Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Oh Lord, You are so good, so good to me

I am overwhelmed, speechless and in awe of our great God. He is so good all the time. He is faithful. Praise be to our Lord and Savior.

There is something about being in Africa that draws me nearer to my Lord. Maybe it is from being out of my comfort zone, being in a different culture, or being surrounded by suffering. Plans and details are continuously changing in Africa. It really is emotionally, spiritually, and physically exhausting, yet one thing remains the same--Our God is faithful and He is the one who directs our steps. What a comfort it is to trust, lean on, and rest in our God. There truly is no greater joy.

So once again plans have changed.... Beginning last night, Lacey and I were feeling very unsettled about going to Gulu. We could not pinpoint the cause of this inner turmoil, and we could not escape the feeling. It continued all night. We discussed our thoughts with each other but could not put a finger on what was causing this anxiety. We began spending the evening in prayer. We prayed individually, together and with all four of us. I called Todd seeking advice, I poured into scripture, I sang praise and worship songs...neither Lacey nor I had clarity on what we were supposed to do. Did God want Lacey and I to go to Gulu or not? We were overwhelmed with this decision. We have known from the beginning that God has a plan and a purpose for us being in Uganda. We knew before we left Montana, that we would be staying together as a group of four and traveling North. There is a mission for us to accomplish. So why was there such confusion all of a sudden? We stayed up until 2am and had to wake up at 4am. We still did not sense any direction from God. Right before it was time to go, Erryn and Cheryl came into our room to find out if we were going. I broke down in tears with emotion I did not know was there. It was as if the Holy Spirit began speaking through me and expressed everything that was in my heart. We realized that for some reason, that only God knows right now, Lacey and I were not to go to Gulu. Proverbs 16 was on the forefront of our mind...It is man who plans, but it is God who directs the steps...commit to the Lord all you do and your plans will succeed...(paraphrased because I forgot to bring my Bible with me). Later that morning as it began sinking in that God has another plan for us, we began recalling other scripture...do not let your hearts be troubled...do not be anxious about anything, but in prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God, and the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. I cannot express the load that was lifted. We were in the center of God's will and He has a distinct purpose for us being called to a different location than Erryn and Cheryl. So we called our driver and set up plans to make our way to Jinja where Amani Baby Cottage is located. God had replaced that uneasiness with pure and complete joy. So here the next adventure begins...

We actually had to travel to Entebbe first to pick up the missing luggage from the airport. Last night when Erryn when to get her bag, she found out that I had to be the one to pick it up because all 12 bags were checked under my name for some reason. So Erryn completed her roundtrip of 3 hours with no luggage! So we set out for the airport (which turned out to be a 4 hour roundtrip). We had to check in at several different offices/desk/locations...quite the run-around. We had to go through security several times. As we place our backpacks on the x-ray conveyor belt, the guard said, "Why are you here in Uganda?" We told him I was adopting two children from Jinja. His next reply came immediately after, "Do you have any Holy Bibles with you?" Lacey and I froze and I think our eyeballs bulged in fear...was he confiscating our Bibles?? But Bibles are allowed here...every thought was flashing through my mind. Then the man said, "I am a born-again Christian...do you have any Bibles to give me? There are always people that need a Bible." We about fainted in excitement and relief! We told him YES! Eventually we went back to our driver (who was driving a four door sedan which held 6 pieces of luggage, our full size stroller, 2 back packs, 3 people, and five bags--the fact that this all fit is a miracle in itself) we started pulling out all the luggage and searching our bags to find the Bibles we had brought. Earlier we had given a majority of the Bibles to Erryn and Cheryl to take to Gulu, but we were able to find 9 more. Adelphi Christian Academy, these included the Bibles that were collected from Kindergarten, first and second grade! We took them to the man, whose name is Constantino. When he saw us coming with the Bibles, he shouted, "Amen!" This is while he is in the middle of his job watching people walk through the metal detector, scanning bags, searching people etc. The woman he was working with started pleading, "We pray! We pray! We want Bibles too!" We told him who had sent these Bibles with us and asked if we could get a picture to post on our blog. Unfortunately, it is illegal to take a picture in the airport. I tried though! Thank you to Mrs Payton and Mrs. Price's class for the Bibles. Pray for Constantino as he reads his new Bible and begins distributing these to others who need them. We praise the Lord for our lost luggage! We praise the Lord for the inconvenient 3 hour, unsuccessful trip Cheryl and Erryn made last night to get the bag. All of this led to God's perfect plan.

After leaving the airport we traveled 3 hours to Jinja, to Amani Baby Cottage! WooooHooo! I get to see my babies!!!!!! We pulled in at 5:30pm to see everyone gathered around the grass and gravel driveway, cheering us in. Mama Gladys and Mama Edith came running up to me with Christopher and Katie dressed in their "smart clothes" complete with a headband in Katie's hair. They said they had been awaiting our arrival all day. I hugged both Mamas and then started talking, tickling, and hugging Katie and Christopher. They immediately started smiling and laughing and they came right to me! They look so good. Katie is smiling ALL the time (in December she was not feeling well because of her sickle cell anemia, and never smiled). I have been reunited with my precious children. Words cannot describe how satisfied my heart is. Katie is walking well and is so happy. She has the tiniest bird legs and arms, which I cannot wait to fatten up! We got to be there for supper time, potty time, bath time, play time and bed time. I prayed for them and got to tuck them in. I am delighted! Right before we left for the evening, Stacy came in to tell me one last thing...Katie has been assigned the same court date as Christopher! We serve a sovereign and faithful God. Praise Him!

Things are happening. God is at work. The Holy Spirit is present. We are in the center of His will. We are having a blast. I have so much to share and having a hard time finding the time to fit it all in. We are lacking in sleep and have not eaten all day, and because it is later in the evening, we need to take a piki (a motorized bike) back to our hotel. Rachel, Ariel and Katie have given us a great recommendation of a driver who we call to take us and pick us up. Lacey braved her first trip already! The wind felt great, and even though I was sitting side saddle, we made it! We are having so much fun! Thank you for your prayers. God is faithful.
Love, Jenny
P.S. Jaden, Kellen and Sage...I love you so much. You rock! I am praying for you! Christopher was looking at your pictures and pointing and trying to say your names!

**Pictures coming very soon!

11 comments:

Jireh Ministries Foundation, Inc said...

Jenny,
As I read through this, the music was playing "He Reigns", as my eyes rains too!:) Pretty awsome stuff here! How can He top this? Keep spreading the faith and follow Him wherever He may go, as He will be with you too. As Pastor Ken said at Church on Sunday.. Is Jesus in your boat? Yes He's there to calm the sea. Love, Dad

lana said...

Yeah! Praise God! I'm at work trying not to cry too much - my heart is jumping and dancing. The Lord is so faithful, and proves over and over that He is in control. May He continue to bless you all as you spend time with your kids, go to court, and re-unite with Erryn and Cheryl.

That had to be an extremely difficult decision, but I know that God will continue to lead you in the paths He has laid out for each of you. I know we will continue to see reasons for you all splitting up - Maybe part of bringing you all home sooner!

Wow! I just want to shout from the rooftops and sing and dance! Now I get to write in more praises and answers to prayers.

Love you guys - Lana

P.S. I forgot to take a cold shower this morning until I was finished washing my hair and thought "I think I'll turn it hotter - that'd feel so good." then I remembered you all and turned it cold instead. It's not on your list, but I'm also praying for hot water for you guys!

Jenn said...

Nothing to say except...
can you guess??

I AM BAWLING MY EYES OUT LIKE A LITTLE BABY!

My kids are worried about their mama, so I'd better wipe these eyes.

"Thank you Jesus for Katie's court date and for all of the things that you have planned for these ladies in Uganda. Thank you for their faithful and willing hearts!"

aakoenig said...

Okay I have tried now 5 times to send you a message and I finally think I have this thing figured out. I don't know it was something with my password. I had tried blaming it on Flexiril, but it has been days since I took that. You could understand Jenny, why me taking flexiril might be a reason for the delay in writing you.

I could just sing and shout for joy over all the Lord has done for you in the very few days. He is truly somebody worth praising. PRAISE PRAISE PRAISE!!! I am so HAPPY that Katie has the same court date as her brother. What joy and peace that must fill your hearts. Also I can just see you greeting you two little ones again. That had to be amazing.

I remember Nahum 1:7, I shared it with you when you were Africa before, the chapter is filled with such turmoil and chaos and then right in the middle with verse 7, is God's amazing words of how trustworthy He is. May you continue to remeber this as you plug through each day.

As things go I had better finish those curtains sooner than later.
Love,
Ariel

Amy and Bethany's Ugandan Adventures! said...

YEAHHH!!!! So glad to hear this! I can just picture Christopher and katie in their clothes with the mama's all around. What an amazing time. Canada is praying for you guys!!!

Amy and Bethany's Ugandan Adventures! said...

p.s--

I hope you dont mind but i posted on our blog about you guys' and asked people to pray!

todd said...

Daddy's turn...I'm at somewhat of a loss for words, so I'll borrow some of Jaden's:

I'm so so so so so so so so happy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It sure is hard for me to work all day and be even a little bit productive. Concentration (which is somewhat of a necessity around sharp saw blades and nail guns) is in short supply right now while my mind wonders to Christopher's smiles and Katie's beautiful eyes, and of course my Jennifer's beaming smile- which I love.

I love you so so so so so so so so so so so MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Cloughamily said...

Jenny,

I think your friend Jenn and I should purchase stock in the Kleenex Company. I can't stop crying!!!!

....long pause....I can't type through the tears....

I am overcome with joy for how God is moving through your adoption process. Praise God for Katie's court date!!!! Yeah!!!!! It's all about what brings Him the most glory. Well, let the people rejoice because Father is soooooooo good! I can't wait to see pictures of you with your precious children. And I can't wait to hear the shouts of joy (all the way from MT to NE) when you bring them home to their Daddy, brothers, and sister.

Oh! Tears, tears, and more tears....give me a second...

This is such a beautiful journey you are on, and I am so thankful you are allowing all of us to come along for the ride. Thank you.

God bless you.

Love,
Erinn

PS It's amazing to think that years ago while you were figure skating, riding horses, and just being a kid in CA, God already knew what you would be doing on this day...in Uganda loving on your babies!!! You are blessed!

Jenny said...

In Jaden's words:

I miss you so much!
I can't belev all the meirecoleos that god did. I love you sosososo so so so soso sososo much!
do math
10-9=1 9x1=9 10000x10000=10000 1+2=3 4+5=9 10+10=20 100x100=10000 10x10=100
who will fix my mick it's right I rock I mean you rock

Carolyne said...

I am a friend of Deke and Erryn's. I have been reading your blog since Erryn started hers. I am so happy for you that you got to be with your babies!!! Praise God about the Bibles at the airport too! God is so good!

Carolyne Beers

monica said...

All praise & thanks to an AWESOME GOD!
In constant prayer for you all..
Love, Mom/Monica