I have always envied the way God shows up in my best friend’s life. She experiences crazy answer to prayer because she takes crazy steps of faith. About four years ago she and her husband started the journey to adopt two beautiful children from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
God’s leading was evident from the beginning, and with excitement they began raising the money to bring their son and daughter home to Virginia. However, it wasn’t an easy road. The Congolese government kept coming up with reasons to not release children to their adoptive families (read: wanted bribes),and Julie and Chris refused to play along, knowing that those who did so made it that much harder for the next adoptive family. As they waited anxiously, never knowing what the next day would bring, they prayed and tried to rely on the fact that God was in control. To their dismay, in addition to corrupt government officials and ever-mounting expenses, they also received a little pushback on the homefront in the form of well-meaning people’s misguided, discouraging questions:
“Why wouldn’t you just adopt locally?” or “Is interracial adoption really right for your family?”
The lack of emotional support and the seemingly insurmountable cost of bringing the kids home began to wear on my friends’ surety that God was going to bring this dream to fruition. It had been so exciting in the beginning, seeing God bring this vision of expanding their little family to take up residence in both Chris’ and their six year old son Spencer’s hearts, but the roadblocks, setbacks, and naysayers chipped away at their confidence and doubt and discouragement tried hard to sneak in.
I was on the phone with Julie one night, and she was expressing her worry.The next hefty adoption-agency bill was due in three days, and though someone had just donated two hundred dollars, they were still a thousand short. They were trying to crunch the numbers or think of what they could sell, but nothing was adding up. I heard the catch in her voice as the tears rose to the surface.I gently reminded her of the absolute fact that God was the one behind this adoption, and that he honors our obedience to his leading. I also reminded her of a story she’d told me of God providing a thousand dollars out of nowhere to a family who’d also been adopting internationally. I told Julie to stop relying on her own resources and trust that God was going to provide in ways she couldn’t even imagine.
She agreed, though I could tell she trying to summon up the courage and faith to truly believe it. Just then, as we were talking, Julie’s husband interrupted excitedly. He told her he’d just checked their GoFundMe, and old friends from college (whom they hadn’t talked to in over ten years) had just donated with a message “God told us to give you this!”. The amount? A thousand dollars.
God did see them through all the ups and downs, and he was faithful to show himself to them throughout the peaks and valleys in the long two years it took to actually bring Eden and Miles home. Now, it seems like they’ve been a family forever. Not perfect, but absolutely meant to be.
Pray for American church to bring shaken out of apathy and a state of sleepwalking. Pray for a renewal of passion for the Gospel in the hearts of pastors countrywide,and for that excitement to lead to prayer and revival in every church across America.
Go into this week knowing God can.