Yesterday, December 13, marked eleven years of marriage! I am truly a blessed man to have Sheila as my wife. A woman who loves me and helps me, is committed to loving and pouring herself into our children and who was willing to come to the other side of the world to bring an orphan into our family. I love Sheila and thank God for her.
"He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord." Proverbs 18:22
Eleven years ago we could not have imagined where God would lead us, but we also did not know what a growing, stretching, sanctifying experience marriage is...or four children....or adopting a teenager. We are thankful to God for the ways he is weaning us off of this world and preparing us for glory. It is quite painful at times but we trust that his way is better than ours and we trustingly look to him for each step of our journey together.
God has blessed Karina with a woman that loves her...God has blessed Karina with a mother that is ready to give of herself to care for this girl that has never known the love of a mother that desires to put the needs of others above her own needs...the love of a mother that loves Jesus more than she loves her husband or children...the love of a mother that seeks to love as I Corinthians 13 describes love: patient, kind, not envious, boastful, arrogant or rude, love that does not insist on its own way; is not irritable or resentful; does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love that bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love that never ends...
Karina knows that Sheila loves her...and Karina loves Sheila. When we are together Karina watches all of Sheila's moves and loves to rest on Sheila's shoulder.
When Sheila says, "I love you", Karina says, "I know."
"I knew you would come for me."
God is using Karina to teach us many lessons. We are not able to see her for three days and we told her that we would miss her and that was a long time to be away from her.
She replied, "I will miss you but that is not a long time. I will see you soon."
When she left in August to return to the orphanage she told us that we would be together soon. When she sent us a letter this Fall she wrote that she would see us in Ukraine soon.
Now that we are here she tells us that she will be home soon.
She is right...after waiting seven years, this is soon. She is concerned about her friends that do not have families coming. She prays that all of her friends can one day say "soon"...
Today, Sunday, we were able to worship at the Evangelical Reformed Presbyterian Church of Odessa, Ukraine. It was good to worship our beloved Savior with these Christians and we even knew two of the songs! Tonight we met for an English worship service at one of the missionary homes. What a joy to worship with these missionaries in our own language!