Archive for God

Filling the gaps

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 3, 2010 by J-HY

There are literally countless stories like the one I am about to share with you….stories of how God moved in, around, and out in front of His people to orchestrate the story of Naomi and Amelia’s homecoming.  I can promise you, there are so many small stories of God moving man made mountains, that when woven together, tell a miracle of epic proportions.  God worked through the FAITH and ACTIONS of so many people to literally change the course of our family’s life, but ultimately it was only God that could fill the gaps.

Here is the kicker…I think God is willing to do this over and over again in your life and mine if we are willing to start taking steps of faith that require God to show up.  Little steps of faith don’t really require our God to deliver on His promises….big steps of faith allow God to come through as only He can.

Below is a story told by the man who took Naomi to the US Embassy on faith and allowed God to use him in bringing Naomi home to us:

Letting God fill the Gap by Jeff Gacek:

Have you ever experienced God filling the gap in your life… you know when you feel God putting something on your heart but you don’t really know what it is? When you need to do something, but don’t really know what, why or how? It is such an incredible thing… following what God puts on your heart and letting him fill the gap. I’ve just experienced this first hand and I feel so incredibly blessed.

My plans were to work at the Heartline clinic on Saturday. During a break, I wondered how Carol Plamanns kids from Mother Theresa’s were doing. Mother Theresa’s had been trying to get her two kids along with 5 other orphans out of Haiti. The Sisters in Washington DC were trying to get a flight but were struggling. Over the last 4 days, promises and commitments for the flight came and went without success. I decided to go over to Mother Theresa’s and check. Sr. Martine told me “no success”…they were unsuccessful getting the authorization for the flight. On a whim, I asked if I could go to the US Embassy and see what was needed to get them out. I had no idea about anything to do with adoption.

When I arrived at the Embassy on Saturday, there were long lines of people trying to get visas or passports. I went to a window on the other side and told them I was there on “Official Business” for Mother Theresa’s Missionaries of Charity. I know I was stretching the truth, but they let me right in. Someone came to meet me and brought me to another building inside the compound and I quickly met with the person in charge of “Orphan Evacuations”. She gave me a list of what I would need and I was out the door on my way back to Mother Theresa’s. I wasn’t planning to do this and really didn’t know what I was doing but felt a need to ask the questions.

I was in a hurry to get back to Mother Theresa’s to see if they had the needed paperwork… the only problem, my motorcycle wouldn’t start… and I couldn’t get ahold of Jean. So I decided to leave it at the embassy and tap tap back to Mother Theresa’s. Sr. Martine brought out all the documents she had and we went through them one by one… the documents seem to line up. It appeared that we had everything they were asking for. I asked if I could take them and if she could go with me early Monday morning to present the documents and see if we could get the two children out and she said sure. Jean came to pick me up in his truck and we headed back down to the embassy to pickup my broken down motorcycle. As we drove through heavy traffic, I was thinking about everything and remembered hearing that because of the huge demand, the embassy was open 24 hours. Without much thought, when we arrived at the embassy, I headed to the guards window instead of my motorcycle. Little did I know that God was moving me and filling the gaps. I had know idea what I was doing but I knew I was doing something.

At the window, I claimed “I’m from Mother Theresa’s Missionary of Charity” and I’m here to present and file some documents for adoption. The woman I met earlier was busy but a man who assisted her quickly looked over my papers and asked, “Can you be here tomorrow at 12pm? Without thinking I said “Yes!”. He said bring your children and be ready to go… if you get the green light to go you have to leave immediately… but you’re going to have to be patient. I was both excited and nervous… for the first time I thought to myself, “maybe I would have to leave Haiti tomorrow”. I knew this was not my plan but for the first time thought maybe this is why I was here… maybe it was God’s plan.

I called Sr. Martine, told her the news and asked if she could have the children ready at 10:30am. I asked if she would come with to help insure that that we could get this done. I got back to Troy and Tara Livesay’s house late… and Troy was just getting home. He asked my what I had planned for tomorrow and I told him I might be going to the US with two orphans. I had already decided if this happened, I would return to Haiti after delivering the children to their adoptive parents. He told me about a 3 year old girl that had gone to the embassy the day before but was rejected because some papers were missing. He asked if I could bring her along and try to get her out along with the other two. I said, “Sure, I could bring her and present the documents, but God would have to do the rest!” We both knew what I meant.

I couldn’t sleep at all that night. I dosed in and out and around 2:30am I finally gave up trying to sleep. I started thinking about what an incredible opportunity God had put before me. I wondered why he would choose me to do this… I didn’t know anything about the adoption process. I felt totally inadequate and uneasy with the responsibility but also felt grateful for the opportunity to help these 3 little children.

I found out the following morning, Troy spent much of the night and early morning emailing and calling Naomi’s adoptive parents to get the missing information and preparing her adoption papers. He worked so hard and really gave me everything I needed. The next morning, Tara brought Naomi over and we were off to Mother Theresa’s. We picked up Guyvinscy (7 years old) and Evans (2 years old). I asked Johanna, a nurse who was staying at Troy and Tara’s house, if she would come with us incase the two boys got to go but Naomi didn’t. She would have the responsibility to bring Naomi home if she was rejected again… what a difficult job this would be.

We arrived at the embassy before 12pm… all of us, Naomi, Guyvinscy, Evans, Joanna, Sr. Martine and me. After checking in we were led to a waiting room containing over 120 children. It was complete chaos with children running and playing and sleeping on the floor. While the children looked happy, the adults looked tired and weary. Many had been there for over 48 hours… waiting to get their children out of Haiti. We quickly found out how they were feeling as we too were forced to wait… and wait… and wait.

Finally around 7pm, a woman behind bullet proof glass started calling out names and handing out “Humanitarian Parole Visas” for orphans in the room. And then it happened… God showed up. One by one we heard the names called out… Guyvinscy Pierre… Evans Pierra… Naomi Joseph… I was so incredibly relieved… and thankful, and grateful… for a faithful God. I said to the others “Praise God… Praise God!!!” You cannot imagine the joy that I felt. It’s like nothing I’ve ever felt before and I thought to myself “This is why I’m here… this is God’s plan for my life… God chose me to change the trajectory of these children’s lives”. I felt honored that he would choose me and for the first time I felt humbled by the trust that he put in me. God was not only filling the “gap” in the lives of these children, but he was filling the “gap” in my life.. I was humbled.

As we prepared to leave, there was a 15 year old boy named Jefthe that had received a “Humanitarian Parole Visa” but was unable to leave because he did not have a guardian to accompany him. His pastor who had raised him since he was 2 years old was there but was unable to leave the other orphans he had. The woman behind the bullet proof glass looked at me and said, “You need to take him, you cannot leave him behind”. And she was right, I could not leave him behind… God must have thought 2 or 3 was not enough so now there were four.

Later that evening, by the Grace of God and only God, we left Haiti. The younger children could not have known how their lives had changed as they fell asleep but the two older boys looked intently out the window as the wheels left the ground. I think they understood. I again wondered why God would choose me for this but felt honored and grateful that he did.

The next two days were spent going through immigration… a grueling and sometimes painful experience. One of the other parents reassured me this too would pass… and it did. One by one I was able to release these children that God had entrusted me with to their new adoptive parents. It was incredible to see and to be a part of. I told my wife I thought this is one of the things I was put here on earth to do… I just felt it in my core… God was working though me to fulfill His purpose for my life. I could not help but cry… My wish is for everyone to experience this for themselves and to realize God has a purpose for our lives… each and everyone of us were put here for a reason. It is God’s plan for our lives that we should seek, not our own… and in doing so, we will find true joy, peace and fulfillment that we all so desperately desire. I found my little piece of heaven… right here on earth.

Thank you Lord Jesus for revealing yourself to me, for revealing your purpose for my life. I ask that you watch over these four children, Guyvinscy, Evans, Naomi and Jefthe… protect them and let them experience the joy of having a loving mother and father that will care for them and raise them to know you. I pray that they will seek you and as they grow seek your will for their lives. Thank you Father for using me, for giving me the opportunity to love these children. I am so honored and grateful for this experience and know that all Glory goes to you… for it is only through you that miracles truly happen.

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Here we are

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on January 25, 2010 by J-HY

It has been impossible to try and update our blog with everything moving so fast….follow my twitter updates as that has proven to be the easiest way to keep everyone up to speed.  Well actually, so much GOD stuff has happened, it is really impossible for me to remain up to speed.

We are at a hotel in Orlando sleeping.  We are ALL so tired.  Just sit and think for a moment what Naomi’s life might have been like for the past two weeks….heck, even the last 48 hours for her could stress a grown man into going postal.

Anyway, she basically zoned out in her car seat before we were even out of the airport.  She fell asleep in a matter of minutes.

I got about an hour nap….still feel like I have been hit by a train but my stress level has dropped 1,000,000,000% .

The family that lived in Haiti and ran Naomi’s orphanage is here in Orlando, so we are going to take her over to visit them for a few minutes tonight.

We haven’t eaten yet today, so that will hopefully appear on the agenda at some point.

I am praying that I can remember at least half of the events that have taken place over the past 2 weeks….God showed up and did some AMAZING things that nobody can claim.  I told Sarah, if we don’t come out the other side of this with faith that can move mountains, we have missed it.  I’m telling you, our God is sovereign.

Update = So much so little time

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 19, 2010 by J-HY

We still know that Naomi is safe and cared for.  The situation is certainly very dangerous and things are changing by the minute….one minute good, one minute bad.

We have been working with friends across the county around the clock to get Naomi and the rest of the children at Maranatha home to the US under Humanitarian Parole status.  When I say around the clock, I mean around the clock.  When I say friends, some I have just met since the earthquake through the world wide web, others are other adoptive parents, but I can assure you, they are FRIENDS.  Scratch that…they are FAMILY!

With trepidation, I link you here….just because everything is hard to believe right now.

http://www.dhs.gov/ynews/releases/pr_1263861907258.shtm

We believe we (Naomie) will be covered under this classification:

“Children who have been previously identified by an adoption service provider or facilitator as eligible for intercountry adoption and have been matched to U.S. citizen prospective adoptive parents.”

PRAY-PRAY-PRAY…until she is in the US at our home in West Monroe, nothing, I mean nothing, is true.  Make no mistake, our battle is not only to bring our daughter Naomie home, it is also to bring all the orphans home that already have waiting US adoptive families.  For the other oprhans in Haiti, we are going to spend our life trying to insure that they are properely cared for in their own country….that a big statement with lots of little meanings but our plight from Haiti is far from over.

We are still committed to walk the path, no matter how narrow, to bring Naomi home…no matter the timeline.  But I can assure you, if this happens, and she comes home soon, nobody will be able to claim this by their own hands…only by the hands of our soverign God.

Be encouraged

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on October 26, 2009 by J-HY

Click here and be encouraged by the enormity of our God.  Your fortune cookie says, “Be inspired to take a big leap of faith in a new area of your life.”

Crazy Good

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on May 12, 2009 by J-HY

Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God by Francis Chan……Read It.

Seriously, go buy the book tomorrow today.  Download the audiobook tonight now.  It is worth your time.

IT. IS. WORTH. YOUR. TIME.

If you read one book this year, read the bible.  If you read two, read this one.

Inspiration should lead to perspiration….

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on November 21, 2008 by J-HY

Who is inspiring you right now?  Please comment….we would love to know.  Here are some people that I have been encouraged, challenged, and inspired by lately:

Martin Luther King

From his speech the night before he was killed

“like anybody, I would like to live a long life, longevity has it’s place.  But, I’m not concerned about that  now.  I just want to do God’s will.”

“so I’m happy tonight. I’m not worried about anything, I’m not fearing any man, mine eyes have see the glory of the coming of the Lord.”

From his “I Have a Dream” speech

“we refuse to believe that the bank of Justice is bankrupt. we refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. so we’ve come to cash this check, a check that will give us, upon demand, the riches of freedom and the security of justice.”

“and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty tree.”

“I have a dream…that my four little children, will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

“I have a dream…that one day little black boys and little back girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and little white girls as sisters and brothers.”

Bono (from U2)

From his speech at the NAACP awards

“because where you live should not decided whether you live or whether you die”

“the poor are where God lives.  God is in the slums, in the cardboard boxes where the poor place house…”

“God, my friends, is with the poor and God is with us if we are with them”

“love thy neighbor is not a piece of advice, it is a command.  So that means in the global village we are going to have to start Loving a whole lot more people!”

From his speech at the presidential prayer breakfast

“this is not about Charity…this is about Justice, about Justice and Equality”

“it’s annoying, but justice and equality are mates…justice always wants to hang out with equality, and equality is a real pain”

Sara Groves

From her song “When The Saints”

“Lord it’s all that I can’t carry and cannot leave behind
it all can overwhelm me
but when I think of all who’ve gone before and lived the faithful life
their courage compels me”

“I see the young missionary and the end of the spear
I see his family returning with no trace of fear”

“I see the young girl huddled on the brothel floor
I see the man with a passion come and kicking down the door”

From her song “I Saw What I Saw”, written after her return from Rwanda

“I saw what I saw and I can’t forget it
I heard what I heard and I can’t go back
I know what I know and I can’t deny it”

“Your pain has changed me
Your dream inspires
Your face a memory
Your hope a fire
Your courage asks me what I’m afraid of
Your courage asks me what I’m made of
and what I know of love, and what I know of God”

“we’ve done what we’ve done and we can’t erase it
we are what we are and it’s more than enough
we have what we have but it’s no substitution”

“I say what I say with no hesitation
I have what I have and I’m giving it up
I do what I do with deep conviction”