Walking by faith is filled with both excitement and surprise. You trust that the Lord will provide, but you never know exactly how or when. Walking by faith is a journey into the unknown, trusting that the Lord directs your steps. As we stepped out in faith to adopt our second child from China, we believed God would supply, but we were amazed how He did it.
Five years ago, we were led to adopt a little girl from China who was 13 months old. She was in an orphanage, waiting for a forever family who would love her and make her their daughter. We stepped out in faith, and God provided. When we brought her home, we also knew that our hearts would be forever moved by the cause of the fatherless and the needs of orphans. When our daughter grew and wanted a brother from China as we did for her, we knew it was time to take another step of faith. Our hearts were open, and we believed that God was directing us once again.
Whenever we step out in faith, we always have a story to tell. I hope that our story of faith encourages you as you step out in faith in your ministry. If you are contemplating adoption, my prayer is also that our journey will encourage you to step out, too.
WALKING BY FAITH IS A JOURNEY INTO THE UNKNOWN
As we took our initial step of faith in September 2010, we contacted an adoption agency and downloaded their application. A $200 fee needed to accompany the application. Unbelievably, that is all we had to start the process, but we knew that God would provide. As we began working and saving, we knew that we needed to do fundraisers. Again, we trusted that the Lord would provide. We just did not know what He would do.
Our first fundraiser was a yard sale, so we thought. I asked our church if we could hold a sale in the parking lot of the church as we had good visibility. They agreed, and we began to collect items. About two weeks before the sale, the phone rang. It was a woman I never met calling from Hawaii. She told me that her grandmother had just died here in our town. When her relatives entered the home, they were overwhelmed to learn that Grandma was a hoarder. She told me that they didn't know what to do with everything and asked if we needed anything. I told her that we were going to be having a yard sale to raise money for an adoption, and they could donate items. Over the phone, the woman told me that her grandmother had been a foster mom, and she knew that Grandma would love to know that her belongings were used to give a child a home. So, in a matter of days, four large trailer loads of items were collected. The sale was moved from the parking lot to the church gym. The entire gym was filled. The local newspaper even ran an article before the sale telling the story of this huge gym sale and walk of faith. In two days, $2800 was raised as everything was sold except two dressers that were then given to a single mom.
What we thought would be a normal yard sale turned into a community event. The Lord elevated our journey into a story known all over town. At the post office, grocery store, and elsewhere people would ask, "When are you going to get that little boy?" People were watching God at work.
Later, we held a spaghetti dinner for donations. A local business donated money for the food and with 80 people, another $2800 was raised. As we continued to work and save, the Lord impressed others to join us in our journey. God always works through people to meet the needs of ministry and supply financially. As God provides, He touches the hearts of others to share what He has given to them in order to make a difference in others' lives. We did not know where the needed funds would come from, but God did.
As God continued to move, other adoptive families around the country made donations to help us bring our son home. We also applied to foundations and received four grants. What was a real surprise was the timing. When we started the adoption process, we thought that it would take about a year before we could travel to get our son. In only seven months, not only was all the money raised, the paperwork completed and filed, but we also had approval from China to travel. In April 2011, we celebrated the adoption of our son Kaleb — a six-year-old boy whom we love with all of our hearts and who fills our home with laughter, fun, and excitement.
Walking by faith is the same for pregnancy care centers and every child of God. When God places a burden upon your heart and directs you to step out in faith, He will supply in such a way that He receives the glory. We did not have the ability to make our adoption happen apart from the Lord's provision. Because God performed that which only He could supply, we give all the glory and honor to Him.
The exciting news is that God wants to show Himself mighty and powerful to you, too. He wants you to trust Him to be your provision and supply (Philippians 4:19). He wants to give you a God story of how He can meet your needs and provide for you. In your ministry and in your life, continue listening to the Lord, walk by faith, and then share your God story. An amazing journey awaits.
Pastor Mark Hiehle served as a center director for over 15 years. He now pastors the First Church of the Nazarene in Chickasha, Oklahoma. He continues to help centers grow through tools found at www.highcalling.com.