Thursday, April 28, 2011

I Want to Love Like That.....

When we went to Ethiopia we knew we would see poverty and need on a level we don't begin to experience in America. We knew we would have the opportunity give to those in need. We knew God was going to touch our hearts and change us through our time there. What I didn't expect was to fall in love so quickly and so deeply with the country and it's people.

The first day we were in country we were blessed to do some touring in the North. We hiked a gorge that was breathtaking. Not just for it's beauty but also for the altitude. It was after that hike that we visited the Debro Labanos Monastery. It is known as the holiest Orthodox Christian church in Ethiopia. All the way from Addis we saw people walking on the road, many headed to this church. You see, it was Palm Sunday. Orthodox Christians were gathering there for a service that was going to begin at 9 pm and finish at 9 am. The priest who was our guide shared with us that the church would be filled with people standing with nothing but a staff to hold them up. All just to celebrate Palm Sunday. It was humbling. Do I treasure God enough to walk that far and stand that long? Do I love Him like that?

It was easy to find people in need at the Monastery. Many were sleeping under tarps around the church. We met one little girl and her mother who were living there. Such beauty, such hope, such joy.

When we returned to Addis, we did some shopping. Once again, it was easy to find people in need. Nursing mothers begging for anything we could give, boys selling gum and carved wooden toothbrushes. We so wanted to help them all but we just couldn't. It broke our hearts to have to walk away. Could we ever make a difference? Yet again we were faced with great need yet joy and hope still reigned in many of their hearts.

Fast forward to our last day in Ethiopia. This was the day we met the Compassion child we have been sponsoring for six years. I have to say that writing that monthly check has never been a struggle for us. We have gotten letters from him thanking us but to hear from him, face to face, how much it has meant to him and his family was priceless. I have never seen a 15 year old smile so much! It was then that we realized that we were making a difference to one boy in Ethiopia.

Click here to visit Compassion's website:

So here I sit, back home in one of the richest countries in the world, wondering how else God can use a simple housewife to make a difference to even one person. I want to love enough to give it all to Christ. To truly love "the least of these" enough to give whatever He asks. What that is I'm not sure, but I'm praying that when He shows me, I listen.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Court Trip Blessings

It has been a week since we saw our daughter. A week since I kissed her cheek and rocked her to sleep. A week since we said the hardest "good-bye" I can ever remember. She was more amazing than we could have imagined and the glimpses we got into her sweet, playful personality we will hang onto and treasure, especially while we wait to bring her home.

God answered so many of our prayers on our trip. Not the least of these happened when we went to court. Thankfully, WE PASSED!!!! This means that all the paperwork needed was in place and we are, according to Ethiopia, the proud parents of Sophia. Now we wait for her visa and the day we will be able to bring our sweet girl home. What a joyous day that will be!!!

God has blessed us tremendously. He chose to give us sweet memories of Sophia and He allowed us to meet the Nanny who took care of our Savannah. Let me back up a little, when we first found out our court date we found out that we were the only Holt family with that court date. At first we were a bit disappointed but then, we saw the possibility God was presenting us with to ask questions about Savannah without the awkwardness a group would have. It was a gift. While holding and loving on the daughter God has chosen to bring home to us, we were able to meet the woman who loved the daughter we will have to wait to hold until heaven. We saw her little bed. I was blessed to pour out love, hugs, and even kisses on the woman who was with my daughter when I couldn't be. There are no words to describe how full my heart is and how thankful I am that God chose to bless us this way.

Our trip to Ethiopia was only a week long, but our hearts are forever changed by what we saw there. So much need, so much joy, and so much love all together in one place.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Getting Ready to Fly

Tomorrow our baby girl turns 6 months old and one week from tomorrow we get to hold her. This momma is SO ready to meet our precious Ethiopian princess & I know her daddy is too! We would very much appreciate prayers for our trip and for our children at home. Here are some specific prayer requests for each day we are gone.

Please pray that our children at home will remain healthy, do well on the achievement tests they have while we are gone, and will have a great time with their grandparents

April 15-16-We fly to Addis Ababa Ethiopia. Please pray for safe travel.

April 17th-We tour Debro Labanos Monestery. Please pray for safe travel and opportunity to share God's love with those we meet.

April 18th-This is the day we have been waiting for! We drive to Durame to spend 2 hours getting to know our daughter. Please pray that we have a good visit with her and have a peace about leaving her until embassy.

April 19th-We travel back to Addis Ababa for orientation with the lawyer. Please pray that we would be well prepared for court the next day.

April 20th-We attend court to officially adopt Sophia according to Ethiopian law. Please pray that all the necessary paperwork is in our file and we pass court

April 21st-We have a meeting with our Compassion child, whom we have been sponsoring for 6 years. Please pray that we have a good visit with him.

April 21-22-We fly home. Please pray for safe travel and a sweet reunion with our children at home.

Thank you all so much for your prayers! We know that "...The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much." James 5:16. We will be updating our blog when we get home with specifics about our court trip so stay tuned!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

3 years today....

We walked into an office in Guangzhou, China, and met our daughter. It's amazing to me how quickly three years have passed and how blessed we are to have her. She lights up every room she enters and brings joy to even the hardest hearts. So many times people tell us how lucky she is to have us, what most don't realize is that we are the luckiest ones of all.

Happy "Gotcha-Day" to our sweet daughter and to us--who are blessed to be loved by her.

Three years ago today