From there, things took off! The Lord showed us His favor in a huge way and I hope to have time to write about that soon. He demonstrated that all things really do work together for good and His purposes and timing, even when it doesn't feel like they do.
On July 7th, we got our approval from the U.S. that we could now proceed to the FINAL step, which is getting their visas! We could literally see the finish line. The boys had to go through some medical appointments, which were done quickly and then we scheduled our visa exit interview with the U.S. Embassy in Ghana. We had our interview on Monday, August 7th. We were under the impression that the embassy would either approve our case that day or ask for more documents. They did ask for one financial document but other than that, everything seemed to be okay. They told our power of attorney they'd call him when they were ready for him to bring the document in. That was almost a month ago. Since then, I've reached the embassy through email and they have assured me they are 'actively processing' our case. I have had a range of emotions over the last month but I can honestly say I have mostly been marked with peace and a steadiness. I attribute a lot of that to the people praying for us. The hardest part was preparing our hearts to enter back into the mode of waiting, again. It reminded me of track practice back in the day when your coach said you only have 100 meters left and then when you got there he said, 'One more lap!' and you wanted to punch him in the face. Really?!? Once it became clear we weren't going to get an approval that week, my heart has had to go back to seeking Him, remaining still and trusting. Our boys are currently still in the capital city of Accra and they're staying with our friends who have graciously offered to keep them until we come. This couple has become like family to us over the last few years and it's a huge gift that we're praising God for.
At this point, our prayer request is pretty simple. That the embassy will approve our case and their visas will be printed. We will be on a plane to get them as soon as this happens.
God encourages me almost every day in some way to keep fighting and to keep trusting. I wanted to share just a couple of them. One is by His presence. In a recent sermon I listened to from Cottage Grove Church on Mark 6:30-44, the pastor, Andy Norris, said "True rest is found in the presence of Jesus." And "When we're satisfied, we can be at rest. You feel safe, secure, at peace. Run into His presence. He's here to protect me." How can I be at peace when life is anything but peaceful? It's by being in the presence of Jesus. And oh how I cannot get enough of Him right now! Bringing these boys home will not make my life easier, nor will it bring me sudden peace. If God says it's not time yet, then I lay my expectations down, I seek His presence and I find my peace. No circumstance can take that from me. It can try and for days it can seem like it actually is, but I've had to fight for this perspective. Waiting has taught me how to do this. I am fully complete right now.
There's another sermon that I'm just going to put the link for because every single word of this is so spot on. It's from Grace Church in Eden Prairie. All summer he's been going through the Psalms and teaching about the hard questions we have for God. This particular week is on Psalm 89. He poses the question, "What do you do in your darkest moment? The Psalmist anchored himself in God's ability to be God." That pretty much sums it up! I have to keep reminding myself that God is God and He's really, really good at it. I can trust Him and all His characteristics. It is worth your time to listen to this! http://www.grace.church/message-series/299 (It's "How Long, O Lord" from April 6, 2017)
The last one is a song called "Psalm 46" by Shane & Shane. It is a powerful song that speaks for itself! I posted it here:
Thank you all SO much for your continued prayers to bring our boys home! We will be celebrating their homecoming very soon!