Refuge and Strength
Both within and around you, God is your refuge and strength. ~ David Jeremiah
Those words came to me via my email inbox yesterday, as part of a devotional from Psalm 46. Dr. Jeremiah pointed out that, with God as our refuge, we have every external provision we need for our protection and safety. With God as our strength, we have all of the internal resources we need to do His will.
That has certainly been our experience since arriving Ukraine. God has faithfully provided everything we've needed, in ways we never could have imagined. In addition, He has provided the strength and encouragement that we've needed at exactly the right moment.
God is real. God is here. God is with us, day by day.
Challenges and Blessings
Yes, it's challenging to take two teens shopping or visiting in any environment. Add in the fact that we've only known these kids for two weeks, they're still learning to trust us, they're testing out the boundaries of this new relationship, we don't speak the same language, and we're trying to navigate mass transit in a foreign country. Suddenly life becomes an extreme sport.
The funny moments really keep us upbeat. On Monday, we came to the boarding school and saw a group of teenage boys hanging around in the yard. I pulled out an "Americano Football" and tossed it to one of them. Next thing I know, we're playing catch, trying to talk about sports, doing push-ups, and laughing. Most of the laughter was caused by six young people simultaneously pantomiming questions and us trying to answer in very bad Russian.
But we can tell, when we pass these kids in the hall or school yard, that we're friends now. Because you can smile and laugh together in any language.
Ketchup and Mayonnaise
Ira and Rostik love ketchup and mayonnaise. On everything. I'm not sure what the connection is between Poltava and ketchup. I do know that I am going to need a truck just like this:
Seriously. This truck is called the "Ketchup Launcher." It is a monument in Poltava. And here is why I will need one:
This is ketchup, from a squeeze pouch, on Ramen noodles. And it was devoured with great joy.
Yesterday, we learned that our court date has been moved from today to Friday. We'd appreciate your prayers for us on Friday at 2:00 (7:00 am back in Virginia). We'll be questioned by the judge as to why we want to adopt these children and how we intend to raise them. The children will also be asked if they want to join our family. If all goes well and the court decides in our favor, the adoption becomes final after 10 days. We appreciate your continued prayers!