Friday, June 24, 2011

God is Amazing

We are back in the United States now.  The adoption is finalized and Christine is here on US soil.  I would not be exaggerating if I said we encountered opposition EVERY single step of the way, because we did.  It was a struggle and a fight, but it was won in prayer.  So many people were praying for us all along the way.  Rwanda did not want to approve the adoption, but they did.  Even the US at first did not want to recognize the adoption, but they did.  Canada Air did not want to let us fly to North America, but we did (not with them).  At every single turn we found ourselves fighting for this, but we knew this was God's will. 

Thankfully, Mike, KaLia and Nate were able to return to the US on their original air tickets for June 2nd.  It was really hard to send them off, but we did.  I stayed behind to finish the paperwork.  All along I felt the pressure of time because we had to purchase our tickets ahead of time.  4 days after we sent off Mike, KaLia and Nate, we had all we needed and Christine and I were able to leave for Kenya to apply for her immigration visa with the US Embassy there.  I think God wanted Christine and I to have this time just for the two of us to be together & continue to bond.  We prayed & prayed throughout this time and amazingly everything came together just in time for us to get to our scheduled flight back home on the 16th of June.  (We were picking up her visa at noon the same day we were scheduled to leave at 4pm.)

While we were in Kenya I was reading a book I found at our host's home.  It is called "Prayers God Answers" and contains stories from the author's life of how she has seen God answer prayers around her.  As I went throughout each day there were a few verses the kept rising to the front of my mind.  One being in Matthew 28:18, where Jesus says, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me."  and in Luke 10:19 Jesus says, "I have given you authority..."  I was reminded that all the authority Jesus has, he has given to us.  I also was thinking of Matthew 21:21 where Jesus told his disciples, "you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done."  He did not say, "Pray and ask me to move your mountain."  NO, he said, "tell that mountain to move!"  He has given us his authority and we should pray with authority.  I also was thinking of Matthew 16:19 when Jesus said, "Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."

I started praying differently.  I took authority over that adoption in Jesus name.  I bound all obstacles, all confusion or delays.  I released God's favor, his power, and speed over that process.  I also remembered something that Mike and I used to pray frequently a long time ago.  We had read in Judges 7 how God used the battle cry of Gideon's army to cause confusion to come into the enemy camp & the enemy actually slaughtered each other.  Many times we have prayed and asked God to send confusion into the camp of our enemy- the forces of evil which would try to stand in the way of God's good plans for us.  That they would not be able to war against us because they would be too busy fighting each other.  I started to pray that again too.

I also asked God's forgiveness because of all the times we hit obstacles along this road in Kigali I asked God, Why?  I had been upset at God for not answering our prayers in the way we asked, and I had felt unloved and rejected by God.  But I realized that I was upset at the wrong person!  I should have been upset at the devil, because it's his obstacles that keep tripping us up and causing delay (thinking of the story when Daniel was praying and an angel told him, "Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them.  But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days." )

To sum it all up, God worked everything out and brought us through miraculously.  This is for His glory.  When God says YES no man can say NO, try as they might!  
 Finally arrived: Portland Airport

Sometimes, when God answers prayers like this, we can start to think that it was the way we prayed that brought about God's answer.  That somehow we found the right formula to make things happen that we were asking for.  But we have been praying for our son Michael to get his visa to come be with us here in the USA for the summer, however it did not go through.  We have to trust in God's sovereignty and good will, and believe that even these testings of our faith will produce fruit within our lives.  (James 1)  We pray, we believe, we stand in authority, but we don't know everything.  Especially the "why's" of it all.  This is faith.  This is trust.  Even when we walk through the "valley of the shadow" we do not fear because He is with us.

Thank you everyone for your prayers and for being in this journey with us.  I do not know what the future holds for any of our children, but I am convinced that none of our children will live an ordinary life.  I believe I can say with conviction that we are no ordinary family, and God has brought each one of our kids to us for a purpose and a reason.  So I whole-heartedly believe God has something extraordinary planned for each one!  I can't wait to see what it is!

God Bless You,