Its hard to believe that we have been in Zhytomyr for one week. At times, it feels like we've been here weeks and at other times, seems like yesterday we were in Germany. We had a great weekend at the orphanage and yesterday was a blast.
The children are so happy and so well taken care of but through all of that, there is a request (sometimes unspoken) of each and every one of them - to find a family. There are about 8 kids that hang out with us on a regular basis. It has been a lot of fun getting to know each and every one of them. Their personalities are so different but one thing is the same - they are children. However, they are children without moms and dad, some without hope, some with real pain, some with a future while others have none. But, one thing is true about all of them and that is - there is One who holds their future. Its hard to grasp the depth of the orphan situation in Ukraine and how one could ever go about finding the answer. So, I find comfort in knowing two things God has said in His word - 'For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.' Jeremiah 29:11 and
"and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation"
God does know and He cares for these children more than I could ever comprehend. However, it doesn't excuse me from my responsibility to "care for the orphans and widows of this world." James 1:27. Its obviously a command that He gives to us and its so much a part of His plan that he called it "pure and undefiled religion is this..." That's pretty serious business.
So, being here has shed new light on our ministry. We have looked into the faces of these children, most that will be left behind and we have heard their stories, their hurts, their pains, their desires. And, we listen, we pray and we trust in a Sovereign God that holds us each in His hand. That is what gives me the desire to go back every day (well, that, and getting to see my sweet girls!)
Speaking of girls, we didn't spend too much time with Leeza today. She came down and was quickly whisked away to get a shower. Tanya came down with her friends and sat quietly on the couch. She didn't say much today and I continued to ask her if everything was okay. She assured me it was but there was just something in her spirit. I don't know what she's thinking or feeling at this moment but I'm sure she is scared, confused a bit, sad to leave her friends, and excited all at the same time. Mix that with being a teenage girl and I'm not sure what her emotions are doing at this point. So, please pray for our sweet Tanya and whatever she may be going through right now. She has been all smiles up until today.
Court has been set for Friday at 11AM. Our facilitator called today to let us know that our Interpol clearances (international background checks) have not been received yet. Without these clearances, we can't have court on Friday. So, please PRAY that these are received by Thursday!!!! Lord willing and those come in, we will have court on Friday and then head to Dnepropetrovsk on Saturday to see friends and visit Molly's orphanage. We are excited to travel down there and look forward to seeing so many people. Molly's biological mom has expressed an interest in meeting us (without Molly) so we are praying through that right now to see what we should do. I would like to sit face-to-face with this sweet woman and express my sincere gratitude for giving my daughter life. She could have chosen to terminate her pregnancy but she chose life. She chose to take her to a hospital 3 days after her birth because she knew she would be fed. She chose to give her the name "Luba" which is "Love" because she loved her so much and wanted what was best for her. She chose life and I want to personally thank her!
Well, I need to get to bed. Its been a long week and we have a long road ahead of us. We did find a fabulous mall and even broke down and ate at McDonald's (against our better judgment!) Hopefully, we will get to take the girls out this week to ice skate with their friends. I am praying the head teacher will allow it :-) Now, if I could just muster up the courage to ask her in her native language!!!
Please pray for the Nyman family - they are currently adopting from Ukraine. They have run into big issues with their region. If you want to follow their journey - its http://www.sashanyman.blogspot.com/
And, singing praises that our friends, the Bollingers are on their way home tomorrow with their newly adopted daughters from Ukraine! http://www.morelovetogive.com/
Hopefully, we will be right behind them!!!
Blessings to you all!