Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Why Africa?

I remember my post from July 2007 on our first adoption blog on this subject. As I re-read the post I took a short detour down memory lane and our adoption of Silas. Already this journey has been similar yet so different. Our heart is still much the same just more broken, even more humbled to be on this journey for a second time. Blessed to be walking this road with so many others and blessed to watch the Lord provide every step of the way. I wanted to re-post about our Why Africa here for those who didn't follow our first adoption. Plus it still applies today. :)

This has been a common question for us from the beginning of our adoption journey. Whether it be an honest question, a question of concern, or just plain disbelief that we are adopting trans racially and from a country devastated from AIDS. I'm not sure. I know people have a lot of questions and we expect that. I know we often buck trends in our seemingly crazy ideas, and they don't often make sense. They don't always make "sense" to us either at times. We do know that God has a bigger plan and while it sometimes seems absolutely nuts His guidance and faithfulness is not. We are simply humble servants of a mighty King, walking in obedience of what He has called us to do.

I've pondered how to address this on our blog. It's taken me a long time to formulate a post that would explain our hearts, our love for Ethiopia, our love for orphans there, and more importantly our desire to show the love of Jesus to people who may have never heard.

I've compiled some facts about Ethiopia - gathered from - http://data.org

*HIV/AIDS killed 2.1 million people in Africa in 2006.

*Tuberculosis (TB) killed approximately 550,000 people in the region last year, and at least 1 million people die from malaria each year, mostly children in Africa.

*41% of Africans live on less then $1 a day.

* Today in Africa there are 12 million AIDS orphans and that number is expected to climb to 18 million by 2010.

* 46 years is the average life span of an African.

* 7,700 Africans are infected with HIV each day.

* ONE MILLION children are killed by malaria every year which can be prevented by a $6 mosquito net.

* 5,800 Africans die of AIDS each day.

These numbers are staggering. The suffering unimaginable here in a country where we take our liberties, our health care, our possessions, and quality of life for granted.

These are just a few reasons why we feel God has called us to adopt from Africa. God has a plan for our family that we can't fully see or understand. We're excited to see where he leads and excited to see who he has picked for our little family.

Here we are three years, a precious Ethiopian son, a cross country move, and three trips to Ethiopia later. It's amazing to go back and read what the Lord was doing in our hearts back then and where He has brought us since. All of those reasons listed are still reasons we hold dear to our hearts but so many more reasons have been added.

Over the years Isaiah 43 has become more and more meaningful. It's such an amazing picture of Gods love for us and His love for the world.

Verses 3-7
"Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life. Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and from the west I will gather you. I will say to the north, Give up, and to the south, Do not withhold; bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth,
everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made."

We now have the love of a country, a people, ministries in Ethiopia, relationships, and a very real visual on the need for families for precious precious children. I look at my son and can't imagine life without him. It's an honor to be his mommy. His adoption has changed our lives, God has used him to change our hearts, God has used Silas to encourage others to adopt, its amazing to see God at work in the lives of His people. We couldn't be more thrilled to be on this journey again. For the love of a girl. All for the glory of our King.

Why Africa seems so simple to answer. Why not? When you look at our family dynamic already it just seems natural. With the adoption of our son Ethiopia has become an integral part of who we are as a family. I have been back twice (David once, Nichol for her first time) since our adoption for mission trips which makes this adoption even more real. We've seen Ethiopia on many levels, we've built relationships, we've loved on the people, we've grown to love a country, and we feel even more honored by what the Lord has called us to in this adoption. We are so excited to see who God has already hand picked for our family.

4 comments:

emily said...

Is there anywhere else???? Oh, I kid......sorta. :)

Can't imagine my life without Africa in it.

Let's talk later. Hope to have schedule of games soon, can visit in between one for sure.

Connie said...

What a blast it will be to be in heaven at our Father's table, eating and rejoicing with people from every tribe, tongue, people group and nation. How thankful I am that God adopted a Gentile like me! And how lovely it is He has given us the privilege of reflecting His love in our families! Love you Erica ;-)

sandy said...

It is moving to find others talking about the plight of children made vulnerable or orphaned by the perils of poverty and HIV/AIDS in Africa. You commitment to help is inspiring. I hope that between us all we can continue to bring hope to so many suffering children. We work through the world's knitters to bring some warmth and comfort to as many children as we can. Kind regards Sandy (www.knit-a-square.com)

Rachel said...

Amen and amen and amen, oh, and amen. Why?? Why not??!! Clearly a sovereign call, and I have seen God use it in my life and others. What a privilege to be linked to Africa, I feel it is such an honor!!