ELEVEN CAMPAIGN

$9,791raised of $20,000 goal
48%

Organizer: MICHELLE SCHAFFNER Beneficiary: schaffner family

This fundraiser is closed

ELEVEN CAMPAIGN

 

So God’s ways are not our ways….for sure.  Little did we know last year at this time that the Lord would call us to adopt four brothers from Haiti!  This week we got to see pictures of their precious faces, we know their names and we know their stories.  We are not allowed to share this information, but trust us we are smitten! 

Then today we were told how much the international fees would be.  Please sit down.  $56,300, with the total costs of the adoption being approximately $80,000.   As of 4/16/2014:  we have paid  $39,160. of those fees.  We paid about $33,500 of those fees out of our own funds with a combination of a refinance, tax return money and some on a 0% credit card.  We have raised about $27,430. including our recent matching grant.  We are   For a better understanding of why adoption costs so much, please go here: http://showhope.org/5-reasons-adoption-can-be-expensive.  Since we realized we cannot do this without help:   here is our idea:  The Eleven Campaign.   This idea came from this story:   http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/30/hony-boy-from-ethiopia_n_4177784.html  .  In this story a family’s entire cost of adoption was raised and  most of their donations were in $10 gifts!   I thought that seems doable…..since our family will go from seven children to eleven….I thought we would try to get the word out to as many as we could for donations of eleven dollars . Please, don’t think eleven dollars is too small!  If 100 people give $11., that is 1,100!   Feel free to share our eleven campaign with anyone…maybe it will go viral and we can fund this entire adoption!   Feel free to share it on your Facebook page, or whatever way you can. You can also visit our blog at: http://ronschaffner.wordpress.com/#sthash.6BT8YCMi.dpuf


Thank you for considering this.  Many blessings to you.

Ron and Michelle Schaffner

Updates

Updates

10/08/2014
by MICHELLE SCHAFFNER
Dear Friends,
  While this eleven campaign has ended and we currently are not raising any more funds until we get closer to bringing the boys home, we would love for you to continue to follow our story on our blog at:  ron.schaffner@wordpress.com 
 
At the current time we are anticipating prayerfully to travel for our first two week trip around Christmas or at the first of the year.  This is assuming referrals begin soon in Haiti.  

 BLessings,
The Schaffner Family


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09/11/2014
by MICHELLE SCHAFFNER

Progress and Praises

Well, I wish I could share that we had our referral, but not yet.  But, the good news is that the IEBSR began issuing them this week!  Two families from America World received their referrals and will be traveling to Haiti to meet their children in two weeks!  One dear woman has never had any children and has been waiting a long time for this.  She is so excited and we rejoice with her. 

Our orphanage has indicated that they expect referrals for their children to be coming at the end of September through Mid-October.  The praise is that the boys do now know they are being adopted!  They do not know yet who. 

Another  praise in the area of finances.  I figured our money and due to a couple of increased fees and needing some of our personal money for other things we were about $1000 short.  I prayed asking the Lord to provide for this need, though I must say my faith was probably smaller than a mustard seed.  I didn’t know how the Lord would do this since our fundraising campaigns were through.  I had on my  to do list to apply for another 0% interest credit card.  I checked our Lifesong account to make sure that all the donations were in now and there was a donation from someone for $1000!  I was floored!  Then when Ron brought in the mail he handed me another check for $1000!  I guess the Lord wanted to assure me that He has this adoption in the palm of His hands. 

It seems each time my faith is weak in some way He sends strength, or a prayer, or a note of encouragement from somewhere.  One dear friend, to remain nameless, sent me a very special statue.  This statue represents Mary and the anawim.  Each time I look at the statue, I am reminded to give it all to the Lord. The following are some excerpts from the amazing article she gave me, hope it blesses you as much as it did me.  Thank you , friend. 

The Anawim: who are they?

By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J. *

 

Some years ago, the award-winning comic strip by Johnny Hart featured a piece about the mystery of the Incarnation, though it did not mention the phrase.

The cartoon was a whimsical commentary on modern man and woman. It is relevant today because the public commemoration of Christmas is challenged everywhere. It is after all, a legal holiday. The country has no problem honoring American presidents or Martin Luther King, Jr. Yet, protesters complain that their sensibilities are offended by honoring Jesus Christ, if not as God, then certainly as the greatest of all anawim:

It seems to me that since the Fall–
without even thinking it odd  
that man had no trouble at all believing that he can be God.  
How he would do this I cannot conceive ... 
tho, he certainly thinks he can–
and yet, he cannot bring himself to believe that God can become ... a Man.

Who were the anawim?

Mary and Joseph of Nazareth, Mahatma Gandhi

The anawim of the Old Testament were the poor of every sort: the vulnerable, the marginalized, and socio-economically oppressed, those of lowly status without earthly power. In fact, they depended totally on God for whatever they owned. The Hebrew word anawim (inwetan) means those who are bowed down.

Mahatma Gandhi understood inwetan as the way of bhakti, that is, loving devotion and surrender to God. In times of suffering, the anawim remained faithful and awaited the good things of the Lord to fill their emptiness, as the Lucan gospel tells us in (Lk 1:53). They delighted in the Lord because they were rooted in him.

Mary of Nazareth belonged to the anawim. Her life of fidelity had singled her out for a special role in God’s salvific plan. She was already betrothed to Joseph, and when God’s plan was put to her, quite naturally, she asked how it would happen. Mary’s free acceptance allowed the Spirit to work in her. In proclaiming her Magnificat, she acknowledged that the Almighty has done great things for her in her lowliness in contrast to God’s dealings with the proud (Lk 1:47).

Mary shines among the anawim about whom Jesus later speaks in the Sermon on the Mount. She is the first model of discipleship in the New Testament.

Like Mary, Joseph of Nazareth also belonged to the anawim.  In a dream, he experienced his own annunciation in which he responded to God’s mandate and assumed his role in salvation-history (Mt1:18-25).  Joseph was deeply troubled that Mary’s child was not his.  He had no foreknowledge of Mary’s Annunciation, no foreknowledge of Mary’s divine pregnancy. He had to be told. Like Joseph of the Old Testament, through a dream, he was asked to entrust his future entirely to God. He understood that by divine choice, he would be the child’s earthly father, assuming responsibility both for legitimizing the child and for naming him. Like Mary, Joseph trusted in God’s providential care.

Jesus, God’s Anaw

In his epistle to the Philippians 2:6-7), St. Paul tells us that Jesus emptied himself taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. The phrase, “he emptied himself” refers in the first place to the Incarnation. Jesus’ kenosis means that he who emptied himself freely chose to deprive himself of something he already possessed. A person who makes himself empty gives up his wealth and becomes poor. St. Francis of Assisi is one famous example of this. Jesus did this so that by his poverty, “(we) might become rich” (2 Cor 8:1-9). He entered into the condition of the powerless anawim, but he did not de-divinize himself of his Godhead. He made himself at one with the poor by becoming absolutely poor.

Jesus emptied himself as love (agape) in order to redeem humanity through kenosis. Agape  led to kenosis, and kenosis, to glory. Love was the only reason for his incarnation, his passion, death, and resurrection.

As model parents, Mary and Joseph raised Jesus in the spirit of the anawim.

 


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08/09/2014
by MICHELLE SCHAFFNER

Updates:

Haiti has been issuing referrals for certain special cases and we are asking for prayer that our referral would come soon.  Today, I read Jesus instructions to his disciples on prayer. Following the Lord’s prayer is the story told by Jesus of the friend going to his friend at midnight asking for 3 loaves of bread and Jesus said that he will not get up and give him bread because he is his friend, but because of his persistence he will give him as much as he needs.  Will you join us in prayer that our case would float to the top of the pile and the Lord would hear all of our persistent requests for a referral soon

On the financial front we are very close to having everything we need for this second trip.  We have raised  $7,366.94. from the both hands project along with the $3,000 from the matching grant giving us $6000. More.  We have $33,328.92 and will need $36,000. Due to one fee increase and paying for the boy’s schooling for the fall.  Isn’t that amazing!  Thank you to all of you for your prayers, donations and help in so many ways.  From a financial front, we are ready, we can go.

Once we are issued a referral, it takes about two weeks to be ready to travel as we have to wait for approval from the IEBSR.  We then travel for two weeks and will be staying at the orphanage and in the orphanage guest house while there. Our access to internet will be limited. When we return home we can share photos etc.  It then is supposed to take 6-8 months until we can bring them home.

Prayer is coveted.

Thanks.


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07/27/2014
by MICHELLE SCHAFFNER
Updates:
Bake sale an amazing success:  2,200 raised

Both Hands project a blast, see video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MmAaGXd738w&feature=youtu.be

Thank you, please pray for a referral this week, by Aug. 2, 2014.  Blessings, The Schaffner Family
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07/18/2014
by MICHELLE SCHAFFNER
Max's Next Bake Sale

Remember my post about Max's Bake Sale?  Well, now he is having an EPIC BAKE SALE!  Here is his mom's post about it.  We are so  humbled by the kindness of others in helping us raise these funds to bring our sons home.  We are learning to WAIT, as the Lord is working in His timing.  There have been no referrals issued from Haiti for 6 months as the laws switch over.  We don't know when they will start. Our boys do not know yet that they are going to be adopted.  We thank you for your prayers.  If you live close enough, visit the bake sale! See below:

Ok, BIG NEWS! The next "donation only" BAKE SALE is scheduled! Spread the word and please share this. I will keep posting reminders. This sale is going to have to take place in my side yard and I am so excited and happy for the outreach of area businesses that are wanting to donate! Thank you Country Market for the lemonade!
Other organizations donating their prized goodies are:
FLAVOR FRUIT FARM
CRACKER BARREL
BOB EVANS
THE BEACH BAR
PRIME CUTS
THE POINT BAR & GRILL
BIG BOY
OUR ASPARAGUS PATCH AND GARDENS
IN GOOD COMPANY 
TRAVERSE CITY PIE COMPANY

Please contact me if you're willing to help and donate to make this successful! Most importantly we need you to come!

Haiti Adoption Mission Bake-Sale Fund Raiser:

A baked goods fund raiser will be held Friday July, 25th in the yard of Tahny Lowry to help a local family adopt 4 brothers from Haiti. Please join us from 9 am to ??, so come early. All baked goods priced for donations only. Local businesses are also lending a helping hand to show support for this family. Please pray for quick processing of documents and approvals to help bring these brothers home. Money raised will be used for adoption fees, travel expenses, and necessities needed for these four boys.

Location:

11978 Hewitt Rd, Brooklyn, MI

Blessings,

Michelle and family


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07/02/2014
by MICHELLE SCHAFFNER

Praises for a $2000 grant from Heart of Bride Ministry for Orphans.  Check out their website: http://www.heartofthebride.org/

 Praises for a free wooden swing set from Craig’s list, although Ron is driving 1 and ½ hours each way to get it!  Praises for a connection through Sharon United Methodist Church we aquired two dressers.  Check out their rummage sale coming up soon on July 10,11, and 12.  Praises for an awesome core team for our Both Hands project, and a sweet family, Tamara Ball and her children Parker and Emma, to do this awesome project with/for! 

We continue to just feel the Lord providing for us each day in new and unique ways.  We feel so blessed and supported by our church, family and community.  I am so thankful for the people praying for and supporting us, knowing these precious boys have all this support!

Been profoundly impacted by a verse in my daily Bible reading:

“But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closed his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in Him?

1 John 3:17

It is such a difficult reality that all of us in America are so wealthy compared to the rest of the world.  I pray that our hearts will never stop seeking His face and using all He gives us to help those who need it. How can the world look at us if we live just like them and see any difference?  Do we just look like the world but don't do big sins?  Do our lives reflect any sense of real dependence on Him?  Do we even remember to ask for our Daily Bread? (David Platt in his secret church sermon asks this) Or are we pretty sure we can take care of all our own needs?  Questions to ponder.  

I have struggled with the waiting.  Right now we have heard no news.  Praying for a miracle to travel this summer.  If this happens, it will unmistakebly be the hand of God!  I pray Lord, that it would be your will to bring ours sons home soon.  I ask in Jesus name for a referral.

Thank you for all your support and continued prayers.  Can hardly believe our little Ella Joy is nearly one!  Thank you Jesus for Ella Joy.

Blessings in Christ,

The Schaffner Family


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06/09/2014
by MICHELLE SCHAFFNER

Some of you have asked about our matching grant information, I would be glad to send you a letter or here is the basic information you need:

To send a tax deductible donation for our $3000 matching grant:

  1. Please prayerfully consider giving a tax deductible donation as we have been blessed with a $3000 matching grant funded by Family Christian Ministries, through Lifesong for Orphans to help pay for our adoption expenses.  Our goal date is August 4, 2014, but funds will be accepted until our sons are home and/or the adoption is complete.

Please make checks payable to “Lifesong for Orphans.” In the memo, note “Schaffner  #4451” to assure it goes to the right account. Please mail to: Lifesong for Orphans, PO Box 40, Gridley, IL. 61744.  Lifesong has been blessed with a partner that underwrites all U.S. administrative and fund-raising costs (TMG Foundation and other partners).  This means 100% of your donation will go directly to the adoption.  Lifesong is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and your gift is tax deductible.

Thank you for your prayers and for so many of you who have already so generously given! 
Blessings,

Ron and Michelle


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06/04/2014
by MICHELLE SCHAFFNER
We just received word today that we got a matching grant from Lifesong for $3000!  Details coming soon.  This is a huge blessing and with this grant will put us right where we need to be to travel!  This grant can also help with travel costs, which is a blessing.  Thank you Lord!  Thank you for your prayers!
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06/04/2014
by MICHELLE SCHAFFNER

As I have struggled with the longing for our sons to be home, I have had to ask myself, what is it I truly long for? If I believe God is omniscient, which I do. If I believe God is omnipotent, which I do. If I believe He is merciful and just, which I do. If I believe God is kind, which I do. If I believe God is sovereign, which I do....then I must trust He is in control. He must be doing something in our hearts during this waiting time. He is perfecting us....He is preparing us...He is showing us Himself, preparing to be Glorified. To trust and rest in Him in this waiting has been a test for me. To truly be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and petition present our requests to Him, and allow Him to fill us with the peace that passeth understanding. And yet, to still pray every day with faith that I will see that email! 
I found the scripture that has helped me so much with this. Romans 8:23 says "And not only this, but also we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body." I was floored when I read this! Oh! How we long for our children to be home, and yet our own spirit's long for our position as sons to be complete. We long deep in our soul for that last "step" in our adoption as sons! We can all so relate to this now! He is enough. As we ache for our children, and rightly so....for He is father to the Fatherless! We also ache for Him. May Jesus fill us today. 

 


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05/16/2014
by MICHELLE SCHAFFNER

Please pray for us as we are being presented for a matching grant through Lifesong.  Our application was submitted to the board yesterday and we will know in 2-3 weeks.  Thank you for interceding.  May the Lord be glorified.  He has been so faithful in providing for this adoption!

 

Blessings,

Michelle


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05/14/2014
by MICHELLE SCHAFFNER

IMMEDIATE NEED FOR CHILDREN IN HAITI:

We received this information today from America World:

A few orphanages have been put on our radar that have children that haven't eaten in several days due to lack of food and money to buy food. America World (me really) is feeling called to create a sort of food pantry at the guesthouse so we are equipped to provide interim relief for these orphanages while they work on getting a solid support system in place. We want to have a fund readily available to purchase rice and beans and meat for orphanages in need - not really a pantry full of food to distribute.
All kids in Haiti regardless of whether or not they are adoptable deserve to have at least one meal (preferably 3) a day. Please look out for more information about this fund in the next week or so.
There is an immediate need - an orphanage full of kids that have not eaten in 4 days and a second orphanage that has similar struggles. We are still trying to lock down information. Aimee and Tim delivered some MANA to both orphanages to help fortify their diet but we feel the need to do more. We are cutting back on a few things at the guesthouse to meet this immediate need. If you are ready and willing to help immediately, please send me an email. All donations are tax deductible. - Thanks all!

If you would like to send 5 or 10 dollars to America World to help with this immediate need please follow these instructions for your tax deductible gift:

Please go to this link to donate:https://www.awaa.org/give/general_donation.aspx
Be sure to choose “General Donation” in the designed fund drop down menu. Additionally, please write in the notes section that the donation is for the Haiti Food Pantry Fund. Thank so much! 100% of your donation will go to buying food for the children.

And the Lord bless you.

New International Version
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,


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05/09/2014
by MICHELLE SCHAFFNER

We had a huge praise this week.  We found out on Tuesday that we got a $3000. grant from Katelyn’s Fund !  This was the one we had the Skype interview for.  It is an amazing organization. Go check it out: http://www.katelynsfund.org/our-story/our-vision .One of the main facets of their ministry is that they pray for you.  They prayed with us on the night of the Skype interview for about 10-15 minutes, I was in tears when we were done!

We also are set for bunk beds now.  

We received new pictures and new updates on the boys!  We can’t wait until we can show you our sons!   Continue to pray for them for their precious hearts and all the adjustments that will have to be made for our family to become one. 

There is a spiritual battle….and we have been told by many who have adopted that is gets fierce when you are willing to adopt…the enemy does not want this to happen.  Please pray that we would be strong in the Lord and fight the good fight of faith.

I was greatly encouraged in my Bible reading this week from the book of Jeremiah.  He is a prophet who is warning the people of idolatry.  Idolatry can come in many forms as I am learning both from the word and from real life.  The idol of control is surely one that is a battle for me..but a false illusion for sure.  If I just keep my eyes on Jesus moment by moment throughout the day, while stressors come and go, some things work out, some don’t….I have the joy of walking and living in His presence.  I have the peace of knowing that “He Leadeth me.”  This is where I want to be, even though it means some days my to do lists don’t even get one thing checked off.  His to do lists must be much better!

Jeremiah 9:23-24

New American Standard Bible (NASB)

23 Thus says the Lord, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; 24 but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the Lord.

Today I boast in the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.  He alone is worthy to be on the throne. 

Many Blessings,

Michelle and family


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04/23/2014
by MICHELLE SCHAFFNER

 

I am reading a book entitled, Adopted for Life, by Russell D. Moore.  If you have ever even considered adoption this book is for you.  This book was given to us by a young man who embodies the scripture in I Timothy 4:12 “  Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity”.  He is a college student but believes so much in adoption and supporting those who are adopting that he gave us the book along with a donation to our adoption.

Why I had never really considered the fact that Joseph was an adoptive father of Jesus I do not know.  But, Moore brings this out in his book.  Here is one paragraph of this amazing book:

“Joseph serves as a model to follow as we see what’s at stake in the issue of adoption. Joseph, after all, is an adoptive father.  In some ways, his situation is, of course, far different from that of any reader holding this book right now.  In other ways, though, Joseph’s mission belongs to all of us.  As Joseph images the father of the fatherless, he shows us how adoption is more than charity.  It’s spiritual warfare.” P. 59

Please pray for us as we have a Skype grant interview on April 28th in the evening.   We also have an opportunity with Lifesong for a program called “Helping Hands.”  This is best explained by visiting this link and watching the short video: http://www.lifesongfororphans.org/adoption-funding/both-hands/

We recently were told that the earliest we would go for our first trip is early fall.  The wait is hard, but apparently this is happening across the board with all Haiti adoptions, with all agencies and all states as they transition to a Hague adoptive country.  We continue to pray for miraculous intervention by the Lord that our sons can get home in record time….and for His glory.  Would you join us in prayer for this?   We continue to ask the Lord for our first two week trip to be this summer and that the boys would be home by Christmas.

We were advised it might be helpful to share what we have personally given, so that others realize we are not expecting this entire adoption be funded by others.  We have refinanced, used our tax return and put some on a 0% interest credit card to get the first payment made.  That was about $33,500. 

 We continue to be blessed in so many ways that we see the Lord providing and working.  May we share some of the many different ways the Lord has provided:

  1.   Tonight was one of my favorite donations.  After our devotions about caring for the orphan and widow…Joshua brought us $20.00 and said, “This is for the adoption.”  Our children have already sacrificed their allowances and report card money, so this was huge!  Thank you Joshua!
  2. One night several months back when Ron was waiting in line at Meijer he began talking with an older lady.  She brought up being thankful for our food and then she shared she had been to Haiti on a mission trip before.  Ron shared we had the privilege to go on mission trips to the DR and we were adopting from Haiti.  Then she asked if we were the family in the paper and Ron said yes.  When Ron went to pay for our groceries she insisted on paying, saying, “The Lord told me to do this.”
  3. Another woman said she was sharing this story with her hairdresser while getting her hair done.  When her hair was done her hairdresser said, don’t pay me give this to the family that is adopting.  (we don’t even know either of these people)
  4. Another lady we do know said her family collected donations at Christmas.
  5. My mom has been passing out fliers at her swim class and even her dentist helped in our matching grant.
  6. We have had several donations of clothes for the boys and for our girls.  These things help so much as well.
  7. There is a lady at church who gives us eggs each week.
  8. My wonderful husband is working so hard teaching an extra hour this year and possibly next year.
  9. So many of you have shared our story on facebook and with friends.
  10. Another gal gave us her fundraising donations from her pilates class.
  11. We had never (please don’t scold us) set up a will and custody officially, and this kind gentlemen did it for us at a very reduced rate, Thank you!
  12. We have been amazed by the number of former students who have given and encouraged us!
  13. Our ladies prayer team has been praying for us every time they meet.
  14. Our Pastors and staff pray for us every Tuesday
  15. Several people have written us several grant referral letters.
  16. More sweet stories next time!

 

 

Thank you all so much for your prayers as we wait.  This in some ways is the hardest part.  We know God always works in our lives through waiting though.  So, we will wait upon Him. 

 

“My soul waits for the Lord…”  Psalm 130:6

 

 


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04/10/2014
by MICHELLE SCHAFFNER

Matching Grant Met!

We just wanted to let everyone know that our matching grant goal has been met!  While any donations made through Hand in Hand Christian Adoption made by May 1st will still go to us, they will no longer be matched.  If you were praying about giving, you can wait in case we get another matching grant at some point, as we have applied for some. 

I sit here in awe of how the Lord has provided and is providing….can we just humbly say THANK YOU!  Thank you for praying, giving, asking, caring.

I think of the story of George Muller , who began an orphan ministry.  During his lifetime he cared for more than ten thousand orphans.  His main reason in establishing the orphanage was not to care for orphans.  Instead, he wrote the following in his journal:

 Now, if I, a poor man, simply by prayer and faith, obtained, without asking any individual, the means for establishing and carrying on an Orphan-House: there would be something which, with the Lord's blessing, might be instrumental in strengthening the faith of the children of God besides being a testimony to the consciences of the unconverted, of the reality of the things of God. This, then, was the primary reason, for establishing the Orphan-House. . . The first and primary object of the work was, (and still is) that God might be magnified by the fact, that the orphans under my care are provided, with all they need, only by prayer and faith, without any one being asked by me or my fellow-laborers, whereby it may be seen, that God is FAITHFUL STILL, and HEARS PRAYER STILL.39

David Platt says about Mueller, “Muller decided that he wanted to live in such a way that it would be evident to all who looked at his life, Christian and non-Christian alike, that God is indeed faithful to provide for his people.  He risked his life trusting in the greatness of God, and in the end his life made much of the Glory of God..” (page 55 of Radical)

He Is Worthy,

The Schaffners


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03/29/2014
by MICHELLE SCHAFFNER

Financial update for adoption:
Right now we have paid about $39,725.
The next big amount will be do when we receive our official referral for the boys and obviously accept it. This will be our international program fee and translation fee: $28,250 plus translation fee: $450
Our travel costs will be estimated at about $5,400 for our two week visit. Thus putting our total next expenses at $34,000. We will have $14,000 by the end of April and if we can raise new funds for our matching grant that would get us $10,000 more. We would then be short only $10,000. Our last fees we hope to be able to utilize the Abba Fund 0% loan for. Those costs will be somewhere between $8,000 and $10,000.
If anyone would like more information on helping us with our matching grant please send us an email asap as this opportunity will end and must be postmarked by May 1st. If you are interested, we will mail you a letter with the how to information: as this is giving to "Hand In Hand Christian Adoption", not you caring or America World.
Right now we have raised $1,600 toward the $5000 goal. Anything you give will be doubled until we reach $5000. This $5000 will then be matched by Hand in Hand Christian Adoption, giving us a grant total of $10,000!  After that we will still receive the funds, it will just not be doubled. These donations will be tax deductible. We did not want to bug people who have already generously given, but were told we should at least make it known in case someone wanted to give again.
We continue to feel humbled by the Lord’s allowing us to do this. We know the road will be hard, but we know He will help us all the way.
Praying you may know Him and the glorious joy in that knowing. He is worth it all.  Please pray for the salvation of our sons.  Please pray for the Lord's provision in this adoption. 

Blessings,

The Schaffner family
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03/21/2014
by MICHELLE SCHAFFNER

We found out yesterday that we have received a matching grant from Hand in Hand Christian Adoption Agency.  They will match up to $5000 of money we raise.  Thank you for your prayers!  We will be getting letters around for this grant and continuing to pray for some more to come through.  

We also found out another praise.  The orphanage where our sons are has an amazing director.  Her husband is visiting the IBESR every day to check on the status of their referrals.  This is great news and gives us hope that the Lord is working all things together for good!  Selfishly, we want them to be home sooner!  We will be getting monthly pictures and updates on the boys...which makes it even harder to wait! 

Blessings,

Ron and Michelle


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03/18/2014
by MICHELLE SCHAFFNER

We are now just under $16,500 for our fundraising!  Thank you so much!

Yesterday we were sent an updated picture of our sons and information.

I wept.

Humbled.

How is it that we get to do this?

How is it that the Lord has allowed us to see this treasure?

I had four miscarriages.

Four sons.

He is faithful.

All power, All Honor, All Glory…are due His matchless name.

Amen.


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03/18/2014
by MICHELLE SCHAFFNER

We are now just under $16,500 for our fundraising!  Thank you so much!

Yesterday we were sent an updated picture of our sons and information.

I wept.

Humbled.

How is it that we get to do this?

How is it that the Lord has allowed us to see this treasure?

I had four miscarriages.

Four sons.

He is faithful.

All power, All Honor, All Glory…are due His matchless name.

Amen.


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03/13/2014
by MICHELLE SCHAFFNER
We just received news that our dossier is being sent to Haiti today! Hurrah! We are told it will be 6-8 months from today that we will receive our official referral for the boys. We are praying and ask you to join us in prayer for things to go quicker. We are specifically asking the Lord if we could travel our two week visit this summer. This would be so much easier in so many ways, especially re; Ron's teaching load.
We have raised around $14,000 total and are applying for some grants and some matching grants. 
We continue to be humbled by the Lord's goodness in all the details. 
Thinking upon the fact that we are orphan's spiritually without the saving love of Jesus in our lives. Jesus said in John 14:18, "I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you." I have thought about the fact that our boys do not even know yet how we already love them, how we have already been willing to give up all to be able to come get them....just as God had done for us in sending Jesus for us. He has paid the price for the sin of the whole world. He desperately loves us and wants us to be His children. 
Thank you each so much for your prayers, encouragement and help in this journey.
We are looking for single bunk beds and mattresses and if anyone has a wooden swing set in your backyard you do not want anymore, we will come take it down!
We will do our best to keep you posted with any new updates.
Blessings,
The Schaffner Family

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03/10/2014
by MICHELLE SCHAFFNER

Praises
 We received our I171 H in the mail today!  This is our last piece needed for our dossier, aside from our home study addendum which will be state certified and mailed directly to America World.  Praise the Lord and thank you for your prayers as our family coordinator said this wasreally fast. We also had someone in our church, Tony Aiken, (thanks Tony and Onsted’s French teacher!) who found a Rosetta stone in French we can borrow, so we can start to learn French!  

I am very behind in every aspect of updating.  I hope to recalculate our fundraising soon and report to you all. 

We had a successful trip getting fingerprinted.  I must share this simple praise.  Many of you know traveling in vehicles does not always go so great with my babies.(thankfully we fly to Haiti!)  They tend to want out of their car seat to nurse or whatever…so I had been dreading the fingerprint trip.  Normally Ella wakes up close to when I do, 6:45 ish…but that day she slept till 9.  This meant her first nap was when we left to go pick Luke up at UT at 11:45.  She slept the entire way to pick him up, and then the whole way to Detroit after that.  There was no waiting in line at USCIS and then she did great overall on the way home.  It was just a small way the Lord was showing me He will take care of all the details if I just trust Him.  For me the hardest part of our adoption is leaving our children for two weeks and how Ella will do as we will take her with us.  This too, I must trust Him for.  Being obedient to God is always what is best for our children. 

It has been a difficult road to be honest.  So much has had to be done in a short period of time.  In the adoption world putting together a dossier and doing all the “paper chasing” is called a paper pregnancy.  There are so many things that go into it.  One of these days I will compile an entire list…..a few examples:  recent, official, state notarized birth and marriage certificates, police clearance letters, doctor physicals and letters, employment and non-employment letters, the homestudy, a psychological evaluation, reference letters, a bank letter, bank statements, power of attorneys, just to mention a few.  And then most of these things have to be notarized and then state authenticated.  It is just crazy!  And everything we did from our Ethiopia dossier had to be redone for this Haiti one. 

Yet, it is all so amazing because the Lord has provided strength and help at every turn.  He has been so faithful.  He has guided and directed.  And tonight as I was re-reading David Platt’s book, Radical, I realized why.  Here is a quote from his book:

“We learned that orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names.  They are easier to ignore before you see their faces.  It is easier to pretend they’re not real before you hold them in your arms. But, once you do, everything changes.”

We have yet to do the latter, but we do know their names, and we have seen their faces…and they are worth every minute of work and every dime we own, and all the dimes we don’t own.  They are worth it, just like each of our biological children are worth it. 

I was thinking today of how last year at this time I would tell Ally about kids who don’t have beds….and she would say, “let’s get them some beds.”  I would say, well, it’s not that simple.  While we do sponsor a compassion child, I did not really know a practical way to actually give a child in need….a bed.  Well, we will be giving four precious boys beds and hopefully impart to them the knowledge of their loving savior!

We had a rough week last week of the lovely stomach flu. I talked with the kids tonight how many children suffer from vomiting and diarrhea often because they don’t have clean drinking water.  Josh and Anna said how that would be so terrible.  I asked them if when they were sick, did they think about the next “thing” they wanted to buy?  They were like, no, we just wanted to feel better!  So, I said, be thankful tonight that you feel better.  So, as a family we are going to participate in the “Kenya Digit” race held on July 5, 2014 to raise money for a well in Kenya.  If you are interested here is the link: http://living-water-mission.org/KENYA_DIG_IT_RACE.html

I surely would recommend to you to read either or both of the following books:  Radical by David Platt, or the Hole in the Gospel by Richard Stearns.  Either one really puts the perspective of the American Dream in perspective with Jesus words.  Somehow we have missed Jesus words.  The red letter words in most of our Bibles….look at the story of the Rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16:19-31.

Please know how much we thank you for and covet your prayers on this journey.  And please know that I would love to pray for you re; anything, just shoot me an email!

Specific Prayer Requests:

  1.  We would  get to take the 2 week trip this summer
  2. The boys would be home by Christmas
  3. Grants would come through
  4. Salvation of 4 boys
  5. Provision in all the details

 

Many Blessings to Each of You,

May God be glorified,

Love, The Schaffner Family

  

       

 


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02/22/2014
by MICHELLE SCHAFFNER

 

There are two common questions we get regarding the adoption.  First, where will you put the boys?  We will be giving the “boys” all 6 of them our bedroom.  Our bedroom is the biggest; we will then take the bedroom that Luke and Josh are currently using.  We will put in three sets of bunk beds.  We are going to be doing a lot of pairing down, reorganizing and thinking how to use our space effectively.  While we could make the basement a bedroom, we would then have the cost of an egress window and would really miss that space for our family room.  I guess everything is relative.  We really feel like the verse in 1 Timothy 6:8 that says “But, if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.”  We feel it a privilege to be able to be the parents of these four precious boys and feel at peace with using this home and the space we have.  Technically when we are all together, our van is shy one seat.  On these occasions we will drive both vans as our white van will be paid off in one year. 

The second most common question is when are they coming?  We are praying that they will be home by Christmas.  But, by the timelines for each step we are given it could be much longer.  Everything depends on how fast things go through the Haitian government.  As soon as we get fingerprinted on Thursday and our I-171H gets turned in to America World then we can have our complete dossier sent.  From that time we wait upon many steps that have to happen in the Haitian government.  Governments of any kind are not always known to be quick.  Please join us in specifically praying for the boys to be home AMAZINGLY FAST, in record time! 

We have raised about $14,030 so far including all 3 donation methods.  We are currently applying for many grants.  It seems like I keep saying this, but we have been so blessed by the giving of so many.  It is a humbling thing to have to raise money.  I was kind of wishing we had an Olympic downhill ski suit to sell to provide some extra funds for the adoption!

Lastly, honestly, for me (Michelle) personally, my heart aches.  It aches for the day to bring them home.  I am scared in many ways, yet feel the Lord’s peace.  We know this journey will be hard.  Probably the hardest hard we have ever had, yet we know that the journey Christ took for you and me, dying an excruciating death on the cross was hard too.  It was so hard in fact, that he asked the Father if there was any chance this cup could pass from him. Hardness doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do something, it just means you won’t be able to do it without the power of God working through you and in you by the Holy Spirit. We don’t know how many days we are given on this earth, why not live them all for Him?  May He be glorified.  

Blessings,

The Schaffner Family, someday, all 13 of us!  

 


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02/12/2014
by MICHELLE SCHAFFNER

Praises:
We have made it through the first financial hurdle:
$975. To USCIS
$5750. To America World
$28,150. For first ½ of International fees
We have about $31,850 in fees plus travel expenses left to pay. We have raised $13,300. and refinanced to free up $20,000. We have about 8,000 towards that plus the Abba Fund will give us a 0% interest loan for the last trip travel fees. Our last big chunk will be due right after we travel for our first trip. We were hoping to be traveling in June, but now are at least hoping and asking the Lord for the first trip to be in the summer as it is 2 weeks long.
We have our fingerprint appointments for 2/27/2014 at 2 pm. We will have to pick up Luke from UT as he has to get fingerprinted as well. Then we wait for our I171-H to arrive which is our last piece of our dossier! Our family coordinator is sending our dossier without it for now, it should be done being translated soon. I know all of this information is probably boring to you all! Where are the pictures and names you say? We cannot share that information until we get our dossier sent and receive the official referral. We have now what is called a “soft referral.”
In the meantime I am applying for grants like crazy. Please pray that some of the grants would come through.
Specific things to pray:
1. First trip would be in the summer
2. Some grants would come through
3. Full provision of rest of costs
4. Salvation of the boys
5. We would be able to find time and brain power to learn French and/or Creole
6. In all things, Jesus name would be praised, lost would be found
7. We would entrust the timing of everything into the Lord’s hands

Thank you for being with us on this journey. It has been so encouraging as our church as been studying about the parts of the body…and how they all are important. I think of how I cannot sing or wouldn’t be able to pull off putting a bulletin together, but how the Lord has given Ron and I hearts for adoption. No one person is better for what they do in the body….it is their heart and motive that matters. As Luke recently posted on his Instagram is an excellent quote re; this by AW Tozer:

"It is not what a man does that determines whether his work is sacred or secular but why he does it.”


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01/31/2014
by MICHELLE SCHAFFNER

Thank you to many who are leaving us no contact information!  We thank you for your prayers and support.  We sent out our dossier on Wednesday and on Monday we sent out our I-600 to the USCIS.

 One of the things we struggled with when we first were praying about these boys was that we would be giving up adopting a baby from Ethiopia.  Now, sadly, Ethiopia may be closing to adoption.  In addition, Haiti is in the process of becoming a "Hague approved" adoption country.  This is good overall for adoption as it has many more checks and balances that benefit everyone involved.  The only downside is that it has the potential to slow adoptions down.  But, right now the USCIS (Department of Homeland security) is taking I-600's until March 31, 2014.  They have already received ours.  We are hoping this means we may be traveling by June for our two week visit.  Please pray to this end.  I need to do some adding up to see where our total fundraising is and will post that soon.  Can you believe we received an eleven dollar donation from Findland! 

Blessings,
The Schaffner Family


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01/27/2014
by MICHELLE SCHAFFNER
APPROVAL!  

 We share with exceeding joy and thanksgiving to the Lord that we have been approved to become the parents of these 4 precious brothers!  THANK YOU SO MUCH for interceding on our behalf.  We are humbled by the Lord's goodness.
Blessings,
 YYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS! :)

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01/27/2014
by MICHELLE SCHAFFNER
APPROVAL!  

 We share with exceeding joy and thanksgiving to the Lord that we have been approved to become the parents of these 4 precious brothers!  THANK YOU SO MUCH for interceding on our behalf.  We are humbled by the Lord's goodness.
Blessings,
 YYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS! :)

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01/26/2014
by MICHELLE SCHAFFNER
Waiting.  We are still waiting to hear from the orphanage...but our family coordinator from America World said this is normal.  Prayerfully, this week!  
We continue to be humbled by the outpouring of support.  It means so much..especially in kknowing how much these boys are loved and prayed for before they are even home!  

Financial update praises:

Donations to America World: $2006.
Donations in cash/check: $2608.
Donations to you caring:$6591.
total donations: $11,205.
 
Plus, good news for our refinance:  $20,000 cash, plus lower monthly payments so we can feed the boys once they are home!
This coupled with some more of our own funds, about 6,000....gets us through the first financial hurdle...we can pay the first payments and travel to meet the boys...we do not know when until we are finally approved and send our dossier, which is waiting on our I-600, which will take 6-12 weeks, hopefully only 6!  

Once we have a travel date we will spend 2 weeks with the boys.  Ally and Ella will come with us.  Please pray for us as we have never been gone this long from our other children, with the obvious exception of Luke!

Please pray for:
  1.  The approval to come back soon.
  2.  Abba fund loan
  3.  Show Hope grant
  4.  Final funding
  5.  Prepare our hearts and the boys' hearts for this transition
 
Again, thank you so much for taking this journey with us.  Special thanks to Sammy Adebyi for posting our story on his blog: http://sammyadebiyi.com/blogs/sammy-adebiyi/eleven-campaign

Many Blessings, The Schaffner Family
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01/26/2014
by MICHELLE SCHAFFNER
Waiting.  We are still waiting to hear from the orphanage...but our family coordinator from America World said this is normal.  Prayerfully, this week!  
We continue to be humbled by the outpouring of support.  It means so much..especially in kknowing how much these boys are loved and prayed for before they are even home!  

Financial update praises:

Donations to America World: $2006.
Donations in cash/check: $2608.
Donations to you caring:$6591.
total donations: $11,205.
 
Plus, good news for our refinance:  $20,000 cash, plus lower monthly payments so we can feed the boys once they are home!
This coupled with some more of our own funds, about 6,000....gets us through the first financial hurdle...we can pay the first payments and travel to meet the boys...we do not know when until we are finally approved and send our dossier, which is waiting on our I-600, which will take 6-12 weeks, hopefully only 6!  

Once we have a travel date we will spend 2 weeks with the boys.  Ally and Ella will come with us.  Please pray for us as we have never been gone this long from our other children, with the obvious exception of Luke!

Please pray for:
  1.  The approval to come back soon.
  2.  Abba fund loan
  3.  Show Hope grant
  4.  Final funding
  5.  Prepare our hearts and the boys' hearts for this transition
 
Again, thank you so much for taking this journey with us.  Special thanks to Sammy Adebyi for posting our story on his blog: http://sammyadebiyi.com/blogs/sammy-adebiyi/eleven-campaign

Many Blessings, The Schaffner Family
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01/16/2014
by MICHELLE SCHAFFNER
We are anxiously awaiting the news if we are approved by the Haiian government...we hope to know this week or next.  I am trying to get the total we have raised from America World and will report our total fundraising soon!  Thank you to so many who have given anonomously, through America World and some through cash donations.
Blessings,
Ron and Michelle and family
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01/08/2014
by MICHELLE SCHAFFNER
This thank you is to so many who have given anonymously or did not leave an email address.  Thank you so much to each of you for your support and kind words and prayers.  Many blessings to each of you in 2014.  I hope you can continue to follow this story either through this site or by our blog.
Blessings,
Ron and Michelle Schaffner

ps.  Ron says Go BUcks!
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01/08/2014
by MICHELLE SCHAFFNER
This thank you is to so many who have given anonymously or did not leave an email address.  Thank you so much to each of you for your support and kind words and prayers.  Many blessings to each of you in 2014.  I hope you can continue to follow this story either through this site or by our blog.
Blessings,
Ron and Michelle Schaffner

ps.  Ron says Go BUcks!
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01/08/2014
by MICHELLE SCHAFFNER
This thank you is to so many who have given anonymously or did not leave an email address.  Thank you so much to each of you for your support and kind words and prayers.  Many blessings to each of you in 2014.  I hope you can continue to follow this story either through this site or by our blog.
Blessings,
Ron and Michelle Schaffner

ps.  Ron says Go BUcks!
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01/08/2014
by MICHELLE SCHAFFNER
This thank you is to so many who have given anonymously or did not leave an email address.  Thank you so much to each of you for your support and kind words and prayers.  Many blessings to each of you in 2014.  I hope you can continue to follow this story either through this site or by our blog.
Blessings,
Ron and Michelle Schaffner

ps.  Ron says Go BUcks!
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01/08/2014
by MICHELLE SCHAFFNER
This thank you is to so many who have given anonymously or did not leave an email address.  Thank you so much to each of you for your support and kind words and prayers.  Many blessings to each of you in 2014.  I hope you can continue to follow this story either through this site or by our blog.
Blessings,
Ron and Michelle Schaffner

ps.  Ron says Go BUcks!
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01/06/2014
by MICHELLE SCHAFFNER
So yesterday the Daily Telegram ran an article on our adoption story.  I thought they did an excellent job.  We were pretty shocked Sunday morning when we got our paper though, because we did not know when the story would run, nor did we know it would be on the front page!  We continue to be humbled by the outpouring of support...both financial and through prayers.  I don't think we realized how much it would mean to realize that SO many people are praying with us through this journey.  Thus far we have raised close to 1,000 in cash donations, about $850. from America World and  $4,639.  We also found out we can refinance for more than we thought if we pay PMI.  
  Thank you so much for your prayers! 
Love, The Schaffner Family
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01/06/2014
by MICHELLE SCHAFFNER
So yesterday the Daily Telegram ran an article on our adoption story.  I thought they did an excellent job.  We were pretty shocked Sunday morning when we got our paper though, because we did not know when the story would run, nor did we know it would be on the front page!  We continue to be humbled by the outpouring of support...both financial and through prayers.  I don't think we realized how much it would mean to realize that SO many people are praying with us through this journey.  Thus far we have raised close to 1,000 in cash donations, about $850. from America World and  $4,639.  We also found out we can refinance for more than we thought if we pay PMI.  
  Thank you so much for your prayers! 
Love, The Schaffner Family
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12/28/2013
by MICHELLE SCHAFFNER
Thank you again!  We are so amazed at the kindness of so many in our community and some even complete strangers.  Please know how thankful we are for your support.  We continue to covet your prayers for this adventure.  Pray the Lord would open the doors for each aspect.  Love, Ron and Michelle and family
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12/21/2013
by MICHELLE SCHAFFNER
Words cannot adequately express our amazement of the outpouring of support we have received.  The donations, prayers and encouragement have blown us away!  We feel the support of family, friends, our community, and even strangers who are helping.  We humbly say thank you.  I am way behind in getting thank yous sent out.  Please know if you have given through America world we may not know it for a week or so.  

We were hoping the boys could know by Christmas...but our homestudy is waiting on our clearances.   And then please pray the Haitian government will accept our family at the orpanages request.

I hope it is ok if I share the encouragement I received from God's word the past few days.  As we began signing the papers for refinancing our house to free up cash and lower our monthly payment I began to doubt....and then the Lord lead me to these passages of scripture:
Jesus Cleanses the Temple
47And He was teaching daily in the temple; but the chief priests and the scribes and the leading men among the people were trying to destroy Him, 48and they could not find anything that they might do, for all the people were hanging on to every word He said. Luke 19:47
So to begin with this was in my morning Bible reading.  I read and reread the last few words.  They hung on every word!  The Greek word for "hung on every word" means they were very attentive to hear.  I thought, do I believe Him?  Do I really trust His words?  This should make all the difference in the world.  And later that day while rocking Ella, He showed me this passage in Psalm 72:4 "He will bring justice to the poor of the people; He will save the children of the needy, and break the yoke of the oppressor."  
Every situation of adoption is a story of loss and sadness in the beginning.  But, He is doing the saving, not me, not us, not our family.  It is Him who works in us to do His good will and purpose.  In God's plan He has provided a way for each of us to find true hope and joy, even in the midst of whatever pain we carry.  Jesus himself has adopted us as sons!  We are His children.
He has not left us as orphans, He has come to us.  I long to go to our boys, to comfort them, to give them a family, to give them hope.  The one True Hope, Jesus.
   You, whether, through prayer, giving, or sharing kind words with us...are being part of God's plan for redemption, for hope, for restoring the poor, for helping these boys have a home, a family and hope. 
  We cannot thank you enough.  Thanks for sharing this via facebook, newspapers, etc..We don't currently know the balance at America World, hopefully by Monday.  But are blown away by the amount we have already raised so far via the You caring website.  

Many Blessings to You this Christmas.  

The Schaffner Family 




 









  



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12/15/2013
by MICHELLE SCHAFFNER
Wow! thank you so much to all of you who have given and/or shared our story and link.  It is such an encouragement.  
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