We are happy to announce that we have safely arrived in Ethiopia and are at this moment in the presence of our beautiful children. We appreciate so much the prayers of our friends and family for safe travel.
A couple days prior to coming to Ethiopia, I read the verse “He does not forget the cry of the afflicted” and couldn’t help but to praise the Lord for hearing the cries of our children. Through this trip, we have seen specific ways the Lord has responded to the cries of orphans.
Firstly, Christians in Louisville donated 3 suitcases full of diapers, formula, and baby clothes for the African orphanages. Dave and I were prepared to pay fees to check additional luggage, figuring it was well worth it. However, the airline waived the $100 fee we were supposed to pay for no explained reason. But we all know it is because God hears the cries of the hungry orphans and sees to it that they are fed. We gave all these donations to the orphanage and they were very grateful. They have less clothes and baby items for the 25 babies that they watch than we have for our two (and we don’t have a ton). Thank you on behalf of the orphanage workers!
Secondly, yesterday we found out Kaden and Makyra’s stories and are all the more amazed by God’s faithfulness to sustain their little lives.
The director of Kaden and Kyra’s orphanage said that Kaden was their very first orphan. As many of you know, Kaden was abandoned on the road at just one day old. A man named Erjabo found Kaden and took him to the orphanage. Kaden was very sick and, in the opinion of the orphanage workers, close to death. The director said he couldn’t sleep for four days out of concern for Kaden. Erjabo and the orphanage workers saved Kaden’s life. We thus have decided to give Kaden a second middle name “Erjabo” in this man’s honor. Of the millions upon millions of orphans in Ethiopia (not to mention Africa or the whole world), God responded to Kaden’s cry for life and sent Erjabo.
Makyra’s story is even more sobering. Her mother died giving birth to her and in the midst of mourning for her death, Kyra was neglected and went without any food for three days. The director said that she was forgotten by all. But not by our Lord. A government official put Kyra in a bag and brought her to the orphanage. She was not breathing and had to be hospitalized for 11 days. The kindness of the Lord through the Christian orphanage workers saved her life. Thank you God for hearing Makyra’s cry.
And how does God respond to the cries of the afflicted? Most often through his children. The director of the orphanage is a believer who used to go out and share the Gospel with street boys. He started a home for these boys so that when they came to Christ, there could be a home for discipleship and for meeting of their daily needs. Recently he has become a director of one of the orphanages here in Africa because, as he said, “he must obey the commands of God.” He explained that before the Christians took over the orphanage, all the babies died. He said that only those who know the love of God are able to give these children the love and care they need. The Ethiopian government does not have a program for orphans. It is predominately the Christians whoa re caring for the helpless.
We went and got the children and there were several of their nannies with tears in their eyes. They love them so much. We felt nothing but the love of Christ in every hand that has cared for our children. Yes, these people are heroes; there is no doubt about it. But it would be incomplete to stop there: It is God motivating their love. It is God who has heard the cries of our children and has saved their lives. May the Lord save many more and may we as the church be his hands and feet to save the lives of the afflicted and feed the hungry.
Our children are adjusting to their new life with us quickly. Jet lag along with a painful eye infection I recently have gotten has not made the past couple days easy on us. Nevertheless, we love our kids and can’t wait for you all to meet them. You will fall in love, there is no doubt about it.
Will post pictures when we get back to the states! We promise!