Winners of the Summit Blog Contest: A Deeply Moving Story

When we invited bloggers to share their personal stories of why they were excited about Summit, we didn’t know what to expect.  The diversity and number of posts that poured in truly lifted the hearts of the team deciding which would receive the awards for top posts.

Choosing wasn’t easy, but we think you’ll find yourself deeply moved, as we all were, by our Grand Prize winner, Michelle Stevens.  With poignant vulnerability, Michelle weaves together her love for kids in foster care with the pain and redemption of her own experience of abandonment, fatherlessness and abuse.  Visit Michelle’s blog, Having Fun at Chelle’s House, and read her post below.

And don’t miss the other winners either.  Lauren Mills garnered 1st prize for her post at Mercy Ink Blog, while Sharon Lyons received honors for 2nd prize at The Lyoness Heart!


WHY I WANT TO GO TO SUMMIT IX.  Michelle Stevens.

I came across Christian Alliance For Orphans (CAFO) around September of last year while doing research to  present at my church for Orphan Sunday. I spend HOURS scouring their site. I was hooked. I have always had a tender heart towards children and quite saddened by the many trials that they seem to have to endure. So many endure without a strong supportive family to protect them, guide them, LOVE THEM! So much of the information and statistics I was coming across just brought me to tears. I mean I was aware but I had been in my bubble of “I can’t do anything about it, I can’t deal with it, it makes me too sad, I’ll just not think about it to much”. I also find myself, even as a believer in a a mighty, all powerful, sovereign God asking a lot of “why?” questions.

“Why God does this happen?”

“Why God aren’t you doing anything?”

“Why God don’t you help the poor helpless children?”

“Why God are your people not doing anything?”

and I did eventually get to “Why, (WHY!) I am not doing anything?!?”

Of course I know the answer is sin…and it’s not a real good ‘excuse’…but it is the ‘why’ so many children are in poverty, hungry, homeless, sick, left without families, or in families who abuse them. None of this was God’s design or plan for this world, for the children, for His people. Sin has twisted God’s original intent and it separates us from God and His will for our lives. I also know that even in this sin filled dark world He has made a way for everyone to find their way back home. In just a little while, Jesus will be back to take His people home to the place that He has prepared for us…..But….in the mean time, He has asked, commanded even, that His people take care of each other. I’m not a Bible scholar so I can’t tell you exactly how many times God has told us to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, speak for the voiceless, protect the weak, love our neighbors, but it’s A LOT!!

I have a little story to tell…..

I was abandoned by my father before I was born to my 16 year old mother. Her father was a hard working proud man (whom in later years I grew to love very much and I knew he loved me) told his daughter to have an abortion or get out. My mother chose life (THANK YOU MOM!!), and tried her best to provide for me. She married young, had a few more children, divorced young and married again. In her attempts to provide the best possible life for me she endured much abuse from her then husbands. Dealing with her own struggles (of trying to survive frequent beatings some that almost killed her, among other things) She failed to notice (or just didn’t know what to do, where to turn) I was also being abused. This went on for many. many. (many) years with little reprieve.

I remember a time when we lived in a trailer park where a bus would come through honking it’s horn on Sunday mornings. It took a little convincing but eventually my mother and step father let me get on that bus and  head to church. I knew very little about church, I just wanted a break from my home situation. Honestly, I cannot remember much of went on in those Sunday School classes and I’m sure I didn’t attend many (we moved quite often) but I did get it in my head that there was a god above, who created me, who loved me, who wanted to care for and wanted to protect me, that if I ever needed anything, all I had to do was ask…pray…and he would answer me.