Its been a while since I have posted on our blog. To be honest this process has been grinding and taken so much longer than we anticipated. The heartache of not having our children home has been something God has sustained us through and taught us to depend on Him even more. At times its even been discouraging seeing the huge need ahead of us and knowing we had depleted all of our savings in the pursuit of both our children in DR Congo and our daughter Elizabeth from Latvia. It was an tremendous growth moment for me personally as I was officially out of control, unable to "fix" this. We has sliced our budget down, had more meatless meals than I care to count, worn clothes well beyond their prime, sold possessions, drastically slimmed Christmas, you get the idea. It nudged me to acknowledge that God was in control, this was His story, and He was writing it as He saw it best. This was God shaping us, showing us what culture said we are entitled to is not what we need to fulfilled life in Him. I will be honest I had a brief moment of panic just before Christmas when we started looking at airline tickets and realized it could be nearly 10,000 dollars for Laura and I to travel round trip and Sophie and Timothee' travel one way. More on this later...
My father in law lent me a biography of George Mueller and I read it the Tuesday after Christmas. Outside of the Bible I have never in my life read a book that rocked my worldview the way the words jumped out at me. Its just a short book, 150 pages or so. I could not put it down. I couldn't help but compare my life, views, and fears with Mueller. How he was confronted with a personal God, how he had such faith and trust in HIM that he never asked a soul for money. He believed if God called him to it, God would provide. He would live a life in which God was in control. Yes he struggled at times, yes he suffered greatly, but in the end you get to see the beautiful picture of how God took nothing and built it into a ministry to over 2000 orphans. He knew it would take "X" dollars (pounds, this was England) for something, he would pray specifically for that amount, and it always showed up. Sometimes in the 11th hour of the need. I'm not saying its wrong to ask for money, but it convicted me for the money I had asked for. I asked out of need to be in control, to fix the problem. My heart should have been from a place where I went to God for what I needed, this was after all His calling on our lives. Why would we trust Him to cast the vision but not give us the road map to achieve it? Having said that, we resolved to pray and trust God to provide. He had done it to this point, now in the moments readying to travel, we could not believe anything less.
Its funny how Holy Spirit brings clarity after we align our perspective with His and walk in obedience. In the couple of weeks after Christmas, our Promise 686 grant (which had stalled for months) was filled to the full matching grant! After months of our little funds thermometer on this blog stuck, its such a JOY to have watched God fill it! Not only that but several have responded with references for travel and it looks as though we will be able to procure airline tickets through Golden Rule Travel for about half what we were expecting. We were floored with how God provided the funds to travel, bring everyone home, and we believe cover most of the post placement expenses of re-adoption, home visits, and we hope medicals. I feel so humbled by His love for us and how He has wrapped His arms around us to let us know He has this, we just have to trust Him!
Now we are diligently praying for our I-600 (currently sitting on a desk in Lee's Summit, MO) to get final approval, our biometrics appointment (fingerprints expire Feb 01), then subsequent visa appointments before we finally, after nearly 17 months, can bring our children home. We are so excited to look out in the yard and see all of our children home, together, living a life fulfilled by the promise He gave us. Thank you all so much for your encouragement and your prayers. God is a lover of His people, you have shown us more of His character through your actions.
In His Grip, Rob