“it seems that God is always the most unpredictable factor.” - Maman Meieli

It’s always easier to tell the story when the happy ending arrives.
After you get the job, when the peace is restored, when your cancer free, but is the story worth telling whilst in the valley, while your wait, while its unclear? When you can’t see past your toes and prayers go unanswered.
Do you wait to tell? Or do you muster up your courage, brave peoples’ assumptions and share anyways?

I’ve come to the conclusion that if I burry these miracles deep in my mind then God doesn’t get the glory. So I want you to see his miracles. To not forget what the Lord has done.

Though our lives are much more complex than the few paragraphs below, this is a glimpse at how our story is unfolding.

We left for Africa in 2017 with hearts desperate to relearn the gospel, to expand our worldview and deepen our love for the ‘least of these’. And, before we left, we knew would come face to face with struggle and desperation, and reality of the orphan crisis. We knew it would be hard. But we didn’t realize how deeply it would impact our stories forever and the trajectory of our lives.

We planned on visiting the Congo for 3 months.
We planned on returning home, advocating for the orphans we’d met and then moving back to Tanzania in the new year. The ministry there was growing and we were excited to return.
We had a contract for 2 years.
The pieces seemed to be falling into perfect place.

But God shook up the snow globe.
Within the first few days in Congo, before we even really got to know the any of children, I was walking towards a little boy. This tiny child was sitting on the ground, quiet and very unresponsive.
Before I knelt to pick him up I heard the lord proclaim, “This is your son.”

I panicked. Practicalities and conclusions consumed my mind, I was anxious to seek advice.  I wanted to call my Mama. What would this mean, what would this look like? Is this even possible?

The Lord was teaching us to trust him first. No outside voices.
So we waited and spoke to him alone.
We fell to our knees and brought it before our heavenly father every night.
We asked him what exactly he wanted us to do.
We told him we were scared. We felt deep care for these children but we also we read about the DRC and the odds to adopt were near impossible.
We knew we were leaving in a few weeks. We didn’t know how any of this could work.  
But we prayed and fasted and waited upon the Lord.

In this time of waiting, quietly carrying this crazy idea in our hearts I was sitting with many children and rocking a little baby girl under the shade of a large palm tree.
Again he spoke, “Her too.”
I began to cry. Of course we wanted to love these little ones, but it felt unfair
We knew were leaving again.
We knew what the government declared.
We knew the agencies said it was impossible.

But. “He is able to do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine.”
We decided if the Lord was asking us to do this, he would hold our hearts and he would make a way.
He who calms the sea with his voice, who parts the waters at his command, who brings life into being. If he seriously asked us to do this, to become a family for these little ones, there would be nothing to stop him.

So we went back to our knees- two littles babes in our prayers.
Our hearts broke as we learned of the neglect and trauma they suffered.
The abandonment and malnutrition.
These children had known suffering that we have never imagined.
We had missed so many moments, so many months of their lives.

The little boy was desperate for security and love. His life was threatened at 3 months old. He was poisoned, alone at the hospital, abandoned, malnourished and without a mother. He suffered things before 2 that no one should ever have to. The little girl’s mother bled out in birth, Her father turned back to alcohol, without money she was fed water and sugar to keep her alive.
They carry the scars in their lack of development, health and spirit.
But they are not forgotten, and our God is in the business of restoring their stories.

God has placed these children in our heart and they are secured there.
But the story is still undergoing- the end is not in sight.
We did have to leave them,and leaving was the most painful thing I’ve ever endured.
But God whispered his promise to me that I would be back. Back in 6 months.

We entrusted them into God’s care, where they had been and always will be the most secure and we prayed like crazy. We begged, questioned and listened to God seeking his direction.

I recently came back alone to Congo to reunite with our children for a couple months while Max and my mother ran wild collecting an dossier for the authorities here. God provided a free lawyer and social worker which was incredible. We sored in hope.
But then I was pulled out of the village due to political instability.
Ripped from my littles ones twice. Not exaclty your family fairytale.
My husband met me in Kinshasa and we faced further news.
We’d have to wait 3 more years to even consider completed the official adoption.
So again we pause and wait.
Unsure of how the next 3 years will unfold, certainly lacking financial resources, aware that adoption is still a rare deal here but still daring to hope.
So we continue to pursue his calling on our lives.
Perhaps he gave us these children so we would plant our feet in Congo, or that it would deepen a desire to be a voice for the Congolese, for all the orphans, for the seemingly forgotten. Perhpas it was just to change our hearts. Perhaps it was to learn to trust him, to experience his adoptive love.
Perhaps all of the above.
Perhaps perhaps perhaps.
In it all I trust the Lord is orchestrating all the moving pieces of our life, especially the ones I can’t foresee.
I think he is beckoning to us to see if we were really willing.
to trust in all the ‘unpredictables’ of following him.

and that is what he has asked us to do. To be willing. To love as he did.
To let him be the author of this messy and sacred story.