Saturday, November 3, 2012

October 2012 Prayer Letter

October 2012 Dear Praying Friends, Well, we finally have some wonderful news to share about Elijah’s adoption! A little over one month shy of two years since he was found abandoned under a tree, Elijah officially has a family. Of course, in our hearts he has been part of our family since we laid eyes on him. Though there have been long periods of inactivity—at least from our point of view—during this adoption process, when things started moving, they really moved quickly. It seems that we have accomplished more in the last 5 or 6 weeks than we had in the more than 1½ years prior to that. Over the past 5 weeks, I have taken the 12-hour round trip to the capital Lusaka 5 times. All but one of the trips, I took public transport and stayed from 3 to 8 hours before heading back home. A couple of times I took the night bus and would arrive in Lusaka about 4 a.m. I would then mill around the bus terminal until daybreak. As I walked around the un-walled terminal, which housed scores of buses from all over Southern Africa, I was amused to read the rules of the terminal posted in huge letters. Though I did not understand all of the rules, of the ones I did comprehend, all were being broken with multiple being broken by me! “No loitering and no idle standing.” The biggest terminal commandment that was being broken by nearly everyone was “No sleeping,” as hundreds of people were sprawled out anywhere and everywhere on the hard cement floor. I could barely find foot space to step around and over them, hence my “idle standing.” Though it has seemed unnecessarily long at times, we can say most assuredly that it has been worth it to see God’s guiding hand as He has led us through this often frustrating and confusing process. After breaking off this letter about a week ago, I will now continue this writing from America. We all made the 36-hour trip very well. Preetika and I were very pleasantly surprised with how well Elijah weathered the nearly 24 hours in the air. He made many friends among the flight attendants and fellow travelers. It seems all are touched with his story, which so wonderfully illustrates God’s protection and personal involvement in the lives of people. So far we have thoroughly enjoyed having Elijah meet many of his relatives for the first time, as well as so many who have been praying for him and us over the years. We look forward to many more such meetings during our furlough. If you would like to have us pass through your church to update you on our family and ministry, please e-mail me at, and we will endeavor to schedule as many churches as possible.

Friday, July 6, 2012

July 2012 Prayer Letter

The past couple of months have been a blur of activity for us here in Zambia. Allow me to use this letter to bring you up to speed. In May we were blessed to have Preetika’s parents visiting us. They are the first of our families to meet Elijah in person, though many have met him face to face on Skype. Their time with us went by too quickly and was truly a blessing to us, as well as many in our church family. During their visit we were able to have a special Mother’s Day service. In addition to all the regularly attending mothers who were there, we also had 11 mothers of the members visit on that day. One mother was there with her daughter, grandson, and several great-grandchildren! She received a rose for being the mother with the oldest child in church that day. Fortunately, it was obvious, and I did not have to pry too much into the daughter’s age, as some Zambian women can be touchy about that. The month of June brought the celebration of our fourth church anniversary. It was once again wonderful to see the believers exerting themselves in bringing visitors to hear the Gospel preached at the anniversary service. We had 68 adult visitors with us and were able to reach our third-highest attendance thus far in the history of our church. Over 20 people trusted Christ, with more continuing to be saved as we follow up on them with visits in their homes. Please pray for us as we attempt to locate each visitor, since Zambian addresses are often difficult to navigate. So far, we have had many of the visiting people from that day return to be in our services in subsequent weeks. The last event that we wanted to bring to your attention is an update on Elijah’s case. While Elijah grows and changes nearly every day, his court case moves at a much slower pace. In our last letter, we mentioned that we had been given a court date, but that date and others have come and gone with no resolution. In fact, we have yet to even set foot in a courtroom. However, we have recently been given a hearing date for the third week of July. Your prayers are greatly desired that this hearing would go ahead as planned and would bring some progress (if not completion) to Elijah’s adoption. Our hope is to be able to visit the States beginning in October around Elijah’s second birthday. We look forward to many family and friends being able to meet this special gift that God has given us. Finalizing his Zambian paperwork would greatly simplify a trip to America. Also, if you would pray for the ministry and church as we prepare them for our absence, as well as the funds to purchase the tickets, we would appreciate it. Thank you as always for you faithful prayers, friendship, and support. They truly mean more than we could ever express.