Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Melkam Addis Amet

It's officially the New Year in Ethiopia so we want to wish a very happy 2007 to all of our Ethiopian friends and family!
We love our Ethiopian community and are so thankful for those God has placed in our lives both here and in Ethiopia (especially these 4 cuties).

Here's Eli showing a little of his Ethiopian spunk!

 Our beautiful girls.

The whole crew decked out in their new Ethiopian clothes that dad and Hermela
 brought back from their trip.

Tomorrow we will cook, cook, cook (with lots and lots of onions) a feast of Ethiopian dishes and yummy injera (fresh from Ethiopia) and celebrate the New Year.
More to come from the big trip to Ethiopia.......stay tuned!

Friday, August 22, 2014

God's Promises Are True

When I first posted about Nick and Hermela's trip to Ethiopia, I stated boldly that we trusted God fully to provide every bit of the money needed even though it was a large sum in a short time.
I could say this because we have experienced God's faithfulness to meet our needs over and over again.
And, I did and do believe this to be true.
God promises in Philippians 4:19 that he will supply all of our needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
But, I have to be honest that there were times when we would look at the money we had raised and the large amount that we still needed and doubt would creep in.
Why does that happen? 
I know the promises of God.  I believe them to be true, and yet doubt has it's way of polluting those promises.
God promises in Romans 8:28 that he works all things together for the good of those who love him and have been called according to his purpose.
So, when the little trials came up and we weren't quite sure how this was all going to play out, we had this promise to hold on to.
As he always has in the past and as we trust (with strengthened faith) that he will continue to do so in the future, God provided every penny needed for Nick and Hermela to be able to go and serve in Ethiopia!
He used so many of our faithful and generous friends and family, a yard sale, a boat sale, lots of craigslisting, and unexpected donations to meet the financial needs for this trip. 
We had no need to doubt..
God promises are true.
God promises in Ephesians 5:20 that he can do more than we could ever ask or imagine.
He has certainly done that!
We could not have imagined that four years after sponsoring our first child at Trees of Glory that our church would be partnering with a whole new care point in Ethiopia to continue to meet the physical, spiritual and educational needs of vulnerable children in Ethiopia. 
God is cool like that.
He takes one small step and grows it into a leap.
We are so grateful to the many people who are praying for this trip and who have supported us over the past few weeks and to make it possible.
Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, his love endures forever.
Psalm 107:1


Thursday, July 31, 2014

Sometimes I Wonder........

Sometimes I wonder why God has called our family over and over out of our comfort zone.
When Nick and I got married, I can tell you we couldn't have even dreamed up our life if we had tried to.
I always wanted to have at least 3 kids growing up and we were blessed with 3 babies in just under 4 years. My dreams came true! 
Then the call to adopt and we embarked on a journey that would totally change our lives.  
Each time, we rather blindly stepped out adopting first siblings when we only initially thought it would be one, then an older child just 8 months later, followed by sweet little Eli, each time not knowing what we were really getting in to nor having all of the finances to complete the adoptions, but clearly knowing that it was indeed God's plan.
Each time God has equipped us and amazed us with his faithfulness to always meet our needs and provide just enough, just in time.
The fun part has been seeing how and who he uses to accomplish his plans.  Each time we've raised money for missions, adoptions, water wells or orphanage supplies, God has used countless friends and family and even strangers to come alongside of us and meet the needs.
Another thing that we have noticed is that every time (and I do mean every time) that we have said "yes," even when a "no" would be easier, we have faced challenges.  It's like they come out of the woodwork. From household floods and emergency surgeries, job changes and broken stuff, we have been bombarded with little challenges (and a few big).
This mission trip is no exception.
 Because this trip came about rather unexpectedly and with little time to prepare, we are once again trusting God for the finances to be able to make it a reality.  And ever since Nick and Hermela have committed to the trip, little things just seem to come up.  So far, I ran over our main water line in the yard, our pool pump now makes a super loud noise and we're just waiting for that to go out, our work van needed new tires, and on Monday, in just one day, the kids broke Colton's school chair (which I was able to fix), then Eli poured a cup of water on one of our new school computers taking it out of commission permanently, and just as I was heading out to get some fresh air in the backyard, I heard a crash as one of my little athletes accidently swung and broke another window during his impromptu batting practice.  Not to mention work stuff has been crazy and life has just been coming at us fast.
While, none of these things are really all that bad, when you're in them and it all seems to pile up at once, you sometimes start to wonder how adding an 11 day trip out of the country in the middle of the crazy seemed like a good idea.
When we get to this point, one of us usually realizes, "man, we're under attack."
 We also realize that this must be a pretty awesome mission and that God must have some pretty awesome plans.
On this trip, Nick and Hermela and the other team members will begin the process of forming relationships with the 100 kids that are currently in need of sponsorship at I Care for the Nations.
That's 100 lives that God is going to use to join hearts across oceans.
100 lives that will affect countless others in the future.
The possibilities of how God is going to use this trip and this care point to transform the lives of these 100 kids are limitless.  Perhaps even more exciting is how the lives of those who will one day sponsor them will be changed.
It is exponential and it is worth it!
So we press on, trusting that God's plans are always better than our own and remembering that he is faithful and able to do more than we could ever ask or imagine.
It has been an awesome road so far and I do hope that God will continue to call us to things that are bigger than ourselves for his glory.

 I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.
Philippians 3:12-14 (MSG)