Blog Description

"God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure." Ephesians 1:5
"We love because he firstloved us." 1 John 4:19

Monday, February 18, 2013

Traveling to get Nico and Anwa today!!!

We are traveling today to get Nico and Anwa!!! We haven't been able to update the blog as often as we would like, but things were fragile for a while and we didn't want make some facets of the case public. I'm sure we will bring closure to the blog with more posts, but for now you can follow the next few weeks on Facebook. Thanks for all the prayers and support!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Our Faithful God

Our God is so faithful!  I can not even begin to explain to you all the layers of spiritual warfare that are oppressing the process of the liberation of these children.  It is not just the Congolese system and it's inadequacies but outright deceit, manipulation, and jockeying.  Tragically, I think most of this is out of a love of money at the expense of many many orphans.  I can reveal details later once the children are home, safe and sound.  In the mean time, Nicodemu and Anouarite are safe, happy, and being fed.  They are looking forward to meeting Mommy and Daddy, Nathanael and Annalise!

Our God loves these children and He is the God of justice and power over all evil.  In spite of much opposition, we are making good progress through prayer and the faithful service of honest people on the other side.  For reasons I can not now make public, our travel will be a little postponed but we are rejoicing at the important things that have just happened.  So... if there are no surprises, we plan to travel about the second week of February to Goma to receive the children.  We should travel around Valentine's Day.  There is peace in Goma for the time being.  I wish I could expound more, but I have been speaking so directly with God and know that it was He who has done this good thing.  They are not home yet, so keep praying!

About an hour ago, the mailman rang our doorbell with our visas in hand!  So, we can now have the liberty to book a flight and hop on board in a moment's notice if need be.

Those are the updates for the day.  Thank you to all of our friends and family for supporting us with everything from bunk beds to car seats to early education materials, personalized embroidered backpacks, suitcases for N and A, special skin and haircare products, and monies to deliver Swahili bibles when we travel!  The list goes on and we are so very blessed by our family and friends.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

His Grace Abounds this New Year

As this New Year unfolds, God's grace abounds to our family.  Now begins the dawning of the receipt of one of the most marvelous lavishing of gifts that a good and loving Father of all Mankind can give to His beloved children.  Namely, two precious vulnerable and alone children, incredibly beautiful in appearance and spirit.  We are amazed at both his creative handiwork of Nicodemu and Anouarite AND His preservation of their little lives.  We don't know what condition they are in physically, emotionally, or spiritually, but we are certain that the same God that has been holding us for all of our lives, has been holding them for all of theirs as well.  The smoldering wick He has not snuffed out, rather He has protected, defended, and I bet over and over whispered little messages of hope into their un-parented hearts.  He is our portion forever and He is their portion forever!  What promises of hope we have from the God who is unable to be unfaithful.

For you Nico and Anwa, on this new year, these are God's promises to you.  I wish I could hold you and speak these to you, but soon enough my sweeties.

"A bruised reed He will not break, and a faintly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice."  Isaiah 42:3 and Matthew 12:20

"He [God] heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds."  Psalm 147:3

"When my father and mother forsake me, then the LORD will take care of me.  I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.  Wait on the LORD; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart: wait, I say, on the LORD."  Psalm 27:10, 13, 14   ---- There is a story behind these verses that goes all the way back to God "impregnating" me/us with the desire to pursue you 2 years ago.  I will share this story with you as you grow up with us.  He has brought about the unification of our family.

Now, a promise for us as we go in to get you...
"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.  When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you." Isaiah 43:2  --- we will all continue together as a family on this journey of learning to trust without reserve the mighty name of Jesus Christ.

What a year we have ahead of us.  Walking in the will of the Father is rich in blessing!  As we eat our traditional turnip greens and black eyed peas today, we will be wishing not for financial wealth but for more of the wealth that comes from the Father who owns it all.  Pour it on us Lord, we trust you and want all that you have for us this year and forever!  We thank you for gifting us with Nathanael, Nicodemu, Annalise, and Anouarite.  When measured according to God's economy of justice and mercy, we have been made rich!

As Jesus said to His disciples before His death, "I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you", we say the same to the orphans we love who will not be called orphans for much longer!  By God's good grace, we are on our way the minute we get the call!  All the while, we pray for peace in the Congo long enough for us to get in and back out, and will never stop praying for this country that is now dear to us.  That is up to God and we trust He can do the impossible.  A happy new year it is.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Expecting to travel to Africa in about 3 weeks!!!!!!!

We have very hopeful and exciting news to report!!!!!  We have dropped our agency and hired an local attorney on the ground in Goma.  He has been moving VERY fast, praise God, to get Nicodemu and Anouarite to safety and to their new family!  After much prayer and deliberation, we have made the big jump and we are THRILLED.  The Cummings family, see previous posts, switched to him about 3-4 weeks ago after all the fighting broke out and they were scrambling to do better than the process we have been stuck in.  They are now in the Congo, having been already united with their 3 children on December 27th!  There is a lot more to discuss here about why this attorney is able to move SO much faster than our other attorney who is hired by the agency, but that would take a whole book so I will spare you all for now.  It is a very interesting and fascinating study though into Congolese culture and how we can and should "fit" into their system.

We have been in constant contact with our new attorney and we know that the judge is working on our final adoption judgement!  We hope to get a call in about 2 weeks that our judgement is complete and that we can book our flights!  As soon as we get the final judgment, they will be legally ours, and we can post their pictures for you.  (or I guess we could now since we are no longer with our agency, but we think we will wait until we know for sure that they are OURS!)

Please continue to pray that the fighting does not resume!!  Chuck and I plan to go into Goma around the 3rd week of January as long as there is still peace.  If fighting resumes again, the airport will likely close, and we don't know how we will get them out as the Congo is impassable by car.  So, time is of the essence. 

Thank you all for taking this journey with us and we will keep you posted!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Imminent Fighting Again

Troops are massing and drawing very very near.  It could all explode at any minute.  Please keep praying.  Though I can not give any details here yet, we were told by our attorney to stand by in hopes of the possibility of an immediate plan of action.  Why are they not yet on that humanitarian flight?!  Will there ever be the promised humanitarian flight?  God is in control and he loves us and them.  I still believe God will bring them home against all odds.  Please pray with us.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Friends, I wish we had more to report at this time.

We do know that our case is still being considered.  Still praying for their swift deliverance.

We are very disappointed to report that the children are all still in Goma.  No flight has yet come for them.  We are tying to dig for answers for this as well.  We are learning the depth of the brokenness of the system that has crippled their country and orphaned millions of children.  As we share in the sufferings of Christ and reach out to love these children, we are acquiring scars of our own.  I never thought it would be this hard.  But these scars are not bleeding wounds, they are quickly mended and carefully attended to by our own Father.  We have the promise in James 1 that our sufferings and the testing of our faith produce steadfastness.  And that steadfastness will have its full effect, that we may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.  So we wrestle to count it all joy.

Thank you for checking in and for your faithful support and prayers!  God is bigger than all of this.  I think we are in the part of the footprints poem when there was only one set of footprints in the sand.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Humanitarian Flight Approved!!!!!!!!!!!!

Today, we finally heard that our children and the other 5 children being adopted to the US have been granted the next humanitarian flight out of Goma!  To back up a few days, a UN representative and Immigration Official last Friday/Saturday came to visit the orphanage, interviewed the orphanage director, and each of our children  one by one.  He told them when he left that he would be back for them as soon as possible.  I heard from Gilbert this afternoon that the children have been asking every minute when they get to fly in the airplane!  At this point I don't know that they even understand that this is possibly sparing their lives or that they will be coming to see us, they are just so excited about flying on an airplane!!  I love that childlike simplicity.  I don't think they have been outside of those orphanage walls for approximately 3 years.  They even washed their clothes and have been ready to go for days and are sad as yet another day comes to an end with no one coming to get them.

At about 4:00 this afternoon we learned that the Immigration Official had made it back to Kinshasa (after other humanitarian stops), spoke with our attorney in Congo, and they are now filing the necessary paperwork to get them on the next humanitarian flight.  We do not yet know when the next flight will be but our agency will be checking in with them daily.

Please pray that the flight comes before any new fighting erupts.  So far M23 has withdrawn from Goma and is waiting just a couple miles outside for negotiations.  They have already stated their intentions to "re-take" Goma militarily if negotiations do not occur on their timeline.  There have been no signs of negotiations beginning yet.  As this is all brand new news, we don't yet know what will happen from here once they are in Kinshasa.  We are still praying for a second miracle of humanitarian parole.  Otherwise, the children will have to wait in Kinshasa for the remainder of the legal proceedings to take place (we hope) from Kinshasa.  But much thanks to our mighty God that they will wait in a safer place.  Pray that the flight comes SOON!  Pray for their safe flight across country as this will be a little "puddle jumper plane" I am sure!  And please pray for all of the children and the entire community left behind in this humanitarian crisis.