oh happy day, parts 53-55

My heart is full—and I’m flying high these days with the many amazing things happening for our Babies. I’d love to promise brevity in this report, but that would be a promise I don’t intend to keep.

• I had reason to go looking for a specific picture recently. The search led me to my very first “oh happy day” email. At the end of it I had written this: I’d be short-sighted if I didn’t let you know I’m in this for the long haul and will collect diapers and formula as long as God allows.

• Well I was pretty much useless the rest of the day. Back then I had sure hoped this would be a long-term project, but I didn’t really know what God had in mind. I only knew that he had asked, and that my heart was all in. And if there’s one lesson I’ve learned over the last nine years, it’s that God provides.

• Actually, the lesson is that God provides abundantly.

• My last update included a story about a young couple with a struggling new baby, and then an ask for support. And boy, did you answer! We were overwhelmed (in the best possible way) by the supplies arriving via amazon and Target. You dear people about did me in. Thank you for your generosity and your care for the babies. God knows every sacrifice of time and resources you made—and I am convinced you overwhelmed him too. Bless you for giving. (Now, the UPS man might not share my enthusiasm, but I promise you I’m thankful enough for both of us!)

• Last fall, we had another successful Dorothy’s Match campaign run by my loving parents and funded by some of you incredibly generous people. Want to see just how crazy successful? https://mauriandsherry.com/2015/12/04/dorothys-match/ Months later, I still read the blog post, shake my head in amazement, and grin from ear to ear.

• Here’s a picture of what my friend Jen took down in November from Colorado. To all the supporters up there who remember the babies and keep giving, thank you!! It is MUCH appreciated. Many Colorado supporters graciously send funds now, or they participated in the plea to ship supplies to me. Those supplies are part of what’s driven over from Arizona. (In case you’re from CO and interested in these little details…)

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• One of those vital Colorado supporters is a 10-year-old boy named Chase. For the third year in a row he asked his parents for diapers and formula instead of Christmas gifts. (Seriously. If that doesn’t encourage us, I’m not sure anything will.) This family blessed the ministry with $1,000 to do just that. You see what I mean about God’s provision? In this messy world we live in, God is looking after his own—and he’s doing it through the heart of a young man in the suburbs of Colorado. Thank you, Chase! This means more to me than you’ll ever know.

• For those who’ve been down to the colonias, you know it’s a hard life. Here are a few dear faces who also want to thank you for the help. You are making life a reality for some babies and life dramatically better for others. Isn’t this relationship we have with them the coolest picture of the body of Christ? God wants us to carry each other’s burdens. And you all get an A+.

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• Because I can’t help myself…here’s another one taken during a separate distribution. How am I supposed to get anything written while looking at these faces? Aren’t they lovely? (Thank you, dear Leo and Susy, for taking and sending these wonderful pictures to us.)

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• So here’s the Thanksgiving load. I can hardly stand it. (And, for the record, the picture doesn’t begin to do it justice.)

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• And here’s load number 55. She went down with us in March. Our church, Redemption Gateway, was sending its first team and held a diaper and formula drive the Sunday before we left. Our church family literally gave as though their own lives depended on it. It was inspiring.

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• When our team arrived at the Missions Ministries team center in March, we were met by the family we’d be building a home for the next day. We were introduced to them all by name—except for the baby who was introduced as “Baby.” With a trailer of supplies ready to be unloaded, what an in-our-face reminder of why we collect these supplies. (For those new to the ministry, it’s very typical for the families in the colonias to not name their children till they reach 6 months old. The infant mortality rate used to be around 25%, and they felt not naming a baby would make the loss somehow easier. I cannot imagine.)

• When someone holds a diaper/formula drive for the Babies, we typically just get to see the fun outcome of the drive as a whole and not the individual donations. But with the Redemption Gateway drive, we got to see the whole and also a few bonuses. I think this is where the beauty of this ministry comes in and reminds me why we stack supplies and take pictures. My husband’s favorite drop off this go-round was a Kirkland brand can of formula in a Taco Bell bag left on our friend’s front porch. This giver missed the drive at church on Sunday, but was compelled to go out of their way to get a can of formula in our hands to take down. My stand-out favorite was a final hour drop off right before we loaded the trailer with supplies. A woman from a small group at our church went out of her way to get our address and came the night before we left to drop off a pack of diapers. God knows the baby whose empty stomach didn’t stay empty because of that Kirkland formula. And he knows the baby who gets clean diapers instead of sitting in dirty ones with a sore-infected bottom because of that last minute drop-off. He sees your giving and your efforts, and he is pleased.

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• How is a person supposed to be brief with all this great stuff going on?! Don’t even get me started about all I’m leaving out!

• So when I look at the Thanksgiving abundance and then the bounty of load 55, I might be tempted to wonder how on earth load 56 will come together. Where will the next round of supplies come from? How will we ever keep this up? I’m so happy to report that nine years in, there’s finally no wondering (or worrying) from me. God himself is putting it together. I’ve already gotten a sneak peek too, and let me tell you—he is doing a magnificent job.

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