I was left on the streets of Bethlehem as a baby, and now God has let me know the time is come to go back and find out what happened--and to learn how to help others not be orphans. Read on for more details!
Maybe this is crazy, but this GoFundMe is one of many ways I am trying to pull together the money for my parents and I to go to Israel for a divine appointment I can't even articulate yet. Some people suggested it and have said they want to help me on this journey to find answers and complete some incomplete things (she says ambiguously). This trip will involve strategic meetings with a goal of helping facilitate a culture in which adoptions can take place for those "sentenced" to a life or orphanhood. Can it happen? I don't know. But I know it's worth trying. And God seems to be revealing more each day. So we're going to find my answers and culture, and I am going to see how God is using my own pro-life ministry to help other orphans. I only have that much of the picture, but I am thankful I am at a place I am strong enough to do it--and that's because I, myself, have parents now. As an orphan I could never handle the emotion of it, and I knew that hindered me. I'm sure more of my own orphan healing will come in the process, but because I have my parents by my side, as parents and also as ministry leaders with a similar heart for LIFE, I can press on and maybe use my experience to help others. ! I 100% without a doubt feel like God has told us to go.
How it happened
During a time of prayer with my mom in late May, I basically watched a movie in my head. I hadn't been thinking, talking, even praying, lately about going. We'd made some loose discussions, but that's about it--and not recently. This "movie" was something that I just knew meant it was time. I saw Jesus taking my hand, my parents a bit farther back out of the picture. We were in Bethlehem and He took my hand and said, "I'm going to answer your questions." I watched this movie as Momma was praying next to me, and when we were done, after being silent for a bit, I looked at her and said, "Let's go to Israel." She asked, "When?" I said, "May 2018. It's time, Momma." And within 30 minutes we had all talked and basically I said I would start getting information about cheap (but clean and safe) places to stay and watching plane ticket prices.
Why we are going
As I said, this began as a fact-finding mission to uncover the many lies and oddities in my own background and bring closure, an identity trip, so to speak. I am safe and loved now, and I know who I am in Jesus, but the mysteries are too vast. Last year I found a blood relative who was the friendliest person ever, who said I looked exactly like the rest of the family. But then he showed my picture to his family in Jordan (he's here) and they all went silent. I found a different DNA relative from the same village who also informed me I look like all the Khourys in that village. I have talked with the orphanage where I was, but they say I was found on the street. I have talked with Fr. Emil, the head of the Latin Patriarchate (Catholic church) who has my records and papers, who has actually said he wanted me to come to Jerusalem "on a pilgrimage," but will still only tell me so much.
It was from this orphanage contact that the bigger picture of helping other orphans came forth about a week later, when I discovered they had no hope of getting out of that orphanage like I did. So this literally morphed from a personal trip to a pro-life focused endeavor. (Typical God, huh?!)
I have not been ready to find out until now. I had to be adopted, to be safe and secure in the love I have so that even if something bad happens, it will not shake my core. God has put this drive in me, and He is leading me to go. I have had numerous prophetic words over the years about how I would go and find out, and also go back and help others, but I blew them off because I didn't want to go. I figured people were speaking out of their own hearts, their desires to solve the mystery. But in 2014 I had two visions (one was a continuation of the other), which I also blew off. I saw a lady place me on the street in Bethlehem and the man who came to get me (and likely take me to the orphanage). I had put these out of my mind because they came in a difficult time in my life that I shoved away. During that prayer with my mom, that came back to me--over three years later. And the story goes on.
After we knew we were to go, I found a letter from Israel that I had originally received right after those visions. But until 2017 I had not really read it. I believe that's because God was waiting to reveal the revelation until the timing was right. Some of you on Facebook have been watching this unfold. There's a purpose, for me, for others. God has a reason for me to go then and with my parents, and this is the time. I just know it.
Finding the funds!
I am on a mission to figure out how to pay for this. My parents are small church pastors and I knew before we ever talked a trip to another nation wasn't feasible for them where they are now, and I need them both there--and we all know they are the ones to be there, so I said I wanted to take them, somehow. I made plans to write some articles to put in a savings account, though I knew that would not net me enough on its own. I knew some people wanted to help so this GoFundMe is set up, and I am thinking of other fundraisers. Also an accidental $50 investment doubled in a month and I am going to take a chance with a small amount of money and try to make some off that. In other words, I am doing anything and everything I can. I DO believe the Lord has appointed this time and somehow there will be this money that I can't even imagine
Obviously, though the trip is not immediate we will have to solidify everything crucial, very soon as things like affordable and safe lodging is ALREADY being booked and some we wanted is unavailble already! And we have to know what we're dealing with to do that. It seems early, but it's not, not for this magnitude. We leave Ma8 8 and return May 19. We raised almost enough for tickets, so we bought them while prices were low. We're looking for clean and safe rooms, but know we won't be able to stay in some "fancy" place and are okay with that. I have to budget for a shuttle as well as a cab ride or other transport to my home village, 1.5 hours north of Jerusalem, in Palestinian territory. I'm guessing if we are careful, we can do it for about $6K, give or take. That may be conservative, but we just know it's important to go, even if it's not first class accommodations.
In case you are wondering why I don't just ante up from my awesome salary, (bahaha!), the myth that college professors are rich is just that--unless you work at one of the big schools and have been promoted through the ranks. I actually make less than a public school teacher in Texas (which is not a complaint, for I love my job, but there is no way this could be budgeted into my salary along with medical debt and student loan payments), so this is truly a trust God factor, and all I can do is work some freelance jobs, raise funds and do things like this in for the ones who have asked, and hoping maybe a few others will want to help. I' not promising you "holy water" or anything "anointed." I have no gimmicks. I believe with all my heart God has said "go" to us and we have the timing, so I'm taking a leap of faith. And one thing I learned in my full-time ministry stint is that for some people, it is actually an opportunity to give and be a part of something. For some it's a gift. As a person who grew up poor, I had no concept of that, but being a regular giver and tither to orphan and LIFE ministries over the years, I began to understand it. So this is not mean to be some emotional plea of guilt trip. Some people consider it an opportunity and those might be found on this page. That's all. No manipulation or sob stories. I am that certain God has appointed this time and us three to go. He will provide! (And by the way, I struggle a LOT with faith for financial things, so the very fact I am this confident is some proof itself to my own heart--and I think to my mom who isn't used to seeing me be THAT confident!)
Whatever I am going to discover, I am going to be prepared to handle. Most important, I will be there with my parents (for it's not DNA that makes family--that just makes genetic relations), and I can handle anything in that case. My life verse is truly "you will know the truth and the truth will set you free" (John 8:32). Some of you know my history with that verse. There is nothing worse than being in the dark. I would rather know something bad and be able to process it than to be an outcast people are trying to hide from.
So we're going to Israel. And I'm excited and yet filled with great peace because I always knew I would know when the time had come. And now I do. Just like that, with no hint or warning. Prayer is powerful.
Thanks for reading and following. If you can't or don't want to help financially would you pray that God provides all the money--in whatever ways. The bottom line is that the money is the only hindrance left to us going, and I thank God He uses people and provides opportunity. And thank you if you are one of the people! You will find me chained to a computer much of the summer, not only paying for my summer expenses, but socking away whatever else I earn from my writing job into savings. And I believe as I do my part, small as it may be, God will do His part--and probably He will use some of you in the process because He always seems to surprise me like that!
PS If you want to give and don't want GoFundMe to take a fee out as it does, you can message me about sending a check, which will go into the same designated account--a special bank account I'm opening solely for this fund.
- Arlene &Vince Maloney
- Melinda Dexter
- Julie Hayden
- A kind friend
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