Monthly Archives: September 2011

“Oh yeah….I’m CRAZY!…..”

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On the radio show Monday, I was asked to end the show with one statement…

Here is what I said….

“If what God is calling you to do sounds crazy to the world, then its probably from Him.  Because the world doesn’t understand.”

I was telling Ashley M yesterday about some things the Lord has been telling me lately about Gulu, Uganda….I told her, “I know I sound crazy.”

She said, “No, I love it!”

I was in a worship service last night and all the way from Arkansas she sent me a text….”Something Crazy by Steven Curtis Chapman is YOU!!!!”

She’s right….listen to it…..but read the words….

 

I couldn’t say it any better than Steven Curtis Chapman….

“I know a lady in Uganda, forty kids call her mama.  And everybody thought it was crazy, She used to drive a beamer, And I’ve never seen her any happier than she is now!”

Its CRAZY when love gets a hold of you.  I am so in love with Him!!!

I’m crazy.

Get crazy with me.

Its worth it.

“Listen Live Monday, Sept 26, 9 am….”

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Please listen in to “The Dottie Coffman Show “on WIMO Radio this Monday morning, September 26 from 9 – 11 am. 

I’ve been asked to share about my trip to Uganda, Africa this summer with CURE International.  Joining the show by phone will be team leader, Kasie Lake from Pennsylvania and team member, Ashley McFadden from Arkansas.

Listen Live Nowwww.wimoradio.com

CURE GO TEAM UGANDA 2011

 

Kasie Lake

 

Ashley McFadden

I am so excited to share about what God has done through this trip and what He continues to do as we prepare for…

GO Team 2012!

“Lesu Love…”

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This past summer in Uganda, I watched momma after momma tie their babies on their back.  I loved watching them do this!  Momma would bend over, grab the baby’s arm and leg and slide them over their back…then they would tie the bottom of the wrap around their waist and the top under their arms.  And voila….baby on the back!  It looked so easy to do….but its not!  Some of the mommas laughed at me trying to do this myself and showed me how to do it.

I would just marvel at the difference in Ugandan women versus American women.  These women continued on with life as they know it….cooking by the fire, washing dishes in a basin on the ground outside, washing clothes in a basin bent over, tending to the crops, working, caring for other children….all while this little bundle of joy is tied to her back.

The baby just goes with the flow….I never saw one baby crying on a momma’s back.  They always look so content and happy.

The wrap that they tie the baby on with is called a “lesu”.  Its a simple piece of cotton fabric….nothing fancy.

While I was in Mbarara, the mornings were so chilly.  One particular morning, I arrived around 7 am and the mommas were washing their babies outside in basins on the church grounds.  The children would shiver as their momma got something to wrap around them….

But some children had nothing.

My heart broke…..Oh, God, to give them something.

Some of us would offer our jackets, some of us would take a child and snuggle with him to warm him.

I made a mental note:  next year I will bring extra blankets to hand out.

The Lord used this moment and brought it back to mind this week.  I was thinking about those blankets I want to give out….

But He had a different plan.

I remembered my message I taught these women in Mbarara….

“Carry Your Cross”

On a grassy church lawn in Mbarara, Uganda, I told these women my story.  That I was just like them.  I told them that I knew what it felt like to lose a baby…I’ve lost two.  I told them that I knew what it felt like when your husband leaves…and you feel all alone.

I told them that I knew their pain.

And their loneliness.

I told them that I was just like them because I too had asked God, “Why?”

And I never had an answer.

I told them that I knew what it felt like to cry all night long.

I told them that I knew what it felt like to raise your children alone.

They lit up.  A Mzungu was just like them.

I told them that God told me that His ways are higher than mine.  His thoughts are not my thoughts….that I wasn’t to question Him….I was to trust Him.

I was to carry my cross.

And my cross would bring Him glory.

I challenged them to carry their cross, the story of their child, and claim that though they don’t know why they have a child with a disability, they can choose to say, “my child will glorify the Lord.”

“My story will testify of His goodness.”

And the women danced and sang and celebrated that they would carry their cross!!

This week the Lord gave me a vision of what to take back with me….lesus.

For each woman in Gulu, I want to give her a lesu with a scripture written in Acholi, her native language.  When a child is born with hydrocephalus in Gulu, the witch doctors urge her to loose the child off of her back by untying the lesu into the river.  When the baby drowns, the curse is broken.

I am going to Gulu, Uganda next summer to break the curse and proclaim life over these children.  And when we leave Gulu, the word will remain….

On the back of a momma, who is carrying her beautiful cross in her new lesu….

On her back, I said…

like our sweet Savior carried His cross….

For all of Gulu to see as she passes by.

For the mommas who choose to carry her cross, her new lesu will have a patch on the back that reads this:

“Momma,

This lesu is like the arms of Jesus around you.  Every time you tie it on, I pray you feel His arms around you.  This lesu holds tight the cross you carry for Him.  Feel His love for you – He will never leave you nor forsake you.  He is the Lord God Most High – your Savior and your Deliverer.

“Then He called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: ‘If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.  For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it.  What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?’  Mark 8:34-35

Carry Your Cross

Amari, Tumusiime”

What a mark to leave on a nation!  What hope I pray is left in their hands!

He sends me to take light to a very dark place.

To show them how to carry their cross.

To be His hands and take His words.

To wrap a lesu around a shivering naked body….and put the arms of Jesus around him, and tie him to his momma’s back.

Praise the Lord for “Lesu Love”

Here is a sample Lesu….with my very favorite baby model….”African Ward” 

I couldn’t think of a better baby to try this out on!  (I think the Ugandan mommas would still laugh at me trying to do this!)  I love little Ward!  I met Ward’s momma, Kim through “Mighty River”.  The Lord has blessed me with this friendship.  Ward was born with hydrocephalus and is doing great!  You can read Ward’s amazing story before he was even born in previous posts.

If you would like to sponsor a lesu for $60, please click here:

“Lesu Love”

“You Need to Buy Some Elephants….”

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Earlier this year, I posted a devotion before I left for Uganda, entitled “Elephants….”

I have had lots of readers post and refer this post, as it has spoken to them and their friends.  I never thought that the day the Lord spoke, “buy the shoes” to me in a sporting goods store would touch so many lives.

For those of you who haven’t read it, I encourage you to in my May posts.

I wrote about how I knew that I was called to Uganda….but I didn’t know how I would get there, or when I would go.  Yet, one day the Lord told me to “buy the shoes”.  As an act of faith and obedience, He told me to buy some hiking shoes.  I did.  But it wasn’t without questioning if I really heard the Lord.  It was so difficult to be asked by the clerk when I would be going to Africa, and all I could say is, “I don’t know.” 

I didn’t even know about CURE International then….and that two years later I would go to Uganda.

When I checked out, I saw that the name of the shoes are “Elephants”.   The Lord said, “You only find elephants in Africa.”  It was affirmation, that this was me hearing His voice.  This was my act of obedience and my belief that I would be in Uganda one day.

He was right.  Here are my elephants hiking Mt. Elgon and Sipi Falls.

As I’ve seen this story speak to so many people, I have one particular person in my life that I want to share about…..she’s buying her own elephants….so to speak.  Her name is Kelley.

I didn’t know Kelley very well at the time I asked her a question.  We were riding in a car somewhere and I asked her if she was planning on having any more children.   I didn’t know why I said that….in fact, I felt bad when it came out of my mouth….like, didn’t I just ask someone a very personal question??

She replied that her and her husband want to adopt a child.  Wow.  I was surprised.  She told me that they had not begun the process, but she has known for a long time that the Lord was calling them to adopt a little girl.

I loved that the Lord had given her a vision of this child.

She shared that she hadn’t acted yet on what she believes.  I told her this….

“You need to get her room ready.”

“Really?”  she turned her head and looked at me, “I’ve felt for some time that I’ve needed to do that.”

I told her about buying some elephants and how I felt so crazy.  I told her about another friend who had adopted a little girl from Thailand and how they prepared her room for two years….they even moved during that time and prepared her another room, all before meeting her or knowing when they would get her!

“I’m gonna do it!”  Kelley said.

That same week of the conversation, Kelley was getting her baby’s room ready.  She even sent me a picture of the baby’s quilt!

Kelley and her husband have completed adoption classes now, their home is ready….they are waiting…..with expectation.

She even has a verse for this journey….

“And the Lord answered me, and said, write the vision, and engrave it so plainly upon tablets that everyone who passes may be able to read it easily and quickly as he hastens by.”  Habakkuk 2:2

Kelley’s vision has been challenged.  Even in her adoption classes, she was encouraged not to have a vision about what type of child she would recieve.  The comment bristled against her spirit as she knows the Lord has given her heart the desire for this daughter.  I invite you to read Kelley’s blog at  www.mylifesongkb.blogspot.com.  The Lord put an angel in her adoption class the night her vision was challenged.

I loved being with Kelley at the Yellow Daisy Festival in Stone Mountain Park yesterday.  We were eating lunch and she pulled a beautiful frame out of a bag…

“I bought this for my baby’s room,” she said.

“I love it!”  I smiled.  The frame was great….but I really loved her act of faith.

I cannot wait to meet her new daughter!

I challenge you today to act on what you believe.  What has the Lord called you to do and what is your act of faith?  I heard of a woman one time who was about to lose her home.  She laid down on the floor and cried out to God to help provide for her to keep it.  She got up and began to plant flowers outside of her house.  People would question her as they knew she would be losing her home…

“No, I’m not losing this home.  I’m asking God to provide for me to stay.  If I packed boxes, I’d be acting against what I believe.  Instead, I’m going to plant flowers…..I’m staying,” she proclaimed.

What do you need to do today? 

Plant some flowers?

Decorate a baby’s room?

Buy maternity clothes?

Or, perhaps you may need to buy some elephants. 😀