Monday, April 25, 2011

Grace in Unusual Places

Two weeks ago, the missions team began preparations for teaching Vacation Bible School to the Ethiopian orphans we will be serving.  Of all the activities we will be doing, this one scared me the most.  I can put in the floor in a church, deliver animals to widows an orphans, but get up and do a skit in front of 100 children... not so much.

However, about half way through the skit preparations, it began to dawn on me.  All this year, I had been participating in AWANA.  I was the leader for four Sparkies, ages five and six.  I also had to do a skit in front of a room full of five to seven year-olds, and keep their attention for 20 minutes. 

This was a real stretch out of my comfort zone. The last time I was in any type of play was 31 years ago, in the 8th Grade.  But I did pull it off, and afterwards some of the kids came up and thanked me for my skit.

You see, God had been preparing me all year for this missions trip, by placing me in AWANA.  As Pastor Brett said in his message two weeks ago, "God doesn't prepare you for great works, He prepares you for good works."

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Thursday morning April 7, I woke up to the sight of snow on the ground.  The ten-day forecast showed nothing but rain.  Ten days prior to that, the forecast showed nothing but rain.  This year appears to be headed toward being one of the rainiest Springs on record for many decades.  I cross-train indoors and ride on a trainer, waiting for a break in the clouds, hoping I will be in good enough shape to ride 200 miles twelve weeks from now.

The same is true for the adoption process.  We were approved for adoption back in December of 2009.  Sixteen months later, we are still waiting and hoping for our second adopted child.  That is not to say there has not been any activity.  Far from it.

By our estimate, we have had approximately 40 mothers come through our lives, each with their own unique story.  In all of but three weeks, we have either been waiting on a mother to decide, or we have been wresting with our own decisions as to whether we want to be considered or not.

Three times we were picked.  Twice, the mothers changed their minds and backed out.  Once, I backed out, a decision that still haunts me.  It was a special needs childs whose needs were beyond what I thought we were capable of handling.

What I have found most difficult, and yet most rewarding is how waiting has shaped me.  In some instances, a child came through my life to shape an issue in my character that needed to be addressed.  The child I backed out on opened my eyes to an area of my life that needed fixing in order for me to move forward as a better person.  Other times, the mother simply chose another family, and that opportunity slipped away.

Today is one of those days where we have no solid prospects for a child.  It is quiet on the adoption front, and raining outside.  And here I sit, waiting... hopeful for a break in the clouds.