Sunday, October 28, 2012

We LOVE the nursing home ministry!

" Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, in all purity." 1st Timothy 5:1-2

For the last 11 years we've been so blessed to be part of a local nursing  home ministry. It was began by our dear friends Dick and Diane Burley. They are Open Air Campaign missionaries. They were serving in NH and MA. They have now moved on and are serving in New York City! The ministry still goes on!

We meet on the last Sunday afternoon of each month. These precious, precious people are in the "winter" of their lives. Oh how they LOVE our visits. Oh how they LOVE to sing. Oh how they LOVE our children and the others who come. For some, I think we are their only visitors in the given month. For some, we are their only joy, their only hope. We try and "fill" their tanks enough to last them until we come again. We love to show the love of Christ to these folks, to share with them God's free gift to them. Over the last 11 years, we've seen many faces in the crowd. Many, many, have died. We can only pray that we impacted their lives for the Lord, and that they made a decision for Him! 

These precious people have watched our children grow up over the last 11 years. Our eldest daughter (now married), used to teach the folks a Bible verse each month. That was so sweet. Our children have always used the gifts God has given them to honor Him, and share with the residents.

So, today, we traveled after church to the nursing home for our monthly visit. Now that we attend church in Maine some Sundays in a given month, it's a long drive for sure, but we wouldn't miss it! We attend our fellowship, get our own"wells filled", and take the hour + drive to the nursing home to share our joy and the truth of the gospel.

They were soooooo glad to see us! Of course they absolutely LOVE Rosie!!! They go crazy over her. Who can blame them, really! It happens pretty much everywhere we go!

Rosie has been standing alone and last Sunday she took her first step! Wow!
Today, Madelyn and Grace sang a wonderful song called:  Stand for Truth! Dan DeHart, our friend who leads the ministry now, had actually planned to speak on how Martin Luther stood for truth 500 years ago this week, and began the reformation! Dan and we hadn't talked at all before today, and so this was totally the Lord who planned that!

Then, Madelyn's singing class (her younger siblings) sang a wonderful song called:  Commit and Trust, with one of the lines being:  fret not. This, too, tied totally into Dan's message! How cool was that!

 Then Elisha and Madelyn did "Be Thou My Vision" as a duet. Elisha on the piano, and Madelyn on the violin. That was wonderful! Madelyn also played a solo on the piano.

 We also have a time of hymn singing. Dan plays the guitar, and a wonderful woman pictured above plays the piano, and Madelyn plays her violin. Nicole enjoyed holding the music a few times, too!

 We go to the nursing home to share the gospel and encourage the residents there, and we go willing to explain the hope that lies within us, and share it with them. We leave there, though, encouraged by them, and their kindness, and their love for us. It truly is a win/win ministry situation!

It's the last Sunday of every month from 2:30-3:30 at:  Epsom Health Care 901 Suncook Valley Highway South  Epsom, NH 03234 We'd LOVE to see you there, and you would LOVE it, too! Come and store up your treasures in heaven with us! We can't wait to get to heaven and see all of the folks who trusted in the Lord as a result of this little ministry!

" I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ." Philemon 1:6

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Theodore means God's gift!

Just had to share...The name Theodore has been growing on all of us as we continue to pray for God's will for this little guy. We had thought that if Theodore came home, we'd change his name to Malachi, which is a wonderful name. The other day my husband said..."I really like the name Theodore and I think we should keep it!"......I wasn't so sure, but just started to pray about it.

When someone wrote to me today they called him Theo, and I really liked that. So it was starting to grow on me. Then....I decided to look up the meaning of his name. It means...Gift from God in the Greek.

Humbled I announced to everyone here...."If we are matched with Theodore, his name will remain Theodore!" He truly will be God's gift to us!

Thank you Lord!

We Stand AMAZED!! Thank you BODY OF CHRIST!!!

Thank you Adeye! Thank you soooo much for all you do to promote adoption. You have a true heart for the Lord and we thank you, and all of you who have read our blog about Theodore!

In the last 24 hours we've had some amazing things happen here at Grace Abounding Farm! We've had money toward our adoption costs given to us by people we don't even know! Of course God knows all of us, which makes it all happen!

One donation was from Texas and one from Colorado! This is such an encouragement to us, and we praise the Lord for His orchestration of it all! We know that God LOVES to do things so that no man can take credit for it, and He certainly has done it here! We stand amazed! We stand encouraged! Thank you so much! We love you!

The Winslow Family!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Would you like to partner with us in this journey God has called us on?

Matthew 25:35-40 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

Dear, dear friends and family,
We have filled out the initial online application to get things started with our Bulgaria adoption. This is truly a step of faith that we are taking, trusting God as we go.  Following George Mueller's example, we are "setting the table" and trusting that the Lord will provide.  We are going through the About A Child agency.

Some time soon next week we should have our telephone interview with them, and then proceed from there. We are praying that we can specifically request that our family be matched with Theodore, that I've pictured in a previous post. We are trusting God that He will open the doors and allow for Theodore's file to be brought back to the agency. 
I LOVE this photo! I picture it as Theodore jumping into Glenn's arms, or even us stepping out in faith and jumping into God's waiting arms! A photo like this TRULY is worth 1,000 words!

We are also trusting God for the finances to complete this adoption. We've included a new gadget on our blog called "chip in". This is where folks can donate money toward the cost of the adoption. Our first amount due is $3,500.00. It's the amount to commit to a child and start the process. "Chip in" donations go through pay pal, which is totally safe and secure!

Thank you all for taking the time to read our blog and our blog posts! Please feel free to forward our blog to anyone else that you think might like to read it! You can click on the label adoption or also on the label Rosie and read about God's mighty work in bringing Rosie to us earlier this year! At present we have 6 adopted children and we are excited that God is directing us to another! Who knows, maybe there will even be more than one that God will allow us to rescue from Bulgaria!

Speaking of rescued...have you seen the movie? Oh my...we saw it last year, and it was amazing! Please check it out! This truly inspired us to continue in this mission field!

Thank you all for reading! 
Have a wonderful evening!

Love to you all!


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Yes...It is true...We are stepping out in faith again and setting the table for an adoption journey!

"Care for the orphans and the widows" says James 1:27
We truly believe this is our mission field that God has placed us in as a family! This time is not like any other time for us so far. This time, God has called loud and clear that we are to go to Bulgaria. He has led us  to  a little boy from an orphanage there. His name is Theodore. He is 10 years old. He weighs only 36 pounds. He's been in a crib his whole life.  We saw a plea on Adeye's blog crying out for Theodore and a little girl named Penny. 

There is another family who has also said they are interested in Theodore, too. The Ministry of Justice in Bulgaria will decide where his file will go very soon. Theodore is in a win/win situation now, and very blessed that he soon will be matched with a family! It could be that God used Theodore to lead us to Bulgaria. If we are NOT matched with him, we'll commit to another child.

Will this take us out of our comfort zone? Yes, but God will NEVER leave us nor forsake us, nor will he give us more than we can handle!

Isn't he just beautiful? Let me give you some more information about him: Here is some info written by Adeye from She met him on her trip to Bulgaria to meet her 2 children that they are adopting a month or so ago. This is whay Adeye had to say:

"And then there's Theodore.

This boy is so charming and so delightful that I could have run out of there with him in my arms.  He is beyond precious!

He is absolutely gorgeous!

A very little, desperately malnourished ten-year-old boy, with so much potential to grow and learn and become ALL whom God has created him to be.

A little boy who, by the grace of God, can still find a reason to laugh and smile...despite the miserable life he has endured for too many years.

He is so in there!  He has CP which only affects his lower body. With the help of physical therapy I believe that he will learn to walk.  An awful institutionalized life has robbed this boy of his full potential."

And sadly, we said, "No thanks."

"Not this one!" 

"Once the files of these precious children are returned, they lose their voice!  They are removed from all advocacy websites and will be nothing more than a name on a list in a government office in their country.

Unless we rally like crazy for them NOW--trusting and believing that they WILL be found--they have very little chance of ever knowing the love of a family!"

**Note from Glenn and Mary---These words are soooooo true! This is what stirred us to action last week! We can't ignore it. 

Here are some other words from a Mom who is in the process of adopting their 2nd child from Bulgaria--Susannah from Pennsylvania.

"Theodore, is ten years old, but is a very little boy both physically and developmentally.  Who will welcome this small boy into their heart and home and give him all the love he has been missing out on for so long? "

"Theodore, 10 years old, is another small child in Pleven who just amazes me with his ability to smile.  I’m not the only one who is baffled as to why he hasn’t been chosen yet!  Is it his age that’s stopping you?  Understand that he is a very young boy developmentally.  Please, someone, commit to bring this treasure into your family!"

"They have learned that…

The younger children consistently go faster than the older children.

The girls go faster than the boys.  We learned this shortly after committing to adopt Katie.  As a mom of seven boys, this was a hard thing for my heart to take in.

The more photogenic children go faster than the less photogenic children.

The less delayed children go faster than the more delayed children.

The less medically needy children go faster than the more medically needy children.

The more independent children go faster than the more dependent children.

Does this knowledge make me feel sad for the children who are being passed over?  I confess it does.  You see, I understand both sides. I strongly identify with these little ones who don’t measure up to the currently preferred profile. I have witnessed their need for the unconditional love of their own daddies and mommies.  I have seen their flesh-and-blood realness.

And we understand very well that not every family is going to be able to adopt a child with significant needs.  We know the time and work required to take care of these little ones ; Katie is completely physically dependent on us.

But we also know a little secret!

We know what an unspeakably profound privilege it is to receive a child like this in Jesus’ name!  We know the joy that so greatly outweighs the difficulties that we are doing all we can to bring home another child with significant needs!

Did you know that the healthiest children over the age of three are still being moved out of the Pleven baby house to smaller, better orphanages?

This means that most of the children I will be advocating for from now on will not fit the currently preferred profile.

Of the children with special needs in Pleven who do fit the profile (under three or four years old and relatively healthy), they are likely to be chosen by their families very quickly after they’re listed.  Very likely before I get my act together to speak on their behalf!

Every orphaned child is a precious human being whose greatest need is for a family!  My heart sings for every one of these younger, healthier children!  Our family knows what treasures their families will be receiving!

The reality on the other side of this story is a harsh one.  Until now, a birds’ eye view of the story reveals that a majority will not choose the boys, the older children, and the ones who look most ugly and retarded to them.

Does this knowledge make us lose hope for the children in Pleven who don’t fit the currently preferred profile? Are we just being naive to think that even the most damaged child there can be loved into a family? Should we concede the fight to predictable human logic?
No, no, no!


We know someone who supersedes us and our predictable human logic!  Our hope is not in any human reasoning. It’s in the logic, the logos, of God, and in His ability to transform our thoughts into His thoughts."

 This is also sooooo true. Please read!

Our human logic says, “This child’s needs look scary!”

God’s logic says, “There is no fear in love, because perfect love casts out fear.”

Our human logic says, “You don’t look lovely to me.”

God’s logic says, “I make you lovely by loving you.”

Our human logic says, “You’re too old, too damaged.  It’s too late for you.”

God’s logic says, “Nobody is too old or too damaged to be redeemed by my love.”

Our human logic says, “This child looks too hard for me to parent; I’ll choose one that looks easier.”

God’s logic says, “Who shall separate you from the love of Christ?  Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?”

Our human logic says, “Does this child have enough value to make the sacrifice worthwhile?”

God’s logic says, “I sacrifice my life to make you my valued son or daughter.”

Our human logic says, “How would this child give back to me?”

God’s logic says, “You need what I have to give.  I give myself up for you.”

 ***Note from Glenn and Mary---We have felt most of the above in our flesh, but we know that God is in control!!

So yes, from a distance, the future of the rest of the very needy children in Pleven could look hopeless.  Just think, after all the miracles that God has done on their behalf, to end up being rejected by potential parents in the United States and therefore sentenced to an adult mental institution until they die, stripped of all human rights and all human dignity.

But no matter how predictable this logical scenario may seem to be…

Our hope is in the God who can change us until we see as He sees, and act as He acts.

When the day comes that my adoption worker friends tell me that the first children being snatched up are those who don’t fit the terms of human logic, those who seem to be neediest, or who don’t appear to have much to give back to their families, I will know that I am seeing the kind of breathtaking miracle that comes when the world has been turned upside down.

Friends, can God do this?  Is He really able to keep changing our hearts until they radically reflect His logos instead of mere human logic? Yes, He can!  And He is!

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.

Father, we need radical, life-changing open heart surgery. We need you to take out our cold, stony hearts and replace them with hearts of flesh that love as You love and thereby reflect who You are. Hearts that can not fear, because they are so full of You. We are in poverty of spirit before You. We need Your grace. We need You! Take us further up and further in, O God.


Here is Susannah's prayer for Theodore!

I pray for you, Theodore, that your family will have eyes to see and accept you for the small boy that you truly are.  I pray that they will receive you into their hearts without hesitation or fear!

Will you please join us in praying for God's will for Theodore. If we are matched with him, we will name him Malachi--which means My Messenger. His middle name will be Albert (after Mary's Dad) Albert means:  "strong as a bear, noble and bright" What an awesome combination!

We are stepping out in faith and filling out the application for the agency tonight online. 

We promise to keep you posted!

Love to you all!


The Really Cool Story of Maddie's Mandolin

God truly hears our prayers!
Madelyn had been praying for a mandolin for about a year or so now. We diligently searched Craig's list and responded to many posts, but couldn't seem to find one that suited her and was in her price range. Her budget was $75.00.

So...imagine our surprise and delight when at the end of September, she located a post on Craig's list for a mandolin for $40.00! We thought for SURE it would be gone, as it had been posted in August! However, the woman wrote right back and said it was still available! It also was a wonderful thing that it was located in a town right on the way to VT where Madelyn and Grace were headed the next day with my brother Mike to visit my other brother Matt and his family!

So they arrived to look at the Mandolin and it was beautiful! It is a ROGUE ACOUSTIC MANDOLIN, and it was in mint condition. It had been her son's and he was gone from the home and she decided to down size some of his musical instruments.

So...Madelyn's prayers were answered and she is now making a joyful noise unto the Lord with her mandolin along with her many other musical instruments and voice and such! Thank you Lord!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Cup Extravaganza!

This is a really cool thing our friends have recently taught some of our kiddos! Check it out! Maybe they should go on the road!


We had 45 people here for church today!

We hadn't been able to host church at Grace Abounding Farm for the months of August and September. One month due to illness and the other due to camping. So we were soooo excited to host church today! We have it here the 2nd Sunday of every month!

We had 45 people join us, and oh what a glorious day we had! It was amazing! We even had seats left over! We love it how God does that! He stretches our home so much, and there is always a place for everyone! 

We studied how we should be as Christians in these perilous political times. We looked in depth at the Lord's prayer and all that it can teach us about how we are to live our lives right now. We looked at examples in scripture of others that have gone on before us!

We shared a wonderful meal together and enjoyed hours of fellowship...young and old!

We don't have a large home. We get that question all the time from people who see how many children we have, and who hear that we have church at our house. "Nope" we tell them..."We live in a small cape.". 

People can't believe it, but being God's house, He stretches it to meet His needs! We just love it when He does that!

It was a glorious day.

Thank you Lord!

God Knows!

It continues to amaze us how God just knows what we need, and when we need it, and it's always in His perfect timing. 

How do we know this? His word tells us so:

"...Our Father knows just what we need before we even ask Him." Matthew 6:8.

Isn't this incredible? We think so.

In May, 2011, at our NH home school convention in Manchester,  we met the most wonderful family that had just moved to NH. They are the Cozzi family. The Dad, (Kevin) is a family doctor. The Mom is a home school Mom and at that time they had 3 children, ages 14, 13, and 12. We enjoyed meeting them soooo much and had good intentions to stay in touch, but we didn't. 

Fast forward to March of 2012, and our NH Homeschool convention this time in Meridith, NH. 
 Imagine both of our amazement, when we were both "wearing" our new babies! Since we hadn't stayed in touched as promised, neither of us had ANY idea about the additions God had placed into the others'  family. What a blessing from the Lord! An added bonus was that we sported matching Moby wraps! Wow! Imagine our additional excitement when we found out that both Rosalinda and Eliana our adopted babies shared Hispanic heritage! Another miracle from the Lord! We enjoyed sharing stories and updating each other as though no time at all had passed! That's often how it is in God's world of friendships. Joy and I are sisters in the Lord, and bridging the gap of time is not difficult at all! Plus...being chatty women that we are...well...we filled in the gaps very quickly! Eliana's birthday is October, and Rosie's is January, so Eliana is 3 months older than Rosie. We parted company exchanging updated contact information and going our ways. Time and busy-ness happened, and we didn't stay in touch.

Fast forward to September. We received an email from Joy inviting us to celebrate her 3 daughter's birthdays, which were in September and October. It was called a:
You are My Sunshine party.

 It was to be a wonderful celebration of life and friendships. We RSVP'd right away! We wouldn't miss it! Joy was sooooo excited that we would be coming as we had never been to their home they'd lived in for 2 years.

The only people we would actually "know" were the Cozzis. That's it. Still...we went...feeling that God was calling us to go. What an amazing time we had! Everyone that we met there were fellow believers! Imagine! It was an incredible blessing to us, and to many others that were there. 

We didn't know the Timmon family had just prayed that God would provide them with another avenue to pursue private adoption besides registering with a very expensive agency yet again. God knew their heart's desire, though, and that we would be at the party, and be able to share our story with them, and give them our attorney's contact information. They had never heard of our attorney before. The Timmon family didn't know that Margaret had just told us that she has too many babies and not enough adoptive families, but God knew this important detail!

God's word also says...:

"Encourage one another and build each other up." 1 Thessalonians 5:11

God knew that many people needed encouragement, guidance and direction that would be at that party, including us. God knew that we had been praying and seeking His perfect will regarding a little boy named Theodore in Bulgaria that is desperate for a home to call his own and a family, too. We were crying out to God and wondering if his CP would be something that we could handle as a family.

 Isn't he beautiful? Doesn't he deserve to live his life outside of a crib at the age of 10? To read more about his whole story, go to our favorite blogs to follow list and click on the No Greater Joy Mom blog. It's incredible. My mother's heart aches for him. 

So...about the the party we met the Timmon family...Bonita, and her daughter Laura, son Joshua, and adopted daughter Hadassa, and her husband, too. (we can't remember his name...) Anyway...God knew they needed encourage about pursuing their next private adoption, and God determined to use us as that encouragement. It was amazing! We got to share our story with them. All the while God was showing us that people with disabilities can live long lives for Him! You see, Bonita, the wife of the Timmon family has a disability that she was born with. She has to use crutches that attach to your arms in order to walk. She is an amazing woman, strong in the Lord and full of Joy! God used her to remind us that little Theodore sits in the orphanage waiting for a family, that could very well be us, and that his cerebral palsy does NOT define him and his ability, and also God's ability to use him for great and wonderful things! God knew that our Jonathan, would be soooo encouraged to meet their son Joshua who is 15. You see Joshua and Jonathan look like they could be brothers! They are sooooo much alike! We didn't know this connection would be made, but God did!

Will you please join us in praying for Theodore, and God's will in his little life, and God's will for us regarding Theodore. We must's super scary to step out in faith. This would require a lot of which we don't have, but God does. We know that! We know that He owns the cattle on a thousand hills, and we know that if this is truly His will, He will open the doors and show us the way. Please join us in praying for God to show us what He would like us to do. We are putting out a fleece to the Lord and asking Him to show us the way!

So you see...this You Are My Sunshine party...was truly that. The light of the Son shining on each and every family there, it truly filled our well! We could have said..."Nope...we aren't going...we hardly know the Cozzi family and we don't want to go!"...but instead we said..."Yes...we are going and we are excited about it and look how God used it for His honor and His glory!

We didn't know how much we'd be blessed by Mandy and her husband Shae and their three children, who spent a year in Jerusalem and are an amazing family living for the Lord. We didn't know how much we'd bless them, either. And how Mandy would come up to Madelyn and say.."Madelyn, I just need to tell you, you have the most amazing and sweetest countenance about you. It's incredible!", and how Madelyn needed just that encouragement for such a time as that! We had NO idea about all of that, but God knew! He truly did! Just like His word says!

 We didn't know that Grace would meet who could possibly be a bestest friend! Her name is Leah. She's 15 and they share a birth month and they also share a place in their family as the second oldest child in their homes of 7 children! Grace was so blessed by this!

 You see...all of our kids were blessed by these new Christian friendships. It was amazing!

 This was the ultimate "photo shoot". Can you feel the joy!

 Above is the birthday girl...Eliana in her Mom's my tie. A sling you wear on your back!

 There was a bonfire!
 Edward loved helping to cook and get the food ready!
 Nicole used her first ever sparkler! She LOVED it!
So even after dark, there were little white lights shining in the darkness, it was just perfect! We went there strangers to most of the people there, and we left with life long connections being made, and expanding our family in the Lord with all of those wonderful folks!
Thank you Cozzi was just what we needed, and God knew that!

Love to you all!


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Mr Timothy Bacon has a home to call his own!

Another winter preparation that Glenn and Jon and Nicole did today was making a home for Mr. Timothy Bacon...(in case you didn't recognize the name...he's the pig that Elisha caught in the pig scramble).  Until today, he just had some plywood on top of his fencing as a shelter, but now he has a house. Glenn was able to use materials from a job he completed this week! Way to recycle, Glenn! Great job! When Glenn had completed the house and put it in the fenced in area, Timmy moved right in and he just LOVES it!

So...hopefully a happy pig leads to a big fat pig in about 5 months or so!!

Go to the ant...consider her ways...Proverbs 6:6

We are preparing for winter here at Grace Abounding Farm. A part of that preparation is to fill the wood shed for the next 2 years. (2 and 1/2 cords on each side) Our new Woodstock Soapstone Woodstove only burns 2.5 cords a year and heats our entire home! This is such a blessing from the Lord! So in our woodshed now, we have enough wood for the next 2 winters!

Glenn had been able to get a lot of firewood from some property locally last year, which was such a blessing to us. He and the boys were also able to cut and split and stack winter wood for the homeowner as well, a widow.

So my boys have been busy hauling wood to fill the wood shed. This was a job Glenn gave them a month or so ago, and they've been plugging away at it. They finished on Monday! Yeah!! I think they had some fun while doing it...what do you think??

Thank you boys! You did a great job! I think it might have helped that they were allowed to use the tractor!

"Go to the ant...
    consider its ways and be wise!
7 It has no commander,
    no overseer or ruler,
8 yet it stores its provisions in summer
    and gathers its food at harvest."

Proverbs 6:6-8