Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring is Coming

First, straight off the bat, Happy World Down Syndrome Day!!! What an awesome thing- a DAY dedicated to celebrating the blessing of the people in our lives who have blessed us with their extra chromosome!

I live in New York, probably only second to the likes of Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts and Montana in sheer amount of snow we get dumped on us every winter. Needless, to say, large amounts of snow have become what I expect and love in wintertime. But this winter has felt especially long, and I am more than ready for spring. Well, thank God it's finally coming! To commemorate, I've made a slideshow with some pictures from the gorgeous weekend we just had. In these cold winter months, many people have experienced hardship, especially in the Reece's Rainbow World, with children dying, being snatched up before their adoptive parents could get them, or being denied the child in court. Besides commemorating Spring finally arriving, this is a salute and my personal consolation to those families and couples. Your strength is admired by all, and we all hope new life for you and your loved ones is coming with the new life of Spring and Jesus rising from the dead.

So without further adeiu, here's the Slideshow!!

"Spring Is Coming" Slideshow from Caleb Lococo on Vimeo.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Hold Me Jesus

Faith is always something that I've struggled to keep all the time, in full high gear. I KNOW how great it feels to trust in God completely, but as has often been said, sometimes, the hardest journey is the 6 inches from your head to your heart. 

While in many ways this week has been GREAT, there are times where despair has overtaken me. Both of my two siblings closest to me in age tried out for a production of The Sound of Music at our local theater and got turned down. As my friend Tori gets ready to leave for a Mission to Peru, I am undeniably happy for her, but wonder when my own time will come. We have suffered terrible losses in Japan to the Tsunami and Earthquake, which has rocked the world over. Toughest for my personal social circles, though, has been the denial of a little Boy in Eastern Europe to be adopted by a young couple who have been pursuing him for over a year. Crushing enough as that is on its own, this little boy is in the same region as Tori's little sister. Her parents are going to face the SAME judge on their upcoming court date. If, God forbid, something goes wrong there, its probably going to be the end of the line for another family trying to adopt from there too. Add in that I feel like a complete moron because I can think of no proper words of consolation for these people and you can see where I'm coming from (I hope).

At one point in the week amongst all of the turmoil I just described, I logged onto my other blog (Speaking for the Silent) and found that my perfect little "Like Box" (I.E., a little box where you can like the Facebook page I've set up for the blog and see how many people like it as well) had mysteriously disappeared  after I had added an Adoptive Family's donation button. Now, in hindsight, it was probably God telling me it wasn't the right time or place, because this button belonged to the little boy who has currently been denied his family. But at the time, it just seemed like a nice little hindrance to trip me up. So instead of blaming computers, (which are arguably the most annoying pieces of junk Technology on the face of the planet), or Facebook, or just how finnicky this stuff can be, I simply thought

"Why me God? Haven't you given me enough today?"

Shortly thereafter, a new rendition of one of my favorite Christian Music classics, "Hold Me Jesus," came on the radio. it summarized so perfectly what I needed to realize at that moment: When the chips are down, and you just want to give up and not try and believe in the Savior who rescued you from the worst fate possible, rest on him and let him hold you, and be amazed at where that will take you.

To accompany the post, I have two new songs in the playlist at the bottom of the page, that have relevance to the post. The 1st (numerically) is this post's namesake. the second is an acoustic recording of Chris Rice's "Untitled Hymn/Fall on Jesus." Listen to them and feel the comfort of your Savior surround you.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Courage, families, and letters

I love the Lord of the Rings movies. the acting, the action, the story, the cinematography, the costumes, the location, all of it. And after every battle scene, there is inevitably a scene that follows in which all you can here is the whistling of the wind over the field. Or they all sit quietly in a tavern together, quietly honoring their victory and the sacrifices that were made. and I guess you could say I'm sort of in a lull after the battle. Because great things have been happening around me, and resolved struggles within me.

I have the privilege of having many of you who follow me here following my other blog, Speaking for the Silent. So many of you will know my precious Sonya, a little orphan girl who I met in Ukraine, has a family now. While I haven't had to go into hordes of orcs swinging my ancient sword or even really had to do anything drastic or draining in real life for her, I have prayed and written many a time as others in the Reece's rainbow Community have that someone would find her. to be completely honest, I worried my prayers weren't doing a thing, and that my picture, my efforts, other people's effort's, just weren't gonna cut it. But how I forgot that we have a God who sent his Son to Earth for us, who walked among us and healed people with a brush of his hand or his cloak. Things just as hard to accomplish as freeing a little girl from Institutionalization.

Below is my "Open letter" type-thing to Sonya, her new little brother (and orphanage buddy) Dusty and their amazing new family, the Hinz Family. In it you'll find their story, and how truly amazing it is to me.

                          "Dear Heinz Family and your precious Sonya and Dusty

                               I want to step out and say your courage, strength, and perseverance through this process is truly inspiring and you amaze me so much. You will never realize how truly you have been the answer to everyone's prayers, stepping out in faith after losing precious Nikita Frederick to bring Home Sonya. I should particularly mention our buddy Helle on the other side of the globe, and Josh and Autumn Winkles.  As you know, I met Sonya only a few short months ago in a small little room on the second floor of an orphanage very close to both our hearts. Sonya reached out to me, grabbing my attention with her cute, infectious little smile and her sweet laugh.  10 minutes may not be much on a grand scale, but if ten minutes can move a heart, it moved mine. Your new daughter is the thing that inspired me to get off my seat and stand up for those who have no voice, and for that I will always be grateful. I look forward to seeing you someday soon with Sonya and her new little brother Dusty. All the best wishes to you, your family, and your two new additions who I hope will be home soon.

                             Yours in Christ,

                                             Caleb Lococo"

  Well, my latest mission has been accomplished. Sonya is homebound. What will happen next?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Hands, Feet, and Kings

"I wanna be your hands, I wanna be your feet, I'll go where you send me, go where you send me. Wanna be your hands, wanna be your feet, I'll go where you send me, go where you send me, and I'll try, oh, I'll try; to touch the world, like you've touched my life. And I find, my way, to be your hands."

Audio Adrenaline, "Hands and Feet"

While many who know me might say I'm a quieter person, and I am, I like to be involved with things like anybody else. I would LOVE to find a group of photography enthusiasts who wanted to take pictures and stuff who are in the same place I am, learning the basics and creating your own technique off of them. It would be fantastic if I could find a group of people with a heart for missionary work and advocacy for Orphans who wanted to do fundraisers, mission trips, and that sort of things.

But right now I'm a little short on both. I have a few great family members who are into photography that critique my work when I post it on Facebook or Picasa (a picture-posting place) and encourage me. And my friend Tori might as well label herself the official orphan advocator of the world. I have some great influences that I am so blessed to have and am so thankful for them.

The bummer of it is, I don't live in real close range to the things I'd like to do, and I'm a little, er, intimidated (?) by the thought of trying to start these things myself and find a group right where I live. It's a daunting thing for one person to try and do. And its just a little frustrating when there are great things going on like The Movement in Nashville Tennessee and I can't get something started like that  up here. In the same respect, getting what I think (hope) to be the bare minimum of photography equipment so I can do things like weddings and studio portraiture tallies up to a couple hundred dollars by the time you factor everything in. And then you have the daunting task of trying to get it in with wedding planners putting out flyers, and proving yourself to be worthy employment. Add the fact that  I can't drive myself anywhere of these places because of legal standards and I think you see my picture (no pun intended).

Today as I was walking into my room I heard something on the radio. I listen to my local Christian radio station, which provides good little tidbits of food for though and some kickin' music. As I was walking in I believe I heard "A Quick Minute Bible Story" segment. It was summarizing the bit of scripture in I Samuel where the Israelites 1st King, Saul, has messed up once and for all. God tells Samuel, the prophet at the time, to look for a new king from among the peasants, from the house of a man named Jesse. Shortly thereafter, Samuel finds Jesse's house. Jesse shows Samuel 9 of his sons, all big strong men who look like kings. But Samuel didn't think they did. He asked if Jesse had any other sons. Jesse said that he did, but he was a scrawny little shepherd boy. That little Boy was King David. God took David, a tiny little boy who tended sheep, and used him to kill a giant, escape a ruthless king and rule a kingdom.  THAT is God using someone.

But it showed me more than God using the small or the weak to change his children's world, that he DOES have a plan for all of us to do great things.