Wednesday, December 8, 2010
From My Heart
147 Million Reasons
“Are you crazy?” some might ask, and I might answer, “Perhaps I am.” As our dear friend Abby reminded me, “The foolishness of men is wiser than God.” And, thus we have found ourselves in the middle of the sea, safe on a ship, with Jesus beckoning, “Come to me. Get of the boat. Walk on the water.”
Josie-Tatum and I have always known we wanted to go back to South Africa. Several weeks ago, God sent three earthly messengers with heavenly messages. Each one of them asked about South Africa, none of them knowing we were praying for direction. Three days in a row, through their questions and comments, I heard God speaking, “Come to me. Get out of the boat. Walk on the water.”
We committed to the mission, knowing God would have to send every penny. We began our fund raising efforts with joy. I told our church family, I don’t know if we’ll be in South Africa this summer or not, but I do know God wants me to take one step at a time and follow him as if we are going.”
We weren’t looking for him, but he found us—the newest member of the Mattox family. I had been asked to help an 8 year old boy find a home, and with great diligence we eagerly joined in the effort. While he had been waiting for a family nearly 5 years, his forever family found him just three days after we joined in the prayer and advocacy vigil.
When we saw his photos, though, another face tugged at my heart. He was only three years old, and his smile had a twinkle that made those who saw it smile back. I learned that he, too, was waiting on his forever family and had been available for adoption longer than six months. As I learned more, I heard God speaking again, “Come to me. Get out of the boat. Walk on the water.”
God smiled as I contacted an agency, told the China coordinator my name, and heard her reply, “I know who you are. I follow your blog. I have prayed for your Ellie.” While the winds rage and the waves roll, God said again, “Come to me. Get out of the boat. Walk on the water."
We climbed out of the boat and sent out paperwork for pre-approval to adopt Lv Jiang Zhuang. There were gale force winds blowing against us. We don’t meet China’s regulations anymore, due to medical conditions. We would have to first apply for a waiver from CCAA (China Center of Adoption Affairs). Like Esther, I asked others to pray we would find favor with the King.
But, the earthly forces would still fight us on our water walking adventure. An adoption costs nearly $25,000, and we have no money set aside for adoption.
We weren’t looking for him. He found us. Or, in heavenly terms, God brought him to us.
We receive a Christmas photo from Ellie's foster home every year. I got this today Can you find the face of her little brother?
The Big Picture:
I truly believe God ordained not only these events, but the order in which they took place. If we were in the middle of an adoption, I’m not certain I would have heard him calling to South Africa; thus He called to South Africa first. Josie-Tatum and I need nearly $7,000 for our trip to Africa, and now our family needs $25,000 for an adoption.
We have embraced our calling to adoption and the work of missions to orphans in South Africa. Now, we are carrying these to the body of Christ.
Will you join us? First, we ask for your prayers. Without Jesus, none of this will take place, and we know the effectual fervent prayer of righteous people avail much! This will be the greatest work of all, and perhaps the only part the LORD wishes for you to play in our new journey.
As you pray, though, we ask that you also listen. If God burdens you in such a way that you feel Him calling to help us break down the financial barriers, please consider the options of the following page.
Why are we doing what we are doing? There are 147 million reasons, 147 million orphans, 147 children who need the love of a family. Katie, who is serving in Uganda says, “Orphans get us close to God. This is how God sees us. Adoption gets us close. This is how He brings us into His family.” How close do you want to be to the heart of God?