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Remembering Uganda: Nothing Yet

August 22, 2013

We are telling our adoption story by posting a series of emails that were sent while we were in Uganda in July & August of 2012. If you have made your way here because you are thinking about adopting from Uganda or are in the process, please know that the process is very different now than it was in 2012.

Sent August 22, 2012

I just wanted everyone to know that we didn’t receive a reply from Nairobi today. “M” didn’t receive a reply to her email, either. We were expecting this, as “M” told us it usually takes a couple days for them to reply to emails. So, just in case you were wondering, there it is. We are waiting for a response. We promise to let you know as soon as we get one. In the mean time, please continue to pray for the individuals who received ours and “M’s” emails and are considering our case, that God will move their hearts toward us and give them eyes to see that our case doesn’t belong in Nairobi.

We had a good day, just hanging out at the hotel after a few days in a row of a lot of activity and tasks, getting our case ready to send to Nairobi. It as a nice change of pace. We will probably do more of the same tomorrow. Continue to pray for our little ones, especially Eliza and Jude. The care packages we received were a huge boost to their morales (THANK YOU!!!), and yet they continue to ask to go home. And we desperately want to take them there. Please pray. We can feel our longing to go home is turning into discontentment with being here. Longing and discontentment- it’s really a fine line, isn’t it? We can tell when we cross from longing into discontentment because we begin to sin against each other and against our kids. Things that should be overlooked or corrected gently are responded to with frustration and annoyance. We know our weariness and longing creates a weakness in us, and so we just need prayer that when we are weak, we will be strong, because God’s grace is sufficient. (2 Cor 12)

Here is another installment from my “What I’m Thankful For” list. This installment is more abstract, less about people, places and things and more about the gospel and Truth.

The cross: so many aspects of the cross have comforted us all along on our adoption journey in general and during our time in Uganda specifically. I am just going to list a few of the ways meditating on the cross of Christ have provided strength and comfort to us:
-the cross reminds us what our biggest problem truly is. With all the cares of this fallen, broken world in general, and the cares of this adoption journey specifically, it’s easy to get distracted and bogged down with all the problems we face. The cross reminds us that our children’s visas getting denied is not our biggest problem. Being stuck in Africa and unable to bring our children home is not our biggest problem. Even missing my brother’s wedding, while heartbreaking, is NOT our biggest problem. Our biggest problem is that we are sinners, that we are unable to save ourselves and that our sins condemn us to death. Indeed, our “heart[s] are deceitful and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17); “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Rom 3), and “the wages of sin is death” (Rom 6). There. Sin = Death. That’s our biggest problem. BY FAR. The reason the cross provides comfort for this is because as soon as it reminds us what our biggest problem is, it also reminds us that our biggest problem has been solved. Jesus, the perfect, righteous, holy Son of God, took our sin upon Himself and paid the penalty for it. He died because of our sin. He died so we don’t have to. We have placed our faith in Jesus to save us from our sins, recognizing He is our only hope for salvation, and He has done it. He has saved us. Our biggest problem has been solved. And not because of anything we did to deserve it, not because of any good works we have done, only because God is merciful and gracious and loving. If God solved our biggest problem before we even asked Him to or wanted Him to, how can we doubt He will do the same for all of our smaller problems?
-the cross reminds us how far God will go to be good to us. God sent His Son, whom He loved, in whom He was “well-pleased,” (Matt 3) to die a horrible death. For us. Sinful, wretched sinners who were his enemies (Rom 5). “He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all, will He not also give us all things?” Truly, nothing, not life or death or angels or demons [or having our children’s visas denied] can separate us from His love (Rom 8). The cross is our assurance of that.
-the cross reminds us that God is truly able to use all things, even evil/sinful/wicked things, even horrible suffering, for our good and His glory. He proved that at the cross. The cross was the most horrific evil and injustice, the worst suffering ever, and yet God used it to bring salvation to the world. If God can redeem the suffering and evil that happened at the cross for our good and His glory, He can certainly redeem the suffering we are going through now. No doubt.

The empty tomb: the sacrifice and love that happened at the cross is truly amazing, but without the empty tomb, it wouldn’t bring us any hope or comfort. Indeed, if Jesus is not raised, we are to be pitied more than any other (1 Cor 15).
-the empty tomb reminds us that suffering and death is not the end of the story. After pain comes healing. After darkness comes light. After grief comes laughter. After suffering comes joy. After death comes LIFE. Redemption. Restoration. This the the way of the gospel. Blind eyes see. Deaf ears hear. Lame legs walk. People dead in their sins come to life in Jesus. The empty tomb reminds us that the hardship we are dealing with now is not the end of the story. That “the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing to the glory that is to be revealed to us.” (Rom 8)
-the empty tomb reminds us how powerful our God is. Satan, sin, death: none of these are a match for our God. “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Rom 8). No one. Nothing. Period.

These are just a couple of truths that have truly sustained us here, and they are powerful to bring hope in the midst of pain. We are so thankful.

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