Archibald Family

Archibald Family

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Nimba County

I have been struggling since before I left what purpose God had for me on this trip. The past couple of days I found peace, accepted that I am here and wether I see it or not God's will will be accomplished.

Today I discovered I am a voice. A voice to bring to America and share with the other adoptive parents as well as the rest of America that Addy's Hope is much more than adoption - this is bringing hope, care and education to the people of Liberia. The parents that can't take care of their children anymore because poverty is oppressing them and they don't know where the next meal is coming from. They desire more for their children, they pleed for hope.

We met some of the birth parents/mothers and handed out updated pictures of their children living in America. We saw tears of joy, dancing in celebration and hearing praises lifted to our God. No one was regretting their decision. The hold onto hope that they will too come back one day educated, and to help their people, and possibly lift the oppression in this country. One of the grandmother's we met couldn't sit still, was praising and dancing to see her grandchildren in pictures. People came to her over and over asking "why are you selling your children?" and she responded "where is the money? I am not selling these kids.", and their response is that she will never again see her kids. Today proved all those people wrong, and she was loud to let everyone know.

I discovered too that I am a quiet voice for those in Nimba county. You see, the government has made it cleared that we Americans want to adopt children for their kidneys and such. Those seeing their pictures of their children see that these children are ok, they are in loving homes and are being loved. Today was a great start.

I tried to meet Elijah and Ruthie's mother. But because of a misunderstanding I wasn't able to. However, I did see the condition they were brought up in. Today gave me a reassurance and peace.

I am excited to be part of our agency. Our agency isn't just an agency. Those families who are in this agency just to get children are missing out. They are missing an opportunity to be part of a great work God is doing. This isn't just about adoption, this is bringing education for children and adults around the surrounding areas as well as medical attention, this is bringing hope to the hopeless. Does this ministry have everything down to a science? No, just like any new thing they need to iron out some wrinkles, but I see that God is getting ready to blossum what He has planted. I have seen tremendous break throughs during this trip, does that mean that we have seen the fruit of all that is happening? No, but that is where trust comes in. I trust and whole heartedly believe that God hasn't forgotten the orphans, nor the Liberians who live the oppressed life, nor Addy's Hope. God is on the move and will continue everything He is doing even when we leave.

Those of you who aren't part of this ministry please click on their link posted on the side column and keep your eye on all that is going on. Get involved! God is on the move!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A Quick Update

I am in Liberia! Thank you all for praying, and I ask for more prayers.

God is good and all the time! Our first day we went to try and attend a meeting with the people that have made this adoption process difficult, but found the meeting to be cancelled. But instead God had some divine appointments for the day. We have met people that are connected with the Liberian president and have counceled us and directed us to our next steps. The one person we met with was an attorney, who happened to be the President's advisor. I saw scales fall before her eyes when the details were shared as to what we have been going through, and I won't be surprised if the President, herself hears.

We need prayers. Tomorrow we are having a press conference to educate the people here of adoption, and to bring more truth to them. Pray that God's will will be heard and seen. We also will be going up against the "devil", and have to confront the very ones that have lied to us. I am praying that the truth will win out. I have told you all that I am expecting something big on this trip, and I'm ready to see it!

I have been staying with Elijah & Ruthie. I love my kids! They keep reaching out to me, and won't leave my side. Elijah is full of energy and has the "liberian pout". I often wonder if Ruthie can walk, because everyone carries her...not because she can't walk, but because she is very spoiled! I'm thankful I have three little mothers at home that will help.

I will try and update later, but because of our full schedule the next couple of days it may be difficult. Thanks for your prayers, and please continue.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Our God is Exciting!

If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.
~ Jeremiah 29:13-14, NLT
And I did. I receive power verses from KLove radio each day. Today the verse above was in my inbox. I pondered it, smiled and said "oh, how true".
You see, it was only a little over two weeks ago I was in a "dry" spot in my walk with God. I didn't understand where He was leading me, He had been kind of quiet when we were together, and I had so many questions. "Did I remember the dream that started this whole adoption right?", "Was it really Elijah that I saw?", "Did God speak adoption through this?", "Why would God continue to drag out our journey, if He wanted Elijah and Ruth in our home?, "Am I not a good enough mother, and that is the reason they are kept from us?" You know those questions...questions that run through our mind when we are in the midst of a long and hard journey, questions of doubt, questions of fear, and even questions of weariness. But none the less, I had them. Duane remained with confidence and knew Elijah and Ruth were ours. Duane began to pray for me and I began to search.
It was two weeks ago, God impressed upon me that He was in the midst of growing my faith and He also nudged me to go to our small group, because He had a message for me.
"Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us."
Romans 5:3-5
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its works so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."
James 1:2-4
Perseverance. Sometimes it is so hard. Sometimes we just want to throw up the white flag and surrender. And yet through it all we are to rejoice, and consider it pure joy. Joy isn't an emotion, but rather a choice. And so I received my message from God. I will consider this long road we are on and call it 'joy'. Our group laid hands on Duane and I and prayed, specifically that the truth be revealed. I continued to seek God.
The next evening we went to church. Joy was there! And just like the evening before, God had a message for me.
"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
You see when our mouths are thanking God for all He is doing, for all He is giving, for all His goodness, our minds are reminded of the giver rather than the gift. When we continue to thank Him even in the midst of our circumstances, our eyes fall off the circumstances but rather the Maker. The situation isn't our focus anymore, God is. And that is how it all began.
I pursued. I claimed our situation as pure joy. I gave thanks over and over again...and that is how my life turned to pure excitement. Anyone who knows me knows too that I'm not what we would call an exciting person. I don't demonstrate excitement, and I would even go as far to say I don't see excitement in the little things. So that is how I know that I know, God fell upon me, filled my life with joy and excitement! Because I had excitement that was growing every day.
I do a lot of my praying and worshipping in the car, for that is where I spend a great deal of time. I remember just clapping and clapping for it was the only thing I could do to demonstrate my excitement. When I arrived home, I was shaking, uncontrollably because of the excitement. The excitement continued to grow and then we received an email, from the Liberian president...
The gross mismanagement of the adoption program (which aims primarily at placing orphans in homes in the United States), by both Liberian and U.S. personnel in the concerned NGO is the subject of a report by a Special Committee which I appointed for this purpose. Essentially, we have discovered that many of the children in these orphanages are not in fact orphans but children taken from their living parents on the promise of support and a good life in America. Moreover, we found that young children were being sexually abused at some of these orphanages, while others including officials of government, have used the program to extort money from potential adoptors. We have thus suspended the adoption program until laws, policies and proper guidelines have been established and we have asked our concerned friends and partners in the United States to be patient as we try to correct the serious malpractices which exist. We expect the National Social Welfare Policy and National Adoption Act which will be submitted to you during the course of the year, will provide guidance and prevent such abuses in the future.
So our adoption is on hold, temporarily. As we see it, another "bump" in the road. Through this announcement I have seen so many loose their hope. Some, probably are calling it quits and some are weeping and trying to hold on. But I have to say the Archibalds are EXCITED!!!! Yes, excited! You see, we had prayed that the truth be revealed. God isn't just revealing the corruption in the government, but also what is going on in other agencies, in other orphanages. God is cleaning house, and we are excited about it. This is a good thing!
The director of our agency (and the only one) had been asked to come and help establish the laws that need to be intact. God impressed upon me to offer my administrative gifts to help. What? OK, now could I be going a little crazy? Am I really hearing God right? But, what if this doubt causes me to disobey what I believe He is calling me to do? So I did, I offered. And I received no response, until...
Two days ago I was given details as to what our director would like to see at the orphanage, and could use my help. We prayed. And apparently, God has booked a ticket on February 14th for me to be heading to Liberia! We are in disbelief, in shock, and frantically getting ready!
In all of this journey, I have to say my eyes and mind were so focused on God. It wasn't until days later that it even crossed my mind...I GET TO MEET ELIJAH & RUTH! A matter of fact, I will be staying at the orphanage with them. I will have to say 'good-bye' to them, but know that for some reason I am to go. There isn't anything any more clearer.
So please pray. Pray I will be able to accomplish all that the director has for me to do. Pray I will hear God, and that my eyes will remain on Him and not what He is doing. Pray for safety. Pray for Duane and the girls - harmony in the home and a group effort to fill the hole I leave. Pray comfort for Elijah (mostly) and Ruthie when I leave. Pray God will reign in this trip and mountains moved. And above all give thanks, for God has revealed Himself once again!