Monday, April 7, 2014

Give Security

On one (of our many) drives to Birmingham a few weeks ago, Payt asked me what I thought were some of the most important components that help children thrive in life. He was asking me in the context of "our 16 boys" that live on our property in Haiti, but as I was talking out my thoughts with him, I began relating and thinking in context of our 2 boys living under our roof at home.

There are obviously many things that contribute to a child's ability to thrive, but in my opinion, security is definitely one of the most key components that enable children to grow, develop, and thrive in their given environment.

As our conversation continued, tears flooded my eyes. My boys (like most children) really need nothing else besides Payt and/or myself to provide security to their little lives. Our boys living on our property have NO ONE. Most of them have lost both parents, or have one parent living that they probably have not seen since an infant due to the lack resources their parent/parents had to care for them.

Ironically as I was working on putting this blog together late one night while Payt was out of town, I heard Paxton crying out over the monitor in what seemed like a slightly distressed cry. I quickly ran up to his bedroom, laid down with him, and held him snug until he quickly fell back asleep. I hate to even assume that he could have had a nightmare this young, but I cried and cried as I held him thinking of all the children who do not have a mommy or a daddy to hold them at night when they get scared.

SO with that said, our goal as a non profit is to create an "Oasis" (a place that provides rest, refuge, and relief) for these kids who have been living in some of the most destitute and life threatening situations. A safe environment that WE can help create will bring these precious abandoned children some sense of security, so that they can beautifully flourish into strong, solid individuals. 

Would you consider helping us "Give Security.  Create Oasis!"???

Click HERE to give and to see the full story of our fundraising campaign.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Our New "Adventure"

“I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that’s how you grow. When there’s that moment of ‘Wow, I’m not really sure I can do this,’ and you push through those moments, that’s when you have a breakthrough.” Marissa Mayer
“Life is inherently risky. There is only one big risk you should avoid at all costs, and that is the risk of doing nothing.” Denis Waitley
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” Steve Jobs
The above quotes screamed with relevancy as I, Payton, read them a few days before last Monday, March 3rd 2014. Which by the way, was MY FIRST OFFICIAL DAY AS FULL-TIME EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF OASISIAH. WOO to the HOO!!!
My journey to this “wow, i’m not really sure I can do this”, “risky”, “not going to live someone else’s life” place in my life has been a really cool one. It is/has been a somewhat surreal experience. However, the true and beautiful reality is that it is far from surreal. It is proof of a faithful God, whom despite my many incompetences, involves me in His work anyways.
With a worshipful heart, I Payton Junkin, joyfully and obediently testify to His faithfulness by sharing a deeper look into the journey of becoming Executive Director of Oasisiah. In my 28 years upon this earth, these are a few key moments that serve as great confirmation and give me great confidence as I step into this new role.
20 years ago…
I played with the pencils under the pews in the floor of my home church in my new neon Nike shorts with a matching shirt; unaware that in a short few moments, Christ would make himself known to me in a way like never before. He did. I was new.
16 years ago…
I came to the realization that within me, their was a love and compassion for children that not everyone else held.
13 years ago…
I began to feel a real tug toward “ministry” that I was not quite mature enough to clearly articulate nor give myself to. Fear held me back from being open to what that “tug” may have actually meant.
12 years ago…
I sat weeping in my bathroom, in spite of being a 16 year old self centered teenager, after watching the movie “Hardball” starring Keanu Reeves. The character “G-baby”, a young, full of life, charisma-filled child had been killed tragically by a stray bullet. The thought of this injustice being a “real thing” was too much for me to contain.
8 years ago…
I was captivated by God’s love and grace in a way that shifted the rest of my life. The white flag was raised and Christ was truly made Lord of my life like never before.

5 years ago…
I had the opportunity to go on a short-term mission trip which gave me tangible insight and hands on experience with children in need. It was upon this trip that God gave me vision and clarity within my heart that His purpose for me would indeed be to serve the orphaned, abandoned, neglected child.

3 years ago…
I married the love of my life, Heather Millington Junkin, whom holds the same passion and conviction for the orphan and abandoned child as I do.

2 1/2 years ago…
Upon another short-term mission trip, within a country ravished by an earthquake that had changed it forever; a little round faced boy, rockin’ a pony tail on the top of his head entered the church in which we were working. Just a newlywed, I now held the one whom would first give me the title Dad. Our son, Rowen Thomas Junkin entered our lives on this hot June 2011 morning and God has used his life and our journey of bringing him from Haiti to home, as a catalyst to establish Oasisiah.

2 years ago…
Upon a trip to visit Rowen, I had a free day to go into the community and serve. It was Thanksgiving Day of 2011. Sweat dripped from my head, as I fed two mouths simultaneously within the malnutrition clinic where we served. I had never seen such a site. These two children were literally skin and bones, both two years old, weighing only 14lbs apiece.
As if that was not enough, I had also never seen marks upon a childs body, as I saw upon one of the children that I fed. “He must have been burned”, I pondered. After giving the last two bites of food to the two mouths in front of me, I grabbed my translator to inquire of the marks upon the little boy. The words from the translators mouth, still shocks me to the core! Oh how I wish this boy would have just been burned. His reality though, was much more grim than that. On the day in which we as Americans throw out as much food as we eat; I stood feeding a boy whom had gotten so hungry, that he had began to eat his own flesh! Yes, thats right, not burned, starving! And so badly so, that his own body was his last shot at surviving.
Ironically, his name was Emmanuel. As the meaning of Emmanuel is “God with us”, so will this little guys story remain with me. An irony, I think not.

A year and a half ago…
Heather and I sat in our living room floor counting the cash gifts we had received for Christmas, hoping for enough money to buy the cool dining room table we had been drooling over.  And sure enough, we had gotten enough! We went to sleep that night, ecstatic.
6:30am the next morning, the phone rang.  Jesper, who is now our director on the ground in Haiti, was on the other line. I could hear the sadness in his voice from the moment he began speaking. “My brother, you know those 4 orphanages that I have been telling you about?” “Three children have died that are connected to them!”
Here we sat, counting our money to buy a table in order to more stylishly and comfortably eat our food, all the while, children whom we have a direct connection to and ability to do something to help; are dying from a lack of food. This reality brought us to our knees and led us to give our gift money and launch a grassroots campaign to raise funds for food. Thanks to many of YOU reading this, we raised $7,200.00 dollars in 13 days for the children within these orphanages. This was the direct need which led us to launch Oasisiah.

1 year ago…
Fueled by the occurrences and experiences spoken to above and due to the support of many of you reading, Oasisiah was officially born!!!

As Executive Director, I am PUMPED for the days ahead and PUMPED for the opportunity to build this organization into one in which truly creates Oasis for children. We stand confident and humbled at the opportunity we have to give children rest, relief and revitalization; enabling them to live out their God-given purposes. This is our reason for existence and we plan to exist for years to come. MUCH MUCH work is ahead, but I stand confident in Him and in YOU, our tribe, to bring this vision to fruition.

So thankful for the journey to this point.  I personally and, we as an organization, humbly ask for and covet your prayers as the journey pushes forward.  To God be the glory!
P.S. More specific insight into “our property” spoken of here, will be shared on Thursday.  Also, a very specific need will be made known which will take your support to make happen. Creating Oasis for children upon “our property” starts this Thursday, March 13th!!! Please JOIN US.
P.S.S. Follow @Oasisiah on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for more frequent updates.

Within this new "adventure", the Lord has also opened a door for Payton to work with a pharmaceutical sales company as a side job opportunity.  Though Oasisiah is Payton's full-time job, this opportunity is very exciting as well. We are so excited about this transition and thankful to each of you whom have and do support our family.  God is faithful! 

Hopefully our next "adventure" update will be letting you know we have had some movement with Rowen!  :)

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Bring Rowen Home

As many of you know, we have been in process of trying to get our oldest son home from Haiti for the past 2 and a half years. Because of the lengthiness of our adoption process, we currently have had a very unexpected and pricey expense that is required to update a lot of our paperwork that has expired. With the help of two very talented friends, Bethany Clifton from Guin, Alabama and Allie Lane from Nashville, TN; we have designed and are now selling "Rowen Apparel" to help with this expense.

We thank everyone who has consistently prayed, supported, and encouraged us to this point. We are currently awaiting ONE signature that we have been waiting on since June 2013. Once we receive that signature, it is very likely that Rowen could be home in three months. Thank you for loving our baby and traveling this journey with us. I know we have said it a MILLION times, but we could not make it without your support.

For Orders....

Facebook: Heather Millington Junkin
*send design choice, article of clothing, size, and email address*

One more thing, if you decide to purchase an item, we would love a picture :) We have done our best to save any and all letters/messages of encouragement, prayers, and pictures that we have received over the past 2 years. We long for the day that we are able to share those with Rowen. He'll never fully understand how loved and wanted he is by so many, but we pray that a little "proof" will help :)

Design A

Design B

Boy Long Sleeve T: $27.00 (12m-12)

Girl Long Sleeve T: $27.00 (12m-12)
(Lettuce Ruffle Edge)

Ruffled Dress: $30.00 (12m-6)

Infant Gown: $28.00 (0-3m or 6-12m)

Long Romper: $28.00 (3m-24m)

Thank you again for all of your support!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Update Overload

Memorial Day weekend at the Lake...



First Zoo Trip...

And an update on "Bubba"...


Heather and Payton, 

I think he's doing good overall.  We have a trained social worker & the teachers doing assessments of preschool children since it's almost the end of the school year.  Once I get those reports, I'll either send it or recap it for you.  (I'm not sure how the info will be given to me). Based on preliminary reports, everyone's right on target.   I hope that video alleviated  some of your concerns as to whether he plays well with his house mates!  

He's an excellent communicator, singer & cuddler!!  He will be a worship leader some day.  He's still struggling with getting his own way on HIS timeframe.  Sharing the tricycle seems to be especially difficult.  He totally hates time out.  He turns issuesaround pretty quickly though.  He does everything with great gusto; cry, laugh, play!!!  He's a nice little boy.  


We wish so badly that we had an update on the adoption process, but as of right now, we are still patiently awaiting the 5th signature needed to move forward. Please, please, please continue to join us in praying that we receive it SOON! As hard as it is, we continue to trust in the Sovereign Lord's timing as we know He is just that....SOVEREIGN. In the midst, we are constantly being reminded that He is still answering our prayers and He is indeed, still at work...

Amongst MANY other things, one thing we prayed (and still pray) over Rowen and Paxton from the day we found out we were pregnant with Paxton was that the Lord would give the two of them a supernatural bond. We pray that they would be more than just "brothers", but that they would be best friends, accountability partners, and that Rowen would lead his brothers closer to Christ as he holds the position of Big Brother and First Born of our family.

We can honestly and safely say, that Paxton is enamored with his "bubba" already. The very first thing Paxton says to us as he sees us coming up the stairs and into his bedroom to get him out of his crib EVERY morning is "bu" (his name for Rowen). Before changing a diaper and morning kisses, we are strictly instructed to carry him over to their bookshelves so that he can kiss every one of Rowen's pictures. I don't know how or why, (except for the Lord answering our prayers), but he is infatuated with Rowen's pictures. He spots them all over the house, and nearly every time we pass one, we have to stop, stare, and kiss "bu". It is one the craziest, yet sweetest things we have experienced and we thank God for the precious relationship he is forming between our sweet boys. It definitely brings more emotions to our house, as we wish he were here in person for Paxton kiss and dote over, but we are in awe of how God heard and still hears our prayers as we know He is still working out the good of bringing our family together!

Thank you so much to everyone who has sent messages or have made the effort to ask about Rowen and our process over the past few weeks. We still stand amazed at the outpouring of support that we have consistently received over the past 2 years (yes, 2 years :(...too long). You all are a huge part of his story, and at same point in Rowen's life, he will be made aware of every single person that has prayed for him and have supported  this journey.