to donate again - these families stories are just amazing. $20 to the Maraina Orpahn Fund ("lina").
    I hope the donations pour in these last few days.

  5. Share on facebook too, really hoping some of my friends stop by and have their eyes opened (and donate too)!


Loving words from kind people make our hearts glad!