Thursday, May 29, 2008

Blessed be the Name

I know by now you have probably heard about the death of Steven Curtis Chapman's 5 year old daughter Maria. I didn't want to blog about it, because it was just too sad. But, I read this account of her memorial service on one of my yahoo groups and it was such an amazing testimony of faith, I wanted to share it with you. Blessed be the Name of the Lord!

Please pray for this family that has touched so many people through their music and through their adoption ministry, Shaohannah's Hope . You can find out more about Maria and make a donation to Shaohannah's Hope on the website. The money is used to provide grants for adoption costs. Maria and two other Chapman kids were adopted from China.

"Thanks for all your prayers for the Chapman family. They certainly have felt the love of God over the past few days from all those who have lifted them up in prayer during this unimaginably difficult time.

Kari and I are flying back to LA as I write after an amazing two days in Nashville. This was life changing. The name of the Lord was exalted in ways that we could never retell. We are in awe at His grace, compassion and mercy. Little Maria's life, although short, has already moved mightily in peoples lives to bring Him glory.

Last night the entire family stood in the church as a long line of friends and acquaintances greeted them, hugged them, cried with them and loved on them. The Chapman family and Steven's ministry has obviously impacted so many. They stood there for more than 4 hours before one of the pastors finally stopped it and had hundreds still remaining in line just sit down and then Steven apologetically, but so graciously addressed the entire group.

At the funeral, both Michael W. Smith and Matt Redman helped lead everyone in worship. Matt led us in a song we often sing that he wrote, "Blessed Be the Name of the Lord." It was amazing to watch the Chapman family sing with loud voices as they hugged one another, "He gives and takes away. He gives and takes away. My heart will choose to say, 'Lord, blessed be your name.'" This song will never be the same to me personally.

We worshipped and sang for 30-minutes. And then the Chapman's celebrated Maria by sharing stories and talking about her for almost an hour and a half, praising God for her life and acknowledging that she was safe in the arms of Jesus. All the while pictures of Maria flashed on two big screens behind the stage - her little white casket at the foot of the stage. She was buried in the "flower girl" dress she was going to wear in Emily's upcoming wedding.

Jeff Moore sang Steven's song "With Hope" which Steven wrote for a family years ago, going through the same type of tragedy. All of Maria's little friends came forward and placed a flower at the foot of the casket while Jeff sang.

The Chapmans are unwavering in their love for Christ and doing well. Their entire family was a display of faith in practice at the most difficult time of their lives. No one in the family wore shoes, because the veil had been lifted for Maria. They were on "Holy Ground" and God's presence was felt.

Caleb (19) said in his prayer, "while we've always been excited about Heaven, it seems so much more real now...and gets us that much more excited to be there ourselves someday. So we'll live life on Earth as if each day counts until we get there.". He also said that although they are "confused" they've never been so sure about Christ and His saving grace. Caleb likened this to one of those abstract pictures that when you're up close, you can't see what it is, but as you step back, you start to see what the artist wants you to see. He said, "And this is a big picture, so we may have to stand waaayyy back."... but we will see what the Artist has designed and what the picture is.
He has his dad's wisdom - well beyond his years.

Emily Chapman (22) just got engaged and said that after the proposal, Maria was the only one who asked, "What did you say?". Maria asked it multiple times. (Of course Emily said "yes" to her future husband). But Emily addressed the 3000+ crowd and turned Maria's question back to everyone listening in regards to their answer to Christ's proposal to each of us,. "What did you say?". Powerful under these circumstances. The good news of the Gospel was presented four times throughout the ceremony by the family.

Steven was a rock and just gave all the glory to God. The model of a humble, Godly man. I'm so proud to call him a friend. His humility and appreciation for everyone there, which was a testament to his character and his sincere faith and love for his God and His son, Jesus Christ. As he hugged and cried with Kari and I, he just kept reminding us that "Heaven is real."

Steven shared that after the accident, in the hospital, he held Maria's lifeless body and cried out to God. He cried out, asking to somehow see some kind of sign that she was going to be see that she was going to be safe. When they got home that night, they found the last picture Maria drew on that Wednesday afternoon on her little art table (she loved to draw!). It was a flower and a butterfly and folded in half like a card. When Steven opened the card up, she had written one word on the inside - a word he didn't even know she knew how to spell. It was "See." A simple answer to his cry to 'see' that she was safe.

Please keep praying for them. They are worn out, sad and yet rejoicing in the Lord. Please pray for Will Franklin Chapman. He seems to be the one that is having the hardest time and struggling with the guilt of the accident. It truly was an accident. Will pulled the car into the driveway and because the family was throwing a party that night for Caleb's graduation, he decided to back the car up onto the grass just as Maria ran out behind the car to welcome him home. There was no way for him to know that Maria was behind that car. The Lord was ready to take Maria home. He knew the number of her days. He stood with Maria's favorite pink blanket draped over his shoulders both days.

All in all God was glorified. Praise Him for His sovereign ways."

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Hot, hot, hot

With highs between 103 and 109 degrees this week, things are really heating up in Doha. Today, I was standing outside under a shade canopy just waiting for the kids to get out of school and sweat was trickling down my back. Just standing, not moving and my body is spontaneously breaking out in a sweat. It is HOT here! Only 2.5 weeks until we go home to Texas and we are counting down the days.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Angel has her baby!

Congratulations to Angel and Russ! She met Kaiya for the first time yesterday. You can read the incredible story and see lots of pictures and videos on her blog.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

That's My Job

I was watching a parenting video today and it was good. It made me think about myself and how I parent and it made me want to do better. Every once and a while it is good to read a book or watch a video to remind me of my job.

Sometimes, with three children, I get tired of the day in, day out task of helping with homework, getting baths, getting ready for bed, tying shoes, and so on and on and on. The video gently reminded me that it's MY JOB!

So, today I listened a little better, got less frustrated with their many request and spent a little more time tucking them in. And it was SWEEEEET!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Hummus de Lopez recipe

Living in Doha means you eat a lot of hummus. This is a recipe that a friend of mine concocted that is delicious. You should try it!!!



Here is what you start with--
1 can chic pea / garbanzo beans (rinsed and drained)
2-3 cloves of garlic (crushed)
1/2-1 teaspoon of cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tbs lemon juice
4 tbs tahini paste (sesame seed paste)
3 tbs plain yogurt (could use low fat or skim to cut back on fat/calories)

STEPS:1. In a blender or food processor combine everything BUT the chic peas. Blend well and sample. If you like the flavor, go to next step. If it’s not just what you are looking for, add a bit more yogurt, cumin, or tahini...or any of the others. It’s all according to YOUR taste buds.

2. IF the mixture has a good flavor to it, add the rinsed and drained chic peas and blend for several minutes. Stop and taste. Add a bit of this or that as needed and then blend for several more minutes. The longer you blend it, the smoother and creamier your hummus will be. If it still seems too ‘gritty’ add a wee bit of olive oil or tahini paste. It’s all depends on how you like your hummus. (It’s taken me a many, many batches to get it where I ‘think’ I like it.)

3. Serve it up with fresh cut veggies and/or fresh baked Lebanese or Turkish bread. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Again, See You!

Just had a good Doha experience. Stopped at a little convenience store on the way home from my meeting. It is actually a little bigger than a convenience store and sells produce and bakery products. I had to buy only one thing, but ended up buying some fruit for school lunches tomorrow.

At these small stores there is usually a guy who follows you around with plastic bags and as soon as you fill one, he will take it and hand you another. First rate, customer service.

When I got to the register to pay, I was short 4 Riyals. I started putting my box of cereal back and the cashier said "It's OK. Next time, you bring." I am not a regular customer at this store, these guys didn't know me and I was surprised by the offer. Rarely in the US, would this happen.

The produce guy collected my purchases and took them to my car...again not commonly seen at convenience stores in the US.

I said "Thank you kind, sir!"

He said "OK, Again, See you!"

And, I thought to myself "I like living in Doha..."

Did you read this?

CNN - Famine Fears for seven million Ethiopian Children

This article prompted me to give a donation to Samaritan's Purse this morning. There are so many children suffering all over the world. From China and Myanmar to Ethiopia and beyond, we see the headlines and photos and we know what is going on. Sometimes, it seems like there is nothing we can do, but we can give.

What organizations do you trust with your donations?

Monday, May 19, 2008

Cooking Mama!

I am taking a cooking class. The class is being taught by the El Salvadorian ambassador's wife in her home. She is a sweet lady with a passion for cooking that she loves to share with others. Last week we learned how to make tiramasu (thought of you, Susan), easy sushi, rice paper spring rolls, and thai mango salad. All her recipes are easy and delicious. Here are some pictures. After, I was craving sushi so much, another woman and I went out to lunch at a cool sushi place. Yum!

Sunday, May 18, 2008


I thought you might like to see how crowded it is at our fellowship here. Every seat is usually taken and people are in the hallway, in the library, in the overflow room and sitting on the stairs. Imagine if you had to sit on hard stairs every Sunday. The crummy thing is that the owner of the villa where we meet doesn't want to lease to us anymore, so we may be on the move again.
I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD. Psalm 122:1

Saturday, May 17, 2008

thanks for the comments! i forgot to add, if you have a blog would you please leave your blog address, I would love to read it!

bored and looking for something else to read...check out

Friday, May 16, 2008

A Bloggy World

I am officially a blog nerd. I got a little map (scroll down to the bottom of my blog) on my blog that shows where all of you live and now my curiosity is KILLING me. I know who that lone little dot in Washington state might be and who the dots around Houston might be, but there are some of you I don't know and I would love to virtually meet you. Some of you, I know and love already and some of you, I may not know.

So, leave a comment and tell me about yourself or just say HI. The first comment I ever left on a blog was telling a blogger Angel that I wanted to go on the Ethiopia mission trip with her. That comment was the beginning our friendship and the beginning of something so much bigger. You can even leave an anonymous comment, if you don't have an account set up.

Yesterday, I participated in a phone call with around 50 other people. People that I would have never known or met, if it wasn't for this crazy blog world. We listened as Tom Davis of talked about their hope and desire to get an orphan care program up and running in Ethiopia. The statistics he shared were grim. By 2010, it is predicted there will be 5,000,000 orphans in Ethiopia alone, many are orphaned due to AIDS, many are orphaned due to poverty! But,thousands of orphans are going to know God's love and hope through this program. They are going to grow up with food, clothes, shelter, medical and dental care and an EDUCATION! It is the goal of hopechest for these kids to know the love of a family!

Thursday, May 15, 2008


My oldest child got braces this week. He looks so cute and so much older to me. It makes me face the reality that he is growing up. He will be 12 years old in June. It seems like yesterday he was learning to ride his first bike and chasing lizards in the front yard. I love this KID!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Hopechest Ethiopia Conference Call

Can you help us spread the word?

Tom Davis with Children's Hopechest is doing a conference call THIS THURSDAY! If you are interested in what RLC is doing and the Launch Ethiopia project we would LOVE for you to call in and have a chance to hear for yourself what is going on. The RLC representatives will be on the call and we want to hear from you.

We will be discussing the need, the strategy, next steps, and the vision trip! This is very exciting and I hope you will join us.

Here’s the info for the call:
Time: Thursday, May 15, 9AM MDT (make sure you translate the time difference)

Conference Dial-in Number: (712) 432-1620

Participant Access Code: 1083603#

If you are going to participate please RSVP to


Please pray for the tiny baby boy that I posted about HERE. I have been corresponding with his adoptive mommy and she emailed and said he had to be hopitalized and is very sick. They tested him for menigitis.

Sunday, May 11, 2008


My 1st grader's class has invited the parents to a Writer's Cafe where they will be sharing their writing and after that they are going to have their music concert. So fun!

My husband left this morning to go to Paris...for the week. Bummer!

Only 5 more weeks of school and then we go home to TEXAS!!

Our friend from The Woodlands is here. His wife and kids come in the fall.

You are all going to church this morning and we are going back to school!

I hope you have a wonderful day of rest. Be blessed!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


Have you ever felt like you wanted to do something great for God, but didn't know what to do? This is for all the people that ever thought " I can't make a difference."

My friend Angel in Texas has something exciting to tell you about. I haven't been able to see this video in Doha (YouTube is not working here), but it will introduce you to something she and her husband and good friends have been working on for a long time. is a unique website that connects people with a desire to give or to go or to help, with organizations, individuals and resources to do these things. It is much more than a website. It is people standing ready to support, encourage and challenge you. They are still in the beginning stages with this and are looking for people to partner with them to make this website great....Read more details on Angel's blog .

One of the most exciting things for me, is they are working with an organization called Children's Hopechest to start a long term orphan's ministry in Ethiopia. You know by now I have fallen in love with Ethiopia and I believe that Children's Hopechest can make a huge difference in the lives of orphans there. Hopechest is already working in Russia and Swaziland. Tom Davis, the president of Hopechest, wrote the book Red Letters: Living a Faith that Bleeds, that inspired RLC. The more I learn about Hopechest, the more I love them and the ministry they have for children.

This is what the folks at RLC have to say about their mission:

"We at the Red Letters Campaign (RLC) believe that YOU have the power to reduce extreme poverty, fight preventable disease and connect orphans with loving families. Our mission is to provide you the tools and a network of partners and like-minded people that enable you to be an active part of the solution - the way you want to participate.

RLC is a different kind of non-profit designed to support you in your passions - not the other way around. Whether your passion focuses on the HIV epidemic in Africa, providing safe drinking water to Central America or finding homes for children without families in India, we can connect you to people and resources that help you make a difference in the way that you desire.

Whether you’ve just recently become aware of the challenges faced by the orphaned, widowed and extreme poor or have already rolled up your sleeves and joined the front line, the Red Letters Campaign will connect you with the people and resources you need to turn passion into action."

Monday, May 5, 2008

same kind of different as me

I just finished the best book, Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore. A good friend loaned it to me and I looooved it! I laughed and I cried and I cried some more. I found myself gasping and saying "no way" out loud. You have to read this book, it will move you.

"A dangerous, homeless drifter who grew up picking cotton in virtual slavery. An upscale art dealer accustomed to the world of Armani and Chanel. A gutsy woman with a stubborn dream. A story so incredible no novelist would dare dream it up." (from the back of the book)

With this book fresh on my mind, I set out to run some errands this morning. I only had one thing I had to do and that was buy my daughter's teacher a flower for teacher appreciation day. The stores weren't open yet, so I made a pitstop at Krispy Kreme doughnuts. YES, we do have Krispy Kremes in Doha. I picked up two dozen doughnuts to drop off at the middle school teacher's lounge.

Since the regular stores weren't open, I decided to go to the fruit and vegetable market nearby and see if they might have fresh flowers. I had never been there before and it was like stepping back in time. The produce stands were bursting with fruits and veggies. They used big, old, balancing scales, like the ones from high school science class, to weigh your purchases. The Indian, Sri Lankan and Bangladeshi sales guys are very persuasive. You cast an eye on something in their stand and they know they have you. "Smell" they say, and hold some unusual melon up to my nose. He was right, it smelled delicious. Before, I knew it, I had a box full of fruit, cherries, peaches, melons, apples, oranges, mandarins, bananas and a mango he threw in for free. Old men with long white beards in traditional dress, stand nearby with wheel barrows, hoping you will need help hauling your groceries to the car and you will give them a tip. I am a sucker and by the time I left, I not only had spent most of my money, but I had given the young Indian salesman my two boxes of Krispy Kreme doughnuts. I bet they will remember me next time. I hope so! These guys, with names like Kenin from Syria and Prabash from Sri Lanka, are precious to God and he loves them. All those verses in the bible that talk about how much he loves us, how he knit us in our mother's wombs, how he knows the number of hairs on our head, how he knows the plans he has for us: those verses are about Kenin and Prabash, too. It is up to us to let them in on it!

My perceptive 11 year old son commented that this post doesn't seem to have anything to do with the book. It does, but you will have to read the book for yourself and see how it impacts you.

One of my favorite quotes from the book is this...

"Just tell em I'm a nobody that's trying to tell everbody 'bout Somebody that can save anybody." Denver Moore

Thursday, May 1, 2008

I had a group of ladies from my bible study over today to share about my trip to Ethiopia. Many had asked about the trip and there never seemed enough time to share. However, I wasn't sure what my purpose was. Why did I want them to come?

The time we spent together was special and wonderful and spirit led. I shared with them what I had learned about missions, and poverty and orphans. I showed them how God can use just ordinary woman to be his hands and feet to the world. I told them amazing stories of parents and children finding each other. But, most importantly for me, I verbalized to them how God has led me to discover my passion. Even as I spoke, it became increasingly clear to me how he had orchestrated my life to this point.

How he created a dissatisfaction with my suburban life in The Woodlands (Babylon as my friend Susan likes to call it).

How he brought me to a foreign land to live among people of seemingly every nation.

How he answered my prayer by providing a wonderful helper in our home, our Ethiopian maid.

How he used her sweet,precious nature and faith to cause me to want to know more about her and her country.

How he led me to discover my blogger friend "Angel" on the Internet.

How he directed me to respond when she asked if anyone wanted to join her on a trip to Ethiopia.

How he used that time in Ethiopia to cause my heart to break for orphans.

And today, before this group of witnesses, I said out loud "My passion is for orphans." And my voice cracked and I got choked up, because I realized I was telling God that I "got it". It was the first time I owned up to what I knew was in my heart.