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Blog: It’s a boy!!! - Liberia

January 6, 2009 by dekkenga
Greetings! We hope everyone had a wonderful and blessed Christmas and New Year! It seems crazy that it is already 2009. Time goes by so fast! Sorry it’s been so long since our last update. God is doing great things in our lives and in Liberia!
We have been getting several pictures of children in Liberia who are currently available for adoption, and we went back and forth with one little boy, Clarence. We considered putting our names on a waiting list to adopt an infant, but Clarence has been especially heavy on Seth’s heart, and mine as well.
It has been such a blessing seeing God at work to this point. He has used his people to provide the funds to complete our home study and make a deposit to WACSN. We are so blessed by the love and support of those God has blessed us with! We will have our first interview with our home study person hopefully within the next week or so.
God spoke to us and told us that its time to take the next step, so we emailed Sister Pam at WACSN and told her our desire to adopt Clarence, so pending the payment for the orphanage, he is ours! He is 2 ½, his birthday is July 11, 2006, and he is 2’6” tall and is the youngest of 10 siblings. He is an active young boy who is always smiling and eager to build something. 
  • God has graciously provided funds for our home study!
  • God has led us to this precious little boy!
Specific prayer requests:
  • That God would provide the $8,035 needed to secure Clarence as ours, We will soon be meeting with some people who could possibly have a grant to help. Pray that God would grant us wisdom in pursuing this!
  • Today we found out that the Liberian Ministry of Health and Social Welfare has put a temporary hold on WACSN’s adoptions. We do not know anything about this, but that God is still in control!! Pray that Maria (the president of WACSN) would have wisdom to handle the situation and it would be resolved quickly so all the adoptions may continue!
This has been quite the journey already. One verse that some very dear friends of ours shared with us is Hebrews 11:1, “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” What a great encouragement! We serve such a mighty God!!
with Love,
November 28, 2008 by dekkenga
Hello everybody! It seems like it’s been a lot longer than 2 1/2 weeks since our last entry.
So the news this time is that we’re preparing everything in order to make our trip to Liberia in the end of March! I guess that makes us about 4 1/2 months pregnant (even though we just started this journey with WACSN a month-and-a-half ago!).
There is so much we’re excited about that I don’t believe we’ll be able to share it all in this blog! We were able to spend last weekend in Huron with Dirk, his family, some friends from their community, another family who had adopted from WACSN, and John and Maria (Maria is the woman from Liberia who started WACSN). I wish we had some pictures to post from the weekend, but we forgot our camera. I’ll try get some from Dirk or others around so we can share those with you. Rebekah and I can’t express how blessed we were spending time with everybody over the weekend. We are grateful for Dirk & Julie for feeding us and opening their home to everybody for the weekend. We’re also very grateful to the Hofer family as they welcomed Rebekah and me into their home to sleep Saturday night. We were blessed by the many stories we heard over the weekend from John and Maria as well as all the others we spent time with. It is so wonderful to see and hear how God is moving in the lives of His people and joining them together for His purpose!
So, about our trip to Liberia in March!!! God is moving BIG-TIME in Liberia. If you don’t know much about the history of Liberia, I’d encourage you to do a little research online. Click here to read a little about Liberia. Rebekah and I didn’t know much about Liberia at all. What blows our minds are the similarities between Liberia (Little America) and America. As Maria says, “coming to America is like going to the future. And going back to Liberia is like going back to the past.” She says that “it’s like a unique opportunity we have to correct our past” (I can’t say the quotes are word-for-word, but pretty close). In Maria’s words, Liberians know/teach a “watered-down” Theology. In Dirk’s words, it’s just plain “bad Theology.” Dirk has been able to go back to Liberia to network with pastors in Liberia (along with some others from US I believe) in equipping them with the Word of God. In March, there is a praise crusade that Maria and others are putting on in Liberia. God has been doing so much already in preparations that it is beyond Maria and many others helping. They expect to fill a soccer stadium with 50,000 people. If people come to the crusade like they have come to other meetings and conferences Maria has had, there will be thousands more!!! God told her, “If you build it, they will come!” So we are hoping and planning on going to Liberia in March for the crusade, and Maria told us they’ll do what they need to do to get things on their end done so that we can go home with our kid(s) (that’s only possible of course as long as we get everything done on our end right away!). So the crusade, properly named “How big is God?”, is the last weekend in March, so we need to finish up our home-study process and pray for finances and everything to fall into place.
Over the weekend, we were very moved by what Maria and WACSN is doing in Liberia and the needs that they have for people. God spoke to both our hearts and we felt temporarily removed from the adoption process as if He was calling us to pack up and go help Maria in Liberia. We’re praying hard about that, but in the mean-time we feel like we need to continue forward on the path we’re on right now. We’ll continue to pray about going to Liberia, and if He starts shutting doors in our adoption process or opening doors during or later, we’ll cross that bridge when we get there! All we can do is prepare for that time!
Please continue to pray for us as God is building us up and growing us through this process. Pray specifically for our hearts that we may know His voice (John 10.1-5), that we would be efficient in getting our paperwork completed, and that money would come as we need it.
Also, just for those of you wondering, I am looking into a couple jobs right now, and I am doing some freelance video work on the side. Please also pray for guidance in finding a job.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or anything at all.
Grace & Peace,
“Let me set this before you as plainly as I can. If a person climbs over or through the fence of a sheep pen instead of going through the gate, you know he’s up to no good—a sheep rustler! The shepherd walks right up to the gate. The gatekeeper opens the gate to him and the sheep recognize his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he gets them all out, he leads them and they follow because they are familiar with his voice. They won’t follow a stranger’s voice but will scatter because they aren’t used to the sound of it.” -Jesus, John 10.1-5, The Message
November 10, 2008 by dekkenga
Not a whole lot has happened with the adoption process. We’re slowly getting some things organized; copies of marriage cert., birth cert’s, passports, fun stuff like that. We honestly don’t know how we’re going to pay for this. We applied for a grant, sent out some support letters… the unfortunate thing about most of the grants is that you have to be approved in order to apply for many grants, and we need money to do the home study and a bunch of that fun stuff before we can get approved. So, once the Lord provides enough money for the home study, we can take the next step and apply for other grants and get going on a bunch of other fun legal stuff!
Since we’ve been quiet for almost two weeks, I thought I’d answer some questions that some different people have been asking.
First, a lot of people ask about kidzzzzz… plural. Yes, we are hoping to adopt some baby twins or a sibling group (baby and sibling). It’ll be hard not to come back with the entire orphanage of kids, but I suppose it would be easier to just stay there than to get a big enough house here…
Second, a lot of questions about how things are going with a job search. This could get reeeeally long; about how God has been leading and speaking and pushing. To make a long story a little shorter… I’ve been helping out with music arts stuff at River of Life Community Church in Canton, SD for a little over 6 years now. I’ve “known” since before I went to the River that God was leading me into that realm of ministry in the Church, but there were a lot of things that kept me from just diving in and trusting God where He wanted to lead me. Having said that, all I have been through in the last six years at the River has developed my character and just made me more passionate about the work God’s doing with all of this. So I finally got to the point where I am ready to dive in, and in the coming weeks/months will work into being a paid position. To support this, I’ll still need to get a job to help pay the bills. I’ve been doing some freelance video work here and there that helps out a little bit, and there are a couple jobs I’m looking into doing video/computer type work.
If anybody has any questions, please feel free to ask us; even if it’s as silly as if we have names picked out or whether or not we’ll keep their given names.
As crazy as the last couple weeks have been; from losing my job & my grandma to getting a cold and barely being able to sing let alone talk…  Rebekah and I give thanks that we have a place to keep warm, two cars that run, a nice bed to sleep on, clean water to drink, an abundance and variety of food to eat, amazing friends and family to support us and carry us… and on and on…
“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.” Anonymous, Psalm 136.1
October 28, 2008 by dekkenga
I’m not sure where to start with this one. At face value, none of what I’m going to write about seems to pertain to our adoption journey. I can’t help but think that it has everything to do with our adoption journey!
Yesterday I was fired from my job, effective immediately and paid through Nov. 10. Rebekah said that she has had a feeling that something bad was going to happen. She thought maybe our house was going to burn down. I told her better this than our house (except the home owner’s insurance would have covered the fire!). God has been moving so much lately through our lives! More specifically, we have been seeking Him and following Him closely. It is pretty evident that Satan is at work constantly trying to knock us down during this process. If Satan were to target anything in our lives, it would be anything to do with money! He knows that money has been the biggest obstacle in us “leaving our nets” and fully following Christ. Thankfully, the Spirit has been at work in our hearts, and He has prepared us for this.
After I left work yesterday, I was telling Rebekah that I was kind of excited. I just can’t believe that God would allow this to happen without having something more PERFECT for us in store. This is so much like when we were told we wouldn’t be approved for our adoption through Bethany/Ethiopia. We went through the desert for a couple months, and in the end God revealed to us what He’s doing and wants us to be part of.
Rebekah encouraged me yesterday proclaiming that “greater is He who is in me than he who is in the world” (1 John 1.4).
My friend Nate encouraged us last night from 1 Peter 1, “So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold - though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.”
Yesterday morning, when I didn’t have a clue what was going to unfold, the Spirit was reminding me where my focus has to be as I was reading Dirk’s blog-writing on Mark 10 (Dirk, God has brought you back into our life with authority!!!). If you’re not familiar with this passage, Jesus is teaching about how hard it is for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God. The disciples were taken back and asked Jesus who in the world could be saved then, and Jesus said “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But not with God. Everything is possible with God.” Then Peter replied to Jesus that they have given up everything to follow Him. Then Jesus says “Yes, and I assure you that everyone who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or property, for my sake and for the Good News, will receive now in return a hundred times as many houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and property - along with persecution. And in the world to comes that person will have eternal life. But many who are the greatest now will be least important then, and those who seem least important now will be the greatest then.” As Dirk wrote in his blog, so many teachers and readers of this passage look past the point: FOR MY SAKE; FOR ME!!! Jesus says. It is so easy to become distracted by the things Jesus promises (houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and property, … persecution…) and forgot it’s FOR HIS SAKE!!! (not to mention, I don’t think Jesus was talking about worldly “possessions” as much as he was about brothers and sisters in Christ and community… but that’s not the point). So, God prepared my heart in the morning with these words. You can read Dirk’s blog HERE.
To go along with all of these passages and thoughts, something that has been on my heart and mind a lot lately is the act of abiding/remaining in Christ. Jesus teaches about the Vine and the Branches, and says “Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.” Like in the passage in Mark, this can be twisted to say God will give us what we want! Well, first of all, the point is to abide in Him; to remain in Him; and His words in us. IF… IF IF IF IF we remain in Him and His words remain in us, THEN THEN THEN THEN…. THEN we may ask and have our request granted. He says it WILL be granted; God WILL give us what we want! So that’s great, we think. So if I follow Christ and remain in Him, He’ll give me my new apple computer or monster truck or mansion, right??? I don’t think so! If we truly remain in Him and His words remain in us, do you think that stuff is really going to be what we desire???? Maybe God will give it to us, but I don’t think that’s what we truly desire…
So this is an interesting point of our journey. I’m listening to Misty Edwards right now, and a song just came on; “I’m waiting in this desert, just waiting for the rain; but I won’t leave this desert until I see the rain. I’m waiting in the wilderness of promises yet fulfilled; but I won’t leave this wilderness until I see the rain.” That’s where we are, Lord! Bring the rain! We won’t leave until we see the rain!
Friends, family; pray with us as we move forward in this process. God’s bringing the rain, and He WILL be glorified! Amen? AMEN!
Grace & Peace,
October 23, 2008 by dekkenga
Okay, so for those of you who have already read our info and know where we’re at and are wondering “Now what?!”…
I checked out the orphanage’s website when we got back yesterday, and I e-mailed Sister Pam (the woman who, from what I understand, is the point person in the US), and she already replied to me last night with loads of things to do; information sheet, list of required paperwork to complete, etc., etc.. So, now we have to start filling out forms for the legal proceedings, applications for grants, and move forward as fast as we can on our knees!
Not much of an update, but we hope that every bit of news is as exciting to you as it is for us!
Grace and Peace,
October 23, 2008 by dekkenga
Greetings! This is a test, this is only a test. Okay, this is a welcome, post one! We have never done the blogging thing before, but this journey that we’re on of adopting is such a significant one that we feel that we need to write about it and share as God leads us in this incredible time of our lives. I am so blessed being married to Rebekah, and the heart that God has given her has overflowed in to my life, and I am beyond blessed that I am able to share this journey with her.
Throughout this process, I hope that we can keep this up-to-date so you can share in our journey. Check out the About page. You can also subscribe to RSS feeds and stuff like that, although I’d have to ask somebody how it works if you don’t know since my brother had to tell me about it and ask me to enable it!
Grace and Peace,
2009 Jan 6