We are back in Kiev and had our second appointment at the SDA office earlier today. We continue to hope for news that our official referral to adopt Igor will be granted. (For you bottom line people, skip below to the statement in bold.) Yesterday we travelled via cab and bus from Balta to Kiev. We are thankful that Kimmie's back has held up well especially since prior to this trip sitting for a few minutes in the car would get very painful. Yesterday alone our travels had us sitting in car or bus at least 7 hours. We had a great night of rest on a normal size bed and by noon today our internet connection was fixed so that after our SDA appointment we could get caught up on some work and connections.
There are some lessons that we continue to see over and over. One of those lessons is that God is the one who is our strength and the one who fights and secures the battle. The battle is not won by our strength. Proverbs 21:1 says He turns the heart of the king as easily as directing water in his hand. This morning we received two messages reminding us that God can make a way when there seems to be no way. Kimmie was reading about David as he approached Saul about fighting Goliath when he said "The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine." We went to the SDA office with notes of encouragement, strengthened by the knowledge of his saints praying, and thankful for being out of our comfort zone so as to notice first hand how God has provided in so many details on this trip.
We both seemed to wrestle with how much to pray today. We are reminded of God's instruction to pray illustrated in the parable of the woman who asked the king her request day after day until he finally granted the wish just to get rid of her. When we arrived at the SDA office we had to wait for our appointment. Kimmie wanted to walk around the building and pray whereas I felt God had confirmed He heard our prayers and it was time to wait and watch. I wrestled with whether I was getting lazy in the discipline and work of prayer or whether God was putting me at rest. Finally we went into the SDA office to realize that we would need to wait for another two hours before we would be taken in for our appointment. The waiting room is pictured below.
If we had not realized it before, we were reminded again that this is truly a case of the battle being the Lord's. While our adoption facilitator and SDA staff debated our situation we waited in this room. We see that if God grants favor on our request it can't be because of anything we have done. For the final 45 minutes we were taken through the Deputy Minister's office to the office of her assistant. There she prepared our file as if we were going to get our referral. We got to see two pictures of Igor, one as a baby and one at age 2 or 3. We understood her to read some of the Ukrainian law to her boss which detailed there being no obstruction to our referral. We signed the official book requesting our referral and were told that we would have an answer tomorrow. As we left our appointment we understand our petition will be placed on the desk of the SDA director for a decision in the morning. So we lift up the prayer we have had since we arrived, that our referral for Igor will be granted and we will then be one step closer to his adoption. While the process has been slow, we see one hurdle after another being cleared. Our hope remains high and through the strength of our Lord and His people our faith remains secure. If our referral is granted it will likely lead to a delay in our coming home as we will have more work to do in country.
Our prayer through all of this is that the name of the Lord be glorified above all else. This desire was once reflected even in the construction of this city. Our apartment in near St. Sophia Church. It sits on a hill and the top was built to be the tallest point in the city to reflect the supremacy of God. The city was also planned so that three glorious churches would surround a section of the town. This reminds me that we cannot go in any direction where we cannot see and know God's love, His glory or the support of His people. (Below is St. Andrews and St. Michael's church, two of the three churches mentioned referenced above.)
Last night we were treated to being able to walk through this beautiful city for an hour before it turned dark and then met with two other couples going through the adoption process for a great dinner at an authentic Ukrainian restaurant.