We were crowded into my friend’s basement and all eyes were on me.
Men, women, children, Americans, and Africans alike were all ready to hear tonight’s story. At some point, our small group had become a large one, and I was definitely more of a small-group kind of person. But tonight’s story had fallen to me and I had spent the week preparing for it, so I tentatively began to relay the biblical account of Joshua and how he led the Israelites to take the land of Canaan for themselves, as God had promised. As I storied, I quoted at times, the commands of God to his servant, “I will not leave you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous . . .” (Joshua 1:5-6). “Only be strong and very courageous,” (Joshua 1:7). And again, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go,” (Joshua 1:9). As I shared these words, the frequency of them hit me as they hadn’t before, and I clung to them.
We had recently turned in our application to adopt, begun the daunting home study process, and had incurred some major household expenses as several appliances under our roof—and finally, the roof itself—needed to be replaced. This required, as my East African friend likes to say, “big money.” Had we been wrong to turn in our application? Had we misunderstood our calling? Or the timing? Deep down, we knew better, though. We also knew that our faith in God’s goodness would be evidenced by our obedience.
As I said, I clung to these words.
And I have clung to them throughout these past nine months, as we’ve plodded forward. Verse nine is scribbled on our dresser mirror in dry erase marker, and is buried in my heart, transforming me as only the Word of God in conjunction with the Holy Spirit is able.
How our Father has proven himself faithful to us! He has not left us. He has been with us as we’ve written every check, met every deadline, made every stop on this expensive scavenger hunt that is the international adoption process.
One thing that his faithfulness has compelled us toward is finding ways to financially support other adoptions, even as we are working toward funding our own. We don’t want to do it later, once we’ve taken care of our own needs first. We want to do it now! We have seen God’s provision and we want to bless others on their journeys. Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “So long as we eat our bread together, we shall have sufficient even for the least. Not until one person desires to keep his own bread for himself does hunger ensue.” We want to not only bring home the two that will sleep upstairs, but five, six, twelve more who will come home to other families. We will not hoard God’s blessings, even as we still need to raise about $14, 931 to cover the $37,423 cost of our adoption. We trust him enough to provide for all our needs—and theirs, too!
We have come up with a plan, and we want to begin first with the Wallace family. William and Lindsy Wallace are members at our church who have inspired and encouraged us in our adoption journey. Their own adoption ride has been crazier than navigating a Nairobi roundabout in a mini-bus! You can read about it here: http://wordfromthewallaces.blogspot.com. Currently, they are in the process of accepting the referral of a little girl named Glory from the Democratic Republic of Congo, and they need to raise the rest of their funds fast.
We would love to help them with a fundraiser to help pay for Glory’s referral costs. So we’ve created a unique coffee bean bracelet we’re calling “Morning Glory,” which is inspired by the colors of that sweet little flower that seems to be able to bloom anywhere. Each of these unique bracelets sells for $10 and we will split the funds raised with them 50/50, so $5.00 will go toward the Wallace’s adoption, and the other $5.00 will go toward our adoption of two little ones from Ethiopia. We are only making one hundred of this special design, so consider purchasing one quickly (we will not make any more in this style after they are gone). For only $10, you can bless two adoptive families and have a beautiful reminder to keep or give as a gift. You can find them online at www.etsy.com/shop/almostafrica or at a Sunergos Coffee shop in the coming days. Please help us out by sharing this through social media and word of mouth.