Let me back up a little and tell what you what's been going on. Kristina and Robert arrived home safely at the end of January with lots of stories and pictures from their time with the orphans in Ukraine. It was a wonderful experience for both of them. They spent lots of time playing with kids, doing crafts, and just loving on the children. Kristina had the opportunity to meet with former caregivers and orphanage personnel to give her testimony of life with a family. We trust that those words will plant seeds that lead to change in perceptions concerning orphans and their potential. While there, she was interviewed by a film crew who are working on a documentary to be shown throughout Ukraine about orphans. It was an honor for her to be part of the project and we know God will use it to bring light to the good things that can happen as the result of adoption.
One of the things we were looking forward to was meeting the boys we are hoping to adopt. Unfortunately, Vitalik had been sent to a sanatorium for rest so they weren't able to meet him. But they did meet Sasha briefly while visiting his orphanage. He is tiny even for a seven year old.
There is some concern about how he is adjusting in his new orphanage. It is a rough environment and we would ask for your prayers for him at this time. Of course, that just spurs us on to get the paperwork rolling. We have spoken with the social worker who completed our home study for Kristina's adoption and she has agreed to do a new one for this adoption. We have the funds to cover that step and then we're back at square one financially. We trust that God will provide for this adoption as he did with Kristina's though. He is faithful and we look forward to watching Him work again!
Our fifteen year old twins Sam and Nate want to travel with us to Ukraine for this adoption and I am really hoping they are able to do that. They'll be a tremendous help wrangling two little boys throughout the process! They also want to see the orphanage situation in Ukraine and I am thrilled that God has made their hearts sensitive to serving in this way. To that end, they've started a little yard work business in our area to help raise money for the process. I'm guessing they'll need to raise a little over a thousand dollars each to cover their airfare and in country costs, so remember them in your prayers too. And if you're in Central Florida and need your grass mowed, your driveway pressure washed, your yard raked, or your gutters cleaned - let us know!
We were able to speak on orphan ministry at a missions conference recently and are so excited about sharing this mercy ministry with others. I am amazed at the clear commandments of God towards his people concerning caring for the orphan. The Bible is filled with instructions on how we are to minister to the least of these and we have found untold joy in following God's will in this area. We've recently started a newsletter to share news on orphans, the work of missionaries, and opportunities to practice this mercy ministry in your own life. If you're interested in receiving the newsletter by email, please add your email to the box in the top right corner of the blog.
I'm praying about attending Summit IV in Minneapolis at the end of April. There are so many great resources at this conference. If anyone out there is planning to go, please let me know!