Wednesday, July 24, 2013

When the odds are against you

Still reflecting on 2 years ago, from July 28, 2011:

Remember this post about how I was told "the odds are certainly against you," when calling with only 2 weeks notice instead of the required 8 weeks to set up a visit with our Compassion child we sponsor in Ethiopia?

Well, God did it! Against the odds!!

I got an email today that a visit has been arranged for the Thursday we'll be in Ethiopia! Our 8 year old Compassion boy will travel with a chaperon to the city of Addis Ababa from his home in Awassa and we will get to spend a good part of the day with him. (Some day we'd love to travel to his hometown as it is supposed to be beautiful, but the logistics were too complicated on this trip.)

I really just cannot imagine the moment when the 8 year old boy from America who lives in our home every day meets our 8 year old boy from Ethiopia who we've written, prayed for and loved for years now, but only known through letters and pictures! Like a tiny picture of heaven when we'll all be united as one family.

I spent the morning taking my mom to tour a senior day center where she may begin going during the day when her husband is at work. Her Lewy Body Demetia has progressed to a point that it is very concerning for her to be home alone. It was tough. The center was amazingly great and the staff very friendly, but despite my good intentions my mom still accused me of trying to "put her in a nursing home". My kids went with us because it was too complicated to arrange a babysitter among the other Ethiopia travel-related madness. But the kids were a huge hit, all the seniors loved them and smiled huge smiles upon seeing them. I remarked to my husband later that I think most people touring the place with a parent don't bring small children with them because once a person gets to a point of needing a senior center for their mom, their children are usually grown.

As I returned home and was able to take off the happy face I'd plastered on for my mom's benefit, I was tempted to lament, "Why? Why has this disease claimed my mom so young? Most of the people in that senior center were 15 to 20 years older than she is! Most of my friends have moms who babysit their kids and generally provide them with a lot of support and help. I, however, must not only raise my children and run my household without my mom's help, I must help her."

Oh, yes, the pity-party was coming, but then I opened my email and amid children complaining over the lunch choices, a barking dog, an irritating intermittent Internet connection, and crumbs all over the floor, there it was. The email with God's amazing answered prayer that we could meet Mathews on this first trip to Ethiopia!

And instead I must ask, "Why? Why does God care so much for me to answer this prayer that began over a year ago? How is it that He has been so faithful to very distinctly show His presence in our lives so many times?"

I am unworthy to even play a bit part in His plan, unworthy of the divine arrangements that have been made so that next week we will not only meet our new daughter for the 1st time, but our Compassion son!

You better believe there will be some serious Texas-Sized Hugs in Ethiopia next week!!!

And hopefully pictures I can share with all of you the following week but until then this blog will likely be very quiet! Everyone who is praying for us, know that it means so much! More than you pray for our safety, pray that we will be His light. I am certain we will return from Africa changed and am thanking God for that. May we never be the same!

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