Avi's Story, Upcoming Events

Celebrating Avi’s Life: Info about Viewing and Celebration Service (aka A Princess Party)

Celebrating Avigayil Christina Carpenter

February 27, 2007 – November 5, 2018

For those wanting to celebrate Avi’s life with us, her funeral arrangements are as follows:

1) Viewing will be Friday, November 9th from 12-2 pm at Thompson Funeral Home 126 S. 9th Street Lebanon, Pa 17042

2) A separate service celebrating Avi’s life will be on Monday, November 12th at 11am at Palmyra Grace Church 799 Airport Road Palmyra PA 17042

All are welcome to attend (children are welcome as well!)
Refreshments to follow. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Ting Ministries- Philippines to fund “Tin Tin’s House” for Orphans and street children.

Go Here to See Avigayil’s Obituary page on Thompson’s Funeral Home website

  

    

Our precious princess Avigayil Christina (Tin Tin) went home to be with Jesus in her sleep early Monday morning We had an incredible weekend as a family – first at the banquet of our ministry partners and then at a picnic with our dear friends and other adoptive families. Avi had a great weekend and fell asleep that night laughing and talking.

This is so hard! The depth of our pain and loss is like nothing we have ever known but the peace of Our Lord Jesus is also in our midst.

I am grieving like I never knew possible! Anyone who has ever met Avi knows the deep love and bond she and I share. As our pastor was praying with Brian and myself – I heard Avi say “Mommy I’m running…I’m running.”. She is now running with Jesus and all my rescued animals who have gone home ahead of me.

Avi’s life started Ting Ministries. Her story is one we will share in days and weeks to come. Because of her life, Ting Ministries Philippine ministry began- it was literally all for her and because of her. We provided funds for 2 years to her orphanage to feed her through her feeding tube before we were able to adopt her. We always dreamed to build a home for the street children in her former city and name it Tin Tin’s house and never had the funds to do so. Avi will live on and her life will continue to change countless other lives. She will continue to be a voice for the voiceless.

We will have a viewing later this week here in Lebanon Pa and are having a service to celebrate her life at Palmyra Grace Church in Palmyra Pa…most likely Monday. Details will follow…life has been a big blur since Monday.. all are welcome to come celebrate our dear precious baby and her amazing little life.

She filled me with joy like none other and I loved everything about her- her toothless grin, her smell, her laughter and giggle and her enjoyment of worship music and the beach!

I love you my Avi baby always and forever and someday soon I will run with you baby girl…soon!

Come join us if you are able -we would love to see you and have you share in the joy of her life and the tears of missing her on this side of heaven.

Psalm 16:11
Psalm 4:7

Read Stephanie’s Post from September of 2012 about Avigayil – The Joy of the Father

adoption, Avi's Story, faith, International Adoption, orphan care, sacrifice, special needs

Breaking the Flask for Orphans


Avigayil

Church – where are you?  
Where are the families?  

As obvious as it may seem, orphans do not want to be orphans. They want to be in a family. They want to be loved just like you and I want to be loved. (From “Adoption and the Gospel” by Gerry Clark – a must read).

There are approximately 37 million Christian churches worldwide.  There are approximately 153 million orphans. 15 million of these orphans have lost both parents. Not all of these 153 million orphans are adoptable, but for the sake of making this point, let’s say they all are adoptable.

Do the math. Only 4 children would need to be adopted per church worldwide to eradicate the orphan crisis. Only 4 orphans per church….

Here in the USA, there are 400,000 total children in the foster care system. 100,000 of these children are waiting to be adopted. There are approximately 350,000 churches in the USA. Look at the numbers – that is only 1 child being adopted by every third church.

Where is the church – the believers who are the hands and feet of Jesus on this earth?

We have often been asked, “Why do you want her when you could adopt any other healthy child in the whole orphanage? Why her? What value will her life ever hold?”  Our daughter Avigayil was the child with the highest special-needs in her whole orphanage in the Philippines. Believe it or not, I have heard it said about children who died alone in orphanages before they were adopted:  “Well, at least maybe they smiled and made a caregiver feel useful. Perhaps their life made the caregiver feel good.  At least if they die, they will go to heaven and be with Jesus where they will be healed and loved.  Isn’t that even better than suffering?” 

What? Dying alone in an orphange is better than knowing the love of a family?

It is true that the ultimate answer is yes.  One day, we will all die and these children who never had the ability to understand salvation will go to be with Jesus when they die. Yet, isn’t this answer just relieving us of our guilty feelings?  Our guilt at not seeing and then, when we do see –  our guilt at not opening our own hearts or home to a child in need. Our refusal to answer God’s call to care for the Least of These. 

This past week, we have seen the flooding in Texas and the horrors of the extreme need. In this time of crisis, we have come together – people are jumping to action and stepping up to care for others. Our hearts go out for the people caught in this tradgedy and we, like countless others, feel burdened to help and glad to see people rallying together for Texas. 

But I say there is a crisis happening every day. The orphan crisis. It has been occurring for years on end, for child after child, that most refuse to see.  We need to open our eyes and work with the same fervor and compassion that has gripped our country to allieviate the suffering of the amazing folks in Texas. By doing so, we can make a difference in the lives of all the orphans. Yes, all the orphans – remember the statistics. 
It is completely possible.  

Now, back to the question of why we should adopt a child like Avigayil. Let us respond with a simple question. 

Why not her?  

God called us to her and asked us to go. What makes Avigayil any less deserving of a family and love than any other child?  Every child deserves to be loved and know what family is. In His Word, God commands us to Go and care for the Least of These.  He does not have conditions.  He does not say, “Go and care for some…but not those who are looked down upon in the eyes of the world.” He says “Go and care for the orphans and widows in their distress…” (James 1:27). All of them. 

We have also been asked, “What value does Avi’s life have as a completely dependent child with a severe disability?”  She has as much value to us as parents as our daughter Sasha who also defied the odds placed on her life.  To the world, Sasha, who is an intelligent, gifted academic, an honors student, appears to have more value in life than Avigayil. 

I completely disagree.  

They both have equal value and both have equal right to be loved and to be adopted because both were created by God.  Galatians 4: 4-5: “But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law.  God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law so that he could adopt us as his very own children.”

I believe we have it all upside down and that children like Avigayil are not here for us to teach them but rather – for them to teach us.  Avigayil’s life is priceless and God has used her to start a whole ministry in the Philippines. Already, because of her life, countless other children now have a mother and father and know Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

Avigyail’s life has blessed our lives more than words can express, but we do not adopt because we expect to be blessed.  Indeed, we do not become Christians because we expect to be blessed. Theologian Oswald Chambers in some of his “Utmost for His Highest” devotionals says this: “We must continually remind ourselves of the purpose of life.  We are not destined to happiness nor to health but to holiness. Today we have far too many desires and interests and our lives are being consumed and wasted by them.  Many of them may be right, noble, and good and may later be fulfilled, but in the meantime God must cause their importance to us to decrease (From September 1).

If we believe in Jesus, it is not what we gain for ourselves, but He pours through us that really counts. As Oswald Chambers eloquently writes: “’When Mary of Bethany broke the flask […] of very costly oil […] and poured it on Jesus head,’  it was an act for which no one else saw any special occasion; in fact, there were some who […] said,  ‘Why was this fragrant oil wasted?’ (Mark 14: 3-4). But Jesus commended Mary for her extravagant act of devotion.” (My Utmost for His Highest, September 2).

I greatly suspect, in our prioritizing of value and importance, we have it backwards and upside down.  Our Lord is filled with overflowing joy whenever He sees any of us doing what Mary did – not being bound by a particular set of rules, but being totally surrendered to Him. God poured out the life of His Son ”that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:17).  Are we prepared to pour out our lives for Him? Are we prepared to give of ourselves for a child like Avi, whom the rest of the world sees no value in? For if Jesus was pleased with Mary’s sacrifice, how pleased must He be when we care for a child like her – the least of the Least of These.

That is ultimately what adoption is – pouring out of your life for Him.  Are you prepared? The truths Oswald Chambers so fittingly stated are at the heart of the question: will you adopt? Will you step out of your comfort zone and your comfortable life and care for the Least of These. Will you break the flask, as Mary did, regardless of how wasteful others may regard your decision? “Now is the time for us to break the flask of our lives to stop seeking our own satisfaction and to pour out our lives before Him.  Our Lord is asking who of us will do it for Him. (Oswald Chambers Utmost for His Highest September 2).

adoption, Avi's Story, China, International Adoption, orphan care, special needs

Team Ting’s Make-a-Wish Trip (June 2017)

Avi was blessed with a Make-a-Wish trip to Ocean City, NJ along with her family and a couple close friends. Though she has scoliosis and spastic quadriplegia, Avi loves to smell the salty ocean air and let her curls blow in the breeze. The days were full of laughter, fun, and sand! It was Hannah “Annie’s” first time at the beach and her first time on amusement park rides – it turns out, she is quite adventurous! Thank you, Make-a-Wish!

See the joy on their faces and imagine – each of these precious children once had no hope, no reason to smile. They were neglected and abused and had no one to call family. Their disabilities brought even more of a stigma upon them. Now, because they were adopted, they are able to enjoy all the things other children can.



While we rejoice in the redemption of adoption for our girls already home, there are two in China still waiting. Hope and Brittan are still waiting for their mom and dad, for beach trips with laughter, for sisters and friends who will love them, take them on fun trips, and paint their nails. So today, I ask you, as their sister, please don’t forget about Hope and Brittan. Please help their wish come true here. 

Avi's Story, Completed Projects, faith, orphan care, Philippines, Philippines Emergency Need, provision, street children

Happy Independence Day: Need for School Fees and Marawi Relief Program (a Philippines Ministry Update)

As we celebrate our freedom and independence on this July 4th, the people of Marawi, Philippines are still struggling under the recent ISIS attack at the beginning of the summer. We have an update from Pastor Mark to share with you. He has been in Marawi for 2 weeks now, establishing a relief program, helping street children, trying to relocate lost family members, and ministering to soldiers. Some of the people he has met with have accepted Christ! Here is what he has to say:

The children Ting Ministries plans to help send to school 
(not including the children already going to school in Zamboanga). 


“There are thousands of displaced children who didn’t have much food a month now. Hundreds of children are displaced from their families and we are going to look for then tomorrow. Marawi is a mountainous area and so big… Please pray for our ministry. These are the pictures of the children under education support in Zamboanga. THIS IS ALL BY FAITH Sister. Some of the Zamboanga churches think that I am crazy of coming to Marawi…faith is indeed a crazy thing to others! HALLELUJAH!”
The van that Ting Ministries’ helped provide a couple months ago is very
beneficial! Pastor Mark and others drove it down to Marawi. 
Pastor Mark (left, taking photo) with other Filipino ministry partners
in front of the van.

Wounded soldiers in Marawi. There was an ambush yesterday afternoon,
 and some of them were injured. They were ministered to yesterday and
 some of them accepted Christ!
We need your help to send the rest of these street children to school in Zamboanga and anything above the cost of this, Pastor Mark will be able to use for Marawi relief. Please keep the people of Marawi, the street children, and our ministry partners in your prayers! Later today, we will share a particularly tragic, yet joyous story from Marawi with you.

The relief program underway, providing food
 and necessities to the people of Marawi.
If you would like to give towards the joint project of school fees/Marawi relief, there are several ways to help: The blue Donate button at the top of the Facebook page will take you to our website, where you can donate through PayPal. Or send a check to Ting Ministries, 904 State Drive, Lebanon, PA 17042. (For both options, please designate for Marawi Relief). Thank you dear friends, followers, and brothers and sisters in Christ.
May we never take for-granted the freedom and protection we celebrate on July 4th. Happy Independence Day USA!
Avi's Story, faith, orphan care, special needs

Avigayil Christina’s Simple Ice Cream Pleasure

 Luke 10:21
“…I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children…”
Help Hope and Britt have the same hope and joy as Avigayil Christina…the simple pleasure of chocolate ice cream on a hot 90 degree day with friends and family. Please visit their YouCaring link Return 2 China here or by going to the widget at the side of this blog.
If you missed the fundraiser by Handmade Hope you can still donate and help them come home! Thank you so much, and remember the joy you might be searching for is found in Christ and His small hidden secrets. Like watching a child smile with joy– a child who was once tossed away like a piece of trash,  and about whom you were asked “why would you want her when there are all the healthy able bodied children you could adopt?” A child you were told who would never be able to swallow. Oh the joy in seeing her smile and chatter and hearing her say Mama!

Help Hope and Britt…help the so many more waiting and it reminds me of another Christina written about by Victor Marx. She returned to her family after three years being held by ISIS. Please, go read and pray and see what the Lord would have you do!