Posts Tagged ‘Orphanages’



Dianna always gives Her best and puts Her own desires on hold

Need an honest answer, come to Her, you know the truth is told

Though others leave when times get tough I know she will remain

When my heart is parched and dry Her words have come like rain

She has suffered much yet Her love has endured the test of time

The passion She has given me has caused my words to rhyme

Wisdom found a home in Her and what a treasure now resides

Watch her with our children’s children you’ll see great love inside

Precious are my memories with Her and inspiration for my life

She was cute as childhood sweetheart now beautiful as my wife

She’s my other half my better half and the half has not been told

She’s my one of a kind no average girl in Her they broke the mold

Dianna having Gamma Knife surgery25th anniversary

Progression of Cushings Syndrome

 Progression of Dianna illness : Cushings Syndrome


Dianna and I were married in 1979 in 1982 She became very sick. No one could diagnose the Problem but after breaking several bones in Her foot by simply walking up the stairs we went to Dr. Travis in Harrisonville Missouri. He said something very serious was wrong and sent Dianna to specialist in Research hospital in Kansas City. He diagnosed Dianna with Cushings Syndrome. Cushings is basically a small tumor on the pituitary glad. Dianna has now had 3 brain surgeries and a gamma knife surgery. She has had Her pituitary gland removed and now takes more medicine than I can keep track of. Dianna has suffered so much yet keeps trusting God. She truly is inspiring when you have seen Her suffer like I have over the many years.

Well here we are Dianna and I have made it 30 years. When we got married Feb 9th1979 most people gave us a year. Nine days not months between our wedding and David’s birth had nothing to do with the jokes about people from Arkansas. Dianna was born in Hot Springs and my Mother was from Mena, so we both have razorback blood in our veins. We love Arkansas, jokes and all. We have survived every curve ball life has thrown our way, and though it has been hard to keep going back to the plate, we have, and we will. GOD has been so faithful to us. We have raised our kids and are enjoying our grandkids. Though Dianna can not go to the third world because of Her medical condition She has sacrificed alot and blessed my going. I always bring Her perspective with me as I am ministering. Her heart has provided me with the needed balance, as I work together with a great team here in the midwest to launch an orphanage called Abba House. You can check out the work at http://www.houseoffriends.org/Abbahouse.html .

You were ruff and tough, a true Tom boy to the core

The first day I saw you oh how my spirit soared

You were like a mustang daring to be tamed

A loner never crying out for fame

I was a wild one, adventure would be my call

Our lives mixed together, like a painting on the wall

Colors differing, yet blending, and converging into one

On lookers set and wonder, what will it be, when done

Wisdom and zeal have found a home in We

We have given our selves to life, as we crucified our Me

We are one, We are the picture of one, and what is left is none

Dianna I love Us Together, John

Thank Jesus for investing your life in US !!!!


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Several nights ago I had a dream and I just can’t get it out of my mind maybe bloging about it will help me.

Here it is:

I was in the back seat of a taxi with a pregnant white lady about to give birth. Her White husband was driving the taxi and He began to ask me to please deliver the baby and He knew He would not make it to the hospital in time. I told Him I had never done that before and I didn’t think I could. All the sudden the lady was giving birth and the the next thing I knew the baby was in my hands. It was a black baby and the Father looked at me for explanation and I gave it. I said don’t worry, your wife has not committed adultery this is a spiritual baby. It represents the orphans of Africa.

With those words the alarm sounded 3:40 am letting me know it’s time for work. The dream seemed so real I just can’t shake it.

In the Natural we just received word that food prices had doubled in Uganda due to the devalued American dollar. We have about 30 children in an orphanage in Entebee Uganda and we are just making it right now. I felt overwhelmed with “where are we going to come up with more money?”. That could have caused the dream. Or maybe it was the new license plates on my car that has MD on them as I have been joking I am now Dr John MD. Or maybe it’s because my spiritual kids Travis and Christy Kolder  just had a baby.

Or maybe just maybe we are to birth something in prayer to see the spirit of adoption released from Abba Father himself. I know this Jesus loves the children and His Father is the Father to the Fatherless. Join with me as we pray for the Lord to visit the orphans of Africa, God knows we don’t handle visitations well here in the states. Father visit the children with your grace and mercy and release provision for them. In Jesus name Amen.

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January 13th early in the morning my wife Dianna woke me up and told me “you sure are sleeping loud” I knew it was true I had been dreaming I was back in Africa and I had been dropped into the middle of devastation. I was working to get orphans into homes. It was overwhelming, one minute I was in Africa the next I would be back in Missouri. Then the dream slowed down into slow motion. I had been trying to get someone to explain to me what had brought about such devastation in Africa and how I ended up in the middle of it all.

There it was the longest train I had ever seen, it was a old coal burning train. It was pulling passenger cars and on each car was written Show Me Orphan Train. In the windows were little faces pressed against the glass. At this point I am crying looking into the faces of desperation to be loved, it was overwhelming. In the dream Linda a 20 year old Ugandan girl that is living with us while going to college pointed at the children and said “John it’s about them” I woke immediately with all kinds of emotions.

I thought about the meeting I have today with my friends from Alma Missouri introducing them to Gizaw my friend from Ethiopia who will be talking to us about the need for orphanages in Ethiopia. I thought about our friends John and Sharon who minister in Kenya that had just been at the house talking about the conditions there. I thought about my own experiences in Uganda, Egypt and Ethiopia.

Then I thought about a teaching that Regina Shank does on overcoming rejection and She tell’s stories about the orphan trains that would move from the east coast to the Midwest dropping off children to waiting families. Of course there are some bad stories about abuse and using the kids as slave labor. As a whole the Midwest provided homes, I myself have a great grandmother who was an orphan and was taken in to a wonderful family in Beatrice Nebraska.

Here is an advertisement below that appeared in the Troy Free Press Feb 11, 1910. Troy is in Lincoln County.

A company of homeless children from the East will arrive at
TROY, MO., ON FRIDAY, FEB. 25th, 1910
These children are of various ages and of both sexes, having been thrown friendless upon the world. They come under the auspices of the Children’s Aid Society of New York. They are well disciplined, having come from the various orphanages. The citizens of this community are asked to assist the agent in finding good homes for them. Persons taking these children must be recommended by the local committee. They must treat the children in every way as a member of the family, sending them to school, church, Sabbath school and properly clothe them until they are 17 years old. The following well-known citizens have agreed to act as local committee to aid the agents in securing homes:
Applications must be made to, and endorsed by, the local committee.
An address will be made by the agent. Come and see the children and hear the address. Distribution will take place at the
Opera House, Friday, Feb. 25, at 1:30 p.m.
B. W. TICE and MISS A. L. HILL, Agents, 105 E. 22nd St., New York City. Rev. J. W. SWAN, University Place, Nebraska, Western Agent


Orphan Train in Black & White – Diamond Someday “above”

Here are the words to a blue grass song: Orphan Train “below”

By (Utah Phillips)

Once I had a darling mother, though I can’t recall her name
I had a baby brother who I’ll never see again
For the Children’s Home is sending us out on the Orphan Train
To try to find someone to take us in

cho: Take us in, we have rode the Orphan Train
     Take us in, we need a home, we need a name
     Take us in, oh won’t you be our kin
     We are looking for someone to take us in

I have stolen from the poorbox, I’ve begged the city streets
I’ve swabbed the bars and poolrooms for a little bite to eat
In my daddy’s old green jacket and these rags upon my feet
I’ve been looking for someone to take me in

The Children’s Home they gathered us, me and all the rest
They taught us to sit quietly until the food was blest
Then they put us on the Orphan Train and sent us way out West
To try to find someone to take us in.

The farmers and their families they came from miles around
We lined up on the platform of the station in each town
And one by one we parted like some living lost-and-found
And one by one we all were taken in

Now there’s many a fine doctor or a teacher in your school
There’s many a good preacher who can teach the Golden Rule
Who started out an orphan sleeping in the freezing rain
Whose life began out on the Orphan Train.

Well I have to get going and get ready for Church, I just wanted to get the dream down before I forgot it. I hope it will stir you up to pray for those all over the world that have no place to call home and no one to call family. They need to know they have a father who has declared so from heaven. Some times we need to be reminded as the church we are His hands and Feet and more than that we are His Family with open arms and open eyes.

Psalms 68:4-6  Sing to God, sing praise to his name, extol him who rides on the clouds– his name is the Lord– and rejoice before him. 5 A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. 6 God sets the lonely in families, he leads forth the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.

Part 2   https://riverflowsdown.wordpress.com/2008/01/16/show-me-orphan-train-dream-part-2/

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I was just in Uganda 4 months ago and as we were leaving our good friend Paul handed all of us a box of co-Arinate a strong antimalarial medicine. We have to many experiences with American doctors miss-diagnosing malaria and by the time they did recognize it would be so bad. I had never had malaria but after being home about 12 hours I became very sick with chills, aching joints etc. I made it through Christmas morning with the family but by noon I was sitting next to the wood stove freezing.

Long story short 36 hours later I began the treatment and have just now early Saturday morning taken my last set of pills. I can not tell you how great I feel, I just want to praise Jesus. I know this is TO MUCH INFORMATION but please bear with me. I had not urinated for over 3 days and I had been drinking 7up and water and eating dry toast only. I began to fear my kidneys may try and shut down and I was afraid to tell my wife knowing I would be off to the hospital. I know all you medical guys hear fingers on the chalk board, but honestly I was just trying to trust the Lord and press through. At about the 4 day mark normal body functions prevailed. I was so excited, telling my wife at that point, got the crossed arms and the shaking head stare. Praise God its good to be alive, to the story at hand.

During my first few hours of sickness I posted a story about Rose because it was so important I just wanted to get it from my heart out to the world. Now that I have all my faculties I will tell it again. Thanks for enduring.

I’m home from a short trip to Uganda east Africa. It was just myself and two fireball college students, Bethany Hartzler and Stacey Shaw. They would be taking video footage for a proposed orphanage. We left Kansas City on Dec 15th in a snow storm and missed our flight from Chicago. I had never been part of a missions trip without spending time together in prayer before leaving. That was what we were doing, because the girls had just finished school and drove into KC picked me up and we headed for KCI airport.

Funny thing the night before we left my wife and I had gone to wal-mart for some last minute things, when our friend Mary whom we had run into a few minutes earlier walked up and handed me some money. She said “I had to come back, the Lord spoke to me and told me to give you this money, just use it as the Lord leads.” We were so short on funds and we could not afford a hotel and after we got the news that we missed our flight I remembered the last minute gift.

The Lord knew we needed the time to pray and get on the same page and we all knew He was with us. 24 hours later we were off again to Amsterdam, then Nairobi, finally landing in Entebbe. My suitcase with all my clothes did not make the flight, but showed up on Wednesday. I think we knew with what seemed such demonic opposition, the Lord Jesus must of had a big plan.

We stayed with missionary Alma Jones and we were working with Richard and Debra Kaaya and Paul Basulawa. As we toured the Kaaya’s primary school we found about 30 out of 250 students which had not gone home for Christmas break seeing they had no home to go to. The girls began to shoot some footage while Debra began to tell us some of their stories. Bethany was drawn to a little girl in a yellow dress. Her face was stern, giving the impression that She had been through a lot considering She wasn’t much more than an infant. Here is Her story.

Rose is 3 years old and She lives with Her Mother and Grandfather. Her Mother is 15 years old and by doing the simple math we know the Mother was 12 at the time of the birth. We found out that the Mother had conceived during a rape. I will mention at this point that the Mother has mental illness. In America this would make a classic liberal case for abortion but thank God not this time. God seems to have thundered from heaven with this little girl that ALL life is precious and worth living. She truly lives up to Her name Rose. Precious Rose you have captured our hearts, you are beautiful.

We had pastor Kaaya take us to buy some food, and We delivered it to Her Grandfather. He was so grateful and began to tell us how Rose at 3 years old did the washing and cleaning, seeing that he was old and the Mother was just not mentally capable. My heart is hard, I admit it I have been all over the world and I have seen things that made me vomit, close my eyes turn away and cry, and here I was just numb, yeah numb that describes it.

The next day we took some beanie babies, bracelets and candy to the 30 orphaned children. Rose was there and we noticed She drifted off by Herself. When She was asked what was wrong, She said that She was just putting back part of the candy to share with Her Mother. What a display of love this little girl demonstrated. Finally the hardness gave way and my heart did not hold back tears, I cried. I thought how Rose was conceived in rape and hatred. I thought of the prison of emotional pain that Her mother lives with yet They are a picture of pure LOVE. Rose will serve as a reminder of how fearfully and wonderfully we are made. We are created by God, not by our circumstances, nor are we limited by them.

Abba Father this Christmas 2007 I have been given a fresh look at the gift of life and have again found it precious. Raise this precious Rose up for all to see the handy work of your creation. Let Her be a reminder that you are the Spirit of Adoption and you are the father of the fatherless and the defender of the widow. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen


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 I woke this morning a little overwhelmed. I leave tomorrow with two college students for Uganda east Africa. I think its my 7th trip to Africa and my 6th trip to Uganda. It should be old hat by now but here I am pressing in at the last minute believing for all the pieces to come together while up to now they have not. God is always on time and not to often early. One day I will walk in that, and not just know it with head knowledge. We will be doing interviews and making a documentary so to speak trying to raise funds to build an orphanage with my long term friend Richard Kaaya. That is not the norm for me, I have never done anything like this I usually am handing out bibles and training pastor’s in the bush.

I know from experience that when I get there they will have me speaking and right now I feel a little dry and empty and a that seems when the Lord comes through the strongest, when we are at our weakest. Just being transparent. Back to the point at hand as I struggle to get my day started I keep hearing in my spirit the phrase “If God Be With Us” now I know that in Romans 8:31 it says  What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?” but that is not what I was hearing so I googled the phrase and picked this post about my hero Leonard Ravenhill : In Judges 6, Gideon is older, and while threshing corn, is fearing an attack of the Midianites. For seven years, the once liberated slaves of Pharaoh had again become captives. Dens and caves were their homes. No longer were they able to sing the Lord’s song. It must have sounded like a fairy tale when that angel appeared to Gideon and informed him, “God is with thee, thou mighty man of valor.” Yet he shot back the answer, “If God be with us, where be all his miracles which our fathers told us of?” This answer makes clear that Gideon was expecting some supernatural evidence. To him, the seal of the Lord’s presence would be something that could not be rationalized.Alas that today there is more evidence of religious sensation before our eyes than evidence of spiritual regeneration and supernatural phenomenon! Not many Christians today can forget the fact that the devil goeth about as a roaring lion, but we seem to have lost sight of the fact that the Lion of the tribe of Judah has defeated the roaring lion of hell, and therefore every anointed Samson or Gideon or church can also slay the lion of hell. Though wicked men are doing wickedly, God’s promise to us is that “the people that do know their God shall be strong and do exploits” (Daniel 11:32). God pity us that after years of writing, using mountains of paper and rivers of ink, exhausting flashy terminology about the biggest revival meetings in history, we are still faced with gross corruption in every nation, as well as with the most prayerless church age since Pentecost.

Judges 6:12-14 12 And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him, and said unto him, The LORD is with thee, thou mighty man of valour. 13 And Gideon said unto him, Oh my Lord, if the LORD be with us, why then is all this befallen us?and where be all his miracles which our fathers told us of, saying, Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt? but now the LORD hath forsaken us, and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites. 14 And the LORD looked upon him, and said, Goin this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have not I sent thee?

Wow I remember the 5 w’s of good journalism who what where why when. God said He is with us, we give the 5 w’s He say’s simply go with no explanation, just GO.

Here we are at the Christmas season no better time to think about Jesus, Emmanuel, God with us. Matthew 1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

Jesus paid the ultimate price to be with us and He said in Matthew 28:20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

No mater who is against you, or what is happening to you, or where you are, the questions of why is this happening to me, or when will this ever end. If you are Born again and have excepted Jesus as Lord and savior your sin is cast as far as the east is from the west and HE IS WITH YOU take comfort. If not Repent ask God to forgive you , we all have sinned. God the Father sent His Son Jesus to pay the debt for our sin by a brutal death on the cross. He was buried but was raised from the dead and is seated at the Fathers right hand, waiting for you to let Him in, just ask, its that simple. He changed my life, He will yours too. Merry Christmas


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On December the 15th 2007 I will be heading to Uganda east Africa. It will be my 6th visit in last 7 years. My Friends Shawn and Laura Charles lead the first team I went on along with with our friend Kato from bible college. I was captured by an event that happened that year that will never let me go. This is that story.

Floyd McClung was our pastor at the time and had spent most of His life on the mission field with YWAM. He was giving instruction about practical things like the difference in cultures between a cold climate and warm climate. Floyd made a statement that I took to heart at the deepest level. He said that He learned early on that a missionary who is married must look at things with their spouse in mind when traveling without them. Explaining that men in particular give quick answers like this. Wife ; Honey how’s the trip? Husband; Great! Wife ; What happened. Husband ; Awesome things. Wife ; Tell me about it. Husband ; You know lots of ministry. You get the picture Its called communication and unless it has to do with hunting or fishing or sports we men don’t do it or at least not well. We were challenged to spend time looking at things our wives would notice if they were with us and to tell them about it when we got home. Sounded very wise so I kept that out in front of me.

 On the first full day in Uganda our organizer Derrick Kiboneka took us to John Mulinde’s church the trumpet center to preach at the noon hour service. As we walked about a half a mile through the city to get to the church my eyes were wide open in shock. Street kids every where looking for a hand out. We had been warned that the kids would take any money they got and buy rags soaked with fuel that they would huff to get high. We could give them food but not money. Just up ahead I saw them, two little girls well under 10 years old. They were holding hands and with the free hand out stretched looking for help. We had nothing to give we were totally unprepared for that collision with reality. I reached into my pocket and all that was there was a pack of cool mint Ice Breakers gum. I pulled out two pieces and put them in their hands as they looked back at me as to say what are we to do with this? A lump formed in my throat and my eyes began to water up as I tried to ignore them pulling on my heart strings. I told myself keep going you can’t save the world.

The instructions that Floyd had given came rushing in. What would my wife do keep walking! I could hear Her saying in my head ” John you can’t just leave them here”. I shook it off and kept going and had a great day, saw many wonderful things the Lord was doing in Uganda. But then came the night and I was all snug in the mosquito net covered cot. I closed my eyes and there they were with their hands out and I am not to much of a he man to admit I cried myself to sleep.

The truth of the matter is I can still see them not as clear as I once did oh but they are there. They are older now maybe 12 or 13. I pray someone more compassionate than I found them and rescued them from the life on the streets. A million more all over Uganda flooding south from the war torn north. While I snuggle with my wife and grandchildren in front of the warm wood stove early this morning I am thinking of them. My heart is once again softened for the thought that maybe we together can make a difference.

I will turn 46 this year while in Uganda. Like the old song “Its my Birthday and I can cry if I want to” This time it will not be tears of sadness but of gladness. I will be filming the real deal, the need and the small vision the Lord has given some of my friends and I its called Abba’s House. The vision is to build  “childrens home” on site at pastor Richard Kaaya’s property overlooking beautiful Lake Victoria. We will be working with Pastor Billy Bope from Indiana who pioneered the school on the property with Richard and Debra Kaaya. The children will both have a place to call home and a good education. I will be taking two college students with me who will be helping me with videoing and interviewing and they will be setting up means of doing adoptions. They have already been pioneering in that area.


The pictures above were taken at Richards school the planned location of Abba’s House



Abba House , Entebbe Uganda

Abba House , Entebbe Uganda

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