Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Little One

~Written by Joshua~

The journey that we began four months ago in Ukraine ended today in a quiet family birthing room in Houston. Our day started at 5am when we checked in to Hermann Memorial Hospital and Kelsie was given her initial dose of induction medication.

As anticipated, the first several hours were fairly uneventful, but as time passed the contractions increased their intensity. While labor is never easy, God gave much grace and Kelsie came through with flying colors. Kelsie's mom, Cindy, was with us along with our amazing medical staff - Dr. Berryhill and his nurse Ruth.

Our baby girl was born without incident at 3:37pm. She was 9 inches long and weighed 1 lbs. 8 oz. There were many tears mingled with words of comfort and relief. When everything was over, we all gathered around the bed, and I held Kelsie’s hand as we said a final prayer to the Lord, thanking Him for His gift of life and affirming our trust in His providence.

To all of you who have prayed for us, thank you. Words are inadequate to convey our gratefulness to the multitudes of God’s saints who have stood by us during this trial. We love you and we pray God’s richest blessings upon you for the kindness you have shown to us.

This has been a sad chapter in our lives, and yet we rejoice that the story does not end here. Jesus Christ has conquered death and because He lives, we will meet our daughter again.

Farewell, Little One. Be at peace in the glory of His presence and know that Mommy and Daddy love you. Wait a little while, and we’ll be home.

“But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 19:14)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Pray for Our Delivery

We are scheduled to deliver our baby this coming Tuesday. We'll be starting our day at the hospital at 5:00 am and would greatly appreciate your prayers.

Labor is intimidating under any circumstances, and this time around holds its own set of unique trials. It is not fun to anticipate going through this experience, but at the same time I feel it is a mercy to at last have a conclusion, allowing us to move on.

On Monday we will have the chance to check in with our doctor once more and ask any remaining questions. Oddly enough, since this is the first birth we've ever had in the States, procedures, medicines, and even what to pack is very new and different for us. The doctor and staff we have worked with have been so kind and accommodating though, and we know it is God's hand that has led us to them.

In addition, we found out yesterday that we have been approved for insurance! Our first application, submitted in early May, was denied on a technicality and we only found out about it 10 days ago. We immediately resubmitted an application with the same provider and also with a second that would give us much better benefits and coverage for all our children too. As it turns out, we ended up being approved for both of them. :) We'll obviously follow through with the better of the two. God's timing has been so perfect in arranging every detail for us.

Thank you so much for all the prayers; God is using them! I know His grace will be sufficient as long as we need it.

"Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice." Psalm 63:7

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Heaven's Nursery

After a week or more of no movement from our baby, we went in for an ultrasound on Monday. The doctor quietly reviewed the screen for several minutes before saying anything at all. Then he informed us gently that our baby's heart was still.

Our baby is with Jesus. His is the first face this little one will ever see! Our baby knows no pain, no sorrow, no sin--only health and joy and peace.

I am grateful for how much God loves little children--much more than I ever could. I imagine that He has a whole beautiful nursery garden full of innocent little ones like mine, all growing in the light of His countenance. I don't fully grasp His plan for our baby, but I take comfort in the fact that my baby is safely in Jesus' arms.


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

A Sinner Has Come Home

This story (written by my husband) gave me goosebumps, shivers of joy, and left me without words. It happened this week, the day before he got on the plane to come Stateside. God's timing is perfect. You can read it below, or the link will take you over to his blog.

A Sinner Has Come Home 
There have been relatively few times during my missionary career when I have had the joyful opportunity to witness a person actually coming to Christ. Ultimately, only God can see the heart, but there are times when a person’s outward response to the Gospel leaves little doubt that they have been born again.
Today I witnessed just such a rebirth in my own living room.
Several months ago, a man named Vasyl began attending our English Club here in L’viv. It was evident from the beginning that God was working in his heart, and he asked lots of questions about the Lord. On two prior occasions we had extended conversations during which I explained the Gospel to him in detail. Although he seemed very open, it just didn’t quite penetrate.
Last night after English Club, Vasyl, who works as a taxi driver, drove Jessie home since Jessie’s van is currently in the shop. Jessie called me later that night and said that they had had a great conversation and that Vasyl seemed to really be searching for answers. Due to the language barrier, their ability to communicate was limited so Jessie suggested that Vasyl come and meet with me today. I later called Vasyl and we agreed that he would come to my house.
He arrived around 3:30 or so, and we talked for over three hours. During the course of our conversation we read many passages of Scripture including Romans 4:4-5, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Romans 10:1-10, Philippians 3:9, 2 Corinthians 5:19-21, and others. He hung on every word, and after about an hour or so, the lights came on. As I went through the basics of imputed righteousness and the contrast between faith and works, his eyes lit up. He exclaimed over and over how he had never understood this before, how a weight had suddenly fallen from his shoulders, and how he could barely keep from weeping.
Finally, when I was convinced he had really understood, I gave him the test questions.
“Vasyl, if you were to stand before God today, and He asked you on what legal basis you should be admitted to heaven, what would you say?”
Without hesitation he replied, “Because Jesus died for me.”
I pressed further, “Yes, but you’re a sinner. What is to be done about your sin?”
“Jesus paid for my sins and has given me His righteousness.”
Now I was the one who could barely keep from weeping. With great joy in my heart I said to him, “Vasyl, if you have believed what you just told me sincerely from your heart, then on the authority of the Scriptures, all your sins are forgiven and God has granted you everlasting life.” We talked for a while longer and towards the end we prayed together, thanking God for His provision of salvation through Christ.
The Vasyl that walked out the front door of my house today is not the same one that came in. I started out to have a chat with a friend, and I ended by embracing a brother. Rejoice with me today: a sinner has come home!
“Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it? And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost. Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.”
Luke 15:8-10

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Outdoor Fun

Abby learned to ride with no training wheels in roughly 15 minutes,
about 2 days after we arrived!

Rebekah is trying to keep up with Abby! "Baba" (a.k.a. my mom) is a good helper.

Two sticks are better than one. ;)

And away they go....

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