The power of prayer, James 5:13-18
"Are any among you suffering? They should keep on praying about it. And those who have reason to be thankful should continually sing praises to the Lord. Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. And their prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make them well. And anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven. Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results. Elijah was as human as we are, and yet when he prayed earnestly that no rain would fall, none fell for the next three and a half years! Then he prayed for rain, and down it poured. The grass turned green, and the crops began to grow again."
The children of Liberia need our prayers. The news from the embassy there is not good. The consular has reduced the number of visits she will accept. She is only accepting appointments from each agency twice a week. So one visit for Acres of Hope on Tuesday and one on Thursday. Each adoption requires two visits to her office. One for relinquishment from the birth family to establish status as an orphan and one visit to issue the visa to America. The second visit is with the adopting family. Essentially one adoption will be processed per week. It is not clear if this is a deliberate attempt to slow down adoptions or if the office is truly "overworked". There is talk of an additional employee joining the office in December which would hopefully speed things up again.
I do not share these things only in relation to our own adoption journey. There are so many families that are more affected by these decisions than we are at this point. I would like to take this opportunity to share some of their stories with you. I know many of you are prayer warriors and these families need our prayers!
The Coverts are adopting two girls that have experience caustic ingestion. This means they ingested lye and are therefore unable to eat properly due to the scarring of their esophaguses. Mercy is 13 and weighs 48 pounds. Joy is 8 and weighs 36 pounds. To put this in perspective, Noelle, who is quite thin, is 11 and weighs right around ninety pounds! They are hoping to travel in the next six weeks so that they can get these precious girls home to the best possible medical care.
The Horrocks family are adopting three children from Liberia. They are adopting two boys, Joseph and Nyemah, and a daughter, Ellie Kebbeh. Ellie has Potts disease and desperately needs to get to America for surgery. The surgeon in America has written to Liberia the severity of her situation. We need to pray for her health as she waits. We also need to pray that the Horrocks are able to bring all three children home at once. It is very expensive to travel and will be very hard for everyone if they need to make two trips. Think of the boys being left behind!
The McKinneys live in California. Katy started our 24 hour prayer watch. She and her husband Scott and their daughter Midge are facing unbelievable obstacles. They were evacuated during the recent fires. Scott is in the Navy and is to be deployed soon. They are in the process of adopting two boys and a girl. They had originally hoped to have the children home before Scott deployed. Now add into their lives more excitement: Scott and Katy have the chicken pox (from Midge's vaccination) and their home is being renovated due to termite damage. They are traveling to Africa November 21-30th so that they, especially Scott can "bond" with the children. Their prayer is that by God's faithful hand they will be able to bring their children home with them!
The White family is adopting Joseph. Joseph needs to have heart surgery and has spent a lot of time in the hospital. His mom is leaving to pick him up on November 13th. Pray for his health in waiting and in travel. Pray for no obstacles in the final meetings with the embassy.
The last family I want to share about has already brought their little girl home. Her name is Josie. She has epilepsy and cerebral palsy. The doctors say that there is a 50% chance she will not live past age 10. She is currently in the hospital as her seizures have gotten worse. Please pray for a miracle. Pray for wisdom of the doctors in the mean time.
Don't these stories just touch your heart. Let them drive you to your knees.
"O God, listen to my cry! Hear my prayer! From the ends of the earth, I will cry to you for help, for my heart is overwhelmed. Lead me to the towering rock of safety, for you are my safe refuge, a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me. Let me live forever in your sanctuary, safe beneath the shelter of your wings!"
Lord, give each one of these families your safety, your shelter.
(If you just read your story, I apologize for not asking permission first. I will be glad to remove it if it is a problem. I am so touched by each of your stories and know the best that I can do is cry out to God on your behalf and seek others that will do the same!)