This has been a busy, but awesome week! We are flying to meet our babies!! I cannot believe it. The day we have prayed for is finally here. We are so thankful to our God who has brought us thus far and we know He will guide us through the rest of our journey. Please be in prayer with us as we travel. Pray for our flights to be easy with our 3 children, for Aiden to not have any reactions to his many food allergies while there, for our bodies to be healthy in country, for God to use us as He wants to, for God to show us each step we are to make and for our complete obedience to God. Pray for our sweet African children, that our family of 7 will have an instant connection and bond. Pray for the people we will be ministering to while in country. Pray that the blood of Jesus will shine through us every day. And lastly, pray for patience for us as we parent 5 children in a foreign country.
Now, a little recap for our week. Monday I went to dinner with a group of girlfriends to celebrate a sweet friends' birthday. As I was walking to the parking lot to go home, you can imagine my shock as I saw my window had been smashed! Glass was everywhere, all over my car and the parking lot. I cried. The security guards came over and I cried harder. Yes, I was a little upset about the car, but that wasn't really it. I needed to be focused on our trip and Sydney's birthday, not some thug breaking my window to steal my GPS. Now as I'm typing this it is almost funny. The enemy tried everything possible this week to distract and discourage us. GOD IS BIGGER!!!! HE WILL OVERCOME!!!! And He did.
The rest of our week was spent packing and going to Wal-mart, packing more and then going to Wal-Mart again. Yes, we made multiple trips there this week. My kids are so tired of seeing Wal-Mart I thought they could scream. Honestly, me too, but we have everything (I think) and we are ready. We packed lightly so we could have more room for donations. We have had so many wonderful people donate to the mission. The greatest, though, came from the homeless of our city. Our good friend runs God's ministry, The Water Angels, in downtown Knoxville. So this week, they prayed for the orphans. Their hearts broke for what breaks God's heart. PEOPLE WITHOUT HOMES and they get it! They spent a day making goody bags for the orphans. They stuffed these bags with Bibles, snacks, homemade bookmarks, toothbrushes, you name it and it's in this bag. They prayed over each bag and for the child that would receive it. My friend shared a story of one of them as he was filling his bags. His prayer to our God was that he has everything (HE IS HOMELESS) and these poor children have nothing. He is so blessed and they have nothing. He cried out to our God on behalf of children living in Ghana, Africa and that God would bless them. I was amazed! I cried! These people gave of themselves. What a touching story! I cannot wait to distribute these bags that were made with so much love, made with God's love!
There are so many people praying with us and for us on this trip. Each prayer is heard and we covet them. This week we had the opportunity to have some of them pray personally with us. Our lifegroup at church was so touching. They prayed over us as a family, but then Thursday night I was handed a group of envelopes. They handwrote a note for each day we are going, each day we will be gone. How inspiring! And the day they were assigned for the note, that family will cover our family totally and completely in prayer! I am amazed at their love for us. Love they show us because God loved us first. Another friend brought me to tears as he prayed for Helen to find her voice and to know how much we and God love her. (Last time we heard, she doesn't speak.) And he prayed for our Samuel to be able to be a little boy, no longer responsible for taking care of his sister. He is a child. We want him to be a child. We want so many of the orphans living around the world to live a child's life, not an adult life. Let's step up as Christians and love these children. Let's give them a childhood. Let's love them the way God loves us, they way Jesus loved them when He was on this earth.
We will update as much as possible while we are in Ghana. We want each of you to be a part of this journey God is bringing us on. Sydney will update her blog, FEEDING THE ORPHANS, too. She has already told me, "Mom, you'll have to post for me. I will be spending every moment with Helen, Samuel and the orphans."
One last thing, our sweet 5 year old's birth name is Richard. We love this name and will be keeping it. The day after we received this referral as I had Bible time with the children, God led us to I Samuel. I heard God tell me our son's name is to be Samuel. You see, we prayed for him and before he ever joined our family, I told God I would give our child(ren) back to Him, just like Hannah. God gently reminded me of this and so our Ghanaian son's name will be Samuel Richard O'Leary.