I volunteer on our host team and pretty much have my position at the door handing out the "talk notes" and greeting people that come in. I love it because I get to meet so many people but there are sometimes when I am not sure who someone is but don't want to offend them by asking if they are new if they have been coming longer than me and I have just never met them. Last weekend that happened, I saw a couple come in with their little boy and I just said good morning and handed them their talk notes but during the service their little boy was getting fussy and so the mom brought him out into the lobby to calm down. She said this was all new to him and then I overhead someone else say something about them being new so I jumped in and welcomed her more and started to tell her about how Jalen took a while to get used to going into the nursery but now loves it. We started talking more and she said they had just moved here from Arizona a couple weeks before! I was shocked because that is where we moved from a year and a half ago. So then I asked where in AZ and she said Queen Creek, in a tone that was almost followed by an explanation of where that was, before I jumped in and said "that is where we moved here from. NOTE: if you are not familiar with the Valley of the Sun, Queen Creek is a small town outside of Phoenix that is mostly rural and although is growing is VERY rare that one would meet someone that moved from one small town to another...Queen Creek to Ada...what are the odds? So then I told her if she needed anything to call me anytime and showed her that my name and number was in the talk notes under the ad about It's A Child's Life (the orphan ministry that we have started with 3 other couples at our church). From one shock to another, she told me that they have been praying for a while now about moving here and finally had doors opened and closed where they were able to and have felt called to start an orphanage!!!!! Are you kidding me???...that is just beyond crazy and I am getting chills again just re-typing this. So with both of us speechless I gave her all my information and went on about my day just in awe of what had happened, yeah I can 100% say that this was NO coincidence whatsoever, I mean really?!?
I am starting to realize that the move from Arizona to Oklahoma just may have been more than my finding it on the map and saying lets go check it out and I have been realizing that for about the past 6 mths but after last weekend I started thinking back to everything that has brought us here and how it all really has just been so perfectly put in place for us and really could only be by the power of God.
In short this is how it's all played out, let me know what you think :)
-Brought to Ada, OK (2 hrs from one of my childhood best friends, Hilary) to payback my PT school scholarship with the Indian Health Service.
-Brought to an amazingly welcoming neighborhood filled with young Christian families and have since found out that 2 of the couples have hearts for orphans and are planning on adopting internationally in the future (maybe sooner).
-Church hopping and by chance one day the church we were going to was closed due to the snow so as we were driving back home saw H20 Church was open and went in to check it out...and we never hopped again!
-Placed in a Life Group with other families we would come to find out had a passion for orphans as well and would later be part of our It's A Child's Life founding families..
-Was recommended to see a doctor whom I found out adopted 3 children from Uganda!
-Was asked to do a huge "favor" for Hilary and check out the Ethiopia program for adoption since we were going to be looking into adoption later that year.
-Placed some powerful families in our lives to allow us to launch our orphan ministry
-and now placing this new family form our town in AZ to OK and to H20 Church and to right in front of my face to talk about a heart for orphans.
...and honestly there are so many more "only God..." things that have happened that would make this post way too long but those are just some main ones.
Now this has all occurred in a year and a half....so what's next? Maybe we'll see at our next meeting of It's A Child's Life next Saturday. We know that adopting 1 child from Ethiopia is not going to change the problems going on and it breaks our hearts to no end. But... along side of adopting that 1 child we are doing everything we can to advocate for the needs and pray that God will open the eyes of many more people to jump on board with us in one way or another. We are thrilled to have the group that we do with such strong hearts for children, and to work in so many areas of orphan care (adoption, foster care, mentorship, advocacy, sponsorship, etc). You can check us out on Facebook HERE.
We know we are here for a bigger reason than to payback my scholarship and we can only imagine what is to come of our lives here!