March 30, 2003

here is the latest email from sydney

Well we had a big pow wow today with jayne and all of us. It is so frustrating to try to figure out who is doing what and who is lying and who is telling the truth. Jayne paid me for 2 of the visas and said that if there is enough she will try to pay for the other 2.we;'ll see.We are going into see MOLSA tomorrow and have been told that all our paper work is completed and correct so we will see what tomorrow brings.there is a slight chance although very slight that I will get out of here on Friday but I would think most likely be the next week..john I will try to book a flight for the 11th from here just as back up and I will let you know.We took the kids to a pool at the Sheraton today and they swam for about 2 hours.then we went to a Muslim restaurant with jayne, Stephanie perry and about 8 kids.sat on the floor with 3 young Muslim girls and had sappron rice with lamb and chicken.I had chicken.very spicey sauce with it.then a really good kind of broth soup. Cool to be able to go a muslim place and not feel concerned especially with all that's going on.I bought the 3 girls a traditional dress and would like to get Hadley, bailey, and Cecilia one but I will see if I have enough money.. I'lm looking for an outfit for Solomon too..but jayne keeps telling us that the culture is completely different and sometimes the kids don't even really know who their parents or siblings I don't know if we will every really know what their life was unless later on they can tell us.Please pray hard for me/us tomorrow as we go to MOLSA.I would so like to get through this as fast as possible and without any more uproars...i really think we all over reacted about what we had been hearing with out confirming it with much for gossip and talking amongst each other...i have tried to be calm and keep to myself but it is very difficult.Tell heather thank you for calling felt good to talk with her.I miss you all and truly wish I could be home on Saturday...keep praying for me and the kids...they have huge attitudes and are very pouty. If I look at them wrong they pout or if they don't get what they want they pout.jayne somehow lost avery's backpack and she was furious with me..thought I had told me that she and riley had to share one..i think I solved it though..well I want to get this till next time.
I love you so much and miss you.


March 29, 2003

i just was im-ing malcolm in sydney and was struck with the realization there is most likely someone on every continent praying for sydney, our new children and me and the 8 here. wow, now if thats not the church i dont know what is. this has been a crazy week. sydney has had a wild ride trying to navigate the fog that surrounds everything in ethiopia, who to trust who to stay away from.

Lord i pray you give sydney wisdom and insight as she works to bring our children home.

on the home front, friends have been bringing us dinner almost every night, and the kids have liked them all. i actually got some work done this week also. thanks to amy paul, she has been a great help and a real blessing, the little kids just adore her, thanks amy.

i have another interview tuesday, i pray that goes well. i also had a inquiry about pastoring a small multi-racial church in cincinnati and also have been mentioned to help be part of a vision team to plant a church in the community around the university of cincinnati. when i was talking with jason, wednesday he said dont worry about what the situation looks like, just try and figure out if its where God is leading you. i have stopped trying to ponder everything so much and just need to follow more. it sounds easy but its not.

another offer on our house fell through, failed the inspection again, dont understand why people think a 100 year old house is going to be perfect.

Lord, please open me to your lead and give the courage to follow.


March 28, 2003

talked to sydney again last night. she was much more confident and sounded strong and ready to go on. there is so much confusion as to who is helping and who is hindering. she is suppose to go to court monday but is hesitiant after so many other promises have not happened. she went out in addis ababa yesterday and was overwhelmed with her uniquiness, it seemd to unnerve her some, we had the same feeling in south africa but it went away quickly. thank you all for your prayers and support, sydney said she knows that many people are praying her through this journey. yet, this has been a real war, good vs. evil etc. what has been surpirsing is where each has been perceived to come from and where it is actually generating. sydney has many things she has said which she does not wants (or can't) to share until she gets the kids home. as i get more news i will post it here.


March 26, 2003

just got off the phone with sydney. things are moving very slowly it seems documents that were presented may not be authentic. sydney is confused as who to ask for help, she didnt go to mekele the plane was full, so she is getting ready to go a see tesfay again this am to find out what else she needs to have as far as papers to get a court date so the files can be approved. sydney needs prayer for courage and boldness as she continues to work to bring our kids home. she said kasanot (kasey) keeps asking when she is going home. solomon is also ready to go see his new home. kasey is speaking a little english already. the two older kids, milena and senait are more hesitant. i can't imagine the trauma these kids have been through. we don't have a clue how most the world lives here in paradise. anyway please pray for sydney and the kids and that they will break thru all this crap.


last email from sydney was filled with frustration. seems she and the other ladies with her are getting the run around by everyone involved. she had to go to mekele mekele is in the nothern part of the country near the eritriean border northeast of gondar, the city/area where the kids were from to try and gather more documents which the government ministry that handles adoption says she needs. the us embassy is even getting into the mess by requiring more review because of all the uproar that has been going on in ethiopia with adoption. sydney was very concerned that things are going to take longer, so she will probably be there for 3 weeks. pray that everything hindering her from these adoption is bound up and that a clear path is opened so she can bring our children home as soon as possible.


March 25, 2003

here is the first picture i got from sydney in ethiopia


March 24, 2003

live from baghdad its salam pax get a first account of the war from a guy who lives in baghdad


As I sat and listened to the video in our healing prayer class I was uneasy. She spoke about EE and the four spiritual laws as if anyone who hears any mention to such things will automatically see the light and follow Jesus on the spot. And the question, “if you died tonight…..” Something about that question sickens me. Not sure what it is but there is something there that assumes too much. I ran away from people who ask that question as fast as I could at one point in my life. Arrogance and contempt are a few of the things that come to my mind. From what I can interpret Jesus never ask a person to come to faith before he gave them whatever it was they were in need of love, healing or teaching. Last night when I went to bed four of my children were in my bed. Eventually a fifth awoke and needed attention. So I climbed into another bed from the one I was in alone. I laid there for a while listening to him breathing and thinking how essential relationship is to our expression of faith/following. What is it about the way I learned about evangelism that repulses me so much now? I don’t have an answer. Yet, as I watched my son sleeping I could not help but think the only reason he went to sleep was because he was next to me. I was touching him, reminding him of the relationship we have and through that intimacy he was comforted. I could have tried to tell him why he should stay in his own bed and why he and I needed to sleep through the night but without my relational expression of touch/comfort to him he would have not gone back to sleep. If a person comes to you for help and one of the first things we offer is a choice to follow Jesus are we really doing what God would want. Does our need to “save” them overpower and make ineffective our love toward them. I realize that salvation is important and that everyone should know about the choice but aren’t called to love everyone first and through that loving won’t they encounter the living God in a more powerful and tangible way than any testimony or programmed explanation of why they should be saved. Shouldn’t our lives be expressed in such a way that anyone who comes into relationship with us sees the light of Christ? Shouldn’t that light be part and parcel of who we are not some canned presentation that demands a response immediately? If I look at my own journey it was the people who took the time to love me first that truly opened up a path to Jesus for me. The ones who tried to convert me always seemed offensive and I ignored them. Yes the information they were sharing made sense but the reality was their attempts fell on deaf ears because I felt it was just about another convert than a loving sharing and open relationship. Maybe I am off on all this but something deep inside of me is screaming out that we need to stop making conversion an event and make it a part of an amazing journey toward a God who loves every person on this earth no matter how they understand who he is. Any thoughts out there?


March 23, 2003

shes there and with the kids amen! here is her first email to us

hey everyone of my special family,
i am here and kasey is awake and knew who i was when i asked her....she
knows some english and gave me BIG hugs...and smiles.
solomon is shorter than kasey with beautiful eyes....tiny too.
senait is very tall and jayne says is starting to bud so she may be closer
to 10 already... milena is beautiful and tall also.
i am overwhelmed! kasey is sittingnext to me and talking non stop.
the flight was long!!! but good i wasn't nervous and found some neat
people to talk to.
unbelievable to be here...i will be sleeping with stephanie perry and her
daughter and all ours in the room...very cozy.
well we go to court tomorrow so pray hard that things go well.
i love you all so much and will send pictures tomorrow if i can.


as i write this sydney is somewhere between rome and addis. before she left i told her she was my hero. she is doing something that she never imagined she could/would do. she hates to fly. she hates to leave her kids. the way i see it, it's a supernatural thing. she has been given the strength and desire to do this from something outside her. the way i see it it has to be the Spirit, what else would prompt and then enable a person to do things they would never otherwise do. for me to see her willing to travel half way around the world and bring four kids home is a miracle. people oaften comment that she must be an amazing person and she is. but the reason she is amazing is that God has made her so. without that spiritual power/connection sydney would be at home getting ready to have breakfast.

as i get info from her i will post it here. thanks to everyone who has prayed and supported us in this journey without you it would have been impossible, wow another work of the spirit a community of people working together for a common goal, thats church and i thanks my God that i have been able to watch it happen.

Lord give sydney boldness and confidence and bind up anything that would hinder her from bringing our children home.


March 17, 2003

its been a week of break thrus.

sydney is travelling to ethiopia saturday to collect our kids,

we got an offer on our house yesterday and accepted it, the contract on our new house ran out today, so we wrote and addendem to continue it.

i had one of my worst days in while yesterday, i was a real jerk, yelling and totally stressed out, went for a drive and had some very scary thoughts so i went home and got out of the car as soon as possible.

apoligized to my family and ask forgiveness and received it, kids are so open to the Spirit, how do we lose that willingness to follow?

i also had a job intreview and want the job so now i wait to see if they choose me.

my article "a cry in their wildrness" is now on next-wave, look forward to some feedback

LORD, thank you for this time of finishing and beginnings.


March 15, 2003

please read this article and the associated links its by tom sine and very thought provoking


March 12, 2003

the past week has brought a lot of chaos and some very cool happenings. sydney is going to ethiopia the 22nd for a least 2 weeks to do private adoptions for the kids. this is costing us more money than we had but GOD has provied a way through. two friends have offered to lend us the 6000 we needed to make this all happen, we get the money back through a program the state of ohio has but needed it now. sydney got a phone call from her mom who really was negative about this whole thing, ask questions about how we could know that this is suppose to be what we are doing, some people just wont see GOD's hand in this at all, for us its is without doubt. it is so cool to be part of GOD's doings and to receive the blessings from that love and journey. so pray for sydney and travel, that the adoptions and will go smoothly once she is there, and for me as i single parent and for our new children, senait, 9, milena, 6, solomon, 4 and kasanot, 4. there have been times that we almost gave up on this but know with the end in sight it seems like yesterday that we started, even though it was 15 months ago. praise GOD

had a cool time with tawd bell last night, i truly enjoyed our time together, great to get to know another journeyer.


March 05, 2003

we finally heard the kids didnt get through court so one of us, most likely sydney will be travelling to ethiopia to pick them up and bring them back. all these delays has caused to have to refile our ins forms and get an update to our home study and so on, added travel expenses. right now we dont have all the money we need and we had started to think it was not suppose to happen. then last night a friend stopped by to drop off a package, well in the package was a check for $500 and gift cards to kroger for $500. it was once again our GOD showing us the way we have chosen is the right one. yet we still more cash to make this work, we are suppose to get back about 6k from the state of ohio once the kids are home, but until then we are praying and waiting for it all to work out, this journey has been amazing so far and we know that we must see it through


March 02, 2003

just had an article put up on phuture let me know what you think