Hearing His Call Amidst the Chaos


It all started, here. This miraculous story.

My third trip to Chi*a. A country my husband said he would never be entering.

A vision. A light. A calling to enter.

Every day, we each have choices. Go where He leads us or let fears and hesitations, doubts and intellectualism drown out the calling He’s placed within us.

We stand in this orphanage, after staying the night in the place God called us to. (Read more here) It was a place that forever changed my idea of service, and hospitality…

dsc08225Disabilities and what true love looks like. 

It’s the trip that took us to one of the seven wonders.

A place where our marriage got thickened, (here) callings got cemented.

A place where a wall winded, but the reality is, none were even needed…

It’s a calling that got planted even before I was asked to go. (here)

Like all callings, God places them in our hearts even long before we touch the soil of where He is leading.

And it was at this last trip, I stood inside that children’s home after bringing essential oils for parent-less children.

I felt that weaving, of God wanting to do something more than us coming to this place just one fleeting time.

The face of friends surface. Those we had served alongside in Guatemala. The ones who have a ministry of bringing custom wheelchairs to needy children.

Their story, quite miraculous. How God took the loss of their daughter and out of the seeds of her passing, brought forth a ministry that blesses those whose feet may never learn to walk.

Like us, they are foster and adoptive parents.

And this wheelchair mission, along with these foster children in Chi*a seemed to birth something deep that I knew needed asking…

But, I am learning the following is part of the listening. The waiting on my husband’s leading will produce more fruit than dragging any unwilling participant…

So, I hold my tongue, and say nothing of the wheelchair ministry. Follow the founder of the orphanage and then my husband bursts forth…

“We have these friend’s who have this wheelchair ministry. Is that something you guys are in n20160223_120709eed of?”

I know what my husband is meaning. He says what I am thinking.

“Ya, let’s see what we can work out.” The humble visionary of this orphanage seems to confirm this connection between two pieces that seem to fit together, perfectly.

And I remember this wheelchair distributing family. Them carrying their daughter into a mega assembly, and sitting with her in the back pew.

I remember the way they looked at their daughter, and how without any words, their lives ringed true…of a Father who lay Himself on a cross for each of us…

And the love. I saw it in their eyes.

The way they beloved that precious child of theirs. The way the didn’t speak, but the carrying of their child…

Seemed to symbolize the Father’s arms wrapped around me…

How the eyes connected, the smiles, the stroking of her head, was an embled of what I imagined the Father was like, caring for each us….

In our sometimes paralyzed state.

And how love isn’t conditional on what we can give someone, what a person has to give back, or the measurement of such sacrifices.

20160223_135111Love is an action. It’s a verb, not a noun. It’s the laying down of our lives because we see the gift and the value of another person….despite what they can give us.

And I remember the day, Kaitlin went to be with the Father. It was my own daughter’s birthday.

The snow fell gently. The pastor shared how Kaitlin never walked…But how today, she was likely dancing up in heaven.

And I imagined her looking over us as the snow fell gently, us honoring her in that congregation.

So, when Kaitlin’s Mobility Foundation was mentioned by my husband there in the orphanage in Chi*a, I knew it was God speaking…

Not me or someone else.

A few weeks later, we bend and lean, call and text, plan and discuss. And now today, many months later, we have purchased tickets to go back to Chi*a…

Because callings are not meant to shelved. Heart-aches aren’t meant to paralyzing. Dead ends aren’t meant for us to stop what we are doing…But a way God redirects and moves His people to walk in their full purpose.

I sit here, in awe and amazement at the wonderful workings of our good and faithful God.

  • How Our Father could take two families, and make goodness come out of so much heart-ache….
  • How He can bring life out of death, hope out of the most difficult circumstances.
  • How He can move in the depths of each of us…
  • How He truly does bring beauty out of ashes, when we least expect it.

Will you be praying for our two families as we get ready to travel back to Chi*a in February.

We are honored and humbled how God truly is doing a new thing in each of us.

He is rising up servants, calling forth willing vessels, asking “Who will go?” And He is using those who step forward, imperfect, yet in obedience.

Will you go where He is calling, whatever that might look like? Will you rise above the chaos and hear what He is asking?

If you have a heart for special needs, or simply want to give to Kaitlin’s Mobility Foundation, the ministry that we will be partnering with to bring wheelchairs, walkers, and crutches to Chi*a…

Please click here, or the link on the sidebar.

224616_1ec9aba6c7da48229396ee9aa45e20baAlso, will you write in, “International” so 100% of what you give can be directed to this specific trip, supplying mobility equipment to orphans in Chin*a?

Thanks for considering partnering with this mission. 

But again, please know, your prayers mean more than any money amount you might consider giving.

On A Side Note

I apologize for not being on my blog lately. We recently had a “situation” that required WordPress to intervene, helping us to get up and running again.

It’s a loooong story. Maybe I’ll explain in a later post.

Blessing to each of you and all our best for a wonderful weekend!

In humble and sole service to Him,

Jen & Cid Avellaneda

“So you too, when you have done everything that was assigned and commanded you, say, ‘We are unworthy servants [undeserving of praise or a reward, for we have not gone beyond our obligation]; we have merely done what we ought to do.” ~ Luke 17:10

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Jen Avellaneda

Jen is an adoptive, foster, & bio mom to trans-racial family. She speaks, writes, & passionately advocates for the orphan domestically & internationally with her husband of twenty-five years.
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  1. What a powerful testimony, Jen. I too stand in awe of what God can do with willing hearts. And this, “Because callings are not meant to shelved. Heart-aches aren’t meant to paralyzing. Dead ends aren’t meant for us to stop what we are doing…But a way God redirects and moves His people to walk in their full purpose.” I have and continue to walk through that season, and as much as the dead end was devestating, I’m seeing God’s redirection and so grateful for His leading me!

    I’m relaunching my blog and I’d love to invite you to my final day of celebrating God’s goodness. I think you’d appreciate the cause behind it – kids in need. :) So glad to meet you here, and visit from #thoughtprovokingthursday.

    1. Tiffany – Oh friend, yes, there are no dead-ends, just detours, and even those closed roads are just new avenues He longs to use to make us look like Him. So grateful for all He is doing in your life & for your willingness to share here, a part of your journey! Blessings on your blogs relaunching. Sounds like your cause is right up my alley! 😉 Will be heading over there shortly!

  2. Such a testimony, Jen. I’m so grateful for your husbands, your friends, and your heart for serving special needs’ kids. So precious to the Lord! Thanks for sharing your willing heart and timely wisdom like this: “Like all callings, God places them in our hearts even long before we touch the soil of where He is leading.”

    1. Bethany – Such a humble honor to open up our lives to His calling. Feel so unworthy, yet grateful. Blessed, all the while submitted to His good & perfect will, not mine. Thanks for taking the time to comment here. Your encouragement means so much to me!

    1. Michele – I love your words! Great point~ Callings are never clear cut. They aren’t placed in square boxed, with fine lines & specific timelines that we can figure out. Often, the call is more like a wave which we ride on, scary, yet pleasure-able, dangerous, yet, invigorating. Praying He leads each of us out to the depths of what He has for us…

      And that fear won’t keep us, back any longer!

      Have a blessed week, friend!

  3. What an awesome story and testimony. So much THIS: “Love is an action. It’s a verb, not a noun. It’s the laying down of our lives because we see the gift and the value of another person….despite what they can give us.” Blessed to be your neighbor at the RaRa linkup today.

    1. Tara – So thankful our redemption is not for the purpose of “getting us to heaven” but for the purpose of taking our broken pieces, and creating beauty with His message. Thanks for stopping by today, friend!

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