June already feels like it's flying by. I can't believe that in just a handful of weeks, we'll be boarding a plane and heading to Kiev, Ukraine! Neither Selden nor I love flying, so please be praying that I won't hyperventilate while flying over the ocean.
This morning, I want to express my thanks. When I have needed help, friends have shown up, unexpectedly, to lighten my load. When we've shared our story of Sasha coming into our lives (and I've tried not to cry while talking about seeing him finally get to have that highly anticipated fishing day with my husband - even if it's halfway around the world), I've seen smiles spread across faces, and I know that the Lord's moving hearts for this boy and his friends at Sunshine. I remember daily that this is the Lord's work, not mine, and He will do this.
Some area churches have expressed interest in sharing the ministry of Sunshine and our heart for Sasha and the kids who, like him, call Sunshine their home. Please pray for these opportunities with us. It's exciting to see God take the seeds of a small "yes" spoken by a couple of ordinary parents in a small New England town and grow them into more ministry opportunities, more ways to spread the Gospel and the heart of Christ. We know all we have offer to our Father is small, but we have a Lord who can take a few loaves and fishes and feed thousands. It's the willingness to give what we can that God wants to see in our lives. Sometimes, knowing that what we have is less than what is needed to accomplish something has kept me from the "yes," but not any more.
I'd like to take this moment to let you all know that, as you have come alongside us in prayer, in giving of time and encouragement and even sharing with us financially, this mission is already bearing fruit, and we haven't even packed our bags. We're very excited to spend time with all the children and to do some special things to bless them in the name of Jesus while we're in Ukraine. This is a heart mission. A sharing God's love in tangible ways mission. An entering-your-world-because-you-are-worth-the-effort mission. All of these children are worth the time and effort of getting to know personally, and the staff who minister to them daily are people I am honored to have the privelage of calling friends and getting to meet!
We got a sweet letter from Sasha late last week. He is excited for our visit. His heart sounds hopeful and full of anticipation, and he's already coming up with a list of places in Ukraine he wants to take us, and we can't wait! God loves this boy, this young man who puts tears in my eyes every time a new photo of him comes up in my email. Every time I see his letters, signed "Your Sasha," my heart whispers a tearful "thank you, Jesus" to the Father of the fatherless, to the One who takes regular people like us and helps us be family to a child we've yet to meet but recognized as "one of our kids" the first time we laid eyes on him.