a letter from us.

There have been a handful of moments in our marriage where we knew, without a shadow of a doubt, God was behind the events unfolding around us. One was our trip to Kenya this past summer. While there, we fell in love with the people of Kibera – a slum that makes up a little over a square mile. In this tiny area of Nairobi, 1.5 million people call home. Leaving those who showed us true joy was heartbreaking -  before the plane even landed in Houston, we knew the land of Africa grew deep in our bones – we’d be going back. Skip forward a few months, and you’ll see Russ and me in Starbucks, heads bent low and talking feverishly. It’s November 5, 2010. We’ve just decided to start the adoption process. “I don’t care where we adopt from  – as long as we’re doing it,” Russ says. And for some reason, my hearts leans towards Ethiopia. We jump head first and immediately begin to see God provide – and the enemy come against us. Within weeks of our decision, we meet some friends at a restaurant. Before we even order our meal, our friend looks at us and asks, “would you guys be interested in taking a trip to the Horn of Africa in March?”

I felt the tears form as I looked at Russ. For those of you who don’t know, the Horn of Africa makes up the countries of Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, Eritrea, Uganda, Kenya and Djibuti – for the second time within a year, we were going back to Africa – and to the very area of our future child. Dumbfounded, we let our friends know about our decision to adopt and their own eyes filled with tears. It wasn’t until recently our friend told us he didn’t even know to ask until he pulled in the parking lot with his wife. Once again, God revealed to us His goodness. The moment we felt surrounded and overwhelmed with obstacles concerning adoption, He came in and reminded us of His purpose.

While in the Horn, we’ll be assisting a partner of the Austin Stone who currently serves through medical assistance, fitness, and women’s development. We will also be visiting an orphanage that recently opened. Although we may not know specifics, we’re anxious to see what God has and the connections we will build with the people. Our desire is to build relationships that will provide a firm foundation for future trips through Austin Stone and return home with a better idea of how we can fit the Horn of Africa into the current mission of ministering to unreached people groups.

There are a few ways you can join us on this trip. First and foremost, we request prayer. We will be gone a week: March 11-20. We need prayers for health, safety, wisdom, and provision and for the Lord to use us. We are building a team of at least 20 people to pray for our team every day we are there. If you would like to join our prayer team, we’d be incredibly grateful.

Also, this trip will cost approximately 5000 dollars. We need this money by March 1. We believe, from personal experience, God will provide. We never anticipated returning to Africa so quickly, but we feel led and can’t wait to see what God has for us while there. If you want to join with us by supporting us financially, please contact me and I’ll send you donation cards via e-mail.

In Ephesians, it says “God can do anything, you know – far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Sprit deeply and gently within us.” [3:20]. There have been countless moments within the past few months where Russ and I distinctly feel His Spirit gently and deeply within us – moving us to a place far beyond anything we ever anticipated. Please continue to pray for our hearts, that we’d be pliable and open to His leading. More than anything, this is what we aim for – and we can’t wait to see Him bend our hearts closer to Him through this trip.

Penda,

Russ & Elora

Posted on January 23, 2011 and filed under Adoption, Letters.