Why We Call Our Blog the Miracle of More

The miracle is a beautiful image of Ephesians 3:20--more than I can ask or imagine. Every day is a miracle. Every moment is a miracle. Specifically for our family, the miracle of more is our family growing in ways I would never have imagined when we first committed to adoption 8 years ago. But, the greatest miracle is the change in ME!

If you have questions about adoption, our work in South Africa, or spina bifida, please email me at rbmattox@bellsouth.net

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

More Still

I had the privilege of sharing about our mission trip at our home church on Sunday night. As I was sharing, I thought of the hundreds of children we were honored to share Jesus with in Africa, nearly 600 children.

Then, our VBS started this week. As I stood in social hall with over 130 people, one of the directors said, "We are standing in the mission field."

And, my heart stirred.

We are indeed standing in the mission field wherever we are.

I have 17 3rd and 4th graders in my VBS class this week. Please pray for them and for me. Tonight, we present the plan of salvation. I sense a great urgency for some of these children. Pray that the Spirit can flow freely. Pray that Satan will be stopped from sending any obstacles in tonight's lesson.

God offers to us ever day.....


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Strength to the Needy

When someone asks, "How was Africa" I always feel I cannot answer that question with a few words that anyone could really understand. All that God has done. All that He was doing. The work He has has begun that He will complete.

Like, never before, I really felt, I was seeing the face of God.

While driving from Johannesburg to Shayandima, Brother Brad and I discussed the work we would be doing and the work we had prepared for. While we were prepared to teach daily in the mission schools, we knew he had arranged for us to visit an outreach program. He suggested going three times.

I asked, "How often do these children receive visitors?"

And, he replied, "They hardly receive any visitors."

Then, I asked, "Why can't we go everyday."

And....we did.

Children who are orphans, or in poverty, or otherwise at-risk, go there everyday for one good meal. I held those we were told we orphans. I hugged and comforted those who were age 19, but mentally handicapped and living alone. I tried to be certain to look into the eyes of those who seemed the most forlorn.

We were blessed with some extra money to take along with us, so we purchased more food...and they were given a fresh piece of fruit every day we were there. When have you seen your children thankful for an orange?

Funny thing is...I was just going to take their photo as they gathered around Joshua....and they all decided to show me their oranges.

We were blessed to be able to give them a cup of water...in Jesus name:

And, everyday, we told them about Jesus. We knew we needed an interpreter. Brother Brad said we would have to ask who could interpret for us. I don't know why I was surprised when there were two young girls there who could interpret for us. One was a college student, waiting to save more money so she could go back to school. The other as Nella. (Well, her name was much longer than that, but she shortened it for me and told me I could call her Nella.)

I was filled with joy as God allowed me to share His love with the children, through Nella.

Joshua led the music, so faithfully, singing the same songs sometimes 10 times each day with different groups.

Amy assisted with games as we further developed the story. She and Jeanne helped in a relay where we carried our friends to Jesus.

And, I am reminded of how much we take for granted here in our cozy homes in America. Nella's family, like almost all of the others, had no water. They had to go to the village well and "fetch" water to take home. They seemed to truly appreciate all we were doing. When we would arrive each day, they began shouting our names. Even the teenagers eagerly sat down to color a picture.

They eagerly lined up at the end of each day when our lessons were over....and waited for one piece of candy. Even....my 17-year-old friend "Muscle Man." He was always eager to show me his muscles.

And, I still grow teary-eyed when I remember the prompting of the Holy Spirit, to speak the name of Jesus over them. So, as I gave each one a piece of fruit or a piece of candy. I spoke His name.


He is a strength to the needy, a refuge from the storm.

He gave me the blessed opportunity to be His vessel.

And, I pray that I am never the same.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Out of the Miry Clay

Trapped in a burning house with her brother, neighbors heard their screams.

Their parents had died of AIDS, and the villagers decided the house should be burned to the ground with the children inside.

If not for these neighbors, the young girl and her brother would have died. Not knowing, what to do, they carried the children to the village chief. He had compassion on the children and went to Auntie Lydia. Auntie Lydia had spent her entire teaching pension taking in children from the streets. She trusts the LORD for her needs, and He has been faithful. She took in the children.

I would be blessed to meet the young girl years later. Her name is Zwavhudi. I met her first in 2009.

While she had been sponsored to receive a Christian education at Shayandima School of Tomorrow, we would be privileged to become a part of a bigger change in her life. In 2009, she lived here:

Not alone, not uncared for, but she was lifted higher.

She now lives with a house mother, Auntie Andrea, on the mission base, and she has been forever changed. There's a greater twinkle in her eye. There's a confidence she did not have two years ago, a confidence only unconditional love can bring.

She is in the photo on the right. I count it one of the many awesome privileges of God that He allowed us to be a part of her life. We played a small part in the decision to bring children onto the mission base. We played a small part in her life when we spent time with her everyday after school while we were in South Africa.

But, my heart was touched the most as Brother Brad Palmer shared more of her story. He shared her tragic story and then told me of one afternoon when he heard her singing. She was doing her homework outside under the canopy set up for the children. He was visiting another construction project and overheard her singing. She didn't know he was listening, but he felt the Holy Spirit as she sang, "Jesus, Lover of My Soul." And, when he heard her sing, "You've taken me from the miry clay
Set my feet upon the rock and now I know..."

That song has never had the same meaning for him since. We sing it, but do we really understand the depths of our sins? Do we know as Zwavhudi does...that He has taken us from the miry clay? Are we willing to step out of our comfort zones, to sacrifice and bring others to His feet?

Jesus, lover of my soul
Jesus, I will never let you go
You've taken me from the miry clay
Set my feet upon the rock and now I know

I love You, I need You
Though my world may fall, I'll never let You go
My Savior, my closest friend
I will worship You until the very end

I love You, I need You
Though my world may fall, I'll never let You go
My Savior, my closest friend
I will worship You until the very end

Worship You, my Lord, until the very end
Worship You, my Lord, until the very end
Worship You, my Lord, until the very end
Worship You, my Lord, until the very end

It was hard to say good-bye:

Monday, June 20, 2011

Home from Africa

After 42 hours of travel time, from Land Rover, to plane, to plane, to plane, and then church van....we arrive home last night.

I have so much to share!

I will post the first of many miraculous stories this afternoon.

I pray your Monday is blessed!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

...hacking is only fun if you're the hacker :-)

Hello my mommy's bloggy world,
I'm pretty sure my mommy won't see this until she gets home from South Africa, but I decided to have a little fun tonight :-) See, I miss my mommy a whole, whole lot, and it's gonna be a great day when she gets back and I can talk to her about all the things I've gotten to do so far in San Francisco.
I would ask that y'all pray for us that are here. There are 5 missionaries from GA and 2 from Mississippi. We've been doing service projects, and my 'cohort' Brittany and I did a Vacation Bible School at a church that hadn't had one in 5 years, which was both incredibly challenging but rewarding! Most of the kids we had had never really heard the name of Jesus and hadn't been inside of a church since they were little. For the next few weeks we'll be doing Vacation Bible Schools at 2 other churches (and it'll be less stressful than this past week, hopefully), one church being the Mandarin baptist church, which I'm excited about :-) Anyways, we'll also be ministering to people participating in the Pride March next weekend, and I'd ask that y'all would bathe that in prayer. We won't be in anyone's face, but we will be showing them Jesus in a way that's not confrontational or judgemental.
San Francisco is a city that is a fertile ground for the gospel, but the laborers are few. Greater things are yet to come and greater things are still to be done in this city!

Mommy, I <3 you! It's so cool to tell people that my mom, cousin, and sister are serving Jesus in South Africa while I'm serving Him across the country. I'll talk to you when you get home! <3 you!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sunday School On the Mountain

Seeing God's blessings every day.

Yesterday was a "work party." Go figure. We didn't see the party. ;) Joshua helped put a roof on a building. Josie-Tatum and I sweeped, or shoveled, sand out of a building to prepare it for the roof to go on this week. We also pulled weeds from around the construction site. The other ladies spent Saturday painting.

Today, we drove up the mountain. We had the privilege of teaching Sunday School to children in a rural church, where there is no electricity or water. The families in the village have to go down the mountain to a well and "fectc" water to bring home.
The children were so eager to learn, listen, and participate.

The pastor radiated his LOVE for Jesus.

I talked to Ellie and Stan tonight. Another blessing.
Joshua continues to lead singing everywhere we go. He is fitting in beautifully. The mission base at Shayandima is the dwelling place of the LORD.
To those of you who have made it possible for us to be here, thank you! I look forward to sharing so much with you when we get back home.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Our First Week

Our first week has been incredibly blessed! I continue to stand amazed at the grace and goodness of God! We have seen children, taught children, sang with children, played with children.

In the evenings, we have been blessed to "play" with the five orphans who live here in on the mission base. To hear their laughter, to hold their hands, to sing with them....a blessing that can only be experienced to understand.

Our first week has been incredibly blessed! I continue to stand amazed at the grace and goodness of God! We have seen children, taught children, sang with children, played with children.

I have heard, "I love you Mrs. Robbie," and received the sweetest "hugs"!

Joshua, aka Moose, has been quite a hit! The children love to hear him beat box. And, out the outreach, the children loved his "hair." The first day were here, he went out on break and did the beat box for the children. The following day students were in my Bible story class. They asked, "Moose? Will we see Mr. Moose today?" He is enjoying time with the the other two missionary young men who are here as well.


I continue to think throughout the day.....only eternity will tell the miracles that have begun to occur this week. My finite understanding canNOT imagine the work God is doing here as we share His love with these children.

Somebody give Ellie a kiss from her Mama!

I only have a few minutes and can only post a few photos. I hope to do so every few days. Continue to pray for us. I have so much more to share with you when I get back home. I have touched the face of God!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

In South Africa

We are so blessed!

Had an incredibly blessed day in South Africa! I don't know when I can post again, but continue to pray for us!!!!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Tuesday with the Tolberts

In my continued efforts to seize the days until our time to leave for South Africa, we spent much time with one of our favorite families on Tuesday. I can't help to imagine what next summer will be like. We'll have two more precious sons, and Sabrina will have a baby girl who will be almost a year old. There'll be 8 on the slide!

My camera was not taking the best photos....I'm sure it was not the photographer, but I think you can still see how much fun the kids were having!!

And, just to make Aunt Robbie smile: Look who came over!
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