:: First, guess who stopped by our compound yesterday? Little Florence! What a joy to see her! And she is doing so so well! Honestly, last time we saw her, we were a bit discouraged because she seemed to not be making progress. We were very concerned that she wasn't walking yet. But now look at her! Praise the Lord!
:: Secondly, next weekend we are heading over to Kenya to take Benaiah to a pediatric pulmonologist and possibly a pediatric heart specialist. Benaiah still has troubles with his Oxygen saturation rates dropping at random times. We aren't sure if it is just his asthma that is not well controlled or if something else is going on. We would appreciate your prayers in a mighty way! Our whole family would like to travel across the border, since we will need to be there for 4-5 days. We are not sure if Denise will be allowed to cross with us, but we are going to try! We have plan B in place, in case it doesn't work out, but it would be awfully nice if it did! Can you please pray that:
- Denise will be able to cross the border. That it will be no problem!
- That the Doctors will see what is wrong with Benaiah. Benaiah has good weeks and bad weeks...I'm praying that his symptoms show while we are there!
- That the Doctors will have wisdom as they look at him, so that they can give us some clear guidance as to how to help Benaiah so that we can have our mommy/daddy hearts at peace with his health. Sometimes medical care here is fabulous and sometimes it leaves you wondering if we would have a different diagnosis if we were in America. We are praying that we will NOT be wondering in the end, but that we will be completely at peace, knowing that he's been fully checked out (even if in the end the doctors still don't know what's wrong. ;-) )
- That we will be safe and happy during the many hours on the road.
:: Before we leave for Kenya, Eric and I are first driving up to Karamoja because Eric has a meeting up there with the men. Our team, in general, is preparing to undergo a lot of changes, as two full time families that are serving in Karamoja are leaving the field soon. Al Tricarico is a pastor who has served for many years. Because of his length of service, his command of the Karamajong language, and his Spirit-filled ministry, it will be hard to replace him! Please pray that God raises another family to take his place! Dr. Jim Knox has been a huge blessing for many years as he has served as a deacon and doctor in the medical clinic for many years. Currently, we are pleading with God to bring another doctor to serve in his place. The clinic is in danger of closing due to lack of "harvesters" in this area. This would have far reaching consequences in the ministry up there, as so much centers around the clinic and the villagers are dependent on it! Please pray to the Lord of the Harvest that he will send a medically trained laborer to us quickly!! If you know of anyone who could serve, even for 6 months while we find someone to serve full time, please contact us!
::Please continue to pray for our adoption of Denise. We are hoping that, by God's grace, we will be able to take a furlough in the fall of 2016. By then we will have been on the field for 4 years without seeing a lot of our dearly loved ones at home. There is possibly a small glitch in the timing of the adoption that will make it impossible for us to take furlough before 2017 and that will cost us a bit financially if we aren't able to move forward with the adoption more quickly. Please, please pray for this. Pray that God will move in a mighty way to clear that path for us and that our hearts would be peaceful and patient while we wait. Even though it is not written in a court document yet, in our eyes and hearts, Denise is already our daughter and we don't want leave Uganda without her. But there are also aches in our hearts and in the hearts of our parents/grandparents, cousins, and dear friends in America to see each other. Having hearts stretched across two continents is very difficult at times. The thought of maybe having to delay furlough is very difficult to anticipate, especially for some of the kids. So prayers are greatly appreciated!!
::The week after our Kenya trip, one of the village churches is hosting a women's conference for a day. Connie Jackson and I are speaking at it. Please pray for time to prepare (while in Kenya? :-) ) and that it will be a blessing to the ladies! And the week after that, our team is having a spiritual retreat. We are very excited that Eric's cousin, (who attended both Covenant College and Mid America Seminary with Eric and who was our best man at our wedding) is coming to speak at the retreat! Pray that our time together with our team will be a blessing as we face challenges on the field and challenges as we transition people out (and Lord willing, more families IN!)
As you can see, we have some fairly heavy things weighing on our hearts these days! Please pray that despite all these things that God will grant us grace and strength to continue to focus and pour ourselves into our daily work with joy and vigor! As Eric said the other night, "Dianna, we need to pray with expectant hope...because that is called faith." Yes, we need the Holy Spirit to work as our helper and help us to have expectant hope that God is up to great and amazing things...
...and we get to be a part of it!