Friday, July 27, 2007

Adoption Update

We received an update recently from the adoption coordinator at the children's home in Uganda. We have been told that we still have a wait ahead of us, because we are down the waiting list. However, there is good news that more and more guardianship orders (in Uganda, we will be given guardianship over our son, then we bring him to the U.S. to be adopted) are being granted and at a faster rate. That means that once we are matched with a child, they expect our process should go through much faster than the original estimate of 8-9 months after match. We're not sure exactly what that means as far as time, but basically all things are on hold until we are matched with a child.

Friday, July 20, 2007


When people ask me why I left teaching to come work at New Hope, the answer is Victor. When I was a junior at Asbury College, Prof. Lauter preached a message during Great Commission Congress in which he challenged all of us present to participate in at least one international mission trip while we were in college. I decided I would make that happen, and in January of 2001 I went to Guatemala with a New Hope team. It was my first time to leave the U.S., and I was excited to experience another culture and serve God however I could among the Guatemalans.

Just shortly before that service where I decided in my heart to make a mission trip before I graduated from Asbury, Steve and Pam English were in the early stages of opening La Senda Children’s Home in Guatemala. They received a call from a hospital begging them to come and take in a little boy who had been born there, abandoned, taken in by a Guatemalan family, and then abandoned again by them when he was found to need surgery because of hydrocephalus (water on the brain). After initially turning down the boy, Steve and Pam decided God wanted them to take him in, and they agreed to pay for the $200 surgery that would install a shunt to carry the water from Victor’s brain down to his abdomen, something he would live with for the rest of his life.

A year later, Victor did not relate well to others except Pam. He did not play with other children or visitors. That was when our mission team arrived at La Senda. For some reason, very slowly, Victor began to take a liking to me. Before the trip was over, he was clinging to me all the time. He would lay on my chest and smack the sides of my cheeks and make a clucking sound with his tongue. He and I grew very close that week, and I learned more about God’s love through that little boy than I had in a thousand sermons. My eyes were opened to a whole new world of God’s love and amazing grace, and I was changed forever.

In January 2002 I returned to La Senda with another New Hope team and we were amazed to find out that one day Victor’s shunt had dried up because he had been completely healed of his hydrocephalus. The doctor said that was the first time he had ever heard of a shunt being removed from a hydrocephalic patient. What an amazing miracle!

When Prof. Lauter called me and asked if I might have any interest in coming to manage the New Hope office, it was my experience with Victor that came to mind. I wanted to have a part in making possible for others what had happened in my life through a week in Guatemala. During my first year at New Hope I led another team to La Senda and met a five-year-old Victor who was talking up a storm and running around playing soccer. Last week we went to La Senda again with a team from our church, and it was so fun to see Victor growing into a little young man – rambunctious, intelligent, loving, ornery, joking. God’s going to do something with that boy, just wait and see. Of course, He already has.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Back from Guatemala

We made it back safely from Guatemala. We had a great week with our friends Steve & Pam at La Senda children's home. Here are some pictures:

Matt, Rosita, and Lupita

Amy & Carlos

Landscaping Before

Landscaping After

In Antigua with our friends Daniel & Kara Harris, who are working for two years at New Life Children's Home

Matt enlists the help of some of the kids to illustrate a devotional thought

Amy & Rosita

Our Team

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Here Today...Guatemala

At 4:30am tomorrow, we will be off to Bluegrass Airport with a team from our church at High Bridge to head down to Guatemala. This will be the 4th time for each of us to be at La Senda Children's Home in Sumpango. We are excited to see all the children again and our missionary friends Steve & Pam. We are excited that this is the first mission team that our church has sent and so happy to be a part of it. Please lift us up in prayer, and we hope to have lots of exciting stuff to share when we get back.