Monday, January 30, 2012

modern day world changers

 {wynne elder, krista box, jessica honegger & me)

i'm not a fan of long wordy posts myself
so i apologize for this one...maybe i won't post for 5 days to redeem myself!

this weekend i had the last minute opportunity to 
head over to the Created for Care conference
that was being held outside of Atlanta
& meet some amazing women.

jessica, the founder of noonday was going to be there
& since she lives in texas
& since i think she's amazing
& since she said..."hey why don't drive up so we can meet"
i decided to clear my schedule
& take advantage of this opportunity.

the day was incredible for me.

while it was more like a glorified blind date,
the connections i made were priceless.
the opportunity to meet some women that i've admired from a distance
to see them
hug them
hear their stories
was overwhelming for me.

jessica started noonday sorta on a fluke by raising funds for her own
adoption of jack from Rwanda.
( her story is here)
her desire to create a pathway for people in poverty
her heart for the world
& her spunky personality 
make her so easy to love
and want to get on board with whatever she's doing.

also at the conference was trevor's mom, susan.
(trevor is savannah's sweetheart)
ok, susan is amazing ( & i honestly try not to overuse that word)
let me share this little bio with you~

"Dr. Hillis has been a believer for 38 years, married to a godly servant for 35, a mother for 26, a US government federal official for 20, and a university professor for 10 years. She is the mother of 11 children, 8 of whom were adopted from Russia after the tragic death of her first-born son on the day before his tenth birthday. It is her deep joy and privilege to have received untold personal blessings from the living God. She has worked and ministered in countries in South America, Africa, and Eastern Europe. She participates widely as an invited speaker at scientific and Christian conferences. She has published more than 80 articles in scientific medical journals and is considered one of the leading infectious diseases experts on the HIV risk among vulnerable youth around the world. Dr. Hillis is a recent recipient of the Outstanding Service Medal as a Captain in the U.S. Public Health Service.

During her married life she has worn many hats, including stay-at-home mom, graduate student, missionary, government official, nurse, scientist, and university professor. She has experienced infertility, caring for a son with a fatal heart condition, loss of her son through a fatal biking accident, and 8 international adoptions of older children from Russian orphanages. She, her husband, and their 10 children recently lost their home in the 2009 Atlanta floods, which were declared a presidential disaster.
Her experience suggests that God’s goodness is bigger than all the storms of life."

seriously. i love that woman & have immense respect for who she is,not only on paper
but who she is in her every day.

i had only sat down with jessica for a couple minutes
when susan walks up with a friend
she wants to introduce me to.
the friend was emily vogeltanz.
the Do Something Now Initiative from Passion
was the brain child of emily & her hubby.

ok stop right there & let me tell you...
besides being blown away because
i'm now in the presence of not one, not two, but three women
who truly are world changers 
the timing of this was such a sweet gift from the Lord.

i shared about how logistically the volunteer gig for those several days turned out 
to be something i couldn't quite pull off.
how defeated i felt because i couldn't be there
how disappointed i was 
that i was missing out on something big?

as i sat glued to my computer for many hours during the passion conference
i was blown away not only by the event itself
but by the passion of this generation of college kids
who truly do want to stop human trafficking & end slavery on their watch.
i asked the lord to show me how to do something in my own little world,
a way to connect and a way to touch others.
during that time is when i began to look at the Noonday site
and began to pray about coming on board with them.

when susan walked up with emily
the one who planned much of the campaign with passion
during the exact time i was meeting jessica
the founder of the company i had since joined,
it was one of those moments
where i felt the Lord saying're right where i wanted you all along.
it was like the two moments 
the two biggies in my heart
occurring at the same time.
ya'll it was all i could do to hold it together...

all day i just kept smiling & thinking
thank you jesus for being the giver of all good things
& for bringing this all together.
the timing was just a super sweet gift.

the other super cool part about that connection
is savannah would love to intern with passion
& so many cool connections are already in the works
but this was an awesome one.

 i was also able to meet gwen
gwen is one of the founders of 147 million orphans.
have you heard about katie?
well, that's the group 147 million orphans.

the first time i stumbled upon them i sat and read all their blogs
& fell in love with them
& was so inspired by them.

gwen & suzanne were at the conference this weekend
& i loved meeting gwen.
you must read their stories ya'll.
you must.

when i started my photography busines
i decided to support either in donation or purchase of product from companies 
like 147 & Noonday.
to meet both of the women from those companies
was such a gift for me!
full circle if you will.

these are all real women
real women
changing the world we live in,
called by the lord to make a difference in so many lives.
while i probably have them all on a pedestal in my heart
i know we're sisters in the lord.
i can pray with & for each of these women,
the lives they touch & the ministries they represent. 
what an honor.
gwen , jessica, wynne, krista, susan & emily...what an honor!!

cowboy boots or TOMS
jeans & funky jewelry
pearls & trousers
gentle spirits & loud and spunky
blond or ginger
Tennessee accents or Texas drawl
each an adoptive mom
each with a huge territory of influence
each with a contagious passion
for the things that bring glory to Him
making a difference.
what a privilege to call each one, friend

"i see a generation
rising up to take their place
with selfless faith.
i see a near revival
stirring as we pray and seek.
we're on our knees"


Aunt Grits a.k.a Maggi said...

Our God is amazing.

Alecia said...

What an opportunity for you!!! I'm so excited the Lord brought you all together...what a blessing to your heart. You're all amazing women living out Proverbs 31 & James 1:27...what an encouragement! All of your stories are inspirational.

smk said...

one of my favorite posts yet for certain! i am so proud to be your daughter and be able to walk with you on this fun, wonderful journey! can't wait to see all these little details God has worked play out.
i love you mom!

CHH said...

So happy for your Paige.

Kerri said...

What an amazing opportunity Paige! I can't wait to read the story of each of these amazing ladies! I have been talking to God lately to see what I am supposed to be doing and you have provided me the encouragement to continue searching!
I am so happy for you!

3 Peanuts said...

How fabulous that you were able to connect with these amazing women who are changing the world. Isn't it awe inspiring? I admire them all as well.

We all change the world Paige. Some do it globally but do not sell yourself short, Paige!!! You have been changing people little by little (but in BIG ways). Just think of each of those little lives you touched as an oncology nurse. Even doing telephone triage, I have no doubt that you touched parents. And just look at that comment from SMK at 11:01. That right there might be one of the most important things you have done to change the world. You are raising incredible daughters!!!

You also inspire people daily here and you proudly draw people closer to God with many of your posts. You rock Paige. And I cannot wait to see what other huge ways you continue to do God's work.

Heather said...

okay--- you ready for your stalker post of the year??? ha! I was at the Created for Care retreat this weekend... we are adopting a toddler boy from Ethiopia. Well, you have been one of my favorite bloggers for a while now. Anyway - I was walking down the hallway at C4C, and I passed you. And I thought to myself... that was Paige K!!!... then I thought, Heather, you are just seeing things because why in the world would she be here... you are just making stuff up in your mind just because you are here in Atl. After some hours passed, I was sitting having dinner with Jessica H... and I put it all together, since I had read your post last week about noonday. My eyes got so big and I almost freaked out... I asked Jessica, "WAS PAIGE K here today???!!!" she said yes - I was training her!!! AND THEN I FREAKED OUT because I didn't get to meet you... Jessica asked me how I know you, and I told her I am just a blog stalker and that I just hang on to your every word about raising girls. (I have a 7th grade girl, need I say more...) And then they explained all the other details about Trevor and Susan. So crazy! Anyway - all my Noonday, 147 Million Orphans, and Simple Thoughts worlds just collided! ha! and so happy about that! But SO SAD that I missed the opportunity to meet you! :/
Best of luck to you on your Noonday adventure! Love their stuff and Jessica! And Wynne! And I think you are a doll too!

Beth Templeton said...

Paige, I am sorry I didn't get to meet you at the conference. Susan has spoken of you over the past few years. I do think we met once at their house -- at a Christmas party maybe? Anyway, I was thrilled when she told me about the Passion connection for your precious daughter. God is always up to amazing things, isn't He?! I am enjoying your blog. Grace and Peace be with you!

Christan Perona said...

Ahhhh, world changers. And you're joining them. Just wait. God will continue to do something big through you, Paige.

The Avery House said...

I just got to catch up with reading on "Simple Thoughts" and felt this was the place I would leave my comment for you.How AMAZING is our God who orchestrates all of these things like the timing of what you testified to in this post. He has plans for you, BIG plans to make a BIGGER difference than you already do. How wonderful it is this gift he is entrusting you with to be an ambassador of his love to so many. AWESOME! AWESOME! AWESOME! I can't wait to see how the rest of the story unfolds. As these ladies you have shared with us in this post are to you, so you too are to so many of us. You inspire with your faith and trust in the Lord.

Oatsvall Team said...

you are just the sweetest thing !!! I had a blast getting to meet so many sisters this past weekend and you are one of them ... thanks for praying and supporting 147 ... Keep me posted on your adoption journey !!!

blessings, Gwen

emily v said...

Thanks for the shout out! :) It was such a joy to meet you as well and look forward to getting together for lunch soon with Savannah!

Emily Vogeltanz