4.23.2007

Streams in the desert...

Vince and I made a whirl-wind trip to Kansas City last Tuesday to apply for orphan immigration approval. We left at 5:30 am to get there by the time the office opened; our paperwork and finger prints took about 20 mins, then we booked it back so Vince could at least work 1/2 the day.

Expected approval time is about 5 weeks, but we've seen both extremes since Jan. Once couple from church rec'd their approval in 2 weeks, but another had to wait 4 mons. oh my! Sooner, than later, would suit us just fine since the wait time to receive a baby referral keeps increasing.

Despite increased wait times, our agency has been such an encouragement! The agency staff has set aside Apr 23-25 to fast and pray...below is their declaration and requests for prayer...we'd all appreciate your prayers, especially over the next 3 days, as well:

In recent years, our agency has asked our community to fast and pray on certain occasions - in hope and expectation that God would change the hearts of adoption officials for the best interest of orphans. We are writing to ask you to join us again as we fast and pray from April 23 -25, 2007; if you cannot join us on these dates, please see if another time works with your schedule.

In the past we have seen God work mightily as we have fasted, prayed,and sought His direction and guidance. We greatly appreciate your prayers for our staff, prospective adoptive parents, adoption officials in the U.S. and abroad, and, most importantly, for the many waiting children in need of a family.

Just as Esther and the Jewish people prayed and fasted and had a ruling overturned, our prayer is that the policies preventing orphans from entering families will be changed (Esther 8:5-8).

Another passage that has been an encouragement to our agency is from the prophet Isaiah-showing us the hope that God can do new things-and providing a way through terrain that seems impossible:"This is what the LORD says-He who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters... See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland." -Isaiah 43:16 & 19

Specific Issues in Need of Prayer:*

To decrease the wait time for referrals from China and El Salvador;*

To allow more orphans in China to be listed and available for adoption;*

For paper chasing China adoptive parents who need to reach their May 1st deadline;*

For adoption agencies to be accredited in Russia;*

For the hearts of leaders in the field of adoption to make decisions in the best interest of children - and not to be motivated by personal greed, ambition, or national pride.

We are praying boldly and in faith-as Jesus taught us in Mark Chapter11: "Have faith in God," Jesus answered. "I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen,it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours." -Mark11:22-24

This would also be a great time to ask your church community, fellowship groups and bible studies to pray together for orphans waiting to be adopted. For those who can join us in prayer and fasting from April 23- 25, we appreciate your support, prayers and faithfulness.

4.09.2007

Louise Farner

from Proverbs 31...

"She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hand to the needy...She watches over the affiars of her household and she does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed...Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate."

Most of you remember Vince and I made a trip to Cleveland, OH last fall to say good-bye to my Grandma Farner (although I will see her again). She was the most unique woman I have ever known, even as a child I was stuck by her hard-work, compassion and inner strength. Whenever I'm feeling discontent with who I am and my place in this world, I often remind myself that Gram wasn't just a lady I knew, but that I carry her very essence in my genetic make-up. And, once again, I am emboldened to live a life that makes a difference.

Gram may not be watching the world from her front porch, but she is still continuing to leave her mark on this terrestrial globe. Her home has since passed on to a new owner, but not without, in Gram's fashion, touching the life of someone seemingly insignificant.

My Dad contacted me several weeks ago when Gram's house sale was pending to let me know he intended to split his inheritance among the boys and me (THANK YOU!). Life will always be consumed with bills and needs, but at this point in our life, Vince & I have a very unique need...our adoption!

God's timing couldn't make more sense...the legacy of Gram and her home is continuing to influence those who are 'poor & needy'. In just a few short weeks, proceeds from the sale of her home will be wired to the government of China, helping to pay the ransom of a forgotten orphan.

I can't wait to tell this little girl about her great-grandma! And that although Gram wasn't here when she came home to the US, Gram in her own special way, still made sure she was able to come home!

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