9.30.2008

No referral...yet

Thank you to all who faithfully 'stalk' our blog for news!! :)

But,
Vince spoke with Duni yesterday - and we will not be receiving our referral this week, possibly not even next week. I know it is her great desire to place a child with our family, but her hands are tied until paper work for this child is complete. This is not a negative reflection on Ethiopia either...it just takes time.
I must admit, yesterday I was broken-hearted.

But,
this morning, I have life & salvation, and I am loved by my God who is working all things for my good and His glory...

what more could I ask for...

I am at peace...


The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
“The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.”
The LORD is good to those who wait for him,
to the soul who seeks him.
It is good that one should wait quietly
for the salvation of the LORD...
For the Lord will not cast off forever,
but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion
according to the abundance of his steadfast love;
for he does not willingly afflict
or grieve the children of men...
“You have taken up my cause, O Lord;
you have redeemed my life.


9.27.2008

Gloria a Dios!!!

Thank you for your prayers! The Nicaraguan men's & women's conferences were greatly successful. The women were so hungry to hear & apply God's Word. Please continue to pray for the men & women - most struggle with 'perseverance of the saints' - which has become very distracting for many. And, because of the Nicaraguan culture, many of the men are involved in extra-marital relationships. In spite of their struggles, their hearts are very tender & I am confident God led many in repentance & spiritual growth!


This is the hotel, Casa Mateo, where we stayed at while in Jinotepe, Nicaragua...very cool...like an old western/spanish movie. The owners are Believers and use the hotel's revenue to minister in Nicaragua.

This is the church where the women's conference was held - as you can see, it's location was perfect for passers-by to hear God's Word being taught...we left the windows & doors wide open for all to hear!

This is the couple who pastors the church we used...an amazing family with huge hearts!

Ladies waiting to register for the conference...pastors, pastor's wives & various church leadership came from near & far. Many denominations were represented as well.

By the end of the week, we had 90+ women in attendance. Many brought their children, too. The children were exemplary -- they would sit patiently for the entire day.

Nicaraguan children are beautiful...look at those big brown eyes!!

Worship -- and let me tell you, Nica women know how to worship!!

(L to R) Me; Rebecca Loge (a missionary in Nica -- she is a member of our church & works with Project Hope); Terri Baer (an IMB missionary in Paraguay -- she & her hubby served previously in Chile for 25 years!!)

Terri served as our translator. Her Spanish is excellent! She definitely gave me an extra measure of confidence - I knew she could effectively convey the lessons cross-culture, without compromising the Gospel.


Snack time! As part of the conference we provided two snacks and lunch. We also reimbursed them for their cab fares/travel expenses each day.

At the end of the week, we gave each woman and a box filled with goodies & a certificate with their name, recognizing their participation in the conference -- both items were very special to them!

Me & Rebecca - she's been in Managua for two years. Her presence was such a blessing! She not only helped us communicate with the Nica women, but was able to minister to many of them - they connected with her immediately!

The two men in the middle are Edgar & Miguel. The flew in for the conference & are in-training to pastor Second's church-plant in Monzanillo, MX.


(L to R) Terri Baer (IMB missionary in Paraguay); Alvaro Alvarez- he is the brains behind the Pastor's Conferences & his passion is discipling pastors all over Middle America; Vince, my dear hubby.

On the final day of the conference, the women in attendance presented Brenda, Shirley, Terri & myself a gift of appreciation. I was completely caught off-guard and extremely moved by their kindness. I will treasure these items always!!


Adoption Update:
Referrals were issued while we were in Nicaragua. We had internet access at the hotel & were able to keep informed. As we landed in Springfield on Friday, we checked email once again to see if any additional referrals were issued, and one more was. This family is not far ahead of us in the wait, so we couldn't help but get even more excited! And then, we saw that Vince had a missed call from a 703 # (AWAA's area code) -- we were still on the plane and about to completely freak-out (for lack of a better word). When we checked the voice mail it was indeed Duni, but she was only returning our phone call regarding an immigration issue from the week before --- so disappointing!!! We tried to call her back, but she had already gone home for the day...ugh! But we're still hopeful...soon...

9.19.2008

Please pray for our trip to Nicaragua, 9/20-26th

Safety & health: air/road travel, food, water

Conference leaders:
John, Shirley, Stanley, Brenda, Harold, Mike, Vince, Alisa, Terri, Rebecca, Alvaro
Proclaim God’s Word, sensitivity to the Holy Spirit, compassion & respect for the people of Nicaragua; unity among our group
(I will be teaching from the Beatitudes)

Conference attendees:
Bonding & trust between us & those in attendance
Rain to NOT hinder attendance
Pastors- a commitment to be challenged by God’s Word, despite cultural beliefs/practices; passion to accurately study, apply & preach truth of God’s Word
Pastor’s wives- deeper understanding of respecting & serving husbands, despite cultural beliefs/practices; devotion & compassion to the women & children in their congregation & community

Congregations represented at conference:
Conviction of sin, and repentance
Assurance of salvation (by faith, not works)
Commitment to their local body of believers; commitment to their families

Last, but not least, our adoption & our child’s paper work…the details are coming together on the other side of the world, but until things are finalized in Ethiopia, we continue to wait to meet God’s child for us.

9.18.2008

Still (joyfully) waiting for Baby Martin...

Ps 25:21 May integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I WAIT for you.
Ps 27:14 Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; WAIT for the LORD!
Ps 39:7 And now, O Lord, for what do I WAIT? My hope is in you.
Ps 130:5-6 I wait for the LORD, my soul WAITS, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning.
Isa 26:8 ...O LORD, we WAIT for you; your name and remembrance are the desire of our soul.
Isa 33:2 O LORD, be gracious to us; we WAIT for you.

9.11.2008

Another Quick Update

~~We had a conference call with our agency on Tuesday, and it sounds like things are going well. Vince & I are still hopeful for a referral by the end of the month (but, realistically, it could be October...ugh). The greatest part of this journey so far is that God has shown me the freedom I have to cry-out to him on behalf of this adoption, and this child. Yes, in confidence to ask that His will be done, but also in confidence to bring to completion the work of adoption that He planted in my heart!

~Remember the family I mentioned who lost their Ethiopian daughter to pneumonia? I am very pleased to share they have received another infant girl referral & hope to travel in November to get her. They had a memorial service for their first daughter and have expressed their joy because God has allowed both girls to be apart of their life!

~~Our adoption ministry at SBC, Chosen Lives, is hosting a lunch on Sunday for families interested in/pursuing/completed an adoption. We're expecting about 80+ people to attend -- we're very excited!!! Our goal for the event is to help families network & share theirs stories!

~Next week, we're heading south for a few days - and then Saturday, we're headed to Nicaragua. SBC has hosted Pastor Schools in Nicaragua for several years, and this year I have the awesome/humbling opportunity to teach for Pastor's Wives conference.

Where were you seven years ago, today??
I was at home getting ready for work (LSU Medical Center) when I received a call from a friend, who told me to turn my TV on. I did, and in disbelief, watched as plane #2 crashed into a WT tower. In a daze, I went to work only to sit by the radio and sneak to various waiting rooms to catch the news. That night I attended a prayer service at Broadmoor Baptist Church. I still don't think I fully comprehend how deeply the events of 9/11/01 have impacted our lives/society. God bless the people of America!!

PS- thanks for checking in :)

9.03.2008

Quick Update

Over the past two weeks our agency has issued eight referrals (that I know of) -- so, we are unofficially among the top-1o families waiting for a referral!!! Vince & I are getting sooo excited...it is very likely that we might receive our referral some time during the month of Sept! Through the grape-vine, I've heard there may even be referrals issued this week...we have some dear friends in town, the Blackwells, that are in the #1 spot for a boy referral!!!

Stay tuned...I'll let you know how you can pray for us & Baby Martin!

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