Friday, May 14, 2010

Christian Alliance Orphan Summit

I had a great opportunity at the end of April to join 4 other women to MN. I had a free ticket
and even traveled first class on the ride home with points i had collected years ago!! Then one of the women i joined had points for the Marriott so 5 of us shared a room and i only had to buy 2 meals (since i packed some food) - so was thrilled to be able to do this.

One of the women I joined up with was an on-line friend I met 3 years ago when she was living in Mexico as a Missionary and the other I met through her. We all have adopted children from China. They all live in Wyoming and 3 go to the same church so it was a very fun time getting to know these women and fellowshipping with them.

The Summit was in a huge church that was amazing and there was approx. 1,300 who attended - which was up from 750 last year in TX. So it is growing and catching on. It was one of the most uplifting events i have been to in over 4-5 years and I was very blessed and grounded.

The speakers were amazing and had so much to share i could just go on and on about them.
The highlight was Thursday night when the Chapman's spoke and Steven Curtis sang. They shared about their journey and Mary Beth spoke about her upcoming book and how they met and some cute stories about the family. But most of the speakers were amazing and one i had never heard of before who just touched me in an amazing way. She is Stephanie Fast and is from Portland and she shared her life story.... It brought you to tears. She was an orphan in Korea after the war living on the streets and finally around 7 or 8 years old made it to an orphanage where at aged 9 a Missionary couple came to visit and decided to adopt her - she did not join them until aged 11. She shared the hard journey and how God transformed her life.

We heard from the leading wife in Guatemala about her work with street kids and a wonderful story from a Ukrainian Pastor who started and orphanage and has adopted 3 kids and has done video's on adoption which are christian based and now the Russian government is using these films to promote domestic adoption in Russia.

The music was also touching and uplifting and there were many authors like Tom Davis who is best known for the book "Fields of the Fatherless" a very touching book. John Piper which this was his last public event before his sabbatical and he has adopted a girl from China at aged 50. Karyn Purvis was my favorite who did some of the seminars and she talked on Grieving, Trauma, The Voice of the Orphan.... I could sit and listen to her all day speak... She has written the book "The Connected Child" which is full of great resources and information on how to deal with your child. She now has a great website full of free video's and was just amazing - i was able to speak with her a few times and talk about concerns we have etc., and her information was so valuable.

There was many great organizations there - Focus on the Family is doing some great things as well. So many resources - i was loaded up with, fliers, books, video's.... next year they hope to add more things for kids. There were a lot of families there - one family got up and spoke and had 10 kids - 4 i believe were adopted from different countries. The Senator of MN spoke on Adoption laws and policies that are coming into act. It looks like in the next year or so vaccination shots will be allowed to be done back in the USA -
which is a huge relief to most families!!

There is some Parent Advocacy Groups starting up which i was able to connect and network with some.

I encourage anyone who is interested to consider going next year. Some of us from LCC plan to make it a reunion and it is not confirmed but it looks like it maybe KY.

This was our main musician for the event.... he is Norwegian and his spelling of his name is different - like Pieter Eider? (He also has adopted 2 kids and shared his story)

A very bad picture of Mary Beth Chapman wearing the new Shop Hope T's
They have just celebrated 25 years together and 2 nights later she was speaking
for the first time at the Women of Faith Conference

This is Stephanie Fast - sharing her amazing story

Karyn Purvis - author of The Connected Child -
Lecturing on Trauma of the Orphan child.

John Piper sharing about his church, being a senior pastor and adoption
what it means to reach out to the orphan

I was able to capture some of the speakers on video and hope to add them
most are just snippets but worth hearing...
I came home Saturday late afternoon to my 4 precious kids
they had been busy making me a banner which i kept up for a few days :-)

Lavonne - 5-14-10


Maggie S said...

Thanks for this post Lavonne... It was a still small voice to me about staying passionate in the midst...


Saw your blog on Madison started reading this post, Funny it sounds like while you were in MN, with Starla Kull (right?) her husband was staying with us in China...small world. We are also in the process of adopting a sn child...blessings on your day,