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Coach Mom Newsletter - Nov  2012

A Call for the Orphans

Oh no, the prophet speaketh! Many-a-time in our family’s life our son Micah has shared hard-to-hear words — the kind that pierce you to the heart. The ones that you know are true…and you must do something about.

But never had I heard words from him that required this much change! “We need to adopt an orphan,” said ten-year-old Micah. We had just walked out of the “Orphan Sunday” church service, focused on the plight of orphans and the Christians’ call to care for them.

I assured Micah if God showed us adoption is the way he wanted us to care for orphans, we most definitely would. (I was pretty sure God knew we already had our hands full with five children. Surely sending financial support would be enough.)

That day we accepted the challenge to pray every day for thirty days about what God would have us do about the orphan crisis.

It seemed adoption starting coming up everywhere we turned. But even as we prayed, I continued to list why adoption might not be for our family. (Being more honest, I might say I was listing reasons adoption might not be doable for me.) One day I heard God whisper to my heart, Brenna, it’s not about you; it’s about rescuing orphans.

Chris attended a ministry conference and came home saying he felt God was calling us to adopt a boy and a girl. What??? We went from “Does God want us to adopt?” to “Let’s adopt TWO children”?

About a month later I had my pivotal moment. As Micah’s elementary school choir filed in to sing, they were a variety of races and socioeconomic levels. With every word the choir sang, I heard an orphan singing directly to me these words:

I know you see and hear my cries.

Will you stay at my bedside until I fall asleep?

Will you care for me forever and comfort me when I weep?

Will you light my dark world with love so that I might live a life of hope, faith and joy?

Tears came like a flood as my heart filled with God’s compassion and love for his poor and needy orphans. The song haunted me all afternoon.

That day Micah came in from school and I said, “Now I know. God is calling us to adopt.”

It wasn’t until a month later that I noticed the name of the song — “For Now, I Know.”

That was more than a year ago. After completing every form known to man and gathering information on everything from any connection we’ve ever had with any business or organization in the last twenty years to my siblings’ height and weight (really?) we have finally completed all necessary adoption steps stateside. It is hard to describe the happiness I felt when I walked out of the FedEx office, knowing all the notarized documents were on their way to U.S. Immigration Services – months of work done.

Just a few weeks ago I had the joy of going to Sierra Leone and meeting the seven-year-old girl and nine-year-old boy we are pursuing for adoption. They live in the same orphanage and, though not siblings, they are two peas in a pod. (Chris and our fourteen-year-old son Caleb met them while on a mission trip to Africa in June.) Since we cannot tell the children about the adoption until all legal approvals are made, to them I was just another person there on a mission trip.

As I led the orphans through drawing classes on the first day, I tried my best to not show any favoritism toward John and Mariama. But even seeing them round the corner in their school uniforms took my breath away. These are the children for whom we have daily prayed for the past three months

Early that evening as the orphans walked us back to where we were staying, I felt hands slip into mine. I looked down to see John on one side and Mariama on the other. Oh, Lord! How can I contain myself? As we walked down the dirt road with the group of excited children I thought my heart might burst with love and joy.

I realized that as the Lord is enlarging my tent He is also enlarging my heart. (Yes, my selfish “me, me, me” heart.) What I viewed as a sacrifice for the cause of Christ is actually going to come back to bless me.

Though adopting from this country is known to be a difficult process, I know that “He who began a good work in us will be faithful to complete it.” I now pray for patience and perseverance, that God’s will would prevail in every detail of this adoption.

Micah and I have a question for you. Would you be willing to consider praying for 30 consecutive days what God would have you do about the orphan crisis? I dare you.

"Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide,

do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes.” Isaiah 54:2(NIV)

(and in another version…)

"Enlarge your house; build an addition. Spread out your home, and spare no expense!” Isaiah 54:2(NLT)

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Breadmaker Giveaway!

Comment on one of Brenna’s blog posts at www.brennastull.com/blog for the chance to win a like-new Oster breadmaker (Local Pick Up Only). Your family could enjoy this delicious bread, one of the Stull favorites: http://www.brennastull.com/blog/easy-cinnamon-raisin-bread/

Comment soon! The drawing will be held Friday, November 9.

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Brenna's Blog

Two opportunities to see/read about Brenna's trip to Sierra Leone:

Sierra Leone, Brenna, and braids…Read More

Brenna’s Sierra Leone trip summed up in 13 photos