About Us

Hattiesburg, MS, United States
We are a really average family that just can't get over that we have been adopted by an extraordinary God! We are excited and expectant as the journey to enlarge our family unfolds before us.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Our life and ministry future

Today has been one of those days in ministry that is a mixture of great and difficult.

Today, I announced that I will be leaving Temple Baptist Church to become the Associate Pastor for Equipping and Discipleship at Faith Baptist Church in Bartlett, Tennessee. It has been difficult in that we are saying goodbye to some great friends and to a wonderful season of ministry. We are so grateful for the opportunity to have served and made our home here and to have been able to see God use Temple to plant churches, make disciples, take the gospel to the nations and care for the fatherless.

We have grown and you have ministered to us, and we pray that we have served God well here with you. I look forward to seeing what God will do through Temple to make disciples of all nations into the future!

We have grown as a family (by two), and you were part of that and always will be. We have you as part of our story, and that makes me smile. Thank you!

Soon, we will be transitioning to our new assignment among the people of Faith. We are ready to get started. Me head is swimming already with thoughts of what is to come. I am so excited about the ministry that lies ahead at Faith. I can't wait!

Thank you for praying for us in the transition!

Friday, December 30, 2011

3 Resons Why Orphan Hosting Makes Sense

Especially since the release of Orphanology, lots of the questions and comments I have fielded from people have centered on the theme of orphan hosting. Many people are really curious or even captivated by the idea. Others are wary or even skeptical. While we are in the middle of another hosting event with Promise 139, it has given me a little perspective to revisit why I think orphan hosting makes sense. Here are some thoughts:

  1. It personalizes the global orphan crisis. Most of the people who volunteer with our hosting program will never set foot an international orphanage. Through hosting, they have an opportunity to put real faces and real names with the huge orphan problem that exists across the globe. I have heard it said that "once you can see their faces and know their names, you are responsible for them." That's a pretty personal interpretation of the charge in James 1:27. In reality, we are responsible for all of them. When we come to know them, it is we that become aware of our responsibility.
  2. Hosting brings hope, and I'm not talking the hope of adoption. One of my favorite stories was the 15-year-old boy who came to us as part of a hosting group. He had been profoundly neglected. He was not sent to school by his mom, and quite frankly, going to the orphanage was a blessing for him. But, he didn't see much of a future for himself. After two weeks among believers in America being loved on unconditionally and shown Christ, he said this. "I am starting to think about the future. Before I didn't think much about it. Seeing how these people love and care for each other inspires me." He had hope. Hope that a good life was possible, and that hope was rooted in Jesus because he had been presented the Good News and it had changed him eternally! He was going home as an adopted son of the King knowing that he had brothers and sisters in America who loved and supported him.
  3. Hosting gives an opportunity to earn the right to be influential in the lives of kids the other 50+ weeks a year. By working well with the orphanage and other government officials, you can earn trust to begin to impact kids through transitional programs and through aid that extends throughout the year. Hosting begins the relationship, but it does not have to define it.

I could go on forever, but these are a few of my thoughts. What are yours? I would love to hear from you. You can send questions or comments at the end of this blog or fine me on twitter (@rick_morton) or facebook (www.facebook.com/dr.rick.morton)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

I've Moved

I probably should have done this long ago, but I wanted to make a post here to let everyone know that I have moved my blog to www.rickmortononline.com. The focus of that blog is more general than this. Mostly, I'll be writing on the issues of adoption and orphan care, but there will be other things relevant to being a disciple of Jesus with a little "lagniappe" sprinkled in from time to time...



Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Giving, Feasts, and Orphans

Today in the chronological Bible reading plan, we are in Deuteronomy 14-16, and there is a ton that could be said. Therer are a couple of things that jump out to me in particular about God's heart for the orphan. In His instruction about the tithe that is to be given every third year, He is careful to instruct the people not to forget the orphan, the widow, and the sojourner. In fact, in the Old Testament, those three groups are most often linked together like a triad. What makes them similar? They have no rights and they have no voice! In telling His people not to forget those three groups, God is telling us something pretty important about himself. He is a defender of the defenseless and a voice for the voiceless. He wants us to emulate Him in that as a way to bring glory to him among the nations. Why do we defend the defenseless? To show who our God is so that people will praise Him! Period!

Later in this passage, instructions are given for the Feast of Weeks and the Feast of Booths. Again the reminder is made not to exclude the orphan, the widow, or the soujourner. Why? In general, the reason is the same as above, but maybe there is something more. In the Feast of Weeks, the people are remembering that they once were slaves in Egypt but now they are free. Could it bee that God is providing us with a beautiful picture? By having the people include the marginalized and voiceless, is He signalling to us that freedom (salvation) is open to everyone? In the Feast of Booths, the people moved out of their homes and lived in tents to remember the temporary homes they lived in while they wandered in the wilderness. It is also a beautiful picture of Jesus leaving his home in heaven and taking up a fragile human home to live among his creation for a time to bring about our redemption through his sacrifice. It is not insignificant that the orphans, widows and soujorners were included in this feast either.

4 But ​when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, ​born of woman, born gunder the law, 5 ​to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. 6 And because you are sons, God has sent ​the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then ​an heir through God. (Galatians 4:4-7 ESV)

I wonder what God is trying to say about Himself to the nations today through my obedience and yours?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

We are home!!

Got got home last night and what a homecoming it was! We has a good trip. No problems, just tight connections that caused us to scurry through Amsterdam and Atlanta with no time for even a cup of coffee. I think Nastia slept 13 of the 14 1/2 hours we ere in the air yesterday. If she wasn’t eating or drinking, she was sleeping. It was cool to notice how he eyes brightened and her smile widened throughout the day, Especially when we walked out of the immigration office!

Anyway, we were met in Gulfport by Nana and Papaw and the boys. I think they each have grown a foot! They look so good and are doing so well. They had stuffed animals for her and greeted her with kisses. It was sweet. We were thrilled to see them. It has been a long two months, and it was nice to see them and have a little together time. We all went to Cracker Barrel for a little redneck bonding (not sure Nastia was too impressed—and it really wasn’t their finest hour) and then we headed for home. When we got home, She walked in the door into the arms of so many wonderful friends. Some whom she had grown to love in Sevastopol and others while she was here. It was such a cool thing to see. As her daddy, I was so thankful for friends who love my daughter that way. As a friend, I am thankful for friends who love me that way! Thank you all so much.

Then, they took her to see her new room. All I can say is, WOW! While we were still in Ukraine, we got on-line with her and ordered bedding. Some of our wonderful friends, took that ball and ran with it and created a dream room for a teen girl. I feel like her room was on one of those HGTV (yes, I am man enough to admit I watch those shows with my wife) shows like Trading Spaces.. I would start trying to thank people, but I honestly do not know who all had a hand in this project, but I will find out! For now, please accept a blanket thank you! It is an amazing gift, and she was overwhelmed! She just beamed last night. She just wanted to spend time enjoying her new oasis.

Well, today we begin to find out what normal will begin to look like. Nana and Papaw are heading home for some well deserved rest (although I am sure we’ll see them back in a couple of weeks). The boys will head back to school after being out sick for a couple of days, and I will go back to the church to see if they have changed the locks to the doors on my office :). We look forward to seeing all of you soon. We will easing into a regular schedule over the next few days, but hope to be normal as soon as possible. Nastia’s English is very limited, but her social skills are not, so dot be afraid to come by and say hello “Pree-vee-et”!