It seems that referrals have started moving again in Ethiopia. Last week 3 of the adoption clocks jumped ahead!!! As our agency said in their last newsletter, "Recent referrals finally nudged us forward a bit, with the anticipation of more exciting activity soon". Eveidently, there are more referrals to come! We don't expect our referrals to be in this "movement", but it should certainly move us closer to our little ones! We learned that most of the referrals being made right now are from, Soddo, the orphanage we specifically prayed for several weeks ago where they had 58 children in a 25 children capacity orphanage. This is an answer to prayer and we're so grateful!
I've been thinking a lot about the word hope lately. I so often limit hope to something more like "wishful thinking" or wanting circumstances to change. I hope it doesn't rain today...I hope I don't run out of gas...I hope I remember that meeting after school...I hope we get a referral soon...I hope we're not late. Biblical hope has nothing to do with my circumstances really, but rather everything to do with the person of Jesus Christ within any circumstance.
When biblical hope is produced in me, my life thrives and grows like a well watered tree that is a blessing to those around me. When hope is not present, my world too quickly unravels and I'm the only one left in it! I become the center and look to my circumstances to assure me that I'm ok. I sometimes find hope being this illusive thing I'm trying to grab hold of. During those intense "heart yearning" days for these little ones, it seems the more I grasp at hope the harder it is to find. Oh to abide in Jesus as my starting and ending place, so through the Holy Spirit, hope is abounding in me!
The theme verse from our wedding has the word hope in it 2 times. I remember we both really loved the verse and wanted to use it. It's actually framed in our house 3 times (various gifts from friends). I remember putting all the frames up and thinking, do I really need this verse up 3 times in my house? We did and we do. It's a constant reminder that it's through the power of the Holy Spirit that we hope. I wanted to share a few verses about hope that have meant a lot during this journey.
Do you have a favorite verse/thought/quote about hope? I'd love to hear it:)!
Our Wedding Theme Verse: May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.
We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.