Dustin and I are leaning toward the longer stay in Ethiopia. We know there will be some challenges with being gone for 14 days. Not the least of which is leaving our girls at home for such a long period of time. We will miss them. The other thing which occurs to me is that we will have a lot to process after meeting all the orphans at Hope for the Hopeless and right after the one life changing experience we will head into another, the emotional experience of meeting our son for the first time and caring for him in our new role as his parents. WOW! That's two major life events packed into one trip. PLEASE PRAY FOR US. We will need supernatural strength to carry us through.
We are getting really excited about the idea of having the extra time to spend with the children in Hope for the Hopeless's care. We are excited that the extra time will afford us the opportunity to see both the intake center and the orphange and possibly even visit some of the foster homes in person. We are going to plan out Bible lessons to teach and songs to sing with the kids, games to play and hopefully I can squeeze in some craft type things for them too. I am SO THANKFUL to the Lord for the experience He blessed us with by teaching us to serve the children of Palm Valley Church in the preschool ministry. I know now why He led us to serve together in that capacity. I feel as if we've been prepared for such a time as this. My heart leaps for joy to try to imagine all God has in store for us as we venture across the globe just for the chance to love beyond ourselves in Christ's name.
There is a lot going on in our hearts and our heads as we prepare for this trip. I've already asked if you would please join with us in prayer. Here is a list of specific things we are praying about.
- For Jonas (as always) while he waits for us to come for him. For his health spiritually, emotionally and physically
- For the girls while we are away
- For us to be able to focus on serving during the portion of the trip dedicated to Hope and not be consumed with longing for Jonas
- That we would be filled with the Spirit of Boldness and that we would reach out in love to all God's people, that we would have servant's hearts and be filled with humility
- That we would be given grace and strength in light of facing loss and suffering
- That God would grant us favor among strangers and bless us with the ability to relate across cultural lines and language barriers
- That God would be glorified and that He might open our eyes to see His glory.
PS- we have a hunch that our court date is the first week on November. If that's the case, and IF we pass successfully you can expect to see Jonas' precious face plastered all over this blog :)