What a joy it was to be at your church last week and then to come over to your house and visit. Thank you for being so sweet and kind to us and especially to Karina. Thank you for the booklet, the pictures, the crafts, the welcome sign, the flowers, the food and the fun. Thank you for welcoming our whole family and for showing love toward Karina. God has blessed you with a great gift of hospitality and making people feel welcome and comfortable. May God continue to use you to reach out to people and minister to them.
You ministered to Karina by showing so much interest in her life. After spending the day with your parents, we know where your gift comes from. Thank you, Aly (and the rest of the family), for being so warm toward us on our short visit to Alabama. May God bless you.
Traveling in the van - Storey Grace in her spy glasses.
Karina has been a real trooper. In the two and a half months that we have been home, she has traveled with us to nine different churches to share our mission and give the vision to others for our work with Christian Missionary Society, Peru Mission and Orphan Ministry in both Peru and Ukraine.
Karina has met many people that have been praying for her - how encouraging it has been for us to hear that so many people care about her and have lifted her up in prayer.
It is also interesting to see the different responses churches have toward "missionaries" coming to speak... one day I may blog about those responses.
God used nine year old Aly... a girl that we met when we spoke at a church in Alabama... to teach me a few things about hospitality. She was so thoughtful and caring and loving and open and encouraging to us (her parents were the same way) that it really made me examine the way I treat others... especially those I have never met.
Thanks, Aly, for helping me understand, a little better, how God wants us to reach out to others.
We had a great time in AL and stayed with a wonderful family... thanks Scott and Jan!! Thanks for sheltering us and feeding us and talking with us and loving us and hiking with us! You are such a blessing to us. Nathan - thanks for the delicious breakfasts!
Karina went on her first hiking trip in the States. We hiked for about four miles, climbed over,
under, around and in rocks, forded a river, climbed in small caves, stood under behind and above waterfalls and learned about a few plants...
including poison ivy. After learning about poison ivy Karina wanted to know if she was allergic to it so she proceeded to wipe the back of her right hand all in poison ivy... she just had to know... and a week later... nothing. She told me, "Daddy, I not allergic! I so glad."
Me too, Karina.
Isaac, on the other hand, is very allergic. He stayed as far away as he could from any visible poison ivy... and still got it. He asked me why God made poison ivy.
We are grateful for these times as a family that we are able to travel together, spend time with other believers and share with them the ministry God allows us to be involved with. God has led us to places spiritually that we never imagined going. He is molding us and stretching us and teaching us. He is weaning us off of this world and preparing us for the one to come... at times it is scary... but it is also very exciting.
We are learning a lot. Karina is learning a lot. She is becoming more concerned with other orphans... it saddens her to think of those still in the orphanage that she came from... those that do not have parents coming for them... she prays for them... she asks others to pray for them... she thinks of them often... she sees what she has been given... and what they are without... and over the past several weeks, through all the churches we have visited, she has seen thousands of Christians... and the questions are brought up... these Christians... God adopted them... will they do the same for others....?