Hey everyone, just wanted to send out an update as to what is going on in Ukraine. Tomorrow will make it official that Laurel is a member of the Evans family. We are very excited that we are finally “on the one yard line and going in for the score” to use a football phrase. I will be going to apply for Laurel’s birth certificate change which basically gives her her new name which will be Laurel Anastassya Evans. I may have spelled the middle name wrong but you get the idea. We are leaving her birthplace and birth date the same (that is an option we can change) as we want her to have a connection to her home country. I will have her on my own for 7-10 days so please pray that she and I adjust to all these changes that will occur so suddenly for her. Laurel seems to have a genuine love for her caregivers and they seem to love her too. She has an older woman a “babushka” that is very grandmotherly and I know that she is a dear sweet woman and that Laurel’s life was better because of her. I am glad that we are finally getting Laurel but I know that she will be sad for a few days, so again just pray that she transitions well. The babushka says that Laurel is a very calm and quiet child and I trust her assesement, some women just know kids and I think that she is definitely one of them. Today I shopped for some things to get the apt. ready for her. Tomorrow Iam going to grocery shop for fresh food for Laurel and hopefully that will add some shine to those red locks of hers.
I have been to church twice this week and even went to a leadership team meeting tonight for the “Destiny House” staff. They are getting ready to staff the house full-time so that thelocal teenage orphans have a place to go and do laundry, learn cooking, sewing, and computer skills. These people really love the orphans and are doing everything to be a surrogate family to the teenagers, many of whom are approaching the age where adoption is off the table as an option for them. I gave a gift of $100 dollars in the name of our church to help “Destiny House” pay for laundry soap, food, etc. I hope that we can do more in the future. Martha and I have been looking for ways that everyone could become involved in helping orphans through adopting a child, sponsoring orphans for the 8 day Bible camp in the summer, or financial assistance to “Destiny House”. Even though some one might not feel comfortable adopting a child, helping the ministries is a good way to “look after orphans in their time of need”.
I would like to share briefly what God has done for me through this: First, and I hate to admit this, but I have often struggled with having a complete faith in what the Lord can do. I know what the Bible says about it and I know that God is worthy to be trusted with all things, but the human imagination often as well as the Deciever leads our hearts to places where faith cannot exist. Those are places are fear and doubt, anxiety, sadness and depression. Our imagination tells us what if? What if we fail? What if the plane crashes? What if we don’t have the money? IF, those two little otherwise insignificant letters cause great amounts of the aforementioned thoughts to grow into an uncontrolable storm of dispair. There are two words that can quell this storm “But God”…There were times that Martha and I worried if we would have the money to do this..but God provided. Times I wondered if this was right for us..but God confirmed it and gave us peace. Times I felt lonely here…but God provided, an identical church family to minister to me while away from my own.
At the end of Psalm 23 David makes the statement “that I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever” Like most phrases at the end of songs and poems or stories we race through them and loose the significance of the closing in our haste and in this instance we don’t stop to ask what this means. Now I could go through every line in the 23 Psalm and draw a parallel to how the Lord has done the same for me in this circumstance and I have briefly done so already. I think that the reason for David saying this is that because the Lord God is so good to us why would we want to live anywhere else? David clearly tells us how the Good Shepherd makes provision for our every need and David is proclaiming that he is choosing to dwell in God’s house forever. This decision, I feel, comes from experiencing God’s goodness and eating from the green pastures and drinking from the still waters that “restore our souls”. Why would we want to do anything else? My challenge to you is to CHOOSE to dwell in Gods house and abide with Him. Have a relationship that consists of thoughtful, sincere prayer, search Him out and discover who He is by reading his Word, follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, fellowship with other believers. This is how we come to dwell in God’s House.
Thank you for all of your prayers and support. I miss you all dearly and cannot wait to see you all soon.