Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Meet Kindal! - Learn about where your raffle money will be going!
Kendal , is an 18 year old who loves track, shopping with the girls, laughing with friends, dancing, LaCrae (or any worship band)and is beyond grateful for her family and treasures family time hangin around the dinner table, outside at the pool, or around a bond fire making smores (although don’t expect her to eat one b/c chocolate is not her thing ). She enjoys long walks with her siblings and catching a late night Hallmark movie with her mom. She is dedicated to living every moment as HIS hands and feet to share the good news that is found in Jesus. Kendal has not always known the security of family and unconditional love. She has not always enjoyed the luxury of knowing the mere comforts of home and safety or relax in knowing where her next meal would come from. There was a time in her life that she felt complete hopelessness and despair wondering if she would ever have the simple pleasure of just being a kid in regular family. A kid with kid-like responsibilities and care-free day-to-day living in a family that simply loved her. Kendal was born on the outskirts of Monrovia, Liberia in West Africa. In the early years of her life she commuted often…from one home of a relative to the next after the death of her father and her mother’s inability to care for her. Far too often at a young age she would not only have the burden of caring for herself, but other young children as well. Kendal is far too familiar with the effects of war. Liberian Rebel armies were on the prey much of her childhood. She can share stories of hiding in the bush at the first sounds of gun fire. Often times when recalling a memory it can be associated with which war was in process at the time. She knows the despair of hunger, abuse, loneliness and feelings of abandonment. Daily she would be forced to face her plight as a young women struggling to survive in Liberia if life continued in the direction it was heading. But even in the midst of such utter heart ache, Kendal shares there was something deep within her that kept pushing her to fight, look up and hang on. Now years later, she is assured it was her Heavenly Father whispering words of love and encouragement to press on for…”He had a plan an a purpose, a plan to prosper and not harm”….. Eventually she would be relinquished to a local orphanage. There she would be one of the older children residing in the home and again find herself assisting in the day-to-day care of the younger children. Kendal never minded b/c she has such a heart for children Every day Kendal dealt with disappointment experienced as she watched younger children chosen and leave with their forever families. She wondered if her day would ever come. Then, one day everything was about to change. Two white men arrived to meet their new sons. While becoming more acquainted with their sons, they also used this time to connect with the other children in the home. Kendal shares it was delightful to watch. At first she kept her distance but something kept pushing her more and more to get to know these men. What she didn’t know is that one man, specifically, would have already been drawn to her because of her sweet, tender spirit and captivating smile. Dave was there on a mission. To bring our son, Chase home. It was a glorious time. But in the midst of this celebratory time, God was up to something more. On the very first night of arriving at the home Dave would call back to the states and share with his wife…”there’s this one older girl here and there is something about her and I think we need to bring her home.” A few days later as they said their heart-felt goodbyes to all their new little friends at the orphanage, Kendal would make her way to Dave, look into his eyes and ask a question that would change Dave’s life forever…and un-beknowns to Kendal- it was about to change hers. Kendal glanced up and asked “Will you come back for me?” Dave fought the tears as long as he could until the dam burst. He looked Into her eyes and said..”I WILL COME BACK FOR YOU”. Kendal shines when she shares her reaction of the news when the orphanage director called her in one day to tell her SHE HAD A FOREVER FAMILY. Her adoption was now in process. A smile always forces it’s way through as she describes her misunderstanding of the news. She actually thought her family was coming the next day. So almost every day for 4 months she would keep watch and wait not knowing if THIS would be the day. Kendal knew she had a family, but she did not know WHO. Finally, 4 months later God would make a miraculous way and Dave would return to Liberia. THIS would be the day. Kendal saw Dave walk through the door and she knew—she knew the kind “white man” had kept his promise and now he would be her dad. In that moment, love changed everything. Love broke all barriers of language, culture, past, shame, abandonment and through the matchless Love of the Savior, Kendal was loved, chosen, rescued, redeemed…forever! Through smiles and tears I type and often retell this story. A proud mama I will always be. A humbled, BLESSED mom who thanks God every day for the wonderful opportunity to have Kendal apart of my life. Years ago we began our first adoption journey. Though I too knew the gift of a forever family and the blessing of adoption, I had no clue how walking through the process on the other side as the parent would transform my life and the life of my family for the better. God has led us through many FAITH journey’s (Fantastic Adventures of Trusting Him) and called us to begin Safe Harbor Orphan Care ministries to speak up, advocate and help walk the journey with other’s. Our moto…”ONE”. Our love can change the life of one child at a time. -Mandy Not You Mama's Craft Market is above and beyond thrilled to have Safe Harbor Orphan Care ministries as the recipients of our Spring Shows raffle earnings! As well as to have the amazing and inspiring Miss Kendal as our craft market intern again this spring! A remarkably beautiful girl inside and out with a love that shines from her! If you see her running around at the show please tell her hi and let her know how grateful you are to have heard her very personal story! Learn more about this amazing family and ministry at their blog:http://safeharbororphancare.org/