Friday, November 20, 2009

We Did It!

Mom, Jeff and I made it over to the USCIS office this morning for our electronic fingerprints. Let me just say what a neat experience this was. Since we have never been to an immigration office before, I really didn't know what to expect. We were the only people from the US there. The rest were from every other country. Met some really interesting people. I got to chat with one young man who was Czech and was applying for a visa to be an official US Citizen. He left his home and family behind and came over in 1995 to pursue a photography career and has now decided to stay officially. I was completely intrigued by his story. Would have loved to sit down with everyone in that office to find out their story as well. It's amazing how the nations can all be together in one room in Alabama. That would be a place I could totally dig working at.

Ok...I'm rambling.....sorry.

Thank you to everyone for praying. We did not have any problems this morning with fingerprints. We did it! Everything turned out great! We were told it takes 24 hours to get the results....so hopefully by Monday things will be moving along with getting our approvals. So exciting! I am loving this journey we are on. I have learned so much and have been down paths I would have never taken had we not answered this call God gave us. Thrilling ride!

One last thing I have to share. The guy that took my fingerprints today reminded me of a very amazing truth. While he was pressing my fingers onto the scanner....I glanced over and noticed a chart with the 9 different types of fingerprints that people have. You can see them here I questioned him about it and asked him if he would tell me which type I had. He shared with me that I had a very common print. So, my response was, "rats...I was hoping I had something extraordinary". And his answer was, "you do.....no one else in the world has your exact prints".

Oh yes.....I knew that! (how dumb of me not to think of that) But what I was reminded of today in that little office with the nations....was how awesome my God is. That He has created billions in His image and yet every single one of us has been created absolutely unique . Mind blowing. Thank you guy in the Immigration office for reminding me of that!

Now...there is a set ( or sets ) of unique fingerprints out there that God is leading us to in India.....so I better get busy with the next step.

Have a fabulous weekend.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Monday, November 16, 2009

Family Man: The Michael Oher Story/ The Blind Side

A lot of you have probably heard of the new movie coming out this Friday to theaters called "The Blind Side". Here is an article from World Magazine about the story.

All-American Michael Oher went from the streets as a 15-year-old son of a crack addict to potential NFL Rookie of the Year on the love and dedication of an adoptive family that wouldn’t let him fail. The movie that tells their story hits theaters in time for National Adoption Day—and recognition that about 130,000 Michael Ohers are waiting for a family to adopt them | Amy Henry

MEMPHIS—Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy adopted as a family motto, "To whom much is given, much is required," they had no idea just how much would be required, nor that they were adopting far more than words.........

Read the entire story here.

Also, found a great website where Steven Curtis Chapman talks about the movie and also offers some of the film clips and notes to go along with it. You'll want to check it out here. The Blind Side.

I am so very excited to see what God is doing to bring awareness to those who have no home or family. May our eyes be opened to this huge need in our own country and across the world and that we will rise up and do something about it!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Immigration Update

Just a quick update on our adoption process.

USCIS (Immigration) has received our home study, our I-800A application (Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country) and they have now issued our appointment date to have our electronic fingerprints done. The appt will be next Friday the 20th. So once those are done we hope to receive our approval shortly after that.

Things are looking good and moving forward!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Orphan Sunday!


Orphan Sunday at Hunter Street!

Today is Orphan Sunday. On this day, I pray that you will meditate, pray, and listen with fervor!

Orphan Sunday Passage:

Romans 8:14-29

14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.

Future Glory

18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.


Orphan Sunday Prayer*:

Today pray that through His church, God would create a haven and a home for orphans according to the flesh and orphans according to the spirit; that what we are about is more than a niche group and more than a way to provide rest for the hurting; that we would be Gospel people willing to stand face to face with the satanic powers and to drive them back with the Gospel that loves abandoned children like us; that God would cause us to scream "Abba!" like never before. Amen.


Orphan Sunday Sermon:

Adoption and the Renewal of Creation, Russell Moore (Watch brief video interview and read session summary)


Soli Deo Gloria,

Jack Lavallet


* Adapted from Russell Moore’s closing prayer in his sermon referenced above.

____________________________________________________________

Tomorrow is Orphan Sunday. Here is your verse, prayer, and sermon for day five. Be on the lookout tomorrow morning for one more email!


Verse Five:

Exodus 22:22-24 (ESV)

22 You shall not mistreat any widow or fatherless child. 23 If you do mistreat them, and they cry out to me, I will surely hear their cry, 24 and my wrath will burn, and I will kill you with the sword, and your wives shall become widows and your children fatherless.


Prayer Five*:

Pray that our church will recognize that there are no throwaway people in God's economy; that we will be humbled by His love; that we would adopt, foster, fund, visit, or otherwise serve the orphan not out of altruism or social justice, but out of the Gospel of Christ compelling us -- the orphans need to know Christ, just as we do, and that they are made in God's image, just as we are. They need to know that God cares about them.


Sermon Five:

Orphan Care and Jesus, the Great Servant of the Poor, Michael Easley (Watch brief video interview and read session summary)


Soli Deo Gloria,

Jack Lavallet


* Adapted from Michael Easley’s closing prayer in his sermon referenced above.


Friday, November 6, 2009

2 Days until Orphan Sunday!

We are just two days away from Orphan Sunday. Here is your verse, prayer, and sermon for day four.

Verse Four: Matthew 25:35-36, 40 (ESV)

35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’


Prayer Four*: Today, pray for street children. These children live under bushes and in dumps and sewage pipes. They may eat meals out of trash cans. Many people walk by them without seeing them or view them as pests. Ask God to open the churches’ eyes to help them see the orphans all around them. Ask the Lord to provide food and shelter for the street children.


Sermon Four: The Gospel, Social Justice and the Missional Church, Ed Stetzer (Watch brief video interview and read session summary)

Soli Deo Gloria,

Jack Lavallet

* Adapted from the “40 Day Prayer Guide for Orphan Care”

http://saddleback.com/orphanstudy/index.html

Thursday, November 5, 2009

3 Days until Orphan Sunday!

We are just three days away from Orphan Sunday. Here is your verse, prayer, and sermon for day three.

Verse Three:
Ephesians 1:3-5

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will.

Prayer Three*:
Today, pray that every member of your church would remember and acknowledge and praise the Lord that before the world was made, He loved us and chose us, and that His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ and that this gave Him great pleasure. (Ephesians 1:3–5)

Sermon Three: Adoption and the Pursuit of Racial Reconciliation,
Scott Roley (Watch brief video interview and read session summary)


Soli Deo Gloria,

Jack Lavallet

* Adapted from the “40 Day Prayer Guide for Orphan Care” Saddleback prayer guide

Orphan Sunday Blog

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

4 Days until Orphan Sunday!

We are just four days away from Orphan Sunday. Here is your verse, prayer, and sermon for day two.


Verse Two: John 14:18 (ESV) “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.


Prayer Two*:
Today, ask God that of the 2 billion Christians in the world, 7% would show hope to a single orphan, looking after the child in their distress. Ask the Lord to convict the church around the world that if we did this, there would effectively be no more orphans. Ask the Lord to show each of His followers that we can each do something.


Sermon Two:
The Freedom of Adoption, Scotty Smith (Watch brief video interview and read session summary)

Soli Deo Gloria,

Jack Lavallet


* Adapted from the “40 Day Prayer Guide for Orphan Care” (http://saddleback.com/orphanstudy/index.html)


PS – Don’t forget about the concert Sunday night! Join us at 3:30 PM in the Chapel. We hope for upwards of 400 attendees! Click here for more information: http://orphansunday.wordpress.com .

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

5 Days until Orphan Sunday!

From one of our Adoption Ministry leaders:

We are just five days away from Orphan Sunday. God has done so much and is doing so much to lead us to defend the cause of the fatherless. I am very excited to see what God is going to do this Sunday and the following two Sundays. As we pray about and approach this time of service and testimony, let's make an extra effort to understand our Father's heart for adoption. Each day for the next five days I am going to send you a verse to meditate on, a prayer to pray, and a link to an audio sermon from the recent Together for Adoption Conference that many of us attended. Please try to meditate and pray each day and to listen each night. The sermons are so Spirit-filled and humbling; I think they will change your life and help you to cry out “Abba!” with passion like never before. Without further ado…

Verse One:
James 1:27 (ESV)
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

Prayer One*:
Today, pray that the Lord would give you a personal sense of responsibility for the next 5 days (and beyond) for praying for orphans, your pastor, your church, and your community. Ask Him to break your heart for the orphans. Ask that He would help you to see orphans with His eyes and His heart. Ask Him to use these 5 days to change you and your church.

Sermon One:
Adoption: Making Outsiders Insiders, Dan Cruver (Read session summary)

Soli Deo Gloria,

Jack Lavallet

* Adapted from the “40 Day Prayer Guide for Orphan Care” SaddlebackOrphan Study

PS – Don’t forget about the concert Sunday night! Join us at 3:30 PM in the Chapel. We hope for upwards of 400 attendees! Click here for more information: Orphan Sunday Blog