Sunday, September 07, 2008

One Day More

May God be gracious to us and bless us
and make His face shine upon us,
that Your ways may be known on earth,
Your salvation among all nations.

May the peoples praise you, O God;
may all the peoples praise you
May the nations be glad and sing for joy,
for You rule the peoples justly
and guide the nations on earth.

May the peoples praise you, O God;
may all the peoples praise you.

Then the land will yield its harvest,
and God, our God will bless us.
God will bless us,
and all the ends of the earth will fear him.
Psalm 67

What a fitting Psalm to read today. This day that we embark on our journey to another nation, another land, and another season in our family's life. This is truly what it is about! What a great God we serve.

"One day more" until we are in Ethiopia! Today is the day, our departure! We have been working feverishly all week, and finally all the bags are zipped up and ready to go. Along the way there have been moments of sheer excitement and moments of utter panic, with every emotion in between. I am learning to stop and actually picture myself in the palm of God's hand, holding me and all of our circumstances. Our loving God started this process and He is with us even now.

We depart today at around 4:00 PM our time. We will fly from DFW to Frankfurt, and have a short 1 1/2 hour layover there. From there we fly to Sudan, where we will be for just under an hour while we refuel (and where some passengers will deplane) and then it is on to Addis Ababa Ethiopia! We will arrive at approximately 8:00 PM there, so after we clear customs we will go straight to the guest house and try to settle in and s-l-e-e-p. Early Tuesday morning we will go to the childrens' home and meet our sweet Minte for the first time. What a precious moment that will be! Sometime while you're sleeping on Monday night, across the world a new family will be "born." (So if God wakes you up in the wee hours Monday night, please spend some time rejoicing with us!)

Our Embassy appointment is Tuesday as well, so after spending some time at the children's home with our new son we will head over there, where we hope and pray all will go smoothly. Then we will go out to dinner to celebrate!

Wednesday we will spend the day at the children's home with Minte and all of the precious children and babies there. We have brought some games to play and some music and activities. We are anticipating just soaking them in! Minte is there with his 3 friends who are older boys as well, a 3 year old little girl who is a sister to his bestest friend, and about 8 babies. It is a beautifully-designed, brand new home where they have lived for just a few months. We hope to be able to enjoy time with him (most of all!) as well as play with his friends and love on their caregivers.

Thursday we will go do some sight seeing. Minte is a "history buff" we've been told, so we are planning on going to the museum where "Lucy" (the oldest human skeleton that we all learned about in Social Studies) is. There are another couple of museums and a palace that we might visit as well. We are excited to soak up some of the rich history of this ancient and beautiful land.

Friday we are having a "Thank You" party at the children's home, for all of the children. We have prepared a fun puppet show of one of their favorite children's stories, "Silly Mammo." We also have Twister, songs to dance to, a few other games, some silly string and all kinds of fun planned. What a day of celebration! This will be Minte's final goodbye to his friends and caregivers there, so it will be an emotion-filled day for sure.

Saturday we have an opportunity for more sight-seeing. This day is somewhat open, and may possibly be when we go to a village where we have been working with our non-profit and have identified two orphanages with paper-ready kids but who have no known affiliation with an accredited agency. Please pray that our relationship with them will be strengthened and that we can love on these kids, and that God will give us some direction for this area of our ministry.

Sunday we are excited to attend church for the first time with Minte. I absolutely cannot wait to worship in Ethiopia. Cannot wait! There is simply nothing like worshiping in an African church. And to do so as a first time family of five... "one day more"of celebration!

Monday is a shopping day. It will be interesting, I am sure! I am not good at the "bargaining" side of shopping in other countries, and am easily overwhelmed in markets. I usually come home with such odd assortments of items because I simply buy things just to be able to move on the the next vendor! But, Bethany has never met a market she couldn't navigate through, so I'm counting on her!

Tuesday we have another free day, and it could be that on this day I meet with some teachers who are coming in from a village where Buckner/Bright Hope has a school. I have been asked to provide some "teacher training" for these precious teachers. I have prepared a few things, but since I'm not entirely sure what their needs are, I'm praying that God will completely guide our time together and that they will be blessed by the materials and information. We also pick up our German visa on this day.

Wednesday is our last day in the country, where we will have some last minute running around and then depart, following the same path home. (Ethiopia to Sudan to Frankfurt to USA!!) "One day more" until we arrive at home!

We will arrive back on American soil on Thursday the 18th, at around 2:30 PM. And begin life here where there will be a "new normal." :)

** Note: I have written all of the above with this scripture running through my mind: "Man makes plans, but God directs his steps." We know that it is all in His hands, and that each day will take the turn that He planned for it. **

Internet is sketchy there, so I'm not sure how often I will be able to update. I have given some trusted friends my blog password so if I do get a moment in between power outages and when the internet is up, I'll shoot them an email and they can post it on the blog. Or if the internet is okay, I'll post here myself. I hope I'll be able to send some pictures, but that may or may not happen. It will be pictureville on this blog when I get back, though!

Thank you, THANK YOU for your prayer up to this point. We would not be going forward if not for those faithful prayers and our powerful God. Here are some things that we would love prayer for in the days ahead:

*Physical health for all of us. I have had quite a few issues in recent weeks (not the heart this time, thankfully!) Luke began getting a migraine last night, and realized he only has one "one time use" migraine medicine left. Please pray that he experiences NO migraines while we are there. Please pray that if any of us experience any stomach difficulty that we can manage it and that it is short-lived. Minte has been on medicine for a tapeworm and has had discomfort, and we have been praying that he is much better. (We have heard that he has not been slowed down by it at all!)

*Bonding, bonding, bonding. This is our main prayer request. If our family comes to your mind at any time, please PLEASE pray for our bonding with our new son. This is our first and utmost concern on this trip and in the months to come. He is the reason we are going there and we are trusting God ahead of time, believing him for the miracle of knitting our hearts together as a family. I am so prayerful for his relationship with his new siblings. Please pray that for them as well... that they will not be able to imagine a time when they were not brothers and sister. I am taking my Power of a Praying Parent book with me, to pray through on the plane, and the prayer about family relationships is a powerful one. If you have that book, will you join me in praying that for my children? I will be praying that repeatedly while we are on this trip. We have been told that he is excited, but also quite nervous about meeting us. He is wondering if we will like him. He is wondering if he will like us! And there is a fair amount of nervousness on our side of it as well. So, above all, please pray that God will do what only He can do. He is a God who makes things new, who creates, who knits secret things together, who sets the lonely in families.

*Details. There are so many details which must come together on this trip. Namely, all of the documents that should be waiting for us at the embassy, and all of the documents that we must carry over with us. What we are supposed to say and when, to what authority, etc... Until Minte is sitting right here with me on this couch someday there is are opportunities for this to fall through! (Okay, that was dramatic, but still. There is much to still be done to get him here!)

*Above all, that God will be glorified in each area of this trip, in each one of us. It's all for Him. He has faithfully brought us this far and will continue... not for our glory but for His. And there will be such gladness!!

Thank you, thank you. You are such a blessing. Thank you for reading this far, for praying with us all the way from the "we-think-we-might-adopt" stage, through the "we-think-it's-him" stage and now the "bringing-him-home" stage. You are very much a part of this with us! For those of you we will see at the airport on the 18th, I can't wait for you to meet him!!!! I know you will be such a blessing to him, and I know he will bless us all.

We love y'all.



Tricia said...

The time is here! Yea! We are joining you in prayer every step of the way -- I have that book and will pray with you on that. We love ya'll very much and can't wait to meet you at the airport!!!

D said...

You know we are praying! Can't wait to be at the airport on the 18th!!!


Much Ado said...

Woohoo!!! so glad you are finally at the "we're bringing him home" stage!! The excitement is tangible - praying for all those things you mentioned. God is so good, I am so happy for you all. Can't wait to see those first family pictures of you all together! :)

Joni said...

We are honored to be praying for you during this amazing time.

Jill said...

YAY!! I cannot believe the day is finally here! We will continue to join and cover your family in prayer.

Kenny & Jill

Daisy said...

God bless you all!!! Praying for each and every one of you!!

Deidre said...

Cyndi, thank you so much for this detailed post of what you 'plan' to be up to each day. It will help so much to know how to prayer for you all. I love what you said that sometime during the night a family will be born - I love that.

May God have His hand on your family at all times. I cannot wait to see you all in a picture together, but one step at a time as I'm sure God is going to reveal himself in each second for you.