Father to the fatherless, defender of widows - this is God, whose dwelling is holy. God places the lonely in families; He sets the prisoners free and gives them joy. ~ Psalm 68:5-6
It's official - we now have an appointment in with the government adoption authorities on September 30! Once that meeting is complete, we'll take a four hour drive to finally meet Estelle and Gerard at their orphanage.
These young people have waited far too long for a family. They have about a year to go before they age out of the orphanage system; if that happens, they will most likely face a short life on the street. Around 50% of the orphans in their part of the world never live to see their 25th birthday. Hence, our sense of urgency in bringing these two teenagers home. Now.
The Lord has brought us so far! At times the obstacles in this adoption journey have seemed insurmountable. We've faced opposition and road blocks from government officials in the U.S. and Eastern Europe. The Lord has brought us through unexpected financial setbacks and many spiritual battles. And yet Val and I remain totally convinced that we are doing His will in seeking to rescue these two young people.
Please praise God with us for this new milestone. And as we begin to make our travel plans, please uphold these three prayer requests before the Throne of Grace:
- Favor with the Authorities.We still need the final approval of the foreign Government, the U.S. Government and the orphanage staff before the adoption is finalized. Both the U.S. and foreign governments have granted us approval to travel and to bring children back into the U.S., we know from experience that nothing is certain until we're flying back home, but God holds the heart of every bureaucrat in His hands.
- God's Presence in our Visit with Estelle and Gerard. We know very little about these young people, and we have a short time to try and connect with them on our visit. They will have to write letters stating that they are willing to move to America with us, and will also have to appear in court to acknowledge that they are in favor of this adoption. That's a monumental decision for two young people to make. Please pray that God would grant them wisdom and peace.
- Finances. At present, we have around $15,000 set aside in our adoption account. This entire ministry will cost at least $28,000 (including what we've spent already) when all is said and done. As we make the final push to bring Estelle and Gerard home, we are still in need of significant funding. If you'd like to help out, you can use the link to the right, or go here. Contributions to this ministry are not made directly to us. All of the funds are being handled by Reece's Rainbow. They are a 501(c)3 charitable organization, so any donations are tax deductible. With only five weeks left before we travel, we are still around $5,000 short for the first trip. We may need to make a second trip, or remain in the country for longer than four weeks. In addition, we have already been faced with some unexpected medical expenses. With so many unknowns, it's difficult to know exactly what the final costs will be.
Please know that your contributions will make a lasting change in the lives of these two teenagers. And we know the Lord will remember even the smallest "cup of cold water" that you give to Estelle and Gerard.
Thank you so much for your prayers, encouragement and friendship. From the beginning, we know we have never been alone in this journey. Should we be blessed to bring Estelle and Gerard safely home, we pray you will also have the joy of knowing that you have been a vital part of this ministry. While not everyone is called to adopt, you have demonstrated your commitment to care for the fatherless. For this, we give God praise.