Monday, August 29, 2011

Quick Update on Lissie

Lissie is pictured here nearly a decade ago at age 10 with her newly adopted Russian sisters, Cassandra (l) and Jaynie. Fast forward to current day and you'll find her on a return flight from St. Petersburg, Russia. As far as we know her first flight is in the air! She's spent the last 10 days in St. Petersburg, Russia, working with orphans and street children with an organization called Orphan Outreach.

Her flight from St. Petersburg to Frankfort left Russia at 6 am Russia time this morning (9 pm central). The driver picked the group up at 3 a.m.!!! From Frankfort she'll fly to Chicago. We hope to get to hear her voice for the first time since she left  soon after her arrival in the Windy City (about mid morning).

She then flies from Chicago to Minneapolis and then on to our home town. Lord willing, she'll reach our airport around 4 PM. What a day!

Lissie has dreamed of working in Russian orphanages for about five years and has studied Russian extra hard as part of that dream. She left  St. Petersburg so grateful to God for the experience! We're eager to hear her stories when she returns and isn't too tired to tell them!:)

We'd be so grateful for your prayers for her safe arrival, that she would bounce back quickly, that she would avoid illness and that she would get a quick jump on her college work. Thanks, friends!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

For Lissie and Jaynie

Mrs. Beaver:

Dad says this is Sunshine's superhero pose. Heehee! We miss you both very much.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Family Frolic

Mrs. Beaver:

Last night we visited the city's off-leash dog park at sunset. The fenced area must be about 15 acres--uphill (no, not both ways)--a perfect stroll on a beautiful late August evening. Not only did our two "pups" have a good time, the rest of us did, too.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Video -- Hope is Fading

Mrs. Beaver:

We've posted this video before. However, with Lissie describing her interactions with orphans in St. Petersburg, Russia, this week on her blog , it's time for a re-post.

Her photos have made my heart ache all over again for the children Mr. Beaver and I have had to leave behind each time we've adopted. Their faces continue to haunt us.

Is it your turn? Is it your turn to die to self? Is it your turn to adopt? Is it your turn to give hope to the hopeless? The cost of adding an orphan to the family is enormous in more ways than I can tell you. But, our God's grace exceeds every need an orphan creates. Is it your turn to trust God and provide a home for a homeless child? I ask again, is it your turn to trust God? Would our God, whose heart is so soft toward the young silent sufferers in this world, agree with you that this isn't your calling?

I pray God will give you the blessing of an ache that can't be satisfied in any other way than adding a fatherless child to your family. I pray you will be as blessed as we have been.

(Please mute our music on the right sidebar before watching)

Hope is Fading – Orphan Sunday from Allan Rosenow on Vimeo.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Home Safely

Thanks to those of you who've prayed for us. Our whole family is grateful to God that Mr. Beaver and Joe are home. Joe is already tucked in bed after they just made it in time to urgent care before it closed. He has a double ear infection so the decision to drive the last leg rather than fly was a wise one.

More to come on the adventures going on in our family...

God is good and does good,
Mrs. Beaver

More Pleas for Prayer

Mrs. Beaver:

Joe and Jaynie in Jake and Kristin's home
I got a call from Mr. Beaver about an hour ago telling me that he and Joe were back on American soil after escorting Jaynie to Central Asia.

Mr. Beaver told me that with Joe being ill the past couple of days his ears gave him tremendous trouble as they landed. In fact the pain was so excruciating that instead of flying from the Twin Cities to our home town (about an hour long flight), they've rented a car. The drive is about 4-1/2 hours.

Please pray:
  • for Mr. Beaver's alertness as the driver. He's missed so much sleep in the past 8 days as he's traveled to the other side of the world.
  • for God to heal Joe. His throat and intestines are also bothering him.
  • for the two of them to reach our medical clinic's evening urgent care before the office closes at 8 p.m. It'll be a race for them to get there in time, but if they make it Joe can start an antibiotic tonight. A blessing in all this is that our PA is on duty tonight, and she's like family!:)
  • last--but really most importantly--for all of us to trust God and BELIEVE that He is good and does good (Psalm 119:68).
Just because I'm posting these prayer requests, don't miss Mr. Beaver's newest post just below.

Thank you, friends,
Mrs. Beaver

A Sad Parting... and a New Beginning

Continuing to catch up after the fact...
August 22, 2011

Mr. Beaver:
Today is the day... the day when I leave my sweet 18 year old 'baby' behind in a foreign land. The feelings have not changed - I still feel like someone has punched me in the stomach - but God is giving both Jaynie and me the grace to move forward anyway. And Joe is providing strength to us both. I can't imagine how Jaynie feels, but she is being very brave and cheerful... most of the time.

After one last breakfast together, we packed the car and prepared for a trip to the local airport. No overland journey this time. Due to the local holidays, Jake judged a charter flight was the only reliable way for Joe and I to head toward home.

Joe, Jaynie and I just before leaving for the airport
We drove out about 20 minutes beyond the end of town toward the local 'airport'. I put 'airport' in quotes because it's nothing more than a landing field in the middle of the desert. In fact, we missed the turn and had stopped to ask directions at a rare roadside stand when we saw the inbound plane fly over. We scurried back into the car and gave chase, finding the road by watching where the plane landed.

We had to drive about a kilometer off the main road to get to the landing strip, and, ironically it was a guarded landing strip. We were stopped by guards at a gate about 1000m from the plane. I think they stopped us for something to do. They put on a big show of not allowing us in, explaining to Jake (who understands the language) that theirs is a serious business as they guard about $180 million in airplanes. Ironically, the animated guard pointed to an old crashed jet as evidence of the value of the planes he is guarding.

Apart from our charter airplane, this was the highest value plane around
He made Jake get out of the car and take every bag out of the trunk. He searched each bag before finally letting us go. Meanwhile, Joe and I were watching the clock as we had no backup for missing our charter flight.

Eventually, the grumpy guard was satisfied and waved us through. Jake drove at car-destroying speeds over the remaining, rut-filled dirt road to help us catch our flight. The grumpy guard and the bumpy road also left us relatively little time for parting with Jaynie... perhaps a blessing in disguise.
Our charter plane was a real blessing
After a culture-bucking embrace with my dear daughter, Joe and I climbed into the plane and watched with interest as the pilots quickly and professionally prepared for take-off. We waved goodbye to Jaynie and Jake as our plane taxied out to the runway. Then the engines roared to life and we streaked down the runway to a perfect lift-off.

The Swiss pilots were very professional and congenial

The fun, new experience for Joe helped distract him from the moment of 'goodbye'
I will always, always remember the site of Jaynie and Jake standing there waving as we streaked by on take-off. As our plane quickly streaked into the sky, something else streaked down my face.

Joe and I were on our way home... and so was Jaynie... in a different direction. Jaynie will always be our precious daughter, but we have to admit she has begun something new now. This parting is the beginning of a new chapter that God has already written in Jaynie's life... and in our lives. We will take each next step, one-by-one, in simple faith, knowing that God works all things together for good to those who love Him, to those who are called according to His purpose.

We will always love you, Jaynie! We will always be here for you! We are so proud of you!


Monday, August 22, 2011

Please Pray for Mr. Beaver and Joe

Mrs. Beaver:

Mr. Beaver and Joe are now on their way home after escorting Jaynie to the families she will be serving in Central Asia for the next several months (see posts below this one for more info).

I just talked to Mr. Beaver from Dubai (their connecting city in the Middle East). Both he and Joe are ill...fever, aches, chills, etc.

After resting in a hotel for a few hours, they are now on their way back to the airport for the 14-hour flight to the U.S.

Please pray that God will heal my men. Please pray that our Heavenly Father will lift the symptoms that would make such an incredibly long flight MISERABLE.

Thank you, friends near and far. As we have said before, your support means so very much to our family, and that sentiment is that much truer in the extreme circumstances we are currantly experiencing as we seek to serve our beloved Lord.

God is good and does good,
Mrs. Beaver

Blessed Be Your Name

(Note from Mr. Beaver - The next few posts will be post-dated, as I had limited internet access while in Jaynie's new town. I'll try to space them a bit, but still felt them worth sharing.)

August 18-19, 2011

Mr. Beaver:

Blessed be Your Name in the land that is plentiful
Where Your streams of abundance flow
Blessed be Your Name
And blessed be Your Name when I'm found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed be Your Name

This is one of my favorite praise and worship songs... and it took on a whole new meaning to me today. Though the explanation is long, please bear with me while I try to explain why this praise song struck me so deeply today.

Last night (8/18) we ventured onward, adding more air miles to our journey toJaynie's new temporary home. When we landed we were immediately greeted by about a 15 degree hike in the already high temperatures we had faced. And the ground was so dry we kicked up our own dust storm walking from the airplane to the parking lot.

It was not unusual to have to shake the dust off of everything, especially our shoes
From there we went straight to a birthday party that was being hosted by several of Jake and Kristen's friends in the area. I didn't actually count, but I would say there were at least a dozen kids there age 10 and under. They were laughing, singing and having a fabulous time... not because of how elaborate the party was, but because of how good the fellowship was. Likewise, the adults were enjoying each other's company, truly drawing strength and refreshment from each other simply because the fellowship is so precious in this land that is far from home.

At that party we met a woman who had grown up working with her mother who did short-term volunteer work every year for an orphanage in the Bryansk region of Russia. That's the region in which we adopted Jaynie 10 years ago.  They were amazed when they found out Jaynie was from Bryansk... and drop-jawed when they found out we had 5 other kids from Bryansk as well. An impossible connection made possible because God had connected us across the miles and the years!

We also connected with a couple who had occupied an apartment which was later occupied by some very dear friends of ours. Not that amazing, right? Wrong! The apartment we're talking about is in a remote part of Central Asia! And we ran into these people here at a children's birthday party! How amazing is our God, and how kind to provide these evidences of His providence in the midst of taking Jaynie to live thousands of miles away for the next several months.

As the party broke up we were taken to the house of a couple who has been here about 10 years. They had previously lived in Colorado Springs, not far from where Mrs. Beaver and I grew up! They graciously housed and fed us along with Jake and Kristen's family... no small task!

We awoke this morning (8/19), showered in cold water (actually a blessing), ate breakfast, fellowshipped and then hit the road to our final destination.

We packed 8 people and all our luggage plus a driver into a non-air-conditioned mini-van and headed out on a 2 hour cross-country trek... across the desert. Before we left town, Jake had to make one final security check to see that the road was safe, and off we went.

We saw many things we have never seen before: herds of camels, ancient mud city-walls, armed police check-points, a variety of hot-weather crops and eventually, dry, hot sandy dessert. Lots of dry, hot sandy dessert.

We started the trip at 8:45am to avoid the worst of the heat, but it was a truly hot, sweaty ride. At times we had to ride with the windows up due to dust, but we couldn't keep them up for long due to the temperature in the car. Jaynie and Kristen also had to endure head covering for the entire trip because we were out in a place where they would be seen by local men. However, it was a safe ride, and for that we give thanks!

As we finally neared our destination, we passed the last armed check-point and quickly arrived at Jake and Kristen's home. We were greeted by their local helpers and quickly set about unpacking and settling in.

Joe and Jaynie in Jake and Kristin's home
After a brief rest, we ventured around the block to the home of the other family (the W family) that Jaynie will be serving while here. Kristin had phoned ahead and asked C (the wife / mom of the W family) to prepare lunch for us. Here you have to plan ahead... you can't just phone for pizza or head out for fast food.

When we arrived at the W's house, we were greeted by Mom (C), daughter (G), Jaynie's new house-mate (H) and other people who work with Jake and Kristen in this area. The meal was a traditional Central Asian lamb with rice dish which was a very welcome and tasty way to facilitate our fellowship.

Joe escorting Jaynie as she navigates fully covered for one of her first times out
Jaynie got a tour of her new living quarters, which are practically luxurious!

After lunch we spent the afternoon mostly resting and talking to avoid the most intense heat of the day. But as the heat waned, Jake took us for a drive to see the town. This is a totally different world! But as you look into the eyes of these people you see the same desires you would see at home: the desire for happiness, for the welfare of their children, for the opportunity to work and have a decent life. Despite our many cultural differences, at the core our wants and needs are really very similar.

The rickshaw-like vehicles with a motorcycle on the front and covered area in back are common way to get around

We ended the day with a relaxed picnic on the porch, as it was still very hot inside. Power comes in very unreliable spurts here, making fans welcome but spotty relief from the heat. Today we had a power outage for most of the afternoon, so the house was very hot. Fortunately, as you might expect in a desert location, the temperature started to fall quickly when the sun set.

After we cleared away the dishes we all went inside where we joined in praise, worship and prayer to end the day. Kristen has collected dozens of great praise songs and plays the guitar beautifully. We ended our day singing Blessed be Your Name, which brings me back to my opening comment.

While the hymn writer probably meant something quite different, I was particularly struck by this song today because of the analogies I had experienced throughout the day.

Today and throughout this trip, I have seen places of amazing abundance... and I have seen (quite literally) the "desert place". And in both places I have had reason to say "Blessed be Your Name!" God is good in ease and comfort, but He is also good in the midst of hardship. He is good in the place of plenty and in places of want. In all places and in all circumstances let us acknowledge His goodness by rising up to Bless His Name!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

On Her Way

Mrs. Beaver:

Lissie is enroute to St. Petersburg, Russia, to work with a team of women who will be ministering to orphans and street children.

Here are some photos from her departure this afternoon:

Our Dear Lissie,

You go with out hearts, our love, our pride, our support, our enthusiasm for your effort in a cause near and dear to God's heart, and our continually prayers.

We love you beyond what words can express,
Mom on behalf of Dad

Friday, August 19, 2011

Then...and Now (and an update)

Mrs. Beaver:

Jaynie at age eight at her orphanage just before we adopted her...

...and a decade later: Jaynie's senior pictures taken just before she left for Central Asia.

A quick update: Mr. Beaver just called from their very rural destination in one of the Central Asian countries. All three of them are doing well, although they're very, very, very hot. Mr. Beaver slept outside last night becasue of the heat and a power outage, and Mr. Beaver is NOT a camping man! :)

 In order to honor the Muslims who populate the area, Jaynie will be wearing a burqa whenever she is outside the wall of the compound where she'll be living and working. One of the mom's whom she'll be helping has purchased that piece of clothing for her. Her burqa covers everything to her wrists and ankles, and has a net over the eyes. Jaynie will not be alone when she dons her burqa; all of the women in the area wear them over their scarves when they leave their homes.

It's Saturday morning on the other side of the world now. On Sunday morning their time, Jaynie's dad and her dear friend and brother, Joe, will be departing to return home. Please pray for her strength and ability to cling to Christ as they separate. We'll see her again in December or January, Lord willing, but initially the return to her family will seem like its and eternity away.

Please Pray: Second Daughter Set to Depart

Mrs. Beaver:

Not just one but two of our daughters are traveling internationally this week to serve in far off places. You've been reading about Jaynie's journey with her dad and brother to Central Asia.

Lissie is also ready for the adventure of a lifetime! She has been preparing for weeks to travel to St. Petersburg, Russia, to work with a group called Orphan Outreach. Lissie and several other women will meet in the airport in Frankfort, Germany. They will then fly to Russia's former capital.

When the group of volunteers arrives, they will spend  a week teaching the children in three orphanages in the St. Petersburg area about Christ through a program similar to Vacation Bible School or Awana. They will also be conducting a day camp for street children with the same goal of giving them hope that lasts for an eternity by introducing them to Jesus.

Unlike her Jaynie, 19-year-old Lissie will be traveling without any other family members.

As Lissie and I work together to accomplish the last minute details, here are some prayer requests:
  • That we would both be able to glorify God as we respond to all that we have left to accomplish
  • That we would be able to think clearly
  • That God would protect Lissie from any more of the severe migraines she has been experiencing this week
  • That Lissie would be able to finish her college course work for this week and the next before she leaves tomorrow
  • That God would help us through technical issues she is encountering with her laptop as she does her online coursework.
Thanks, friends. Your support and prayer cover means so very much to our family!

God is good and does good,

Thursday, August 18, 2011

... for You alone, O Lord Make Me to Dwell in Safety

Mr. Beaver:

Yesterday was all new to us... and full of faith-stretching reminders of God's presence with us.
First, we had all slept very well after our long journey from America. For those unacquainted with overseas travel, I can't overstate what a blessing this was, as the body often gets so confused by jetlag that it can't produce sleep even when you're exhausted. The Lord spared us this and provided a great night of sleep in a lovely hotel.

The hotel grounds had many statues of Arabian horses, which are revered here
We started the next stage of the journey at 8:45am enroute to a noon flight from this very cosmopolitan city. The airlines always recommend checking in 3 hours early for international flights, and after pushing that boundary once we now do everything we can to comply. We entered a nearly empty terminal and were one of only two groups checking in at the time. I wasn't terribly surprised, as we're not exactly going to the vacation hot-spot of the world.

In any event, we stopped at an airport restaurant to load up with bottled water, not knowing when we would have the chance again. Notice how empty the world famous restaurant was? It was due to the religious holiday here.

Yes... we only bought water here... much to the surprise and chagrin of the operators
In the end, we were surprised to find that our flight was completely full. I guess the others just had more experience in traveling here and had checked in after us. As best we could tell, it seemed that nearly everyone on the flight was a government contractor from the US. Our flight was uneventful, but the scenery was breath-taking as we flew over Jaynie's new home for the next few months. It was like seeing the surface of another planet, nearly devoid of plant-life, but beautiful in it's own way.

Upon arrival, we knew we had entered a new phase of our journey, as all of a sudden we were clearly in the 3rd world. Security was tight and passport control was serious. And Jaynie had to don her head-covering out of respect for the local culture.

Nevertheless, while we were waiting, we were blessed with a reassuring wave from a familiar face on the other side of passport control. Jake, the head of one of Jaynie's host families had come to greet us and escort us to our lodgings for the night. Just when we needed the encouragement, God provided it in Jake!

After passing through passport control we joined Jake who ushered us through additional country registration requirements and helped us gather our luggage. Praise God that again, all our luggage arrived safely. Throughout our long, long, long journey, God has granted timely planes, safe passage and luggage that stuck with us to the end!
Jake escorted us to a waiting car that had been arranged to take us to our local lodgings and we were soon on the streets of this interesting city. Joe commented that he had never experienced quite the wild-west feeling of a drive like the one we experienced on the way to our lodgings... Jake said we hadn't seen anything yet!

We're not in Kansas anymore!
Anyway, we arrived and quickly greeted all of Jake's family, as they are staying at the same place while we wait for our next flight. We had already met Jake's wife, Kristen, and their oldest son, as they had stayed at our house many years ago while visiting our church. We had not yet met their two younger sons, who quickly figured out that Jaynie was going to be a great new friend and teacher for them.
Gates to the building where we're staying

Our lodgings the first night in-country
We were also blessed here to see the parents of some of our friends from church, as they live next door to the lodging house where we're staying! What a small world!
After fellowship and dinner together (served family style), Joe and I helped with kitchen clean-up while Jaynie got to know her host family better. Then Joe and I hit our international travel 'wall' and collapsed into bed for the night.

Once again, the Lord provided good sleep for Jaynie and Joe. Although I had more trouble sleeping, I got some good rest and arose early to see our new surroundings and to read my Bible.

I was able to get some pictures from inside our lodgings and then Jake pointed out that I could also go to the roof and take pictures. As you can see the city if fairly large, very 3rd world and, at least this morning, choked by smog. Later in the day, Jake explained that this city is surrounded on 3 sides by mountains, making it a smog trap.
But perhaps most poignant of all was the sight I had when I pulled back the curtains in our room. I was struck by this sight after having read Psalm 4 this morning.

View out the window in the room where Joe and I are sleeping
We are in a place where security is not a given. But Psalm 4 reminds us that our only REAL security comes from above. Like David, I will give thanks and say,

"In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for YOu alone, O Lord, make me to dwell in safety."

Praise Him from whom all REAL peace comes!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Change Can Be Hard

Mrs. Beaver:
At Grandma and Aunt Jean's house the summer after J & C's adoption
2008--visiting England, where the first five in the family used to live
From the time we adopted Jaynie and Cassandra 10 years ago, our four oldest daughters have been close-knit. They've shared bedrooms, clothes, make-up, and most importantly, their hearts with each other.

The past five months have brought such change to the foursome. Anna is now a happy wife four states away, and, as of this week, Jaynie is a homeschool helper 9,000 miles away.
Yesterday at the airport as Jaynie departed with her dad and Joe
How grateful I am to God for creating such a close bond between sisters from two different continents. People some times ask us if biological and adopted siblings can truly bond with one another. The answer is a resounding, "YES!"

I'm also deeply grateful that we have a sympathizing Saviour who Himself wept! I am grateful that we have a God who doesn't shame us for grieving but commands instead, "Weep with those who weep."

My girls who have been such dear friends are going to hurt for some time over the loss of the daily-ness of their relationship. But I know that that same sympathizing Saviour is also an all-powerful King who will strengthen them and help them adjust to the "new normal" in our family as our "arrows" begin to fly.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Remember... the Hard Road Also Lies Behind...

As we prepare our children to go serve in whatever capacity the Lord has in mind for them, we prepare them for a hard road ahead. We take special care to sharpen the arrows He has placed in our quiver, honing and straightening them to whatever degree we can so that they will fly straight and true... sharpening them so that they will make an impact when they hit the target He has set before them. But the road ahead of them is hard in many ways. They will hit bumps along the way and potholes that risk mis-aligning them to the course He has set before them (sorry for the mixed analogies... it's the best I can do with jet lag).

Such is the stuff this week is made of for Jaynie and Mrs. Beaver and me. We must pray Jaynie through the challenging road that lies ahead. It is only now that she will fully realize her need for the only One who can actually meet her needs, as she comes out from under our direct protection. And that transition is hard. She will need much prayer and encouragement to fight the fight of faith that lies ahead.

But let us not lose sight of the hard road that lies behind as well. There too, much prayer and encouragement is needed... and much faith.

What do I mean by this? I mean that those who 'send' also need much support, not just those who go.

Parenting is hard. Single-parenting is unimagineably hard (bless those who have no choice in the matter - we must pray even more for you!) This week, Mrs. Beaver is single-parenting 8 beautiful blessings who are still at home. And that's a blessing, but it's also very, very, very hard.

Mrs. Beaver and I have often joked that we had to switch to zone defense once we were 'out-numbered'. But in reality, parents can never play zone defense. Each child has real needs... and they're not timed in sequence to be manageable by one parent. They can't just be 'contained' which is what zone defense is all about. In fact, there is a far better analogy than zone defense... single-parenting actually looks a lot more like 'whack-a-mole', the carnival game.

Just in case you've never played it, let me describe. In whack-a-mole, mechanical moles stick their heads up above the surface of the game board, and it's the job of the game player to 'whack' them on the head as they come up in various places all over the game surface. The goal is to see every mole and whack it on the head before it goes back down below the game surface. It's pretty easy at first as the game starts slowly, with one mole at a time sticking it's head up in slow progression. But as the game moves on, the pace of the moles increases and increases and increases until it seems several moles are sticking their heads up all at once. The game player at this point is working furiously to first identify and then 'whack' each mole as it sticks it's head up. The game player has almost no chance of seeing everything in time, reacting appropriately and keeping up.

Single-parenting feels a lot like that. And with that situation, comes the need for much prayer, encouragement and faith.

Not only does it feel like you're hopelessly unable to meet all the needs of your children. It can even push you to trying meeting those needs much like the game player... by frantically 'whacking' down each need as it arises just to keep up.

Instead, parents need the wisdom to understand that they cannot meet all the needs on their own - they need their Savior and Lord to stand in the gap for them, providing wisdom, patience and grace to meet the needs of their little moles. They need miraculous intervention to slow the 'pace of the game' so they can slow down and process each one of those very real needs with each of their little moles. And they need the faith to rest and hope in Him, not in the overwhelming circumstances. They need to remember that Jesus NEVER plays whack-a-mole with our needs.

And sending out a sibling is hard too! It's a huge adjustment to send someone you love away for an extended time, especially when they're your friend. This is a hard time, too, for our children. And they don't have any say in the matter. Instead, they feel the loss, and feel no sense of control over the situation. What they need most now is a Savior to come alongside them and remind them that they can be forever connected with their sibling, even across time and miles, by His Spirit.

May I ask for the blessing of your prayers that:
  • Mrs. Beaver would have the faith and the wisdom to lean not on her own understanding, but instead to trust in Him with all her heart, and to lead our children in a way that shows them Christ in every circumstance as the strong, kind, wise Lord that He is.
  • Mrs. Beaver would have the strength and endurance to single-parent 8 little moles for over a week.
  • Mrs. Beaver would have Jesus' vision to really see the needs of her little moles as they arise, and the wisdom to stop and process those needs one-by-one, with the compassion of Jesus, even when they seem to be coming in torrents.
  • All 8 of our 'little moles', and especially the oldest ones, would see the need to focus not on their own needs, but to help Mrs. Beaver meet the many needs coming at her.
  • That our family would be blessed by a unity of the spirit that is beyond our comprehension.
  • Above all, please pray that in my home, selfishness would be slayed and all would be kind toward one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other just as Christ also has forgiven us.
Thank you for your prayers and support!

Monday, August 15, 2011

When Did the Journey Begin?

Mr. Beaver:

Today was the beginning of a significant journey in the life of Jaynie. Today, Joe and I took off with her from our local airport enroute to Central Asia, where Jaynie will work as a homeschool helper for a couple of American families for the next several months.

Jaynie and Joe in the world's busiest airport
This amazing adventure had many beginnings before today... and looking back through the lens of hindsight, we can see in each step the mighty hand of our sovereign God at work... blessing, guiding and keeping Jaynie along the way.

We received a great send-off from several members of our church

In a way, Jaynie's journey began yesterday, as our church family 'prayed her out'. They covered her with precious prayer and promises of ongoing prayer, asking for God's help and care for her as she lives away from home and family for the first time since we adopted her 10 years ago.

And in another way, Jaynie's journey began months ago when the American families in Central Asia sent out a plea for a homeschool helper to come and help them teach their children in difficult circumstances. When Jaynie saw their e-mail, she immediately responded by going to Mrs. Beaver to say 'Someday, I'd like to do something like this...'. Little did Jaynie suspect that God had been working on Mrs. Beaver's heart, preparing it for just such an unexpected turn. Mrs. Beaver picked up the phone right away to find out more information and to consult with me... already at peace with the idea of sending our precious daughter off to serve.

And little did Jaynie know that God had been secretly preparing my heart as well. By His grace I was able to move from 'Over my dead body...' to 'Yes, Lord, she's Yours...' in just a matter of minutes.

In short, Mrs. Beaver, Jaynie and I all believe this incredibly challenging journey is absolutely what the Lord wants her to do right now. And we all have peace in sending her out. By the world's standards we should not have peace. But our God is amazing.

You see, the REAL beginning of this journey speaks to just how amazing He is... and to how we can trust Him even in difficult circumstances. Somewhere... sometime... in the past... God chose Jaynie for just such a purpose as this. And He started the meticulous, gracious process of preparing her heart and ours for the event. Over time, and through many ups and downs, He brought us to just the right place to respond to the need at just the right time.

If our sovereign Lord had revealed His purposes to us before we were ready, who knows how we would have responded? But, as usual, His ways and His timing are perfect. And He prepared us for this moment.

This parting is not without sorrow. We left so many puddles in the airport they brought out one of those yellow caution signs and a mop. Doing what the Lord wants often involves separation from loved ones, inconvenience, and even danger. But in the midst of all of these challenges, we can rest in Him, knowing that not even one hair can fall from our heads without His knowing it and allowing it (OK... I should probably have picked a different example in my case... as the hairs have already fallen!).

So here Jaynie goes. We'll do our best to stay connected in remote conditions to chronicle the journey to her destination. Then the chronicle will belong to Jaynie... and, of course, to God.

We love you Jaynie!

Mom and Dad