“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:23
To our dear family and friends:
As most of you know, we are in the process of adopting two precious children from Ethiopia. This has been a slow and trying process, but finally, we are beginning to see some progress towards bringing our children home. So that you are all aware of what has happened, our agency first referred us a little boy, now about 11 months old, who is called M in March. We were also referred a little girl, now about 8 months old, called L this past June. Unfortunately, the courts do not have all the information that they require for M to be adopted, so his case is not moving forward at all right now. We are happy to be traveling to Ethiopia on September 25th to appear at a court date on September 28th for L. We desperately want both of our children to be home with us as soon as possible, and we are convinced that prayer is the only thing that will move the courts in our favor so that we can bring our children home. The climate of international adoption changes from day to day, and the Ethiopian courts have changed their minds frequently about what is required to finalize an adoption. We need your fervent prayers.
We also would like to ask if you would be willing to commit to fasting for the well being of our children. We have fasted periodically throughout this process, and we have both found it to be both a demonstration of our commitment to our adoptions and an opportunity to draw nearer to God as we wait. We first began the discipline of fasting when we traveled to Zambia in 2009. There was a member of our team fasting each day for the three months prior to our departure, and I have no doubt that it helped prepare us spiritually for the journey.
Fasting is demonstrated throughout the Bible. Jesus himself fasted and taught his disciples to fast, yet I find that it is rarely practiced or talked about in churches today. Fasting is a voluntary abstinence from food for spiritual purposes. Fasts come in many varieties, from fasting from both food and water for a very limited time to fasts from only certain foods. When we fast, we typically abstain from food for three meals but continue to drink water and other clear liquids during that time. If you are new to fasting, you might consider fasting for just one meal to start. Regardless of what type of fast you undertake, it should be private, not noticeable to others.
We hope that you will be willing to fast on behalf of our children while we are in Ethiopia. The type and length of the fast is up to you, and we pray that the Holy Spirit will lead you in this regard. We leave for Ethiopia on September 25th, and we will return home on October 3rd. The days leading up to our court date on September 28th are particularly important, so we hope to have some of our friends and family fasting for us on those days.
We know that for many of you it would not be wise to participate in a traditional fast due to medical concerns. If that is the case, please consider a fast of a different sort. Consider fasting from a particular habit, a fast from reading the newspaper, watching television, drinking soda, or surfing the internet. Fast from anything that consumes your time and could potentially distract you from God’s purposes. Use your desire for that thing as a reminder to pray.
If you would like to support our adoption by fasting, please let us know when you plan to fast so we can encourage you. If you choose not to fast but plan to support us through prayer, please communicate that to us as well. We want to be able to tell our children about all of our friends and family that helped bring them home. We are so thankful for each of you.