Sunday, September 6, 2009

Update from Africa

So Far…So Good
We left our home Friday at 11:30…it is currently Sunday morning 6:08am (Austin time) and 2:10pm Addis Ababa time. Our travel has been long and uneventful. One of the most unsettling parts about this trip (for Leah) would be the traveling portion. More specifically, flying. While Brent LOVES it, I, on the other hand dislike it. Many of you knew this deep fear of mine and thus, prayed. Let me tell you that God answered your prayers!
On the Austin to Houston leg…the plane was packed and since we had purchased our tickets 48 hours in advance, there were no seats together. One of our prayers has been for God to use us, teach us, and keep our focus on His kingdom – not just our adoption. Well…Brent sat near a precious gal who was from North Carolina and was intrigued and full of joy for our adoption. They were two rows in front of me and at one point she turns around and in a fairly loud voice shouts “congratulations, I am soooooooo happy for you!” The entire trip they shared about “real life” and God was present. As for me, I sat next to Sarah. Guess who she works for? A Glimmer of Hope…which is an agency that is solely focused on Ethiopia. (Check out their website Currently, they are focusing on a village to bring clean drinking water, a school and a health post. The village has about 5,000 people in it and their desire is to transform it and building relationships. Sarah and I had great conversations and what are the chances God would place us near this precious friend, who too has a heart of Ethiopia and is giving her life works to be part of this incredible effort. Go God!!!
Now, in Houston, we had a 4+ hour layover. One thing we did to pass our time was go to the ExpresSpa. There I met Gigi…she was a neat woman, who is a single mom trying to make a living. We shared about our journey and she shared about her life. While the manicure and chair massage was “heaven”…my time spent with her was even better. You know when you have this soul connection and you are simply sharing about “real life.” Two strangers…on two separate journeys…with struggles and joys…and we were able to share life.
The big mountain to climb was the Emirates flight from Houston to Dubai. This is where God showed up big time. If you ever have a chance to fly this airline – take it. Let’s just say, I sat by an old man (for those of you who know me – I LOVE the elderly, especially old men). He was enroute to the Philippians and had quite a bit to say about everything. When we weren’t talking…Brent and I were watching a movie. Yes, 4 of them. We each had our own screen in front of us and had the pick of movies, music, games and choices galore. It made the time go by and the long flight more tolerable.
Once in Dubai it was morning still in Austin and evening in Saudi Arabia. We had each maybe slept 2 hours on the plane total. Sweet! We thought…we’ll go to the hotel and eat dinner…then off to bed. This was the case but it is 3am here and I am so awake! (Brent is sleeping beautifully in the twin bed next to me. Yes, so romantic!)
In the last 40 or so hours we have seen 6 movies and have had 6-8 hours of sleep. Let’s just say we are TIRED. What is waaaaaaaaay cool is the weather. Our triple digit heat wave for the last 60+ days in Austin is overshadowed by the pouring rain. Right now it is easily 60 degrees. The sound is lulling us to sleep. There is a pot boiling us some hot water for our Oatmeal and Mac-n-Cheese lunch. We’re unpacked. We’ve set up home for the week and now we wait…Brent and I feel like were living in a dream state (being sleep deprived does not help). We are soooooooo excited we can barely stand ourselves, yet trying to keep our expectations low.
In closing, most of you know we are in Ethiopia on an “off week”…our agency sends families every other week to Addis Ababa. Due to our “special circumstances” the U.S. Consulate has granted us a special appointment. However, other agencies are represented this week in Ethiopia and we had the privilege to meet some families traveling from the U.S. One family in particular is from New Mexico, her name is Leah, they have 3 kiddos and are adopting a 5-month-old girl. The crazy cool thing about this family is their connection to Bo and Amy’s school. This couple came to meet with Veritas staff two years ago, in hopes to start their own University Model School. Last year was their first year, they’re on the board and know the leadership of our school. Of course, we had many things in common with this family and God stepped in and gave us the assemblance of being with a group, just not one connected with our agency.


  1. i was sooo excited to get this - thanks for the "details"!!! what a fun ride :) :)

  2. We are so happy to see your dream coming true at last! His timing is perfect... Love from the DeWoody's

  3. God is good and His mercies are everlasting!!! The testimony that all have from this incredible journey is awesome!!! so blessed to have been able to pray for you and just being a "fly on the wall" through this adventure!! Blessings mike martin modesto,ca.

  4. What an exciting journey you have all been on. God is great!! Jennifer and I are excited for you as you get to experience the joy of adoption and learn first hand another aspect of our adoption into God's family through His Son Jesus Christ. Thank you for sharing this with us and thank God for those divine appointments you encountered on your travels.
    Brett and Jennifer Humphrey

  5. I know what you mean about those Devine connections. Mine was our Chinese Atheist Tour guide who moved Bill to his seat in the plane so he could sit and entertain me. I had prayed for confirmation if I was to give Michael the Bible I had brought with me and the plan of salvation. We talked about politics, govt's and faiths. Before we left Hong Kong, I gave him the "Book" and a letter explaining who Jesus is and what He has done for me and what He can do for Michael who was grieving from being recently divorced. I pray that he reads the Word and Jesus becomes alive to him. He asked me before we parted if I really believed this. I told him yes and that it was life changing. I am now burdened for the people of China who was treated so badly by Mao who tore their souls and spirit from them in the Cultural Revolution. His plan backfired when he scattered the Christians all over China to get rid of them. They are the foundation of the house Churches which are speading the Gospel to their people while suffering persecution and death. The book Heavenly Man is the life experience of one of these Chinese men who is filled with the power of the Spirit as he went through persecution, prison and almost death. Love, Marilyn Morsch

  6. I identify with the LONG plane rides and LACK of sleep. Maybe I am too old for this kind of travel but I have 3 more Bibles to give away. We are talking about Egypt, Jerusalem and Jordan next summer. Maybe I can escape prison again for doing this.
    I pray that your process will be quick and uneventful until you have him in your arms and are back home in the great USA. Marilyn Morsch

  7. Brent and Leah,
    We are so happy for you. You are in our prayers. We love you !
    Mark and Kelly

  8. I don't know why I am always so amazed at the awesome power and faithfulness of our God. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. We are truly blessed to be able to pray for you.
    Much love,

    The Dawson Family

  9. Thanks for sharing the details of your journey - looking forward to more. Remember what you'd always tell us...expect nothing, appreciate everything : ) Love, Brent&Sarah

  10. Thank you so much for the update - we've been anxiously waiting for news. We love you - can't wait to see all 3 of you... Love, The Aitchison Family

  11. Such a privilege to pray for you!!! Thanks for the update, love every word and all God is doing!!!

    Love you both,

    Karen Leake

  12. Thanks for posting the details (all the while giving glory to God!) and allowing us all to peer into your experience....we are standing by for more and upholding you in prayer! Love you guys from the "other" desert! The White Family (Doug,Kym,Chelcie & Madison)