Tuesday, November 19, 2013
And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you.
Dear ones, I am learning that our only sure hope is in the Lord. When we look to governments, circumstances, or even friends for our hope, we will be disappointed. But, our God will never disappoint us. He is always faithful, always trustworthy, always true.
Last Tuesday, we learned that, apart from a miracle, Sergei will not be able to come for winter hosting. Our hearts, of course, are saddened and concerned, but we are not without hope! In fact, we hope endlessly, because our God has an unlimited supply of goodness, mercy and love.
And, like our faithful Father, we will not give up on this young man!
Though we're still open and ready for plan A (should God provide a miracle for Sergei to come this winter), we're also preparing our hearts for plan B. Plan B isn't necessarily simple and it isn't perfectly clear, but we're more than willing to seek out another route that will lead us to Sergei. Please pray with us during this time, and ask our Father to shower Sergei with His peace and His love. Ask our Lord to work mightily on Sergei's behalf and to be his strong deliverer!
On a simply practical note, we are continuing with our t-shirt fundraiser! Please know that all of the money raised will be used towards the pursuit of Sergei's adoption. We are aware that, despite our desire and efforts, it is possible that we will not be able to adopt Sergei. If you've bought a shirt or donated, and feel uncomfortable with this, we absolutely and completely understand. Please just let us know and we'll make sure that you get your money back.
But, for those of you who would like to continue on this journey of hope with us, we'd love to reach our goal of selling at least 50 shirts by November 30th. Please click here if you'd like to buy a shirt. We're over half-way to our goal. We'd greatly appreciate your support as we...
Hope (Endlessly) for Sergei!!
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
On Fridays, our four oldest children have a discipleship time with Uncle Brett, Alyssa and David P. As a part of this time, they have started taking prayer walks around the neighborhood. A couple of days ago, Uncle Brett asked the four of them to write down some of their thoughts on the power of prayer walks. I found their words so encouraging that I decided to share them with you here. There are so many ways that children can enter into the glory and the work of Heaven! I'd love to hear about some of the ways that you have found to include your children in a life of ministry and love, as well!
Yana: I really like doing the Prayer Walks. It helps me to stay aware with what is going on in the real world and the world that we can’t see. My favorite part is placing my hands on the buildings and claiming them for God and His works.
My second favorite part is walking down the street with everyone and holding hands… I think that it conveys a sense of family to people we don’t know. I mean, no one usually sees people of different ethnic backgrounds walking together and enjoying each other’s company. It’s not typical.
In our most recent Prayer Walk, before Jadon told us about the people he “saw “around us, I kept picturing people dancing, leaping, shouting, running, skipping and celebrating on the streets. Kind of the picture you get when in the Bible when King David was dancing and celebrating with his people when the Ark of the Covenant came into his city. Anyway, I think it’s a lot of fun doing these walks...they’re awesome!
Adam: Prayer walking is great because it gives us a chance to practice listening to and obeying God. That is a very essential part of the Christian life so it is good to have opportunities to do that. One thing that I enjoy about the prayer walks is that it gives us a way to pray for others and for God’s Kingdom to come to earth in the neighborhood. Also, walking around the neighborhood gives us more of a chance to minister to other people than just staying indoors. Doing prayer walks gives us an opportunity to do God’s work, to listen, hear, obey, pray, and minister to others.
Jadon: Prayer walking is good cause you thank God for what he is doing for people and houses around. Once we were walking around and saw somebody outside. Then we stated talking with them. Prayer walking sometimes is helpful to people. I think its pretty good many times.
Lily: Prayer walking is a really great way to listen to the Lord, speak out what’s on his heart, and it’s also a great way to get to know your area. Praying for the houses, for the properties, and for the lots is a way of scoping out God’s desires. You get to meet awesome people, and it can really help you realize the power of prayer. Prophecy over the houses in the neighborhood gives you a glimpse of something brighter and more powerful behind the boarded up windows and caving-in roofs. You’re able to see heaven in the kids you see playing on the street, the homeless guys with their shopping carts, and the dirty front yards littered with trash. Prayer walking also can bring you to people at just the right moments. So many interesting people live around here, and you can’t really meet them unless you’re the one to start the conversation. Prayer walking is a way that heaven can come down to earth.
Sunday, November 10, 2013
In May of 1995, I finished graduate school in California and spent the summer with my parents. I was in need of a temporary job, so I went to a vacuum cleaner sales training seminar. While at the seminar, the presenter explained that in order to sell vacuums, we would have to "create a need" for our customers. We would have to convince our customers that they couldn't live without this vacuum cleaner!
At which point, I raised my hand and explained (with all of my newly acquired philosophy of religion and ethics degree seriousness), "I'm sorry, but I don't think that it's ethical to create a need. People have real needs that really matter (like the need for food, shelter and love). When we pretend that our created needs are real needs, real people get hurt."
And that my friends
was the end of my very short career as a vacuum cleaner salesperson.
The blaringly obvious reality is that I'm not a salesperson. I seriously stink at selling things. I'm also no good at fundraising. I absolutely cannot pretend that you need a new t-shirt. In fact, I imagine that you have a few cute ones hanging in your closet already.
But friends, I do know that Sergei has a need. And it's not a fabricated need. It's real.
If Sergei isn't adopted soon, he will age out of the orphanage and will be vulnerable to any number of dangerous attacks on his life and character. Sergei needs a family to protect him. Sergei needs a family to love him.
So, if you'd like to help meet the real need of a young man who is about to age-out of his orphanage, we'd be so grateful. The t-shirts truly are beautiful, and you can buy one right here. Thanks so much, friends. You bless us more than you could ever know!
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Oh give thanks to the Lord, call upon His name; make known His deeds among the peoples. Sing to Him, sing praises to Him; speak of all His wonders. Glory in His holy name.
I love to talk about our adoptions. I love to give glory to God for the beautiful and amazing children that He has brought into our family. I love to talk about how each child was hand-picked by God Himself, and brought into our family for a specific purpose.
I also love to talk about how God has provided abundantly for each and every one of our adoptions. From selling a classic car given to David when he was 16, to generous grants and seemingly miraculous multiplication of funds, God has truly been generous to us as we have stepped out and adopted these precious children.
Sergei's adoption has been no exception.
After David's accident, and his not being able to work for two months, as well as our moving from CO to Kansas City, we thought that we would have to wait at least six months to a year to begin another adoption.
But God had different plans.
He brought an amazing young man into our hearts.
And as much as we questioned how it could even be a possibility, God made it clear that we were to pursue his adoption.
So, we did!!
Immediately, our generous Father confirmed our decision when he provided the entire amount for the hosting fees in one day, by an anonymous donor. The only thing that we have to pay for is the domestic plane flights! I can't share all of the details of this miracle, because the donor wants to remain anonymous, but believe me when I say that it was completely the result of a generous and loving God, responding to the prayers of at least three people, unaware of the other's prayers, at the very same time!
Sergei will be here for the hosting program from December 19th until mid-January. We would love to begin the homestudy and dossier process before he gets here. So with that in mind, I am excited to share with you our first fundraiser:
HOPE FOR SERGEI
We are working with Bonfire Funds to raise money for Sergei's adoption. Bonfire Funds designed this t-shirt and I LOVE how it turned out!
Here's how it works:
The fund will be in effect until November 30. You can buy shirts until that date, but you will not be charged until November 30, and you will only be charged if a total of 50 (or more) tees are sold. The t-shirts will only be printed if at least 50 shirts are sold. If the shirts are printed, you should receive your shirt(s) in the mail just two weeks later...in plenty of time for Christmas!
And here's a fun little bonus:
If you sign up as a fundraiser for Hope for Sergei, you can earn free tees (one free shirt for every ten that are sold). You can help raise money for this precious boy, and earn a free shirt in the process!
Please do not feel any pressure to purchase a tee! Even though we are fundraising, we know that it is up to God to bring in the money for Sergei's adoption, and we trust that He will do just that!
But, if you'd enjoy participating in Sergei's adoption, we're happy to give you this fun opportunity. Just click here if you'd love to buy one of these great tees!
Saturday, November 2, 2013
Shortly after we saw a picture of our precious third daughter, we felt like the Lord told us her name. It was to be "Grace." I knew that her name would hold a special significance for her and for us, but it wasn't until we actually held her in our arms that we began to realize the fulness of her name.
God began to pour out a beautiful work of grace in our lives.
This is the first moment that we saw our daughter, in person, from across the room.
Five years ago, today...
God used Grace's adoption to begin an amazing and quite tangible time of grace in our lives. We were lavished in His love and could sense His gentle nearness and fathering heart.
It was a special season that we experience the effects of, even now.
I praise the Lord that five years ago today, He brought us two "graces."
Happy Adoption Day, our precious daughter.
You are a blessing in more ways than you will ever know!
We love you with all of our hearts and are so grateful that you are ours and we are yours.
You are most certainly God's special gift of grace to us.