A tapestry is an ornamental fabric entwined together often in the shape of a picture. This best describes what God is doing in the process of our adoption. Every day as the tapestry grows, we are able to trace God's craftsmanship and the beautiful picture being created. The overlapping pieces of our story is very cool to see.
It all started when God was speaking to us about adoption. Suzanne read a book called Fields of the Fatherless. At the same time, Frank was being challenged by the book of James. Especially James 1:27 which says, "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." God was working within us to go beyond our current spiritual walk.
God does this in a variety of ways. For example, he calls people to reach farther in their faith by giving more; or surrendering to the call to teach that small group; or to memorize hundreds of scripture. In our case, it was to rescue a child from the bondage of despair and loneliness. We had to ask ourselves, "So where do we start?"
We started on a spiritual journey that included prayer and Bible study. We wanted to experience God in a whole new way. We felt led to take our family through the Experiencing God study by Henry Blackaby. There are a few versions of this study for our entire family. Besides the workbook for adults, there is a teen book for Madison and pre-teen books for Landon and Logan. Every Sunday night our family discussed what we learned throughout the week. That study prepared us for what was about to happen. We started watching to see where God was working. That involved looking at the God-connections in our life.
Back in 1990, Frank went to the Soviet Union on a mission trip with a team of twelve college men from various universities in Louisiana. He was able to work alongside Christians in that country to prepare a church building as a meeting space. The passion for God evident in the people was unlike anything Frank had seen. Since that trip, there has been a longing in Frank's heart for the people in that region. So we began to pray for Russia.
While praying for Russia, we came across an amazing fact. About 90% of orphan girls in this part of the world who are not adopted either end up in prostitution or commit suicide. What a tragedy. Upon hearing this, we sensed the Holy Spirit screaming, "Rescue one of these girls." Our prayers became more specific. As we were praying for this little girl somewhere in the world, the name Marion kept coming into our spirit. We don't know if our future adopted girl will be Marion, but it gave us "someone" to pray for. We even had a Christmas stocking with her name stitched to match the others hanging from the fireplace. Crazy, huh? When God puts a burden on your heart, you begin to notice unconventional behaviors in your life.
Our great friends, Jason and Molly Gann, told us of a cousin who ministers to orphans in Ukraine. We felt God was calling us to Russia, not Ukraine. After all, God placed a burden on Frank for the people of Russia. But we soon realized that (a) God was showing us where He was working, and (b) back in 1990 Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union.
We met with the Gann's cousin to talk and pray about Ukraine. After our meeting with Cris and Karen Mahy, we knew God was calling us to Ukraine. Our adoption journey jumped to a higher gear and the tapestry began to from an image. An image of hope with the ministry of Mercy's Hope.
[Come back to our blog for The Tapestry of God: Part Two]