We are praising Jesus for confirmed travel plans and a confirmed appointment with the US Embassy in Guangzhou, China.
We are officially leaving Atlanta on Friday January 29th at 8:00 am. We will travel approximately 26 hours and arrive in Kunming City, China on Saturday January 30th at 11:15 pm. They are 13 hours ahead of us so we are going to have our days and nights mixed up for a while. We are so excited and anticipating an incredible "adventure". Our visas should be here today or tomorrow and our official travel approval papers are in the mail to us also. These are the final 2 documents we need to travel.
This has been a week of praying without ceasing, and the Lord has been faithful to respond in His time. Sometimes his timing doesn't seem right to us, but He knows the plans He has for us, plans to prosper and not harm us. We must rest in His plan, for He is our hope.
As we prepare to leave many things are coming to mind of what He has done for us. So many people have walked with us, prayed with us, helped us financially and helped us with fund raisers. To all of you, we saw His vision fulfilled, a vision of COMMUNITY. We will never be the same. We have encountered Him in a new way and are changed forever. So now it's time to pack. How do you pack for 6 people for 14 days? I keep asking myself that question and am quite perplexed. I guess I'm just going to have to roll up my sleeves and get busy.
Many of you have asked how our fundraising is going. I wasn't really going to share anymore about that, but I woke up this morning and the Lord showed me specifically what He wanted me to share. Please know this is very personal and it's very difficult to be this transparent. However, the Lord is teaching me a lot about the power of testimony and sometimes that requires vulnverability. Wednesday morning it was time to make our last payment for all the things leading up to actually traveling. I basically emptied out our accounts, leaving enough in there to keep each one of them open. I was so scared and really down about it. In the midst of this I was constantly praising Him for all He has provided through fund raising and gifts from individuals. We have been truly blessed. But to be honest with you, it's a bit unnerving when you empty out your bank accounts. In addition, we have to bring $10,000 cash with us for adoption expenses in China and travel expenses. Well that afternoon, Dexter brought in the mail and there was a card from someone I met at the Pike Road Arts and Crafts fair. I remember talking with this girl, but don't know them personally. It turns out, she and her husband are at the beginning of their adoption journey. She read this blog and was encouraged and sent us a check for $50. The Lord used someone I don't even know to bless us and remind us that HE IS IN CONTROL. Well, yesterday morning, 24 hours later, some sweet friends gathered with me for a baby and blessing shower. We received so many great things we needed for her including $475 cash. Some of this money was given to someone to use for their medical expenses and the Lord told them to give it to us! Wow, can you see this beautiful picture He is painting of His children following Him. I was overwhelmed by His provision once again. However, the sweetest part of the shower was all the blessings that were spoken and written for Maggie Mae. Two blessings in particular really spoke to my heart because of where we are with the finances. The first was, "The Kingdom of heaven is described by Jesus as a merchant seeking pearls. Once a pearl of great value is found, the merchant sells everything he owns to buy this pearl. The kingdom of heaven is more valuable than anything else we can have. We must be willing to give up everything to obtain it." Did you know, Maggie means "pearl"? The other blessing was a letter written to Maggie Mae and part of it said, "Your mom and dad have shown us all a beautiful picture of Christ in their love for you. They, like the Good Shepherd, have left all they have to find you. They have sacrificed and worked, prayed and wept, dreamed and planned for the day you would become their daughter. What a beautiful picture of the Father's deep, sacrificial love for His children." You see, when I read things like this it does not make me feel all great about myself and what I am doing. It reminds me of my nothingness, and in my nothingness, He is GREAT!
So what next? Well, we will continue to trust in Him, but we are going to have to take out a loan for the remaining $10,000 due to the fact that we leave in 7 days and these things take time to process. Do we believe God can still provide the rest? Definitely we do, and we will not stop praying for that. We are going to have one last fund raiser Tuesday night from 5pm-8pm at our house. We have some people who buy gold and silver coming to our house. You get to come and sell your unwanted gold or silver for cash. At the end of the night, they will give us 15% of whatever they bought since this is a fundraiser. This does not come out of your money, but is paid to us from the gold buyer. I have already sold all my jewelry and got $914 which helped a lot last week. Please tell all your friends about this and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Well, I am still proclaiming this one verse given to me by a dear friend in Florida at the beginning of this whole process, "I am the Lord your God, who brought you up out of Egypt. Open wide your mouth, and I will fill it." Psalm 81:10 Not only is my mouth open wide, but my arms are open wide to my God in heaven who loves me and has called me according to His will and purpose. May His unfailing, unconditional love rest upon my daughter as she sleeps in her crib. May her heart be filled with anticipation of what is about to happen.
9 DAYS UNTIL GOTCHA DAY!!!!!!
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