Wednesday, March 14, 2012

God is Gracious


Four years ago today, a Mama gave birth to two precious little boys: Jacob Anthony Menges and Zachary Ethan Menges.  Sadly, Jacob and Zachary were born too prematurely to survive.  Their Mama and Papa only got to hold them for a few brief hours before they passed away.

Four years ago today, Jon and Jennifer Menges wept as they said their last goodbyes to Jacob and Zachary, the two tiny sons whom they had met only hours before.  Four years ago today, Jon and Jennifer cried out to the Lord in their grief.  Four years ago today, Jon and Jennifer were just beginning to wonder how they could ever pick up the pieces of their lives again.

In the midst of their grief, Jon and Jennifer made a brave decision: They chose to face their grief with faith, not despair.  As humble creations of a Good Creator, Jon and Jennifer chose to believe what the Bible says: that God is always gracious, no matter what happens. And God has been gracious to them:  A year after their twin boys died, Jennifer gave birth to Chelsea Hope.  Chelsea was also born prematurely, but unlike her older brothers, she managed to survive.


Chelsea's struggle to survive her premature birth left her with some challenges; but despite these challenges, her life has brought great joy to the Menges family.  Chelsea's Mama and Papa feel extravagantly blessed to have her, and couldn't imagine their lives without her.

Chelsea's challenges also had another important effect on the Menges family: They opened the Menges' eyes to the plight of special needs children around the world who don't have families that are willing or able to fight for them.  God, in His graciousness, gave them a desire to help other children with special needs.

And after their eyes were opened, God in His graciousness led them to a very special little guy named Ian. 

A tiny little boy who spends all day, every day lying in his crib - until it's time for a picture like this one.  A tiny little boy who knows not that arms are for loving.  A tiny little boy whose caretakers clutch him by the wrists and carry him at arms' length whenever they handle him.  A tiny little boy who lives with constant sores around his bottom because he has a ration of only 2 diapers per day.

A tiny little boy who just happens to bear the Reece's Rainbow name Ian - a name with a special, surprising meaning: "God is Gracious."

Jennifer and Jon Menges know that Ian can never replace their two little lost loves, Jacob and Zachary.  Instead of taking Jacob and Zachary's place in their hearts, Ian will carve out a new place of his own.  He already has - they already pray constantly over this tiny little boy across the ocean and worry over his special needs.  Ian is living in an orphanage where kids struggle to survive. Where some 14-year-olds weigh no more than 14 pounds.  Where some children have been treated so roughly that their bones are broken.  Where the latest news reports have left all of the adoptive families who are waiting to go and rescue their children deeply concerned and fearful.  

God in His graciousness has led the Menges family to Ian.  God in His graciousness has given Ian a family. 

They have not crossed the ocean yet to meet him.  They have not yet held him in their arms and whispered words of love in his ears.  It is a fearsome thing to love what you cannot hold.  It is especially fearsome on a day like today, the four-year anniversary of a terribly sad loss.

But God is graciously comforting the Menges family while they wait.  Your contributions to our Mulligan Stew Giveaway have given them hope and encouragement.  To receive generous donations from strangers who share their concern for the "least of these," who genuinely care for their little Ian across the ocean - that is a beautiful, priceless encouragement.

As the Menges family grieves today, I would love to bless them. They still need to raise $10,000 more in order to go rescue Ian. I would love to see their grant account jump wildly today, the day when they go to place flowers on the graves of their sweet, never-forgotten little boys.  Will you help me bless them?  Even if you have donated already?  To let them know that you care?  They've already lost two boys, and now they have to struggle with the fear that they might lose this one too.  Let's surround them with encouragement, and lift them up in prayer.  Let's remind them that God is Gracious.  Because He IS Gracious!! 



"A Common Stew for an Uncommonly Good Cause!"


So far, our Mulligan Stew Giveaway has raised $7215.78.  113 people have donated.



  1. God IS gracious...I love your title...I love you both. THANK YOU THANK YOU! Our hearts are full of gratitude on this day because our baby boys are remembered! He IS gracious and His ways are truly greater than ours....

  2. I donated another $10 to Ian. Wishing I could do more. The story breaks my heart, and I love it all at the same time! Happy birthday sweet angels!
    Christina Schye

    1. Thank you for remembering our baby boys today....God is showing how truly Mighty He is by using the terrible tragedy of our loss to raise the ransom for his brother in is only today that I see clearly and believe 100% that our boys did not die in vain, and that God truly, truly CAN use ANYTHING that we see as "bad" for GOOD. Whatever gift you give not only helps us financially, but it RAISES US UP SPIRITUALLY in ways I cannot explain adequately...thank for your giving, for praying for us and for celebrating the tiny lives that were our sons.

  3. Donated!
    How heartbreaking for the Menges family, to lose one child is painful enough but to lose two at once! Will remember them in my prayers.

  4. Hi Julia, I donated $10.00 to the Heims and another $10.00 to Sweet Jack. I so wish it could have been more. Sandy Searle

  5. Donated $25 to the Menges family. And THRILLED about Bernadette!

  6. Hello Julia,

    I think it's a wonderful thing that you're doing here. Our budget is tight these days, but I donated $5 to the Heims and another $5 to the Menges family. Best of luck to all of the families - they will be in my thoughts and prayers! -Alicia B.

  7. Donated and will be praying for everyone to get what they need, it's all in Gods hands..

  8. I donated $10 to the Heims and $5 to Victoria. I wish it was possible for me to give more, but I will just keep praying for everyone. This fundraiser is wonderful!

  9. Hi Julia,

    I am a bit confused on how to donate. Some families/children have a link to donate under their name, some do not. For those who don't, do we just donate on their Reeces' Rainbow page? Do those donations to the Reeces' Rainbow page get counted into your Mulligan Stew drive too?


    1. Donating to their Reece's Rainbow page is the BEST way to donate and also the easiest. Just click there and then let me know what you gave. NO MATTER WHAT THOUGH - HOWEVER YOU DONATE - PAYPAL, CHECK OR HAND DELIVERING IT... IT ALL COUNTS!! THANKS!!

  10. I donated $50 to the Heims. I wasn't going to comment but then I thought it might be more encouraging for you to know that your hard work does bring results. I wouldn't have known about their need without your advocating.


Loving words from kind people make our hearts glad!