Thursday, April 23, 2009

Dear Aly

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....?


  1. Ooh, I love that photo of the waterfall. Looks like you had a great time and I'm so glad Karina didn't get a poison ivy rash after that!

    I'm concerned though. From what I've heard over the years, the first exposure does not cause the rash and is called a sensitizing exposure. Future encounters with the plant can then cause the subsequent rash. I looked up some poison ivy facts but did not initially confirm my knowledge.

    You can find general information from this page:
    (there are pictures on other areas of the site that are quite graphic but this page does not have any)

    One thing it said was:
    "Some people appear to be immune, others become immune. HOWEVER, you can gain or lose immunity, so to assume you can't get it if you never have before is foolish. People change as they age. I would never assume that I was immune at any time no matter what my past experience was."

    All this just to say, use caution, 'cause you guys are great and I'd hate to have poison ivy spoil a good time.

  2. We had such a great time with all of you!! WE have been SO blessed by the way God has used you for His work and in our lives. It has challenged us, encouraged us, and it taught us SO much!! Thank you for being used by Him.

    I'm still in awe over how God brought our life paths together over 15 years ago and how He continues to work through the years and generations! What an encouragment to hear how God is working. (I Thess 5:11) May each of us continue to be used up for His glory!

    We love you all!!
    The Davis Family

  3. What a wonderful time we all had with your family. We were delighted to meet Karina face to face after praying for her and you through the adoption process.

    God is using you to teach us so much about what it means to be loved by Him and therefore to love others freely and without reservation. May He continue to use you powerfully as you follow Him wholeheartedly to Peru and wherever else He may call you.

    For His Glory,