After a family camping trip April 20-22 and a date night Thursday, April 26th, Natalie and I began more seriously exploring what we have been periodically discussing for about 15 years...adoption. I originally had this idea as a teenager and shared this idea with Natalie a couple years later in 1992, and over the last four years, Natalie and I both slowly realized this might be a calling from the Lord. The Lord has blessed us with Caleb and Hannah through birth, and He has taken four more of our children from us before they were born. Through the pain and blessing of these experiences, we have slowly come to realize that the seed in our hearts for adoption 15 years ago were His seeds for His plan today.
At the same time, the Lord has called me to ministry opportunities in East Central Africa (Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Congo) since the summer of 2006. My passion for sharing Christ and His Word in this area of the world has been an incredible blessing through which God has contunually shown me that He is sovereign, Christ is sufficient, and His Word is complete. Each time I go, I have wished I can stay so much longer, missing my family yet not wanting to leave. I am grateful for the partnership my church (Watermark) has developed with ALARM (www.alarm-inc.corg).
Well, God, in His incredible goodness and creativity, seems to be drawing these stories together, as we have come to recognize the Lord could be calling us to adopt children from Africa. We are beginning to study both adoption and the country of Ethiopia, learning more about both. Through prayer, meditation on God's Word, fellowship with great followers of Christ, books on adoption and Ethiopia, and some local seminars, we are seeking the face of God in the midst of our growing passion, hoping our will is consistent with His will.
Friday night was our 11th wedding anniversary, so we celebrated together at a local Ethiopian restaurant, Queen of Sheba. It was fun the celebrate our past together and dream about the future in a reastuarant that is part of a culture we are being drawn to.