Romans 12:2

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Esther Update

I've been a bit on the quiet side. I'm still just so THANKFUL and BLESSED and blown away by the generosity of people and the timing and provision of our Lord, and His amazing faithfulness.
We are trying to pull together all the details of going back to get Esther and bring her home to her FOREVER FAMILY...
We are going to take another LEAP of faith, and go March 16th. Everything is done, but there is a little hold up at the USCIS...they want something worded differently in our homestudy, because our oldest daughter is 18 and still living at home. We did all the fingerprinting for her and background checks, but they want it worded a particular way in the home needless to say, we are working on getting that resolved and just praying that everything gets sent to the US Embassy in time for the family to bring Esther home, as planned on the 28 of March. So once again, we are going to just go in FAITH that it will all get done!!!
Your prayers will not be wasted on us right now. We are anxious to be done with this, and just have our daughter home and begin living as a family under one roof....and on the same side of the world.
I've been in such a whilwind of thoughts and emotions lately.....I still have to process all that I saw and experienced in Africa. I'm excited as I can be, that I finally got to meet Esther, but she is still NOT home. God has provided in ways and done things that I can barely recount ALL the ways, I'm thankful, I'm in awe.
I'm tired.....I'm very tired of the ups and downs of this journey. I feel exhausted in everyway there is....emotionally, physically, mentally, even spiritually. I've been on such a high spiritually, I've experienced God's hand on us, and I have seen His Glory more than I ever hoped or dreamed possible, but I feel (emotionally) face down on the ground and in a daze of all that has happened. Part of me is in tears of joy and thankfulness, part of me is still in tears of crying out to God, "It's NOT OVER, we still have to bring her HOME".

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

More on the WINNERS!!!

I will do another post on the precious winners of our HEARTS!!!! These people had our hearts won way before they told us they were donating the trailer back to us. They invited us into their home unannounced and like I said they THANKED US!!! What??? We were there to THANK them and give them the trailer, they won!!!...YOU ARE THE WINNERS of the Hart trailer we told them!!!! We told them we would take the trailer to anywhere they wanted; they have kids in the Beaverton area and we could take it over there if it was too much for them to have it in their back yard, They said they wanted us to have it, and Mrs. Thomas said she wanted us to keep it to use it for ourselves!!! She said she didn't want us to raffle it again because she wanted our family to use it. That was the icing, because I can tell you, when we are sitting here in financial distress, that trailer would look pretty handy to sell in the future if need be, but you can bet we will have that GIFT FOREVER on this earth. That trailer is more than a trailer, it represents so much to us, and what a huge reminder of God's goodness and His provision, and His people with amazing HEARTS!!!

One last sweet detail. When I asked the Thomas' if we could put their picture and name out there so people knew who won the trailer, they said...."We just don't want a big ta-do about us, or anything we did, but you may tell the story so people can see how God works. It is all for His Glory!!!" They are so humble.

I can not end this without an update on Esther....When we left Uganda we were expecting a ruling on the 16th, which is tomorrow. Our lawyer has to travel the 7 hours back up there to get the ruling; the ruling was all pending on some paperwork that the Redeemer House Orphanage had to provide...which sounds easy enough, but NOTHING in Ug*nda is easy. The paperwork was to come from a different lawyers office, well LONG story short once again...the paperwork came through at the VERY last minute, and we are back on track. Kathy has been trying to get a hold of us to no avail, and we have just been praying and believing it was all being taken care of, and it was AT THE LAST MINUTE. Oh God always comes through but He loves to make sure we know He is in charge and WE are NOT, and He will move mountain after mountain especially for the orphan, we just have to keep walking in FAITH and putting our trust IN HIM!!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

#30 is the WINNER!!!!

Tonight was the drawing!!! We ended up at the last minute being told by the TV station that they could not draw or air the drawing because it was a liability. We called and asked the judge of our county and he had Valentine's plans, and we asked our pastor and he too had Valentine plans, so Dale Pederson an elder from our church met us at the church with 15 minutes notice and did the drawing. He was the perfect guy to do it!!! As it turns out...him and his wife Marlene have an adopted child as well, just a fun extra fact that made it extra special. He was the perfect one to draw the winning number.

We lined up EVERY ticket 1-106!!!! We checked and double checked that everything was right on.
Then, we put all the tickets in a bucket that was labeled "A Hart For Esther". Then, we raced to the church to meet our official drawer there.
Dale drew and came out with #30!! We checked our paperwork and that was Donald Thomas from Prineville, Oregon. We had no phone number for him because he had handed me a check for 2 tickets at a Senior Bible Study that I spoke at on the Wednesday that I left for Africa. I didn't even realize what had happened until I got out to the car and looked at the check. Wow!!! I was blessed and blown away. Anyway, we were excited to contact them, but there was no number in the phone book, so we then looked up their address on map quest, their address was on their check. We drove to Prineville and WOW!!!! We had the most bless-ed hour long spontaneous visit with the most incredible people. Here is just a blip of their story: They have 3 internationally adopted grandchildren, and well as many biological ones, and they have an adopted child as well as 3 biological children. They are passionate for the Lord. They used to own a horse, but have passed that stage of life.

These WONDERFUL folks...are the WINNERS!!!! They won the trailer, thanked US for letting them be a part of our journey, donated the trailer BACK TO US!!!! And then prayed for us!!!! I can't even give the details right now it is just so emotional and overwhelming the goodness of our God and these people's precious HEARTS!!!!!
I just can't fathom the details that the Lord works out! I stand in awe.

A Hart for Esther drawing

We are drawing for the Hart trailer tonight at 5pm. The local news station, KTVZ, will anounce the winner on the 6pm news. We will send the link as soon as we can and we will be contacting the WINNER TONIGHT!!!!!

We are so thankful, we have had a last minute OUTPOURING of tickets sales. I'm thankful and humbled, and blessed and overwhelmed, and rejoicing, and praising and ...and....and.....can't put words to all I'm feeling. Part of me is just wanting to run and hide I'm not worthy of all this generosity, or the kindness that people are pouring out on us, but I'm hanging in there because I know it's all to bring Esther home, and I know people are just doing what they feel in their hearts to do, but it's TOO much, it's just TOO much.

Thanks again to everyone for your support, love, prayers, kind words, and generosity.

We are blessed and we know that God is just on His throne shining in all His Glory, and TODAY He is allowing me a glimpse of it, and it's just TOO MUCH. It is awesome and paralyzing, I know I don't deserve it, and I know it's just a gift and I know that He has so much more for each of us, but I'm sure this is all I can handle for today.

Powell Butte Family to Greet Ugandan Orphan - News Story - KTVZ Bend

This story was ran on our local news station.

Powell Butte Family to Greet Ugandan Orphan - News Story - KTVZ Bend

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Few Fun Pictures from Uganda

Click on A Hart For Esther for Hart Trailer raffle. We will be drawing on Monday the 14th in the evening, we are trying to coordinate with the local TV station so it will depend on their schedule. We will be selling tickets right up until the time of drawing or until we sell 110 tickets.
If you have any last minute questions you can always call 541-420-5265. Thanks!!

Here's a few fun pictures from Uganda. Charlie has been there before so it was like a homecoming when he met up with his friends there. Noah...a wild and crazy guy that works at Redeemer House Orphanage we so excited to see "Uncle Charles" that he picked him up and twirled him around. It was hysterical.

This is a picture of Noah all dressed up for church. Mind you this is a mud hut church that is crowded beyond belief and when these people come to church they put on their finest, and they come ready to "appreciate God" as they called it. These people came to LIFE when it was time to praise and worship and pray, they danced and sang and bowed on a dirt floor. They sweated through every bit of their clothing. They LOVED it, they came to LIFE, they were created for this, and they knew it. We were all created to worship our God, but sometimes we forget or we get lazy, or we put all our energy into EVERYTHING else. Not these people, they realize this is what they were created for and they LOVE it, and they enjoy it, and they do it BIG and ENTHUSIASTICALLY. Something I hope to NEVER forget and hope to learn from them.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Please click on A Hart For Esther if you are want information about the raffle.

I lived by this scripture while I was in Uganda. It was an amazing time, but there was NOTHING easy about any of it. I feel emotionally, physically, and financially exhausted. God showed up in every way. He confirmed to us over and over that we were doing EXACTLY what He called us to, and that His time was now. So even through the exhaustion, He is so faithful, and He is so good. I was at the end of my rope one morning, and I got up and read where I just happen to be in the bible that day. Here is the scripture below, I posted it in The Message because it just says it so plainly.

1 Peter 4:7-19 (The Message)

7-11Everything in the world is about to be wrapped up, so take nothing for granted. Stay wide-awake in prayer. Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it. Love makes up for practically anything. Be quick to give a meal to the hungry, a bed to the homeless—cheerfully. Be generous with the different things God gave you, passing them around so all get in on it: if words, let it be God's words; if help, let it be God's hearty help. That way, God's bright presence will be evident in everything through Jesus, and he'll get all the credit as the One mighty in everything—encores to the end of time. Oh, yes!

Glory Just Around the Corner
12-13Friends, when life gets really difficult, don't jump to the conclusion that God isn't on the job. Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner.
14-16If you're abused because of Christ, count yourself fortunate. It's the Spirit of God and his glory in you that brought you to the notice of others. If they're on you because you broke the law or disturbed the peace, that's a different matter. But if it's because you're a Christian, don't give it a second thought. Be proud of the distinguished status reflected in that name!

17-19It's judgment time for God's own family. We're first in line. If it starts with us, think what it's going to be like for those who refuse God's Message!

If good people barely make it,
What's in store for the bad?
So if you find life difficult because you're doing what God said, take it in stride. Trust him. He knows what he's doing, and he'll keep on doing it.

This is when I first met Esther, and Charlie and her were reunited. She was a tad shy, but she could not stop smiling. After spending 3 days together she was calling me Mama and she was NOT shy. She was acting like a Brewer kid. She had energy, and she was silly. We stayed in the hotel for a couple of days while waiting for the judge to hear our case, and Esther got very familiar with eating at a restaurant. She loves salt...and she loves meat!!! Now, if that is not a Brewer I don't know what is.

This is a photo right after court. We sat in court for 2 days and were finally called to the chambers on the second day of sitting in the courtroom waiting for 3 1/2 hours. We are expecting a favorable ruling on the 16th of this month. Please continue to pray, we can not stop until everything is done, and our daughter is home. In the above photo is our "dream team". Our lawyers who after spending 7 hours in a squished van, each way, and 2 days in court, they are our good friends. These people are bright and loving. They had one goal in mind and that was to do what they could to get Esther with her family. They are prayer warriors, and they are hard workers.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Court Date Scheduled!

Please click on A Hart for Esther if you want any updates or information concerning the horse trailer we are raffling off.

What a day! I got to my computer by 7:00am and I had 3 e-mails from our lawyer in Ug*nda that said URGENT - ! I read them and each one was explaining that we have a court date for the 7th of FEBRUARY!!! Oh my GOODNESS!!! This is an answer to many prayers, but that means we leave in 2 DAYS!!!! I have so much to do, but honestly EVERYTHING that NEEDS to be done to make this done. God has absolutely gone before us parted the Red Sea, and paved the way...we just have to move forward and trust Him, because my head is swirling, but I can see God's hand so perfectly on each and every detail.

We will not be able to bring Esther home this trip, due to the timing of the court date. We do not have our approval from the U.S.C.I.S. We have an appointment in Portland on the 22nd. So we will go to Ug*nda. I will meet my precious daughter, we will go to court and ask the judge if we can be her parents, we will fly home, and we will get everything finished up here and then go back and get her and bring her HOME!!!!

I would love to blog more details about how we KNOW this is the Lord just paving the way and His timing is crazy to me...but He knows the whole picture so I'm choosing to trust HIM.

We are still selling tickets for the raffle for the Hart trailer. Please be praying and repost any chance you get! We will be home with just a few days to spare before the drawing.