For a while I started getting caught up in the financial logistics, constantly adding up sales and trying to figure out how to make the most profit so I could be sure to earn back what I had already invested into the book, with any extra then going back to Julian. Then God hit me over the head and told me to stop when my ten year old son said, "Since when was this about the money????" Ouch. As much as that little boy still has to grow and mature, I'm amazed at the wisdom behind many of his random statements. This is just another ministry that He's given me, and my focus should be solely on getting it into the right hands. When He's asked me to go on a trip, say, to California, Mexico, Argentina, or Colombia, I've trusted Him to provide the money, and I never looked back to see how I could earn it back. He obviously provided the money for this story to be published, so why am I constantly looking back at the money? It's helped me gain a better perspective of things. It's amazing how money can be so controlling of your thoughts at times.
Things are beginning to take shape for our returning trip to Colombia, which is coming up pretty quickly. I can't believe how the time has flown. Mike's job approved for him to take off for a month, so we'll be leaving the first week of June and returning the first week of July. The summer school classes that I'll be teaching run for 3 weeks of that time. Our church has approved/endorsed our trip as an actual mission trip, so now, thankfully, we have a way to raise financial support and a way to make our own expenses for the trip tax deductible.
Julian, unfortunately, found out that his military card/"exemption" won't be in effect for two more months, which leaves him completely dependent on us for at least that long. He's pretty discouraged, but it's just another reminder of why God connected us with Him. God knew all along that he was going to need the support of a family as he went through this transition of exiting the system. I am constantly learning more and more about what an orphan goes through as he begins life on his own. There are times I see that he's still just a child, but trapped in an almost 19 year old body. There are so, so, so many gaps--physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. We're just having to take them one at a time, one day at a time. Currently, we're focusing on how to shop, cook, and eat properly, as well as learning the value of money and how to track what's being spent. All of these are quite a difficult task when we're so far away and can only try to teach him these things via a telephone or computer.
I always knew God had called us to adopt and that He had plans for us to be involved in a ministry overseas. I never imagined, though, that He was calling us to a full-time orphan ministry or that He would ask me to be the voice for the orphan. He gave me such an intimate view into their lives, showed me things I never knew I wanted to see, opened my ears to hear their voices and their cries, and opened my heart to love them as my own. Look at what we would have missed had we just gone along with our own plans and then given up on God when they fell apart.
Today is the start of spring break, so David and I have already made plans to read a new book together and ride bikes together all week. (After watching a video of me presenting yesterday, I see that I definitely need to get back into an exercise routine!!!!) David leaves for Mission Waco on Thursday afternoon, where he'll be serving in a homeless shelter and doing a few other service types of projects. He's really excited to be going, and I'm so excited for him to have the experience. He's got two really close friends going with him, so that makes it much easier on this mom than when he went to camp pretty much alone.
I think I got caught up now on everything that needed to be shared here. Hopefully I'll have more time to write throughout this week.