Open Arms

Open Arms
...caring for orphans and adoptive families...

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Sunday Night

Steve ready for church

Relationships are such the point. We walked quickly toward church this morning excited to be back at Light of (the) World. Steve walked in first, but he had shaved his mustache and he received the look of “I know you, but how do I know you", but as I rounded the corner Anya saw me and jumped up with a huge smile and a welcoming hug and kiss. Oh that was like refreshing water on my tired soul. How good it is to receive a warm welcoming embrace. We enjoyed a time of reconnecting with dear brothers and sisters. We heard wonderful testimonies and an encouraging word from the book of Daniel. Visits were scheduled for the week, along with translators, and times to meet with people to pray. Our calendar is filling up.

The afternoon was like our life at home. Lunch with friends (well maybe a little different in that lunch included 3 orphans that found out we were in town, including Igor !!! Y'all know that made me smile.) and a houseful of people all afternoon. We reconnected with old friends and meet a few new ones. We had a time of worship and prayer. Knowing that only prayer will make a way here.

The Porter Family is staying in the same hotel with us. They are here adopting Katia. Laurie and Hector have been praying for Katia a family for the last year! There is nothing like "seeing" your prayer answered.
Andrei and dudes....

By 5:30 there was time for a fast walk thru the park and back to the apartment to make a supper of grits and eggs. (So happy we brought grits this time. 8-) We needed to hurry because we had more friends coming by for the evening.

Liena came this evening and we were so glad to see her. She was such an encouragement to us during the final days of the adoption trip and we had been counting the days to see her again. We had time to hear of some the things God is doing in her heart and life now. It is such a joy to hear her share heart. Such a beautiful example of a Godly young woman.

Another full day of following where He leads. We're going to bed praying for our visit planned for Internot #4 tomorrow morning. Lord go before us.

Good night.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Internet at Last

Friday night – Our Arrival-
As we left for our trip Thursday morning, Lynn, a friend of ours, called Laurie and told her she had something for us! She had created 6 cards with special words of encouragement and challenge for us to open along the route of our journey. We open one of them each leg of our flight at predetermined locations. What a blessing these words were. So timely, so on target. God is amazing.

We arrived safely in Odessa with only one delay. We were 2 hours late leaving JFK which meant they were boarding our connecting flight when we arrived in Warsaw...but thank the Lord they held the plane for us. Customs was a one asked or even looked at the multitude of flip-flops and t-shirts in our bags. Included in our room rate was an uneventful ride from the airport to our room. That in itself was a pleasant surprise. Uneventful I mean!

First order of business was getting a little food and bottled water to our room. A few Odessa friends came to visit and then we wandered around the “center” to allow Steven, Cameron, Laurie, and Hector to get a feel for the city. We ran into the Porter family from Texas. They are here to adopt Katia, one of the girls from Lyonya's class. Laurie and Hector have her photo on their fridge and have been praying for her a family for over a year. How amazing for them to get to see the answer to their prayers in person!

Tomorrow we hope to go check on the kids Grandma and see how she is getting along. We haven't been able to talk to her lately. We are so excited to be here and see what the Lord has for us to do. We serve such an amazing God. Thank you all for your prayers. Please keep them going!

Wasn't able to post this....the internet was down....maybe tomorrow.

Saturday AM
Over breakfast we talked thru the day, the week really. Realizing there were so many ministry opportunities this morning, all good...we were like kids in a candy store! Which to choose???We chose Him! Oh yes, we chose Him. We went into the apartment to worship. What a sweet time in His presence. I was reminded of Isaiah 40, those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.... How do you hope? The Greek word for hope is to bind to, to attach oneself.....the word picture I read explained it was like a little girl with her arms around the parents waist with her legs wrapped around their leg....How do we do His work? We seek His presence all the more. We must hope in Him and He will accomplish the task. He will go before us into the unknown and “break” the way. He is the breaker...the one that pushes through the darkness to allow us authority to enter another land because He has dominion over all lands and peoples.....not us, Him.. It's all about Him. He allows us to follow in behind Him carrying the aroma of His Spirit to all. 2 Cor. 2: 15-16.

During our worship, Natalyia called us. She was planning to spend the weekend with us but her baby Artemia was sick this morning so she had to postpone her trip. Hopefully she can come from Kiev Wednesday or Thursday. We're waiting to hear back from Sasha, the kids older brother, so he can meet us and show us the way to where Grandma is staying. She is in a different location and we don't even have an address. Hopefully we will get with him tomorrow.

Sweet Lena contacted us around lunch and we will get together tomorrow. Tomorrow morning is church and we are so excited to see Pastor Sasha, his wife Lena, their new baby, Anya, Christina, and the other young adults we connected with 2 years ago. We would like to go to church with our friend Laura because Igor and Big Andrei will be there, but we only have this one Sunday. We sent word to them that we are in town and to come by the apartment any chance they get.

In the afternoon we went to the market, looking around at the property in the area and praying for the city. Hector, Steven, Laurie and Steve stopped and prayed for one guy in a wheel chair that was begging. Lord heal him and let him see You.

God of This City. This song is our prayer for Odessa. Please pray with us.

On Monday, we hope to visit the director and #4 . She didn't take to us much when we were here before, but we have been praying for her for weeks. That the Lord will touch her and bless her. Pasha wrote her a sweet letter, so we plan to deliver it with flowers and candy and ask for permission to see the kids classmates and give them gifts of t-shirts, flip flops, and Christian literature. Please pray she will agree to our request.

Carol and Steve