Thursday, October 29, 2009

When Will I Have a Momma?

One of our missionaries that works with orphans sent the following edited message recently:

"A few days ago I was at the orphanage  and a little boy came running to give me a hug.  He wrapped his arms around my legs and looked up at me with his big brown eyes.  He wrinkled his eyebrows, showing a question in his eyes, and then he asked “When will I have a mama?  In the winter or in the spring?”  My heart was torn into pieces and I had no idea what to say.  Then he went on:  “ My friend was found.  When will someone find me?”    
What can I say to a small child whose deepest desire is to be found and wanted by a family?
I am no longer allowed to help with any communication between America and the kids in orphanage.  What can I say to K who asks me if he can write letters to his best friend who was adopted?    What can I say to V who doesn’t really have any friends in the orphanage, and almost cried when I told her she couldn’t write to Val anymore?  With a serious face, V told me,” It is such a tragedy to lose my best friend.”

What do I say when three orphanage graduate girls are sitting in my living room explaining to me that in the dorm there is one shower room for almost 1000 boys and girls living in the five story dormitory?   How do I respond when we are talking about being patient and waiting for God, and  they say they don’t expect anything from God anymore?
Sometimes it feels like the only response I can manage as I listen to these beautiful children in their desperate situations is tears.    How hard it is to know that these children don’t even have anyone to cry for them.  
 The following poem was written by Antwone Fisher, an orphan boy who grew up in the foster care system in the US.  His questions apply to orphans everywhere:
Who will cry for the little boy lost and all alone?
Who will cry for the little boy abandoned without his own?
Who will cry for the little boy who cries himself to sleep?
Who will cry for the little boy who never had for keeps?
Who will cry for the little boy who walked through burning sand?
Who will cry for the little boy, the boy inside the man?
Who will cry for the little boy who knew well hurt and pain?
Who will cry for the little boy who died and died again?
Who will cry for the little boy, a good boy he tried to be?
Who will cry for the little boy who cries inside of me?
-Antwone Fisher
Who should cry for the little boys and girls who are orphaned and alone in this world?    The answer is  both simple and complicated.  Who should care for orphans?  The church.  We are the church.  Is caring for orphans easy or pain free?  Not usually.

“As long as there is a church on planet earth, she (an orphan child) is not destitute.  If there is a church in the world named after Jesus Christ no orphan should be destitute.  Care for that child.  Do what you have to do to get there.”  -John Piper
Today I want to challenge you not only to be willing to cry for these children, but to intentionally and prayerfully consider if adoption might be something God has for your family.  Even if you have never thought about it before, if you are married and between the ages of 25-60, would you please ask God if there might be a child on the other side of the world waiting to call you mom or dad?  Maybe each time when you read about the plight of orphans you feel a tug deep inside you, maybe you are or soon will be an empty-nester with room in your heart and home for more children, or maybe you have watched others adopt and said to yourself “I could never do that”.  No matter where you are in life, would you please pray and consider adoption?  If you are not in a position to adopt a child,  please pray and consider ways you could assist a family who wants to adopt.
I will be praying for you too, that God would make His will clear to you whatever that may be.  Thank you for your prayers for the orphans of Ukraine and for me.  I really appreciate all of the encouraging emails and prayers as things remain difficult.
Waiting with you for God’s answer to our prayers..."

I join with our missionary...
Karina, once an orphan, joins with this missionary to ask you to consider what God would have you do for the orphans...
Will you adopt?  My family would love to help you.
Can you financially support a family that is adopting?  Our mission agency, Christian Missionary Society, can help you with that.
Will you pray for the orphans?  I can give you names, pictures and prayer requests.
Are you interested in coming with us to see these children?  I will be with them soon.  Join me.
Are you able to support the Nasekos family or our other missionaries working with orphans?  We can only continue by your support.  

Contact me if you want to take that next step toward caring for the children that ask, "When will I have a momma?"

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Sitting in the Window

God blessed us, while in Ukraine, with other American families that were in the same city adopting at the same time.  One of them recently left this comment for us and I wanted to share it with you as a reminder that the children are waiting for a mom and dad...
sitting in the window...

"I'll never forget the day I came late to visit, after dark, and saw Karina's friend Sasha sitting alone at this very window in the dark. Literally dark. There were no lights on. You know how it is near the front door. It was the day after Karina left. I felt so sorry for her. Time heals hurts and I think she is doing OK now. But we know that time is running out for the older kids to be adopted."

Friday, October 16, 2009

"The Orphans Never Have a Day Like This"

Karina weeped on my shoulder tonight...
not because someone had hurt her...
"this is so much fun"...
not because she had a bad day...
"It was one of the best day's of my life"...
she was weeping because she was thinking of the children she grew up with... the orphans that do not have a mom or dad... the orphans that are sitting in orphanages all around the world crying out "why doesn't anyone want me?"

A friend stopped by the house today and handed me a large stack of tickets for rides at the Mississippi State Fair.  He said, "I want you to have these... go have some fun with the family."
So this afternoon all of us piled in the van and went to the fair.
It was Karina's first time to the fair... any fair.

Now the rest of our kids have been to the fair but today was different.  It was different because, in the past, a typical fair day for us looks like this:
go during lunch so parking and entrance is free... don't ride any rides... instead go to the free petting zoo and look at all the animals... walk around... leave the fair.
Before the fair started this year one of our kids asked, "Dad, can we actually ride a ride this year instead of just doing the free stuff?"
I told him, "We'll see."

Well our friend, Sam, changed that today.  Thanks for the tickets, Sam!
With a large stack of tickets the kids were able to ride many rides... all of them had a blast... Storey Grace, Noah, Isaac, Harrison and Karina.

We spent a while in the kiddie section and then Karina wanted to go ride the big rides.  We all rode the ferris wheel together and ate caramel apples.  Isaac saw a booth where someone tries to guess your weight and he wanted to try it... the guess was wrong and he got a giant sword... Harrison tried and won a sword... Noah tried it and won a dolphin... even Storey Grace tried it and won a puppy.... Karina said she did not want anyone trying to guess her weight.

We spent hours enjoying each others company, talking with people and riding the rides.
All the kids faces were lit up with excitement.... Karina's expression had something else in it...
she talked about it when we were home:
"This day was so wonderful.  I was with my family all day.  We were together having fun.  Today I did things that I have never done... and I did them with my family.  Orphans never have days like this.  Daddy, my friends in Ukraine have never known a day like this.  Will they ever know a day like this?  Today was the best day... I am so happy and so sad..."
She weeped for the children around the world that are sitting in orphanages...
she weeped for the children who never spend a day with their mommy and daddy...
she weeped for the children that have never been to the fair, holding their sisters hand, eating a candy apple, riding the ferris wheel...
she weeped for her friends who, instead of a day like Karina had, are beaten, abused, forgotten, scared, wondering if anyone will ever come for them, sleeping on the streets, hiding in the sewers...

she weeped for her classmates that, one by one, on Karina's last day at the orphanage said, "Karina, do not forget me!  Tell people I am here!  Please find me a mommy and a daddy!  Tell them I am real!  Tell them I will be good!  Tell me I want them... and ask if they want me... I will be waiting for them... I will be watching out the bar covered window to see if they are coming to get me."

The orphans do look out the window.  We see their eyes peering out every time we visit.
They are waiting for you to come get them...
And to give an orphan a day like they have never had.

Mission Newsletter Page 1

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

"My Daddy is Going to Die Tonight"

Last night Karina translated as three Russian speaking pastors explained the gospel to people at a nearby hospital.  When she returned she was full of excitement as she described what happened.
The good news of Jesus Christ was shared with many people in many different situations and all of them except one responded to Karina and the pastors.  The one that did not want to talk told Karina that he was a pastor.  She said he was a sharp dressed man who claimed to be a pastor but when she began asking him questions he told her that he was fine and did not need Jesus.  His good works were enough... they were all that was needed in this life and the next.  Karina said he walked off irritated and she was sad for him... and for those he pastors.
Several people were eager to hear the gospel and many made professions of faith and displayed a desire to serve Christ.
Then Karina said that one child looked at her and said, "My daddy is going to die tonight."
Karina knows what it is like to be without a daddy.  She prayed with the child and prayed for the daddy... that he knows Jesus and will be in heaven tonight.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A Few Published Articles

Over the last several months, some of our mission work and the story of Karina's adoption have been published in magazines and newspapers.  To see two of these stories, please copy the links below and paste in your browser.

Mission Camp in Peru - found starting on page 12 of Leadership & Ministry, a publication of Reformed Theological Seminary:

Adoption Story:
From the Tartan, a publication of Belhaven College:

Other magazines including the current copy of Parents & Kids and the July issue of Metro Christian Family have the story of Karina's adoption.  We thank Erin Ulerich for her writing and desire to spread the word about children that need a family.
Our prayer through this is that many people will reach out to orphans in their distress.

God's Amazing Grace

Please keep Karina in your prayers this week as she is getting an incredible experience while serving in an amazing way.  Three Russian speaking pastors from Eastern Europe flew into Jackson yesterday but their translators were not able to get visas to come.  They are here for evangelism training and to attend a conference designed to strengthen churches through developing godly servant/leaders.
A friend of ours asked if Karina would be interested in being the translator.  She willingly took on this great task.
God continues to amaze us by his plan...
This time last year Karina was in an orphanage on the other side of the world and sent us a note telling us that the "hot water was just turned on since it is getting really cold" and asking if we could send her some soap...
This week she is serving as an English/Russian translator for pastors desiring to strengthen and grow the kingdom of God in their own lands.
The story of God's amazing grace continues on....

Monday, October 12, 2009

It's A Boy!

God has blessed us with another boy!  Sheila's checkups continue to go well and she has had no further blood clotting.  As far as we can tell, the baby is doing just fine.  Last week we took everyone to see the sonogram and all the kids were so excited to see their baby brother on the screen.  The nurse was great as she explained to all the children what everything was - what a great science lesson the kids had... they measured their brother's brain, heart, kidney... they were able to hear the heartbeat and learn all about babies in the womb.  It was a great witness to life.

Monday, October 5, 2009

General Update

Our latest mission update newsletter will be going out this week.  If you would like to be added to our mailing list, please send an email to

Sheila and the baby are doing well... we have a sonogram scheduled for tomorrow and we pray that all is OK with the baby.  At the end of this month we will need another supply of Sheila's medication.  Please join in prayer with us that God would supply this medication.

Karina has now been home over eight months and she is doing great.  The above picture is of her in Peru with a former orphan from China that was adopted by a missionary family in Peru.  School is going well, she is involved with the choir and she is enjoying the youth program at church.  Next week she will have the opportunity to serve as a translator for some pastors and evangelists.  We are excited about this opportunity she has to use her Russian and English for the church.

We have trips planned to Peru and Ukraine this Fall and Winter.  The children and orphans in Peru are excited about summer camp coming up for them in January and we are working on plans for a camp in Ukraine at the request of a church in Odessa.

We have two missionaries in Ukraine ministering to orphans - please pray for them and this orphan ministry.  Next month this orphan ministry will expand into western Ukraine.
Anyone interested in a vision trip to Peru or Ukraine, just let me know.

As a recruiter for Christian Missionary Society, I can tell you that there is plenty of work to be done... "the harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few."  Luke 10:2
We need your prayers and financial support... but we also need people to join us in proclaiming the gospel and reaching out in mercy!

A Tattoo Artist, a Prostitute, a Man without a Job, a Pit Bull and Time with Harrison

Ten of the last twelve years we lived way out in the country... and enjoyed it.  We now live in the heart of the city... and absolutely love it.  What do we love about the city?  There is an endless flow of people... an endless flow of people like us:  sinners in need of God's grace.  What a joy it is to continually come across people to minister to, share the gospel with, reach out to in mercy, encourage, help, learn from, disciple and be a neighbor to.  Our children are great accountability partners... 
"Daddy, does that person know Jesus?"
"Are you going to share the gospel with the people that live at that house?"
"Can we go help that lady?"
"Can we invite them over to our house?"
During the first week a man came over to hook up the phone and internet and our kids immediately wanted to help him and watch him... this house is an older house and did not have modern phone jacks... instead the phone jacks were four pronged squares... so he had to rewire a few rooms... plenty of time to talk about him and what was going on in his life... the good news of how God has provided his sinless Son, Jesus, to take our sins upon himself and transfer his righteousness to us so that, if we believe in him, we will have eternal life... we will be changed so that we can turn away from our sins and obey God... this new life brings a joy that we will never know apart from Christ... invited the man to join us at church...
His response was, "You know, I have seen a lot when I go to houses to work... people fighting and yelling... throwing things... it is good to be here and talk to you.  Thanks for inviting me to church.  I need to come... I need to bring my kids.  Thanks."
I have not seen him yet but I pray that God would draw him to himself.

My work with Twin Lakes has come to an end and last month I attended my first board meeting with Christian Missionary Society.  Each time I travel, I take one of the children in order to spend time with that child and hopefully grow closer to one another and God as we learn what God has to teach us both during the journey.  Harrison came with me to Georgia and we had to travel through Atlanta... little did I know what God had in store for us... we were traveling on the day after the Chattahoochee River overflowed and killed people, flooded homes and businesses and washed out roads and bridges.  Even Interstate 20 was closed for several miles.  Harrison and I were ushered into detour traffic where we spent six hours in a traffic jam before coming out near the Atlanta airport.  Yes, at the beginning of this traffic jam we were a little irritated at being stuck... until we remembered how blessed we were... while the flood was all around us, we were dry, our home was not under water... we were alive... and there were thousands of people around us in need of help.
We began looking around us and realized that we had an incredible opportunity to serve people... as cars began overheating... breaking down... running out of gas... people getting too hot... there was an elderly couple whose car stopped in the middle of the road and one after another cars just went around them.  Harrison and I stopped to find two exhausted people in an old car with no air conditioner... after a few minutes their car was up and going and they pulled off at the next place they could to rest.  We decided to help every single person on the side of the road... we were not getting anywhere fast - the detour we were on had to be detoured because another bridge washed away.  Whatever the need was, we tried to meet it - usually it was a ride to the next gas station or help with their car.  We met several people including a homeless man, a prostitute, a tattoo artist, a man looking for a job... we even gave a pit bull a ride (with his owner - Harrison was very excited about having the pit bull in the car... after he realized the dog was not going to bite his head off).  With a captive audience, we had some good conversations which always led to talking about God's grace through Jesus... the way, the truth and the life.  We pray that God would save them all.

Harrison and I had a great time together and it was very encouraging to make plans for our mission work.  I thank God for the opportunity in Atlanta to serve and I pray that God would use that trip to encourage Harrison to tell people about Jesus every chance he gets... every day that we have been given, may we use it for God's glory.
"You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.  And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.  You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise."  Deuteronomy 6:5-7
...and when you are on the way to a meeting... and when you are driving down the road... and when you are stuck in traffic...