Friday, December 20, 2013

Article 5 and The Personal God

In order to legally adopt our child from China, the US Consulate must issue us something called an 'Article 5'.  Once the Article 5 is issued, our child is legally available for us to adopt him.  Obviously, receiving the Article 5 is a big deal!  I have been praying that we would find out today when our Article 5 is to be issued, because if we did not find out today, we would have been faced with 2 weeks of silence on its status due to the holidays.  This morning, I received an email stating that our Article 5 would be available January 6!  Normally, about 2-3 weeks after receiving the Article 5, China issues the travel invitation with the dates that we will be traveling to bring our precious boy home. 

When I opened my email this morning and saw this message filled with answered prayer, I was struck by how personal God truly is.  He specifically answered my prayer for this day so I would not have to wait through Christmas.  He cared for my heart and met its desire.  This is the God who sent His Son as a baby to walk personally on this earth to ultimately give His life for His people.  He is personal.  He hears.  He cares.  This is what I hope people remember most this season.  As we sing Christmas carols and give gifts and travel about in frenzied fashion, I hope we will reflect on this personal God who was laid in a manger and personally walked this earth to walk with His people for eternity.  And I hope we will 'walk by faith and not be sight' until the day we see Jesus forever.

In closing, I will share a quote that really struck me as I studied Mary's life in this advent season and now sit reflecting on the personal nature of our God.  "She ultimately followed Him all the way to the cross, and on that dark afternoon when He died, she was standing nearby with a group of women, watching in grief and horror...the cloud of this inevitable reality had probably hung over Mary's mind since Jesus' infancy.  It was no doubt one of the things she kept and pondered in her heart (Luke 2:19, 51)...Her sense of injustice being done to Him must have been profound.  After all, no one understood Jesus' absolute, sinless perfection better than Mary did.  She nurtured Him as an infant and brought Him up through childhood...Mary seemed to understand that her steadfast presence at Jesus' side was the only kind of support she could give Him at this dreaded of Jesus' last earthly acts before yielding up His life to God was to make sure that for the rest of her life, Mary would be cared for (by John)...As a mother, she had once provided for all His needs, but in the ultimate and eternal sense, He was her Savior and provider...(After Jesus' resurrection and ascension, she sits praying with his followers in Acts 1:14)...Her life and her testimony point us consistently to her Son...Mary's own example...teaches us to do the same" (John MacArthur).

Monday, December 2, 2013

Joy: The Simpson Christmas Card 2013

“…to us a son is given…”  (Isaiah 9:6)

Merry Christmas from the growing Simpson Family!   
With joy, we share the news that we were matched with a 15 month old boy in China in September and hope to travel to China to finalize the adoption and bring him home by this March!  As we celebrate the birth of our dear Savior, we sit in humble gratitude for this beautiful gift God has given to us!  The name we have chosen to give him is ‘Josiah’.  Josiah was a good king in the Old Testament (see II Kings 22:2) and as the Audio  Adrenaline son advocating adoption ‘Kings and Queens’ states, ‘Boys become kings…dressed in Your majesty.’
We are so thankful for how God has taught us more about how He has adopted us into His family by faith alone and grace alone in Christ alone on this journey!  Isaac and Emma also love to pray for their little brother, who is also known as ‘little one in China’ to them.  There have been so many people who have come alongside us in this journey through prayer and support.  We are forever grateful for each of you!  Please continue to pray that immigration will go smoothly and we will indeed travel to China by March and finally hold our 3rd precious child in our arms!  If you are interested in giving towards our remaining $4000 in fees to be paid in China or our travel fees, please let us know!  You can also follow our journey on our blog:
(Note:  The family picture on this card is from a fundraiser run we did in honor of the millions of orphans in the world.  If you look closely, you see a picture of sweet Josiah on the globe in China! J)
Third Day song "Merry Christmas" dedicated to our sweet Josiah...Your family can't wait until next Christmas when you are home with your stocking! 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Baby Shoes

On Halloween, we received a beautiful email stating that China had officially issued our Letter of Acceptance or 'LOA' as it is known in adoption circles!  This means that China has officially accepted all of our paperwork to adopt our little boy Josiah!  So, the step following that news was to get our paperwork into US Immigration for our little boy and we are currently waiting on their official approval.  Once we receive that, we will send in our paperwork for Josiah's VISA at the US Consulate in China and will await China giving us our travel dates to go and bring our son home!  We still hope this will be in March.

After we received our LOA, we were cleared to send a small care package to our son, so I have been working on that the last week.  Our agency gives a list of items to send, like one stuffed animal (that they recommend sleeping with before sending so he will have it as an attachment object between the orphanage and our home), pictures of our family, and one outfit, with the caveat that they hope it will get to your child, but cannot guarantee it.  One of the hardest things for me in putting together this care package has been shopping for his one outfit.  Twice, I have specifically looked for toddler socks and little toddler soft shoes for him, only to see racks of baby shoes and baby socks in the stores.  Then my heart is saddened by the fact that we will never buy those little baby shoes for our son.  We missed seeing him as a baby.  It will always be true that we will never have heard his first cry or seen the first time he rolled over or fit him into one those sweet newborn onesies.  We will never have put little soft baby shoes or socks on his precious feet.  As I stood in the stores looking at baby shoes, I did not let the pain of this loss truly set it.  I know all the amazing truths.  The truth is that soon, hopefully very soon, we will not miss another size of clothes or shoes for our son.  We won't be sending him a care package where we have to label ourselves:  'Mom', 'Dad', big brother 'Isaac', big sister 'Emma', because that is all he will know us as.  And God always sees him.  But, still, there is pain and there is loss.  Loss for him and loss for us.  So although there will be this loss, we long for the day where we will finally hold him in our arms and put shoes on his feet and walk him out of the doors of the orphanage and into our family's gain of his life joining our family forever. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


Yesterday was our '15 for 150 Million Fundraiser Run for our Adoption.'  On a beautiful Fall day, I ran 15 laps (roughly 5 1/2 miles) around a lake in Baker Park in Frederick, Maryland to bring awareness and prayers to the plight of the orphan.  Each person who sponsored a lap was prayed for during their assigned lap and a portion of the orphan population was also prayed for during that lap (i.e. Lap 3 was dedicated to Nana and Papaw and Uncle Lance Simpson and I prayed for the orphans of North and Central America during that lap).  It was a really powerful experience to remember and pray for these children who are too often forgotten, but whose worth is infinite.  I pushed Isaac and Emma in the stroller for the first and last miles and Ricky joined us for a special Lap 15 in honor of our son in China.  We had his picture taped to the front of Isaac and Emma's stroller and at one point when I was running, the wind blew the picture up in such a way as his eyes were looking right at me and I kept telling him we were coming for him, that we were running towards him.  Our theme verses were Psalm 68:5-6, 'A father to the fatherless...God places the lonely in families...' and this was often my prayer for these precious children as I ran in their honor.

As we were gathering sponsors, our 5 year old niece Sophia gave us an envelope filled with all the change from her piggy bank, $3.42.  She gave us all she had to help bring her cousin home from China.  Remind anyone of the widow who gave all she had to the temple offering with two small copper coins in Mark 12:41-44?  On the back of the shirts we wore for the race, I wrote 'Team Josiah, 3.42' as a reminder for us to give all, to lay down all of ourselves for our son and for the orphans of the world.  I will write more at another time about why we chose the name 'Josiah' as our son's English name, but one of the main reasons is because Josiah was a good king in Judah's (the southern kingdom of Israel) history (see II Kings 22-23) and since the song 'Kings and Queens' by Audio Adrenaline has been so instrumental in our journey, we want a constant reminder to our son that the words of the song, 'boys become kings...wrapped in Your majesty' are true.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to each of you who sponsored a lap and/or prayed for our day!  We ended up with about 20 sponsors (instead of adding laps to the race, any extra sponsors were part of a super Lap 15!  Didn't think I could add 5 laps to the run!).  We are so grateful for each of you who have truly played such an important part in helping bring Josiah into our family and for our God who is the 'God who sees' and is sitting with him today.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

A Beautiful Yes and An Opportunity to Help!

Dear Friends,

We are so pleased to share with you the wonderful news that we have accepted the referral of a 15 month old boy from China!  It is an amazing moment to look at a picture of the little boy who will become our son!  We truly sit in humble gratitude for this moment.  (We will be able to share more details and pictures once our travel date is closer and we have our official 'Letter of Acceptance from China).

On September 6, we had a conference call with our agency to make us eligible to receive a referral and at the end of the call, our China caseworker told us about a little boy on the waiting list and asked us if we would be interested in researching more about his specific medical need and then to let her know if we would be interested in accepting this referral.  Accepting a referral means that this child would become our son once the months of immigration paperwork are completed.  We would then travel to China to bring him into our family!  After researching his specific need, praying in the wee hours of morning, reading Jesus' prayer for us in John 17, and consulting with our International Adoption Specialist at Johns Hopkins Hospital, it became clear that we would be answering our caseworker with a beautiful 'yes!' and this is what we officially did on September 13.  It is hard to see him and know he is waiting in an orphanage, but I keep reminding myself that God is the 'God who sees', the 'God who hears', and the God who is present with this precious child.

While we are so grateful to have received a referral so quickly, this means that we owe $6750 to our agency as soon as possible to cover agency fees and post-placement fees.  We were not expecting to owe this money this quickly.  We have recently received a generous grant from 'Show Hope' to cover some later China fees, but we do not have access to this grant until we are closer to traveling (which probably won't be until around March).  Would you prayerfully consider giving towards this immediate need of $6750 that we currently have?  Altogether, we still need to raise around $20,000 to cover the rest of our expenses, but our biggest need is this current $6750 amount.  If you are able to give at this time, please contact either Ricky or myself at: or

Thank you for considering this need and thank you for all who have journeyed with us, prayed with us, and supported us already!  We are so thankful.  Please continue to pray for us and for our little boy, especially that all would come together as quickly as possible so we can get to our little boy.
In His grace,
Michelle (for the rest of the Simpsons!:)

"I made known to them Your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which You have loved Me may be in them, and I in them."  (John 17:26)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Surprising Grace

Recently, our Bible study started studying the book of Isaiah.  For those who may not be familiar with this particular book of the Bible, Isaiah was one of the Major Prophets.  He spoke several hundreds of years before Jesus was born in a stable in Bethlehem to grow to take our sins upon Himself on the hill of Calvary.  Many of the prophesies that these amazing events would take place are in the book of Isaiah.  The beginning of the book of Isaiah speaks much about the judgment that is to come upon God's people for trampling on the good gifts He gave to them.  I knew the end of Isaiah spoke much of God's promise to redeem, but I was struck this week about something the author of our Isaiah book study (Drew Hunter) called 'surprising grace'.  These are gracious moments that appear in the midst of the words of judgment at the beginning of the book of Isaiah, seemingly out of nowhere.  Israel had strayed from God.  They had forgotten the poor, the widow, and the orphan.  In fact, each person had seemingly forgotten about everyone else except him or herself.  Then in Chapter 4, Isaiah prophesied about this 'surprising grace'.  He said 'In that day the Branch of the LORD will be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth will be the pride and adornment of the survivors of Israel...And there will be shelter to give shade from the heat by day, and refuge and protection from the storm and the rain' (verses 2 and 6).  We know from the whole of Scripture that the 'Branch' Isaiah is referring to is Jesus Christ.  When hope seems lost, the Branch will appear.  The Branch that will reign as king, act wisely, do justice, and righteousness.  The iniquity of the land will be removed in one day.  He will bear honor, sit and rule on His throne as priest, and the counsel of peace will be with Him (see Jeremiah 23:5-6, 33:15, Zechariah 3:8-9, 6:12-13, Source: Knowing the Bible: Isaiah, by Drew Hunter).

As we move forward in our adoption journey, the depth of these truths struck my heart.  When I was far from God, He grafted me in with the True Vine, Jesus Christ (John 15:5).  When I cared little for anyone but myself, He adopted me into His family.  As 'Love Song' by Third Day states, '...I walked the hill of Calvary; Just to be with you, I'd do anything, There is no price I would not pay, Just to be with you, I'd give anything, I would give My life away...'  Part of Israel's sin that Isaiah speaks against is that they had forgotten the orphan (Isaiah 1:23), but God has brought us into His family and has allowed us to remember the orphan because when we were spiritual orphans, He walked the hill of Calvary to make us His children, and He also remembers the physical orphans on this earth and so should His people.  I am truly awed by these truths and thankful for this journey, even on the hard days filled with demands from the precious children that are already in our home, I can remember the words Isaiah spoke many years ago, 'Learn to do good, Seek justice, Reprove the ruthless; Defend the orphan, Plead for the widow' (Isaiah 1:17) and rest in God's 'surprising grace.'

An update on our progress:  On July 30, after months of collecting paperwork and notary signatures and references and our immigration approval, we went to Annapolis and officially had our paperwork (our Dossier) authenticated and sent to our agency.  Yesterday, August 20, all our paperwork was officially sent to China!  In early September, we will have a conference call with our caseworker in Maryland and the head of the China team for our agency in Michigan.  After this call, we will officially be placed on the 'Waiting Child' referral list.  Once a month, our agency receives a list of children who have just been added to this list.  If there is a child they see that they believe matches our family, they will refer this child to us.  We will then go over this referral with our International Adoption Specialist Doctor in Baltimore and if everything seems like a fit, we will accept our referral and know this is the child who will become part of our family.  Then more paperwork and such awaits and then several months after that, we will be on our way to China to officially adopt our child!  Thank you for your prayers and partnership on our journey!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

'Do You Know?': A Poem for our Little One in China

On the eve of my birthday, I would like to share a poem I wrote for our 'little one in China' a few weeks ago.  It's an adaptation of a poem I wrote between God and me when I was ministering in the Netherlands.  I shared it last week at our Talent Show fundraiser (which went great and the support we received was so encouraging!) and want to share it on this blog in honor of the little one waiting for us...

'Do You Know?'
A Poem for Our Little One in China
Do you know that we are here?
Do you know that you needn't fear?
Do you know that God hears what we pray?
Do you know that you are His molded clay?
Do you know the beauty He sees in your eyes?
Do you know it shines through your laughs and your cries?
Do you know we ask God to hold you in His hand?
Do you know He is the God who knows each grain of sand?
Do you know how much your life is worth to your family?
Do you know our desire is for you to see?
Do you know that we are waiting for you?
Do you know that God's love will come through?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A Word of Encouragement to those Seeking to Adopt

Today, I would like to write a word of encouragement to those seeking to adopt because sometimes you need those!  James, the writer of the book of James in the Bible, was Jesus' earthly half-brother.  James' parents were Mary and Joseph.  Although Joseph was not Jesus' biological father (as Jesus was miraculously conceived from the work of the Holy Spirit and born of Mary, thus Jesus was both fully God and fully man), Joseph raised Jesus as his earthly son.  Another way to state this is that Joseph adopted Jesus.  'Jesus' identity as the Christ, after all, is tied to his identity as the ancestor of David, the legitimate heir of David's throne.  Jesus saves us as David's son, the offspring of Abraham, the Christ.  That human identity came to Jesus through adoption' (Adopted for Life, Russell Moore).  Years later, James wrote a now well-known verse in the book that bears his name, 'Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this:  to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained by the world' (1:27).  Russell Moore continues in his book to say, 'How much of this 'pure and undefiled religion' did James see first in the life of his own earthly father?  Did the image of Joseph linger in James' mind as he inscribed the words of an orphan-protecting, living faith?' (p. 75).  Wow.  When I read these words earlier this week, I was breathless thinking about God's plan in adoption!  Joseph is often seen as a secondary figure, in the background of the manger.  But he was so much more than that!  And James was greatly impacted by his father's heart for adoption.

As I sit thinking about these amazing truths, I hope they are an encouragement to you on days when you believe God is calling you to adopt, but others are discouraging you from following this call.  The reason I specifically shared James 1:27 today is because earlier today, Isaac, Emma, and I were literally visiting 'a widow in her affliction' and this widow told me that I could not adopt because that would be unfair to Isaac and Emma and the education we need to provide for them.  Even after I told her that we believe God will provide for us, she continued to tell me we should not adopt.  So, to summarize, while I was exercising 'pure and undefiled religion', I was told by the recipient of that gift, not to visit an orphan is his/her affliction to make him/her part of our family!  If you are on a journey to adopt, you can probably insert your own outlandish story here!

There are sometimes unexpected bumps or discouragements on this blessed journey to adopt.  There is a spiritual battle for your heart and your children.  But, if you truly believe God is calling you to adopt, if you have sought out godly counsel, are in a stable marriage, and believe you have 'room at your table', remember that over 2000 years ago, a man named Joseph overcame much greater obstacles and trusted God, by faith, to fulfill centuries old promises of the Messiah coming through David's line, his family line, through adoption.  And realize that you are in great company.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Our Family Tree

When I found out I was pregnant with Isaac, we told our parents by giving them copies of our 'family tree.'  For Ricky's parents, his mom and dad were at the top of the tree and lines were drawn to Ricky and his brother Lance and a line from Ricky to me and then a line was drawn from Ricky and me to a box that read 'Baby Simpson, due October 2009'.  A similar tree was drawn for my family.  When I found out I was pregnant with Emma, I made Isaac a T-shirt with a family tree drawn on the front.  The branches at the top said 'Dad' and 'Mom' with our birthdates and the branches underneath read 'Isaac' and his birthdate and 'Baby' due April 2011.  We then let Isaac walk around our parents' houses until they realized what the shirt said and then celebrated our baby, who we would later learn to be our sweet Emma Grace.

As we began putting together our China Dossier (all the paperwork we need to send to China for their approval), we were told to put a picture of our family in the packet.  So, in keeping with our 'family tree' theme, we had a picture taken in our front yard in front of our 'family tree'.  Each of us are holding a small branch that represents our 'little one in China' (this is what we call our child in our prayers).  The moment this precious child is finally placed in our arms and the paperwork is completed, the child will be a branch on our family tree, just as Isaac and Emma are branches, forever adopted into our family!  It is hard to wait for that moment. 

Yesterday I looked up all the references in the Bible to the 'orphan' or the 'fatherless' and was so encouraged by God's heart for our child and the orphans of the world.  Deuteronomy 10:18 especially struck me.  It says in part, 'He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow...'  God is defending our child.  I decided to look up 'defend' in the dictionary and it says 'to drive danger or attack away from' and this is what He is doing for our child.  He is there, even when we can't yet be there.  And in that truth there is much hope and thankfulness as we wait. 

Dear Little One in China,  God is defending you.  He is with you.  We are asking Him to hold you, today and forevermore.  We love you and are so grateful to look forward to the day when your branch is officially grafted onto our family tree! 

An update on our progress:  After speaking to our caseworker last week, she told me she is almost finished writing up our home study and it should be officially completed in early May, just in time for Mother's Day!  What a great gift to this mama!  We are already putting together our China Dossier and will begin our immigration paperwork once our home study is complete.  Prayers in the process are appreciated!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Hidden Person of the Heart

Throughout this week, I have been reading I Peter in my quiet times with the Lord and God has really been speaking to me about 'the hidden person of the heart' that Peter writes about.  When he is talking about wives, he says our adornment should be 'the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit', so I was reflecting on how God has been growing this imperishable quality in me as a wife and mother and it led me to sit in thankfulness for the good, hard work God has done in my heart.  I Peter 1:3-4 says, 'Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy, has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you...'  I have read these verses before.  I have 'His great mercy' and 'living hope' and 'will not fade away' underlined in my Bible.  I have a cross over 'Lord Jesus Christ' and a triangle around 'His' from my days of marking each key word in each book of the Bible.  But this week, the awesomeness of these truths entered deeper into 'the hidden person of the heart.'  And I am grateful.  According to God's great mercy, I have been born again into a living hope and have an inheritance with my precious Savior Jesus Christ that will never fade away!  Amazing grace!  Wow!  Too often my heart glazes over these truths, so I am thankful for the moments I hear God speak to these deeper places of my heart. 

As we move forward in our adoption journey, God is graciously reminding me about my adoption into His family.  As we fill out paperwork and have physicals and meetings and wait in line at the license bureau and take online courses and drive 60 miles to our adoption agency for meetings and try to find people to help with Isaac and Emma while we have extra meetings and drive back to the doctor's office again for something extra we need to have done and continue to give Isaac and Emma the time and attention they need and pray for the finances to come in and etc., I am reminded about how much more God did to be with me.  He didn't just travel from the United States to China, Jesus Christ left the glories of heaven to hang on a cross for me, so that I could be rescued from sin and born again into a living hope that will never fade away.  Because I have been adopted into His family, I wait in hopeful expectation of the day we will hold our child in our arms, adopted into our family.  And I am grateful. 

Also, to give everyone a little update on where we are in the home study process, a couple of days ago I received a call from our caseworker saying things are going faster than expected!  Things going 'faster than expected' is not common in the world of international adoption, so we are encouraged by this!  Any step that goes faster, means that the next step can begin sooner.  Our home study is scheduled to finish in mid-April, so we are hoping we will wrap up this stage a little earlier than that and then we will begin the process of getting our materials (our dossier) to China.  Thanks for journeying with us!  Your prayers and support are true gifts to us!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Home Study, Horton, and the Sanctity of Life

Last Monday we had our first home study meeting with our caseworker at Bethany Christian Services.  It was good to get started, even in the midst of a pretty crazy week getting our apartment packed up to move into our new house on Saturday.  This meeting was a tangible step forward to get to our child.  Every morning when I wake up, I pray for my husband and children, including this child.  I pray for God to sit with him, so he will know he is not alone.  One thing you hear most often about children in orphanages is that they often have attachment issues since they are rarely held and this will probably be true for our child and thus the prayer, that even if human hands are rarely holding him, that God's hands will.

One of Isaac's favorite books and movies is Dr. Seuss' 'Horton Hears a Who'.  For those of you without 3 year olds who may be unfamiliar with the story, the gist of it is that Horton the Elephant discovers the people of a whole town, Who-ville, living on a speck of dust that has landed on a flower and he believes it is his duty to protect the people of this town from being destroyed.  There is a sour kangaroo in the story who cannot see or hear the people because they are so small and thus believes they are not real and wants to destroy the speck of dust in beezlenut oil to teach Horton a lesson about making up stories.  Horton has all the people of the town begin shouting, 'We are here!  We are here!  We are here!'.  The pro-life cause was not the one Dr.Seuss had in mind when he wrote this story, but it is the one I always think of when we read the story or watch the movie.  Actually, when we watch the movie and the people of Who-ville start shouting 'We are here!  We are here!  We are here!', it is hard on my heart to think of so many precious unborn children shouting those words with no one to hear them.  The story of course has a happy ending.  The kangaroo and the other animals of the jungle finally hear the people of Who-ville and they are saved.

This Sunday is 'Santity of Life Sunday' in many churches around the country.  As we journey on towards our adoption, I want to stop and remember the unborn, as well as the orphans around the world.  No matter where you stand on these issues, please take a moment to listen to these sweet voices that were 'fearfully and wonderfully knit together in their mother's womb' (Psalm139) and you may just hear them. 

Recently, I read the book 'Unplanned' by Abby Johnson.  Abby was once the director of a Planned Parenthood clinic in Texas, but now works with the organization 'Coalition for Life' to help moms in the crisis of an unwanted pregnancy learn that abortion is not the answer for the life growing inside them.  One day she witnessed an ultrasound guided abortion and watched the baby go from moving in his mother's womb one moment to being gone the next and she was forever changed to believing that baby was a child and not just tissue.  She now stands outside the Planned Parenthood clinic where she once worked, praying and giving these women options such as material assistance if they choose to keep their child or connections to adoption agencies if they believe that is the best option.  She speaks much of God's forgiveness and her own journey to healing.  It is a really powerful book and I recommend it for those on both sides of the fence.

Ricky and I believe that adopting is a beautiful way to affirm our faith in God's view of the sanctity of life. It is possible, although not probable, that the birth mother of our future adopted child is pregnant right now (it is more likely that she has already given birth), but if she is pregnant, I pray she will know someone across the world wants her child to enter their family, that he is wanted and he is a precious life and that he will know that our hearts hear him and the millions of other orphans around the world crying out 'We are here!  We are here!  We are here!' and that we are acting on their behalf.

"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves...defend the rights of the poor and needy."  (Proverbs 31:8-9)