It has been a couple of weeks since my last post because my life has been absolutely overwhelming!!! We started back at school which has brought a lot of new items to my daily to do list. But the most exciting thing has been the result of the Lord's new work and opening doors to OUR NEW ADVENTURE!!!
I have been overwhelmed this summer with adjusting to my new life of having 5 small children, being alone for several weeks with them and dealing with my heartache for the Forgotten Boys of Kolfe. My new son Solomon has been emailing me a lot and I have just been crying out to God for wisdom. I am asking HIM why this young man is in my life?? What am I supposed to do to help him?? Please show me why you brought him in to my life and what I am supposed to do? Just be a pen pal Mom? Just be a prayer warrior? Again, I felt HIM prompting me to go to HIS WORD. HE took me right to the story of the good Samaritan. After reading it with the boys, it was that small voice again speaking to me, "I did not send you to Kolfe to be a passer by. I have something for you to do, just trust me!" It was another one of those situations where I honestly felt like the Lord was speaking directly to me!
As I have mentioned earlier, I believe I am supposed to look into the Foreign Exchange Student program for Solomon & Habtamu, but I know absolutely nothing about it. Several people have sent me some information and I have been putting out some emails requesting more. I got some info back with a list of names to contact about the program. There was one name in particular that was listed for Ethiopian students but I didn't have time to do anything with it as I had to pack for my weekend getaway to Asheville, NC, to attend the SCC concert and to meet up with Ellie and the girls that went to China with her.
So while Melissa and I were driving to Asheville, we had been driving for several hours and I was sharing about Solomon and my overwhelming feeling that I am to find out about this ES program etc. Suddenly, her cell phone rang and it was a client that she is doing photography work for. While she was talking, that small voice spoke to me again, "Take the phone and talk to that man, he can help you with Solomon & the Kolfe boys!" It was very strange and I of course thought it was crazy! As I sat there listening to this voice, I almost ignored it but thought, I better do what I'm told. So, I motioned to Melissa that I would like to talk to her client. She looked at me a little strange and then told him I would like to talk w/him. As she handed me the phone, I asked her what his name was. I took the phone, "Hello Justin, I was wondering if you could tell me what you do? I know my daughter is doing photos for a directory you are putting together of various ministries in the Raleigh area but what exactly do you do?" He proceeded to tell me that he networks the prosperous people with finding ways to help the poor. I then proceeded to share about our adoption and how the Lord took us to the Kolfe boys orphanage and that now HE was prompting me to look into the FES program to bring them here. He was quiet for a minute and then told me a client of his had just called him 2 hours ago and asked him to help find a host family for a young man he is bringing to Raleigh from Ethiopia as a Foreign Exchange Student. I got goosebumps all over me, got a bit choked up and said, "Justin, the Lord told me to take the phone from my daughter and talk to you because you can help me with Solomon. Do you see God here??" He said, "Yes I do! I guess I am supposed to introduce you to my client. I am emailing him as we speak and I will get on the phone when we hang up and see if I can set up a meeting with the both of you. I will be in touch with you asap."
Well, the meeting took place about a week later. On the way to Justin's office I said to Jerry, "We are going to this meeting with these guys we have never met and I really don't know what is going to happen. I wonder what this is all about??"
When Mr. Lyston Peebles arrived, he greeted us with a warm hug and smile and said, "OK Justin, so what is this meeting about and why am I here?" We all felt the same way, we were sitting at this table as strangers and had no idea why???? I began to tell him about our adoption journey to Ethiopia and the day my life took a turn into a new world at the Kolfe Boys Orphanage. I shared this story of how the Lord took us there and told me to put my hand on each boys head and give him a Mama's hug while telling them the Lord knows how many hairs are on each of their heads and he has a plan to give them a future and a hope. To prosper them and not to harm them. Kolfe is not all He has for them. I told them Jesus loves them and that He wants them to trust Him with their lives. Mr. Peebles broke down in tears as he listened. When I told him that the Lord had prompted me to look into the FES program and to take the phone from my daughters hand because the man on the other end could help me, he wiped his eyes, perked up closer to the table and said,"OK, NOW I KNOW WHY I WE ARE HERE! He proceeded to hand me a piece of paper and give me names, emails, tele numbers and information of people to contact. He said, "We have both been given the same Kool-Aid by the Lord and we are in this together." Mr.Peebles works for Cherokee Gives Back Foundation which is working in Ethiopia to help the orphans and poor. They have just built two hospitals in Addis Ababa and he actually owns a house there. He has told us we can stay at his house, in fact, he thinks I need to go visit Solomon & Habtamu very soon and will be helping with the arrangements. He is currently bringing over students to study in the US and is going to help us see if Solomon & Habtamu can get in the program. DO YOU SEE GOD HERE????
I have been meeting with several of his people, communicating with staff in Ethiopia and they have gone to visit Kolfe and my boys already. They are going to do everything they can to see if the boys qualify for the program. But, Lyston told me it is going to take a miracle!! It is very, very difficult to qualify. They have to be very gifted academically and the fact that they are orphans makes it even more difficult. I told him I honestly don't know if this will happen for them and that I am only stepping out in faith. I am only responding to the Lord's prompting and so far, HE has been performing one miracle after another in our lives. Look at how we wound up at this table together!!! So, he agreed to do what he can and I agreed to accept what ever the Lord is doing. This is not about me, it is all HIM!! Isn't it amazing that this organization is right here in Raleigh and they are working with Ethiopia and bringing exchange students over??? Oh, and the other day I looked at that email with a list of names to contact in the program. To my surprise, the Cherokee Fund and Lyston Peebles were on that list that I never did anything with!
We also just received a very generous monetary gift for Solomon from a family in Texas, that has been following our testimony on this blog. The Lord is bringing HIS saints into this journey and we are absolutely humbled and amazed at everything that is happening. We are setting up an account with this gift and praying that this is for the soon to be expenses to get him here. The timing is very interesting.
Mr. Lyston Peebles is very much on the same journey to care for the orphans and he has a lot of connections. As we shared our testimony and mentioned names and events, he was astonished at how every person we named was a personal friend of his. He is on the board of Crown Financial Ministries and Howard Dayton is one of his best friends. Our testimony was aired on their November radio program and we met Howard at the Christian Alliance for the Orphan conference we attended in May. Ryan & Abby Brown lived in his house when they first arrived in ET as well! He is also going to hook us up with one of his dearest friends, Tom Davis, author of Fields of the Fatherless and Red Letters. He gave us a signed copy of this book at the meeting and told us we have to meet with him. They are both on their way to Russia this week for more orphan care.
So, all of this has been happening in addition to my already very busy life of a homeschooling mother of 6, and a grandma too! I honestly don't know where this is all going to lead, I am praying with everything in me that Solomon and Habtamu will get into this program as well as Getahun. My friend Shelly unofficially adopted him when she too visited Kolfe. This new adventure is being totally orchestrated by the LORD and we are waiting with great anticipation to see what will come next. Mr. Peebles told me he plans to bring several Ethiopian students throughout the USA and he is desperately looking for HOST FAMILIES!! So, would you please join us in prayer and see if this is something you can help with? I told him I would put the word out and try to help raise up Godly families that will take these students in. Please see HERE to get more information on this program and please contact me, or them directly if you are interested. And in the meantime, STAY TUNED AS WE EMBARK ON THIS NEW ADVENTURE AND WATCH THE LORD AT WORK!!!!